The sad truth about this year is, I feel much more passionately about this top 10 list over my actual 2019 list. Except for 1 game, these are all games that I played for the first time this year and it really kind of cements how much of a poor year this year has been. 

10. What Remains of Edith Finch

I played this game with a friend and we just passed the controller back and forth and it was such an emotional experience for the two of us. The game is split up into multiple vignettes and there are a couple that will stick with me for a long time. Specifically the baby in the bathtub and the young man working in the fish factory. You’ll know what I’m talking about if you played the game.  

9. Assassin’s Creed Origins

This year I gave Origins another chance, it just didn’t make sense that I didn’t care for Origins but I loved Odyssey last year. I still think Odyssey is a better game but Origins ended up being the perfect game for me this year. It was a very weak year for Open-World games and Origins was able to scratch that itch for me. Who doesn’t want to run around Ancient Egypt? 

8. Gears of War 4

As someone who has somewhat recently learned that I love the Gears franchise, playing through Gears of War 4 this year was definitely on my bucket list. I know some people were not too fond of this sequel but I think it’s a solid addition to the Gears franchise and I like the 3 new characters of Del, JD, and Kate. 

7. Forza Horizon 4: Lego Speed Champions

This was such a great surprise at E3, finding out my favorite from 2018 is adding an expansion and its legos? This expansion was so lovely and it brought me right back in, I would have put it higher on my list but its more of what I played last year. With that being said, very few games this generation makes me smile the way Forza Horizon 4 does. Adding Lego Speed Champions to that only enhances my love of this game. 

6. Steam World Dig 2

I love this game so much, I played through it twice. Once on my PlayStation and then again on my Xbox to get those hot achievement points. This game is so smartly made, it’s a Metroidvania but with a spin of the game being run based so, you’re constantly resetting your run. Getting money for upgrades so you can go on a long run and I know this sounds like a Rogue-Like. The nice thing is, the game has that element but without the extreme challenge and the expectation of having to spend 100 hours doing the same thing over and over again. It’s a tight 5-6 hour experience and so smartly crafted. 

5. Ori and the Blind Forest

Speaking of Metroidvania’s, Ori and the Blind Forest. Its such a beautiful game with spectacular graphics and music and what I really like about this game is most Metroidvanias focus on combat. Ori focuses on platforming, it is a very difficult platformer but it is a very rewarding one as well. This is one of the hardest games I played this year. I could not be more excited about the sequel. 

4. Titanfall 2

I love a good First-Shooter Campaign (or any shooter campaign) and this is a good one. I do want to note, I didn’t touch the multiplayer but why would I? This is hands down the second-best shooter campaign of the generation. Between the mobility and the level designs, this game did not get enough love for this generation. 

3. Sunset Overdrive

I really appreciate Insomniac going out and making a game for me. I don’t think it sold very well and I’m sorry for taking so long to play through but god damn, this is a special game. I talked about Titanfall’s mobility and its pretty good but it doesn’t come close to the mobility of Sunset Overdrive. Everyone says, 2014 was a weak year for video games, did they play Sunset Overdrive? 

2. Dead Cells

This is one game that was high on my list last year and it’s high again this year. A big reason for that is, I kept playing through the game this year and I beat the game for the first time this year. I will never forget the first time I beat Dead Cells, I wanted to go outside and just running down my street. God damn it, this game is so good and its ruined Rogue-Likes for me. 

1. Mass Effect Trilogy

This last one might be cheating but I’m counting the Mass Effect trilogy as 1 game. I played them back to back for the first time and I think all the games have their own strengths and weaknesses. 

Mass Effect 1

  • It has the best RPG elements of the series. It feels like RPG.
  • It has the best story of the 3. It’s just a solid contained story and if 2 and 3 didn’t come out, people would still talk about Mass Effect 1 in a positive light because of the story. 
  • Fair warning, the gameplay is pretty rough to go back to in 2019.

Mass Effect 2

  • Although the overarching story is not great, it’s all about the individual character stories that enrich this world. 
  • The gameplay is a massive step up for the original.
  • Arguably the best package of the 3. 

Mass Effect 3

  • Mass Effect 3’s gameplay rivals any Third-Person Shooter from the Xbox 360/PS3 era. It took 3 games but the gameplay finally came together.

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