Game of the year: Our Top 10 games of 2019

It’s that time, Game of the year is here! It’s getting harder and harder to get a top 10 games together as the bar is constantly getting raised. We have scoured the release calendar and we can now present to you the Gertlushgaming top 10 games of 2019! It could have easily been the top 20 or top 100 as it was a tough year to be a dead cert.

 

10. Slay The Spire

Card games are nothing new, Rogue-Like card games are not anything particularly new but Slay the Spire is revolutionary to us. It has many hooks from unlocking characters and cards to deck creation and daily challenges. Graphics are superb, combat is clear and easy to understand, anyone can easily jump in and that is excellent. Veteran players have the added layer of deck creation and how to plan your route on the randomized map. Overall its depth and accessibility make it one of the best games of 2019.

 

9. Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare

Call of Duty Modern Warfare

Every year we get a call of duty, every year it’s just the same game but with a different theme or some new mechanic. Well, Modern Warfare is finally a change in the formula! We get a new engine that boasts better graphics and lighting, faster gameplay and generally a much more enjoyable experience. The core gameplay is familiar and the hook in terms of upgrading guns is so encompassing that it cannot help but grab you. Earn paint jobs from kills, crouch kills, mount kills and so much more. It is just a more rewarding experience overall, you could say it makes winning and losing obsolete but who cares. The reason the game is not higher up on the list is the game has a bad problem with camping, it openly encourages it with how the unlocks work and the way in which maps are made. Call Of Duty Modern Warfare is my go-to shooter this year due to the sheer number of updates, special playlist and the avalanche of unlocks.

 

8. Forager

Forager is a game that came out of nowhere for me. It looked and sounded simple yet fun and offered endless crafting and world generation. What took me most by surprise is how it got the title digital crack! It took it from World of Warcraft and turned the dial-up by 100. The constant upgrade loops of weapons, armor, materials along with paying to expand the world, ever-changing missions, puzzles, dungeons, and new biomes are honestly just the tip of the addiction, the controls are tight, the feedback on actions is on par with a casino with flashing numbers bright lights and the lure of always finding the next best thing. I honestly cannot put into words how this game just took my life and abused every hour upon hour with more and more content that somehow only got better.

 

7. SuperEpic: The Entertainment War

Yet another indie game that came along with little fanfare or theatrics and just dominated my playtime. A solid addictive Metroidvania platformer that pokes fun at the gaming industry in many ways and does so in a fun and happy way. SuperEpic is just good old fashion fun with loops and unlocks to find, I played it on the Nintendo Switch and it was a match made in heaven meaning any spare moment was spent with this game exploring the world and enjoying the 2 weapon combat it effortlessly added in. SuperEpic is an instant classic. I mean you jump around on a freaking Llama messing people up.

 

6. Vigor

Vigor

Starting off as a pay to play early access game it is now a straight free to play title. Vigor takes the Battle Royale philosophy, adds in an overall goal and attempts to carve out a different type of experience. You have a house in the middle of nowhere after the world has crumbled, you select a location and go out foraging for materials to craft and upgrade your house, only thing is you are not alone! Other players will be in this world and that can act how they want, they could be friendly or they could be hostile. You can exit the level at any point and airdrops with high-level loot will appear, you can use a comms tower to show enemy (or friendly players) last locations. Every map feels unique and has its own weather like snow rain or wind. The gunplay was rough but has got better. It uses a Battlepass system for cosmetic unlocks for you and your guns, it’s one of those titles that dares to be different and pulls it off albeit with a few issues. I’m hoping the game comes to other platforms in the new year and they stick with it as its a gem.

 

5. Control

I stayed away from trailers and talks prior to release so I could go in fresh yet blind. Having only notched a few hours on the Alan Wake I never truly felt confident in what to expect. Seems I didn’t need to worry in the slightest! For this 3rd person action game is a nonstop riot of fun intrigue and so much Sci-fi madness and depth. I was enamored with the world as the whole game played in a building that came to life, constantly moving the walls and boundaries of play, you could find pages upon pages of text for the back story but also for comical relief. You play as an agent and over time you acquire these powers and that is where the whole game blows up into this madness fight against these beings, solving puzzles and finding objects of power. It was like an interactive book in the way I unfolded the many layers of this behemoth. Everything just clicked and the story only got better and better as I went on.

 

4. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

Castlevania is a series that has waned in relative obscurity in its last few outings, going for a more dramatic change to story and gameplay, I a fan of the series longed for the classic games of yesteryear and just wanted another simple Metroidvania. Enter Bloodstained the most Castlevania game ever whilst not being called Castlevania! It takes the classic formula, adds in a load of obscure weapons and mechanics then smashes the sial up to maximum. What you get is the classic Metroidvania experience, exploration fighting, boss fights, etc but you also get the leveling up like in Symphony of the night, a crafting system that includes baking cakes, weird backers (Kickstarter) additions like pet cats and killer profile pictures and banging soundtrack. This all cumulates in an experience you cannot help but be captivated by, it’s accessible, it’s mental and it allows you to overpower yourself and just GP full God-like in your destruction. Bloodstained surprised me, entertained me and nailed everything it was going for.

 

3. BoxVR

I know what your thinking, after the year of blockbuster games how the hell does a fitness VR game that isn’t Ring Adventure make it so high in a game of the year list. Simple, BoxVR is an experience that is so polished, so engaging and so effective at what it wants to achieve that it cannot be ignored. OK so I believe the calorie counter is crap but the act of playing the game is effective and a staple in my workout regime. You punch orbs in a rhythm action style mechanic and dodge/weave and squat to the beat. They clocked up and patched out a load of what made BoxVR what it is but they have seen the error of their ways and changed it. I cannot stay silent on just how well this game exceeded my expectations but also how well it works as a workout choice. BoxVR is the real deal.

2. Death Stranding

Ah yes, the new Kojima game that is a true Marmite game with fans and critics alike. Why did I put it so high on this list? I put it high on the list as it was a game designed for me! I mean it’s a game about planning a route and then executing it with any means available like vehicles or building pathways and bridges. I mean I’ve been playing games like that for years! From truck simulator to Densha De Go, I’ve been planning and traveling routes for so long Death Stranding is just another one but with a batshit overall story. I love how empty the world feels, the world itself, how player interactions work, the core gameplay. It really is a game that is one thing and does it so well it almost hurts, it looks gorgeous and has enough hooks and gadgets that if you have any love of the genre, you will get so much out of it. Death Stranding is a long drawn out process but it’s all about the journey and how you deal with problems. It’s not for everyone but it’s definitely for me and such a superb experience.

1. Remnant Of The Ashes

Some say this is Dark Souls with guns, Some others might say its a 3rd person shooter with not a lot going on but I say it’s all the best parts of a Souls-like but also has all the core components of a top tier action shooter. Immediately the gunplay feels good, the enemies are detailed and horrific, even the world is a thing to behold. You can re-roll your campaign at any time to roll a randomizer set of level layouts and boss fights meaning no one has the same experience. Aside from the campaign you can also load up a randomized set of levels from any of the biomes and change the difficulty to farm or practice the rules. What had me loving the game more than anything else is the shooting and crafting/upgrading gear, it’s done in a such a way that it feels earned, the worlds are vast and full of secrets, boss fights are biblical, level up and get points to put into stats. You can unlock/earn new upgrade paths by simply playing, Co-op is its weakest part with no proper dedicated options and instead just join random games but that aside from its a whole lot of stressful fun in single player. You feel always on edge and ammo is sparse it is just such a complete polished little package it makes me smile just thinking about it.

 

And there you have it, folks, our game of the year list is complete. It was such an ordeal as I had so many games to whittle down and in the end, had to go with impactful memorable entries. Like I said I could have easily done a top 100 but doing a top 10 had me working for it just like the games are. I know this list will not be to everyone’s taste and a few are controversial but feel free to sound off in the comments and tell us what your game of the year is.

 

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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