I know it’s later than usual and there are fewer “parts” but 2019 was a weird gaming year for me.
Most Disappointing Game
Winner: The Outer Worlds
The Outer Worlds started strong. I enjoyed just about everything on that first planet. However, the more I played, the less enthused I was with pushing further. The visual style, dialog, quests, and combat all began to grate on me. It was a tighter and more compact take on Bethesda-style RPGs like Fallout but it was still one of those games and I think I’m officially exhausted by that style of game.
Most Surprising Game
Winner: Ring Fit Adventure
That weird reveal trailer sold me on the idea of Ring Fit Adventure. I wanted it but I didn’t want to rush out and buy it for $100 just yet. I bided my time until a sale popped up and I pulled the trigger on what turned out to be my favorite fitness game. But it wasn’t just my favorite: my fiancée has been enjoying the hell out of it as well. She didn’t take to Wii Fit U but Ring Fit Adventure has her playing 5 out 7 days in a week.
Best Old Game
Winner: Red Dead Redemption 2 [X1]
Red Dead Redemption 2 requires a commitment to the bit. The bit? Being a cowboy. You have to love being a cowboy and that doesn’t mean just cherry picking the shootouts and horseback riding. Red Dead Redemption 2 asks people to commit to the life of a cowboy including the mundane and hardships. I was willing to commit and I loved a vast majority of it. It’s one of the best games I played this year. It might be one of the best of the generation.
Top 4 Games of 2020
Winner: Apex Legends
- Ring Fit Adventure
- Untitled Goose Game
- The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
Apex Legends is game of the year for 2019. According to PlayStation’s year end wrap up, I played over 400 hours of it. Completed 3 battle passes and I see no sign of slowing down in 2020. It clicked with me like Overwatch but without the need for a large cohesive unit. I effectively staved off the desire to get Call of Duty: Modern Warfare because of Apex Legends’ hold on me. It took a while, but Respawn Entertainment made a battle royale game that suited me.
You would think all that time playing Apex Legends meant I didn’t have time to play other games but that wasn’t the case. A mixture of misfires and the desire to play older games resulted in a year where I didn’t have enough for a top 10 let alone I don’t even have enough for a top 5!
Ring Fit Adventure was sneaky good courtesy of Nintendo’s ability to make just about anything fun. Gamifying exercise isn’t new but executing it this well is. It’s the best game of that genre to date and one that I can see myself “playing” for many years to come.
Untitled Goose Game snuck in and won me over with its mischievous stealth puzzles. House House successfully created a charming stealth action game while minimizing the punishing frustrations of the genre.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening was a solid Zelda title that was marred by technical performance issues. It’s a damn shame but I pushed passed it towards the end and ultimately enjoyed my time with it.
Here’s to 2020!
There are many, many gaps including Resident Evil 2, Control, and The Outer Wilds but that was my 2019. I hope to address those omissions in 2020.