Weekend Hot Topic, part 1: Best video game of 2019

GameCentral readers turn in a half year report for video games, praising everything from Devil May Cry 5 to Tetris 99.

Since we’re just over the halfway point of the year the subject for this weekend’s Inbox was what has been your favourite new game of 2019? How many new games have you bought this year and do you think any of them will go down as all-time classics?

If there was a consensus it was that most people weren’t really sure what to make of 2019 so far, with an underwhelming – but not disastrous – first half and a very promising second half. However, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice was by far the top choice as game of the year so far.


Number one

I’m actually kind of unsure how 2019 is going to play out by the end because while the first half has been a little underwhelming the second half seems stacked with very promising games. Promises can be broken though and I think there’s still a good chance that Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will end up being the best game of the year by the time it’s all said and done.

As a FromSoftware fan I loved it, although even I found it really difficult so I’m not sure how it went down with more casual fans. It did get to number one, if I recall, so that’s good to see anyway. Hopefully the new Elden Ring will see them find even more mainstream success.

I’m not sure why the last couple of years have become so unbalanced in terms of release dates as I though publishers were getting more sensible about that stuff. Next year has lots of stuff coming out in the first half of the year but I think that’s more so it doesn’t get mixed up with the next gen so I’m not sure they won’t be back to their old tricks after that.


Successful return

I imagine Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is going to walk away with this one, partly because it’s a great game and partly because it’s been a pretty dry year so far. I have to admit Dark Souls is not really my thing so instead my favourite has been Devil May Cry 5.

As a big fan of the series I was pretty nervous about how they’d handle it but I was pretty impressed by the end. I think V saved it. If he hadn’t been in it I think it would’ve been seen as playing things disappointingly safe but I thought he fit in really well, despite playing really differently.

The game seems to have done at leas as well as Capcom hoped so hopefully that’s the franchise ‘saved’ now and we’ll not only get more Devil May Cry but hopefully more of Capcom’s old school franchises as well. If that’s the only win we get out of 2019 that’ll be find by me, to be honest.


Happy times

I wouldn’t say anything has blown me away yet this year but there are a couple of games I want to get around to before the year is out, those being Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Judgment, and My Friend Pedro. Of the releases I have played this year though, I’d say the one I have enjoyed the most is Yoshi’s Crafted World.

Sure it doesn’t do much more than Woolly World, but that is no bad thing when Woolly World was an excellent platformer in any case. More than anything though I just felt really happy when playing it, because the world is so colourful and charming.

I was expecting to enjoy Devil May Cry 5 more than I did, after having loved DmC, but I didn’t find it quite as accessible as DmC, which is an important factor for me with these types of games as I’m not great at them.
Angry_Kurt (Twitter)
Now playing: Inside (Xbox One)


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Exodus fallout

My favourite of 2019 so far has been Metro Exodus. I agree with a comment GC made the other day about it being unfairly dismissed by many almost as soon as it came out. I don’t really understand why as it got everything right as far as I’m concerned: unusual premise (sure, it was post-apocalyptic but the way it was all portrayed was very original I thought), great graphics, great mix of open world and more linear levels, and a really good story and characters.

I don’t know if maybe some people wanted it to be more action-packed or something, or just wanted a Fallout clone, but for me it’s a much better game than anything Bethesda have ever put out.

I think some of the problem with this whole PC feud about Epic Games exclusivity may have heart but apparently it still sold okay so that’s something. As for the rest of the year I’m hoping against hope that the Star Wars game is good and I’m super hyped about Phoenix Point if it’s by the same guy that invented XCOM.


New for 1993

I don’t really know what to think of 2019 so far, other than I can’t believe it’s July already. Despite a lot of early promise there hasn’t been much that’s excited me so far, although the rest of the year has some interesting games planned, like Death Stranding and, dare I say it, Shenmue III.

I’ll be honest though in that the thing I’m most looking forward to this year is the Mega Drive Mini. For the first time since, well… the Mega Drive era it seems like Sega are actually doing something to be proud of their heritage and to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Nintendo.

I know it’s just a bunch of really old game but having it all bundled up like that with some neat extras on top, it’s got me excited. I don’t know why people always talk about nostalgia as if it’s a bad thing. If that’s all you surround yourself with then sure, but me I’m just excited about going back to a time when Sega wasn’t just the butt of a joke.


Generations of fear

LTRFTW. I have played a lot of disappointing games this year (and this gen to be frank) but the game I have played to death this year has been the Resident Evil 2 remake by Capcom (on PlayStation 4). I loved it, my lad loved it, and he soiled his pants about as much as I did playing the original at his age.

Come on Capcom, give us an update on Resident Evil 3 remake. Take my money and scare the bejesus out of me and my lad again!


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Best vs. favourite

I have bought about 20 games this year, although the vast majority were not originally released this year. Although some were recently ported to Switch.

Of the games I have played originally released this year (Yoshi’s Crafted World, Picross S3, WarGroove, and Baba is You) Baba is You is arguably the best but my favourite is WarGroove. It is not as good as the best Advance Wars games but is good enough to scratch a 10-year-old itch.

I do not think any of the games released so far are going to be remembered as all-time greats, although Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice obviously has its fans.

Death Stranding will probably be the most memorable game of the year and certainly has the potential for greatness. I am hesitant however as I have felt some of Hideo Kojima’s other games were marred by self-indulgence and I fear that I might find Death Stranding to be incoherent.

There are quite a lot of other good-looking games on the horizon too but most do not have confirmed release dates and will probably slip to next year (and possibly next generation).

My prediction for the game that will be topping GC’s list at the end of the year is Luigi’s Mansion 3.


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