Mandatory Best of 2019: Ranking the 10 Greatest Video Games of the Year
Gaming continues to get more-advanced on a yearly basis, and that generally pays off in the form of getting incredible games every year. While this wasn’t the greatest year for gaming and the calendar wasn’t as packed as last year, there were still dozens of great games that were worth people’s time and money. The best titles offered up memorable adventures and kept players entertained for dozens of hours. As the year comes to a close, Mandatory took a look at the 10 greatest video games of 2019. Spanning several different genres, all of these excellent games are worth experiencing.
Cover Photo: Sega
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10. 'Devil May Cry 5'
Devil May Cry came back in a big way earlier this year. DMC 5 is the most ambitious title in the innovative action game series as it featured three different protagonists across its branching story, each of which played differently from one another. While it's likely not the last we'll see from Dante, the story's satisfying conclusion proved a fantastic end to the devil hunter's journey and feud with his brother Virgil. Its top-notch gameplay is only held back slightly by some repetitive level design.
Photo Credit: Capcom
9. 'Super Mario Maker 2'
The sequel to the Wii U's Super Mario Maker didn't make quite as big a splash as the original, but it is still an excellent game. The new Super Mario 3D World graphical option is gorgeous to look at and even more fun to play, and some great additions like a story mode have made this sequel better than the original. The only downside is its limited online multiplayer, which was forgivable the first time around but not in a sequel.
Photo Credit: Nintendo
8. 'The Outer Worlds'
Obsidian Entertainment brought together Fallout designers Leonard Boyarsky and Tim Cain put together a spiritual successor to the original titles rather than Bethesda's recent ones. It was a huge success as the action role-playing game has a witty story filled with critiques of megacorporations, and is one of the best RPGs released this decade. Hopefully this won't be their last collaboration as a sequel could be even more special.
Photo Credit: Obsidian Entertainment
7. 'Fire Emblem: Three Houses'
The first Fire Emblem RPG for Switch, Three Houses adds social simulation and time management elements into the mix. It's a wonderful mix, and Three Houses winds up being one of the deepest installments yet in the series as a result. With three distinct paths to go through the story, this RPG can take hundreds of hours to see everything that it has to offer.
Photo Credit: Nintendo
6. 'Death Stranding'
Death Stranding is easily the most memorable game of the year, even if it is flawed. From its out-there story to some awe-inspiring performances by Mads Mikkelsen and Norman Reedus, there's really nothing else quite like Hideo Kojima's latest title. Its interconnected world encourages players to work together in order to make the game world a better place, which is a wonderful goal and makes for some touching online play.
Photo Credit: Kojima Productions
5. 'Resident Evil 2'
Resident Evil 2 is often thought as the best game in the series and Capcom's enhanced remake lived up to expectations. From making Mr. X creepier than ever before to the gorgeous third-person shooter reminding players why survival horror is such a great genre, RE 2 has been a huge success both critically and commercially. Luckily for fans, they're now giving Resident Evil 3 the same treatment.
Photo Credit: Capcom
Remedy has been one of the most innovative action game developers over the past 20 years, and Control is no different. The third-person title has player using supernatural firearms and special abilities to clear out the secret government agency, and has some great Metroiidvania-style backtracking as well. It's a true return to form for the studio after their last outing, Quantum Break, wound up disappointing.
Photo Credit: Remedy
3. 'Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice'
FromSoftware made a name for themselves due to their highly difficult Dark Souls series and Sekiro delivers more action in that vein. Unlike those titles, the action is less about animation priority and feels much more fluid. It's still just as challenging, though, and its Sengoku-themed adventure is their most memorable title yet.
Photo Credit: FromSoftware
Tokyo RPG Factory had struggled to find its footing initially as their retro-themed RPGs often felt more like a dull imitation than a reimagining of the great role-playing games of yesteryear. They finally moved away from playing copycat with Oninaki, an action RPG centered around death. Its emotional story tackles plenty of tough subjects that most games stray away from like suicide and the act of mourning. It's a mature story that is worth seeing through to the end.
Photo Credit: Square Enix
This Yakuza spin-off has players assuming the role of a former lawyer turned detective rather than a gang member. It still takes place in the fictional city of Kamurocho, though, and there are plenty of familiar sights to see. Its story is defined by a scathing look at the Japanese police and law system, and shows how the lives of normal people can get played by politicians as if it was merely a game. Throw in dozens of great optional side missions and the ability to romance several characters, and Judgment shows off an impressive versatility in tackling serious and goofy subject matter.
Photo Credit: Sega