The big one. As it says, the Gamer Malaya and Gamer Matters Game Of The Year 2019 award. The game we collectively believe to best released this year. Now in ascending order.
While previous years, we decided on which game gets Game Of The Year though long-winded battle of attrition. For this year, we decided to continue down that road, but also expand the list to 10 instead of 5, and rank them in ascending order.
Surprisingly, it all went through well! Here is the collective GM crew’s Top 10 Games of 2019, and Game Of The Year.
10. Pokémon Sword and Shield
Reports that the new Pokémon game being trash is highly exaggerated. Sword and Shield, the 8th generation pair of Pokémon games continue the tradition of another solid entry.
The incomplete Pokedex is still a big bummer for fans with legacy Pokémon that didn’t make the cut. That is clear. And the new Gigantamax feature may not be for everyone. But it’s an overall good step for its first mainline console entry.
9. Borderlands 3
Easily the best looter-shooter of the year. The guns are ridiculous as always. Shooting them also feels good and punchy. The loot is also varied- and we’re not counting the bazillion randomly-generated variants either. It’s more Borderlands!
But it’s also more Borderlands, and Gearbox somehow wrote an even weaker story from Borderlands 2 that is generally average but has a cool, compelling villain. As much as we love this game, this is the highest it can go on this list.
Outward is a game that breaks all gaming convenience choices. It’s painstakingly lumbering, full of hassles and in general, just outright not respect your time. But in many regards, Outward is a fresh RPG that boldly make you work and care for the smallest of details.
Outward isn’t the fantasy of doing the outrageous and conquering the impossible. It’s a busy work of small considerations you must remember that is not automated in other games. And such boldness, even if it may not be for everyone, is something we celebrate here.
7. Metro Exodus
Metro Exodus strays away from being just another Metro game. Though it’s debatable if straying away from what makes a Metro game stand out is the better choice. What isn’t debatable though is how well made Metro Exodus is. The new open-world-ish non-linear segments are something fresh for the series. Great looks, still solid gunplay.
6. Need For Speed Heat
Our Best Racing Game this year made it this far. It’s a long time coming for the Need For Speed series, which had a big slump this generation. That reboot was a disaster, Payback was marginally better (or just as bad depending on how you look at it).
Need For Speed Heat is where every diverging design points of past Need For Speed games finally clicks and moulds well into one cohesive package. Almost all aspects of the game received a glow-up, from its much-needed handling physics model to its best-in-class car customisation. It’s not exciting on paper, but Heat is a case of Ghost Games finally delivering a good game in its execution.
5. Astral Chain
What’s not to love about Stand Cops: The Game? PlatinumGames’ latest opus challenges you with more combat tools than any of their past character action games. Marry that with a strong anime cyberpunk aesthetic, a story that boils down to basically Evangelion and tight controls and you’ll get one of the better Platinum releases this generation, and a strong Switch-exclusive.
4. Resident Evil 2
They do it! Resident Evil 2 raises the bar on what a remake can do. Capturing the essence of the original was such a strong design choice that let them embellish key things fans remember and cutting those that they can live without. The RE Engine is amazing at rendering beautiful, realistic imageries. Controls are tighter yet the survival horror game can still make you panic at times.
If you don’t own a pair of rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia for the 2019 Resident Evil 2, it can stand on its own as on overall great game.
3. The Outer Worlds
If you’ve been listening to dia.log – The Gamer Matters Podcast for a bit, you may notice our reverence towards Fallout: New Vegas. So of course we are excited for Obsidian’s Space Vegas. The Outer Worlds deliver on that front- a first-person RPG straight out of Bethesda’s playbook.
What carries the game is, of course, the world-building- The Halcyon Colony may not be a huge open-world, but we were enamored by how rich the world feels. Pair that with solid writing that offers nuance and rewards you with interesting insight if you consider multiple perspectives and you get an RPG you just want to keep exploring. And do stuff in it.
2. Devil May Cry 5
Devil May Cry is back! Capcom is on a roll this year, and DMC 5 is continuing the combo. Not only it ushered back the mainline Devil May Cry, but it is also not afraid of toying with new mechanics like Nero’s rotating selection of prosthetic arms and new character V, that plays oh-so differently to any other character but totally makes sense.
It’s a game about having fun pushing buttons, about characters who are also having fun pulling off stylish moves and it’s not afraid of being a little bit silly and campy either. What’s not to love? Our resident Devil May Cry expert strained his hand and he’s not complaining.
Game Of The Year: Control
Remedy’s first game after their past Xbox-exclusive titles is a weird one. It even set the right expectations by telling you outright that it will be weird. Control is Remedy at its best. Combining their past know-how of making an intriguing world, relatable characters and tight gunplay into one cohesive package.
The Oldest House and The Federal Bureau of Control just have the right balance of unsettling horror and intrigue to keep you glued to whatever is unfolding. The simple shooting is augmented by simple, but very-well executed powers that can be frustrating at times but satisfying when mastered. Having a telekinesis button and so many physics-driven environmental objects makes for some fun combat, where you can admire the destruction that you lay waste once it’s over.
Out of all the titles on the list, Controls ticks most of the checkboxes, delivering in almost every way, and easily recommendable to everyone. And that’s why it’s Game Of The Year.
Congratulations to Control, Gamer Malaya and Gamer Matters’ Game Of The Year 2019!
And with that, GM GOTY Awards 2019 is a wrap! Here’s the full list of categories and where you can listen to the full deliberations process.
Happy New Year!