The Best Games Of 2019
2019 was one heck of year for gaming, as I’m sure you can see from the length of our list. No matter your tastes, we are certain that you will find something on the list that resonates with you. Here are all of the games everyone at Level Up thought were the best games of 2019!
Resident Evil 2: The REmake (see what I did there) of Resident Evil 2 is a perfect example of how to update a beloved gaming classic for the modern era. It struck a perfect balance of old vs new in order to ensure that fans of every kind would enjoy and appreciate it. We can’t wait to see what the recently announced REmake of RE3 is going to be like!
Sekiro - Shadows Die Twice: In what could be called the latest entry in Miyazaki’s “Soulsborne” series, (the fandom is going to have to come up with a new name) Sekiro shook up everything we knew about the series. Combat, exploration, item management, “multiplayer”...everything was different and way more difficult. And we loved every bit of it. Even the dying, the lots and lots of dying.
Observation: An original game by the core team behind the absolutely wonderful Alien - Isolation, Observation was an amazing and chilling experience. The best way to describe this game to anyone who hasn’t played it, without spoiling it, would be to say it’s a mash-up of the movies 2001, Life, and with a hint of Alien thrown in for atmosphere. If you are a fan of sci-fi or exploration/narrative games, Observation is a must play! We can’t wait to see what comes next from developers No Code.
BloodStained - Ritual Of The Night: The long awaited Kickstarted successor to arguably one of the greatest games of all time, Castlevania- Symphony of the Night, finally arrived this year. And it was most definitely worth the wait; Ritual of the Night was Castlevania in every way possible except in name. While other games have evolved the “Metroidvania” genre in the two decades since Symphony of the Night, Bloodstained is like visiting with a long lost friend, picking up right where you left off. However, we do have to address the elephant in the room...the Switch. The developers have made a lot of progress on getting it up to snuff...but the less said about the Switch version the better.
Slay The Spire: While it has been in Early Access since 2017, it wasn’t officially released until this year, and it still managed to land on our list...it is that good. What’s not to love about a rogue-like, deck-building card game that tasks you with slaying the heart of a giant spire in order to free yourself from a never ending cycle. In the ever burgeoning rogue-like and deck-building card game genres, Slay The Spire is able to stand out amongst the crowd thanks to its innovative yet simple core mechanics, creating the perfect excuse to play just one more game...just one more game.
Crash Team Racing Nitro Refueled: For those that grew up during the PlayStation era, Crash Team Racing for the PS1 was their Mario Kart. CTR Nitro Refueled is as absolutely AMAZING as the remakes that both Spyro The Dragon and Crash Bandicoot recently received. This is yet another perfect example of why remakes should “be a thing”: it takes a beloved property of days by gone, and brings it up to the standards of modern technology while at the same time preserving what made the original so special. Activision is now 3 for 3 for their late 90’s HD remakes!
Untitled Goose Game: This is a hands-down, unanimous favorite amongst everyone at Level Up. Waddling about, stealing people's stuff while flapping and honking may not sound like a good premise for a game, but IT IS AMAZING! If you haven’t played it yet or decided to pass on it, please...please pick this up. You will love being the apex jerk that is The Goose. HONK!
Return Of Obra Dinn: While this game may have released last year on the PC to near absolute critical acclaim, those of us that are not members of the “PC Gaming Master Race” were not able to experience it until this year, and what an experience it was. To give you an example, here is my own personal experience with the game: my wife and I sat down to play the game together (definitely something that I recommend doing, as having a second or third to bounce ideas off of is helpful, but it is in no way required) for just an hour to see what all the hype was about...6 hours later we had finished the whole thing. In one sitting. There is a reason why this game is universally praised, it deserves it.
Control: Remedy games has been making memorable and innovative games since the original Max Payne, and they have continued that trend for all these years, Control being no exception. In what can best be described as “David Lynch: The Game”, Control is a highly unique game. Even if you might be turned-off by the more obtuse and odd facets of the story, the completely insane and wild combat will draw you in. What is cooler than levitating around a room shooting enemies, using various telekinetic powers, while explosions abound all around you? Oh, and did I mention that you can turn any piece of the environment into an explosive projectile weapon!? Last but certainly not least, if you are a fan of the Alan Wake series, you MUST play this game.
The Outer Worlds: There is something that every fan of the Fallout series agrees on, Fallout - New Vegas is the best of the best. Obsidian Games took what they learned on New Vegas and created a Fallout-style game all their own, with a bit of inspiration from cult hit TV-show Firefly thrown in for good measure. The game lives up to and exceeds all the things that make a “Fallout” game great: satisfying FPS combat, an immersive world with creative and witty writing, a diverse cast of memorable characters (Pavarotti was simply amazing), it's all there. If you have been wanting more of what New Vegas delivered, The Outer Worlds is what you’ve been waiting for!
Life Is Strange 2: When Life Is Strange 2 was announced and it was the complete anti-thesis of the original, people were very skeptical. However, LiS2 delivered and in a big way! The game not only took the big risk of giving the “powers” to your NPC companion, but the game wasn’t about solving a mystery; it was about educating your little brother through your actions and choices. While the original game dealt with social issues, it did so in a very subtle and hands-off way. Life Is Strange 2 doesn’t pull its punches on its social commentary (police violence, racism, and child homelessness to name a few) and mores the better.