It’s been one heck of a year for video games, with blockbuster hits like Death Stranding and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order stealing headlines, while surprise hits like Untitled Goose Game and Disco Elysium stealing our hearts.
We asked our team of adult gamers here at Grown Gaming what their favourite games were this year. These were their responses:
LUCA D’ANGELO: This is a tough one. Beat Saber is something that’s definitely getting a mention. Another huge mention goes to No Man’s Sky, whose potential I have always strongly believed in and that had a well-deserved comeback with the VR update. As bad a start as they had, the devs managed to breath new life into the game, which is not something you see often. Also, VR SPACE EXPLORATION.
Despite these two games deserving a mention, there is one game that stands head and shoulders above the rest: KINGDOM HEARTS III.
Kingdom Hearts 3 is a sequel that I’ve longed for with unprecedented hype for over a decade and that really lived up to my expectations, to the point I didn’t even notice many of the issues it has – that’s what you call a good game to me. I had so much fun playing and was so deeply emotionally involved in that no one else can steal the spotlight Kingdom Hearts deserved this year. I have great expectations for the series’ future.
JASON MONROE: Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, hands down. I really expected EA to mess this one up given their track record not just with Star Wars titles, but generally of late. To play Fallen Order and not be disappointed was a real surprise.
Sure, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has flaws, but it is free of some of the blemishes that tend to blight EA games. It’s undoubtedly a game in the vein of the JJ Abrams-directed Force Awakens rather than Rian Johnson’s new take on the series, but fans of both styles will find something to love in Fallen Order.
It was also pretty cool to get my hands on Shenmue 3 finally, however it didn’t meet my (admittedly unrealistic) expectations.
TOM SVALINN: Thinking about this question has re-confirmed my suspicion that I am not an early adopter. I tend to wait until we are a few patches deep and there a plenty of reviews available before I pick up a new game. This held true in 2019 as I got burnt when I veered away from this approach with my over-enthusiasm for Anthem upon release. Although on the other end of the spectrum, I found Apex Legends to be quite entertaining from launch despite no pre-launch knowledge.
Perhaps it is appropriate that my game of the year (or at least, where much of my year was spent) blends both the uncertain promise of the new with the familiar comfort of the old. Elder Scrolls Online embarked on the ambitious season of the dragon for 2019 which included the release of the Elsweyr chapter in June and multiple DLCs on either side that continued the theme and narrative. We got to add a whole new class to our roster (the Necromancer), delve deep into the exotic lands of the Khajiit (humanoid cat folk), conquer a new trial (12 person raid) and test our mettle in new dungeons (4 person delves). Of course, many dragons were also slain along the way.
Unfortunately, Zenimax Online Studios have been less successful in slaying their own monsters as glitches have continued to force the cancellation or extension of in-game events throughout the year. But when it works, the game is amazing – and somewhere I would happily spend another year.
JOHN SANTINA: Of the crop of games to release in 2019, Disco Elysium is undoubtedly my number one game of the year. I’d watched it with curiosity for the past year or so but really wasn’t expecting to love the final release as much as I do. I still haven’t finished it, but as I near the climax I’m already thinking about the things I’d do differently next time. Disco Elysium is an absolute must-buy for anyone who loves good writing in video games.
I also picked up PS Now for the PC this year so finally played through and completed the Last of Us and The Last of Us: Left Behind. As a PC gamer who had heard the hype but hadn’t experienced it, I can verify that The Last of Us is every bit a masterpiece today as it was on release.
What was YOUR favourite game this year?