2019 was a bit of an odd year of gaming for me personally. I wouldn’t exactly call 2019 a stand out year in gaming. However, there were quite a few surprises this year that snuck up on me and gamers all over. As only really being a PS4, PC, and mobile player, I was a bit disappointed by the launches this year on all platforms. The key few that I’m happy to call my top 5 had to do quite a lot to have me talking about these games all year.
5. Kingdom Hearts III
While I admit that I’ve only played a few titles to completion, that didn’t stop me from fully enjoying the best looking Kingdom Hearts game to date. Even with the fragments of the story that I understand, I felt connected to the powerful story this title provides. I found the refined action RPG combat to be smooth and excited as I zipped around as Sora with my Keyblade, wiping the screen of enemies. Doing this all is Disney themed levels with Disney characters by my side. Since it might be a while until we see Kingdom Hearts 4 if ever, I’ll take the time with this title to get the most out of it.
4. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare/Call of Duty Mobile
I wasn’t always the biggest fan of Call of Duty since my last great experience with the series was Call of Duty Modern Warfare 4. Well, all of that changed with the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty Mobile. I had to pick both as they honestly deserve to share a spot on my top 5. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has gunplay that felt responsive and fast. Each gun feels like how the real-life weapon would control even with various attachments on it. Gameplay has been formed from years of experience by the developers to create an experience for all fans of the genre, without the need to craw on walls. Call of Duty Mobile takes the best of the fast-paced action and brings it to the small screen for everyone to enjoy.
3. Sword Art Online: Alicization Rising Steel
Sword Art Online: Alicization Rising Steel takes the JRPG genre formula and brings it straight to mobile devices. It’s as traditional as it can get for fans who still love that conventional JRPG style gameplay. While I’ve had some level of enjoyment with other SAO games, Sword Art Online: Alicization Rising Steel perfects what it set it out to accomplish. The gacha elements aren’t awful and the story follows the anime adaptation with new and original content. I’d be hard-pressed to find another JRPG gacha game to come close to the level of enjoyment that Sword Art Online: Alicization Rising Steel provides.
2. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
It’s been an insanely long time since we’ve had a strong Star Wars game. After the Star Wars Battlefront II debacle, something needed to be done to save the series in the eyes of gamers. Borrowing the Dark Souls style of gameplay, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order brought us a whole new experience that I don’t think anyone was expecting. Now, it isn’t as hard as Dark Souls, but it sure is insanely challenging. Fights never feel cheap as they force you to hone your inner Jedi. Timing parries, knowing when to attack, dodge, or use force moves will make all the difference between life and death. Thanks to the strong cast, dark story, and significant exploration set pieces, this makes for an all-around amazing single-player experience.
1. Apex Legends
I’ve talked a lot of crap about battle royale games in the past, but Apex Legends makes me rethink my thought process. After its release, I’ve been playing non-stop. I enjoy how the game provides a cast of characters that I can identify with and adds another layer of strategic depth. While other titles have done this in the past, I don’t think they come close to the responsive and fast level of gunplay provided in Apex Legends.
Character, level, and weapon knowledge play a huge role in the game’s appeal for me. In the event that your team feels confident, you could probably run three DPS characters like Bangalore, Octane, and Wraith. But then, you have to think about the current map “World’s End” and how sniper rifles are insanely powerful. Do you run out into the open full force, or join with alleys to make your way to the next circle? The abilities available in the game only add to the level of strategy and mechanics. Thankfully, these don’t hamper the gameplay, which is a huge plus. Through its constant updates, Apex Legends will keep me hooked for years to come.