King Toko Game of the Year 2019 (GOTY) Awards

All the games that survived 2019.

It’s nearly the end of 2019 but before it ends I have once again assembled my Game of the Year list. 2019 wasnt the most memorable year for games, while there was some interesting games like Disco Elysium, Pathologic 2, Resident Evil 2, and Control it still had the usual big budget games that were mostly average. I played a few games this year mostly thanks to Xbox Games Pass, and from returning to old games. Many of the best games I played this year missed the cut off point and will likely feature in my Game of the Year 2020.

I did this list a little different this year. I posted Game of the Month throughout the year on my Twitter page (@kingtoko), and did a small review and a video on their for each one. My GOTY list below contains these same reviews with a few more words for some of the games featured.

You can see the original tweet thread here: GOTM 2019.

Note: Like always for a game to qualify, I must have played the game in 2019, but the game doesn’t have to been released in 2019.

Special Mentions

Here are some games that I played that were enjoyable but didn’t make my top ten list:

(I) Xbox Game Pass (Xbox One)

I wouldn’t have guessed at the start of the year that seven of the nineteen games mentioned in my Game of the Year would be from Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass, but the service has really improved over the year. Sure most of the games are old and DLC isn’t included but with demos, and renting all but done this is a good alternative to try mostly good games. I even bought some of these games which shows the service works. Xbox Game Pass is my overall gaming product of the year.

(II) XCOM 2 (PC)

Playing custom campaigns and using mods that add variety and new content have completely changed how I feel about the game. It’s almost as good as UFO: Enemy Unknown but still needs more official DLC or better content mods to supplement the already enjoyable experience.

(III) RimWorld (PC)

A great story telling game that even if you lose seven of your eight colonists just adds to the overall arc of the story. You can play it like a rogue-like or just as a building game and both are fun.

(IV) Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (Xbox One)

I decided to start playing Metal Gear Solid V only five years after it came out. It’s good but fragmented and plays like a strange mix of all the earlier Metal Gear games. All the criticism about Quiet is mostly warranted and overall she sucks as a character.

Metal Gear Solid V isn’t the best Metal Gear game but does enough to make it worth playing through. The story is the usual Hideo Kojima mix of nonsense and meticulous detail that but still manages to waste it’s open world potential.

(V) Void Bastards (Xbox One)

I enjoyed playing through the game and trying the extra hard challenges. Only problem is that the harder difficulties are near impossible and there isn’t enough variety to the content to warrant repeated playthroughs.

(VI) BattleTech (PC)

This game is probably the most fun I have had with a mech game since Front Mission 3. A nice mix between strategy and management but suffers from needless waiting and loads. Overall it needs better DLC and variety in the content.

It be interesting if they manage somehow to add the ability to allow larger squads of mechs to be controlled in a mission.

(VII) Mordhau (PC)

The game is a mix between Mount & Blade and Chivalry. While it doesn’t have a single-player campaign it makes up for it with many different modes that feature violent and visceral combat. I hope more meaningful content will be added in time.

I quickly lost interest in playing Mordhau but I will likely play again when more interesting maps and game modes have been added.

Mordhau post:

(VIII) Lego City Undercover (Xbox One)

This is a mix between Grand Theft Auto and Sleeping Dogs, if made for kids and out of Lego. It’s fun, colourful, and a good game to relax in. The predictable story and bugs, and no in-car music brings it down though.

I haven’t played a Lego game in a while but this is the best one I have seen min a long time.

(IX) The Outer Worlds (Xbox One)

I did everything possible in the game, and it still took more than fifty hours to complete. The best thing in the game is the stealth mechanic. However characters are forgettable and companions are cliché. You should play Bioshock, Fallout, or The Elder Scrolls first.

One of the problems with the Outer Worlds is that there is only two endings, three if you include the joke one but all three endings are obtainable by loading the game at a certain point. The game doesn’t punish your decisions at all. You can be a murderous bastard and then a saviour saint at the end just by making a certain dialogue choice.

(X) Armello (PC)

I have started playing Armello again after a year. It still suffers from matches that last more than eighty minutes and it’s not much faster with the quick game mode. A great board game but needs way shorter turn times and more rewards.

Armello despite its problems is still the best digital board game you can play that you can’t physically.

Games of the Year

Without further a do these are my top games for AD 2019:

(10) Bomber Crew (Xbox One)

A very enjoyable game if not very hard or varied enough. It is still one of the best World War II based bomber games though and how your plane gets damaged is very satisfying.

(09) Darkest Dungeon (PC)

A game that you are more likely to lose your own sanity playing than actually lose at but it is a great take on the classic dungeon crawler and rogue-like genres. Its so good that I still haven’t played any of the DLC available.

I be interested if to see what they do with Darkest Dungeon II.

(08) Stellaris (PC)

After three years since my last game I came back to see that a lot has changed, and some hasn’t. The AI still struggles to deal with a Crisis and Federations. A great game but the end-game is a slog and unfun to deal with. Its DLC is mandatory to make Stellaris a more enjoyable experience.

(07) Imperator: Rome (PC)

A game that is easy to get into and offers many countries to play as. While it’s still lacking in many aspects, a lot has been added to the game. It’s satisfying to turn a small tribe into a major power and take out Rome.

This game will be great if Paradox Interactive continues to support the game but I worry that by the time they completely turn the game around will be way to late for anyone to care.

(06) Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut (Xbox One)

The most enjoyable CRPG I have played in a long time. It’s what Fallout 3 would be like if made back in the day. More cumbersome to play using a controller but also easier in some regards. Lacks some polish.

I am looking forward to Wasteland 3 and it will be playable on Xbox Game Pass like Wasteland 2.

(05) Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen (Switch)

This game is a mix between Oblivion, Shadow of the Colossus, Dragon Age, and Monster Hunter. If you like those games you will love this. While it’s an easy game even on hard, it’s still a fun world to live in.

Super Mario Maker and SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech were a massive disappointment for me, while they were entertaining for a bit I quickly got tired of them. They were both over hyped. However Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen was the sole reason I used my Nintendo Switch this year and it’s still a great game.

(04) Shenmue (Xbox One)

I played Shenmue again recently and had a good time. It still has problems such as the dock job taking up half of the game but examining things is cool and the HD version makes it fun to go through. Shenmue II feels poor in comparison.

I went and completed Shenmue 2 after playing the first and while it has its moment it is a far inferior game with a lot less detail and sense of place. I will likely play Shenmue 3 when it becomes more widely available.

(03) The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (PC)

I have started playing Oblivion again after eleven years since my first playthrough. This time I added several mods & DLC. It still has problems but there is so much exceptional RPG content to play and see.

Forget playing Fallout 76 or The Outer Worlds, just add tons of mods to Oblivion like I did and you will never need another RPG like it again.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion post:

(02) Hitman 2 (PC)

My 2018 GOTY is still riding strong this year. It features tons of content and best stealth gameplay in a game, which makes Metal Gear stealth seem old. I hope I won’t have to start again in Hitman 3, like in Hitman 2.

If Hitman 3 requires all players to unlock all their items and levels again then I won’t be playing it which would be a shame.

(01) Crusader Kings II (PC)

A game that I have played some of the most over the years since 2012. A lot of replayability where each game can be different. It has as much content as the size of the landmass it covers. Will be sad to see it end.

With Crusader Kings III coming out sometime in 2020 this game may see less time played in future but I can see myself coming back to this regardless of how well the sequel does. If I was on a desert island and could only take a few video games, Crusader Kings II would be on of them. This is why Crusader Kings II is My Game of the Year 2019.

Game of The Year 2019 Video

If you want to see the games in action, I have put together a video that lists and shows all games mentioned (watch video in full screen for a better view). This above video is a compilation of the GOTY videos I posted on Twitter throughout the year.

In Fine

Well that’s my Game of the Year feature for 2019 done. It has a much shorter word count compared to last year as I tried a different format. I think I will continue using Twitter to post my Games of the Month in 2020 as it helps when making my Game of the Year list. I hoped you enjoyed reading my thoughts on these games, as much as I did playing, typing and filming about them.