The Digital Fix Best Games of 2019 - Updated

Platforms: All
The Digital Fix Best Games of 2019 - Updated

It's been a brilliant year for gamers. As the current generation of consoles enters its twilight years we're seeing some of the most impressive games ever made appearing across the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 while the Nintendo Switch continues to be the platform of choice for innovation and gameplay. The TDF team has put together our round up of the best games of 2019...

Earth Defence Force 5

It might not be the most visually impressive game. It might not be the most polished game. It might not even be that unique a game when it comes to pointing a gun and firing it, but it is the only series of games where a thousand car sized ants can swarm you in a matter of seconds while a crew of enthusiastic recruits sing a song about their militaristic pride. And THAT is the magic that somehow ties this strange series together. This PC port steadied notoriously shakey frame rates and is most definitely the definitive EDF experience. (Eden Penketh)

Luigi's Mansion 3

I absolutely loved Luigi’s Mansion 3, it managed to retain the beautiful charm that made the first two so, so good, whilst pushing the series so far forward it now deserves to be considered alongside the behemoths in the Super Mario series. A must play for all Nintendo Switch owners. (Stephen Hudson)

New Super Lucky's Tale

Being a huge fan of the original Xbox One release, when this was announced I would have been happy with a simple port of the title to the Switch. However, what I got was essentially a brand new game. There wasn’t a single aspect of the game left unchanged; with new gameplay mechanics (like the slide), new levels, and a heavily revised game structure. Lucky’s new(ish) outing is an absolute blast. (Reuben Mount)

The Division 2

Those that know me will be well aware that I love a looter-shooter, and The Division 2 scratched that itch perfectly. It’s broader in scope than the first game, and while Washington DC doesn’t offer the same snow-covered streets as Manhattan, it’s still just as recognisable. Combat is diverse, and there’s plenty to do. It may have allegedly underperformed for Ubisoft, but it hit just right for me. (Lloyd Coombes)

AI: The Somnium Files

Possibly my biggest surprise of the year, this title completely blindsided me and left a continued impression on me, long after I finished. A mix of visual novel, puzzle solving and investigation in pretty much equal parts, AI challenges the player to solve the puzzles of the unconscious mind to solve a murder in one of the most gripping narratives I’ve ever experienced. Visual novels have no right being as good as this. (Reuben Mount)

Borderlands 3

Borderlands 3 has brought its comical violence around again for the third instalment. Not only are there billions upon billions of guns, but it has also added a bit more customisation to it too, giving you the possibility of making a unique killing machine. With an interesting story and beautiful worlds, one of my favourite games to play cooperatively this year! (Dan Phillips)

Daemon X Machina

I’ve been waiting years for a fully-fledged mech-combat game, and I’m so happy Daemon X Machina exists to fill that void. Taking FromSoft’s Armored Core template, but making combat faster and more flexible, Daemon X Machina kept me glued to my Switch this year. I’m not sure what I spent more time doing - blowing up enemies, or customising my walking (and flying) tank. (Lloyd Coombes)

Gris

Wow, Gris was something special. My first ever 10/10 review score and a complete joy to experience. Completely stunning graphics, amazing music and ethereal gameplay all add up to make a game like no other. The animation, level design and environments were off the charts, everything was so beautiful and well made. An amazing game and very emotional to boot. (Seb Hawden)

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Finally, EA listened to what fans wanted and made a single player Star Wars title that not only makes you feel like a Jedi, but adds a brilliant new story to the growing universe. While it isn’t perfect, it’s certainly one of the best action-adventure romps of 2019. More single player Star Wars please, EA, more! (Stephen Hudson)

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

It's been a long way but Bloodstained is here to prove that the sprawling castle traversing of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night still has plenty of meat on its ghoulish bones. Iga and his team have deliver a game experience true to the stylized "Igavania" pedigree and ups the ante through cool abilities, endless customization options, and highly entertaining boss battles. (Yannis Vatis)

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Strategy RPGs are quite a niche, often punishing genre, but Nintendo truly made them accessible and raised the bar for presentation with Three Houses. The charm of the visuals paired with surprisingly subtle characterisation and a sweeping overall plot makes for a compelling combo and with gameplay so perfectly refined and honed. With more story focused content coming, I'm looking forward to going back to it and hopefully having some of the rather broad plot points brought into focus. (Eden Penketh)

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

Oozing Nintendo charm, the remake of one of Nintendo’s strangest Zelda titles made a welcome return in 2019 and became an instant classic. Boasting beautifully-upgraded graphics, a compelling, if strange story, and fantastic controls, Zelda: Link’s Awakening proved just how powerful remasters can be. (Stephen Hudson)

Untitled Goose Game

Who or what asked for this? Thinking it would be another simulator, Untitled Goose Game is a fun filled adventure with laughs all round. Never had I gone in to a game with no expectations only to have my tongue out trying to run away with a gardener’s key, finding every corner I turned an absolute giggle as he tried hunting me down. Probably my surprise of the year! (Dan Phillips)

Devil May Cry 5

Just barely missing the no 1 spot to Sekiro, DMC returns bigger, better and more stylish than ever. It's a high octane always on rollercoaster ride filled with guns, swords, minions and...motorcycles and Michael Jackson routines? Just when we all thought that Dante and Co's abilities to dispatch hordes upon hordes of demonic baddies couldn't get any more glorious, DMC 5 steps in with 3 playable characters each with his own unique playstyle that brings heaps of new ideas to the forefront. Masterful in all ways. (Yannis Vatis)

Borderlands: Game of the Year

Borderlands: Game of the Year is an amazing looter shooter remaster, and when played with a group of friends, is still one of the most enjoyable titles of the last decade. The Borderlands series owes much of its success to the first, and any FPS fan should play this remaster! (Stephen Hudson)

Concrete Genie

So unique, so beautiful and such a heartfelt tale to be told. Concrete Genie is nearly a perfect game. It was the perfect length, a great story and gameplay that was different and entertaining. Everyone in my house loved making genies and creating pieces of art that come to life. It was a truly moving and novel experience. I enjoyed every second of it. (Seb Hawden)

Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers

This had to be chosen, if only for the fact that I’m still playing it now, and likely will be for a long time. Shadowbringers is a complete revelation, with a brooding, emotional story, one of the most relatable villains in video game history, and a breathtaking musical score to rival even Uematsu’s work. If you have even a passing interest, you owe it to yourself to play XIV, if only to get to this phenomenal section. (Reuben Mount)

Red Dead Redemption 2

Of all the games on this list, I know for sure that Red Dead 2 will be the one I come back to regularly for years to come. Beyond the expansive single player offering, so full of incidental detail that seeing everything feels like a fool's errand, the multiplayer component is going from strength to strength, with a new moonshiner role and some brilliantly structured rewards for regular players. Whether it's relaxing with a podcast on while fishing online or getting involved in frantic shootouts and game types in search of fleeting glory, Red Dead Redemption 2 is a beautiful way to spend some time. (Eden Penketh)

Code Vein

With a decent, if trope-laden story, some interesting gameplay mechanics that allow the player to run with any build they desire, and one of the best character creators I have ever seen, Code Vein is no slouch. It initially seemed simply to be “anime Dark Souls” but quickly revealed itself to be an engrossing and flexible experience, despite its various flaws. Give me more anime vampires any night of the week. (Reuben Mount)

Calling this game Anime Souls is quite frankly a mistake as Code Vein brings a ton of ideas to the Souls-like arena that command it to stand on its own merit. From a ridiculously feature-rich character creator to numerous interchangeable classes that can be mixed and matched through skills sharing, this anime vampire romp only merely borrows the tried and true Soulsborne essentials and delivers a challenging experience that allows the player to tailor their gameplay however they choose. (Yannis Vatis)

Death Stranding

I’m not sure Hideo Kojima has anything close to a comfort zone, but taking the Metal Gear auteur out of the “stealth action genre” has proved to be a revelation. Yes, the cutscenes are incredibly self-indulgent and dense with exposition, but Death Stranding might be this year’s most important game: the world of Death Stranding might be a (stunning) desolate wasteland, but its themes of connection and a need to unite ourselves against evil aren’t so far-fetched in today’s world. (Lloyd Coombes)

Disco Elysium

I'd been watching Disco Elysium developing for a long time, eagerly snapping up what information I could about this weird sounding "No Truce With the Furies" game. I could not have been more pleasantly surprised by what that game became and the brilliant oddity that spewed from Disco Elysium as I played. There are few RPGs set in anything approaching a realistic world with socio-political issues and a history that lingers to this day in a sometimes unpleasantly familiar way and Disco Elysium manages to have that AND a heck of a lot of esoteric strangeness woven throughout it's all too brief story. With hints of DLC on the horizon and a strong longing for more itching at me, my anticipation for an announcement and the promise of more is high. (Eden Penketh)

Blood and Truth

In terms of accomplishment, I have to put Blood and Truth on this list. VR has never really had a a catalogue of games that I can say would last the duration of big title. Although, it is still short, you are absolutely absorbed into the role you are playing and some of the technical achievements you experience are fascinating! A must buy for me on the VR platform. (Dan Phillips)

Easily one of the best VR games I have ever played. I loved the London Heist and this was a follow up to that game with the action notched up to 11. Great set pieces, great gunplay and a real London gangster tale to get stuck into. It was a completely immersive and satisfying experience that I really relished. This is how VR games should be. (Seb Hawden)

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

For what it’s worth, I really love Call of Duty. Despite Black Ops 4’s lack of campaign, it offered a great suite of multiplayer modes, and Modern Warfare manages to blow it out of the water - even with an added campaign. That the campaign is full of some of gaming’s most gut-wrenching and unflinching moments is testament to the all round job that Infinity Ward has done here, and while the multiplayer had some launch issues, the addition of extra maps that alleviate some of the camping has worked wonders. (Lloyd Coombes)

What a comeback. After the series looked bleak and very out of the ordinary, Infinity Ward have raised from the ashes to re-make their hit series Modern Warfare. Not only has the multiplayer had a twist of the upgrade spanner, but the single player campaign has had a burst of life, all thanks to the new engine. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but a great piece of art and storytelling. (Dan Phillips)

The Outer Worlds

The Outer Worlds was the Fallout game I have been craving for a few years. I know it's not a Fallout game but after the drab Fallout 76, I needed this. The characters were great, the dialogue was very well written and exploring planets was very addictive. The Outer Worlds restored my faith in this style of gameplay and storytelling. (Seb Hawden)

A good old RPG that we have been missing for a while. With the missed opportunity other RPG studios could have made, Obsidian have grasped at it with both hands and done a fantastic job. Keeping it to the routes of what RPG should be, the flexibility of this game is fantastic. You can do what you want, when you want and feel good about it. Hopefully another one in the works maybe? But a brilliant game to end the year on. (Dan Phillips)

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

FromSoftware has done it again. I nearly gave up several times playing Sekiro and I don’t give up easily. There were a few bosses that took so many attempts I dare not count them. It was so rewarding, well designed and the combat was fluid, addictive and deep. It was hard but fair and no other game has taught me what Sekiro taught me this year and that is why it's my number one. (Seb Hawden)

Blending high-flying stealth ninja action with From's pedigree tough-as-nails gameplay, Sekiro manages to deliver a challenging yet rewarding experience like no other in 2019. The bold shift to a parry-based combat system pays off as the game commands the player to grit their teeth as they master every stroke, every swing and every BS attack on their way to achieving glorious victory. (Yannis Vatis)

THE DIGITAL FIX GAME OF 2019

Resident Evil 2

The nostalgia provoked by Resident Evil 2 was powerful and at every turn, the story beats, set pieces and moments I treasure from my experiences with the original Resident Evil 2 were faithfully recreated or updated. The tension of the first run through the game is hard to describe, feeling like I knew what was coming one moment and then having that tested to breaking point. I finished my review with the hopes that Resident Evil 3 was in the works and, with it's recent reveal, I'm hoping for it to get more of the same treatment that this near perfect remake received. (Eden Penketh)

Resident Evil 2’s atmosphere is thick and oppressive, but it’s also some of the most fun I’ve had all year. It’s the first game where zombies look convincing, their character models full of details like hanging jaws and missing limbs. One of 2019’s finest gaming moments was using the shotgun to blow their wet, rotting carcasses to pieces - and even with the low ammo count, I found myself constantly tempted to lock and load. (Lloyd Coombes)

Being a remake of my favourite game of all time, Resident Evil 2 had some rotting, shambling boots to fill, which it managed to do simply in the opening segment. This game forced me to unlearn everything I thought I knew about Leon and Claire’s journey through Raccoon City. From the zombie hoard being a sizeable and legitimate threat, to Mr. X stalking me constantly, my heart rate simply never lowered. Absolutely phenomenal. (Reuben Mount)

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