DualShockers’ Favorite Games of 2019 — David's Top 10

With 2019 coming to a close, here's David's top 10 games of the year, including Kingdom Hearts III, Sayonara Wild Hearts, and more.

As 2019 comes to a close, DualShockers and our staff are reflecting on this year’s batch of games and what were their personal highlights within the last year. Unlike the official Game of the Year 2019 awards for DualShockers, there are little-to-no-rules on our individual Top 10 posts. For instance, any game — not just 2019 releases — can be considered.

As a college student, finding time to play video games has been tough. Some days I can get a few hours in and other days I don’t play anything. There have also been days where I’d rather read a book or watch a movie or TV show instead of playing something. It’s not until the end of this year where I felt more motivated to play stuff and relax from a long day of writing essays and reading books for school.

This is the first GOTY list that I’ve written, and putting it together was tricky. Oddly, it’s easier for me to come up with my top 10 movies of 2019 than my games of the year. Games like Life is Strange 2, The Outer Worlds, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Days Gone, and Death Stranding are ones that could’ve made my list, but I didn’t have enough time to get through them. For the games that are on the list, they each came at a time this year when they lifted my spirits and helped me escape from the real world.

10. Metro Exodus

Despite some technical glitches and its laughable Russian accents, I’ve always enjoyed the Metro series. After finishing Metro Exodus, it’s become my favorite game in the series so far. Exodus continues the series’ trend of having a moody atmosphere and tension increasing with each enemy you face. Additionally, I played this with headphones in my PS4 controller and it enhanced my experience and made it more atmospheric. With some DLC coming next year, I’m looking forward to reentering the Metro world.

Check out DualShockers‘ review for Metro Exodus.

9. Devil May Cry 5

Other than playing DmC: Devil May Cry, I’d never played a main game in the Devil May Cry series. The further I got into Devil May Cry 5, the more I got invested in the game’s world. The combat was super fun and made me want to experiment with performing different combos to get a higher score. Its story was goofy at times and I loved every second of it. After rolling credits, I wanted to replay it a few more times and get even higher combo scores.

Check out DualShockers‘ review for Devil May Cry 5.

8. The Walking Dead: The Final Season

Having been with Clementine since season one, I was looking forward to seeing the conclusion of her story. Throughout this season, you see her rise, fall, make mistakes, and trying to do the right thing. Like every Telltale game, it has you make tough choices that blur moral lines. Seeing the bond between her and an older A.J was a nice dynamic, and it showed Clementine trying to be a parent at an early age, where walkers come from every corner.

Check out DualShockers‘ review for the final episode of The Walking Dead: The Final Season.

7. Super Mario Maker 2

Creativity pours out of Super Mario Maker 2. I played this at a low point in life, and playing dozens of levels helped me escape my problems for a while. With every level in the game’s story mode, each one offers a different experience and requires patience and good timing in order to make it to the finish line. Additionally, having to rebuild Peach’s castle gives you the motivation to keep going and see it completed. Super Mario Maker 2 is the game that keeps on giving. Even when you’re done with the campaign, there are a plethora of user-generated levels to keep you coming back and putting your platforming skills to the test.

Check out DualShockers‘ review for Super Mario Maker 2.

6. Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition

From the moment that I started the eShop demo of Dragon Quest XI S, I fell in love. Having never played a game in the series, I was drawn in by its charming art style and music. The more I played of the demo and final game, the more I wanted to keep exploring and leveling up my party. Additionally, the 2D mode added in the game made me want to spend even more time in the game’s already massive world. I’ve spent countless hours with Dragon Quest XI S and I look forward to spending more time finding everything I can.

Check out DualShockers‘ review for Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition.

5. Luigi’s Mansion 3

After playing Luigi’s Mansion 3 at E3 2019, I was excited about the final release. The game exudes charm and personality with each floor that Luigi and Gooigi explore. There’s also something satisfying and fun about smacking ghosts around a hotel hallway. Adding Gooigi into the mix offers a variety of puzzles and exploring the world. While some boss battles can be annoying, Luigi’s Mansion 3 offers fun battles that put your skills to the test. It’s one of the best Switch games released in 2019 and it deserves to be played by everyone.

Check out DualShockers‘ review for Luigi’s Mansion 3.

4. Control 

Words can’t describe how cool Control is. The story can be weird at times, but it’s one of the very few games where I felt compelled to find collectibles to learn more about the game’s world. The different powers you get make the gameplay even more enjoyable. As I went from one area to the next, I was blown away by the scale and presentation that Remedy put in. Additionally, the sound design and score was amazing and added to the tension with each combat encounter and story beat. With new story DLC on the way, I’m excited to explore more of the Federal Bureau of Control and everything it has to offer.

Check out DualShockers‘ review for Control.

3. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

From start to finish, I loved everything about Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order. Technical problems aside, this game gave me everything I wanted from a single-player Star Wars experience. The combat always kept me on my toes and I wanted to explore as much of each planet as I could. Throughout its story, it threw surprises at me that made the Star Wars fan in me freak out, and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. There’s also something awesome about force pushing a group of Stormtroopers off a cliff and throwing lightsabers at enemies.

Check out DualShockers‘ review for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

2. Kingdom Hearts III 

I’ll never forget my experience with Kingdom Hearts III. I got the limited edition Kingdom Hearts themed PS4 Pro from UPS and the limited edition of the game during the 9pm opening at my local GameStop. I cried a bit when I got in my car, clutching the game in my hands before I went home.

While the story is incomprehensible and ridiculous at times, I still enjoyed every second of it. Each world was fun to explore and I couldn’t get over how amazing everything looks. By the end of the story, I was in tears and went back to find more treasures and collectibles. For most of 2019, Kingdom Hearts III was my game of the year. It was the game I looked forward to the most in 2019 and it didn’t disappoint. Now I’m ready for the ReMind DLC to come out next month on PS4, so that I can finally spend time with Leon, Aerith, and other Final Fantasy characters I missed the first time around.

Check out DualShockers‘ review for Kingdom Hearts III.

1. Sayonara Wild Hearts

Not one day goes by where I don’t think about Sayonara Wild Hearts. When I played it at E3, my mind was blown just by the loading screen and the opening song. I listen to the soundtrack every day and songs like “Begin Again” and “A Place I Don’t Know” are beautiful that are always stuck in my head. Each level in the game is a thrill ride and the music propels the story forward.

On top of the incredible music and visuals, Sayonara Wild Hearts evokes themes of depression, mental health, and not letting anything get in the way of achieving your dreams. The game’s final mission had me in tears and I was blown away with how it tied everything together.

From time to time, I go back to play random missions to experience them again. It’s a game I’ll continue to play when I need a pick me up or some inspiration. No matter where you are in life, Sayonara Wild Hearts is a game everyone should check out, experience for yourself, and get swept up in its theme of beginning again and starting anew.

Check out DualShockers‘ review for Sayonara Wild Hearts.

Check out the rest of the DualShockers staff Top 10 lists and our official Game of the Year Awards:

December 23: DualShockers Game of the Year Awards 2019
December 25: Lou Contaldi, Editor-in-Chief // Logan Moore, Managing Editor
December 26: Tomas Franzese, News Editor // Ryan Meitzler, Features Editor 
December 27:
Mike Long, Community Manager // Scott White, Staff Writer
December 28:
Chris Compendio, Contributor // Mario Rivera, Video Manager // Kris Cornelisse, Staff Writer
December 29:
Scott Meaney, Community Director // Allisa James, Senior Staff Writer // Ben Bayliss, Senior Staff Writer
December 30:
Cameron Hawkins, Staff Writer // David Gill, Senior Staff Writer // Portia Lightfoot, Contributor
December 31:
 Iyane Agossah, Senior Staff Writer // Michael Ruiz, Senior Staff Writer // Rachael Fiddis, Contributor
January 1:
Ricky Frech, Senior Staff Writer // Tanner Pierce, Staff Writer // Laddie Simco, Staff Writer

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David Gill

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