It’s hard to believe that we are already halfway through 2019. And even with the year just half over, we’ve seen some impressive games come out. Think about it, this was even before E3 occurred! To think we are about ready to move on to a new console generation with Xbox Scarlett and PS5, while streaming services such as Stadia are trying to catch a foothold in the industry, yet still for this generation we were treated to some good games, and yes, some bad ones as well. As promised during my previous E3 analysis, this week I decided to look back at the first part of the year and pick out the three games that won me over and are potential candidates for overall Game of the Year, as well as that one game that infuriated me to the point that it might have already won (so to speak) my worst game of 2019. So with that out of the way, let’s get started with my best 3.
#3. Devil May Cry 5 (Capcom, played on PC via Steam)
I’m going to get this out of the way now because I know it’s a very unpopular opinion…I LIKED the Ninja Theory reboot of DmC. Sure their version of Dante deviated from the original Capcom formula, and even infuriated a lot of fanboys with his “not in a million years” comment, but it was still an enjoyable slasher that ranks up there with the best of its genre. However, Devil May Cry 5 brought the game back to its roots and never looked or sounded better than ever better. In addition to the team of Dante and Nero from DMC4, each with their own unique fighting style, we now add the mysterious character V whose animal sidekick based fighting style makes for a whole new game. Though DMC5 plays a lot easier than previous releases, it still has all the different difficulty tiers leading up to the ominous Hell and Hell mode, and its limited revives for the ultimate challenge.
And yes, Nico is still absolutely bae!
#2. Metro Exodus (Deep Silver/4A Games, played on Xbox One X)
Yes, yes I know. I can hear the PC fans (or should I say the Steam fans) who are upset about this game being made an Epic Games Store exclusive at the last second (though I have also played it on Steam before the exclusivity announcement dropped.) Steam gamers really did get shafted on that, but that doesn’t change the fact that Metro Exodus is a fitting end to the excellent Metro 2033/Last Light trilogy. Finally leaving the confines of Moscow’s post nuclear Metro system, Artyom and his fellow Spartans locate a train that leads them through a trip through Russia to find a new open world for his people to live in without fear of radiation. I didn’t know how 4A would take the linear gameplay of past Metro games to an open world environment, but somehow it succeeded and made for an amazing 30 hour adventure for me. It might not be at Fallout levels of epic scale but what I played was well worth the purchase.
#1. MORTAL KOMBAT 11 (WB Games/NetherRealm Studios, played on Xbox One X)
Again, we get it, the women fighters are no longer sex magnets! But seriously, is that why you played Mortal Kombat for in the first place? And yes, the Towers were notoriously difficult at first, but thankfully NetheRrealm listened to us and fixed them. And once again, yes, you have to earn gold, souls and hearts to unlock items, but once again the whole microtransaction claims were blown way out of proportion. In fact, I had to bring back my Didn’t Spend a Dime series to debunk all the lies. In fact when all was said and done, Mortal Kombat 11 was almost everything I wanted in an updated Mortal Kombat game. Solid fighting mechanics, tons of characters with more on the way (starting with the recently released Shang Tsung DLC,) each with their own levels of customization, tons of towers for the single player to traverse and once again some of the goriest fatalities and brutalities I have ever come across. Just like NetherRealm’s previous game, Injustice 2, it is the one title I keep going back to months after its initial launch, and I will never stop playing it!
However, we also have to deal with the worst game that came out so far this year, and what else could it be but….
RBI BASEBALL ’19 (MLB Advanced Media, Played on Xbox One X)
Sure there are companies who don’t take criticisms seriously, and then you have MLB Advanced Media. When I reviewed RBI Baseball 18, I provided a laundry list of issues that I wanted to see fixed to make RBI Baseball 19 a much better game. Not only did they not take any of my recommendations seriously, but they made them even worse than last year, all the way up to a game killing bug that caused my Xbox One X to crash at the game level, forcing a hard reboot to get it working again. Again I messaged MLBAM about these problems, but surprise, surprise, they never got back to me. Just shows how all they cared about is the money they got from initial purchases, instead of doing their best to make a GOOD baseball game that can rival Sony’s The Show series. I’ll even gladly take back 2K’s series over this mess.
But, we know this year is not over yet, and more games are on their way soon that I will be taking part in, starting with Super Mario Maker 2 coming out today. Will that make my list of the best of the year as well as other games? We’ll have to see in six months!
Currently Playing: Red Dead Redemption II (Xbox One X)
Waiting For: Super Mario Maker 2 (Switch)
Developers: 4A Games, NetherRealm Studios
Platforms: Epic Games Store, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Steam, Xbox One
Events: E3 Expo 2019