As I sat down and examined all of the titles I played in 2019, there were – as is often the case – some high-profile items that have been included in the consideration elsewhere but will not be appearing on any of my lists. Here are ten of those titles and the rationale for their exclusion.
I started Disco Elysium after it won a few Game Awards and started appearing on other Best of lists and I enjoyed what I played so far but with only a couple hours invested into it, I was nowhere near ready to consider it in the conversation.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
I tried. I really did. After it won Game of the Year at the Game Awards, I thought, “alright can I find the strength to give this a shot? I liked Jedi: Fallen Order, maybe there’s hope.” And for the first hour or so, there was. The faster movement and the grappling hook had me enjoyable bouncing around and taking out hapless guards and wolves. Then I started getting my ass kicked by enemies who needed multiple deathblows and after a couple more hours struggling, I closed the game and deleted it off my PS4. Grrr, From Software. Grrr.
Devil May Cry 5
I’ve never played a Devil May Cry game but since it was on Game Pass at year-end, I hopped in a bit while waiting for Life is Strange 2 to download (well, more specifically the Captain Spirit tie-in that I had skipped originally but was encouraged to play before starting Episode 2). My brief time with it reinforced that these character action games where you are chasing a high score combo just don’t click for me so I don’t anticipate going back to it. Thank god for Game Pass and the ability to try it with no real risk.
Resident Evil 2 Remake
When I foolishly put out a Twitter poll on what to stream, I knew I was making a mistake including this and Sekiro, but I was also a little surprised that this won so handily. As someone incredibly averse to the horror game genre, Resident Evil is near the top of my list of series I avoid. But I was mostly pleasantly surprised and how much I enjoyed the game. When it wasn’t scaring the shit out of me or grossing me out, that is. I made it just outside of the initial Police Station area as Claire but never got back to it. I might re-explore it in the new year with a healthy amount of bright lights to help counteract the general spookiness. Or I might encounter Mr. X for the first time and “nope” the hell out of there.
There’s also an argument to be made against considering remakes/remasters in the Game of the Year conversation altogether so I’m not exactly looking forward to having the conversation again next year with Final Fantasy VII Remake.
This is another one I tried to get into via Game Pass and seemingly everyone praising it at launch but it just didn’t click for me. Bounced around for a couple planets and got bored. Sorry Outer Wilds stans.
I went through my Fortnite phase in 2018 and might have given Apex Legends a shot. I enjoyed Respawn’s approach to design in Titanfall 2 after all. But the exclusively 3v3 game mode kept me from even hopping in. I spent as much time as I did with Fortnite because I could hop into 50v50 matches or try going it solo. I had zero interest in trying to get a squad together or play with randoms. No idea if they ever explored other modes because I just didn’t follow the game closely enough to find out.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
The one-two combo of Infinite Warfare and Modern Warfare Remastered a couple years back remain my only foray into the Call of Duty series. Despite some positive buzz around the campaign, there was just too many other things that I was more inclined to play in the year-end flurry of games.
Pokemon Sword and Shield
After barely playing Pokemon X/Y, I have skipped the last couple mainline Pokemon generations. I really enjoyed Let’s Go last year but that was likely more nostalgia driven than any actual lingering enjoyment of the series. I know exactly what I’m getting if I dive into a Pokemon game and it’s just not something I’m overly invested in anymore.
A Plague Tale: Innocence
I heard good enough things about this game from a handful of people, just not enough to reach my threshold of checking it out. Maybe someday if there’s a lull and I see it on Game Pass or PlayStation Plus, I’ll think back and say “oh yeah, people liked that one, right?” Oh wait, “horror stealth game?” Maybe not.
Not even the $4.99 price that hit around the holidays was enough for me to give this one a shot.