For our first year as a site, we modeled our site-wide end of the year awards loosely off of the Game Awards model. Trevor, Frank, Cameron, and Logan served as the panel as submitted up to their top three games in each category. Those games were then scored and tallied, with the highest scoring game taking the top prizes and all other nominees earning an Honorable Mention. These awards will be presented throughout the week with the website’s Top Games of 2019 featured on Friday, January 17th.
That Action Game: Devil May Cry 5
The game is audacious, ambitious, and jam packed with brilliant gameplay mechanics, letting the true star of any real Devil May Cry game, the combat, really take its starring role. All three playable characters are designed around different gameplay styles, meaning they don’t play like one another outside of the basic systems of the game. How to approach different fights, the strategies needed to continue on victorious, and traversing the levels themselves change for each character.
Honorable Mentions: Apex Legends, Gears 5, Metro Exodus, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Astral Chain
That Family Game: Super Mario Maker 2
No real surprise to see Super Mario Maker 2 win our Family Game award. Building on what a small but very vocal Wii U crowd loved about the initial game, Super Mario Maker 2 wins extra acclaim for including 100 Nintendo-designed levels for you to play to introduce you to all of the potential design ideas the game can offer creators. So you never even have to venture into the sadistic creative hellscape that exists in the world of online user-generated levels.
Honorable Mentions: Concrete Genie, Luigi’s Mansion 3, Yoshi’s Crafted World
That Indie Game: Ape Out
Devolver Digital have been that punk rock teenager at the game publisher table for years now and you’ll usually find a combination of style, great gameplay, and amazing music in their games, which is all here in Ape Out. The wonderful gore of bashing and splattering guards around the map as an Ape is bolstered by the amazing dynamic jazz soundtrack which has drum and cymbal crashes thrown in based on the mayhem you cause. Overall this is a very fun game, with one of the best soundtracks this year.
Honorable Mentions: Katana Zero, Untitled Goose Game, Disco Elysium
That Multiplayer Game: Borderlands 3
Borderlands 3 excels as a multiplayer game because it can almost be whatever kind of multiplayer experience you want. Want to focus on the story with friends? You can. Don’t give a crap about the story and want to just catch up while shooting a bunch of things? You can do that too. Want to fight over loot? There’s an option for you. Think that’s really dumb and everyone should get their own loot? Gearbox has finally delivered that option as well. Want to jump in with a friend but they’re 20 levels above or behind you? No problem. Want to go crazy with some end-game level difficulty? Enjoy the Mayhem modes. It has so many different options that pretty much anyone can configure the multiplayer game settings to their comfort level.
Honorable Mentions: Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, Apex Legends, Tetris 99
That VR Game: Trover Saves the Universe
Trover Saves the Universe is Justin Roiland (Rick and Morty) having a blast with yet another VR experience (following Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality and Accounting+). His performances and humor are in top form throughout this weird space adventure so your mileage may vary depending on your enjoyment of that flavor but it worked for us.
Honorable Mentions: AUDICA
Stay tuned for more genre awards tomorrow, design awards on Wednesday, console-specific awards on Thursday, and our site-wide top games of 2019 on Friday.