The end of the year means that it's time for the highly-anticipated Game Awards. There are all sorts of winners at The Game Awards, from Best Role-playing Game and Best Sports to the coveted Game of the Year award. With such a huge community that's always growing and changing, finding a diverse set of judges is interesting.
There were plenty of community votes cast for fan-favorites as well as a panel of curated judges. In 2019, the group was made up of 80 media outlets worldwide dedicated to gaming. As professionals who live and breathe games, these were their top picks of 2019!
2019's Game of the Year released on March 22, to wide critical and community acclaim. It tells the story of a shinobi who is attacked, and his lord kidnapped. Gamers follow the journey of revenge through countless tough enemies and tougher bosses. The grind in this third-person title by FromSoftware is often compared to the team's previous Souls franchise. It's no wonder, then, that gamers and critics alike agreed that this tale set in Feudal Japan would become a beloved staple. Focusing on Buddhist mythos gave Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice immersive lore and intense experience that fans will be coming back to for years. The game is so loved that it also won 2019's Best Action-Adventure Game in addition to its GotY crown!
The hack and slash, fast-paced combat of Devil May Cry 5 easily earned it the 2019 Action Game Award. The latest installment in this wildly popular series followed Dante, Nero, and newcomer V. Eager gamers slaughtered hordes of demons on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PCs. The online co-op missions invited millions of players to join up and earn orbs from one another, which allowed for continues. This edition was widely praised among gamers and critics alike. Furthermore, Devil May Cry 5 felt like a return to the franchise's roots. Each character had a skill tree that created a sense of uniqueness while maintaining fluid controls. DMC5 even offered local drop-in co-op for hours of endless fun with friends. The combat combos, intense fights, and gritty story handily ushered Devil May Cry 5 into its spot as 2019's Action Game.
Nintendo Switch has garnished a massive following since its launch in 2017, but few games were as anticipated as 2019's Family Game winner. Luigi's Mansion 3 featured a fresh take on Nintendo's platformer franchise. Players loved the unique concept that showcased Luigi, Mario's green counterpart, as the protagonist. His task? To save his brother and friends from the haunted hotel they were tricked into visiting! Luigi handily rose to the challenge with the help of players, armed with only his flashlight, Poltergust 3000, and the help of a strange character called Gooigi. The game offered drop-in local co-op in the story, as well as a "Scare Tower" for online play and some multiplayer offline games. Offering such solid ways to play together with kids and adults alike earned Luigi's Mansion 3 its Family Game Award.
The online community of Destiny 2 earned it this coveted award in 2019. The science fiction first-person shooter expanded on the first game's story. Seamless gameplay created interesting battles in both its PVE and PVP settings. The communal area with NPCs and a social hub was a hotspot for players to meet up and take on content together. Additionally, Destiny 2 delivered an intense set of co-op raids such as Leviathan. The community and critics alike praised these as high-quality, unique content. Its match-making system created easily accessible PVE content, and the PVP remains some of the smoothest in any first-person shooter. Additionally, in 2019, publishing rights for Destiny 2 transferred from Activision to Bungie. The support that the game received from its community through the transition is why it's 2019's Community Supported Game.
Roleplaying games are a dime a dozen in 2019. Yet, ZA/UM won Fresh Indie Title of the year with its take on the genre. Disco Elysium followed a detective with a drinking problem as he worked a murder case. The gritty writing and open-world aspects were praised by critics and loved by gamers. Its dialogue-based storytelling created a sense of realism and brought characters to life. The exploration options garnished praise across the board. Popular reviewer GameSpot awarded it a 10/10, the first game to earn GameSpot's perfect score since 2017. It's no wonder, then, that Disco Elysium's twist on the RPG genre won Independent Game and Role-Playing Game Awards of 2019.
There are tons of online options for players in 2019, but there was one that stood above the others. Apex Legends exploded onto the scene in early 2019 with no announcement or even lead-up to its release. The free-to-play team-based battle royale quickly became a hot play for gamers that loved any genre. Its ping system created a way for players to communicate without the need for mics. This particular aspect was praised as innovative and created accessibility for a wide variety of players. Add in balanced characters, seamless gameplay, and a growing community, and it's no surprise that Apex Legends won 2019's Multiplayer Game.
Crash the Bandicoot is a mascot of gaming for an entire generation of players. So when Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled released in June 2019, it was no surprise that it became an instant hit. This remaster of the classic had everything its original did and improved on a ton of features. Players started with 8 characters available but could unlock the entire roster of 49 by winning races and completing other specific challenges. Add in the undeniable sense of joy as the older portion of the gaming community shared their experiences with newcomers and created a whole new love of Crash Bandicoot, and it's easy to see how all of this made Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled an easy winner for the 2019 Racing Game.
Every year, gamers enthusiastically hunt for their favorite titles. There are certain games everyone is looking forward to, but what will take the crown for 2020's best game of the year? Will it be another action-packed adventure like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice? Maybe the community is in for a late surprise. Either way, gamers anticipate 2020 to be a great year with plenty of anticipated titles, and some titles yet to be seen!