2019 was a strong year for games. Many new and exciting projects released, some perfecting old formulas, and some trying something new. This made it a tough year to judge our nominees, as many games did amazingly well, and it’s difficult to pick just one. Regardless, we had to, and to be honest, it’s a surprising list of winners. Keep in mind this was the result of the votes of the majority of GotGame writers. Without further ado, here are your GotGame 2019 Epic Win Award winners!
The Outer Worlds From our review: “Since the writing is excellent, the story excels most with the plethora of smaller stories in the game. Practically every NPC I spoke to in the game offers a sidequest. While I barely scratched the surface on the sidequests in the game, I definitely took on the ones that felt convenient for me. It can be a little overwhelming with how many are given to you so quickly, but it just gives players tons to do. The overall depth and variety of these quests just shows how well thought out the game truly is.”
Control From our review: “Control is a very weird game. The developers had a lot of influence from the New Weird genre of storytelling. This is when someone as an outsider discovers things beyond human understanding. A notable example of the genre would be the movie Annihilation, which brought the literary genre to life on the big screen. Control definitely succeeds in this, as Jesse reflects the player perspective of an outsider looking in.”
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice From our review: “It’s an absolute treat to see FromSoftware find ways to challenge gamers again, again, and a million more agains, without having to use the same formula repeatedly. With Sekiro, they have created something that’s new and fresh, while tweaking their ideas of gameplay mechanics to perfectly fit.”
Gears 5 From our review: “While Gears 5 may not reinvent the wheel for the franchise, it does a lot right for the series. Building the world up and bringing more surprises to the table make for a pretty eventful action title. Even better are the new open areas to explore, making the game have a lot more to offer. On top of the strong campaign are the three equally strong multiplayer modes, making the game a great option for that competitive itch.”
The Outer Worlds From our review: “As far as new IPs go, The Outer Worlds does an amazing job with it’s first impression. It offers dozens of replayable hours of gameplay with a great presentation, set in a vast space western world. There’s a ton of options available to players and plenty to explore for fans of the genre. The combat works well too, offering strategy and challenge, giving players plenty of ways to tackle it.”
MLB 19 The Show From our review: “Overall, MLB The Show 19 gives players a fuller experience. It provides updated, more realistic gameplay, along with new and revamped game modes that baseball fans and gaming fans alike will have a great time with.”
Mortal Kombat 11 From our review: “Mortal Kombat 11 proves once again why NetherRealm studios are masters of their craft. The improved combat makes clever changes that make battles not only more visually engaging, but also encourage more strategy. Even if learning all the new mechanics can be overwhelming, the tutorial is a valuable asset. With the Towers of Time, a well-produced story, the revolutionary Krypt, and a solid netcode, it’s really a testament to the game’s overall excellence.”
Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled From our review: “The game functions just about as well as you’d expect a kart racer to function. However, what sets this apart from other titles is the response of the controls. The games sense of speed and control across wacky, fully realized tracks is more satisfying than that of a modern Mario Kart game.”
Luigi’s Mansion 3 From our review: “It’s not often we get to play a new Luigi’s Mansion title, but this proves we simply need more. The new game looks terrific, oozes charm, controls well and is expertly designed. It even has a multiplayer mode that can provide fun besides the main adventure. Luigi always lived in the shadow of his big brother, but even if he’s a bit scared of this shadow, there is nothing scary about playing Luigi’s Mansion 3.“
Resident Evil 2 From our review: “Much like the Resident Evil remake that originally released in 2002, Resident Evil 2 has a much needed reimagining. Made entirely from the ground up with the RE Engine, the fixed perspective cameras are now gone. Taking inspiration from the more modern gameplay style of the series, Resident Evil 2 opts for a behind-the-shoulder third-person shooter.”
“Take Control” by The Old Gods of Asgard (Poets of the Fall) – Control From our review: “It can easily be described as an absolute mind****, but in a good way. It doesn’t quite reach the levels of Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem with the mental manipulation, but I enjoyed some of the clever ideas in the game. The Ashtray Maze was a particular favorite of mine, feeling like a treat for all my hard work.”
Troy Baker as Higgs Monaghan – Death Stranding From our review: “Other characters look fantastic as well, and it allows the actors to truly emote, which gives the game some spectacularly powerful performances. Actors like Tommie Earl Jenkins, Lea Seydoux, and even Troy Baker all have moments to act their heart out. Then there’s Mads Mikkelsen, whose whole character is perhaps the most mysterious of them all. Bottom line, Death Stranding is a tour de force of acting in video games.”
Ashly Bursch as Parvati Holcomb – The Outer Worlds From our review: “Each character has a unique personality that adds a lot of life to the game itself. Parvati was a personal favorite, the shy mechanic that wants to see the galaxy.”
Runner-Up: Melissa Hutchinson as Clementine – The Walking Dead: The Final Season
The Last of Us Part II Naughty Dog’s sequel to their critically acclaimed The Last of Us easily takes the top spot. After seeing such a wonderfully crafted mature story with heart, we can’t wait to see where the adventure goes next.
Devil May Cry 5 We tallied the votes and after careful consideration, Devil May Cry 5 was selected. We looked specifically at multiple comments on Twitter, and Devil May Cry 5 was the most mentioned. With stylish action, a return to the classic series seemed like a perfect early 2019 title for many readers.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses From our review: “Even with its minor shortcomings, Fire Emblem: Three Houses is a terrific experience. The school setting adds a new layer to character upgrades and story nuance that feels naturally interwoven into the plot. While the narrative has similar beats, the wide cast of eccentric personalities more than makes up for it. The tactical battles of course are still as engaging as ever. If you have never ventured into turn-based strategy games, it doesn’t get any better than Fire Emblem: Three Houses.“
Congratulations to all the winners! It was a very tough vote, and it was already pretty divided. The Outer Worlds took home three awards for Best Story, Best RPG and Best Female Actor. Control also took two wins for Best Art Direction and Best Original Song. Unfortunately, neither were nominated for Game of the Year, and that may have been our mistake, as things may have been different otherwise. Either way, our nominees were selected for consideration throughout the year and Fire Emblem: Three Houses was an easy choice for our writers, taking home the award. Do you agree with any of our picks? Think we got some wrong? Let us know in the comments below, and we look forward to a new year of gaming in 2020!