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Resident Evil 2 1

The Best Games of 2019 (So Far)

They’re simply the best

A Plague Tale: Innocence

We’re halfway through 2019, and so it’s time to do the obligatory ‘best games of the year so far’ list.

Truth is, there’s already been a load of great games released this year, so thankfully there’s no reaching involved. All of the ten games on this list truly are great and deserve to be played. With the next month of so being relatively quiet on the new releases front, perhaps give one or two a try if you’re yet to play them.

Anyway, here are GameSpew’s best games of 2019 so far. And no, they’re not in any particular order.

Resident Evil 2

Resident Evil 2

Available on PS4, Xbox One and PC

Resident Evil 2 was the first big hit of the year, and it’s left a lasting impression on us. It’s one of the best games of 2019 for sure. Now we just can’t wait for the Resident Evil 3 remake.

We said: “As remakes go, Resident Evil 2 is masterful. It preserves the spirit of the original game and its gameplay, but enhances it by employing responsive and intuitive controls and introducing new features that make it feel fresh. If you’ve ever played the original Resident Evil 2, you’ll experience a fair bit of déjà vu and revel in moments that have been wonderfully recreated – but you’ll also be kept on your toes with the surprises that are in store. It’s not so much Resident Evil 2 remade, it’s Resident Evil 2 re-imagined. And lord, the graphics; Resident Evil 2 is one of the most beautiful looking games I’ve laid my eyes on.”

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Forza Horizon 4: LEGO Speed Champions

Lego Speed Champions 2 (1)

Available on Xbox One and PC

Okay, so it’s not a full game per se, and Forza Horizon 4 came out last year, but the LEGO Speed Champions expansion is just so good and has so much content that we just had to include it. We’ve put tens of hours into this already and we’re not stopping any time soon.

We said:Forza Horizon 4: LEGO Speed Champions doesn’t do anything wrong. Everything that’s there is absolutely stellar; it just leaves you wanting more. More LEGO and more cars. But even with what is there, LEGO Speed Champions is one of my favourite LEGO video game experiences ever, and makes Forza Horizon 4 even more fun than it was before. Even when you’re getting pipped to the finish line at the very last second, it’s the type of game that you can’t help but play with a silly grin permanently glued to your face. If you’re a fan of LEGO, Forza Horizon 4: LEGO Speed Champions is an absolute no-brainer.”

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Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

Bloodstained 5 (1)

Available on PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC

It’s had a disastrous launch, but Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is just magical. We really hope this is the start of a series, because we need more Koji Igarashi Metroidvanias in our lives, especially if it’s as good as this.

We said: “Despite its issues, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night has had me hooked like no other game released this year. Koji Igarashi and those who have worked with him have proved that there’s still life in the old Metroidvania formula and delivered a modern-day classic. It perhaps loses a little something without the iconic Dracula as the big-bad, but the gameplay surpasses that of any previous Castlevania games created with the same mould. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night looks great, has a brilliant soundtrack and is overwhelmingly gratifying to play. If only it had a little more polish, then it’d be pretty much perfect.”

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Blood and Truth

Available on PS4

If you have a PSVR headset, Blood and Truth is an absolute must-have. It’s not surprising really, as The London Heist was hands-down the highlight of PSVR launch title, VR Worlds. Not only is Blood and Truth one of the best games of 2019, it’s one of the best VR games available full stop.

We said: “Once the credits roll, you truly get a sensation of closing out the thrilling finale of an action movie. There are very few parts of Blood & Truth that left me wanting. Some mechanics feel a bit underdeveloped, and the dialogue isn’t always the best. But none of it affected my overall experience with the game. It’s a white knuckle thrill ride with over-the-top action that will keep you hooked from start to finish. If you want a compelling reason to pick up your PSVR headset again, let Blood & Truth be it.”

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Judgment

Judgment 1 (2)

Available on PS4

Taking the best bits of Yakuza (well, apart from Kazuma Kiryu) and liberally throwing in detective elements, Judgment is one of the most engrossing games you can currently get stuck into on PS4.

We said: Judgment is more than “more Yakuza”; it’s a markedly different beast that, despite using assets from Yakuza 6, re-introduces you to Kamurocho through a new set of eyes. Tak is brasher, smarter, and more inclined to use brains than brawn, and the characters he goes up against are surprisingly grounded. Altogether, it’s a thoroughly delightful detective adventure. If this is the start of Tak Yagami’s journey then I’m happy to be along for the ride.”

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Observation

Observation 4 (1)

Available on PS4 and PC

Chances are you won’t have played anything like Observation before. It is gripping. If you like a bit of a horror and a strong story, don’t miss out.

We said: “If you’re after an experience like no other, that will challenge your problem-solving skills in logical and believable ways, you absolutely need to play Observation. It’s one of the most compelling and surprising games I’ve played in recent years. Its biggest achievement, though, is that it didn’t make me feel like I was playing a game; it made me feel like I was genuinely assisting a crew member in distress.”

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A Plague Tale: Innocence

A Plague Tale 1 (1)

Available on PS4, Xbox One and PC

We knew A Plague Tale: Innocence was going to be something special when we previewed it. And surprise, surprise, it’s turned out to be one of the best games of 2019. Not only does it look great, its story is absolutely compelling.

We said: “In the age of endless distractions, few games have kept me as engrossed as A Plague Tale: Innocence did, its 10-or-so hour runtime never outstaying its welcome. The narrative gets its hooks in you right from the start, forcing you to ask questions about Hugo’s illness, the rapid spreading of the rats, and the state of the world around you. You’ll get the answers you seek, with many dramatic twists and turns along the way – to say more would be to ruin part of what makes A Plague Tale so intoxicating.”

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Days Gone

Available on PS4

Days Gone gets off to a bumpy start, but persevere with it and it grows into one hell of an experience. Not everyone will agree with us, but we think it’s one of the best games of 2019. We’ll remember facing off against giant Freaker hordes for a long time.

We said: “I can’t think of many other open world games that pack in as much character, as much wonderfully crafted narrative that Days Gone does. Sure, it’s a story about a world overrun with a deadly virus. But it’s also a story about people, about hope, about survival. It’s at times uplifting, others heartbreaking. Couple that with Days Gone‘s beautiful setting and a varied array of well-designed story missions, and you’re left with something pretty special. Don’t write Days Gone off as “just another generic open world game”; it’s so much more than that.”

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Katana Zero

Katana Zero 1 (1)

Available on Switch and PC

It’s not the longest game in the world, but Katana Zero makes up for by simply being packed full of stylish action. Also, it has one hell of a messed-up story.

We said: “Even with its lack of replayability, you should buy Katana Zero right now if you’re a fan of action games with great tales to tell. When its thumping music kicks in, you know it’s time for action of the highest calibre. And married with sumptuous pixel art and a mystery you can’t wait to unravel, it’s a match made in heaven. Katana Zero is hands down one of the best games released this year.”

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The Division 2

The Division 2 4 (1)

Available on PS4, Xbox One and PC

We really liked The Division, but its sequel well and truly blows it out of the water. The Division 2 is just bigger and better. We’ve already spent upwards of 50 hours playing it, and there’s still much more for us to do.

We said: “With all future content being made available to players for free, The Division 2 is a game that I can see myself going back to time and time again. It’ll vie for my time much like Diablo 3 does, because I just can’t resist the combination of exhilarating combat and meaningful loot. At times, The Division 2 does just feel like more of the same but with a new setting, but when it’s pulled off this well, who cares? In developing The Division 2, Ubisoft has taken what worked from the first game and listened to fans, creating a follow up that’s captivating and densely packed with things to do.”

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