- Pillars of Eternity 2
- Slay the Spire
- Into the Breach
- Dragon Quest XI
- Red Dead Redemption 2
1 - This is an easy one for me. I find the mechanics and tactical combat in this game to be incredibly satisfying, along with some outstanding writing and world building, memorable characters and moments, and to top it all off, it’s one of the best looking games of the year. It helps Josh Sawyer personally saw to it I got an advanced copy of the game before launch, and that my videos we really well received, but I am playing it a second time these days (just hit level 14 and doing the first DLC) and I’m just amazed at the post-launch support and content for this. It just keeps giving.
2 - Others have said it, but it bears repeating - Slay the Spire is freaking incredible. It’s a perfect game to play while you watch some TV or a movie, and every run is completely different from the last. I just did a run (after nearly 200 hours) with the Defect class that used every orb type in the toolbox, for the first time, and pulled out a victory. Just incredible, and they will be working on this and adding more content post-launch, making me think this will end up on my top 5 for 2019, as well.
3 - Into the Breach is up there with Slay the Spire, though it being a little less replayable (not by much, however) and something I played months ago put it at number 3. But it’s probably the most tactically satisfying game I played this year, and something I come back to again and again. It looks cool, it feels good to just command your little mechs, and it’s constantly making me feel both amazing and dumb as a bag of rocks in turn. So freaking well made.
4 - DQ 11 is not a game I would have thought to make it on my top 5, not in a year with Pathfinder Kingmaker launching for sure, let alone all the other great games I did play, but man, this game. It’s so relaxing, it’s fun, and it’s massive! It never felt like a chore to fire it back up and get back into it, even after 3 weeks of straight play to get to the final, final ending. The way the game sets up act 2 (let alone act 3) is genius. The characters, the story, the combat, it all comes together so well. It’s a classic for sure, the best Dragon Quest game easily, and I’m eager to play it all over again some time down the road.
5 - RDR 2 is such a master achievement, both technically and from a story telling perspective. I’ve never been pulled into a world and its inhabitants in a rockstar game like this one, and I got swept up hard. This game got me watching dozens of westerns I’d missed or haven’t seen for ages bot leading up to and after launch! It’s gorgeous, as well as one of those games that just feels “right” to play, from how it felt to mosey a horse through town to taking cover behind a barrel and returning fire. In fact, I started playing The Witcher 3 after RDR 2 and controlling Geralt felt so off I had to uninstall it. RDR 2 just nails so many things.