Nick did a phenomenal job of misunderstanding this GotY process. So I’m taking his love of Sony and Nintendo games and putting them into an article, for you!
#10 – The Last of Us Part I
It was tough to decide between this and Klonoa, but Last of Us snuck in simply because there was a bit more effort put into Remake-mastering an already classic game and in the end, it was a super solidly put-together piece of software. I really don’t know how to eloquently explain what I mean by that, but if you go play it, I reckon you’ll know what I’m talking about
#9 – High On Life
The first trailer looked outrageous and the game has so far lived up to the insanity that the trailer teased. Beneath the crude humour, crass jokes, and gross-out attempts lies a genuinely competent first-person shooter Metroidvania game. The hub worlds are well-designed and encourage exploration, while the visuals are absolutely stunning. The humour may not be to everyone’s taste, but if you can look through that veneer, you’ll find yourself a genuinely good game
#8 – Evil West
This kind came out of nowhere for me and it’s like this game was made for me. Hyper linear, short padding free levels, great combat and of course…skippable cut scenes! Evil West is an AA game that elicits feelings we used to get from bigger budget games during the 360/PS3 era and I say that in the best possible way. It’s just…so fun
#7 – Mario Strikers: Battle League
I’ve waited so many years for Mario Strikers to return and finally, it did. Like a lot of Nintendo’s sports games of late, it launched a little more bare-bones than it should have, but it’s been updated semi-frequently for free and luckily plays better than any Strikers game before it. It’s incredibly fun and the upgrade system adds some new-found depth to keep you wanting to come back to unlock more
#6 – God of War Ragnarok
Even though it didn’t quite hit the heights of 2018’s God of War, Ragnarok still displays the polish, production values and set pieces Sony’s first-party releases have become renowned for. A Metroidvania in disguise, Ragnarok for the first time in a long time gave me that “I’m thinking about playing it when I’m not playing it” feeling that only great games can do
#5 – Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope
Yes, it may be “baby’s first turn-based strategy game” but like the first one, it’s charming, beautiful, and most importantly…fun. It streamlines what can be a complex genre and makes it accessible enough for almost anyone to play, but when paired with the visuals and Mario theme, juuuuust deep enough for even staunch TBS Game aficionados to be able to get some level of enjoyment out of it.
#4 – Kirby and the Forgotten Land
“Kirby’s Odyssey” as I liked to call it upon seeing the first trailer, Kirby and the Forgotten Land turned out to be something else entirely and I loved it. It gave us linear, fun, replayable levels that urged us to poke and prod and discover secrets all while encouraging 100% completion. Levels were designed to exploit Kirby’s abilities while also giving players the freedom to tackle each level their own way. My favourite Kirby game.
#3 – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II
I’m not a huge Call of Duty fan, but I am a huge Modern Warfare fan and Modern Warfare II didn’t let me down. A short, sharp, punchy and stealth-focused campaign, paired with fantastic multiplayer and a fun co-op mode. It was everything I was hoping for and probably the most enjoyable “Veteran run” I’ve done in a Call of Duty game.
#2 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge
Like Streets of Rage 4, Shredder’s Revenge modernises the scrolling beat ‘em up formula beautifully without sacrificing the essence of what makes the genre what it is all while capturing what made us fall in love with the TMNT Arcade game all those years ago.
#1 – TUNIC
There was really no other choice for me. I’ve waited so many years for Tunic and it did not disapoint. An old-school Zelda game in the most Zelda way possible. Did I use god mode because the game is hard? Yep. Do I care? Nope. I loved it. No handholding, no waypoints. Just you and your wits and putting the clues together yourself (literally) through pieces of the in-game manual you find for yourself. Just an incredible experience