Andrew Nimsgern’s Top 10 Games of 2019
In a year with phenomenal games such as RE2 Remake, Sekiro, and Control – I played none of them. It’s not that I didn’t have interest in those games, I just didn’t get around to playing them. A big reason why I didn’t was my sudden addition to Persona 5, but also due to the games on this list.
Even not playing some of the biggest games of the year, I still had trouble narrowing down my top 10 games for the year! It was weird with old franchises finding a new place in my heart and new genres growing on me.
Number 10 – The Division 2
Tom Clancy’s The Division was one of my favorite games of 2016. I couldn’t stop playing for months despite a weak end game at launch and other issues. So when the sequel got announced with the promise of fixing the original game’s issues, I was ready.
Some of the big issues did get solved with the release of The Divison 2. But, the story was lacking and content still felt light due to delayed DLC and odd design choices.
While the game didn’t quite live up to everything I wanted it to be, it was still a good game that squeaked into my top 10.
Number 9 – Team Fight Tactics
The game that finally allows Riot Games to live up to their name caught me by surprise when it came out. I was familiar with the growing Auto Battler genre but had zero interest in ever checking it out.
Yet, the second that Teamfight Tactics got announced, I couldn’t stop wanting to play it. I was playing for hours every day at launch and watching streamers play when I wasn’t on.
It was fun, easy to learn once you got going and I was not half bad at it. I’ve fallen out of the game recently, but with it coming to mobile in 2020, I could see it coming back into my life real soon.
Number 8 – World of Warcraft Classic
I was always afraid to play World of Warcraft growing up because I know I have an addictive personality. But, I had no job and was in a new city all alone when Classic came out so I felt like I had nothing to lose.
Exactly what I knew was going to happen, happened once I started playing. My first session was a measly 10 hours and it didn’t get better from there. The grind was constant but enjoyable and I was playing with old and new friends alike.
In the end, I stepped away from Classic due to a new job starting and the Blizzard/Hong Kong controversy. I had so much fun with the game for a few months I played, and still debate going back some days.
Number 7 – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
2019 has been the year of sequels for me. Four of my top ten games this year are sequels and Call of Duty making the list is the one that surprises me the most. I buy it every year despite saying I’ll never buy another CoD after playing the previous installment.
Modern Warfare hasn’t sparked that emotion yet. I’m by no means as into it like the glory days of Modern Warfare 2 or World at War, but I’m enjoying it.
The story felt like it took a considerable step up from the previous installments. From the beginning, I was entertained and ended up even caring about some of the characters. The multiplayer also isn’t as rage-inducing as previous games which is always a good sign! But in the end, it’s another game that had a nostalgia factor paired with having a ton of friends to play with.
Number 6 – The Outer Worlds
I’ll be the first to admit that it’s my own fault that I’m putting The Outer Worlds at number 6. I can’t think of too many complaints I had about the game, I enjoyed it from start to finish. The only issue was that I rushed through it.
I started it the same week as Pokemon and Star Wars were releasing, and pushed through so I could play at launch. The minute to minute gameplay was engaging and the story was fun and unique.
I’m not saying it would have been my GOTY, but it would have been higher for sure. One day I’ll go back and explore what I skipped and dive into the side characters that help make the game so special.
Number 5 – Apex Legends
Right as I was escaping my addiction to Fortnite, Apex Legends blindsided me. Being more realistic and a mix of Overwatch and Fortnite, it was exactly what I wanted.
Apex is another game that had a chance of being my GOTY, but with my friends falling off the wagon, so did its chance. As much as I enjoy the game, all battle royals for me are so much more fun when playing with friends.
I soon got sick of playing with randoms after launch, so I put it to the side for other games. I still go back to play from time to time, but the love for the game isn’t quite there anymore.
Number 4 – Borderlands 3
I was very late to the party for the Borderland series. Not playing until the Handsome Jack collection came out. I loved the games even though they hyped was long gone and I had no one to play with.
When Borderlands 3 got announced, I was ready to finally play it in the middle of the hype with other people! To my surprise, the game lived up to the hype for the most part. The humor was great, the story kept me entertained and playing with friends was easy and flawless. The game’s staple gunplay on top of all that made it one of my favorite games of the year by far.
Yet as much as I loved the game – I felt little urge to keep playing after beating it. I’d usually go back for a platinum trophy on a game like this, but it didn’t hook me enough. The game was great, but not enough to keep me hooked on the universe to keep playing.
Number 3 – Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
During my first couple of hours of Fallen Order, I was worried I wasn’t going to make it through the game. The story started a little slow, I felt weak and wasn’t good at the combat style.
Plus that frog. That stupid frog that I spent hours trying to beat until I couldn’t take it anymore. After a short cool-down session, I jumped back in.
I kept going though and eventually, it all clicked. The story started having the Star Wars level set pieces that made me look in awe. I finally felt powerful like a Jedi and my lightsaber looked like it was once I would create.
Besides one fight I lowered the difficulty on, it felt the right amount of challenging the whole time. I didn’t want to put it down and finished the game on a long, 8-hour session. I’m a little torn on the ending, but it’s a fantastic game for any Star Wars or video game fan.
Number 2 – Fire Emblem: Three Houses
If you asked me in 2019 what I knew about Fire Emblem, I would say “Isn’t that Cloud guy in Smash from that?” Okay, that speaks more to my limited knowledge about Final Fantasy but you get my point.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses came out at the perfect time in the year when I was craving something new. I had no idea what I was getting into, but the internet was raving about the game so I had to try it.
I fell in love with the full cast of characters and learned why people love the series so much. On top of that, I loved the Hogwarts-like style of the school and different houses. The mid-game twist and evolution of the characters made me feel like I was part of the universe.
The best compliment I can give this game is it has made me care about a franchise I’ve written off forever. I’ll be going back to past entries in 2020 and looking forward to whatever comes next in the series.
Number 1 – Pokemon Sword & Shield
I never thought that a Pokemon game could ever be my GOTY. Not that I don’t love the series, there are just so many fantastic games that come out each year. Pokemon Sword changed that because it gave me the same enjoyment I felt as when I was 10. I couldn’t put down my Switch once I started playing.
Don’t get me wrong, the game has its issues but I overlook them without a second thought. The gameplay loop felt so fun and rewarding, and the new features added were things I didn’t know I wanted. The Gigatanmax fights were beyond extra and the wild area is a step towards something very cool for the franchise.
I’ve played every Pokemon game since Fire Red, and I’ve never had such an urge to complete the Pokedex. I usually start working towards it and fall off after a day or two. That was not the case for Pokemon Sword, I spent another 20+ hours find everyone one of those sweet, sweet ‘mons. Pokemon Sword was that right hit of Nostalgia I’ve wanted for so long and truly made me feel like a kid again.
Thank you so much for reading my top 10 games of 2019! If you want to keep up with me outside of Popped Off, you can find me on Twitter!