Exclusives can be what make or break a console, and 2019 was a pretty stellar year for exclusives across the board. From longtime mainstays like Pokemon, to brand new IP like Astral Chain or Death Stranding, there were some wildly unique experiences.
Voted on by our editors, these are the best console exclusives of 2019. So, let’s jump right in.
Best Console Exclusives of 2019
Honorable Mention: Astral Chain
Senior Editor Hayes Madsen: PlatinumGames has developed quite a relationship with Nintendo over the years, from the exclusivity of Bayonetta 2 to original titles like the Wonderful 101. Yet their partnership with Nintendo has never been as ambitious as it is with Astral Chain, a revolutionary action title that feels fresh but familiar all at the same time.
Astral Chain takes place in a cyberpunk post-apocalypse where humanity now lives in a mega-city called the Ark. At its core, Astral Chain sports the same intense combo-based battle system Platinum is known for. However, it puts an absolutely fascinating twist on things.
During combat you’re essentially controlling two characters, your main police officer and an ethereal creature called a Blade. Your officer can use multiple weapons and combos, while the blade is controlled with the right stick.
Your Blade auto-attacks but you can control its placement on the field, use special attacks, and use the chain connecting the two to bind enemies.
It’s a fantastic battle system that encourages timing and precision, and things only get amped up even more in boss battles.
While combat is certainly the highlight, nearly every other aspect of Astral Chain helps bolster the experience; a fantastic anime aesthetic, a strong story with plenty of twists, and a banging soundtrack, just to name a few.
Astral Chain isn’t just one of the best Switch games of the year, it’s one of the best Switch games ever.