Top 35 Best Games of 2019, Ranked to Make Sure Your Backlog’s Overflowing

Despite being towards the end of a console generation, 2019 was a banner year for gaming yet again. You may have already seen some of our biggest awards like Game of the Year handed out, but now it’s time to just straight up rank the best games of 2019. Let’s get to it!

Best Games 2019

best games 2019

35: The Division 2

Like its predecessor, The Division 2 has ran into some post-launch problems but at this point what “live service” game hasn’t? At launch, The Division 2 was a far more complete package and is one of the smoothest looter-shooter releases in recent memory.

34: Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair brings Playtonic’s dynamic duo from 3D to 2D platforming. The change is surprisingly refreshing! It features colorful and diverse levels and an explorable 3D overworld filled with secrets to uncover.

33: Wargroove

Classic franchises in the Strategy RPG genre are still on the back-burner for some reason cough FFT and Advance Wars cough but at least spiritual successors are stepping up to the plate. Many fans of Advance Wars, in particular, fell in love with Wargroove’s modern take on the genre this year.

32: Tropico 6

Despite nearly two decades of relevance, the Tropico franchise still is slept on by many people for some reason. Tropico 6 continues building on its premise of allowing players to be the leader of a rogue island state, and is one of the best strategy games of this year.

31: Erica

Live-action/FMV style games are usually thought of as relics of a past age in gaming, but in 2019 Erica showed that there are still ways to leverage this classic genre and surprise/impress gamers.

30: Luigi’s Mansion 3

Luigi’s Mansion 3 is comfort food for fans of the multi-generational series. It plays it pretty safe, but fortunately it’s been a while since the last game, so we were happy to have some more Green Mario in our lives.

29: MLB The Show: 19

Sports games get a bad rap for being $60 roster updates year after year. Honestly, some years it does feel that way. MLB The Show 19 though stepped it up and made significant and worthwhile changes to nearly every one of their popular game modes.

28: Blood and Truth

You have to dig around to hear about good new VR games these days. They exist, they just don’t get the same attention as their traditional brethren. Blood and Truth likely fell under the radar of non-VR fans, but PSVR owners hopefully jumped on this one right away. It’s arguably one of the most action-packed and fun VR experiences on the platform to date.

27: Control

Control is certainly one of the most successful and acclaimed new IPs of 2019 and has received a ton of positive attention both from critics and fans. While its story and setting get most of the love, we were pleasantly surprised by how solid the game’s combat felt as you weave together abilities and evolving weapon forms.

26: Total War: Three Kingdoms

best video games 2019

The Total War series continues being one of the most legendary and well-respected franchises not just in the genre, but gaming period. Three Kingdoms retains the classic turn-based/real-time hybrid gameplay with an emphasis on choosing between various faction leaders from historical war-torn China.

25: Life is Strange 2

Living up to the legacy of the beloved first Life Is Strange starring Max Caulfield is no easy task. Life is Strange 2 pulled it off getting us just as wrapped up in the story of two brothers unfairly displaced from their home and family while learning how to come to terms with the fact that they are on their own… oh and that one of them has immensely powerful telekinesis abilities.

24: Metro Exodus

Single-player FPS games have seen a resurgence in the last few years, but the Metro series can confidently brag about never leaving the genre in the first place. Metro Exodus evolves the popular series by bringing gameplay out of creepy tunnels and into more expansive and open levels.

23: Pokemon Sword & Shield

Pokemon Sword and Shield is the latest Pokemon… you know what that means: you’re going to catch some Pokemon, train them up, and beat the Elite Four. The core experience is very much intact. That said, the latest game does add new features such as Dynamaxing, Wild Area exploration, and more robust online features.

22: Apex Legends

Apex Legends literally came out of nowhere and instantly rose to be a legitimate contender to the king of battle royale games, Fortnite. While it hasn’t quite surpassed Fortnite, Apex Legends was distinct and polished enough to carve out its own niche thanks in large part to its smooth gunplay and hero-centered gameplay.

21: Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown

Ace Combat 7 was a return to form for the long-running and popular series of flight combat games. There aren’t many games anymore that challenge players with gameplay entirely focused on dogfighting in the skies, but Ace Combat 7 brought the beloved classic gameplay into 2019 with style, while also returning to its roots from a story perspective as well; much to the delight of hardcore fans.

20: The Walking Dead: The Final Season

The final season that almost wasn’t, Telltale’s The Walking Dead finally came to an epic conclusion in 2019. Fans were – thankfully – able to properly say goodbye to the series that introduced generational characters in Lee, Clementine and of course AJ in spite of mass layoffs and subsequent closure of original Telltale Games team.

19: Super Mario Maker 2

The original Super Mario Maker was stranded on the Wii U and then half-heartily ported to the 3DS. With Super Mario Maker 2, the game not only receives significant updates worthy of a sequel, but is also finally getting the attention it deserves on a popular modern console with all the online bells and whistles it needs to fully realize its potential.

18: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

best games 2019

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is yet another pivot for the annual FPS franchise. It eschews its Blackout battle royale mode after one year and brings back the classic Modern Warfare campaign for another go. It’s as well-polished as always across the campaign and multiplayer modes, so as long as you won’t miss the battle royale, Call of Duty this year is another solid entry into the franchise and is among the best shooters in 2019.

17: The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III

If you long for the day of epically long turn-based JRPGs told over a series of games that are all also very long, then 17: The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel will likely be your jam. They don’t make ’em like that much anymore, but Trails of Cold Steel III is committed to an old-school JRPG style that promises tens and even hundred plus hours worth of content filled with exciting story beats, likable characters, twists, turns and plenty of battles.

16: Borderlands 3

Borderlands 3 sees the return of the franchise that arguably began the looter-shooter genre. Despite it being a long time since its last numbered entry, Borderlands 3 is a game that plays it very safe, opting for a familiar far more polished version of its classic gameplay, and humor that is in line with every other game in the series. No complaints here though, we were ready for more Borderlands and that’s exactly what we got!

15: Astral Chain

Astral Chain, the latest and greatest from Platinum Games, shook up the action genre this year with its unique gameplay that lets you control two characters simultaneously, an elite police officer and an ethereal being known as a Blade; a unique system that requires you to balance both, and use all of the abilities at your disposal to exploit enemy’s weaknesses.

14: Devil May Cry 5

As seems to be the trend for a lot of the best games this year, Devil May Cry 5 will feel familiar, and doesn’t stray too far from what made it popular to begin with. Instead, developers focused on making sure DMC 5 had perfected and polished its action gameplay, and crafted a story that longtime fans would appreciate. Fortunately for all of us, Capcom was successful!

13: Outer Wilds

Outer Wilds, an indie darling of 2019, challenges players to explore a solar system for clues to explain why time seems to repeating itself. Seriously, you have roughly 20 minutes to explore before your nearby star goes supernova, and time resets. Every time you go back out, you’ll retain the knowledge of what you learned from your last trip and you’ll slowly need to piece together what is happening. Needless to say, this concept impressed enough of our editors to crack our top 15 games from 2019.

12: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

best games 2019

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice still finds a way to present players with an extreme challenge, but does so in a different way and in a different setting than hardcore FromSoftware fans have grown used to. Taking place in a beautiful, yet terrifying world reminiscent of feudal Japan, players are pressured to engage their enemies and time their movements, attacks, and parries perfectly lest they will be slain, brutally.

11: A Plague’s Tale: Innocence

In the midst of some classic franchises returning in 2019, there were certainly a few great new IPs that emerged this year too. A Plague’s Tale: Innocence was one of the most pleasant surprises this year. It’s a stealth, puzzle, action game that takes place in a world reminiscent of plague-ridden Europe that tasks players with avoiding massive hordes of diseased rats.They aren’t many games that take chances like A Plague’s Tale: Innocence, and fewer that wind up succeeding and standing out from the usual AAA behemoths franchises.

10: Gears 5

Gears 5 is among the most complete, polished, and comprehensive games this year. While its story and multiplayer modes might not reach the high levels that some of the games higher on this list achieve, it does everything extremely well. Gears 5 innovates and experiments with its story track for the first time since, well, ever, and it adds a new co-op mission mode called Escape to pair with its classic Horde and competitive game modes. Altogether, there really is something for everyone to enjoy in Gears 5.

9: Disco Elysium

The traditional CRPG genre has seen a resurgence in recent years with classics such as Baldur’s Gate returning, and new IPs like Pillars of Eternity finding their place as well. Disco Elysium stands out thanks from the crowd because of its lack of combat, and its focus instead on story, writing, and dialogue trees. It was a big risk, but one that paid off as Disco Elysium is excellent.

8: Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Fire Emblem: Three Houses takes the classic strategy gameplay that fans have grown to love more and more as the years go on, and infuses it with an ambitious plot that branches out across three varying paths each with their own unique characters and story. Hardcore players will find themselves with a ton to do as they get to know all of the houses’ unique personalities while also mastering the game’s strategic challenges.

7: Kingdom Hearts 3

Kingdom Hearts 3 finally happened and finally brought an end to the saga that started all the way back in 2002. In spite of huge amounts of hype and expectations that reached pretty much impossible levels, Kingdom Hearts 3 managed to please many fans on both story and gameplay, wrap up its plot, and set things up for the future as well.

6: Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, one of the most high profile Kickstarter games of all-time, finally released this year as well and like many of the top games of on this list, fulfilled the promises of its potential and hype. A spiritual successor to the all-time great Castlevania game, Symphony of the Night, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night retains the core gameplay of SotN while infusing with new features and polish that one would expect for a game released in 2019.

5: Judgment

Judgment wasn’t a game that many had expected or even asked for, a standalone game within the universe of the Yakuza franchise, but it surprised even the most hardcore of Yakuza fans with how great it was. It has its own twist on Yakuza’s action-heavy gameplay and silly mini-games, and merges it with a story that centers around being a detective and cracking cases.

4: Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

If I would have told you a few years ago that the creators of Titanfall and Call of Duty, would team up with EA and create a Dark Souls-inspired Star Wars game that would arguably be one of the best Star Wars video games of all-time you probably would have thought I was insane. In 2019 though, anything is possible so that’s exactly what happened. Not every wild thing that happens in 2019 needs to be terrible, and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is proof of that.

3: The Outer Worlds

As western RPGs and action games trend towards being more and more massive, The Outer Worlds took the best parts of both and put its own unique spin and humor on it. It has branching dialogues and story beats, solid shooting action gameplay deep RPG customization, high roleplaying potential, and presented all of that in a package that can be completed in a reasonably manageable 15-20 hours, but is also highly replayable.

2: Death Stranding

There were lots of titles among the best games of 2019 that took risks this year, new IPs that broke out, etc. but none were as high-profile and risky as Death Stranding. Where do you even begin with trying to explain Hideo Kojima’s latest in just a few sentences? You play as a character voiced by Norman Reedus, delivering packages in an effort to reconnect a world ravaged by a strange disaster that has left “Beached Souls” around to torment the living. You’ll meet colorful characters along the way which include Conan O’ Brien and you can make Pee Mushrooms. We’re out of time, so just take our word for it that it was an unforgettable experience.

1: Resident Evil 2

best games 2019

Resident Evil 2 reimagined what a remake could be capable of. It was so substantial, and so ambitious a project that it forced the Twinfinite editors to abandon their rule that a remake couldn’t be considered for GOTY. Resident Evil 2 is technically the same game, but it’s so well put-together, polished and designed that it feels brand new.

Whether you’re a fan of the original, or are just someone with a passing interest in action and horror games, Resident Evil 2 is the must-play game of 2019 and was our clear choice for Game of the Year.

What were your personal favorites in 2019? Let us know in the comments below what you thought of our list of the best games of 2019.

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Ed McGlone
Ed McGlone was with Twinfinite from 2014 to 2022. Playing games since 1991, Ed loved writing about RPGs, MMOs, sports games and shooters.