The Big Bad Top 10 2019

10. Katana Zero

Katana Zero has been one of my favourite indie titles of the year, with an incredible pixel art style, fast-paced one hit one kill combat and an amazing soundtrack to boot! And the way the story is delivered took me by surprise. It’s not everyday you get an indie like this and this fresh, definitely a must buy for any Switch user.

9. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

While being taken aback a little by Sekiro, with me being a Souls fan and all, the game delivers on all it promises and more. The more usual way the story is presented takes a little bit of the mystery of the Soulsgames away, but the combat is the best From Software has ever made, an elegant dance of death, and the new way of traversal opens up so many possibilities for future runs thanks to the beautifully interconnected world.

While not having resonated with me on a story level, Sekiro’s combat is what I hope is going to be the new standard for From Software games.

8. Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes

OH. MY. GOD. Travis is back after 9 years and he is still rocking it. Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes is as weird and as beautiful as its predecessors, innovating on the formula of the previous No More Heroes titles and giving a fun, albeit repetitive experience. And the story is obviously what you would expect from Grasshopper Manufacture.  While the combat might be repetitive, the environments in which it happens are always changing and adding their own challenges, making everything feel fresh and fun, not unlike MH.

7. Kingdom hearts III

We waited. We waited. We waited again. And Kingdom Hearts didn’t disappoint. While being an objectively easy game, we can’t deny that, and the story still being convoluted to the maximum, even if the themes are the simplest ones out there, Kingdom Hearts III had me giggle like a child for the most part, and hit me in the feels when it needed to. In all honesty, what we got was the best Kingdom Hearts we could ever get after the wait we had to go through, and the Monster Inc. world, enough said. The conclusion to the Seeker saga will stay for me for a long time, while I’m waiting for the next chapter of this amazing journey.

6. Metro Exodus

The third instalment of the Metro series, based on the novels by Dmitry Glukhovsky decides to go open world and does it beautifully. The greatest challenge this instalment had to go through I think, was to find how to translate the claustrophobic environments of Moscow’s metro, which we learned to love and fear, to an open world format. And they did it. They did it masterfully. Metro is still Metro, even if now we’re roaming around on the Aurora and always on the move, the world feels both open and claustrophobic, and moving around in it feels real. And scary. Metro at its best.

5. Astral Chain

Platinum Games are at it again! Astral Chain is, in my opinion, their magnum opus in terms of combat, delivering the best evolution of their previous games wrapped in a sci-fi police story in which you can use Legions, basically Stands, to fight. The story is intriguing, mysterious and always entertaining, and it keeps on getting bigger and bigger. The combat is the star of the show though: tight, responsive, easy to learn but hard to master, rewarding and punishing, and as flexible as any player wants it to be. Astral Chain is THE Platinum game.

4.  Fire Emblem Three Houses

150 hours in I finished the last route of Fire emblem Three Houses. I was emotionally, physically and psychologically drained.  When I first picked up FE3H I had high hopes, but they were immediately obliterated by reality: this game was better than my imagination could make it out to be. Easily my favourite FE game along with Genealogy of The Holy War, this game delivers an amazing turn-based tactical combat, the possibility of recruiting basically anyone who is not in your house, a different story path for each of the houses in the game, each lasting 40 to 50 hours without even having to do all the side content, and a heart-wrenching story. FE3H is a top FE experience and one of the best games on Switch to this day.

3. Disco Elysium

You like RPGs? You like dystopias? You like detective stories? Then Disco Elysium is for you. Hands down the best pure RPG I played all year long, Disco Elysium is up there on the RPG podium with Divinity Original Sin 2. It’s incredible how the guys at ZA/UM managed to make this masterpiece. Everything in it screams originality: the world, the characters, the story, the gameplay. The way you level up your abilities is incredible, and I for one never saw it done before, and the interactions between all the people feel real, they make you care about them, even though no one in Disco Elysium is a saint. You first.

2. Devil May Cry 5

“ This game will exceed your expectations.” This is what Hideaki Itsuno said when talking about DMC5. Our expectations where not only exceeded, they were Max-Acted and taunted over. Devil May Cry 5 is the best Devil May Cry title out there. There, I said it. Everything in it screams masterpiece: story, characters, combat. The combat. THE COMBAT! Devil May Cry has never been so fun, so complicated, so deep, so stylish like it is with 5. Don’t get me wrong, DMC has always been all of the above, but the guys decided to take this all a step forward and delivered the ultimate Devil May Cry experience. I honestly have no idea how they can top themselves with the next one. But I can’t wait to see it.

1. Death Stranding                   

Death Stranding is the game I needed when I needed it. It made me experience something I hadn’t in years. I understand and I am the first one to say it’s not for everyone, but for those that are looking for a different experience, look no further than Death Stranding. All the feelings and emotions you’re going to experience in just a simple delivery are incredible. The world is nothing short than amazing, the soundtracks are masterfully executed, and the gameplay is entertaining and fresh, with an exclusively cooperative multiplayer, where the rope is the means to connect a broken world. Death Stranding truly is, in my opinion, a masterpiece.

For more writing from Alberto on games of all types: