I’ll be honest that making this top 5 was easier than I thought it would be. I literally took a post it note, opened the “2019 in video gaming” Wikipedia page, wrote down the 8 games that I actually give a shit about, and ranked them in less than 30 seconds. That right there boys is fucking gaming knowledge. I have zero doubt that any of the games I included in my top 5 will be great. In fact, I’ll make a bet with my readers right now: I bet that every one of the top 5 games I highlighted in this weekly ranked will get an 80 or higher on Metacritic (score to be checked 1 week after release), or I have to play and stream a fan-voted game until I beat it. Follow along on Twitter for updates to this bet (@UnfilteredNerd).
In no particular order, here’s the titles that just missed the cut (and why):
Jedi: Fallen Order
This game has everything I would want in a Star Wars game. It’s got a strong lead actor in Cameron Monaghan. It’s got smarter lightsaber and force power mechanics than any previous Star Wars title, where I always felt I was just mashing a button and slashing at the air 80% of the time. And finally, it’s got a proven developer in Respawn Entertainment. So why isn’t it in my top 5? I’ll be honest if you had asked me about 3 months ago what my top 5 were it would have made the cut. But then I remembered that EA sucks anus and I have zero faith that they will be able to pull this off. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Respawn Entertainment, but their performance at EA Play was very bland, and you can tell that the EA executives are in their ear whispering sweet nothings like “where’s the micro-transactions”, “that’s cool but add loot boxes that change the lightsaber colors”, or “this game looks awesome but why isn’t it more like Fortnite”. Here’s hoping that I’m very, very, very wrong.
There is almost no reason not to be excited about this game. First off, it’s been hyped up for almost 3 years, with nothing other than Norman Reedus’s face, a bunch of ghost soldiers led by Mads Mikkelsen, and a baby in a jar. That’s pretty impressive. Oh, and it’s being made by the studio and director behind the Metal Gear franchise (all entries). Those games are absolutely phenomenal. So why isn’t it included on my top 5? Well, for starters, I don’t own a fucking PlayStation because someone stapled my nutsack to Microsoft and I’ll never be free (fuck you friends list). But I also am not sure how well this will be executed due to the circumstances surrounding its development. Before Death Stranding was teased, Hideo Kojima was working on the cancelled Silent Hills, also starring Norman Reedus (petition to just change his name to Daryl?). They even released a critically acclaimed playable trailer (P.T.), which has had a heavy influence on modern horror games. But due to conflicts between Konami and Kojima’s studio, the game was eventually canceled, and Kojima left Konami with his team and started his own studio. Here’s my point: is Kojima one of the greatest game makers of all time? Without a doubt. But we have absolutely no clue how well he is going to form his own studio, start a game of this size and intricacy, and deliver in a three year window. I still believe it’s going to be a great game, but I’m keeping my expectations rather low (around 75 on Metacritic).
Luigi’s Mansion 3
I have a soft spot for first party Nintendo exclusives. I grew up on Nintendo consoles; from SNES to GBA to GameCube and finally Wii. Every single console just had hit after hit, each making a mark on the industry. Take a second to think about that level of consistency: Nintendo has been making excellent games since the mid 80s, and is still one of the leaders in gaming as we head into the 2020s. So when they announce a first party exclusive featuring one of their star characters, you should be rather excited to play it right? I am…well, sort of. I’ve never played a Luigi’s Mansion game. I heard the Gamecube entry was “meh”, but the 3DS entry was great. The E3 presentation sold the title on me more than anything, but I’m still a little hesitant. I’ll play it for sure, but I’m not sure it’s going to be at the same level as say Super Mario Odyssey. Also, I would be more optimistic if this was Nintendo’s only big release this holiday season, which would show that they are putting most of their effort into the title. But with Pokemon Sword and Shield also coming out in late 2019, I’m skeptical that Luigi’s Mansion 3 will be able to boost the franchise from spin-off to main franchise.