Though 2019 has been a rather slow year for game releases, that hasn’t affected the quality of the industry’s top AAA titles. We’ve almost reached the end of this year, and looking back reveals a long list of titles that have been an absolute delight to play. Regardless of platform – PS4, Xbox One, Switch, Stadia or PC — here’s a list of the top 11 AAA titles that 2019 has given us.
The Division 2
Developer: Massive Entertainment | Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PCTom Clancy’s The Division 2 is an exhilarating shared-world shooter that carries forward the refinement and intuitiveness from its prequel. All the action takes place in Washington, D.C and the recreation is quite accurate and enjoyable. Exploration is rewarded, and the open-world activities are dynamic without being repetitive. The campaign is nothing short of excellence, with captivating missions and immersive gunplay.
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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Developer: Infinity Ward | Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox OneCOD: Modern Warfare offers one of the best linear FPS experiences available on the market. Infinity Ward omitted the single-player campaign from Black Ops IV, and as someone who’s played every single COD campaign over the past 16 years, I can say that it was sorely missed. But Modern Warfare brings back the single-player campaign, with quite a bang.
The story mode offers a take on a war that’s unprecedented and uncut, displaying the real brutality and cruelty war brings. Unarmed civilians are caught in the crossfire, raising these issues on a global platform for us to consider. Fan-favourite character, John Price makes a return, bringing with him a wave of nostalgia from playing previous MW series games.
While the combat mechanics are fast-paced and erratic, the weapons arsenal at a player’s disposal is overwhelming. The multiplayer modes bring realism. The PS4-exclusive Survival is a serviceable horde mode that suffers from sudden difficulty spikes. The Spec Ops mode deserves special praise, and the maps are fun to explore with lots of locations to camp in.
Developer: 4A Games | Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PCWhile the Metro series has been an enormous success, Metro Exodus proves itself to be one of the best shooters of its franchise. The journey across Russian terrain is truly panic-inducing, and it hasn’t lost its charm after all these years.
The gameplay is intense and practically has you on high-alert, with the possibility of an imminent threat from virtually any direction. Detail levels are mind-blowing, and the range of campaign missions will have you hooked for hours.
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Developer: Remedy | Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC.Control is game focused primarily on paranormal forces, and activities. Filled with opportunities for ranged combat, the game encourages you to be in constant motion and use character abilities to their fullest extent.
Each character introduced in a story arc has a good foothold in the game’s diverse and expansive storyline, and that shows the effort Remedy put into providing a game with a complete story without plot-holes and redundant fallacies.
Side missions are of utmost importance, providing snippets of information required to comprehend the entirety of Control’s storyline. Overall, it suffices to say that Remedy hit the ball out of the park with Control.
Developer: Respawn | Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC With online battle royale games being all the rage now, Respawn felt the need to come up with their version of a squad-based battle royale. Apex Legends has a lot of similarities to the Titanfall series but retains originality in places that matter.
There are 11 different playable characters to choose from, and each comes with their abilities and skills. Choosing one and specialising in a play style is intuitive and easy to do, aided by a large map with lots of locations requiring the use of tactical skill.
The ping based communication system and intense combat dynamics make it a thoroughly enjoyable experience, even if played with a random squad.
Developer: Gearbox | Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC, StadiaBorderlands 3 is a no-nonsense co-op FPS, that doesn’t distract players from the primary storyline. Instead, it excels in the weaponry department, offering players with a range of options they can explore and enjoy.
Attention to detail is quite respectable, ensuring the 30-hour campaign doesn’t feel redundant, even though it is replayable. Trading loot at will without worrying about platform compatibility and limitations makes Borderlands 3 one of the best looter shooters available right now.
Developer: The Coalition | Platform: Xbox One, PCGears 5 improves upon the legacy of its predecessors, being energetic and action-packed. The Coalition didn’t fix what wasn’t broken, ensuring the character-focused gameplay is as enjoyable and entertaining as it ever was.
While the campaign mode is quite excellent, Gears 5 shines when it comes to multiplayer options. Choose from Horde, Versus, Versus Arcade and Escape, and the gameplay within each of these modes is exhilarating and keeps you at the edge of your seat.
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Mortal Kombat 11
Developer: NetherRealm | Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PCMortal Kombat 11 has an exceptionally intuitive control system, making it easy for beginners as well as seasoned veterans of the franchise to pull off the infamous Fatalities. Character customisability is something that NetherRealm is proud of, providing almost 60 skins, 90 pieces of customisable gear, and a selection of 10 techniques to add on for each playable character.
The story mode is quite similar to what MKX offered, but it is enjoyable, nonetheless. Johnny Cage’s humour and cutscenes involving Kronika steal the show. The online mode is another strong point, with combat sequences in PvP battles experiencing little to no lag at all. Ranked matches are incredibly challenging, while King of the Hill requires mastery of controls to be the best of them all.
Resident Evil 2 Remake
Developer: Capcom | Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC The 1996 version of Resident Evil 2 set the standard for the horror genre and was quite popular with fans of the franchise. Capcom wanted to recreate that success, with a remake that makes the game look, sound and play like a game from 2019. With the undead running amok in Raccoon City, players need to fight to survive.
Resources are scant, and strategy is paramount to survive this world. The game is welcoming regardless of whether you’re a newbie to the RE franchise or a returning fan. The undead zombies are some of the best in the business, with a horde mentality and gunfire makes them fall apart with a certain grace that’s unmatched by the competition.
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Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Developer: Respawn Entertainment | Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC It’s time for Star Wars fans worldwide to rejoice, because for far too long have we been denied the pleasure of a well-made and story-driven Star Wars game. Jedi: Fallen Order comes as salvation to all those disappointed by the Battlefront series, and Respawn has made it a point to mirror the source material in the best possible way.
Lightsaber animations are to die for, with an exceptional level of detail to aesthetic appeal. The campaign mode is a dark and cloudy affair, while combat stays true to the Star Wars mechanics. Overall, this enigmatic and diverse game is what Star Wars fans deserved in the first place, and now that it’s here, “May the Force be with you”.
Pokemon Sword and Shield
Developer: Game Freak | Platform: SwitchPokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield carry forward the evergreen and lovable RPG mechanics from the previous iterations of the Pokemon series but bring some much-needed changes. The fast-travel system is gone, giving way to exciting new services like the Rotom Bike and Corviknight Taxi service.
Wild Pokemon encounters have been improved upon, making the experience livelier and relatable. Wild Pokemon inhabit the overworld, fixing the redundancy in Pokemon games over the last decade. Bigger areas, bigger Pokemon and exciting options make this game the Pokemon RPG many fans have wanted for a long while. The challenges each gym offer are wholly unique and memorable.