12 Best PC Games You Had To Play In 2019

12 Best PC Games You Had To Play In 2019


Hello and welcome to Rock Paper Shotgun. As the weather outside gets frosty, we take
this opportunity to sink into a warm bath and remember all the great games we’ve played
this year. It’s been a busy twelve months, so we’ve
limited each member of the Rock Paper Shotgun video department – that’s me, Alice and
Astrid – to four games each, and a bunch of highly recommended picks at the end. They’re not in any order – they are just
games we personally adored. Hopefully you’d have a good time with any
of them. A quick plug for Displate, whose metal posters
feature designs from many of these games – visit our store in the description for some of the
best. And why not share your top ten PC games of
2019 in the comments. And we’d love it if you subscribed to Rock
Paper Shotgun. If you do subscribe we share a nice toasted
marshmallow with you; and if you don’t, you’ll be the toasted marshmallow. Now onwards! If you had told me that the first game I played
in 2019 would end being one of the best of the year, I would have said you were pulling
my leg. Or shooting off my leg. And then the other leg. And then my arm. And my head. Yes: it’s Resident Evil 2, which spoke to
my inner 13 year old with its total disregard for limbs; and then scared the living piss
out of my outer 34 year old with the slow stomping horror of Mr X. Okay, so the creepy
giant in the flasher mac is slightly diminished when you discover his weakness to sofas, but
for the most part this was a relentless chase down memory lane. Aside from the stunning visual makeover, this
remake’s smartest move was to give Racoon City a memory: zombies can be knocked down
easily enough, but remain a threat on future trips, forcing you to weigh up every journey
and pray to land a headshot with every bullet. Or just force them onto this new grenade diet
that health blogs have been talking about – just pop one in the mouth and lose half
your body fat in a second. If 2020’s Resident Evil 3 remake is half
as good as this, we are in for a treat. Rats, kids, and the Inquisition. I wasn’t expecting to love a game about
all of these things as much as I did. I mean, I like rats in real life, but then
rats in real life don’t tend to do stuff like this: INSERT CLIP OF HORRIBLE RAT DEATH. To be fair to Plague Tale’s rattos, they’re
not actively evil, just very enthusiastic about eating, a habit you can put to good
use as you use them as a weapon against the inquisition. Using light and shadow to shepherd rats towards
these religious meat mountains is one of 2019’s gooiest treats. Alright, sometimes they were Plain Bad, and
would eat either our hero, Amicia, her small brother Hugo, or any of their rag tag allies
they meet along their journey, from the ground up. Feet first. Imagine that death. That pain. Eeesh. I expect my boss Matthew will also ask me
to reference that disgusting bit where the rats all burst and bleed out of that dead
horse so here you go. I hope you aren’t watching this after Christmas
dinner. I won’t lie to you, I’m not a big fan of
kids and I especially dislike escort missions with annoying children. So imagine my surprise when I ended up loving
a game that is 80% escort mission. Hugo is a little cutie really, and he should
be protected at all costs. So I’m glad I did my best for him. Even if he did get eaten from the ground up
a few times. Control is as strange as it is gorgeous. As Jesse Faden, the newly-declared Director
of the Federal Bureau of Control, you’re clearing out the Hiss – an otherworldly force
that has come to our planet to glue middle management to the ceiling. Really, it’s just an excuse to explore the
shifting Brutalist hallways of The Oldest House where you find visually breathtaking
and spatially incomprehensible sights, like the Hotline Chamber suspended in an ominous
sphere like Cerebro in the X-Men, the endless stretching void of the Firebreaks between
Oldest House sectors, and the inverted black pyramid of The Board that forever looms over
you in the isolating white expanse of the Astral Plane. Everything in Control feels like an uncomfortable
and abstract dream. The people you meet are as distant as they
are aware, rooms and hallways will shift and distort when you’re not looking, and the
monotone colour palette of The Oldest House becomes drenched in thick bellows of stark
blue and red light in places where the Hiss has taken hold. The game itself is a relatively standard third-person
shooter with some cool powers thrown in, like telekinesis which tears chunks of concrete
out of the architecture that you use as deadly projectiles, and a lightning-fast dash to
dodge enemy attacks and clear large distances. It’s a stunning blend of cosmic mystery
and extreme violence against office furniture. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Or as I like to call it: Sekiro: Shadows Die
856 Times. Much more than Dark Souls in a ninja outfit,
FromSoftware’s trip to feudal Japan strips away a lot of the RPG meat to focus the action
on the precise moment that sword meets sword. It’s an absolutely ferocious combat system
built around breaking your enemy’s posture with quick chops and even quicker parries. Yes, you can use your ninja skills to grapple
away to safety or even start with a stealth blow to gain the advantage, but at the end
of the day there’s no escaping the fact that the game’s nastiest horrors need to
be faced face on and close up if you’re going to stagger and pop their arteries like
a bottle of bloody champagne. Also deserving of a special mention on PC
for it’s beautiful optimisation – giving slick performance on even the more humble
machines, which, given Dark Souls shaky track record on PC, is a step in the right direction. Oh and two special shout outs: one to screaming
hang glider guy for this year’s best gaming entrance… and another to the giant chickens,
for being the one enemy that didn’t humiliate me again and again. Of course, if you prefer your animals live
and kicking, Alice’s next pick might be better for you… I love animals. That won’t surprise our regular viewers – but
if it does, I love animals. And I loved Planet Coaster, so Planet Zoo
has been on my radar since it was announced, and it didn’t disappoint. Sure, I have a tiny problem of inbreeding
red pandas – but if your species was going extinct you’d be less picky on dating apps,
too. Aside from that I’m doing ok. My zoo is even home to an albino zebra. As amazing as it is to see the animals stroll
around, make friends, and have babies, I mostly keep my game paused, if I’m being totally
honest. I prefer building, and making my enclosures
the best they can be. Unpausing is stressful. I like learning about the animals, and I think
the vast expanse of knowledge and love that’s gone into this game is absolutely phenomenal. Just like Planet Coaster before it, there’s
clear expert knowledge in every inch of this game. And better yet – it shares it with you. Planet Zoo encourages you to learn, helps
you understand things about animals you probably never would have learned. But the worst bit of it all is, it encourages
you to get rid of your animals, for conservation’s sake. I suppose it would also solve my inbreeding
problems but they are just sooooo cute. Metro Exodus removes you from the claustrophobic
and oppressive series mainstay of the Moscow Metro system and plonks you on a great big
sodding steam train as you chug it across the Eastern European wasteland, through the
frosty swamplands of the Volga, the sandy craters of the now-dry Caspian Sea, and the
forested, communist summer camp of the Taiga. But it never loses a feeling of desperation,
or a sense of dread, or even that familiar claustrophobia the previous games are best
known for. It just supplements that all with an overarching
current of hope. Metro Exodus is dire at many times throughout
its duration. It shows you, through the faces you meet as
you journey on the railways across the wastes, that people can still be monsters. At times, it’s still able to plunge you
into suffocating bunkers and corridors, and even make use of the) vast spaces of its open-world
areas to make you feel isolated. It also, somehow, manages to incorporate survival
mechanics in a way that doesn’t make it f**king unbearable, which it gets major, major
kudos for. Oh, and it has a sniper rifle so meaty that
shots I took back in March are still reverberating now. Delicious. Outer Wilds is one of the best adventures
I’ve ever had. Technically, it’s one of the shortest: no
sooner have you taken off the universe decides to explode. But a handy 20 minute time loop gives you
a chance to try and fix it, by dashing round the solar system, harvesting information that’ll
hopefully help you in your next life. I like to describe it as a Metroidvania, but
instead of collecting upgrades to get further, you’re collecting facts: these might be
clues about where to head next or local gossip about how to survive giant nightmare fish
or a world that’s 99% hurricane. In time you get to know this cluster of planets
in intimate detail: where you need to be at what time to achieve a certain outcome, or
how ancient alien tech can be turned to your advantage to finally pull ahead of your sticky
fate. But as smart as it is, it also never forgets
the importance of simple wonder: of planets slowly being gobbled up by black holes, or
deserts sucked from one planet to the next by gravitational pull, or the magic of a haunting
melody heard across the depths of space. This isn’t just a world you get to know
inside out; it’s a world you’ll want to know inside out. It’s not just my personal game of the year,
but one of the greatest of any years. Disco Elysium is a game about an alcoholic
cop picking up the pieces of his shattered psyche, apologising to those he’s wronged
as he trudges along, all while trying to solve a murder. Or, it’s about a detective with a radical
socialist view of the world that perhaps contradicts his profession, trying to find out how a man
died while spreading the word of the late Communist philosopher Kras Mazov. Or, it’s the tale of a drug-binging superstar
with disco trousers on a quest to find the perfect karaoke ballad. Perhaps developers ZA/UM put it best: in many
ways, Disco Elysium is a personality test. Disco Elysium is introspective to the max. Its world, ravaged by a failed revolution
and barely held together by gaffa tape made of violence and narcotics, is awe-inspiring,
but some of the most fascinating parts of the game are the conversations you have with
your skills inside your own head. It’s dark, funny, existential, and it has
a wealth of things to say about the human condition and about the world. You can also stuff a three-day-old corpse
into a giant freezer that looks like an evil polar bear, and spin-kick a racist, if all
that didn’t already convince you to give it a go. I was not expecting a game like Tangle Tower
to make it into my top 5 games of the year – I haven’t played many point and click adventures,
and I don’t gravitate towards detective games. To be honest, Astrid and Matthew have mentioned
a few of my other favourites, like Control and The Outer Wilds, but Tangle Tower was
such a pleasant surprise I had to include it. Everything about it is charming. Detective Grimoire and his sidekick Sally
deliver entertaining bickering that’s incredibly well voiced. In fact, for a small indie team, the production
values – the art, music and animation – is amazing throughout. Unravelling a murder mystery is fun too, as
the game blends the deduction of a whodunnit with more hands-on puzzles that you might
expect from a Professor Layton game. The way you build accusations as sentences
is such a good way of getting us to think like detectives. Tangle Tower really felt quite like a comfortable
place to be in after a while, if you ignore all the murder and death and shady alibies. I’m now going to have to go back through
the SFB back catalogue and do some catching up with Grimoire. I nor any other human being on the planet
knows what it’s like to be inside the head of a gorilla. But, if I’d hazard a guess, then I think
my grabby, smashy, galumphing existence probably would be accompanied by a procedurally-generated
free jazz drum solo soundtrack. Ape Out has been compared quite a bit to Hotline
Miami. It’s got a top-down perspective, twin-stick
controls, fast-paced and violent room clearing, and quite a simple–but striking–artstyle. In a lot of ways, that balls-to-the-wall ultraviolent
speedrunning is here too. But Ape Out is even simpler than that, with
stark primary colours, very basic environments, and only four controller inputs: move, aim,
grab, and YEET. It’s simplicity with a purpose, though. Two, in fact: the first being it makes the
game immediately quite easy to grasp for those who have only feverishly sampled twin-stick
games, and the second being that it ensures the genuinely quite brilliant simulated jazz
drummer’s reactionary and freestyle beats at the forefront of the experience, as the
vinyl album presentation suggests it should be. Ape Out would still be bloody buckets full
of fun without this music, but with it, the game becomes something truly special. Red Dead Redemption 2 takes the awkward honour
of being one of my favourite games of the year and one of my least favourite game launches
of the year. What a shame to see this incredible landscape
gated behind a launcher that did anything but launch the game and an online mode where
you were more likely to be robbed by a server hiccup than another player. Look past that though, and this a trip of
virtual WestWorld – a playground that lets you enjoy violent delights, but is also happy
for you to observe everyday life: pat a dog, feed a horse a carrot, make snow angels in
the mud using corpses, or just enjoy the warm glow of the campfire. Sorry, I can’t get enough of that clip.. As a huge fan of western movies, I love the
feeling of trying to create my own adventure and seeing how far I get – hopping on a train,
plugging the driver, going for a joyride and then getting rid of any unwanted passengers. For me, this will always be better than the
scripted missions, and is sure to keep me playing well into 2020. Well, as long as I avoid any more barbeque
disasters. What do you mean The Sims 4 doesn’t go on
this list? It bloody well does. I play The Sims 4 more than any other game
year on year. I go through phases of loving it dearly to
absolutely not being able to look at it for a few months. And, yes, The Sims 4 may have come out five
years ago now, but there have been some amazing developments this year. For example: we finally got our university
expansion! Yeah, ok, The Sims 2’s University expansion
was its first expansion, but Discover University is only the Sims 4’s 8th expansion, so… Uh. It was highly anticipated, let’s put it
that way. And it hasn’t disappointed. Between that, Strangerville, Realm of Magic,
and Island Living, we’ve been pretty spoiled for choice with this year’s Expansion and
Game packs – and the really not highly anticipated Moschino stuff pack wasn’t even that disappointing! It has some really amazing windows. Nice one, The Sims 4. Over the years I’ve become more of a builder,
so the recent updates of being able to put in twisty staircases, and using loads of previously
inaccessible set design have been absolutely chef kiss this year. The builds you can make are out of this world,
and thanks to Discover University we can now have NPC roommates, which means building terraced
houses is finally a thing that can happen! But really, nothing beats the highlight that
is Casters Alley, and the whole of the Magic Realm, to be honest. Of course, these were only a fraction of the
awesome games we played this year, so here’s a lightning fast rundown of other gems we
enjoyed… Inspired by cult favourite Valkyrie Profile,
Indivisible is part brawler, part turn-based RPG: it’s all about unleashing moves to
combo enemies into oblivion, but the huge range of characters and movesets available
gives you so much room for experimentation. A treat. Blasphemous is Castlevania with severe Catholic
guilt: as a man with a hat full of blood chops and climbs through a nightmare landscape where
he’s attacked by some of freakiest bosses we’ve seen in years and, er, giant incense
burners. It’s gory, it’s gooey, it’s great! Flotsam is Waterworld: The Management Game,
and has been keeping Alice busy in its early access form. The world is wet and it’s up to you to rebuild
society from the trash you pluck from the ocean. Good to get in some early practice before
it happens to us for real. Devil May Cry 5 is the only game that let
me ride my own rocket arm as a surfboard, which should really put it at the top of my
list. Man alive, was this a cool game – whether
mastering the sublime combat styles of Dante, or just mashing demons with giant shadow pets. An indie passion project, Horace looks like
a 16-bit throwback but throbs with modern ideas as a lonely robot embarks on a trash
collecting adventure that is full of retro minigames, some brutal platforming challenges
and one of the year’s best soundtracks. Gears 5 was another big surprise this year:
a really inventive campaign that found constant new twists on hiding behind cover as you explored
deserts and ice fields, and gave your robot pal instructions to fry anyone who came close. Absolutely gorgeous too. In They Came From A Communist Planet you play
as a citizen incited to revolution by Communist aliens and get down bringing down your oppressors
one bit of graffiti at a time. Our resident revolutionary Astrid loves it,
and even I, resident Centrist Dad, admit to tapping my toe to its banging soundtrack. And those are just some of the games we’ve
loved in 2019. Thanks for sticking with the list all the
way to the end. As a little bonus for all of you made to the
end, here’s a bonus video of my dumb cat trying to rub its head on my hand through
glass: If you enjoyed this video, you can support
the channel through our Displate store – please do use the link to check out our personal
picks. There’s over half a million designs and
Displate’s unique metal posters are built to last and use a magnet mounting system that
doesn’t involve drilling into your walls with power tools. Which is always good. And not only will you be supporting the channel
but you’ll be supporting the environment – for every Displate sold, a tree gets planted. Finally, I’d love to hear your top games
of 2019 in the comments – go on, give us your lists of top five or ten. Then we can see how much you all disagree
with us. It’ll be fun. I really hope you’ll join us in 2020 to
watch more wonderful PC games – we’ve been having loads of fun on the channel in 2019
and we’d love for you to subscribe and join us for more. Hopefully see you soon. Bye for now!

26 thoughts on “12 Best PC Games You Had To Play In 2019”

  1. I like how you start your 12 best PC games video with the Outer Wilds soundtrack 😛

    I also really like the Outer Wilds in general so thumbs up really.

  2. Nice list! So far, my favorite games of 2019
    – Metro Exodus
    – RE2 Remake
    – Black Mesa Xen
    – Gears 5
    – Terminator Resistance
    – The Outer Worlds
    – Halo Reach
    – Disco Elysium
    – My Friend Pedro

  3. Outer Wilds is the best game I've played in years. I think I bought immediately after watching Mathew's review or hearing about it on the electronic wireless show (whatever happened to that?). What a lovely game, I still find myself randomly whistling the main tune sometimes.

  4. Disco Elysium,Sekiro,Mortal Kombat 11,Outer Worlds and Jedi:Fallen Order(bonus Gears 5) my favourite games.2019 is excellent year for Pc gaming.I hope 2020 will be better.

  5. My list:

    Factorio – Okay, technically early access and launched a few years ago but still my favourite game of all time and a 2020 release date now announced.
    Disco Elyssium – Do I need to say why?
    Wilmot's Warehouse – Very simple idea, but really well executed and a sort of open-ended puzzling that I've realised is very appealing to me.
    Autonauts – Very clever take on management/building similar to Factorio but with an added simultaneously smart and simple programming system.
    Observation – Increadible atmosphere that really creeped my out.
    Untitled Goose Game – The goose and the English village House House created are more of a success than the actual puzzle gameplay, but those were enough to win me over.
    Red Dead 2 – Feels like cheating having played it through on X-Box last year, but I think I'm actually enjoying it more in the replay. It looks gorgeous and knowing what happens already is letting me balance/pace the story and other stuff in a much more satisfying way.

    These I've been enjoying but confess I've not played enough to have definitive feeling on (I have so little time :().

    Outer Wilds – Seems as good as everyone says so far.
    Control – Have been really loving the atmosphere, but I struggled a bit with the combat (ironically I found the keyboard controls kinda horrible, requiring some uncomfortable finger gymnastics).
    Manifold Garden – I've literally just started as it only released, but so far it's wow.

  6. That disrespectful talk about a "stupid" cat earned you your 5th dislike for this (otherwise not bad at all) vidya! : o

  7. Thanks for all the awesome videos over the year. You're not getting the views you deserve, but I hope it doesn't mean you will stop being great in 2020!

  8. Disco Elysium, Sekiro, Outer Wilds, Baba Is You, Fire Emblem 3 Houses (not on PC), Resident Evil 2, Observation. Bunch of cool games this year. Haven’t played the Star Wars game which seems to be alright, but it was birthed from the unholy union between EA and Disney so it’s tainted by original sin.

  9. I'm happy to see A Plague Tale and Control represented here! These were two great games that kind of came out of nowhere and delivered a focused, 10-11 hour single-player experience with a strong narrative. It's great when games without a whole lot of marketing hype can receive some much-needed recognition during awards season.

  10. 1. Total War Three Kingdoms
    2. Red Dead Redemption 2

    The rest are just formulaic rehashes of old ideas, or had some personal dealbreaker I could not get past.

  11. I like how you actually took different games even maybe thro I maybe don’t like the zoo game (example) it still was good. Then it feel like you actually take what you like

  12. ooooooohhhhh! I'm so happy to see Tangletower in a best of list. It's such a charming adventure and it's earned some more recognition.

  13. What a great list and year for games! Very nice video with calm voices, reminds me of the old school gaming channels that existed on TV. Well done RPS!

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