OnlySP is proud to present the winners of our Best of 2019 ceremony. Check out the winners of the technical awards here, and our winner of Best Game here.

Best Action Game

Challenge, precision, and objective-based gameplay are often qualities that define an action game. In 2019, there were a plethora of titles that displayed these qualities, and the category of Best Action Game seeks to honour the best of them.

  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  • Gears 5
  • Kingdom Hearts III
  • Resident Evil 2
  • The Outer Worlds

Modern Warfare is a great start for a revival of the sub-franchise, hopefully continuing to push the envelope with its dark tone of realistic warfare. The narrative pulls on the heartstrings of the player to tell a story of why war today is so much more convoluted than it used to be. Some think it is the best in the series, but none can deny that it is OnlySP’s Best Action Game of 2019.

Best Adventure Game

Adventure games share many features with action games, albeit with a stronger emphasis on puzzle-solving. Here are the nominees for Best Adventure Game:

  • Afterparty
  • AI: The Somnium Files
  • Life is Strange 2
  • The Long Return
  • Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair

At the crux of Life is Strange 2 is the central theme of family, and it is what makes it a special game. Like the first game, there is joy and sadness, frustration, anger, and hope, but for entirely different reasons. A good sequel retains the flavour of the original while taking it in a new, rich, and interesting direction—that is exactly what Life is Strange 2 accomplishes, and is exactly why it is so deserving of this award.

Best Action-Adventure Game

Taking elements from both the action and adventure genres, action-adventure games are some of the most popular within the industry. In recent years, action-adventure games have become almost synonymous with the triple-A space within the industry.

  • A Plague Tale: Innocence
  • Control
  • Death Stranding
  • Devil May Cry 5
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Devil May Cry 5 does so many things right: the engrossing narrative, the understated integration of online elements, and, most prominently, the stunning amount of variety in the combat mechanics. Devil May Cry 5 is truly something special, and very deserving of this award.

Best Role-Playing Game

The role-playing genre is one of the oldest, and most influential within the video game industry. By allowing players to fully immerse themselves within a role; exploring a well-defined world, and accomplishing tasks via their own agency, it’s no surprise how many titles considered to be some of the greatest games of all time are RPGs. In 2019, we saw a return to form for many franchises, while new experiences took the world by storm.

  • Borderlands 3
  • Disco Elysium
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses
  • GreedFall
  • Pokémon Sword and Shield
  • The Outer Worlds

What feels like a return to form for many RPG fans, Obsidian’s latest title showcases the developer at its best. The Outer Worlds provides players with a stellar role-playing experience, combined with top-of-the-line industry writing, all complete in a package that feels very familiar, yet refreshing at the same time. The Outer Worlds contains an experience that everyone can enjoy, veterans and first-timers alike.

Best Platform/Puzzle Game

Both platforming and puzzle genres have the unique ability to contain gameplay that is simultaneously simple, yet intense. These two genres are about accomplishing tasks while avoiding obstacles that seek to hinder one’s progression or halt it altogether. Despite their simplistic nature, some games feature exhilarating moments that will remain with the player for years to come.

  • Degrees of Separation
  • Katana Zero
  • My Friend Pedro
  • Super Mario Maker 2
  • Untitled Goose Game
  • Yoshi’s Crafted World

My Friend Pedro is worth every cent. Players are indulged with unique mechanics that are both clever and fun, allowing the creation of violent visual masterpieces. Every element of the game, from the art to the story, work together in harmony to create something magical. If players want to sit back and enjoy some senseless fun, then My Friend Pedro is a much-needed addition to any gaming library.

Best Strategy Game

Strategy games, by nature, require strategic thinking from players in order to accomplish difficult tasks of wit and skill. The genre found success and popularity in 2019 due to the introduction of many top-tier entries.

  • Anno 1800
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses
  • John Wick Hex
  • Phoenix Point
  • Tropico 6

While being one of the Nintendo Switch’s most anticipated titles, the Fire Emblem franchise has always found success within a smaller audience. All of that changed with Fire Emblem: Three Houses, as the title reached new heights on the Nintendo Switch, becoming one of the best-selling Fire Emblem’s in only three months on the market. Fire Emblem: Three Houses also brought many newcomers to the franchise, creating an experience that upheld the series’ core gameplay, while offering up a title that can be enjoyed by everyone.

Best Sports/Racing Game

The sport and racing genres are veterans within the industry. With each passing year, we see developers pour their heart into their craft to continuously innovate and improve on the quality of product released in past years. Developing a sport or racing title is no small feat, and thus recognizing their talent is a must.

  • Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled
  • Dangerous Driving
  • GRID
  • Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
  • Team Sonic Racing

Where some developers might exercise caution when making a cart racer in 2019, Beenox and Activision felt like it was time to resurrect an old favourite. By challenging the popular conventions of its predecessors, Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled provides a cart racing experience that is refreshing to fans of the genre. By combining two different Crash racing experiences, Nitro-Fueled solidified itself on our podium of champions.

Best Fighting Game

There are few video game communities as passionate as the fighting community, and their passion is reflected in its games. There was a variety of titles released in 2019 that showcased their own style of fighting, providing an experience that anyone can enjoy.

  • Crystal Crisis
  • Dead or Alive 6
  • Jump Force
  • Mortal Kombat 11
  • Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid
  • Samurai Shodown

Mortal Kombat 11 continues the trends set by its predecessor, while improving on the finer details to perfect its gameplay. The level of customizability within Mortal Kombat 11 is unrivalled by most other fighters, with a cohesive story to boot. NetherRealm Studios continues to showcase why they’re one of the best in the industry when it comes to developing a fighting game.

Best Remake/Remaster

With the evolution of technology being an ongoing focal point of the video game industry, there are always some titles that should be remembered despite their aged existence. By offering the remake/remaster treatment to these titles, they have been given a second chance to shine again, and impress audiences new and old. As video game technology improves, the result of these remakes/remasters are truly incredible and should be celebrated as such.

  • Catherine: Full Body
  • Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled
  • Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition
  • Resident Evil 2
  • The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

A proper remake of the beloved Resident Evil 2 has been something fans have requested for years. In late 2018, Capcom surprised everyone with the announcement that Resident Evil 2 would be getting the full remake treatment, with its official release only a few months later. The title itself didn’t disappoint, as Capcom was praised for its true-to-form rendition of the original experience. Despite altering some gameplay features to align with modern gaming technology, Capcom reignited an old flame in Resident Evil 2, and seek to continue its success with the upcoming remake of Resident Evil 3.

Best Multiplayer

OnlySP recognizes that single-player games aren’t the only available option within the industry to enjoy. In fact, we are sometimes guilty of participating in jolly cooperation every now and then. The award for Best Multiplayer Integration is for a game in 2019 that features a unique multiplayer mode alongside a strong single-player offering.

  • Apex Legends
  • Borderlands 3
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  • Death Stranding
  • Luigi’s Mansion 3
  • World War Z

Despite never actually interacting with another player online, Death Stranding’s implementation of multiplayer is one of the most unique methods, seamlessly bridging the distance in player experience. Hideo Kojima sought to reconnect a broken society through Death Stranding, and by encouraging positivity during dark times, he accomplishes that vision. Whether it is offering up valued resources to contribute towards the construction of a road shared between players, or leaving behind crafted items for others to collect and utilize, Death Stranding’s multiplayer is about valuing the needs of strangers. By acting selfless and contributing to the environment around you, Death Stranding rewards players with gratification as you lessen the suffering of others.

Best VR Game

Virtual reality is now a staple among the industry, and 2019 saw even more advancements in the field.

  • Blood & Truth
  • Concrete Genie
  • Doctor Who: The Edge of Time
  • Golem
  • Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot

Though not entirely playable in virtual reality, Concrete Genie’s VR takes full advantage of the PlayStation VR’s technology to create something beautiful and magical. The concept itself may not be entirely new or unique, but the execution makes Concrete Genie one of the best games to experience in virtual reality to date.

Best Early Access Debut

The lead up to releasing a game can induce painful amounts of stress, so putting the game out for the world to see before it becomes a finished product can be even more intimidating. Still, a select few early access games in 2019 made an incredible impact, even in their early stages.

  • Bright Memory
  • POSTAL 4: No Regerts
  • Risk of Rain 2
  • Session
  • Shattered: Tale of the Forgotten King

Shattered: Tale of the Forgotten King puts players in the middle of a relentlessly bleak world, and even in early access the project has focus that can’t be ignored. Using its influences as a point to grow from, what Redlock Studios has done thus far with its challenging gameplay is nothing short of impressive.

Most Promising Crowdfunding Success

Convincing players they should invest in something they can’t play yet can be difficult. Yet, the past decade of gaming has seen an army of indie developers rising up to promise fans a world of unique games that can only come to be without the restraints of a larger company. Sites like Kickstarter and Fig have given small-name studios the chance to showcase game concepts to fans, making 2019 poised to produce plenty of solid new additions to the ever-growing list of promising crowdfunding successes.

  • Afterlight
  • Away: The Survival Series
  • Chernobylite
  • Chorus: An Adventure Musical
  • Dreamscaper
  • Prodeus

The premise teased so far makes Chorus: An Adventure Musical a strong enough contender already, so, once you consider the incredible talent backing this musically entwined video game, it’s almost impossible not get excited. Little room remains for firsts in any given medium, yet Chorus seems dead set on putting on gaming’s first musical adventure. Having already exceeded its Fig goal, this title should absolutely be on your radar, and, if it isn’t already, there is no doubt the developers will share something to grab your attention before release.

Check out a quick message from Summerfall Studios in the message above.

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OnlySP Staff
Single-player games coverage. Every day.

OnlySP Best of 2019 Winners — Technical Achievement (Best Developer, Narrative, Original Score, Performer)

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