The end of 2019 is upon us, and that can only mean one thing: Game of the Year. As is tradition, we've all voted for our favourite Playstation 4 games of the last 12 months, and the ten titles with the most support have the honour of being featured in our illustrious Game of the Year 2019 list. Today, we'll be counting down from number 10 to number 6.
It might look like an old Mac game with its 1-bit visuals, but Return of the Obra Dinn stands up to any other modern titles from 2019. This is a superb puzzler in which you must decipher the identity and fate of dozens of crew members with limited information. The game’s excellent design means you’ll have to use real detective skills, putting together incomplete facts and making assumptions as you whittle down the list. Small vignettes paint the picture of every death, and you’ll be using these not only to fill out the record, but also to unravel the tragedy of the titular ship. It’s a remarkable game that not only makes you feel intelligent, but involves you in the trials and tribulations of the ill-fated crew. Weaving together story and gameplay in such a unique and engaging way, Obra Dinn is fully deserving of its place on our list.
9. Days Gone
There’s a je ne sais quoi to Deacon St. John’s debut that elevates far beyond the sum of its parts. On the surface this is an aged open world outing, with PlayStation 2-era cut-scene transitions and ropey gunplay. But look beyond its surface shortages and you’ll find an apocalyptic adventure with heart. Its survival aspects work well, and there’s clear care and attention been invested into Oregon as a whole. Sony’s Bend Studio may have been operating in the handheld ghetto for the past decade, but there’s evidence here that it’s ready to play with the big boys in Sony’s first-party stable.
8. Shenmue III
Shenmue III shouldn’t be on this list because, if we’re all honest with ourselves, it shouldn’t exist. This is not one of the best games of 2019, but its background is. Fans maintained hope for a continuation of Ryo Hazuki’s tale of revenge for an eye-watering 18 years, and the end-result is a release that feels like it’s stepped straight out of a time capsule. Decorated director Yu Suzuki stuck to the blueprint that made this legendary series a cult classic to begin with, and while its idiosyncrasies may befuddle casual onlookers, fans got exactly what they’d anticipated for the past two decades.
A truly, er, monstrous expansion, Monster Hunter World: Iceborne is a triumph. Better than most full price games released in 2019, Iceborne is one of Capcom's finest creations of the generation, bolstering an already gigantic action RPG with more of, well, everything. Building on what is already an outstanding gameplay loop, it pushes Monster Hunter World to even greater heights with incredible new creatures and a wealth of clever additions. A game that simply never stops giving while somehow maintaining a supreme level of quality across all that it does.
As soon as Judgment was announced, we knew that we were in for a treat. A Yakuza game where you play as a detective? Sign us up. Not only does Judgment boast one of the best stories of 2019, it's also got some of the coolest characters and combat scenarios. Despite its familiar gameplay, this is an engrossing adventure through the themes of crime and punishment. An obvious choice for fans of Yakuza, but even if you're not up to speed with SEGA's action RPG series, Judgment is still a blast from start to finish.
Do you agree with our Game of the Year 2019 list so far? Tell us about your own top ten in the comments section below. We'll be counting down our top five games of 2019 daily, so be sure to check back.
How we decide our Game of the Year: At the end of November, our editorial team creates a list of nominees for Game of the Year based on our own review scores and a number of other factors. After much discussion, we trim the list of nominees down and ask all Push Square staff to vote on their five favourites using a points-based system. The ten games with the most points by the designated deadline are our top ten PS4 titles of 2019. We then use this same order when writing about each game.