Alongside our staff-voted Game of the Year awards, each of our writers have crafted their own personal lists, covering their top five PlayStation 4 titles of 2019. Today, it's the turn of reviewer Jacob Hull.
Dialogue worth its merit is sometimes hard to find in video games, but this is an area where developer Night School Studio has to be one of the best in the biz. Afterparty’s gameplay might be rudimentary, but this stylish, violence-free experience offers some wonderfully witty writing, with excellent banter shared between its loveable protagonists. Couple this with a beautifully colourful aesthetic and a premise where you must outdrink Satan to escape from Hell, and Afterparty is a true original in a field of games that often struggle to stand out. Quite simply, Afterparty is a joy.
With the block creation tools of Minecraft, the cutesy farming simulation of Harvest Moon, and the exploration and puzzles of a light Legend of Zelda, Dragon Quest Builders 2 is perhaps the most fun I’ve had with any game this year. It’s also the most addictive. There’s always something that needs doing, be that a new toilet block for the burgeoning queue of inhabitants, a new field in which to plant those new seeds, or the construction of long-term projects, such as a palace for your bossy companion. On paper it sounds arduous; in reality it’s engrossing and nigh-on impossible to put down.
I’ve always been a big fan of rally games, going back all the way to the original Colin McRae game on PSOne. For my money, Dirt Rally 2.0 is the best rally game ever made, especially when you factor in all the extra rally events the developer’s plugged in through DLC since launch. Every car feels unique, every country looks and plays differently, and every terrain and weather change creates new demands. Dirt Rally 2.0 is a hard but extremely rewarding game, and with its constantly refreshed daily, weekly, and monthly events, it’s the one game this year that I keep coming back to.
For me, this is the best video game remake of all time. Capcom has done the seemingly impossible: delivered on a fan favourite title from decades ago that both feels familiar and also feels completely new. Both the original and remake can exist together. I loved every second of being back in the police station, and despite its short length, it was one of the best gaming weekends I’ve had this year. Capcom has set the standard for what we should expect of a remake, and now all eyes turn to Square Enix and what they will do with my favourite game of all time in 2020.
FromSoftware has spoiled me. Ever since I got hooked on its games with the original Dark Souls, all other action games have felt lacking. This studio has a formula for which it is famous, but Sekiro develops this in meaningful ways. This is a far more nimble action title that rewards quick thinking and tactical engagement. Perhaps unlike prior FromSoft games, there’s no shame in scoping out these vertically-minded environments to efficiently take out your enemies with stealth. It’s essential, and encouraged. And when combat calls, Sekiro is pure joy. Once you get to grips with it and you perfectly execute that parry, this game is to die for – literally, time after time.
Do you agree with Jacob's personal Game of the Year picks? Whatever your opinion, feed us your thoughts in the comments section below.