2019 wasn't a good year for gaming

Is it just me, or has 2019 been a pretty mediocre, or even a bad year for gaming?

I’ve been thinking and preparing for our annual end of the year GOTY awards, and have been reflecting over the past year of games. There hasn’t been that many massive games to come out this year. Even at E3 this year, nothing that exciting was shown and announced that released this year, and with the holiday season fast approaching, there are very little to really get excited about. Even looking at Metacritic scores seems to be much higher last year than so far in 2019

In 2019 the heavy hitters have been:
Sekiro:Shadows Die Twice, Resident Evil 2, Borderlands 3, The Division 2, Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Apex Legends, Kingdom Hearts 3, Metro Exodus, Anthem, Control, Super Mario Maker 2, Far Cry New Dawn, F1 2019
Some indie darling games have stolen the limelight this year, games like:
Untitled Goose Game, Outer Worlds, Katana Zero, Void Bastards, Astral Chain

Looking at those lists, while there are standout gems, it is not the most exciting list of games to come out within a year, and for the rest of 2019 we can look forward to really only a handful of potentially exciting titles, such as:
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen, Death Stranding, Call of Duty Modern Warfare, Shenmu 3, Pokemon Sword and Shied and that’s pretty much it.

Sure, many of you might say there are games I’ve missed, and yes, I have missed some games, but compare the above list of games with last year’s heavy hitters and standout games:

Red Dead Redepmtion 2, God of War, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Hollow Knight, Undertale, Monster Hunter World, Spider-Man, Far Cry 5, Subnautica, Detroit Become Human, Forza Horizon 4, Hitman 2, Kingdom Come Deliverance, Assassins Creed Odyssey, Warhammer Vermintide 2, Return of the Obra Dinn, Dead Cells, Tetris Effect, Into the Breach.

Now that is a list of games to make anyone excited. There is something for anyone, and some of possibly the best games ever made came out last year.

Perhaps it is because last year was such a great year for gaming, that this year pales in comparison. Perhaps, I wondered, it is because we are on the precipice of a new console generation, with the Xbox Scarlett and PS5 releasing next year.

But in 2012, the year before this generation of consoles were released, we got games like Far Cry 3, Borderlands 2, Dishonored, Mass Effect 3, Halo 4, Assassins Creed 3, Diablo 3, COD BLOPS 2, Spec Ops The Line and many other amazing games. It cannot just be because a new console generation is on the horizon.

Perhaps I am being too dramatic, and perhaps the games of 2019 just have not been my taste, which is why I may be thinking this wasn’t a good year. So let me know what you think, was this a good year for gaming, or do you share my feeling of disappointment?


I agree with you @DieGrootHammer. It’s definitely been a disappointing year gaming wise.

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its not a bad year for gaming its a transitional year as everyone is holding back big titles as launch titles for the next generation of consoles, that’s why Sony also had nothing to show at E3 this year.

compared to the previous end of generation years this is actually one of the better ones.

think of of what heavy hitters came out at the 360/ps3 transitional year. We had the last of us, bioshock infinite and GTA V. that was it practically

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Umm, actually, the year before the current gen came out this was some of the games, and I wrote in OP:
“But in 2012, the year before this generation of consoles were released, we got games like Far Cry 3, Borderlands 2, Dishonored, Mass Effect 3, Halo 4, Assassins Creed 3, Diablo 3, COD BLOPS 2, Spec Ops The Line and many other amazing games. It cannot just be because a new console generation is on the horizon.”

So no, 2012 was a great year just before the PS4 and Xbox One came out.

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I think you raise a good point about being “on the precipice” of the next gen. Sony wasn’t at E3, probably largely for this reason, even if 2012 was a good year, pre generation change. The first quarter of 2020 looks to be packed, with DOOM Eternal being postponed until then as well.

I think you missed a few top notch releases: Devil May Cry V, Fire Emblem Three Houses, Ace Combat 7, Judgement, The New Zelda and Gears 5. The Outer Worlds is still to be released and isn’t indie, unless you mean Outer Wilds?

For the indies, I would add Blazing Chrome, River City Girls and Indivisble.

I know fighting games are niche (but they are my niche!) but we got: DOA6, MK11 and Samurai Shodown this year.

For me it’s been a good year!


The biggest disappointment for me this year has been Blizzard’s handling of that Hearthstone issue and the delay of DOOM.


game development takes alot longer for this generation compared to previous ones, so if development for a title started in 2017 or 2018 then a dev needs to decide, release it now on current gen with the highest player install base but with a massive variety of titles to play already which can affect sales or hold it back as a launch title for early adopters of the next generation with a smaller variety of launch games where their game might stand out a bit more.


A really good piece here, @DieGrootHammer. I am doing a similar article for Pennyworth and in essence I have to agree with you! As good as it has been for some games, the politics and greed behind some of these games really leaves me with a sour taste in my mouth.


You are right, there were a few games I may have missed. Either due to me not being interested in them, or that I forgot. And you’re right, for you as an avid fighting game enthusiast, it was a good year. Perhaps it is just my taste in gaming that meant that this year was always going to shape up to be a disappointment.

You raise a good point. Perhaps the development time is different now which leads to games being held back for the next gen. And next year we’re getting Cyberpunk as well


an easy example imo is GTA

PS2/xbox Generation

PS3/360 (which was a generation that was also almost twice the length of the ps2./xbox generation)

Xbox One/PS4
A port of GTA V


I’m usually playing games a few years behind anyway but the 2019 releases that I have grabbed have been great.

  • Apex Legends (free but I have happily bought the battle passes)
  • Supraland - Indie Game of the Year for me!
  • F1 2019 - only got it recently but I’m enjoying it, the career mode is really awesome with the added touches of rivalries, press interviews, team progression etc.

I don’t think it was a bad year for gaming, i think it was just a regular year, but maybe it was a bit of a dry spell, if i take a look at all my youtube subscriptions, not a lot of people playing new games that came out this year, I am looking forward to GRID and DOOM Eternal though.

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Just the fact that Borderlands 3 released this year means it was an amazing year for gaming for me.

On top of that I also got Metro Exodus and Zelda: Link’s Awakening so I have no complaints.

I don’t think Astral Chain is an indie game though. It was developed by Platinum Games and published by Nintendo, both very big players in the industry.


Game development is at a point where its too expensive for developers and publishers to release titles annually as in the past.

previous generation we had a need for speed title every year, this generation every 2nd year
Previous gen rockstar made
Table Tennis
Midnight club LA
2 GTA’s
Red dead redemption
Max payne 3

This generation apart from porting GTA V to current gen, they literally made 1 game that was Read dead 2
its surprising that there hasnt been more dry spells during this generation since alot of annual franchises moved to longer 2 year development cycles.

even forza took a break this year meaning turn 10 is working 3 years on the upcoming forza 8.

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Has been a slow year in favorite rpg genre but my other favorite city building/rts has had quite a few good releases. Tropico 6,anno1800,dawn of man,emperator rome.

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I will keep my temper under control…I will not insult DieKleinsteHammertjie, thats beneath me…I would like to say one…err. two words.


Any year with the release of a Doom game is great year. I’ll accept your apology shortly.

lol, partly true, Metro Exodus was a great surprise, Subnautica was great, but only the end was released this year.

I discovered Division 1 this year, so bought into Div 2 and also BreakPoint, though I’m still on the fence but leaning towards it being great if I can get more time into it.

For golden oldies though, it was great
Blood Fresh Supply (remaster basically)


I hate to break it to you, but Doom isn’t coming out this year…



Ah, ffs, cancel this year then… :frowning:


oh well, thanks for ruining my day, :sob::sob::sob: been working my ass off this week and havent had time to catch up on news… guess I’ll take a look at The Outer Worlds


The game of the year nominees at the Joysticks awards are:

Apex Legends (EA / Respawn Entertainment)
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (Activision Blizzard / Infinity Ward)
Control (505 Games / Remedy Entertainment)
Disco Elysium (Studio ZA/UM / Studio ZA/UM)
Fire Emblem: Three Houses (Nintendo / Intelligent Systems)
Gears 5 (Xbox Game Studios / The Coalition)
Outer Wilds (Annapurna Interactive / Mobius Digital)
Resident Evil 2 (Capcom / Capcom)
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (Activision / FromSoftware)
Telling Lies (Annapurna Interactive / Furious Bee)
The Outer Worlds (Private Division / Obsidian Entertainment)
Untitled Goose Game (House House / Panic Inc.)

Now. For the first time ever I actually played a couple of those. And wow it shows how bad a year this was.