Xbox Tavern’s Games of 2019

Well, 2019 certainly flew by. Whilst that’s probably more to do with our age than anything, the fact that we had some absolutely stunning games this year no doubt helped the time fly by. As such, we thought we’d highlight a few of our personal favourites. While we’re here, let’s take a look ahead to next year; there’s plenty to be getting pumped for already, with more to come to doubt. We’d also like to take a moment to say thank you to those of you who’ve supported the site over the last year; all of us on the team massively appreciate you guys and gals reading our opinions and those taking the time to leave a comment or tweet on our posts. We all hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year and we’ll catch you in 2020!

Jamie – @Enaksan

I don’t think it’ll be much of a surprise to long time Tavern readers that my favourite game of this year (and, to be honest probably top 5 of all time) is the excellent Resident Evil 2 Remake. As I started off the review by saying, this is how a modernisation of a classic title should be done, and will be the standard bearer going forward. Everything about it is pitch perfect; the way the police station and laboratories layout are at once familiar to returning players yet altogether new in interesting ways. The truly terrifying atmosphere, the groans of the zombies echoing around you as you inch down a corridor. When they get hold of you and you see the flesh falling off of their faces as you struggle to keep them at bay, before those hideous teeth sink into your own flesh in all its up close gory detail.

Click here to see Resident Evil 2 on Amazon.co.uk
It’s all fun and games at the work Xmas party until someone goes too far… bloody cheek didn’t even grab some mistletoe either!

And of course, those stomps that alert you to the presence of Mr. X, a constant reminder that you are being hunted down for a large part of the game. Capcom also managed two of the best characters in the series in a great way, giving them more a humanistic feel. Even now, nearly a year removed from release I still get a giddy excitement at the thought of playing through it again. It can’t be denied that the series had a slump after the genre-defining RE4 – even if 5 and 6 remain the best selling titles in the series – but between the stellar RE7 and this remake, Capcom seem to have gotten their survival horror mojo back in a big way.

As for next year, well; if the rumours turn out to be true and we do get the RE3 Remake (please don’t go with REmak3 Capcom…) then that will certainly be up there for my most anticipated and I’m not even as much a fan of that as I already was of RE2. Turns out they were! While definitely a weak point in my knowledge of the series, I’m still super excited about revisiting Resident Evil 3; if it can manage to even be half as atmospheric, tense and downright amazing as RE2, we’re going to be in for another GOTY contender early on. I’ll be going back through the original in the next few months for sure too, for science.

But as for what we know thus far, I think it’s fairly safe to say that Xbox Series X is going to be something worth keeping an eye on… I’ve never really been one for tech specs, but the brief trailer shown at E3 this year hinted at a console poised to carry on the One X’s push for power dominance. Add in MS’s renewed focus on the things we actually care about – none of this TV nonsense – in games, new studios added to the family and the incredible value offerings in Gold and Gamepass Ultimate and I feel that raw power will be taking a back seat come next holiday. Plus, a brand new Halo day one (and included in Gamepass)? Sign me up.

Graham – @Grahamreaper

Without a doubt my favourite game this year has got to be The Outer Worlds. I heard about this game late just before it was due out. I was told it was like fallout but set in space or another planet. This had me intrigued so I picked it up and I was so glad I did. To explain it better would be to say it is like Fallout 3 but with a better sense of humour. I love these deep RPG’s, and this just didn’t feel so over complex and gritty. I enjoyed the story and how they left it open for a sequel as I would absolutely love to play that.

Click here to see The Outer Worlds on Amazon.co.uk
In between all the space faring action, The Outer Wilds Worlds certainly can look stunning.

Next year I guess I am a bit of a sheep when I say I am looking forward to Cyberpunk 2077 and Marvel’s Avengers. I enjoyed the Deus Ex games which are sort of cyberpunk and feel Cyberpunk 2077 may not be a million miles away from it and it will be interesting to see if it is as ‘breath-taking’ as Keanu makes out. As for Marvels Avengers, I enjoyed the Ultimate Alliance games of the previous Xbox and can only imagine it will be a much better game than those hack’n’slash classics.

Ian – @Nuttywray

For me, my favourite game this year by far has to be Apex Legends. I have sunk so many hours into this game! I was never a fan of Battle Royale titles in general as I got bored very quickly when playing the likes of Fortnite and PUBG, but something about Apex drew me in.I love the different characters you can chose from. It can change the way you play but also the team combinations you come up against and how you want to face them. Apex is set in the Titanfall universe. I love Titanfall and its sequel and had some great memories playing through both of them.

Click here to see Apex Legends Bloodhound Edition on Amazon.co.uk
Apex Legends has gone from strength to strength since its surprise launch early in the year. Can it continue this momentum into 2020?

Respawn Entertainment have done a fantastic job on this. They have changed Battle Royale for the better with new features like respawning teammates and the fantastic ping system. Apex Legends is also free-to-play which opens it up to all. Respawn are constantly adding new fun events to change things up which is always brilliant to see and always makes me want to play more; the Zombie event they did for Halloween was the best one. Roll on 2020 when they add more content and new characters – but Caustic will always be number one.

Other than the obvious Xbox Series X coming out in Holiday 2020, I am looking forward to what Team 17 bring with The Survivalists. I have huge love for The Escapists titles and it being set in the same universe it should be one for me not to miss out on. I am looking forward to seeing how they can change things with this new type of game. I was hoping for The Escapists 3 but this does look like a step in the right direction and has peaked my curiosity.

Robbie – @FatalshockV

What a year for games! From Modern Warfare bringing Call of Duty back to the glory days, to Jedi: Fallen Order proving that single player Star Wars games done right can be absolutely incredible. When asked what my GOTY is, it’s unquestionably Jedi: Fallen Order. With its wonderful story, addictive gameplay, and insane replayability, it truly shines in a year of great games.

Click here to see Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order on Amazon.co.uk
Respawn cemented their status as one of the industries best developers with the really rather excellent Jedi: Fallen Order

Next year I am looking forward to Cyberpunk 2077. My confidence in CDPR cannot be overstated. The Witcher 3 is a once in a generation game, and I have no doubt the creators will want to follow it up with something truly exceptional. Next year promises lots of questions in the gaming world. Can Call of Duty continue its return to form into its next title? Can the Battlefield franchise bounce back after a disappointing last entry? And what about the start on the next console generation and the the beginning of life for the Series X? It’s going to be a great year for games.

What were some of your favourite titles this year? Let us know in the comments below and once again, have a great Holiday!

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Written by
I've been gaming since Spy vs Spy on the Master System, growing up as a Sega kid before realising the joy of multi-platform gaming. These days I can mostly be found on smaller indie titles, the occasional big RPG and doing poorly at Rainbow Six: Siege. Gamertag: Enaksan

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