Here it is. The big one. We’re only an hour away from showtime, so it’s time for us to go on record with our Game of the Year prediction. Unlike the other categories, this is one that we all cast our votes on. We each ranked the games in our order of preference and awarded points based on those rankings. Here’s the nominees!
Control – Control is a sleeper hit of 2019. Like Horizon Zero Down last year, this is one that most people weren’t expecting greatness out of. However, it stormed onto the scene with a great mixture of atmosphere and gameplay. The creepy setting, psychological thrills, and super sound effects make for a great contender for Game of the Year.
Death Stranding – One of the first games that we ever considered to be award-bait was of course going to make the list of contenders. A game described as free-basing Kojima was bound to a strange one, and it certainly delivered on that. Death Stranding cannot be described to someone, it can only be experienced, and that might be to the game’s detriment.
Resident Evil 2 – This game is pretty much what everyone wanted it to be. A solid remake of a beloved title. The atmosphere is great, because the atmosphere was great in the original. The characters work because they worked in the original. The game-play has been updated for modern times, thank heaven. I struggle with the idea of a remake winning Game of the Year, but it’s certainly a worthy contender.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice – It wouldn’t be a Game of the Year list without a souls-born representative. While I would argue that Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order might be more worthy of the slot, I can certainly understand why the honor went to Sekiro. At least it took longer than 20 hours to beat. Sekiro is a maddeningly frustrating game that lives up to the legacy of its ancestors.
Super Smash Bros Ultimate – A game that technically didn’t come out in 2019 makes the list of contenders. It dropped in December last year after the nominees for The Game Awards had been decided, and so it qualifies for this year. And yea, it should. It has an unbelievable install base on the Switch, and pretty much everyone loves it. Sakurai didn’t work himself to exhaustion only to be excluded from the conversation.
The Outer Worlds – The Outer Worlds was one of the darlings of the year. Everyone saw it and thought, “Oooh Fallout meets Mass Effect! I’m in!” While it didn’t quite deliver on those lofty ideals, it was still a great way to spend 30-35 hours. Pavarti Holcomb is in the running for character of the year, and the game-play is fun without being tedious. The story pay-off fell short in my opinion however.
Who will win – Death Stranding – Maybe this is the pessimist in me, but I feel like Death Stranding is going to win for no other reason than it’s supposed to. That’s how the story ends. Kojima escapes oppression at Konami and goes on to win Game of the Year with his magnum opus. That isn’t to say the game doesn’t deserve to win or that it’s not good, it is! I just feel like it’s going to win for the wrong reason.
Who should win – We spent a lot of time debating in the office about who should take home Game of the Year. In the end, the six of us decided to put it to a vote. We each ranked the nominees 1-6 and the best score won. So without further ado, CheckpointXP’s Game of the Year is….
Super Smash Bros Ultimate (27 points) – When a game with mass appeal also happens to be really good, and unseats a legend like Smash Bros Melee as the esports title of choice, then you have to take note. At the end of the day, everyone on the cast owns it, played it, and liked it. We have yet to have someone give us a compelling reason not to like it so it’s deserving of Game of the Year.
Control (24 points) – Control was great and you won’t find us saying otherwise. It didn’t get as many number 1 votes as smash, and that was the difference.
Death Stranding and Resident Evil 2 (22 points) – Both titles were well liked in the office, but didn’t quite measure up to Control or Smash Bros Ultimate. Death Stranding did get a vote for Game of the Year however.