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Game of the Year 2019: The Winners

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Game of the Year 2019: The Winners

With nearly one million votes across all categories, PS Blog readers have chosen the best games of the past year.

2 Author Replies

We did it! We picked the best games of 2019! Good job, everybody!

Despite this year’s significantly shorter voting period — about a week, compared to the 2-3 weeks we usually give you — we actually got a similar turnout at the polls. Across all of this year’s categories, we ended up with nearly a million votes!

Death Stranding walked away with the most Platinum Trophies this year, but we saw strong support for crowd favorites like Sekiro, FFXIV Shadowbringers, Kingdom Hearts III, No Man’s Sky Beyond, and Resident Evil 2 as well. What a year!

I feel like I’ve been saying this a lot over the past few months, but thank you. We weren’t sure about trying to get these results live before we all head out for the holiday break, but your enthusiastic response at the polls tells me we made the right call.

Now then, without further ado: the winners!

Oh, PS: Game of the Decade. Polls open tomorrow.

Best Narrative
Death Stranding

Death Stranding captured voters’ hearts and minds with its introspective analysis of connectedness amidst a ravaged civilization. Days Gone scored big with voters, too – its gritty, heartfelt performances and life-or-death stakes likely playing a key reason. Fans also showed up to support Modern Warfare’s murky worldview, and the Kingdom Hearts III’s long-awaited reunion of old friends.


Days Gone

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Kingdom Hearts III
Honorable Mentions:FFXIV: Shadowbringers, The Outer Worlds, A Plague Tale: Innocence

Best Graphical Showcase
Death Stranding

Cutting-edge mo-cap, palpable weather effects, and the stunning beauty of a world ravaged by Timefall comfortably propelled Death Stranding to the top spot. Meanwhile, the grotesque creatures of Resident Evil 2, bone-rattling realism of Modern Warfare, and sssmokin fury of DMC5 made Gold, Silver, and Bronze a close race (and hard decision) for fans.


Resident Evil 2

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Devil May Cry 5
Honorable Mentions:Days Gone, MHW: Iceborne, Mortal Kombat 11

Best Art Direction
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

The striking, historical Japan locales of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice captivated enough PlayStation fans to score Best Art Direction in 2019. Devil May Cry’s cool factor secured second place with voters thanks to its flashy weaponry and outlandish demon designs. Pulling up in third place is Control, which won over players with its brutalist architecture, shifting surreal environments, and Jesse’s transforming Service Weapons.


Devil May Cry 5

Control

Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers
Honorable Mentions:The Outer Worlds, CTR: Nitro-Fueled, MHW: Iceborne

Best Soundtrack
Death Stranding

Music is sparse when making deliveries in Death Stranding’s cratered wilderness, but Low Roar’s somber tunes and Ludvig Forssell’s moving, synth-laced score resonated with fans to the tune of a Platinum trophy. Kingdom Hearts III benefitted from yet another rich, varied soundtrack, with Devil May Cry 5 and Days Gone also receiving honors from PS Blog readers.


Kingdom Hearts III

Devil May Cry 5

Days Gone
Honorable Mentions:FFXIV: Shadowbringers, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, MHW: Iceborne

Best Multiplayer
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

FPS fans showed up in numbers to vote for Modern Warfare is this year’s Best Multiplayer category. Infinity Ward’s latest netted the most votes thanks to its intense and buttery smooth gameplay. Apex Legends captured a sizable portion of players’ imaginations with its colorful first-person spin on the battle royale genre. Following closely in third and fourth place are MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers and Death Stranding with its unique asynchronous multiplayer.


Apex Legends

FFXIV: Shadowbringers

Death Stranding
Honorable Mentions:Borderlands 3, MHW: Iceborne, CTR: Nitro-Fueled

Best Role-Playing Game
Kingdom Hearts III

A nailbiter, with voters backing Kingdom Hearts III and The Outer Worlds in nearly equal measure – a true clash between the RPG genre’s Eastern and Western interpretations. Voters also strongly supported the team play-centric Monster Hunter World: Iceborne and MMO juggernaut FFXIV: Shadowbringers, demonstrating the genre’s unmatched diversity.


The Outer Worlds

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne

Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers
Honorable Mentions:The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III, Path of Exile, Dragon Quest Builders 2

Best Action Game
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Every vote counts, and in this competitive category the One-Armed Wolf narrowly walked away the victor, while Devil May Cry 5’s over-the-top action and iconic cast of characters rocketed it up the charts. Capcom also nabbed the Bronze trophy for its heart-pounding update to RE2’s Raccoon City outbreak.


Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Devil May Cry 5

Resident Evil 2
Honorable Mentions:CoD: Modern Warfare, Days Gone, Death Stranding

Best Sports Game
Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled

Voters’ nostalgia revved into high gear for this whimsical remake of the beloved Crash Team Racing, totaling more than double the votes of second place. The silver goes to global football phenomenon FIFA 20, while NBA 2K20 and MLB The Show 20 follow up in third and fourth position.


FIFA 20

NBA 2K20

MLB The Show 19
Honorable Mentions:eFootball PES 2020, Madden NFL 20, F1 2019

Best Ongoing Game
Final Fantasy XIV

The long-running Final Fantasy XIV took home this year’s Platinum Trophy for “Best Ongoing Game,” fueled by this year’s excellent Shadowbringers expansion and the consistent stream of content updates and developer communication the team behind this beloved MMORPG has become known for. Monster Hunter World, Rainbow Six Siege, and No Man’s Sky are taking home Trophies today as well, thanks to muscular support from their respective communities.


Monster Hunter World: Iceborne

Rainbow Six Siege

No Man’s Sky
Honorable Mentions:Fortnite, Destiny 2, Apex Legends

Best Independent Game
A Plague Tale: Innocence

Voters swarmed to vote for Asobo Studio’s artful adventure, A Plague Tale: Innocence, earning it the most votes by over double the next runner up. The wondrous space exploration of Outer Wilds plants a flag in second place, while action RPT Indivisible and challenging platformer The Messenger grab third and fourth place.


Outer Wilds

Indivisible

The Messenger
Honorable Mentions:Slay the Spire, Sayonara Wild Hearts, Frostpunk

Best PlayStation Console Exclusive
Death Stranding

Voters showed commanding support for Kojima Productions’ unconventional epic Death Stranding, though Bend Studios’ made a strong showing with the gritty Days Gone.


Days Gone

MediEvil

Judgment
Honorable Mentions:Concrete Genie, MLB The Show 19, Blood & Truth

Best Performance
Norman Reedus (Sam Porter Bridges) // Death Stranding

Norman Reedus literally embodies Sam Porter Bridges with loads of custom facial animations and a gruff, understandably hesitant attitude towards the insane world around him. When he feels exhausted by the weight of the world on his shoulders, we feel it too. Mads Mikkelsen, Sam Witwer and Claudia Doumit also gave strong performances that made this year’s winners especially notable.


Mads Mikkelsen (Cliff) // Death Stranding

Sam Witwer (Deacon St. John) // Days Gone

Claudia Doumit (Farah) // Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Honorable Mentions:Melissa Hutchinson, Ashly Burch, Tommie Earl Jenkins

Gaming Moment of the Year
Resident Evil 2: Mr. X encounters

Tyrant. Mr. X. Strong fedora man. Whatever you call him, encountering RE2’s unrelenting monster captured the imagination of voters and secured Gaming Moments of the Year. Death Stranding nipped at RE2’s heels in second place with its harrowing BT attacks. The climactic final moments of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order rallied enough intergalactic fan votes to follow in third place by fewer than 100 votes. Trailing in fourth position was the surreal, nightmarish battle with Sekiro’s persistent Guardian Ape.


Death Stranding: Getting caught by BTs for the first time

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order: “That scene” near the end

Sekiro: Guardian Ape Surprise
Honorable Mentions:CoD Modern Warfare: The flashback sequence, Days Gone: Taking down your first horde, Control: Ashtray Maze

Best PS VR Experience
No Man’s Sky Beyond

Something of an upset here, with the spacefaring No Man’s Sky Beyond and the daredevil Ace Combat 7 taking top honors thanks to meticulously realized, immersive virtual experiences. Blood & Truth and LA Noire also racked up strong showings from PS VR players.


Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown

LA Noire: The VR Case Files

Blood & Truth
Honorable Mentions:Concrete Genie, Trover Saves the Universe, Everybody’s Golf VR

Best PS4 Game
Death Stranding

Another big win for Death Stranding, an unconventional open-world epic that captured players’ imaginations with its stark world and relatable themes of connection and relationships. After that, it was a four-way shootout for second place, with RE2, Kingdom Hearts III, Sekiro, and Days Gone coming within a percentage point or two.


Resident Evil 2

Kingdom Hearts III

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Honorable Mentions:Days Gone, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, FFXIV: Shadowbringers

Most Anticipated Game
Cyberpunk 2077

A big finish for the hotly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077, which managed to squeak out a lead against Final Fantasy VII Remake and Ghost of Tsushima for the win. No pressure, CD PROJEKT RED!


Final Fantasy VII Remake

Ghost of Tsushima

Marvel’s Avengers
Honorable Mentions:Persona 5: Royal, Elden Ring, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot

Studio of the Year
Kojima Productions

No surprises here – Kojima Productions’ Death Stranding was the 2019 game that got everybody talking. Whether you loved or hated the methodical, meditative gameplay, you couldn’t ignore it. Capcom scores big kudos in a close second place showing for a banner year that included Resident Evil 2 and Monster Hunter Iceborne, while Square Enix and Respawn earned respect for strong multi-release showings.


Capcom

Square Enix

Respawn
Honorable Mentions:Bend Studio, Obsidian, Infinity Ward

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60 Comments

2 Author Replies

  • “Dragon Quesst Builders 2”
    why you gotta spell my favorite game incorrectly.

    • Justin Massongill
      Justin Massongill

      If that manages to be the only typo in this entire post I’ll be happy.

      Fixed :)

    • AbsTracT__MiNd

      Says best independent game Outer wilds lol

    • AbsTracT__MiNd

      Oh I guess outer wilds is a game never heard of it u till now I thought it was trying to say outer world

  • Still shocked that Last of Us 2 was not on the most anticipated list.

    • It was nominated (and I believe won) previously and titles don’t get on twice.

    • Justin Massongill
      Justin Massongill

      It got lots of write-in votes! But it wasn’t eligible, since it won the Platinum Trophy in that category in a previous year’s poll.

  • Airdrighmor

    Congrats to Death Stranding and Sekiro. Well deserved. Lots of good games on PS4 this year.

  • I like the structure of the blog awards because it highlights games that were close in vote. I’m curious to know what Kojima does next after the success of death stranding. I love the game but I hope he creates something new for PS5.

  • JamesBlonde777

    Best Vita ga–oh…nevermind. =/

  • KazeEternal

    I still object to toon battle racing titles like crash team racing, sonic racers, Mario kart, Garfield racing, etc being dropped into sports. We had several releases in this type of game this year in a genre of game that has struggled to get out from under Nintendo. We finally see 3 solid entries and a few note worthy attempts in a single year and we still feel the need to rob an award from actual sports titles. I mean honestly how do we compare gran turismo, mlb the show, madden, etc with crash and sonic?

  • no dragon quest echoes of elusive age mention on here? weird,that game is my GOTY game of the year.much better than the FF games that square enix as put out as of late. shrugs

  • CaptinCrunch1992

    This was a great year for video games and I cannot wait for what comes next year! It’s been so great to enter these worlds and experience their greatness!

  • BobbyRPGamer1989

    Lmao I guess walking simulators are the future of gaming then apperantly how tragic

    • Right? I’m shocked. Guess we better get used to Hollywood actors in games going forward too….ugh,

    • AtticusFavs327

      I agree with you. Death Stranding didn’t deserve any of this. It’s kinda sad.

    • Games like these have existed in one format or another for a good deal of gaming history, just like celebrity casting in some games. Neither have ever been dominant trends, but when either is used well they become more than a niche product.

      And thankfully, if a game comes out that I don’t like the design or casting of, I have literally thousands of options to buy or stream.

    • Son_Johnku-sama

      I’m so sick of hearing idiots call Death Stranding a walking sim. That game is amazing. I’ve played through it twice. Unless you’ve actually played it through to completion STFU!

    • More tragic than that is the fact that this rotten gaming community of ours is composed of people like you who knows lil to nothing about games and is million years aways to understand Death Stranding.

  • Glad to see the support for Death Stranding. Such a breath of fresh air in the TV and Gamepad space.

    I have to mention that the Decima Engine is absolutely incredible. Between Death Stranding and Horizon Zero Dawn, it has delivered my two favorite TV/Gamepad games of the generation. Congratulations to Guerrilla Games on developing such an beautiful tool for creativity.

    To Sony Bend, way to kick things off in your return to consoles. Days Gone was worth the wait, and more than delivered in content. I honestly felt like I recieved two games for the price of one. Very excited to see what comes next on PlayStation 5!

    Finally, Sony London. I appreciate the effort put into Blood and Truth. Although I felt the game was held back by the current PSVR tech, there is absolutely no denying the value of having a full length title in VR. VR is the most exciting thing happening in entertaiment, and it is only going to get bigger, and more exciting with each passing year. I am so happy see a AAA level studio putting their efforts behind the format. Thank You.

  • LordofStarfall

    Can’t believe Knack 2 didn’t win anything this year, that’s 2 years in a row. My boy Knack getting overlooked.

    Again, most anticipated game? Gotta be dat Knack 3.

  • DarkwingChuck

    So many people accused Geoff Keighley of bias assuming Death Stranding would sweep The Game Awards but it only won two.

    Sony: Hold my trophy.

    • It actually won 3; Best Soundtrack, Best Direction, and Best Performance.

  • So death stranding was the best ? Still have not been able to play it. Maybe down the road i might pick it up.

    • BlackCanary

      Unless you like being a postman in a world that is mainly you and land. No wild life no animals. A few bandits that try to steal ur packages and a evil creator that will make is self known when it rains you won’t like it. The game gets boring very quickly.

    • SURVIVERMAN7

      well worth picking up

  • MakoSOLIDER

    I’m just happy Kingdom Hearts III and Shadowbringers both won a platinum award

  • AtticusFavs327

    I’m shocked that Death Stranding is on any of these lists to be honest. Great art but not even close to GOTY. Monster Hunter was definitely the best RPG. Just my opinion tho. Congratulations to everything else.

    • It’s already won over 18 GOTY awards and many, many players loved it. Just b/c you don’t doesn’t make it a non-GOTY quality game.

    • Lol no other game came close to the greatness of Death Stranding this year and you can talk bs about it all you want but guess your eyes still work well?…you gotta admit no other game has chance against it on best graphics category.

    • FinnaRoastYoAss

      I agree with you for the most part. Death Stranding’s graphics are absolutely amazing, I will give it that and it does have a certain charm, but I mean, we have Ace Combat 7 that beautifully revived an amazing franchise and even gave us a free copy of Ace Combat 5. Code Vein is awesome, combat is very smooth and very fun and even with the companion system manages to maintain a challenge. Indivisible is extremely, EXTREMELY underrated, absolutely amazing, waited 4/5~(?) years for its full release. Don’t even get me started on Sekiro, that game blows Death Stranding out of the water. And then you have DMC 5, it came and it delivered for sure. Modern Warfare became, and very quickly, the highest grossing, highest selling CoD of all time, and beat out Joker for how much money it made. If you’re letting Death Stranding blind you to all the other fantastic releases and experiences you could be having, you have a screw loose.

    • I personally found Control and Jedi: Fallen Order to be my favorite games of the year. But when it comes to Kojima fans, they are a vocal mob.

    • SURVIVERMAN7

      wait till it wins game of the decade

  • Wow, wasn’t expecting Death Stranding to win that many categories, Definitely interested in trying it out.

  • So glad to see No Mans Sky get some recognition Hello Games have put so much into that game. I have followed the updates from day one.

  • i’m happy that star wars fallen jedi got some recognition because the game is like…………….WOWEE ZOWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE,and the game is wicked coooool.

  • So **** glad Kingdom Hearts 3 getting place in the Best Game of 2019!!!!Congratulations!!!

  • Airwalkinman17

    Great year in gaming. So many amazing winners and nominees. It’s a great time to be a gamer!
    Personal faves include Days Gone, Resident Evil 2, Sekiro, and of course, Death Stranding.
    Its been a few years since I last played a game that was as immersive as Death Stranding. One minute your navigating murky waters and a mountainside, the next minute you’re taking on a camp of terrorists, then next you’re sneaking around BTs. I was hooked and immersed from beginning to end. Beautiful Controls, Graphics, Gameplay, and Sound. I loved, loved, loved it!
    Loved every single minute of it and it now holds a very special place in my heart.
    Thank you Sony and KJProductions!

  • Great winners, but.. and the BEST HORROR GAME??

  • Great to see Death Stranding get so many awards this year. Also glad to see A Plague Tale take home something even though I don’t agree with it being in the Best Indie category. It was published by Focus Home Interactive. I don’t remember seeing Vampyr or any of their other published games up for Best Indie.

  • Congratulations Mr. Kojima! As a Metal Gear fan, I’m proud and happy for you.

  • Really didn’t expect to see Death Stranding winning in so many categories.I got only one thing to say…damn Troy was wronged this year,both here and the VGAs.Higgs is one of his best performances EVER!!…I’d say it’s only behind Joel and Booker.He’s always superb but damn he really blew everything outta water with Higgs…Norman not even close to him,Mads and Tommy Earl Jenkins yeah but still Troy wins.

    • I actually feel the one who was wronged was Tommie Earl Jenkins as Die-Hardman for his confession scene at the end of Death Stranding. That was one of the best performances I’ve even seen. His voice plus the motion acting was amazing. There were times I was actually confused if I was watching a video game or a an actual movie.

  • There it is folks, and it’s everywhere, the overrated game of the year takes the ball. Pains me to see some of the second and third place games in categories where Death Stranding won.

  • How TF did Kingdom Hearts win best RPG? They murdered the game. it was fun sure, but the best? Not by a long shot. Out of those in the top I’d say The ShadowBringers expansion story wise slayed KH3. It was better than most stand alone FF games. Check it out if you haven’t.

  • Honestly the Death Stranding wins seemed comical at a point, but then I got to the Multiplayer section and just went, “ok… guys… we get it you paid a lot of money to fund this but c’mon.”

    • SURVIVERMAN7

      as someone who loves the game. that one did make me laugh. Glad I got the LE console, plan to resell and the game obviously is going to have a cult like following

  • To see Outer Worlds on any Best Of list is hilarious. It’s a bland, linear game that’s ridiculously easy with forgettable characters in incredibly tiny locations. To call a game that’s over in less than 25 hours a RPG is laughable.

    The only reason anyone played it is because it launched against the disaster announcement of Fallout 1st. Without the poor decisions of Bethesda and Fallout 76, Outer Worlds would have been regulated to where it should be: a vast disappointment from a studio that could, and should, have done much, much better.

  • jessbrooks000

    I swear down if Fortnite makes it in the top 10 then this generation need to stop playing video games because that game doesn’t deserve to be put up along side some of these other games

  • Also forgetting about Capcom’s Dmc5, I would give them a play

  • SPARTANGH0ST_98

    Ahhh man I really wanted to see Melissa Hutchison get a reward her performance in the walking dead final season was great I know she couldn’t make it in the VGA 2019 but I hoped she would get a award here

  • angelbless45

    Resident Evil 2 deserves more love :(

  • Overall, I agree with the picks. No surprise that Death Stranding got a lot of the awards and should have, IMO. But I was surprised that The Outer Worlds wasn’t even a runner up for best music, it’s score was awesome!

  • Azrael-Knight02

    Most Anticipated Game if 2019 is definitely Cyberpunk 2077! Can’t wait until it comes out

  • Shadow_Heart

    Death Stranding winning an MP award is the funniest thing I read in awhile.

  • oGreyghost76g

    I love everything but I wish dying light at least made honorable mention for most anticipated

  • I love that Death Stranding gets the love it deserves. It was by far my favorite game of 2019

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