As is with the second half of every year, the Fall and Winter season of 2019 shows great promise between the titans of the game industry as well as indie developers. This list will contain the games I’m most excited about, with some insight into why.
#1 – Pokémon: Sword & Shield
GameFreak is back again with another edition of Pokémon, and are making more drastic changes to keep the franchise fresh. While it is definitely true that many people are divided on some of the decisions being made (see #Dexit on reddit), the game promises to give a different experience than any before. I for one, am still unsure on how I feel about the absence of a National Pokédex, and the removal of TONS of pokémon from the game, but am thrilled by some of the new features. The most exciting, and by far the most asked for feature, is the ability to actually SEE the wild pokémon in the field, and GameFreak has delivered on this, while also revamping some classic pokémon to be put into the new game. They also continue to add some dimensionality with battles, and are changing it up with Gigantamaxing, replacing the Mega Evolutions and Z-type moves.
All these new features and the new pokémon themselves is why Pokémon: Sword & Shield are at the top of my Most Wanted list.
#2 – Planet Zoo
This game took me by surprise, and in the best way possible. I grew up playing Rollercoaster Tycoon and Zoo Tycoon, and when I discovered Frontier’s Planet Coaster, I was thrilled by it. The complexity of the park development and theming felt just like playing Rollercoaster Tycoon and Thrillville as a kid! Diving deeper into the game showed the true complexity as there was even more emphasis on the physics of the coasters, and the actual running of the park. But back to the point, Frontier Developments knows what they’re doing, and they have partnered with the creators of Zoo Tycoon to produce Planet Zoo, which to put bluntly is Zoo Tycoon on crack.
The feature I’m most excited about is the emphasis Frontier has put on the individuality of each animal in your zoo. They all have different personalities, needs, and preferences that need to be catered to. For these reasons and for the great memories of Zoo Tycoon that this game brings, I have it at #2 on my Most Wanted list!
#3 – Death Stranding
Hideo Kojima is back again, testing the waters with new features and making his cult followers rave! Death Stranding is by far the most unique game on this list, and that should come as no surprise, as the former lead of Metal Gear has been given even more space to flex his creativity muscle. After numerous teasers and pre-release reviews, it is evident that this post-apocalyptic, open-world RPG will offer a unique experience that will drive speed-runners crazy. I don’t even have exact reasonings for having this title on my list, other than the fact that Kojima will give me and other gamers something unique and addicting. Seeing Norman Reedus tumble sideways and dropping his entire inventory is sure to bring some rage inducing moments, followed by remorse for making the chest baby cry. Hideo Kojima’s genius alone gives his newest title #3 on my Most Wanted list.
#4 – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
I am and always will be a sucker for Call of Duty, and I am unashamed in that fact. There will be many disagreements with my decision here, but it is exciting to me to see Infinity Ward returning to form and giving us another modern-day CoD. The campaign seems interesting, with the return of everyone’s favorite, Captain Price, but my interests lie in the multiplayer, and the competitive scene of the game. This year starts the first year of franchised Call of Duty, and has the ability to be the best year of competition to date. This, coupled with Infinity Ward’s map and gun development make me excited for the long nights grinding with friends, giving me nostalgic memories of Doritos, Mountain Dew, and LAN Parties.
Nostalgia and me being and FPS sucker has CoD: MW at #4 on my Most Wanted list!
#5 – Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
Party games will always have an audience in my house, and in all honestly this genre has only gotten more fun and entertaining as I have aged, and Mario & Sonic are two titans of the game industry. This will be the first Mario & Sonic game on the switch, and I’m excited and curious to see how Nintendo will use the uniqueness of the Joycon to make each Olympic event unique and fun. I’m mostly just excited to see close friends make fools of themselves competing in the 100m Dash in my living room.
The party game scene and the joy it brings to get-togethers has Mario & Sonic at #5 on my Most Wanted list!