We're over halfway through 2019 and it would be fair it's been an interesting year for PC games and console gaming.
While we expected highly anticipated titles such as Anthem and Crackdown 3 to be big hitters, they managed to fall just short of the mark. Meanwhile, the likes of Apex Legends came out of the blue to go toe-to-toe with battle royale behemoths PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite Battle Royale.
Only looking for the best of the year? You're in luck. We've gathered together this list of our favorite games of 2019 so far - the titles that we at TechRadar awarded a four star and up review score.
So without further ado, here are the best games of 2019.
Resident Evil 2 remake
Resident Evil 2 elevates the grandeur of the original game into a masterful modern survival horror experience. Its finely detailed and gorgeous environment demands exploration, as long as you’ve got the stomach for it:
Arguably the first big release of 2019, Resident Evil 2 remake kicked this year off with a bang.
A remake of the 1998 Resident Evil 2 game, Capcom's nostalgic offering sees players returning to Raccoon City, as either police officer Leon Kennedy or student Claire Redfield, and attempt to survive the zombie apocalypse.
In classic Resident Evil style, it's not all as simple as it appears. This is no mere hack n' slash survival game, instead forcing you to navigate the maze of Raccoon City Police Department solving some serious headscratchers. And we love it.
Here's what we said in our full Resident Evil 2 remake review:
"It proves that when Resident Evil 2 released back in 1998, the core elements in its DNA were timeless. This remake understands this but injects the source material with just enough genius to make it perfectly palatable for a modern audience, placing a brilliant game back into the hands of a new generation who more than deserve to catch up."
Kingdom Hearts 3
Kingdom Hearts 3 is a charming and action-packed adventure, marrying the fantastical nature of Final Fantasy with the magical familiarity of Disney in worlds that are almost indistinguishable from the films they depict. However, the convoluted story and slow-burning intro could be enough to deter new players from giving the series a chance:
Fans of Kingdom Hearts have been waiting 14 years for the third 'core' game in the series that sees Final Fantasy meet Disney - and it did not disappoint.
Charming, feel-good and full of action-packed fun, Kingdom Hearts 3 sees Sora and friends searching for the seven Guardians of Light in an effort to stop the evil Xehanort's plan to bring about a second Keyblade War.
Kingdom Hearts 3 isn't everyone's cup of tea, but there's no denying that the graphically stunning and wholesome title is one of 2019's best games.
Here's what we said in our full Kingdom Hearts 3 review:
"Kingdom Hearts 3 has everything you could want from a Kingdom Hearts game: charm, adventure, vibrant worlds to explore, and quirky Disney characters to interact with. It’s been 14 years since the last core game in the franchise released, and Square Enix has proved that a sequel has been worth the wait.
"However, while fans of the series may be delighted, new players may struggle to wrap their heads around the storyline, and the bizarre nature of Kingdom Hearts as a whole. My advice? Go in with no preconceptions, and with a childlike sense of wonder, and try not to think too much about why Donald Duck is suddenly a mage."
Far Cry New Dawn
Far Cry New Dawn's more lighthearted approach to world-building and more streamlined approach to mission design creates one of the series' most accessible entries yet. While smaller in scope, the addition of the new Expeditions and a more in-depth crafting system makes this more than a simple spin-off:
Far Cry 5 was a bit of a disappointment, but it seems Ubisoft got the formula right with Far Cry New Dawn - even if it's essentially a repaint of its predecessor.
The post-apocalyptic Far Cry title sees us returning to Hope County following the events of Far Cry 5 (we're trying not to spoil it). But essentially it's your job to try and rebuild the county, which is a re-imagined version of the previous game's map. That means you'll encounter some familiar faces and locations.
Here's what we said in our full Far Cry New Dawn review:
"Far Cry New Dawn is just the tonic the series needed to break away from the increasingly grim tone it fell into with Far Cry 5.
"With its bright colours, tweaked and engaging combat and rewarding crafting system, you’re getting a fun and over-the-top sequel-come-spinoff that takes all the best bits from the previous game and taps back into the ultraviolent silliness that made Far Cry 3 such a breath of fresh air for the franchise. There’s life in Hope County yet."
Apex Legends is an engrossing, revamped take on battle royale that as it stands cannot be beat for its attention, detail and care:
Apex Legends came out of the blue and stole our battle-hardened hearts. This class-based, squad shooter competes with the likes of Fortnite and PUBG, and in some areas surpasses them both to be one of the best battle royale shooters in 2019.
Here's what we said in our full Apex Legends review:
"Truth be told, the Battle Royale movement has never quite grabbed me. I dabbled in PUBG and spent a dozen hours or so with Fortnite, yet nothing ever quite stuck the landing. Apex though, has got me hook, line and sinker. Featuring intuitive controls, an outstanding comms system and remarkable rogue’s gallery, Respawn has created what feels like the AAA outing for the genre."
Devil May Cry 5
Devil May Cry 5 is a magnificently over-the-top action game that serves as a good reminder of just how important showing off is:
After making a quick detour in spin-off territory with 2013's DMC: Devil May Cry, the series has returned to its core series in a spectacular, engrossing way with the fifth installment of the main series.
Following three different protagonists each with their own set of moves and tactics, Devil May Cry 5 has stylized, addicting combat in spades and a plot line that caters
to both new and the old players. It's a tricky feat, but DMC5 pulls it off.
Here's what we said in our full Devil May Cry 5 review:
"Devil May Cry 5 is the action game equivalent of a grown-up goth kid. It looks better than it ever has before, it works a lot harder than it used to, and it still has the same music taste.
"Each fight is a genuine joy to get stuck into and seeing your rank climb and hearing the music swell never gets old. It does absolutely everything right for long-time fans when it comes to the story. Yet, the self-contained story is easy enough to follow for newcomers. The gameplay is the best it has ever been by a long shot too. So, while a devil may well cry, it won’t be because of this hellishly fun game."
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
FromSoftware's latest offering is more punishing than we've seen before, but rare moments of success are extremely rewarding . Set against a background that balances brutality and beauty, Sekiro is one of this year's must-have titles – if you have the patience for it:
Despite knowing full-well what kind of game Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice was going to be, we weren't prepared for it. The game perfects From Software's patience-based gameplay model that rewards players from learning patterns and brutally punishes them for their mistakes. Couple that rewarding gameplay loop with a great setting of the Sengoku era of Japan and a compelling character, and you set the stage for one of this year's best games, hand-down. (Get it?)
Here's what we said in our full Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice review:
"Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is not for those who are looking for an easy ride. If you aren't someone who enjoys challenge in their games, then this is not the title for you. Seriously. You need to accept that you may not ever finish Sekiro.
"However, if you aren't one to shy away from a challenge then you might just love it. Sekiro will infuriate you, push the limits of your patience and somehow have you coming back for more. After a few much-needed breaks.
"FromSoftware has created a title that somehow takes its beloved formula and ramps it up more than ever before, without losing the authentic gothic tone its games are known for. It's definitely one to beat this year."
Forward-thinking additions like cross-play at launch and a stacked battle pass make Dauntless an enticing world to jump into, and one that’ll only grow in the months and years to come:
Dauntless is a new free-to-play sensation from the team at Phoenix Labs. Following the Monster Hunter formula, Dauntless sees you jumping into the boots of a customized slayer. Your job is simple: accept quests, hunt Behemoths, get paid and do it over again.
While the core loop may mirror Monster Hunter, there are some key differences such as the fact the game is free, has cross-play, and encourages you to mix up your playstyle wherever possible. It's these aspects that truly make Dauntless shine and stands out to us as one of the best games of 2019.
Here's what we said in our full Dauntless review:
"All told, there’s more content in Dauntless, a free-to-play title, than many full-priced titles in today’s market. It doesn’t have the depth of Monster Hunter, but it offers a much more accessible jumping on point with inventive monster designs and exciting but easy to learn combat."