Best games of 2019: Feature remakes, new games and anticipated sequels

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Dante (left), Nero (middle) and V (right), all walking towards a hoard of demons. Image courtesy of etsy.com

2019 was an outstanding year for gaming. The remake trend, new independent projects and some long-awaited sequels reigned supreme. After a great year of games, it’s only right that we look back at some of the year’s best.

With games like “Final Fantasy 7 Remake,” “The Last of Us II,” “Halo Infinite” and “Cyberpunk 2077” coming out in 2020, the future of gaming is bright.

“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” and “Borderlands 3” did not make the list, even though they’re great games, simply because I did not play them. Nonetheless, here are the games (in no particular order) that were some of the highlights of 2019.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses (Nintendo Switch)

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The leader of Blue Lions Dimitri (left), Claude (top) and Edelgard (right) are in action poses. The player character Byleth's male and female forms are under them.

Starting with one of the longer games on the list, we have Nintendo’s latest installment in the tactical role-playing series. Based on the amount of content, this game definitely gives you your money’s worth.

You play as a teacher of a battle academy and can select from one of three houses, The Blue Lions, Golden Deer or Black Eagles. Each of the three stories takes around 40 to 60 hours to complete and are flooded with unique story paths and options for each. The turn-based tactical combat strays from the rock, paper, scissors approach to combat in favor of giving players “gambits” and “crests” to form strategies. The highlight of the game is the class system that gives you the freedom to turn any unit into whichever fighter class you want.

“Resident Evil 2” (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows)

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Leon Kennedy (left) and Claire Redfield (right) are fighting a hoard of zombies.
Image courtesy of IMDb

The remake to the 1998 Playstation classic, “Resident Evil 2,” is a masterpiece of the horror genre. The game has been remade from the ground up and gives new and old fans alike something to sink their teeth into. It’s an old story told in a new way with over the shoulder combat (similar to “Resident Evil 4”) and using the “Resident Evil 7” engine.

The zombie-infested Raccoon City has never looked so terrifying. The story revolves around Claire Redfield and newly-assigned police officer Leon Kennedy attempting to survive and discover the mysterious source of an infection. The improved lighting and graphics amplify the intensity and fear of every encounter in this remake. The game was so successful, “Resident Evil 3: Nemesis” has already been announced.

“Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice” PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

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Sekiro is using his ninja prosthetic arm to use flames.
Image courtesy of IMDb

FromSoftware has made a living out of making grown adults cry from frustration. In the studio’s newest game, “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice” you play as a samurai named Sekiro who is on a mission to retrieve his kidnapped young lord.

The game is simple in theme and combat, which is comprised of sword swings, parries, dodges and a few ninja prosthetic tools. It makes up for its lack of complexity with its brutal learning curve. It will have you dying faster than you can throw your controller at the wall. Regardless, nothing beats the satisfaction of beating a seemingly-insurmountable boss. This is my favorite game of 2019.

“Devil May Cry 5” PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

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Dante (left), Nero (middle) and V (right), all walking towards a hoard of demons. Image courtesy of etsy.com

Capcom finally listened and gave fans what they have been wanting for 11 years. Since “Devil May Cry 4,” and most certainly since 2013’s disastrous reboot “DmC: Devil May Cry,” fans have been desperate for the old, combo-crazy play style on the latest generation of consoles. “DMC 5” delivers on all counts.

Nero and series icon Dante are back with upgrades to their past selves, new arsenals and “smokin’ sexy style!!!” combos to look cool while slaying the spawns from hell. They are joined by a new playable character, V, who gives fans a sole long-range combat style to control. This is the “Devil May Cry” game fans have yearned for and ends with the promise of more to come.

“Pokémon Sword and Shield” (Nintendo Switch)

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Zacian (left) and Zamazenta (right) are the cover legendary Pokemon for Sword and Shield respectfully.
Image courtesy of IMDb

The eighth installment in the long-running Pokémon franchise was one of the series’ best. The debut on a console was long overdue but certainly welcome. With 86 new and 400 total Pokémon in the Galar region, there is much to see, befriend and explore.

If you’ve played one of these games, you’ve played them all. Nothing about the turn-based game has changed, nor should it. Pokémon appear all over world instead of just appearing at-random in tall grass, and the environments look massive. That in conjunction with a good storyline and great new characters make “Pokémon Sword and Shield” a must-own game for 2019.

Ricardo Tovar can be reached at [email protected] or @rtovarg13 on Twitter.