There have been so many incredible games to come out in 2019 that it’s hard to narrow it down to just a handful. While the year is not over, most of the major AAA titles have been released already (except Pokemon, and Death Stranding was just released yesterday.) It’s hard to pick out the best games of 2019. That being said, there are only a handful which are Game of the Year contenders (Death Stranding will be one of them.) Regardless of this fact, 2019 has been a wonderful year for gaming and whether or not a title is Game of the Year worthy or not is irrelevant; what matters is that the game is enjoyable. These are the best games of 2019 so far. Luigi’s Mansion 3 A puzzle-filled adventure Puzzles are my favorite aspect of any game (which is why I am a huge Zelda fan) and Luigi’s Mansion 3 does not disappoint. It has some of the most innovative puzzles of any game since A Link Between Worlds, which is saying something considering that game is the ultimate puzzle game. The bosses have a wonderful mix of variety and require smarts in order to defeat them; they are a puzzle within themselves. Luigi’s Mansion 3 is yet another Nintendo Switch game that sets itself apart from other current-gen titles and cements Luigi as a protagonist on his own, not simply a sidekick to Mario. Link’s Awakening HD Link and Marin’s tragic relationship Link’s Awakening for the Nintendo Switch is Nintendo’s surprise game of 2019. The artstyle is not only charming and endearing, but the story is tragic and melancholic. The dungeons are superb and a wonderful re-creation of the original ones. It’s a return to traditional 2D Zelda, which is a nice touch considering it is the exact opposite of Breath of the Wild. The game is full of memorable characters and is one of the greatest Zelda games of all-time. Nintendo introduced it to a brand new generation of Zelda fans and from all accounts, it has been an astounding success. It won’t win any GOTY awards, but it is definitely one of the best games of 2019. Gears 5 Gears 5 is one of the best entries in the series Gears 5, while it has some technical issues, is the complete package. It has a stellar campaign and an incredible multiplayer experience, making it one of the best games to come out this year. Not only that, it’s Microsoft’s best first-party exclusive in years. The transition from JD to Kate as the protagonist is flawless, and Kate’s story is heartfelt and a journey of self-discovery. While some framerate hiccups to hold it back a bit, there are so many multiplayer modes, both co-op and competitive PVP that give it limitless replayability value. The campaign is one of, if not the best in the franchise and the game takes some chances that pay off. AI: The Somnium Files Iris and Kaname Date AI: The Somnium Files by Kotaro Uchikoshi is one of the best games of the year. While adventure games/visual novels usually aren’t lauded, this is a game for the ages. The creator of the Zero Escape series has managed to weave a tale that not only raises some very interesting questions but has created a cast of memorable characters that drive the narrative. There are also some wonderful puzzles in the dream realm, known as the Somnium in the game, and multiple ways to solve some of the puzzles. This creates a branch in the narrative and takes you on different paths to complete each character’s route. The ending is mind-boggling and it’s amazing that Uchikoshi was able to craft such an incredible narrative that all comes together so perfectly. Mortal Kombat 11 The best fighting game in modern times Mortal Kombat 11 is the best iteration the franchise has seen since perhaps the 2D days. The game story mode is whacky, but fun, and where the game truly shines is the multitude of various game modes, the cast of playable fighters, and the gameplay. The game is truly GOTY worthy and until Modern Warfare came out, it was the best game to come out this year. The only character who is missing, in my mind, is Smoke, who was my favorite, but that’s OK. There is such a wonderful cast of characters, so many wonderful game modes, and the title will keep you busy indefinitely. It’s definitely the best Mortal Kombat game and is hopefully recognized as such. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Captain Price is back! The Call of Duty franchise has finally been revitalized. Modern Warfare has breathed new life into a franchise which has been waning for years. The game is the complete package; it includes co-op multiplayer in Spec Ops, one of the best campaigns in any first-person shooter, and some of the best multiplayer in any game. Call of Duty is back with a vengeance and it’s no coincidence that the game is selling so well, considering Activision went back to it’s most popular Call of Duty series. It’s not only selling well; players and critics alike are giving it unlimited praise. What’s fantastic about Modern Warfare is that it’s not just a rehash of the previous Modern Warfare games. While Captain Price returns, the game is much more intense, hence the graphic violence warning for the campaign. Just like the original Modern Warfare games catapulted Call of Duty into the modern era, the new Modern Warfare catapults the series to a new form of warfare that we are fighting every day. It’s not about nation-states or one country versus another, but terrorists and terrorist cells which will stop at nothing to kill their perceived enemies. Terrorists will charge you with a suicide bomb. There’s a mission where you raid a suspected terrorist cell and a woman pulls a gun on you. This is unlike any Call of Duty game ever made and deserves serious Game of the Year consideration.