The Top 10 Games from 2019 That We’re Still Playing

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The Top 10 Games from 2019 That We’re Still Playing

It’s a hard job being the year to close out a decade. This fell on the shoulders of 2019, the final year of the 2010s. Looking at the year from the perspective of video games, it’s clear that developers and publishers worldwide took this status into account. The games released that year served as great games in their own right but as capstones to an entire decade of gaming. Our picks for the top 10 games from 2019 that we’re still playing are evidence of this.

From sequels to hit games to first entries in what will indeed become long-running franchises in their own right, from standalone titles to IP-driven fare, these 10 games prove to be just as enjoyable while replaying as they were on the first go-round. Some of these 10 games were designed to be replayable, tapping into the appeal of battle royale and kart racing games that focus more on replayability than any sort of coherent story mode. No matter their genre, though, these are the top 10 games from 2019 we’re still having a great time with years later.

2019 in Gaming

With 2020 bringing brand-new next-generation consoles from Sony and Microsoft alike in the form of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S, 2019 represents a final curtain call for the glory days of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. While PS4 games and Xbox One games continue to be made to this day, there’s no denying that 2019 served as the last hurrah for the consoles before becoming the previous model as opposed to the current one. This attitude can be seen in the sorts of games released in 2019.

Concurrently, mobile gaming continued to skyrocket to record-breaking heights in this final year of the 2010s. From the newfound success of battle royale titles such as Fortnite, PUBG: Battlegrounds, and Apex Legends to the continued success of multiplayer online battle arena (or MOBA) games such as Arena of Valor (a.k.a. Honor of Kings) and League of Legends, mobile gaming brought in a whopping $64.4 billion for 2019 alone. (That’s more than double what computer games made at $29.6 billion.)

All in all, 2019 console games brought in $15.4 billion for the year. While less than one-fourth of what mobile games brought in over that same period, it’s still a staggering figure that accounted for a total 4% growth in the video game industry overall. (That comes out to be over $120 billion in all.) With the release dates of the Oculus and the Valve Index also falling in 2019, it’s clear that all eyes were on the next generation of gaming as the year closed.

Top 10 Games from 2019 We’re Still Playing

Platformers, action-adventures, role-playing games, and long-awaited sequels in the top 10 games from 2019 truly run the gamut. It was an excellent year full of impressive titles; not everything could make this list. Remember: This isn’t a collection of the best games of the year, but an assemblage of the most replayable games from 2019. With this in mind, let’s look at the top 10 games from 2019 we’re still playing today.

10. Super Mario Maker 2

Super Mario Maker 2 retail cover
Super Mario Maker 2 is an addicting little game, especially for those who like to create absurd, difficult, or inventive levels.

©<a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/” title=”Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License”>Some rights reserved</a> by <a href=”/photos/abennett96/”>BenSpark</a> – License

Available PlatformsNintendo Switch
GenrePlatform level editor
Mode(s)Single player, multiplayer
ReleasedJune 28th, 2019

Super Mario Maker flipped the iconic Nintendo platformer on its head by allowing users to create the levels themselves. Super Mario Maker 2, released in the summer of 2019, improved upon this original game in nearly every conceivable way. Allowing players to choose from nearly half a dozen different visual styles from throughout Mario’s history, mechanics and abilities can also differ depending on the particular Mario era you’re toying with.

9. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Screenshot of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
Released in 2019, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a thrilling action adventure game.

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PublisherElectronic Arts
Available PlatformsPC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
DeveloperRespawn Entertainment
Mode(s)Single player
ReleasedNovember 15th, 2019 (PC, PS4, and Xbox One only)

Over the last decade of Disney ownership, the Star Wars franchise has seen its fair share of ups and downs. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order decidedly belongs to the former category, serving as a real highlight of the Star Wars universe in the 2010s and one of the top 10 games from 2019 we’re still playing. Its story is filled with challenging boss battles, a nice skill tree, and the kind of lightsaber and Force-sensitive combat Star Wars fans have been craving from a modern video game for years now. It’s one we can’t help but return to, especially with its immersive open world.

8. Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled

Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled retail cover
A popular kart racing video game, Crash Team Racing ieasily one of the top 10 games from 2019 we’re still playing today.

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Available PlatformsNintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
GenreKart racing
Mode(s)Single player, multiplayer
ReleasedJune 21st, 2019

While the Crash Team Racing series is certainly no Mario Kart, it’s nevertheless a pulse-pounding kart racer worth playing. Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled — a remake of the original Crash Team Racing game from 1999 with additions from various 2000s-era sequels thrown in — is no exception. Based on the Crash Bandicoot series and incorporating characters and elements from throughout the franchise, Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is the best of the best for this particular series.

7. Borderlands 3

media cover for Borderlands 3
A first person shooter game, Borderland 3 takes you into a mayhem-fueled adventure in the outer space.

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Available PlatformsPC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
DeveloperGearbox Software
GenreAction role-playing, first person shooter
Mode(s)Single player, multiplayer
ReleasedSeptember 13th, 2019 (PC, PS4, Xbox One only)

Fans know they’re going to be playing Borderlands 3 for quite some time before the next mainline entry comes out.. The wait is totally fine, however, because Borderlands 3 is the kind of game that rewards continued revisits. It’s a game made for the fans first, satisfying so many loose ends and story arcs that have been lingering on their minds since Borderlands 2‘s release back in 2012. Its multiplayer mode is particularly fun, losing none of its charm over the last few years since its release.

6. The Outer Worlds

In the Outer Worlds, players can recruit NPCs with their personal stories for their missions.
PublisherPrivate Division
Available PlatformsPC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperObsidian Entertainment
GenreAction role-playing
Mode(s)Single player
ReleasedOctober 25th, 2019 (PC, PS4, Xbox One only)

You’d be hard pressed to find a more visually stunning, more thematically interesting game from 2019 than The Outer Worlds. Following an alternate history of the world set in the 2300s, The Outer Worlds tasks players with uncovering a vast conspiracy concerning the entire fate of a colonized society in the outer reaches of the galaxy. There’s plenty to explore and even more to discover in this game, making it an easy pick for the top 10 games from 2019 we keep returning to again and again.

5. Death Stranding

Screenshot of Death Stranding
Death Stranding lets you enjoy advanced combat and explore added story plus locations.

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PublisherSony Interactive Entertainment
Available PlatformsPlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC
DeveloperKojima Productions
Mode(s)Single player
ReleasedNovember 8th, 2019 (PS4 only)

In a year with a new Hideo Kojima game, you already know that Death Stranding was going to end up somewhere on this list of the top 10 games from 2019 that we’re still playing. Serving as Kojima’s first game post-departure from Konami, Death Stranding is the kind of game that Kojima only could have made with this newfound creative freedom. Its open world is big and immersive, it’s story and gameplay are carefully paced.

4. Mortal Kombat 11

screenshot of Sub Zero in Mortal Kombat 11

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PublisherWarner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Available PlatformsPC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
DeveloperNetherRealm Studios
Mode(s)Single player, multiplayer
ReleasedApril 23rd, 2019 (PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch only)

The Mortal Kombat games were practically designed to be replayed endlessly, making Mortal Kombat 11 a very easy pick for the top 10 games from 2019 we’re still playing today. The previous installment, Mortal Kombat X, was a real highlight of 2015. In order to effectively follow up on its excellence, Mortal Kombat 11 needed to deliver even better graphics, even better mechanics, and even better finishing moves. Thankfully, it succeeded at this in nearly every way. It’s a highlight of 2019, and a worthy successor to an excellent Mortal Kombat game to boot.

3. Kingdom Hearts III

Kingdom Hearts III, a top action role-playing game, won accolodades for its visuals , gameplay, and combat options.

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PublisherSquare Enix
Available PlatformsPlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
DeveloperSquare Enix
GenreAction role-playing
Mode(s)Single player
ReleasedJanuary 29th, 2019 (PS4 and Xbox One only)

While technically the twelfth game in the Kingdom Hearts series, the confusingly titled Kingdom Hearts III is nonetheless a standout amongst 2019’s most replayable games. Filled with the kind of Disney and Pixar characters players have come to expect from the series combined with gorgeous visuals and absorbing gameplay, Kingdom Hearts III is a joy to play and a real treat to revisit. With so many years between mainline Kingdom Hearts installments, don’t be surprised if this one keeps getting played for another decade or more.

2. Pokémon Sword & Shield

front cover of pokemon sword
Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield chronicle the adventures of a young Pokémon trainer seeking to become the Pokémon Champion


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PublisherNintendo and The Pokémon Company
Available PlatformsNintendo Switch
DeveloperGame Freak
GenreRole playing
Mode(s)Single player, multiplayer
ReleasedNovember 15th, 2019

With the advanced capabilities of the Nintendo Switch, it seems Pokémon games keep getting better and better. Pokémon Sword & Shield — released simultaneously, in traditional Pokémon fashion — are the perfect example of this. While the game was plagued by controversy before its release over the inclusion (or exclusion) of pre-existing Pokémon, the game ultimately proved to be a great one. Given the franchise’s ultimate goal of catching them all, Pokémon Sword & Shield are practically built to be a part of this list of the 10 games from 2019 with never-ending replay value.

1. Apex Legends

Apex Legends banner at a gaming convention
A free-to-pay game, Apex Legends features a squad of 3 players with pre-made characters.

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PublisherElectronic Arts
Available PlatformsPC, Mobile, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch
DeveloperRespawn Entertainment
GenreBattle royale
ReleasedFebruary 4th, 2019 (PC, PS4, Xbox One only)

Anyone well-versed in battle royale games such as Fortnite and PUBG: Battlegrounds knows that there’s one other titan of the genre yet to be mentioned: Apex Legends. Released in a surprise drop by Electronic Arts in February of 2019, Apex Legends stands alongside the two other major contenders in the battle royale sphere as a thrilling, endlessly replayable multiplayer game that never stops being fun. That’s why it tops our list of the top 10 games from 2019 that we’re still playing: It’s the kind of game that was made to be replayed as long as the developer keeps updating it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the highest grossing games of 2019?

Far and away, the distinction of highest grossing game of 2019 belongs to Fortnite with $3.7 billion in revenue. The number two spot belongs to another battle royale game, PUBG: Battlegrounds, at $1.78 billion. Dungeon Fighter Online comes in at number three, racking up $1.6 billion in 2019 alone. Interestingly enough, all are advertised as free-to-play.

What are the highest rated games of 2019?

Divinity: Original Sin II – Definitive Edition is the highest rated game of 2019, earning an average score of 93/100. Red Dead Redemption 2 for the PC is tied for first, also with 93/100. Beat Saber and Resident Evil 2 both earned 93/100 as well, but Beat Saber is a VR exclusive and Resident Evil 2 is a remake, so their inclusion here is up for debate.

What won Game of the Year in 2019?

The 23rd Japan Game Awards gave 2019 Game of the Year to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (despite it technically being a 2018 release). The Game Awards gave the distinction to Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. The 16th British Academy Games Awards named Outer Wilds Game of the Year for 2019. Both the 23rd D.I.C.E. Awards and the 20th Game Developers Choice Awards named Untitled Goose Game their pick for 2019 Game of the Year.

Did any new consoles come out in 2019?

2019 saw the release of the digital Xbox One S, the Oculus Rift and Quest, the Valve Index, and the Nintendo Switch Lite.

How much money was spent on video games in 2019 alone?

Video games made an estimated $120.1 billion in revenue in 2019 — a 4% increase over 2018.

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