A reader reveals five of his favourite games from last year, which were released much earlier, from Nuclear Throne to Golf Story.
Someone must have read my mind as I was already writing this feature when the Hot Topic subject came up. Each year I always look forward to the GameCentral Reader’s Top 20. It’s nice to have the chance to reflect on my last 12 months of gaming and get a general sense of what other readers have been enjoying.
There is one problem, I have every year though in making my own selections, the vast majority of the games I played in 2019 were not released in 2019. The top three games I pick are not truly reflective of the full breadth and quality of games I actually played during the year. I guess it’s my own fault for being behind the times but this year I have decided to redress the balance and sing the praises of games from another time! So here they are in reverse order:
5. Dragon Ball FighterZ (2018)
An utterly wonderful beat ‘em-up which really brings something new to the table. The way the fighting and combos are built around timing rather than finger acrobatics is really refreshing and makes the game accessible to all. The graphics are amazing and make all the over-the-top moves look truly awesome. The story mode is almost too authentic, with endless yabbering (I love it really) punctuated with brilliant action, exactly like the anime. I played this right at the tail end of 2019 but will definitely be coming back to it throughout 2020.
4. Mario Tennis Aces (2018)
Weirdly, I haven’t actually bought this game yet. Instead I played it intensively over the course of a week during its Game Trial (what happened to that idea?). It was one of my best weeks of gaming in 2019 and all for free! Not having played an entry since Mario Tennis 64, playing online was a revelation. I particularly loved doubles, which provided an amazing sense of camaraderie with your randomly selected partner and some absolutely unbelievable four-way rallies. All the new additional special moves work beautifully, adding both a new layer of tactics and a little showmanship to the game. I will definitely be adding this to my library when the strawberries come out this summer.
3. Nuclear Throne (2015)
The first thing that comes to mind when I think of this title is the grimy, pulsating music. Then I think of the percussive, meaty sound effects filled with grunts and explosions. Then I think of the guns, the massive scenery destroying machines of death. Obliterating mutants has never been so fun! Nuclear Throne is the complete package, action gaming refined to its purest form. There is almost something hypnotic about its addictive loop of delightful destruction (both your own and everything else’s). Finally claiming the throne is satisfying beyond belief!
I bought this game about five years ago for around £8. It was worth both the wait and the money many, many times over. This was my first Civilization game but it will not be my last. The depth of my feelings towards these little digital settlements full of make-believe people on fictional worlds is scary. Every time one of my colonies was destroyed or taken over I was absolutely crestfallen. The drama induced by a mere video game with fairly basic, outdated graphics is mind-boggling. The strategy and sense of progression during play is so gratifying, especially when things do finally go well. I really hope a sequel is on the cards at some point as I now have an endless thirst to colonise the stars!
1. Golf Story (2017)
Simply one of the best indie games I’ve ever played. The mechanics of the golf gameplay are intrinsically fun in of themselves with a healthy variety of innovative courses and challenges but it is the whimsy of the story and characters that really lift the game to another level. Most other games can only dream of the charm Golf Story effortlessly exudes from every pore. The dialogue in particular constantly had me chuckling and even laughing out loud. Indeed, the game actually uses its witty dialogue as a reward, instead of the usual useless parade of collectibles found in other games. If you haven’t tried it already burn down all the snowmen in the snowy area, you’re in for a treat. What a game! Roll on Sports Story!
By reader Ryan O’D
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