Cary’s Best Games of 2019 Awards Show!

It’s that time of year again!  It’s the Cary’s Best Games of 2019 Awards Show blog!  Keep in mind that no outside opinions went into the making of this list.  It’s just my own picks.  And if a game is missing from my list, it either didn’t appeal to me as much, or I just simply haven’t played it yet.  Can’t play all the games out there, you know!


Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story (3DS)

This one really wins by default because it’s the only RPG I played last year (well, almost, but we’ll get to that in a bit).  It’s a remake of the DS game, and it is probably the best in the Mario & Luigi series.  And it’s the closest thing we’ll come to Bowser having his own game.  Overall it’s not as good as I remember the DS game being, but it’s still a lot of fun and I still enjoyed the main quest.  The side game they added to it, Bowser Jr.’s Journey, is unfortunately not as good as the Bowser’s Minions mini quest from the last M&L remake, and it makes Bowser Jr. one of the most unlikeable characters in Mario history.  I didn’t even finish it.  I only wish I had enough time last year to play other RPGs like Dragon Quest XI on the Switch, and Pokémon Sword and Shield.


Luigi’s Mansion 3 (Switch)

There were a couple of 3-D adventures that I almost made my Game of the Year, and Luigi’s Mansion 3 is one of those.  It’s very good and mixes the best parts of the last two games and gets rid of the things most people didn’t like about Dark Moon.  But not only is the game fun, it has TONS of personality.  I know there are talks of making an animated Mario movie, but I think a Luigi’s Mansion movie would be so much better!

Runners Up:

Kingdom Hearts 3 (PS4)

I also almost thought about naming this my Game of the Year.  It won in my halfway through the year blog anyway.  The storyline may be garbage and it may be more style than substance and has way too many cutscenes, but I just had fun tromping around through Disney Worlds.  The graphics are great and I enjoyed the Disney worlds so much I wrote a blog about them!

New Super Lucky’s Tale (Switch)

I have a lot of game consoles, but two that I don’t have are any sort of VR device, and an Xbox One.  I don’t have anything against Microsoft, in fact, the 360 was my favorite console of last generation.  But game consoles are expensive and there just isn’t enough games on the Xbox One or VR titles that would get me to buy one of those.  But one year at PAX I saw a VR game that looked right up my alley.  It was a colorful 3-D game called Lucky’s Tale that starred a cartoon fox who looked suspiciously like my favorite SEGA character (minus one tail).  And after that, there was an Xbox One title called Super Lucky’s Tale.  But now I don’t have to worry about either of those because New Super Lucky’s Tale is now on Switch, a game console I do have!  Since I’ve never played the others, I don’t know what’s new or super about it, but New Super Lucky’s Tale is a colorful and cheerful romp that reminds me of the 3-D platformers you could play in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.  It may not revolutionize the 3-D platforming genre, but it put a smile on my face and games just don’t do that as much as they used to.

The LEGO Movie 2 Videogame (PS4)

The thing that really surprised me about The LEGO Movie 2 Videogame is that it’s not like any other LEGO game.  It’s more open world and actually plays mostly like LEGO Worlds.  So that was a pleasant surprise.  I wish LEGO games would do that more often!


Yoshi’s Crafted World (Switch)

Even though I think I like Yoshi’s Woolly World better, Crafted World is still a lot of fun.  The craft based graphics are amazing, and they give room for more creative levels, like ninja worlds and outer space.  It also kind of reminds me of Yoshi’s Story, but in a good way.  Very cute and cheerful game that’ll put a smile on your face.

Runners Up:

Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn (3DS)

Speaking of Good Feel games with graphics made from crafting material.  Normally I’m not into ports, but this is a Kirby game and was one of the Wii’s best, so I got the 3DS version. Unfortunately, the graphics take a bit of a cut and the stuff they added doesn’t really improve the game at all.  So yeah, it’s kind of a bad port of a good game.  If you can play it on the Wii, I’d go that route.  But if you have no other way to play it, the 3DS version is fine, too.  It’s also a shame that this is probably Nintendo’s last first party game on the 3DS.

Yooka Laylee and the Impossible Lair (PS4)

I asked for this game for Christmas and I’m glad I got it as it turned out a lot better than I expected it to be.  Yooka-Laylee may have been a bit disappointing as a 3-D platformer, but as a 2-D one, it’s much better.  It’s a lot like Donkey Kong Country, and even the music is pretty good.  I like how what you do in the overworld may affect a level and make it into an entirely new one.  Like diverting water into a factory level book will make the whole factory level be an underwater one.  Very neat idea.


SkullGirls: 2nd Encore (Switch)

I’ve been wanting to review this game since 2012, but for whatever reason, wasn’t able to.  Well I finally got to review it when it came on the Switch this year.  Now I see what all the fuss was about.  For an indie fighter, it’s on par with big games like BlazBlue and Guilty Gear.  I liked it so much I wrote a separate blog about the characters!


Labo VR Kit (Switch)

Last year I named Nintendo Labo my Game of the Year.  But building things out of cardboard to play games on the Switch is still definitely weird!  Even weirder is that this set lets you play VR games!  Granted, it’s not the best VR in the world, but for 70 to 80 bucks as opposed to hundreds if not thousands of dollars for other VR options, it’s not too bad.

Runners Up:

Super Mario Maker 2 (Switch)

I would’ve put this game a bit higher, but I think I like the Wii U interface from the original game just a little more, and it also had a bit more of that Mario Paint weirdness.  Plus I kind of played out the game on the Wii U anyway.  But the Switch sequel is still no slouch and is super fun.  They added a great single player story mode and more fun ways to build levels.  I imagine this’ll be a hit for years to come.

Untitled Goose Game (Switch)

It’s a game where you are a goose out to pester people.  If that’s not weird, I don’t know what is.  This game was pretty popular, too, selling over a million copies!  That’s pretty good for an indie game.  I’m glad I got to review it!

Doraemon: Story of Seasons (Switch)

A crossover game mixing the farming ‘formerly Harvest Moon’ gameplay with the popular Japanese anime Doraemon?  Yeah that’s pretty weird.  Glad I got to review it, too.

RingFit Adventure (Switch)

It’s a fitness game, that’s weird enough.  But you attach a JoyCon to a ring controller that you can bend and stretch, and play a pretty competent RPG with it!  The RPG you can play is so good, with skill trees and enemy weaknesses, that I thought about naming it my Best RPG, but it was just too weird not to put here.  And it’s a much better fitness game than Wii Fit (which I thought was mediocre), or Fitness Boxing (which is one of Nintendo’s worst games I think).  It’s not as good as going to the gym to get fit, but it is surprisingly well done.


BoxBoy + BoxGirl (Switch)

Originally the BoxBoy games were puzzle platformers on the 3DS.  You are a box with legs and can make other boxes to use as stepping stones, shields, etc.  They made three games on the 3DS and said the last would end the BoxBoy trilogy, but I guess they had a few more ideas because here’s another one on the Switch.  The game is made by HAL, the same folks behind stuff you might know such as Kirby and Smash Bros.  The new game has a bunch of neat new ideas and there are hundreds of levels.  It’s a whole lotta game for only ten bucks!

Runners Up:

Crystal Crisis (Switch)

Two great things about this puzzler. One, it plays almost EXACTLY like Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo, one of my all time favorite puzzle games.  And two, one of the characters you can play as is FREAKING ASTRO BOY!

Tetris 99 (Switch)

When Nintendo first came out with their paid online service, I didn’t get it right away.  Playing Smash Bros. online was a big selling point, but while I love that game, I’m not good enough to play online, so I didn’t get the service then.  But when Mario Maker 2 came out, you could get a version of it with the online subscription for half off, so I got it then since you pretty much HAVE  to be online to play and download and upload levels.  So after that, one of the first things I did was download Tetris 99, which is free but you must have the online service to play it.  Tetris is one of my other all time favorite puzzle games still, so I was certainly curious about it.  It’s a Battle Royale style game with you vs. 99 other players, and will probably be the only Battle Royale style game I play.  It’s pretty neat as a little time waster.  I would’ve given it the top puzzle game award, but Nintendo’s sub par online service keeps kicking me out of a Tetris game half the time.  And I know my Internet is good.  That shouldn’t happen with a Tetris game!

Day and Night (Switch)

I was pleasantly surprised by this puzzle game.  It’s a falling block puzzle game like Tetris, but it has many original ideas and was better than I thought it would be.  Only problem is that it lacks the simple charm that Tetris has, as this puzzler is a bit more complex and there’s a lot going on!

Dr. Mario World (iPad)

While I did lose interest in this one fairly quickly, thanks to the free-to-play roadblocks, it still was a unique take on the Dr. Mario formula.


Collection of Mana (Switch)

I was super excited when this was announced for the US.  It was so hard to wait for the physical copy and not just get the digital one.  It has the first three Mana games on it, all of which were pretty good and I have a lot of great memories playing Secret of Mana on the SNES.  But the big deal was this was the first time we would see a US release of Trials of Mana!  I’m disappointed that it’s not as good as I thought it would be, but I’m still glad to play it.  Can’t wait for the remake of that this year!

Runners Up:

Penguin Wars (Switch)

This was a remake of an old arcade sports game that combined elements of Pong and dodge ball.  You play as animals and try to roll balls to the other side of the table where your opponent does the same.  I just loved the style of this game and I really got addicted to it!

BurgerTime Party (Switch)

I’ve always loved BurgerTime.  It was one of the few games in the arcade that could pull me away from Pac-Man.  This one is kind of a modest remake, but I do like the retro cartoon graphic and four player multiplayer.

Disney Classics: Aladdin and The Lion King (PS4)

The live action Aladdin and Lion King movies that came out this past year weren’t very good, but one nice thing that came out of them was that they released a collection of the games based on the animated versions that came out on the Genesis and SNES.  While these games had impressive graphics and sounds, they were lacking in the gameplay department and these kinds of platformers were the main reason why I mostly played RPGs in the 16-bit days.  But there are a lot of nice extras and they do let you play both Genesis and SNES versions of Lion King (wish it had the Capcom SNES Aladdin game, though).

Killer Queen Black (Switch)

Killer Queen has been kind of a modern arcade phenomenon in the past couple of years.  I saw it once but couldn’t figure out how to play it, so I’m glad I got the Switch version.  It’s like a more complicated Joust.  You have to be online to play it, though.

River City Girls (PS4)

We had quite a few Kunio games this year.  But the best was done by WayForward of course.  But considering how well they did with Double Dragon Neon, it’s no surprise.  Plenty of humor and girl power in this one.  I just wish it wasn’t so darn hard!


Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled (PS4)

I never was a big fan of Crash Bandicoot games, but one I did like was Crash Team Racing on the PSOne.  It took them a while, but there were things done in that game that were better than in Mario Kart (at the time).  This new version has everything from the first game and I think some of one of the sequels: Crash Nitro Kart.  And it’s amazing how far we’ve come with graphics in games, as the visuals here are so good.

Runners Up:

Team Sonic Racing (PS4)

Even though I prefer the Sonic and All-Stars Racing games that let you play as other characters besides Sonic ones (like Ulala), they had some good teamwork ideas added to this otherwise generic kart racer.  Like giving items boxes to your teammates if you don’t need them, and riding off of your team’s slipstream to catch up!

Mario Kart: World Tour (iPad)

Even though I bashed this game a bit in my review, as Nintendo did some pretty skeazy things with it, it’s still a polished title and one of the better mobile games I played this year.

And now it’s time for my Best Game of the Year 2019 award.  Taiko drum roll please…


The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Switch)

Not too much of a surprise, as it is my all time favorite Zelda game.  I was so excited for this remake when it was announced, and I had a lot of fun playing it.  I loved the toy style graphics and new added features, too.  Also enjoyed it at PAX.  But I almost didn’t give this game the top award.  I considered giving it to Luigi’s Mansion 3 or Kingdom Hearts 3 instead.  Why?  Well, while Link’s Awakening is a great game, I don’t think it was worth full price.  And if I went back and played the original game, I would’ve had just as much fun as playing the remake.  I liked it that much.  But in the end, I still gave it the award because I wanted to.


And that’s all for now!  Let me know what you think of my picks and tell me your favorite games of the year so far.  Either late this month or early next, I’ll write a blog about the best games of the past decade, too!  Later!  –Cary

One Response to “Cary’s Best Games of 2019 Awards Show!”

  1. Hi there! I’m sorry I missed you at PAX South! Mountain Cedar pollen and I are not friends.

    I hope you had a great time at the show.

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