Like Mr. X slamming open a door, excellent games are already out and show no signs of stopping. And it's only March! (At least, at the time of this writing it is.) Still, it's been a packed first few months for 2019, with great triple-A blockbusters and memorable indie games earning our admiration.
Thus, this list featuring the best games of 2019 is born. Throughout 2019, we'll be updating it accordingly with our favorite games of the year. It might be every month that we update it, or maybe some months will go without an update at all. It all depends on what games have us emblazoning proud four-and-a-half-stars-and-up scores on reviews, or even just the games we played in between reviews that resonated. It's worth noting that while these are our picks for the best games of 2019 (so far), they aren't in any order, so don't assume the first game on the list is our favorite game of 2019.
By the end of 2019, this list may or may not represent what ends up on our final Top 20 Games of 2019. Think of it as a revolving door of the games that stick out to us in the moment to moment of 2019, whether or not it remains at the forefront of our minds by the time December creeps around. So without further ado, click onward in the gallery to find what we deem are the best games of 2019 so far.
Resident Evil 2
Resident Evil 2 is the latest sign that Capcom is firmly on the comeback trail. Aided by its excellent graphics, Resident Evil 2 finally finds the appropriate middle ground between the pulpy action and suspenseful horror the series has sought since Resident Evil 4.
In his review, Matt writes, "With Resident Evil 2, Capcom has stitched together a collection of faded memories and stuffed it full with modern game design and technology. Though this remake shares characters, settings, and basic plot beats with 1998's original, that's about the extent to which it resembles the PS1 classic. Nostalgia runs high throughout, but this Resident Evil 2 is a very new creation." Mostly though, fans are just having fun turning Mr. X into a meme. Hey look, it's Mr. X in a thong! Anyway, it's good to have high-quality Resident Evil games back in our lives. —Kat Bailey
Read More: You know what's great about Resident Evil 2? It's short. That's the case Mike makes in arguing for shorter blockbusters. We also met the Resident Evil 2 speedrunner devoted to beating games without getting hit, and talked about why a Resident Evil 3 Remake could be even be even better than Resident Evil 2.
Kingdom Hearts 3
If you haven't been keeping up with Kingdom Hearts over the almost-two decades, you will undoubtedly be lost when picking up the controller for Kingdom Hearts 3. From dozens of original characters with equally spiky hair to visiting Disney worlds that feel more divorced from the main plot than ever before, it might be initially worrisome. And yet, the opposite is true.
Kingdom Hearts 3 is wholesome, in an era where games are more likely to have a mean dad at its core than anyone else. It weaves an intricate story of friendship and what it means to retain your humanity when faced with grief. Its combat, being the first modern generation Kingdom Hearts game, is at its absolute best, trading in hack-and-slash for, well, more hack-and-slash, but at last with actual fun variety. Action-RPGs are rarely as loud and ambitious as Kingdom Hearts; it's confident in every story beat, even if it falters on some spots. When it sticks the landing though, it's hard to carve Sora and his pals out of your mind. By the journey's end, maybe you'll even shed a tear or two. —Caty McCarthy
Read More: We analyzed Kingdom Hearts 3's wild secret ending, and we talked about how its selfie camera encourages Disney tourism. Plus, Tetsuya Nomura detailed potential DLC in an official interview.
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Apex Legends Guide
When Apex Legends leaked the week before its Beyonce'd release, people were mad. A battle royale game in the Titanfall universe without mechs? Say it ain't so! The result, actually, is quite fun. A mish-mash of hero shooter sensibilities and battle royale-genre survival, Apex Legends has quickly proven itself worthy in the crowded space. It's a great win for Respawn too, which saw a lackluster commercial response to the critically acclaimed Titanfall 2. Apex Legends proves again that the free-to-play space is not to be underestimated. —Caty McCarthy
Read More: Caty has been playing a ton of Apex Legends, so she's provided quite a bit of coverage for USG. For instance, she answered whether Caustic and Mirage are worth unlocking, and she talked about why Apex Legends is here to stay. In the meantime, Kat think it's a lot like Battle Royale Overwatch, because it kind of is!
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Tetris 99 Guide
Tetris 99 is probably the best battle royale game to date. I'm dead serious. It once again shows the incredible flexibility of Tetris in seamlessly adapting its timeless formula to the 99 versus 1 concept popularized by PUBG. Games move at a ferocious pace as players drop like flies, its familiar beats giving way to a mix that sounds like "Flight of the Bumblebee" on cocaine. The final battle is invariably a white-knuckle affair as you frantically trade blocks with your opponent and pray that you don't misplace a block. Available for free for all Nintendo Switch Online subscribers, Tetris 99 is the killer app the service needs. —Kat Bailey
Read More: Don't believe us when we say that Tetris 99 is the best battle royale? Maybe these insane Tetris 99 highlights will change your mind. Kat also talks about why Tetris 99 is the crucible that will make you a better Tetris player.
Get It Here: Nintendo eShop
The last time I played a horror game as harrowing and absorbing as Devotion was when I played Red Candle Games' previous title, Detention. Instead, it's a careful critique on social and family dynamics. From the moment I powered it on, I was glued to the P.T.-like repetition of exploring the same apartment time and time again; and yet, it's always different.
From furniture rearranged, to lighting and sounds, to disorienting visuals, I never knew what would be around the increasingly familiar corners. I just knew that I'd learn more about what horror befell this once hopeful family. At the moment, Devotion sadly is not on Steam after controversy led to it being pulled mere days after release, but I hope it makes its way back someday, as I'd hate for it to fade to myth-like status. —Caty McCarthy
Read More: Following the controversy of Devotion being pulled from Steam, Caty dove into the historical context behind it, and what she particularly loved about Devotion itself.
Unfortunately, Devotion is not on any digital storefront at this moment, after being removed from Steam just days after release.
Devil May Cry 5
I've never played a Devil May Cry game before 5, and it turns out I didn't have to. The controls are slick, intuitive, and responsive, with combos easy to execute with just a simple flick of the analog stick and press of a button (flick the stick back and press the melee button to chuck an enemy in the air, for example). Devil May Cry 5's three leads—Nero, Dante, and V—all feel thrilling to play as for different reasons.
V has his shadow puppets to do his bidding on the battlefield, Nero bounds and vaults off ledges with his Devil Breaker arm, and Dante splits his demonic motorcycle in two for gouging attacks. Devil May Cry 5 toes the line into weird territory in attempts to be effortlessly cool, but it's still a sleek, stylish action game to play around with. —Hirun Cryer
Read More: It's a great time to be an action game fan, as Devil May Cry 5 is proof that we're in an action game renaissance. On the other hand, unlike some other outlets that we can name, we're not the biggest fan of V. But maybe you are! Stranger things have happened. In any case, we'll have more Devil May Cry 5 coverage for you soon.