Year of the Games: 2019

The Shacknews Awards 2019 celebration kicks off today and will last until the end of the year. Please take a look at all of our winners.

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Another amazing year is coming to a close at Shacknews, and we are here once again to celebrate video games while the staff is on our Holiday Break. 2019 was full of amazing game releases for fans of every genre. It is for that reason that we created The Shacknews Awards. Over the next weel, we will have individual articles hitting the front page of the site leading up to the countdown of the Shacknews Top 10 Games of the Year 2019. We are kicking things off today with some smaller awards, and will be updating this article as all of our awards are announced.

We gathered a quorum of the staff earlier this month at Shacknews Intergalactic Headquarters in Canton, Ohio and decided to shoot some special behind-the-scenes video content. Shackers can now enjoy The Shacknews Awards 2019 content on our YouTube channels as well as on the website in written editorial. Keep it locked on Shacknews all week leading up to the Game of the Year 2019 reveal on December 31.


Here's all of The Shacknews Awards 2019.

Shacknews Top 10 Games of the Year 2019

Check out our Shacknews Top 10 Games of the Year 2019 article to read the list.


Shacknews Game of the Year 2019 - Super Mario Maker 2


Check out our Shacknews Game of the Year 2019 - Super Mario Maker 2 article.


Do it for Shacknews Award of 2019 - Marc Rebillet

Check out our Do it for Shacknews Award 2019 - Marc Rebillet article.


Person of the Year 2019 - Blitzchung (Chung Ng Wai)

Check out our Shacknews Person of the Year 2019 - Blitzchung (Chung Ng Wai) article.


Best Developer of 2019 - Respawn Entertainment

Check out our Shacknews Best Developer of 2019 - Respawn Entertainment article.


Best Publisher of 2019 - Nintendo

Check out our Shacknews Best Publisher of 2019 - Nintendo article.


Best PC Game of 2019 - Disco Elysium

Check out our Shacknews Best PC Game of 2019 - Disco Elysium article.


Best Xbox One Game of 2019 - Gears 5

Check out our Shacknews Best Xbox One Game of 2019 - Gears 5 article.


Best PS4 Game of 2019 - Death Stranding

Check out our Shacknews Best PS4 Game of 2019 - Death Stranding article.


Best Nintendo Switch Game of 2019 - Super Mario Maker 2

Check out our Shacknews Best Nintendo Switch Game of 2019 - Super Mario Maker 2 article.


Modojo @ Shacknews Mobile Game of the Year 2019 - TEPPEN

Check out our Modojo @ Shacknews Mobile Game of the Year 2019 - TEPPEN article.


Best Comeback of 2019: Remedy Entertainment

Check out our Shacknews Best Comeback of 2019: Remedy Entertainment article.


Best Multiplayer Game of 2019 - Tetris 99

Check out our Shacknews Best Multiplayer Game of 2019 - Tetris 99 article.


Best FPS Game of 2019 - Borderlands 3

Check out our Shacknews Best FPS Game of 2019 - Borderlands 3 article.


Esports Hero of 2019 - Liooon

Check out our Shacknews Esports Hero of 2019 - Liooon article.


Best Hardware of 2019 - Nintendo Switch Lite

Check out our Shacknews Best Hardware of 2019 - Nintendo Switch Lite article.


Best Graphics of 2019 - Resident Evil 2 Remake

Check out our Shacknews Best Graphics of 2019 - Resident Evil 2 article.


Shacknews Indie Game of the Year 2019 - Untitled Goose Game

HONK! Read the Shacknews Indie Game of the Year 2019 article to find out more about Untitled Goose Game. HONK!

HONK! Check out Untitled Goose Game on eShop, PS4, Xbox One, and HONK! Epic Games Store.


Shacknews Top 10 Indie Games of the Year 2019

Are you furious about a goose beating out Disco Elysium for Shacknews Indie Game of the Year 2019? FInd out where it placed in our Shacknews Top 10 Indie Game of the Year 2019 article and please understand.


Best Sports Game of 2019 - Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

Check out our Shacknews Best Sports Game of 2019 - Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 article.


Best Early Access Game of 2019 - Dota Underlords

Check out our Shacknews Best Early Access Game of 2019 - Dota Underlords article.


Best Voice Actor of 2019 - Tommie Earl Jenkins

Check out our Shacknews Best Voice Actor of 2019 - Tommie Earl Jenkins article.


Best Gaming Accessory of 2019 - Ring-Con

Check out our Shacknews Best Gaming Accessory of 2019 - Ring-Con article.


Best RPG of 2019 - The Outer Worlds

Check out our Shacknews Best RPG of 2019 - The Outer Worlds article.


Most Improved Game of 2019 - Sea of Thieves

Check out our Shacknews Most Improved Game of 2019 - Sea of Thieves article.


Most Overlooked Game of 2019 - Astral Chain

Check out our Shacknews Most Overlooked Game of 2019 - Astral Chain article.


Best Fighting Game of 2019 - Samurai Shodown

Check out our Shacknews Best Fighting Game of 2019 - Samurai Shodown article.


Best Co-Op Game of 2019 - Remnant: From the Ashes

Check out our Shacknews Best Co-Op Game of 2019 - Remnant: From the Ashes article.


Best Cameo of 2019: Shang Tsung (Cary Tagawa)

Check out our Shacknews Best Cameo of 2019: Shang Tsung (Cary Tagawa) article.


Best Art Style of 2019 - The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

Check out our Shacknews Best Art Style of 2019 - The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening article.


Best Narrative Game of 2019 - Disco Elysium

Check out our Shacknews Best Narrative Game of 2019 - Disco Elysium article.


Here are some more of The Shacknews Awards 2019.

Best Trendsetter of 2019 - Xbox Game Pass

I owned two Xbox 360s, both of which succumbed to the red ring of death by 2011. Eight years passed. Eight years during which time I only played Xbox games that were also available on PC. In 2019, at the continued prodding of Shacknews editor-in-chief Asif Khan, I paid the steep asking price of $1 for three months of Xbox Game Pass. Going from a handful of games to over 100 was pretty staggering. Best of all, I can access those games across Xbox and PC. There's no better deal in gaming as of this writing, and I don't expect any other package to top it for quite some time. -David Craddock, Long Reads Editor


Biggest Surprise of 2019 - Keanu Reeves in Cyberpunk 2077

When Keanu Reeves took to the stage at Microsoft’s E3 press conference it was a truly magic moment in pantheon of keynotes. I don’t think it’s too surprising that an actor like Reeves would show up in a game like Cyberpunk 2077, after all, we’re talking about a guy that’s played parts in sci-fi films like Neo in The Matrix and the titular role of Johnny Mnemonic. But it is always exciting when someone of his caliber blesses us common folk with their radiance. Very few celebs are as widely admired or cherished as Reeves is. While the gaming community finds itself at odds constantly with hot takes and cynicism Reeves seems to be the one we all admire in an entirely sincere and un-ironic way. The man is in the middle of a cultural renaissance thanks to flicks like John Wick and his journey into the gaming world only helped to cement that. And when he fired back with “you’re breathtaking!” at a heckler who had just said the same thing to him during the E3 keynote, our collective hearts swooned. Truly, 2019 was the year of the Keanu. -Blake Morse, Reviews Editor


Best Action/Adventure Game of 2019 - The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

Nintendo coined the term "action-adventure" to describe Zelda way back in the 1980s. Given how good this year's remake of Link's Awakening looks, sounds, and plays, what other game could be more deserving of this award?

Link's Awakening is as charming in 2019 as it was in 1993, its world as chockfull of secrets, puzzles, unique characters, and memorable dungeons that will delight you whether you're coming to the game for the first time, as I did, or whether you're returning to the sleepy island of Koholint for the first time since the monochromatic days of Nintendo's Game Boy. -David Craddock, Long Reads Editor


Best PC Port of 2019 - Tetris Effect

The formula for a great PC port is pretty simple — take one part great game and add a dash of meaningful improvements to the gameplay and graphics and you have a winner. Tetris Effect was the runaway winner of last year's Best Puzzle Game award, but had only been made available for the PS4 and PSVR. Earlier this year, the game arrived on PC through the Epic Games Store and had everything fans were looking for, including support for high refresh rates, HDR output, and VR.

If you are a Tetris nut and have a decent PC or VR setup, this one is a can't miss. -Chris Jarrard, Contributing Tech Editor


Best Puzzle Game of 2019 - Baba Is You

Baba Is You is a delightful puzzle game that truly created a new experience for fans of the genre. Sure, blockbuster puzzle game Tetris 99 launched this year, but Baba Is You truly innovated in the space with a beautiful simplicity to the gameplay and art style. Players can change the rules of the game in a very interactive form of object-oriented problem-solving.The indie game made me feel dumb many times, which is also the true sign to a great puzzle game. -Asif Khan, Editor-in-chief


Best Sound Design of 2019 - Resident Evil 2

The click of a licker's nails on cold stone. The shuffle of zombie footsteps down the hall, or perhaps around the next bend. The heavy tread of Mr. X's size-20 boots from across the mansion, like distant thunder as he strides inexorably toward your location.

Visuals are important in survival horror, but in a genre that often blankets areas in darkness, what you hear is often more important than what you can (or cannot) see. In this year's remake of RE2, Capcom created a terrifying soundscape that arguably immerses players more in the experience than the tightened controls and gorgeous graphics. -David Craddock, Long Reads Editor


Best Old School Throwback of 2019 - Ion Fury

The Build Engine had some limitations in its heyday. The brilliance of level design in games like Duke Nukem 3D, Blood, and Shadow Warrior were constrained by the technology available to PC gamer in the 1990s. This isn't the case for Ion Fury. The developers at Voidpoint took everything that made classic Build Engine games great back in the day and cranked it to eleven. This game features massive levels, huge explosions, and awesome boss battles. The weapon selection isn't half bad, either. Ion Fury is an old school throwback that is definitely worth playing for fans of classic FPS games. -Asif Khan, Editor-in-chief


Best Expansion of 2019 - Monster Hunter World: Iceborne

Monster Hunter World did an amazing job of bringing the beloved things of old games together with absolutely amazing new content and visuals. That pedigree was continued in Iceborne. More than just a frosty new tundra to explore, Iceborne brought back a ton of old school monsters alongside some brand-new ones to create an expansion well worth the time of old-school hunters and newcomers alike. Familiar challengers were reimagined in the game’s beautiful graphics and fresh new wyverns solidified their place within a long and entensive library of deadly beasties.

If that wasn’t enough, they also revamped the movelists for the entire arsenal of weapon types and brought new gadgets like the clutch claw to change up our approach and strategies of monster engagement. Iceborne didn’t just give us more to do in Monster Hunter World. It changed up how we do it in a meaningful way to score itself the Shacknews Expansion of the Year in 2019. If you're still on the fence, just look at Granmeowster Chef’s adorable pudgy fluff for a minute as she serves up a hunter’s feast and let your cares drift away. -TJ Denzer, News Editor


Best Horror Game of 2019 - Resident Evil 2

Dead Space 3--a fine shooter, but a less than exemplary horror game--and the double-whammy of Resident Evil 5 and 6 put triple-A survival horror on the ropes, indie titles like Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Slender saved the genre from extinction. This year's excellent remake of Resident Evil 2, one of the finest games on PS1 and one of the best games of all time, showed that 2017's RE7 was no fluke, firmly re-establishing Capcom as the master of the style of game it popularized in the '90s.

Where the original was cheesy yet spooky, RE2 is terrifying from top to bottom, yet still predicated on making split-second decisions--shoot the zombie, or attempt to dodge? heal up, or save your last green herb?--and memorable environments and encounters. Moreover, "REmake 2" shows once again that no other developer is capable of crafting remakes that juggle old and new quite like Capcom. -David Craddock, Long Reads Editor


Best Strand Game of 2019 - Death Stranding

Death Stranding tasks playing with reconnecting the United States via the Chiral Network. Kojima touted the release of Death Stranding as the first ever strand game, and we have to agree. It's also the best strand game to be released this year. Congratulations to the team at Kojima Productions on this great achievement in genre-defining game production. -Asif Khan, Editor-in-chief 


Best Music of 2019 - Death Stranding

From the lonely melodies of Low Road to the dulcet tones of Silent Poets, Death Stranding featured an eclectic mix of soothing sounds and melancholy music that paired perfectly with the action on-screen. Whether you happen upon a signpost playing Gen Hoshino's jaunty "Pop Virus" or you marvel at the gorgeous landscape in front of you as Silent Poets' "Don't Be So Serious" swells up and washes over you like the crashing waves at sea, music is integral to the Death Stranding experience. It weaves an expert narrative into the very seams of the game all its own. From the opening moments of the first Death Stranding trailer we ever laid eyes on and Low Roar's "I'll Keep Coming" pressed us to look further into the mystery, we were captivated. And now that the circle is complete and humanity has come together, it's time to give Death Stranding its fair due for combining an original orchestral score with an absolutely fantastic soundtrack worthy of keeping on repeat. -Brittany Vincent, Senior Editor


Best Platformer of 2019 - Super Mario Maker 2

Super Mario Bros. invented a lot of staples in modern platform video games, and Super Mario Maker 2 gave players the tools to create an infinite series of 2D levels. Mario Maker 2 added a delightful Story Mode with levels made by Nintendo that showcase different gameplay mechanics to newer players and makers. The game truly shines in the Course Maker, where creative players have made all sorts of levels. Genres like 20 second levels and ON/OFF Switch courses have lead to all sorts of social media clips. If you are looking for the best platforming challenge this year, Super Mario Maker 2 is the game for you. It may not be for everyone, but the toolset, story mode, and improvements from the Wii U version have all come together in an undeniably magical platformer game. -Asif Khan, Editor-in-chief


Best Headshot  - Gears 5

If you like your headshots full of strawberry jam, in 4K resolution, and at the highest possible frame rates, there is no choice but to go with Gears 5. It doesn't matter if you use a high-caliber pistol or long-range sniper-rifle, removing brain matter from your enemies is a thing of beauty in Microsoft's third-person stunner.

I wonder if the Gears crew wear bandanas to help hold their skull goo together if they get popped? -Chris Jarrard, Contributing Tech Editor


Best Nintendo Switch Port of 2019 - Cuphead

The Nintendo Switch receiving Xbox games had been rumored for months, but whether it would happen and what games would part of that was ripe for speculation. Then Nintendo came to this year's Game Developers Conference with a big surprise, introducing Cuphead to the Nintendo Switch lineup. Not only does Studio MDHR's bullet hell platformer translate beautifully onto Nintendo's handheld, but it's become the ideal way to play it. Cuphead's stages are just bite-sized enough that you can pass a Joy-Con off to a friend anywhere and attempt to take down a boss in Handheld Mode, leading to fun for all. It's even more fun if you both manage not to die. -Ozzie Mejia, Senior Editor


Best NPC of 2019 - Parvati in The Outer Worlds

Parvati perfectly embodies the idea of "best girl." From the moment we meet her in Edgewater, she is easily the most endearing character in The Outer Worlds. In a solar system full of people only looking to take advantage of each other in the name of capital gain, she is a shimmering beam of light.

A great deal of thanks can be attributed to Ashly Burch's performance. The amount of personality and compassion she injects into Parvati Halcomb makes this engineer one of 2019's best characters. -Donovan Erskine, Intern


Best Geoff Keighley Cameo - Holographic Geoff Keighley in Death Stranding

Geoff Keighley saved a special announcement at Gamescom 2019 Opening Night, when he and his BFF revealed that he was in the game. Holographic Geoff stole our hearts that day, and he remains an up-and-coming influencer with his parody account on Twitter. We even have a guide on how to find Holographic Geoff Keighley in Death Stranding.


Best Cheeseburger of 2019 - Resident Evil 2

While it was certainly not the most realistic-looking food depicted in a video game this year (the specular-mapped, ambient-occluded shrimp lo mein in Gears 5 left my mouth watering), no other truck stop gut bomb got as much prominent placement as the double cheeseburger seen in the opening cinematic for the Resident Evil 2 remake.

It was obvious that Capcom was proud of this all-beef monster simply due to how often it was the focal point of the camera. The burger sported some decent texture work and shading, but what really put it over the top was the light-blue hue cast over it by the dynamic moonlight shining through the windshield of the truck it was riding in. -Chris Jarrard, Contributing Tech Editor


Game that should be on Nintendo Switch of 2019 - Borderlands 3

A lot of FPS titles have been able to expand their user base with a well-crafted port to the Nintendo Switch, so it would make perfect sense for a title like Borderlands 3 to make the leap to hand-held/home-console hybrid. Doom 2016 comes to mind as a prime example of a game that ended up thriving on the Switch and included the ability to use the accelerometer for in-game head movement. A game like Borderlands 3 would thrive on the Nintendo Switch. It’s not even that far of a stretch for the series to go portable. Borderlands 2 ended up getting bundled with the PS Vita last generation and that console sold nowhere near the numbers the Switch has so far. I would not be surprised if we saw BL3 announce it was coming to the Nintendo Switch at some point next year. -Blake Morse, Reviews Editor


Best Water of 2019 - Resident Evil 2

The water in Resident Evil 2 is pretty great. -Asif Khan, Editor-in-chief


Quietest Lobby of 2019 - Quake Champions

Shacknews was founded as a Quake fan website 23 years ago, and we are sad to report that Quake Champions has won our dubious Quietest Lobby of 2019 award. We would love to play this game more often, but the online player base continues to dwindle. The game is still in Early Access and Bethesda has already rebooted the esports effort. Quake is in rough shape right now, and waiting up to 19 minutes in between deathmatches just doesn't cut it. -Asif Khan, Editor-in-chief 


Those are The Shacknews Awards 2019 that we are announcing today, but check back over the next week for the rest of awards articles including the announcement of our GOTY 2019. Here's a breakdown of the remaining awards.


Check back on December 31, 2019 for our video and accompanying article and to find out our Shacknews Game of the Year 2019. We will be announcing a lot of awards between now and then, so keep it locked on Shacknews for all of the coverage of The Shacknews Awards 2019.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    December 24, 2019 12:00 PM

    Shack Staff posted a new article, Year of the Games: 2019

    • reply
      December 24, 2019 12:07 PM

      Hey Shacknews, this is our first year doing some video content to go alongside The Shacknews Awards. Our YouTube channel will be filled to the brim with shorter videos for individual awards, and this article will serve as the place to go to see all of the awards as they are announced. There will be individual articles hitting the site over the next week for the bigger awards, but we wanted to kick off the fun today.

    • reply
      December 24, 2019 1:45 PM

      Haha “Best Strand Game”

      I need to check out that Baba is You. :)

    • reply
      December 27, 2019 11:34 AM

      That's uh, not parvati....

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