MKAU Gaming – Games Of The Year (2019)

Well it’s that time of the year again; The annual MKAU’s ‘Games Of The Year’ article. What a cracker of a year 2019 has been for MKAU as a collective and the gaming industry in general! And, while I found 2018 a lacklustre year game wise, this year seemed to turn it up a notch, bringing out a lot of big guns that rose to the top and even some that crashed and burned in a fire of disappointment.

So being an investigative journalist, or general pain in the ass as my colleagues see it, I harassed the team at MKAU to find out their feelings, grievances and accolades of gaming in 2019.
This is what our reviewers; Little James, Dale, Matty, Jimmy, Greenhorns; Jordy and Adam, Content Creator; Gotcha and Senior Reviewer and Editor; myself had to say. Categories are as follows, feel free to tell us your own favorites in the comments below or on our social medias:

  • Stacy- NHL 2020
    I didn’t play many sports games this year, not my jam, but I did play a demo for this and I’ve always loved Hockey. It was very easy to pick up and play. Go the Montreal Canadians!
  • Little James – Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled
    I have previously reviewed this game (in great detail) here on MKAU, but to summarise: This game has brought back all the nostalgia of the original (20 years ago!) revamped it, amazing graphics, HD audio, gave it a polish and brought it into the modern world… plus, for DLC, they added Spyro!
  • Dale – Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled
    I substitute this title for my sports as I didn’t play much sporting titles, but CTR held its own and is the closest to that genre.
  • Matty- None
    There is no such thing as a good sports game. Period. If you want to play sports, go outside and join a team. /endrant. (editor note: WOW, Matthew.)
  • Jordy- Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled
    For me there isn’t a lot of racing games to choose from as i t’s not really my genre, but I truly loved Crash Team Racing. Its super cute and fun. Your characters are customization and the racing is smooth.
  • Adam – None
    There hasn’t been a good sports game since NHL 2000, that game was the best sports game ever.
  • Jimmy- Need For Speed: Heat
    Need For Speed are back with another epic title, full of customization and new refreshing features that had me hooked for many weeks.
  • Gotcha – NHL 2020
    Best action mechanics and different variations of modes to play in a sports title.

  • Stacy- Ape Out
    This is quite an obscure pick, some would say too simple. To me, simple is beautiful when done right. Gorgeous simple artwork in shades of greys and oranges, epic and earth shattering jazz music to set the mood; never has a gorilla escaping a lab been so important to me.
  • Little James – Katana Zero
    Another title I had the pleasure of reviewing here at MKAU (I promise I’m not being biased!) Amazing art style, unique storytelling and approach to a similar game style. Loved it immensely, hope they do a sequel!
  • Dale- Children of Morta
    It was a really good indie game that kept me playing for hours with the variety of random generated dungeons.
  • Matty- Damsel
    Developed just up the road from MKAU HQ, it’s a great little platformer with several ways to play. Perfect for speed runners and point farmers.
  • Jordy- Alphaman
    This game by Heartfelt Games drove me up the wall but I had a lot of fun playing it, although it was a simple enough 2D platformer, it had a charm I couldn’t deny.
  • Simon – Encased
    An amazing project that started on kickstarter for an RPG that has a huge range or potential to be a great RPG.
  • Adam – Greedfall
    Greedfall would be my pick for this category, though there were some bugs and shortcomings, it was a great game and had a lot of what I love in a good RPG game.
  • Jimmy- Whipseey And The Lost Atlas
    That lovable pink blob hits my brain hard, I’m also a big fan of Blowfish Studios.
  • Gotcha – My Friend Pedro
    Twin shooter mayhem! What more can I say?

  • Stacy- Outer Worlds
    I am addicted to this game. RPGs are my bread and butter, my gaming staple you could say. This is everything Fallout 76 should have been, if not better than I could have ever imagined. A beautiful title by Obsidian and I couldn’t be more obsessed.
  • Little James -Kingdom Hearts III
    For 14 years we waited, and waited, and waited, and waited… until finally, it arrived! Kingdom Hearts III was the perfect sequel to the main story-line of Kingdom Hearts. What we had come to expect from the previous games ‘cut-scenes’ (aka high-quality graphics) were now the normal graphics for KH3! Innovative ways to use the Keyblade, many of the main characters return/cameo and just a wonderful experience!
  • Dale- Borderlands 3
    Borderland 3 would be my pick this year as it brought back more story to this franchise and improved the gameplay quite a bit.
  • Matty- Outer Worlds
    It’s what Fallout 76 *should* have been. An immersive story with great gameplay.
  • Jordy- My Time at Portia
    This lovely little switch game had me very addicted, from the collecting of resources to building items to sell and little creatures to fight, it had everything I wanted in an RPG, simulation game.
  • Simon- The Outer Worlds
    From the creators of Fallout: New Vegas (one of the best Fallouts), brings a Fallout in space! Need I say more…
  • Adam – Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
    Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order hands down, this was the Star Wars game we needed, it was breathtaking, and I want more. All they need to do now is make a Knights of the Old Republic 3.
  • Jimmy- Greedfall
    That game to me was a sleeper hit that filled a Dragon Age size hole in my heart as I patiently wait for Dragon Age 4.
  • Gotcha-Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
    Most diverse story and mechanics by far, it was very satisfying using the sabers to tear through enemies and it is gorgeous graphically.

  • Stacy- Mortal Kombat 11
    Ok, I am NOT good at fighters, but I have had so much fun with the rest of the MKAU staff trying to beat our boss who is a guru at it. It has beautiful character designs and the story was amazing to watch play out on our YouTube channel.
  • Little James -Mortal Kombat 11
    Without question, the best edition of the game thus far! Coming off the back of the MK X/MK XL, this version of MK was so enticing! The immersive story-line, amazing graphics, surprise DLC characters and new gruesome fatalities!
  • Dale- Brief Battles
    Definitely the underwear powered madness that is Brief Battles; pretty dope little indie, platform fighter, and now available on Switch, can’t wait!
  • Matty- Mortal Kombat 11
    I never played it. Fighters aren’t really my jam… but it’s our namesake, so it wins by default.
  • Simon -Mortal Kombat 11
    Do I really need to explain myself?
  • Adam – Mortal Kombat 11
    Is there really any other choice Mortal Kombat 11? It’s Mortal Kombat, that should be enough for anyone.
  • Jimmy- Mortal Kombat 11
    Come on, only one choice for the game that started our website! MORTAL KOMBAT 11! That’ll always win every time a new MK is released. Though my boss is the John Cena of it, I will beat him a second time, this time with proof so he can’t deny it.
  • Gotcha- Mortal Kombat 11
    Best variety of characters I’ve seen in a Mortal Kombat, and actually had a really dope story.

  • Stacy- Apex Legends
    The first game I gave a 5/5 for this year. This was what every Battle Royale game should have been, and ironically a lot of older games are copying their iconic mechanics. A cracker of a multiplayer by the amazing creators of Titanfall, another fave of mine.
  • Little James -Tom Clancy’s The Division 2
    I spent countless hours with this title upon its release, and boy oh boy was It a sight to behold! Such an amazing change of scenery, as you go from sweeping and securing the frosted, abandoned streets of Manhattan in the first game, trekking through the bright, overgrown lands of Washington DC! The story-line is just as in-depth as it’s the originator!
  • Dale- Apex Legends
    With the way they dropped this release out of no where and how solid of a game it is.
  • Matty- GTFO
    Glow stick raves. But seriously, you really have to work as a team. There is no such thing as run and gun in this game. When they say “play with three other people,” they mean it.
  • Simon- Borderlands 3
    Long awaited and fun to play with friends, this game has a soft spot in my heart and has been a long time coming.
  • Adam- Magic the Gathering: Arena
    I could spend hours playing this, owning noobs, getting slayed by pros but mainly the collecting and building of those perfect decks.
  • Jimmy- Need for Speed:Heat
    Once I got used to setting up a game with my boss, we smashed out a fair bit of some sweet, sweet street racing in our crew of other rev heads.
  • Gotcha- Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare
    They did a really great job remaking it, but feels like a way more buttery smooth Call of Duty than the last few, I was impressed.

  • Stacy- Metro Exodus
    My first year not saying a Call Of Duty, shock horror. It didn’t deserve it this year in my opinion, it was pretty broken on launch. Metro was visually immaculate, creepy, panic inducing and a damn good shooter.
  • Little James -Wolfenstein: Youngblood
    Since its comeback revival a few years ago, Wolfenstein has continued to dominate the shooting story-line based shooter games. Youngblood takes what made the previous titles extremely memorable and continues that same, successful formula with this game.
  • Dale- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
    Basically, the game brought back the heart of shooters; the campaign for this game was really strong.
  • Matty- Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare
    But only because it was the only dedicated shooter I played. In all seriousness, it has everything you want in a run and gun game.
  • Jordy- Gears Of War 5
    I have loved the Gears of War franchise since the beginning, I am a little biased and feel they can do no wrong, but I loved the newest installment even though the gameplay is similar to the others – why change something that ain’t broke!
  • Simon- Metro Exodus
    Gameplay and storytelling at its best, this game really pulls you in and a recommend for many FPS shooter fans.
  • Adam – Apex Legends
    I like it because I can just jump in and have a couple of rounds but shooters aren’t my strong suit, I like them I’m just not very good at them, Apex is a bit of fun though.
  • Jimmy- Generation Zero
    If someone says ‘Call of Duty’ I’m gonna stab them with a sharpened straw. My pick would probably be ‘Generation Zero’ which I thought got overlooked by all the other games that came out. I am proud to say I have sunk a few hours into this one.
  • Gotcha- Borderlands 3
    For what it is, the game in general and the shooting aspect of it is brilliant, they have it down packed for what a shooter wants and needs.

  • Stacy- Sekiro
    Oh my dear. This IP game came out of nowhere it felt and blew everyone away. A gritty, samurai Dark Souls clone may not be fun to me but the people loved it, and I loved watching streams of people raging at it. It was a win/win situation.
  • Little James -Resident Evil 2
    The remake from the 1998 edition really surprised me. Not to say that other Resident Evil’s have had the same effect on myself or the industry, but you can never really tell how good or financially successful a remaster/remake will be. Arguably best zombies I’ve ever seen in a video game thus far, the graphics alone make this game worth your time!
  • Dale-Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
    Ok, so I might have expected just a little but how EA has treated Star Wars in the past, who’d have thought something this good would have come from it.
  • Matty- Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
    As much as I drooled over the announcement trailer, I wasn’t expecting much. It exceeded everything. EA redeemed themselves, kinda..
  • Jordy- Death Stranding
    I honestly didn’t think anyone would enjoy this game, it’d taken so long and was so weird I couldn’t understand who would want to play it, I still haven’t tbh, but I have heard sooo many people talk about it that I’m very surprised.
  • Jimmy -Greefall
    I was questioning getting it constantly thinking it was a cheap knock off version of Dragon Age but once I picked it up I was in love.
  • Gotcha- Death Stranding
    That game blew my mind and I didn’t expect it. I haven’t beaten it yet, but I am definitely going back to it and I can’t wait.

  • Stacy- Year 4 Season 1 Rainbow Six Siege
    People at MKAU know I love my Siege. Out of all the 4 seasons dropped this year, I use the Aussie operators of Season 1; Mozzie and Gridlock, the most. They were functional, have cool as hell gadgets, and just feel balanced. Rhonda was so thicc in all the right places. Aussie pride for sure.
  • Little James -Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: Fighters Pass
    This has to be one of the greatest DLC opportunities/crossovers I think I’ll ever witness. A close second was MK11’s DLC, but SSBU won out in the end for one simple factor: THEY BROUGHT BANJO-KAZOOIE BACK HOME TO NINTENDO!!
  • Dale- Fortnite Season 1 Chapter 2
    Definitely Fortnite even though I’ve grown quite tired of this game this year’s drop of crossover content kept me playing on and off through the year, from its Batman event to the recent Star Wars preview.
  • Matty- Anthem: Cataclysm
    Not technically DLC, and I’ll cop some flack for it, but Cataclysm made the game feel more finished – what we were expecting from the announcement trailers. Plus, it was the closest thing to DLC that I played.
  • Jordy- Civilization 6: Gathering Storm
    I loved this expansion for Civ, there has always been ramifications for using Nukes on other players the land turns radioactive so you can’t grow anything but adding volcanoes that erupt, sea levels rising due to the ice melting, absolutely amazing
  • Simon- Metro Exodus, the two colonels
    An unexpected DLC that fills in the gaps of the base game while bringing a heart wrenching story to the Metro universe.
  • Jimmy -Red Dead Redemption II
    Pretty much anything by Rockstar Games is a win in my book. 9 times outta 10 whatever they drop it’s Free and usually full of meaty content to keep you entertained for hours.
  • Adam – Final Fantasy XIV: ShadowBringers
    Again, I wasn’t quite sure where Yoshi was going to go with this one, but it was good. Not just content or story wise but visually it was stunning and the music for the game was absolutely on point.
  • Gotcha- Mortal Kombat DLC
    The new characters were amazing, The Joker, Spawn and Sindel, what is there not to love?

  • Stacy- EA claiming Loot Boxes were ‘Surprise Mechanics”
    Are you kidding me? Loot Boxes are not going anywhere fast, but it makes me livid they put them in games aimed at kids, essentially gambling with their money. EA pull your head out, the only surprising thing about it, is all these game publishers are getting away with it. Good work to the UK Parliament for calling them out on it.
  • Little James -Blizzard bans players over Hong Kong protest.
    I mean, you just have to shake your head sometimes and say ‘what were you thinking?’. Blizzard suspended Hong Kong-based Hearthstone player Ng “Blitzchung” Wai Chung for a year and took away his previous esports prize of $10,000, due to his support for Hong Kong protesters. Not cool Blizzard.
  • Dale- Battle passes
    HONESTLY, they need to stop, come on get some help, stop making us grind for stupid things like stickers and charms that should already be in the game. It’s a trap.
  • Matty- Fortnite
    Relaunching the game. I was really hoping it was done for. I really was. It should have died with that black hole meme.
  • Jordy- Nintendo Switch Lite
    I cannot fathom who decided that taking away some of the best features of the Switch would be a good idea. They still had the Nintendo DS why not make games that would work on that instead of the Switch Lite?, It’s not even a Switch is it, if you can’t dock it in the TV or slide the joy-cons out?
  • Simon- Google Stadia
    A bold move that is amazing in concept but still has a long way to go to make it feasible and competitive against other consoles.
  • Jimmy -Crossplay
    All the bickering and complaining about Crossplay does my head in. Just agree, touch dicks and be happy with how happy it could make every gamer.
    Adam -Square Enix
    Keeping us waiting too long for Final Fantasy 7 Remake, enough said.
  • Gotcha- Bethesda with Fallout 76 Subscriptions
    Bethesda just can’t dig themselves out of this mess. The subscription service was the nail in the coffin.

  • Stacy- Shroud [Mixer]
    Mate, I know it is very mainstream, especially for the likes of me, but when I found out he was coming to Mixer I squealed as he was the only reason I still had the Twitch app on my phone. He is so talented, almost god-like in reactions times and just such a nice, humble person.
  • Little James -PewDiePie [Youtube/DLive]
    This YouTube personality hit 100 million subscribers, developed a handful of portable-based games, featuring his name and likeness, and is crucial for the continual popularity of Minecraft. His reach goes way beyond that of Youtube justifying his influence and global reach.
  • Dale- Duke Of Flukes [Mixer]
    Hmm that one, hairy bearded bloke I know…… Duke.
  • Matty- Zebra Monkeys [Youtube]
    I had a chance to meet Splitsie and CapacAmaru at PAX. Down to Earth and creators of some very entertaining YouTube series.
  • Simon-Pestily [Twitch]
    Totally brings an amazing energy to his streams and a talented gamer in his own right.
  • Jimmy -Gotham Gotcha [Mixer]
    Hands down would have to be one of the newest members to join MKAU and that’s GOTHAM GOTCHA. Going into one of his streams will gladly get you pumped and feeling good with all the positivity.
    Adam -Critical Role [Youtube]
    They are a great bunch of people, mainly D&D related but they also play games, donate to charities and show off some new release games (Magic the Gathering: Arena & Pillars of Eternity 2)
  • Gotcha- Shroud [Mixer]
    He has done a lot of his community and is very gracious in his chat.

  • Stacy- MediEvil
    I used to play this a kid a lot, and while i didn’t play alot of remasters/remakes this year as I tend to be a purist snob, I did play the demo at PAX Aus. It brought all those good feelings back of reliving childhood sentiment and I thank you for that.
  • Little James – Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled
    I remember attempting this game on the PS1 and finding it all too hard and confusing, which understandably most PS1 games were at the time… leave me alone, I was 10! Suffice to say that I find this game immaculate, paying homage to its original predecessor and id such a joy to dive back into, 20 years later!
  • Dale- MediEvil
    Even though I technically haven’t really played it, still looks like the best remaster I’ve seen this year that’s dropped. The nostalgia makes it all worth my vote.
  • Matty- Resident Evil 2 Remaster
    Oh. My. God. It’s a whole new game! It is genuinely scary! I love it!
  • Jordy- New Super Lucky’s Tail
    Although, I didn’t play the original since it was on Oculus Rift, New Super Lucky’s Tail just ticked every box for me, adorable little characters, challenging puzzles, fun mini games it had everything I could have asked for.
  • Simon- Halo Master Chief Edition
    It’s finally on PC along with the all amazing moments that come with it. It is definitely worth the price and experience.
  • Adam -Resident evil 2 Remaster
    I love the Resident Evil series and this remake was phenomenal and everything I hoped it would be, a must play.
  • Gotcha- Call of Duty:Modern Warfare
    Price got me all caught up in the feels again, the other remakes didn’t really hit me this year.

  • Stacy- Anthem
    You have to worry when a game removes it’s road map, 2 months after launch. This is the game we all wanted from trailers, and then the game noone needed, on release. It was a ganky mess. Too many changes too late in the game for anyone to care now.
  • Little James -WWE 2K20
    As a pro-wrestler myself, I tend to look forward to these games every year. If I could flex here for a moment: I’ve had every single wrestling 2K game that has been released. But this year, wow, what a letdown! From forcibly removing the original developer from production, to rushing their content out in 6 months, to the insane amount of glitches which were made worse by the fact that each ‘patch’ that has been released since launch has barely fixed any mistakes.
  • Dale- Ghost Recon Breakpoint
    We all know what happened here do we have to discuss this further, just a broken mess..
  • Matty- Anthem
    I liked the game, but on release was NOTHING like the announcement and lacking so many promised features.
  • Jordy- Kingdom Hearts 3
    I have been the biggest fan of Kingdom Hearts since the first one, I played all the games they brought out, even the DS games. Kingdom Hearts 3 was rubbish I can’t even remember all the things I hated because since playing it once at the start of the year, I refuse to go back.
  • Simon- Google Stadia
    As stated before, terrific concept but the infrastructure for places like Australia is a terrible idea.
  • Jimmy – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
    I was super pumped for it, like yeah, its a fun game but the douche canoes that were running around with sniper scopes on shotguns followed by shit maps killed it for me.
  • Adam – None (Forever the optimistic ** rolls eyes ** – Stace)
    I don’t really have one, I know what I’m going to like and what I’m not.
  • Gotcha- Anthem
    Anthem definitely, but I’m not ashamed to admit im still playing it. It has gotten better, trust me…

  • Stacy- Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
    This game, oh my god this game. I have been waiting for some time for a game to come along with a story I was enthralled in. It was gorgeous to look at, cutscenes were entracing, soundtracks and musical scores impeccable and for once just felt in-tune with the Star Wars universe as a whole.
  • Little James -Kingdom Hearts III
    14 years we waited, and Square delivered. My childhood is attached to this game. I adore this franchise, I love what III offered and am so wholeheartedly excited for its future.
  • Dale- Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
    This was a hard choice to pick, but overall it had the most play-ability I found over most games and added story to a ever expanding franchise.
  • Matty- Borderlands 3
    Because all the guns. Great game for single and multiplayer, an awesome, fresh set of enemies, completely reworked skill system, every aspect of the series was improved in some way.
  • Jordy- New Super Lucky’s Tale
    I could not put this game down, it’s one of the best games I’ve played in awhile, I found every aspect of the game just right and perfect for me.
  • Simon- Metro Exodus
    Metro Exodus story and gameplay, you can really fall in love with the way they evolved the story over time.
  • Jimmy -Man of Medan
    Not gonna lie, I was super excited for this game, bugging the bosses about it constantly to finally getting a copy to review. I played a shit ton of it, hands down this game was LIT. The story, the characters and the death scenes… MY GOD!!!!!        
  • Adam – Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
    I’m in love with this game. I’m a huge Star Wars fan and this game was everything I could have hoped for and I look forward to other titles under Star Wars Jedi
  • Gotcha- Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
    It’s just sooooo fun and the fighting is tremendously satisfying, it blitzed all the others in 2019.

MKAU Gaming would also like to thank all the developers, publishers, fans and our community members for all the love, support and amazing opportunities you have provided us this year as content creators and media. We wish you all a happy holidays and a prosperous, merry and safe new year! -MKAU KREW

StacefaceMayhem

Written by: StacefaceMayhem

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    Bex December 26, 2019 |

    Not being a gamer or a techy in any way… being a teacher means trying to keep up with the latest and these reviews help me at least have my toes in the water so to speak…Thankyou for the lamens terms and keeping it detailed enough for me to have a look but simple enough .. for me to actually get my head around!!! Love your work guys!!!

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