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Game of the Year 2019: The Winners

Reading Time: 6 minutes

We did it! We picked the best games of 2019! Good job, everybody!

Despite this year’s significantly shorter voting period — about a week, compared to the 2-3 weeks we usually give you — we actually got a similar turnout at the polls. Across all of this year’s categories, we ended up with nearly a million votes!

Death Stranding walked away with the most Platinum Trophies this year, but we saw strong support for crowd favorites like Sekiro, FFXIV Shadowbringers, Kingdom Hearts III, No Man’s Sky Beyond, and Resident Evil 2 as well. What a year!

I feel like I’ve been saying this a lot over the past few months, but thank you. We weren’t sure about trying to get these results live before we all head out for the holiday break, but your enthusiastic response at the polls tells me we made the right call.

Now then, without further ado: the winners!

Oh, PS: Game of the Decade. Polls open tomorrow.

Best Narrative
Death Stranding

Death Stranding captured voters’ hearts and minds with its introspective analysis of connectedness amidst a ravaged civilization. Days Gone scored big with voters, too – its gritty, heartfelt performances and life-or-death stakes likely playing a key reason. Fans also showed up to support Modern Warfare’s murky worldview, and the Kingdom Hearts III’s long-awaited reunion of old friends.


Honorable Mentions:FFXIV: Shadowbringers, The Outer Worlds, A Plague Tale: Innocence

Best Graphical Showcase
Death Stranding

Cutting-edge mo-cap, palpable weather effects, and the stunning beauty of a world ravaged by Timefall comfortably propelled Death Stranding to the top spot. Meanwhile, the grotesque creatures of Resident Evil 2, bone-rattling realism of Modern Warfare, and sssmokin fury of DMC5 made Gold, Silver, and Bronze a close race (and hard decision) for fans.


Honorable Mentions:Days Gone, MHW: Iceborne, Mortal Kombat 11

Best Art Direction
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

The striking, historical Japan locales of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice captivated enough PlayStation fans to score Best Art Direction in 2019. Devil May Cry’s cool factor secured second place with voters thanks to its flashy weaponry and outlandish demon designs. Pulling up in third place is Control, which won over players with its brutalist architecture, shifting surreal environments, and Jesse’s transforming Service Weapons.


Honorable Mentions:The Outer Worlds, CTR: Nitro-Fueled, MHW: Iceborne

Best Soundtrack
Death Stranding

Music is sparse when making deliveries in Death Stranding’s cratered wilderness, but Low Roar’s somber tunes and Ludvig Forssell’s moving, synth-laced score resonated with fans to the tune of a Platinum trophy. Kingdom Hearts III benefitted from yet another rich, varied soundtrack, with Devil May Cry 5 and Days Gone also receiving honors from PS Blog readers.


Honorable Mentions:FFXIV: Shadowbringers, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, MHW: Iceborne

Best Multiplayer
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

FPS fans showed up in numbers to vote for Modern Warfare is this year’s Best Multiplayer category. Infinity Ward’s latest netted the most votes thanks to its intense and buttery smooth gameplay. Apex Legends captured a sizable portion of players’ imaginations with its colorful first-person spin on the battle royale genre. Following closely in third and fourth place are MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers and Death Stranding with its unique asynchronous multiplayer.


Honorable Mentions:Borderlands 3, MHW: Iceborne, CTR: Nitro-Fueled

Best Role-Playing Game
Kingdom Hearts III

A nailbiter, with voters backing Kingdom Hearts III and The Outer Worlds in nearly equal measure – a true clash between the RPG genre’s Eastern and Western interpretations. Voters also strongly supported the team play-centric Monster Hunter World: Iceborne and MMO juggernaut FFXIV: Shadowbringers, demonstrating the genre’s unmatched diversity.


Honorable Mentions:The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III, Path of Exile, Dragon Quest Builders 2

Best Action Game
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Every vote counts, and in this competitive category the One-Armed Wolf narrowly walked away the victor, while Devil May Cry 5’s over-the-top action and iconic cast of characters rocketed it up the charts. Capcom also nabbed the Bronze trophy for its heart-pounding update to RE2’s Raccoon City outbreak.


Honorable Mentions:CoD: Modern Warfare, Days Gone, Death Stranding

Best Sports Game
Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled

Voters’ nostalgia revved into high gear for this whimsical remake of the beloved Crash Team Racing, totaling more than double the votes of second place. The silver goes to global football phenomenon FIFA 20, while NBA 2K20 and MLB The Show 20 follow up in third and fourth position.


Honorable Mentions:eFootball PES 2020, Madden NFL 20, F1 2019

Best Ongoing Game
Final Fantasy XIV

The long-running Final Fantasy XIV took home this year’s Platinum Trophy for “Best Ongoing Game,” fueled by this year’s excellent Shadowbringers expansion and the consistent stream of content updates and developer communication the team behind this beloved MMORPG has become known for. Monster Hunter World, Rainbow Six Siege, and No Man’s Sky are taking home Trophies today as well, thanks to muscular support from their respective communities.


Honorable Mentions:Fortnite, Destiny 2, Apex Legends

Best Independent Game
A Plague Tale: Innocence

Voters swarmed to vote for Asobo Studio’s artful adventure, A Plague Tale: Innocence, earning it the most votes by over double the next runner up. The wondrous space exploration of Outer Wilds plants a flag in second place, while action RPT Indivisible and challenging platformer The Messenger grab third and fourth place.


Honorable Mentions:Slay the Spire, Sayonara Wild Hearts, Frostpunk

Best PlayStation Console Exclusive
Death Stranding

Voters showed commanding support for Kojima Productions’ unconventional epic Death Stranding, though Bend Studios’ made a strong showing with the gritty Days Gone.


Honorable Mentions:Concrete Genie, MLB The Show 19, Blood & Truth

Best Performance
Norman Reedus (Sam Porter Bridges) // Death Stranding

Norman Reedus literally embodies Sam Porter Bridges with loads of custom facial animations and a gruff, understandably hesitant attitude towards the insane world around him. When he feels exhausted by the weight of the world on his shoulders, we feel it too. Mads Mikkelsen, Sam Witwer and Claudia Doumit also gave strong performances that made this year’s winners especially notable.


Honorable Mentions:Melissa Hutchinson, Ashly Burch, Tommie Earl Jenkins

Gaming Moment of the Year
Resident Evil 2: Mr. X encounters

Tyrant. Mr. X. Strong fedora man. Whatever you call him, encountering RE2’s unrelenting monster captured the imagination of voters and secured Gaming Moments of the Year. Death Stranding nipped at RE2’s heels in second place with its harrowing BT attacks. The climactic final moments of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order rallied enough intergalactic fan votes to follow in third place by fewer than 100 votes. Trailing in fourth position was the surreal, nightmarish battle with Sekiro’s persistent Guardian Ape.


Honorable Mentions:CoD Modern Warfare: The flashback sequence, Days Gone: Taking down your first horde, Control: Ashtray Maze

Best PS VR Experience
No Man’s Sky Beyond

Something of an upset here, with the spacefaring No Man’s Sky Beyond and the daredevil Ace Combat 7 taking top honors thanks to meticulously realized, immersive virtual experiences. Blood & Truth and LA Noire also racked up strong showings from PS VR players.


Honorable Mentions:Concrete Genie, Trover Saves the Universe, Everybody’s Golf VR

Best PS4 Game
Death Stranding

Another big win for Death Stranding, an unconventional open-world epic that captured players’ imaginations with its stark world and relatable themes of connection and relationships. After that, it was a four-way shootout for second place, with RE2, Kingdom Hearts III, Sekiro, and Days Gone coming within a percentage point or two.


Honorable Mentions:Days Gone, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, FFXIV: Shadowbringers

Most Anticipated Game
Cyberpunk 2077

A big finish for the hotly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077, which managed to squeak out a lead against Final Fantasy VII Remake and Ghost of Tsushima for the win. No pressure, CD PROJEKT RED!


Honorable Mentions:Persona 5: Royal, Elden Ring, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot

Studio of the Year
Kojima Productions

No surprises here – Kojima Productions’ Death Stranding was the 2019 game that got everybody talking. Whether you loved or hated the methodical, meditative gameplay, you couldn’t ignore it. Capcom scores big kudos in a close second place showing for a banner year that included Resident Evil 2 and Monster Hunter Iceborne, while Square Enix and Respawn earned respect for strong multi-release showings.


Honorable Mentions:Bend Studio, Obsidian, Infinity Ward

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