Wccftech’s Best Action Games of 2019 – Live by the Sword

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2019 was a great year for hardcore action fans, as the industry turned back to straightforward, challenging fare after a generation mostly focused on live service and open-world games. And it seems fans were ready for it, as almost all the games on this list exceeded sales expectations. Capcom kicked off the year in fine fashion with Resident Evil 2 and Devil May Cry 5, but they weren’t the only ones holding the action banner high. Platinum Games, From Software, and hell, even EA tested our thumbs, too. Sharpen your blade and scroll on down for Wccftech’s best action games of 2019!

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Devil May Cry 5 (9.8)

For years Capcom held back with the Devil May Cry franchise, seemingly afraid that today’s gamers would no longer respond to its brand of over-the-top insanity. Finally, they just said “to hell with it” and gave us Devil May Cry 5, an unapologetic ode to the series at it’s craziest, and guess what? It was great! And successful, selling nearly 3 million copies worldwide. Wccftech’s Francesco de Meo certainly loved the game, awarding it a near-perfect score…

Devil May Cry V is the best entry in the series and one of the best character action games ever made. In addition to its excellent combat mechanics and level design, which expand greatly on the elements introduced in past games, the story and characters had never before received such focus in Devil May Cry. The game may lacking extra content like at launch, but don't let this small flaw prevent you from getting what will surely a 2019 GOTY contender.

Astral Chain (9.3)

When Astral Chain was first announced, it got the usual level of attention from hardcore Platinum Games fans, but few predicted it would be quite as fantastic as it turned out to be. Astral Chain’s action is as satisfying as you’d expect, but the game also delivers a fun story, great world, and a refreshingly-varied array of objectives. Wccftech’s Francesco de Meo thought Astral Chain was off the chain…

Astral Chain is one of the best games ever released by Platinum Games and one of the best Nintendo Switch exclusives to date. With its combination of explosive action gameplay, which masterfully blends together mechanics taken from previous games developed by the studio, engaging investigation and exploration mechanics, an enjoyable story, and huge amount of content, Astral Chain is a game that no fan of action games should pass on.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (9)

EA finally put out a good Star Wars game! Of course, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order being fun wasn’t that surprising, as it’s the work of the ultra-talented folks at Respawn Entertainment, but the game really did exceed expectations. It doesn’t break any new ground, but Star Wars Jedi is a rock-solid Metroidvania-style adventure, the likes of which you don’t often see from big publishers these days. Wccftech’s Francesco de Meo certainly didn’t have to force himself to give it a great score…

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Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is another excellent game from Respawn. With its great story, charming characters, engaging platforming and combat mechanics, the game is a must-buy for any self-respecting Star Wars fan, despite a lack of innovation, which doesn't truly harm the experience as a whole.

Resident Evil 2 (8.5)

Capcom kicked off 2019 with the fantastic one-two punch of Devil May Cry 5 and their much-anticipated Resident Evil 2 remake. Capcom doesn’t try anything too ambitious with their remake, but then, they didn’t have to. The original RE2 is a classic for a reason, and the new version of the game is a wonderfully polished and intense survival horror experience. I gave Resident Evil 2 an 8.5, but, in retrospect, I was probably just a touch too hard on it (I’d probably go 9 today). Nevertheless, I recommended the game highly back in January, and still do…

Resident Evil 2 is a polished, respectful remake of a survival horror classic that probably would have benefitted from a slightly more daring approach. Hints of a braver revamp are sprinkled throughout, but it doesn’t take the risks necessary to join the canon of truly great video game remakes. Make no mistake though, if you loved the original Resident Evil 2, you’ll likely love the remake, and new players who can tolerate a few old-school quirks ought to have a gruesome good time as well.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (8.5)

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is From Software’s most rewarding adventure yet. Yeah, it’s as hard as adamantium-coated nails, but the game’s gorgeous world and pulse-pounding boss battles are worth the hand-cramps it will give you. Even if Dark Souls never quite clicked with you, Sekiro is still worth a try, as it’s a unique, more straightforward beast. And hey, surprise surprise, Sekiro even stole GOTY at The Game Awards 2019! Here are my final thoughts from my review…

You can tell From Software was happy to try something a little different with Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. The game has a few mechanical issues, which can largely be chalked up to new series jitters, but its energy and excitement mostly make up for its flaws. Yes, Sekiro can be downright sadistic at times, but those with the bushido (or plain old stubbornness) to face its challenges will have a bloody good time.

Honorable Mentions

As I said, this was a great year for action overall, and it was a tough task narrowing down a list. In addition to the above five selections, we also had Remedy Entertainment’s stylish Control, the surprisingly-compelling open-world actioner Days Gone, ultra-challenging The Surge 2, and the latest slice of wackiness from the Yakuza team, Judgment. There were also a wealth of great indie actioners, including My Friend Pedro, Katana Zero, River City Girls, and Blaster Master Zero 2.

So yeah, if you’re somebody who thinks modern games should be more challenging, well, you’ve got nothing to complain about this year. Any good action games I missed? Don’t agree with the top five? Hit the comments and hash out your own adventure favorites. And look forward to more Wccftech GOTY lists over the next couple weeks!

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