The ultimate 2019 review

Take a look back at 12 months of unforgettable PlayStation gaming

 
 

Brand new heroes

From Deacon St. John to Sam Bridges, 2019 welcomed an array of new faces to the PlayStation universe...

Jesse Faden (Control)

The unlikely hero of Remedy Entertainment’s out-there action adventure took some seriously weird goings-on in her stride, while sporting some of the coolest supernatural abilities of the year. Don't mess with Jesse.

Sam Bridges (Death Stranding)

Death Stranding’s resilient delivery man was well and truly put through the wringer in Hideo Kojima’s mesmerising sci-fi epic – and as a result there were few closer bonds forged between player and protagonist in 2019.

Ash (Concrete Genie)

The plucky star of Pixelopus’ PS4 exclusive provided a refreshing counterpoint to 2019’s no-nonsense action heroes, cleaning up pollution, reforming bullies and creating magical street art along the way.

Deacon St. John (Days Gone)

Days Gone’s world-weary hero might not have cracked too many smiles, but his dogged resourcefulness in the field and steely composure in the face of overwhelming odds won Deek a devoted following.

Wolf - Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Bloodborne creator Hidetaka Miyazaki returned with a stunning new adventure – and a memorable new hero. Slowly mastering Wolf’s moveset was one of 2019’s most satisfying – albeit gruelling – experiences.

Wraith (Apex Legends)

Respawn’s break-out battle royale hit featured fantastic character design across the board, but versatile scrapper Wraith was arguably the standout, perfectly straddling the easy-to-learn/hard-to-master divide. 

 
 

Big new ideas

Memorable moments from amazing games

Control’s labyrinthine level design

Remedy Entertainment took plenty of creative risks in its new action adventure, but its most mind-blowing gambit was its shape-shifting backdrop, The Oldest House. Its extraordinary concertina design was a thrill to explore.

Traversal in Death Stranding

While some open-world games ask players do little more than point the stick in the direction of travel and press 'sprint', Death Stranding’s nuanced controls asked us to really interact with the environment and plan a route. The result? A true sense of achievement and distance travelled.

Dreams’ DIY spirit

2019 finally saw players get their hands on the extraordinary new game from LittleBigPlanet creator Media Molecule. Its Early Access release showcased the near limitless potential of the next evolution of the studio’s Create, Play, Share maxim. 

Erica’s interactive storytelling

This pioneering crime thriller saw developer Flavourworks push at the boundaries of the medium, fusing live action video with immersive touch controls that let you reach into the game and direct how the story unfurls.

 
 

The best PS4 games of 2019 you might not have heard of

Alongside this year’s big blockbuster titles, there was a steady stream of phenomenal titles from independent developers that might have flown under your radar. Read our guide to 2019’s hidden gems and start playing catch-up.

 
 

Returning icons

Familiar faces returned to the fray in 2019

Crash Bandicoot (Crash Team Racing Nitro Fueled)

Gaming's most famous marsupial refused to put his feet up after his triumphant return to action in 2017’s N. Sane Trilogy. This classy update of the vintage kart racer delighted fans and newcomers alike.

Leon & Claire (Resident Evil 2)

Capcom’s supremely polished survival horror remake made an early bid for 2019’s game of the year crown, offering a terrifying trip down memory lane with series mainstays Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield. It was great to be back in Raccoon City.

Sir Dan Fortesque (MediEvil)

Sir Dan returned from the grave to liberate Gallowmere from the clutches of evil sorcerer Zarok in this update of the ghoulish PS one adventure, providing a nostalgic treat for veteran gamers, and a riotously fun history lesson for youngsters.

Dante (Devil May Cry 5)

Fans have been checking their watches for 11 long years since Dante’s last mainline outing, but the latest entry in Capcom’s action series was worth the wait, delivering breathless combat, extraordinary visuals and outrageous set pieces.

Sora (Kingdom Hearts III)

Fans had waited a long time to pick up Sora’s keyblade and return to the fray, and the epic third entry in Square Enix’s action RPG Disney crossover didn’t disappoint, serving up wide-eyed adventure with emotional punch.

Ryo Hazuki (Shenmue III)

Nearly 20 years on from his last outing, gamers finally got to continue the saga of Ryo Hazuki this year. The cult-favourite Shenmue series picked up where it left off, delivering crunchy combat, a moving story and an array of eccentric mini-games. 

 
 

The biggest PS VR games of 2019

From the blockbuster action of Blood & Truth, to the immersive intergalactic exploration of No Man’s Sky Beyond, it was a great year for PS VR. Take a look at our rundown of the best virtual reality titles of 2019.

 
 

Unforgettable villains

The anatgonists you loved to hate this year

The rats (A Plague Tale: Innocence)

This medieval action RPG boasts an unusual adversary – a roiling swarm of rodents that devour anything in their path. You must use your wits to get out of their way… or herd them in the direction of unfortunate enemies.

Tony Sharp (Blood & Truth)

Blood & Truth hit it out of the park with its villain – obnoxious East End gangster Tony Sharp. Brilliantly voiced by UK character actor Steven Hartley, he’s a swaggering, foul-mouthed sociopath who deserves what's coming to him.

Mr X (Resident Evil 2)

The seemingly unstoppable Mr X is a relentlessly terrifying presence in Capcom’s acclaimed remake. Even when he’s not facing you down, you can hear his footsteps as he stalks you through the halls of Raccoon City PD. Dare you play with headphones?

The Calypso Twins (Borderlands 3)

Riffing playfully on streaming culture, Borderlands 3’s disgraceful duo of Tyreen and Troy were 2019’s most charismatic big-bads – a pair of wisecracking narcissists every bit the equal of Borderlands 2 villain Handsome Jack.

 
 

2019’s biggest anniversaries

Looking back at a year of big gaming milestones

25 years ago:

  • PS one’s original Japanese launch

20 years ago:

  • Final Fantasy VIII
  • Shenmue
  • Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
  • Silent Hill
  • Gran Turismo 2

15 years ago:

  • Spider-Man 2
  • SingStar
  • GTA: San Andreas
  • Sly 2: Band of Thieves
  • Ratchet & Clank 3

10 years ago:

  • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum
  • LittleBigPlanet
  • Borderlands
  • Demon’s Souls
 
 

PlayStation Christmas gift guide

Delight friends and family this festive season with the perfect PlayStation gift.