RPG of the Year Awards 2019

RPG of the Year Awards 2019

A great year for role-playing

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for GOTY Awards on

With so many amazing RPGs releasing this year, it's time to honour the best with our annual RPG awards for 2019.

Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout screenshot
I certainly wouldn't call all of those cool goats boring...

Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout Modern JRPG of the Year

As a huge fan of all things Atelier, I was initially hesitant about how radically different this entry is. However, after playing for dozens of hours, I can assure you that it's one of the best RPGs that's come out in recent years. From its innovative and addictive gameplay systems to its wonderful cast of characters, I highly recommend it even if you've never played an Atelier game before.

Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout Review Award image →

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III Traditional JRPG of the Year

Trails of Cold Steel III picks up where the previous one left off when it comes to story and gameplay but that's not a bad thing as this series is one of the most underrated franchises in JRPG history with a huge world to explore, loads of quests to master, a rewarding battle system, and a large cast of charming characters. Thankfully, Cold Steel III carries on those traditions beautifully.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III Review Award image →
Operencia: The Stolen Sun screenshot
Operencia's battles can be brutal but they're exceptionally rewarding to beat

The Outer Worlds Action RPG of the Year

Obsidian Entertainment has a long history of crafting memorable RPGs yet their latest is definitely one of their best. The Outer Worlds perfectly combines a satirical look at corporate politics with open-ended missions and player choices that actually matter. As a result, you're looking at a phenomenal story that's worth replaying over and over again; even if the plot surprises don't hit as hard.

The Outer Worlds Review Award image →

Fire Emblem: Three Houses Turn-based SRPG of the Year

Intelligent Systems' Fire Emblem series has been around for nearly 30 years and Three Houses is a wonderful addition to the franchise. As you play battle after grueling battle, you'll become deeply attached to the characters which only makes eventually saying goodbye supremely difficult and the combat itself will have you on the edge of your seat as you carefully command your army to victory.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses Review Award image →

Operencia: The Stolen Sun Dungeon Crawler of the Year

Although Operencia: The Stolen Sun flew under many gamers' radars, it was one of the most impressive surprises of the year for me. Its old-school approach to storytelling and gameplay clicked with me almost immediately and once the world opened up, I knew that this would be one of my favourite dungeon crawlers ever. Congrats, Zen Studios; you really knocked this one out of the park!

Operencia: The Stolen Sun Review Award image →
Grandia HD Collection screenshot
When it comes to classic RPGs, Grandia II has aged very well!

Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth Portable RPG of the Year

2014's Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth was a gem of an RPG and this year's Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth masterfully carried on the tradition of quirky classic dungeon fun but don't let the goofiness fool you; Persona Q2's battles require a lot of strategy. Although the 3DS is sadly on its last legs, this is one game that you need to play for the handheld.

Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth Review Award image →

Grandia HD Collection RPG Collection of the Year

The Grandia series is one of my favourite franchises in all of gaming so re-playing the original 2 games on my Switch was an absolute treat. The contrast between the original's chipper hero and its sequel's snarky protagonist is palpable yet both games' battle systems are quite similar and stand out as truly rewarding, especially with the satisfying character growth options in Grandia II.

Grandia HD Collection Review Award image →

Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey Casual RPG of the Year

It may have released a decade ago but Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story is still a blast that gamers of all ages can enjoy and let me tell you; it's one hilarious adventure! This 3DS adaptation features the very cool bonus game Bowser Jr.'s Journey so even if you own the original, playing it again then diving into the extra game will make double dipping well worth it.

Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey Review Award image →
Gameplay video playlist for RPG of the Year Awards 2019 78:07
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