RPGamer’s Best of 2019 Awards

RPGamer Best of 2019 Editors’ Choice Awards!

Another year is in the books and 2019 ends as one of the strongest years ever for RPG releases. RPGamer officially covered roughly 200 unique releases this year, and it had something for everybody. Some of these included brand-new original games while others were fabulous re-releases of classics. It was a great showcase for all the genre can provide, ranging from huge epics to minute-long bite-size pieces of action, and there are many games that missed out the big prize this year that could easily have entered the top three for many other years. But without further ado, after taking our traditional month off to digest all the RPGs the last year had the offer, the RPGamer staff has voted and tallied up our Best of 2019. Please enjoy.

Editor’s Choices


Organization and Direction by Alex Fuller
Content and Editing by Alex Fuller, Glenn Wilson
Banner by Sarah McGarr
Award Graphics by Ed Walker


Past Awards



Alex Fuller

Alex joined RPGamer in 2011 as a Previewer before moving onto Reviews, News Director, and Managing Editor. Became Acting Editor-in-Chief in 2018.

12 Responses

  1. ZestyLemon ZestyLemon says:

    You lost me at Tales of Vesperia > DQXI Definitive Edition for Best Re-Release.

    • severinmira severinmira says:

      That’s one of the obvious ones to argue with and understandably so. However, it’s a longstanding rule that to win any of the awards through to Best Re-Release a game needs to meet a minimum number of staff members getting far enough through it. DQXI S failed to meet that. Maybe because it’s really long or folks played the original and thus had no real interest replaying it. Either way, it couldn’t get enough staff members to stick with it, so it couldn’t win.

      • ZestyLemon ZestyLemon says:

        Well thanks for being transparent with the process. It’s not a process that I really agree with, though. With DQXI S it’s common knowledge that they added new exclusive story lines, costumes, a whole other version of the game with 2D mode, etc…
        We know that Vesperia added… nothing except enhanced graphics to match modern consoles (which any re-release does anyway)? And the Japanese DLC costumes?

        • elmondean elmondean says:


          If it makes you feel better, I voted DQXI S for 1st and didn’t even vote for Tales of Vesperia at all (I didn’t play the re-release, but didn’t care for the original). I think more staff played ToV, as @Severinmina mentioned. However, I reviewed DQXI S and gave it a perfect ‘5’ for the things you mentioned and much more.

        • MyopicMirror MyopicMirror says:

          If you are talking about the PS3 version of ToV vs. the PS4 version, you are right, not much new stuff. However, since the west never saw an official release of the PS3 version, the “Definitive” version of the game added a ton of “new” things, such as: New playable character (Patty Fleur), Flynn as a permanent member, new mini-games (Racing mini-game for Repede), new cutscenes, new main game quests, new side quests, new music, new towns, remodeled towns, new dungeons, new bosses, boss fight replays, new arts, new equipment and a few other things like costumes.

          2D mode in DQXI S isn’t exactly “new” content either, since it is just the 3DS version of the game that we never got here. Both games have “only in Japan” content that the remasters finally give westerners a chance to see.

          • wheels wheels says:

            DQXI S added a lot more than the 2D mode from the 3DS version, and I believe the 2D mode even has new content. Vesperia on the other hand, couldn’t even be bothered to get the original voice actors back for the additional lines in the remaster. Not saying Vesperia remastered isn’t a fine release, but DQXI blows it out of the water.

  2. Victar Victar says:

    I get that Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers is an excellent game, but my my gut response to any MMORPG expansion earning so many awards is “2019 was nowhere near as good as 2017 for new RPGs”.

    • severinmira severinmira says:

      I see the sentiment, but it’s underselling how well Shadowbringers was received by staff. Comparing the votes, it would’ve beaten Persona 5 (2017 GotY) if they were both the same year.

      2019 and 2017 are very similar in terms of the number of games in that top tier overall and the scores those games received (the sub awards generally go in their own directions, but I think Shadowbringers would still have come on top on many of those as well).

      • Victar Victar says:

        I figured out why my gut reaction was so negative. Playing FF XIV Shadowbringers requires an enormous investment of time & money for anyone who is not already playing FF XIV: buy game, pay monthly subscription fee, spend months guiding a character through previous expansions and their stories, then finally buy the Shadowbringers expansion.

        This massive up-front cost in time & money is far higher than the straight $60 (or less) to start playing any single-player RPG. It’s just the nature of an MMORPG. They not only have to be worth playing, they have to be worth playing more than any 5-20+ other games, because that’s what the player will sacrifice to experience them.

        This observation is absolutely not meant to detract from how good a game FF XIV is. Based on everything I’ve read and seen about FF XIV (including Twitch streams of it), it would be my top recommendation to anyone who wants to spend a boatload of their time playing a MMORPG.

  3. Taliefer Taliefer says:

    always enjoy your year rewards here, but an mmo as rpg of the year is more than a little questionable and makes the other rewards lost some credibility. thats really the only complaint I have tho. been enjoying the site for years.

  4. watcher watcher says:

    Some notes on SaGa: Scarlet Grace for those interested. The early game on normal difficulty is not well balanced for new players; you’ll need to grind a lot early on to build HP and glimmer critical skills.

    Casters start mostly useless, but are vital later on; in chain encounters they only need to be present in the last fight to grow their spells. The post-Unite discount can also reduce cast times!

    Develop two tanks with a cover skill and throw your best shield/armor on them and keep one in your active party at all times, rotating for LP recovery and leveling as needed.

    You’ll also want a high mobility character to delay/quell enemies, and a mid mobility character that has a lot of skills that alter their turn order to setup Unites.

    Use smithy’s to craft new gear as much as possible; prioritize armor and block stats early on for survivability, and differing weapon types for more glimmers. The “good customer” discount maxes at 25%. It’s best to get this on a variety of places that have 20% single category discounts early game as it becomes increasingly expensive to get the “good customer” discount later on. Don’t be afraid to upgrade unused items to hit a new smithy tier.

Leave a Reply