The biggest PlayStation hits of 2019

Danial Norjidi

The PlayStation Awards 2019 ceremony, which recognises hit game titles sold on the PlayStation format, was held in Tokyo on December 3, 2019.

The ceremony saw awards presented across several categories. One such category was the PlayStation 25th Anniversary Users’ Choice Award, where users from the Japan and Asia regions voted the top seven titles from among those “which have won PlayStation Awards in the last 24 years”.

The winners were: action-adventure games The Last of Us Remastered, NieR:Automata, God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Japanese roleplaying games Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age and Persona 5 as well as action roleplaying game Monster  Hunter: World.

Also awarded were the Platinum and Gold Prizes, which are for software titles with an accumulated shipment quantity (including downloads quantity) of over one million copies and 500,000 copies.

The five winners of the Platinum Prize were NieR:Automata; God of War; Marvel’s Spider-Man; Red Dead Redemption II; and Kingdom Hearts III.

The Gold Prize went to: Pro Evolution Soccer 2019; FIFA 19; Call of Duty: Black Ops 4; Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown; Resident Evil 2; Devil May Cry 5; Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice; Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Master Edition; and  FIFA 20.

Monster Hunter: World. PHOTO: CAPCOM
Marvel’s Spider-Man. PHOTO: MARVEL
God of War. PHOTO: SIE Santa Monica Studio

Another accolade presented was the PlayStation Network Award, which is awarded to the top three titles in terms of network sales from October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019. The winners were: Fortnite; Monster Hunter World: Iceborne; and FIFA 19.

Meanwhile, the PlayStation VR Award was presented to the “three titles that contributed to the sales of PlayStation from October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019” (excluding the previous year’s winning titles). The recipients were: 3D platformer Astro Bot: Rescue Mission; combat flight action game Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown; and rhythm game Beat Saber.

The Indies and Developer Award recognises “five titles that contributed to the expansion of PlayStation from October 1 to September 30, 2019” (excluding the previous year’s winners). The five titles were: puzzle-platformer Unravel Two; metroidvania-style masterpiece Hollow Knight; cooperative cooking simulation Overcooked! 2; physics-based puzzle platformer Human Fall Flat; and 2D platformer Hardcore Mecha.

Lastly, the PlayStation 25th Anniversary Special Award celebrated eight titles from the brand’s 25-year history. The winners were: from the first generation PlayStation console, Ridge Racer, Battle Arena Toshinden, Resident Evil, Final Fantasy VII and Metal Gear Solid; from the PlayStation 2, Dynasty Warriors 3 and Yakuza; and from the PlayStation Portable (PSP), Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G.

Local PlayStation fan Faruq shared his thoughts on the awards.

“I am happy to see four of my favourite games win the PlayStation 25th Anniversary Users’ Choice Award. Monster Hunter: World, God of War, Persona 5 and Marvel’s Spider-Man were obvious choices for the award thanks to their graphics, game mechanics and storylines. The improvements in Monster Hunter: World from its other titles were a huge welcome for me. Long gone are the days of loading screens upon entering different zones and hello to a much more fast paced, action packed game style,” he said.

“As for God of War, I have played all titles in the franchise and this one, aside from its usual hack and slash game style and puzzles, has an amazing storyline. The move from Greek mythology to Norse makes the game much more interesting.

Marvel’s Spider-Man was a truly fun game. The game mechanics made web-swinging around New York City thrilling. What I enjoyed most about the game, aside from its storyline, was unlocking its techs and suits to maximise combat capabilities and hit combos.

“As an avid follower of the Persona titles since Persona 3 FES, I was excited to find that Persona 5 made the list. The game just gets better and better after every title. The added puzzles in dungeons made the game a bit daunting but you get such a wonderful sense of accomplishment from solving them.”

He added that he was pleasantly surprised to see that Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown had won the gold prize and PlayStation VR Award.

Ace Combat titles have been quite a unique genre and not many among my gamer circle actually bothered to get the game. It is a delight to know that the game won two awards. I am happy that the game developer ditched the Ace Combat 6 game mechanics and decided stick to the usual game style from the previous titles in the Ace Combat series. Ace Combat 7 is definitely a good game and deserves the win.”

Another local gamer, Hadi, said he was happy to see Persona 5 emerge as one of the winners, noting that the series has become stronger with each title. “The visuals, settings, game mechanics and storyline are amazing, while still keeping with the high-school setting and allowing you to choose what you want to do each day in the game’s calendar,” he said.

Monster Hunter: World deserves all the plaudits it’s received, because it has delivered.

While it deviates from the hardcore mechanics of the last few generations, this allows it to cater to a mainstream audience and has made the series more accessible.

NieR:Automata has a provoking storyline and multiple endings, allowing for multiple playthroughs. The music is amazing and the way the game mashes different genres from a ‘bullet hell’ shooter to an action roleplaying game in the first hour of the game is amazing,” he added.

NieR:Automata has a provoking storyline and multiple endings, allowing for multiple playthroughs. The music is amazing and the way the game mashes different genres from a ‘bullet hell’ shooter to an action roleplaying game in the first hour of the game is amazing,” he added.

President of Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc Jim Ryan said the awards, organised by Sony Interactive Entertainment, allowed fans from across the Japan and Asia regions “to know more about the awarded titles and experience the passion put into the game titles by game creators”. At the event, Ryan acknowledged the executives “who took a bold vision and turned it into a wonderful reality that has endured for so many years”.

“I’d like to address my gratitude for the creators and partners who have supported us and the PlayStation for a long period of time, your commitment and hard work have been incredibly important to us and tonight is our moment to humbly say thank you.”

He said PlayStation was listed in the Guinness World Records as the best-selling videogame home console brand ever.

“While it is wonderful to look back into the past and share the historic successes, it is perhaps even more exciting to celebrate the games that have made 2019 such a great year and seeing the PlayStation 4 achieve a milestone with 100 million units sold all across the world.”

He added that 2019 saw them start sharing their vision for the next chapter of PlayStation’s future – PlayStation 5. “We hope that you will join us on our exciting next journey.”

The PlayStation Awards have been held annually since the PlayStation’s inception in 1994, with 2019 marking both the 25th Awards as well as the 25th anniversary of Sony’s videogaming brand.