The Most Underrated Game Releases of 2019

James Cottee
Games PC Gaming
Games PC Gaming PlayStation
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Inspired by Boost Mobile, we’re taking a look at the most underrated games of 2019 that you may have missed this year that are now on sale. Don’t miss these awesome games and deals. Also, be sure to check-out Boost Mobile’s deal this holiday providing 4 lines for $100.

Risk of Rain 2

The sequel to Risk of Rain makes the leap from 2D to 3D, and delivers one of the most engaging action-packed gaming experiences of the year. After crash-landing on an alien planet you have to blast your way through waves of massive space monsters, dying and restarting many times in the finest tradition of the rogue-like genre. Even when you’ve beaten the game there are tons of unlocks to work towards: new characters, new equipment, new potential for incandescent annihilation.

Risk of Rain 2 isn’t just an indie triumph, it’s one of the best games of the year, full stop – the game Anthem should’ve been, at a fraction of the price.

World of Warships Legends

From the people who brought you World of Tanks, this online game of ship-to-ship combat combines History Channel-style realism with explosive artillery action. Unlock famous battleships, cruisers, and destroyers, and use massive firepower and low cunning to sink your opponents. But beware! Careless captains will soon find themselves plunging to a watery grave.

World of Warships Legends adapts this successful PC game to consoles, streamlining and refining the core gameplay. Not only is the game itself free-to-play, but for the PS4 version you don’t need a subscription to the PlayStation online service to play it.

Crusader Kings II

One of the classics of the grand strategy genre, where you manage the myriad affairs of a European kingdom during the violent throes of the dark ages – a time when the skulduggery of Game of Thrones looks pretty tame in comparison.

Crusader Kings II is a premium product, and for years it was sold at a premium price. But Paradox recently made the base game completely free-to-play, finally bringing the obtuse yet fascinating grand strategy genre to the masses. The official add-ons are still a tad pricey, but there are loads of free mods for added variety.

Slay the Spire

A compelling blend of fantasy hack-and-slash with in-depth deck-building. Your objective: To ascend a gigantic fantasy castle chock full of bizarre and monstrous creatures. Like all rogue-likes, the challenges you face are randomized each time you play; no two games are ever the same. With each attempt you’ll get just that little bit further, unlock new spell attack cards, and gain new insights. Can you make it to the very top? Can you … Slay the Spire?!

Lost Frontier

It’s been over a decade now since Nintendo last made an Advance Wars game, and several indie titles have emerged to fill this yawning gap in the market – games like Wargroove and Tiny Metal. Perhaps the best of the bunch is Lost Frontier, a wild west-inspired turn-based strategy game where you deploy cavalry, gatling guns, and zeppelins against bizarre supernatural foes.

The 24-mission campaign gets loads of replay value thanks to a selection nine highly specialized commanding officers, and there are 20 post-game challenge missions if you crave extra punishment.

One of the biggest pleasant surprises of 2019, and it can be yours for under 10 bucks.

Dota Underlords

2019 saw the explosive rise of a whole new genre of gaming: “auto battlers.” Starting with a Dota 2 mod called Auto Chess, the genre has already spawned a host of imitators, including Teamfight Tactics from Riot Games, and Dota Underlords from the people who brought you Dota 2 in the first place.

Using a form of deck building you assemble a squad of fantastical heroes, deploy them on a chess-like board, and let them automatically battle it out. Units stack and enhance each others’ powers in a multitude of synergistic ways, so there’s tons to learn – this is a very fresh new take on tournament/battle royale style competition.

Dota Underlords is free-to-play, too, so you can get a taste of this new genre for zero money down.

Rebel Galaxy Outlaw

If you’ve ever found yourself saying “They sure don’t make gamers like Wing Commander or Privateer any more,” then Rebel Galaxy Outlaw is quite happy to prove you wrong. There’s everything you’d expect from a game of space trading and combat, such as in-depth ship customization and upgrades, not to mention neat innovations like an auto-pursuit system that takes the drudgery out of steering in dogfights.

Work both sides of the law as you delve into the seedy under-belly of a decidedly blue-collar cosmos, where you might win a powerful new laser for your ship in a game of pool.

The overall presentation is excellent, and there are even GTA-style in-game radio stations with over 21 hours of music. A fresh new take on the Han Solo fantasy.

Void Bastards

FTL meets System Shock 2 in a rogue-like space shooter with vivid comic book-style graphics. Explore alien-infested spaceships, loot high tech weapons, and try to get out alive. As you rampage through incredibly stylish spaceship interiors you’ll find a multitude of ways to dispose of your alien foes, from conventional run-and-gun tactics to blowing them out of airlocks.

Void Bastards was created by Blue Manchu, a studio founded by former members of Irrational Games, and as such is a true spiritual successor to the BioShock series.

Frostpunk

More than your average city management game, Frostpunk charges you with the salvation of the human race! A frigid new ice age has engulfed the earth, and as the ruler of the last human city you must develop new technologies, balance law and order with compassion, and make the difficult decisions required to guarantee humanity’s survival. From the same team that brought you the agonizing moral choices of This War of Mine.

2019 sees the release of a massive update pack: The Last Autumn.

They Are Billions

Think Starship Troopers, only with zombies instead of giant insects. In a future world where almost everyone is a zombie, the last outposts of humanity must fend off wave after wave of undead horrors. The AI is remarkable, with individual zombies coalescing into vast hordes that probe your defenses with an uncanny collective intelligence. Tower defense style gameplay with an aesthetic somewhere between steampunk and Warhammer 40,000, They Are Billions is one of the most addictive real time strategy games in years.

First released to early access in 2017, with a major campaign update this year.

Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind

The long-awaited sequel to King of Dragon Pass, one of the best games you’ve never heard of. Over the course of decades you must manage your feudal clan, placate the gods, and deal with some truly bizarre fantasy races. This is one classy production – every opaque moral quandary you’re tasked with solving is accompanied by exquisite fantasy art. This is the series that inspired The Banner Saga and many other cult hits.

James Cottee
Australian writer and voice actor. James Cottee's work has been published by The Sydney Morning Herald, PC PowerPlay, IGN, Good Game Spawn Point, and other fine media outlets.