We added this category last year as it is clear that more and more games, including those outside of the AAA sphere, have much longer lifespans than they used to. That is, of course, due to the continued development and support they receive. Competitive multiplayer games dominate this scene for the most part, but there are plenty of cooperative and singleplayer affairs that keep evolving over time. Here's the games we think did it best in 2019.
Here's the list of nominees (and here's the list of nominees for all award categories):
- Final Fantasy XIV
- Monster Hunter: World
- Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove
- Stardew Valley
Readers' Choice - Monster Hunter: World
By just the sheer volume of the cross-promotions alone, Monster Hunter: World has added a mindboggingly amount of content to the game. Of course, all of those are just frosting atop the continual free updates added to the game. Throw in an absolutely fantastic expansion in Iceborne, and you have a clear winner this year.
Third Place - Fortnite
Developer: Epic Games | Release Date: September 26th, 2017 | Game Page
By Andrew Stretch
That's right, Fortnite Battle Royale is still around. Now two years old, Epic Games continues to deliver pop culture content and events. Some highlights include a Star Wars event with exclusive footage and the few days where they shut the game down. People weren't watching Fortnite streamers play the game, but watching the black hole left in its place searching for clues.
There's always something to do in Fortnite from your daily quests to looking into the cryptic clues from the developers. Even if you're not playing the game, it's difficult to not see all the work that is being put into the continual growth of the game.
Second Place - Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove
Developer: Yacht Club Games | Release Date: June 26th, 2014
By Alex Santa Maria
There’s no way on Earth that Yacht Club Games could have expected Shovel Knight to still be in development in 2019. The crowdfunding bonus campaigns were meant to be simple character swaps, but they quickly evolved into their own fully formed games. What was once a single adventure transformed into a tetralogy of classic platformers that stand up against any other active franchise going today. Plus, there was a bonus Smash Bros.-esque game that wasn’t half bad either. The fact that each new game kept up the high standards of what came before make this one of the best evolving games of the entire generation.
Winner - Monster Hunter: World
Developer: Capcom | Release Date: January 26th, 2018 | Game Page
By Kyle Downey
Monster Hunter: World made an appearance on this same list last year and Capcom has continued to support one of its highest-selling games. Monster Hunter: World kicked off the year in February with a collab with The Witcher 3. The update allowed players to play as Geralt of Rivia who made his way into the Monster Hunter universe to confront the Leshen, a monster from the world of The Witcher. The update gave players new quests, weapons, layered armor, and a new monster to hunt, all for free.
We'll be talking about the Iceborne expansion on another post, but even after that expansion, Capcom has continued to provide free content updates to those who purchased the expansion. Adding Rajang, Stygian Zinogre, the Safi'jiiva Siege, new areas of the Guiding Lands, further collabs with other games such as Horizon Zero Dawn, and more to come, all without any additional purchase beyond the Iceborne expansion. On top of all that are the recurring events and celebrations for all players that bring new assignments and usually some new armor or layered armor unique to the events.
Monster Hunter: World does a great job of never making its grind feel like it's separate from progressing through the actual game content; it feels natural, engaging, and rewarding throughout each hunt even if you're hunting the same monster repeatedly. Capcom's commitment to providing continuous content updates to the game means that players will most likely be happily hunting right up until the next major installment in the series launches.
What did we get right? Wrong? Miss anything? Let us know in the comments below!