It’s hard to say if we, at RE:BIND, really believe in a ‘Game Of The Year’ or even a ‘Game Of The Decade’

What we do believe in are important artistic works, the individual contributions to the greater cohesive whole, cultural context for the way we live and the things important to us.

So join us for the games we think helped to define 2009 – 2019, we largely believe these works to be of great importance, and that you should play them. By no means is this comprehensive, or intended to assert the primacy of these games over all other works.

An unrelenting Ballardian epic, I came into things quite worried about what directions Remedy was taking since Alan Wake, and I was immediately put at ease. The first meaningfully ‘AA’ / ‘AAA’ Weird release of the year, it was a perfect way to cap off 2019.

CONTROL – by Remedy Entertainment

It is appropriate that one of the most haunting ghost stories to appear in a game would become one itself, Cryostasis is probably one of the most important first person narrative works to grace our LCDs. Having succumbed to an expired publishing deal and driven Action Forms into the ground, it’s doubtful we’ll ever see this game get the recognition it truly deserved. One of Ukraine’s gaming stars, easily outshining STALKER.

Cryostasis – Action Forms (Dec. 5, 2008)

This is where the series peaked, originally written off by many as ‘consolitis’ runoff, Bad Company 2 was the last DICE game in my opinion to truly capture the memorable spirit of the franchise. As one of the last entries available on STEAM, the community endures to this day. Destructibility that felt tangible and downright futuristic, things were never quite the same in any other release. The singleplayer campaign was an extremely lovable comedic romp with some of the most well acted scenes of shooting the shit ever seen.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 – by DICE / EA (2010)

It is very clear so many years on that RUST is the apex predator of the survival crafting game genre. Despite the rampant toxicity, something about RUST’s untamed, raw refusal to give into trends and matchmaking paired up with imaginative gameplay systems keeps pulling us in. RUST is everything DayZ promised to be, there is nothing like it out there, and the fact that it retains its independence proves Facepunch knows what they’re doing. It is the ultimate combat sandbox for a multiplayer environment, and it’s hard to think any other will ever top this game in this genre.

RUST – by Facepunch Studios (2013)

A love letter to all expats everywhere, Bird Of Passage was one of the games that let me know RE:BIND was on the right track. Tapping into the same strange restlessness found within Kentucky Route Zero, Space Backyard has created an exemplary work of art representative of the medium.

Bird Of Passage – by Space Backyard (2019)

A near-religious experience, Kentucky Route Zero is therapy, nourishment for the troubled spirit. No game has captured what it’s like to spend late rural nights on old country roads in the deep south like this one.

Kentucky Route Zero – Cardboard Computer (2013)

An interactive tale of anti-colonialist resistance, this game will come to haunt me for many years to come, a vision.

In The Pause Between The Ringing – Studio Oleomingus (2019)

If Kentucky Route Zero captures the subdued lonely glamour of southern country roads at night, then Glitchhiker’s does the same for driving up the Columbia Gorge. This one has proven a sort of defacto personality test for anyone I have ever put through the game, and helped show me how ‘out there’ short indie games could go.

Glitchhikers – Silver String Media (2014)

I owe Allen deep gratitude for releasing this game on Gamejolt so many years ago. In the first few months of asserting my adulthood by moving to the pacific northwest, stumbling across this opened my eyes up to the emotional impact of minimalist games. Spirits of Xanadu certainly follows in this tradition, but King Of The Wood was one of the few single player games to ever make me truly feel remorse when those piano keys fell silent at my hand.

Allen, Thank you. Without you, my life would have taken a drastically different course, we may not be very close, but your work has had tremendous meaning for me.

King Of The Wood – by Good Morning, Commander

This one caught me by surprise, a true digital gothic, PAGAN: Autogeny speaks to my personal experiences growing up digitally few games can. Oleander Garden has a true grasp of the medium, and manages to squeeze out meaning from the oft misunderstood ‘retro horror’ genre of lo-fi gaming.

PAGAN: Autogeny – by Oleander Garden (2019)

There have been many attempts at Western Visual Novels, and I truly feel like Eliza is one of the first to get it right. It’s a stark depiction of what will likely come to pass, in time via recuperation, capital claims everything.

Eliza – by Zachtronics (2019)

Emily Rose is an indie developer who writes for and resides in the pacific northwest. She’s often seen in the local VR arcade and developer community participating in pushing the medium’s horizons. You can find her on twitter @caravanmalice