It seems that, every year, some gamers are bound to get more jaded as The Game Awards ignores their favorite games for Game of the Year in favor of some over-hyped title. This year, the titles nominated are Control, Death Stranding, Resident Evil 2, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and The Outer Worlds. While a few notable titles are missing from the nominees, one prominent, if less impactful, title stands above them all: Luigi's Mansion 3.
Of course, Luigi's Mansion 3 doesn't have the artsiness of Death Stranding, the narrative freedom of The Outer Worlds, or the ambition behind Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. However, it is a highly polished game oozing with charm and it's a sheer blast to play. Of all the games I personally played this year, I have to say Luigi's Mansion 3 was the one that gave me a constant smile on my face the whole way through. I can't say that for the majority of titles released in recent years.
Like any game, Luigi's Mansion 3 does have its flaws. This includes almost useless currency and its short length. However, its fun online play, quirky puzzle mechanics, and engaging ghostbusting make it a fantastic all-around package. It is missing some impactful elements from the nominated games, but the level of entertainment it provides stands almost head-and-shoulders above the rest.
I will admit that some of this praise is based on nostalgia. One of my favorite childhood games is Luigi's Mansion for Gamecube, so perhaps there is "rose-colored glasses" thing going on here. Yet, I don't believe my thoughts of Luigi's Mansion 3 are enhanced or modified by personal attachment to the original game.
Also, who doesn't love the light-hearted antics of Professor E. Gadd's constant teasing of poor Luigi? The comedic value really completes the package.
Luigi's Mansion 3 doesn't have some of the qualities of the high-production-value games that were nominated, but its consistently fun, polished, and unique ghostbusting mechanics should have put the game in the same realm as the nominees. However, in the end, the only thing that matters is what game we personally believe was the best of 2019.