The Best Online Slots of 2019
With the year coming to a close it’s time to look back at the best slots from the last 12 months. All in all, it was a pretty great year. Two trends immediately stand out – it was a massive year for both Megaways and Westerns.
Several Western-themed slots made the top 10 list with plenty more great efforts lurking out on the wings. Megaways showed up in just about every theme imaginable, and its popularity shows no signs of slowing. Running alongside Megaways were plenty of slots that offered expanded reels, win ways, and fleshed out features. As well as modern slots were more conventional 5×3 setups that proved to be just as compelling. It’s all here in the top ten list so let’s dive in and relive the glory.
10. Tahiti Gold (Elk Studios)
Last, but by no means least, was the second instalment in ELK’s Gold series. Its predecessor Ecuador Gold made a lot of waves of its own in the gambling community offering a vast number of win ways and Avalanche game mechanic. Its main weak point was the relatively low potential. The people at ELK went back to the drawing board, kept the aspects of Ecuador Gold that players raved about, boosted the potential, added a few features, and the result was Tahiti Gold. In many ways the same, it was different enough, and ultimately an improvement on the original.
The Avalanche system was back, as were the 262,144 win ways due to expanding reels. New additions include the Wild Forge which ensures stacks of wilds on the grid and the Eye of Tiki which clears symbols to make way for new ones and more chances to win. Fans were also delighted to see Kane return, with an even more outrageous back story to add further depth and life to the series. Tahiti Gold was also graced with fantastic graphics and effects and a respectable potential of 5,000 times the stake. Those that doubted the ability of ELK slots to dish out great wins were happily silenced thanks to well documented wins from Tahiti Gold. Add everything up, and Tahiti Gold is set to be the benchmark for all future Gold slots to come.
9. Dragon’s Fire Megaways (Red Tiger)
The original Dragon’s Fire was a hit in its own right, and its follow up got the treatment many other remakes did this year too. That is, ram on Megaways and see what happens. In the case of Dragon’s Fire Megaways, the result was a slot that became even better and more fun to play than the original. A large part of its success is down to the versatility of the Megaways engine itself. The rest is down to a whole host of great features.
Red Tiger integrated the theme well with the features such as the Fire Blast, Dragons Egg Multiplier, and the Dragon’s Kindness. Drop in a free spins round with an unlimited multiplier, and you’ve got a red hot playable slot on your hands. Playability is backed up by fantastic potential of 10,470x and great visuals which pushed Dragon’s Fire Megaways onto the best of 2019 list.
8. The Sword and the Grail (Play’n GO)
The Play’n GO production line was prodigious in 2019, and despite a few duds, the standard was high overall. Their standout slot for the year though was The Sword and the Grail. A bunch of more conventional stats might power the game, but it was able to transcend that and offer up superb visuals and an excellent bonus round. It might be likened to 300 Shields in an Arthurian outer shell, but the game managed to offer a more rounded experience.
One key to its success is the Holy Grail wild which can produce Wild Multipliers up to x100 in the main game to keep players alert. Another factor is the fantastic bonus round that involves collecting scatters which award free spins and multipliers along the way. Catch this intense feature on its best days, and you are looking at wins of up to 10,000 times the stake. Yes, the volatility can be ruthless, but rewards are there if you can conquer the Arthurian math design. The scenery along the way is not hard on the eyes either.
7. Riders of the Storm (Thunderkick)
This is a Moody Steampunk-themed slot from Thunderkick with bags of unique personality. There was also a bit of wait time between releases from Thunderkick but it was well worth the time put into it. Thunderkick spared no expense when they put together the rousing soundtrack along with the excellent visuals.
Riders of the Storm sent players deep below the earth’s surface with a bunch of eccentric characters. Each one fronted a different set of free spins; the great thing about them is that players can choose the volatility which suits them best. From low, medium, high, and a mystery option for those that like to live on the edge. A tendency for long bonus rounds due to free spins retriggers, silky smooth gameplay, and potential up to 24,426x pushed Riders of the Storm above the crowded pack.
6. Lil Devil (Big Time Gaming)
For more atmospheric gaming in a darker setting came Lil’ Devil from Big Time Gaming. Ironically, the company infamous for its popular Megaways makes the list with a slot that doesn’t use the celebrated game engine. In fact, Lil’ Devil toned down the complexity seen in earlier BTG slots and was all the better for it.
With shades of Danger! High Voltage, the real showpiece is the Heartstopper Enhanced Free Spins feature. The ability to collect hearts builds plenty of excitement and proved to be very popular with players. Lil’ Devil might not be the best looking, most innovative BTG release, but it has produced some of the biggest wins of the year. Thanks to colossal volatility, the build-up to enhanced free spins, and 50,000x potential, Lil’ Devil is capable of some insane gaming.
5. The Shadow Order (Push Gaming)
The Shadow Order from Push Gaming is yet another slot from the innovative provider that was very hard to put down. Visually, this is one of the best looking slots of the year. There were some slight mechanical similarities to Moon Princess, but not enough to put players off. The Shadow Order uses a 5×5 cluster pays system, set in a mysterious world of hidden organisations. The atmosphere is superb, as is the full menu of features and extras. The four members of the order add personality, and the result is a highly playable, slot with excellent attention to details and an absorbing game world.
It might have taken a while for Push Gaming to get all the details of The Shadow Order just right for release, but the wait was well worth it. The Shadow Order is a thoroughly modern slot, full of drama, intricate design, and sophisticated features.
4. Tombstone (Nolimit City)
Tombstone is a Western-themed game that came out of nowhere to be surprisingly successful. It was also something of a breakthrough slot for Nolimit City and helped put them on the slots map. Visually, it was more unusual than good looking, but that didn’t hold it back from being an entertaining slot.
Its unorthodox reel set up provided some initial appeal, and its features and potential had players coming back for more. With an already entertaining base game, the three free spin features added additional variety and shelf life. Each one is triggered in a different way to keep players on their toes and result in different dynamics governing the three free spin rounds. Pile on a generous potential of up to 11,000x and the result was a surprisingly compelling slot.
3. Razor Shark (Push Gaming)
The second of two Push Gaming titles to make the list, Razor Shark was a beast of a slot with fiendishly high volatility and Push Gaming’s highest potential slot to date. Razor Shark is full of atmosphere, with a great backing track to complement its good looks. Building on those two factors, what made Razor Shark so successful was its excellent set of features and intense action.
Mystery Stacks work well, in the way they slowly move down the reels with each spin. As does the Razor Reel with its huge multiplier coins of up to 2,500x. All of this culminated in a free spins section which combines Mystery Stacks and multipliers to result in staggering wins of up to 50,000 times the stake. It might not be totally original as there are shades of Tiki Tumble going on, but for rock-solid volatility and potential it is easily up there with the year’s best.
2. Money Train (Relax Gaming)
Relax Gaming might have hit a quiet patch following the success of Temple Tumble Megaways, but Money Train went a long way in ending the slump. Money Train might not be a Megaways title itself, but its bonus round could still expand reels and prove to be profitable in the process. To be honest, the base game can also be a little slow, but the high volatility and high potential shine once the Money Cart Bonus Round comes into play. What makes it extra special is the Widener. This handy symbol adds more reels while revealing xbets in the process.
Unfortunately, the game was effectively killed off in the UK after the UKGC’s decision to ban buy bonus option. Other players are able to hit the bonus buy at any point to cut straight to the chance of winning up to 20,000 times the stake. With its unusual game mechanics, it was unclear how Money Train would go down in the gambling community. But it turned out to be a surprise hit for Relax Gaming.
1. Dead or Alive 2 (NetEnt)
Dead or Alive 2 turned out to be one of those rare times in life when reality managed to outdo the hype. And hype there was around this sequel to one of the most popular slots on the market. There is always a danger when releasing a sequel – will it be any good, will it cheapen the brand? Suffice to say that NetEnt took all the parts that players loved from the first while bolting on several extras that took it way over the top.
Visually, things improved, but it was the features and outrageous potential that made this one a winner. Base game action might not have been a standout, though the Scatter win jackpot was still on hand. It is the free spins with their three different games where the magic happens. With proven potential of over 100,000x thanks to the MAX concept, the biggest wins of the year came from Dead or Alive 2. It might be an all or nothing slot, but given its massive popularity and shocking win potential, crowning Dead or Alive 2 as the best slot of 2019 was not a hard choice!
Most Read Slot Reviews of 2019 (By Popularity)
Many slots enthusiasts turn to Bigwinboard knowing it is one of few places where they can get an honest and truly unbiased opinion on the games. The popularity of Bigwinboard has been growing rapidly year by year and suffice to say, 2019 was our best year to date. If you’re curious to find out which slots were the most searched and read by our visitors, here it goes:
- Dead or Alive 2 (NetEnt)
- Ecuador Gold (ELK Studios)
- Extra Chilli (Big Time Gaming)
- Money Train (Relax Gaming)
- Return of Kong Megaways (Blueprint Gaming)
- Jammin’ Jars (Push Gaming)
- The Final Countdown (Big Time Gaming)
- Who Wants to be a Millionaire (Big Time Gaming)
- Holy Diver (Big Time Gaming)
- Opal Fruits (Big Time Gaming)
- Legacy of Ra Megaways (Blueprint Gaming)
- Fat Santa (Push Gaming)
- Sabaton (Play’n GO)
- Fishin Frenzy Megaways (Blueprint Gaming)
- Tome of Madness (Play’n GO)
- The Sword and Grail (Play’n GO)
- Razor Shark (Push Gaming)
- Lil Devil (Big Time Gaming)
- 300 Shields Extreme (NextGen Gaming)
- Kingmaker (Big Time Gaming)
That pretty much sums up the online slots year of 2019. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our readers and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. A special thanks goes out to the awesome people at Red Tiger, ELK Studios, Blueprint Gaming, Play’n GO, Microgaming, iSoftBet, Quickspin, and Push Gaming who have gone the extra mile to help us make it as smooth as possible reviewing their games!