Ganepark32

2013 - 2020: Remembering A Generation

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In just under a month, we'll start to welcome the next generation of consoles into our homes, starting with the launch of the Xbox Series S|X and then 9 days later with the PS5. Sure, there will be a long transition period with many cross generation titles but regardless, next gen is almost here.

Some of us will be picking up PS5s, some Xbox Series S|X but either way, it'll be time for many to move on to whats next. Even for those that won't be there on launch day and will instead upgrade in the coming months/years, the prospect of what's next is well and truly on the horizon and with that being the case, I thought that looking back as we move forward to the new generation would be good. A bit of reminiscing over what has been, in my eyes, a fantastic generation of games and some of the games along the way that have stuck with us, become personal favourites and will live long in our minds as games that not only define a generation but stand as some of the greatest ever.

For me personally, I didn't jump into the current gen until 2014. I didn't initially see the need to make the jump on launch as I felt there was still plenty of games on the 360/PS3 to keep me going for the foreseeable future. But with Destiny set to launch, I grabbed a PS4 in September 2014 alongside Infamous Second Son, Rayman Legends and Hohokum and my journey into the then next gen was complete. I wouldn't pick up an Xbox One until 2017, though that was short lived as I would sell it a couple of months later and then pick up another last year for Gamepass and to let my ailing PS4 have its rest.

The current generation of consoles is the one where I've unequivocally spent the most amount of money. Beyond the consoles themselves, the volume of games I've bought has been vast compared to previous console generations and while the majority have been on the PS4, across all current consoles (PS4, Xbox One and Switch) I've easily bought upwards of 500 games digitally and if I was to include physical games as well, it would probably be somewhere between close enough to 700-800 games, maybe more.

The sheer choice and accessibility of games has been the biggest thing for me this generation as even during quiet periods, it has always felt like there was something new to try or get stuck into, whether that be AAA, AA or indie. And while the AA market certainly took some time to tick up this generation, in the last year or two its definitely found its footing and there's been some great games that that, while lacking that extra polish of the bigger titles, has managed to produce some brilliant narrative and gameplay choices that easily make them stand shoulder to shoulder with the AAA crop of titles.

Indie games have definitely been a standout this generation. The indie boom came and though the stores are now clogged with indie titles left, right and centre, the quality of those that stuck the landing this generation has been phenomenal. Some have easily matched the quality of the bigger AAA titles.

Going through all of my console libraries, these are the indies for me which have stood out and I remember fondly from this generation:

Cuphead, Ori, Spiritfarer, Undermine, Hades, Transistor, Pyre (pretty much everything from Supergiant Games), Dead Cells, Hollow Knight, Hellblade, Hypnospace Outlaw, Disco Elysium, The Messenger, Night in the Woods, Outer Wilds, Oxenfree, Subnautica, The Talos Principle, That Dragon Cancer, The Witness, Valiant Hearts, Axiom Verge, Firewatch, Soma, Teslagrad, Volume, Invisible Inc., Hyper Light Drifter, Abzu, This War of Mine, Virginia, Inside, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, What Remains of Edith Finch, Stardew Valley, Little Nightmares, Superhot, A Hat in Time, Celeste, Sayonara Wild Hearts, Katana Zero, Ape Out, A Short Hike, Creaks, Baba is You, Gorogoa, Return of the Obra Dinn, Slay the Spire, Rocket League and Into the Breach.

That list is nowhere near extensive enough but gives a good example of just how many amazing indie games have been released this generation. Many of these have been some of my favourite games from this generation.

On top of that, were had some truly fantastic and special AAA and AA experiences that stand up there as some of the greatest games of all time. Games like God of War (2018), Horizon Zero Dawn, Bloodborne, Nier Automata, Red Dead Redemption 2, Uncharted 4, Forza Horizon 3 & 4, Dishonored 2, Titanfall 2, Sunset Overdrive (this doesn't get enough love as its probably my favourite Insomniac title this gen), Ratchet and Clank, Resident Evil 7 and the remakes, The Witcher 3, Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Sekiro and so on.

Its fair to say that as gamers, we've been spoiled this generation and even if there might be a slower start to this generation because of the current pandemic, if things continue the way they have this generation then we should see a continuation of great AAA, AA and indie games into the next gen.

So, what are the games that y'all remember or will remember this generation for?

For context, here is what Eurogamer consider the best of this generation: https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2020-09-18-the-top-10-games-of-the-generation

And here's what Game Informer consider theirs: https://www.gameinformer.com/feature/2020/10/02/game-informers-best-games-of-the-generation

Edited by Ganepark32
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FPS - Titanfall 2
The best
FPS I've ever played.

Sports (kind of) - Rocked League
Easy to grasp, hard to master. Perfect for pick-up-and-play sessions.

Action - God of War
A perfect reboot of a great series

RPG - The Witcher
While I still haven't finished it, it stands out as one of the most complete RPG experiences ever made.

JRPG - Final Fantasy VII Remake
Another reboot. This time of one of the most influential JRPGs. Perfectly done.

Adventure - Horizon Zero Dawn
Impeccable. The best open world game of the generation (at least from what I've played - still have to play Ghost of Tsushima)

2D Platformer - The Messenger
Indie 2D-platforming at its best. Funny and fun.

3D Platformer - Ratched and Clank
Yet another perfect reboot. Best 3D-platformer out there.

Rogue-lite - The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
Bought and played it on PS4/PSVita (got the Platinum). Masterful.
Double dipped on Switch. This version came with Afterbirth+, which enhances the game even more.
Will definitely buy the new expansion (Repentance) on PS4/PS5 and Switch. It won't disappoint.

Co-op experience - Tie between Diablo 3 and Ghost Recon: Wildlands
The former I've played to death with a mate. Kill and loot. What more do you want?
The latter I've played with a different mate. Stealth and murder. What more do you want?

BEST GAME EVER - Slay the Spire
Slay the Spire. Slay the Spire. Slay the Spire. Slay the Spire.

Played a lot of games but these are easily the ones that stand out in a sea of amazing games.

Can't wait to dive into next gen. Most likely with a current/cross gen game, i.e. Cyberpunk 2077.
Also looking forward to playing some of the best current gen games I haven't yet played on the PS5 , e.g. Red Dead Redemption 2, The Last of Us 2 and Ghost of Tsushima.

Edited by drahkon
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I think instead of trying to pick one from certain categories, I'm just going to list a ton of games that are memorable to me. 

Favourite Game

Control

Remedy lost my interest with Quantum Break, which I haven't played due to not having an interest in watching a TV show alongside a game. So this game was already out before I even knew about it. I saw an image which shows that it has links to Alan Wake and saw that it was on PlayStation Now (which I had accidentally bought instead of Plus), so I figured I checked it out.

I was amazed by the game. From the start, I was engaged in the eeriness and mystery of everything surrounding the game. I had to find everything I could to read/listen to, constantly explore back (it has some Metroidvania elements) whenever I got a new ability or keycard. I wanted to do everything and learn everything, and it was compelling every step of the way.

I also loved the combat. I starts out fairly basic, then you get powers (the main of which is throwing objects at enemies, and is immensely satisfying). There's something about it that feels incredibly powerful (likely due to where you start) even though the game is still challenging. I thing the way Jessie holds herself adds to this feeling - there's something nonchalant about her movements, especially the hovering, that somehow makes it feel more powerful.

There's also the amazing Ashtray Maze section, one of my favourite segments of a game.

Spoiler

An amazing song (from the fictional ban Old Gods of Asgard, who appeared in the Alan Wake games, the real band is the awesome Poets of the Fall). The section has wonderful visuals and the song has been split up into repeating "segments" so the song moves on based on your progress though the level, so it always fits no matter how quick or long you take. It feels like playing a music video.

Action, Adventure and Open Worlds

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Taking a very different take than the traditional Zelda, Breath of the Wild added something amazing to the open world genre: making navigation of the open world incredibly fun. The best parts of the game are investigating and exploring the world, rather than it just being a way to get from A to B. It has some issues (the weapons breaking), but is still an astounding game. The bow gameplay is also pretty awesome.

Horizon: Zero Dawn

Robot dinosaurs seemed like just a silly but fun concept. Somehow Horizon: Zero Dawn played it serious and made it work extremely well. On top of great gameplay (bows are awesome),the story itself was surprisingly compelling and they even made the designs of the robot dinosaurs make sense. 

Tomb Raider, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

Lara ditched her pistols for a bow. But as we know, bows are awesome. The games stand out from Uncharted as they go for a semi-Metroidvania aspect, with lots of returning to previous areas and opening up new paths with unlocked items and abilities. 

Uncharted 4 and Lost Legacy

That's not to say that Uncharted wasn't amazing this generation. Uncharted 4 was a masterpiece, a really enjoyable story and amazingly fun gameplay. The Uncharted series slowly learnt that sometimes taking things slow and not having every moment end up with fighting is great, and the linear platform sections managed to hide the "obvious" path a bit better, making it feel more like you were doing the exploring, the addition of some parts that are slightly more open also helped too. Lost Legacy went with a big open world and choosing your own order for the first half of the game.

Assassin's Creed Origins

Going to the amazing Egypt setting, this Assassin's Creed changed up gameplay to take on more RPG elements (which had one unfortunate effect in that sometimes you couldn't stealth kill people). The personal story was great, and some of the side quests were quite interesting. I enjoyed my half-stealth method of fighting, mainly using bows (as bows are awesome).

Watch_Dogs and Watch Dogs 2

The two games have their own good points and bad points. The profiler in the first game felt great, and the crime prediction was neat. In the second game, it seemed the information on it was less random but also wasn't utilised as much. The main gameplay in the first was decent, but it kind of felt like you were killing lots of people who didn't really deserve it, while the second provided with a lot more options, especially non-lethal ones. The downside with the second is that driving wasn't interesting at all, while using hacks in a car in the first resulted in some great chase scenes (the final mission reminded me of Driver San Francisco....which ironically is the name of some side missions in the second game). I'm looking forward to region, what I've read about the profiler in that sounds like exactly what I want.

Playing Roles and taking Games

Mass Effect Andromeda

Probably a controversial option, but Mass Effect Andromeda is my favourite RPG of this generation (although more due to the lack of any truly amazing ones). I enjoyed the story and loved how the crew interacted. They felt like a team from the start (as much as I love the trilogy, they were just amazing individuals and not really a team). I liked exploring planets in the Nomad, and loved the map as it felt like your were actually flying your ship around the galaxy. The fighting was also a ton of fun, I especially loved my main layout of pull, push, BIOTIC CHARGE!!!!, and an Asari sword. 

Dragon Age Inquisition

It definitely had its issues, buy overall I did enjoy it. The main story and characters were great. The big issue was just the sheer size of the game worlds and the huge amount of meaningless quests. Which is oddly the complete opposite of the issues with the second Dragon Age game (which didn't have enough side quests and the game world repeated itself). The DLC was a bit more focused and was amazing.

Platforming Along

Super Mario Odyssey

Confession: I haven't liked a Mario platformer since Super Mario 64. However, Odyssey looked to me like a return to Super Mario 64 with a bit of Banjo-Kazooie added. The game was a complete joy to play, from beginning to end (well, minus two moons). I ended up collecting all moons and purple coins, then farmed enough regular coins to buy enough moons to hit 999 as well as buy all the costumes. The 2D segments and Cappy made the game feel fresh and varied throughout it, and the levels were beautiful. 

Sonic Mania

It felt like a true sequel to Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Lots of great Sonic gameplay on some remixes of old levels and some interesting new ones. I hope it gets a sequel with all original levels.

Sonic Forces

Lots of people seemed to hate it, I thought it was a good continuation of the Sonic Generations and Sonic Colours gameplay. The "custom character" added some variation. My main issue is that the "Classic Sonic" levels felt a bit odd and it didn't make much sense for him to be part of the game. Should have had some modern Sonic levels focused on the 2D gameplay more. 

Yooka-Laylee

A charming game similar in style to Banjo-Kazooie. While it does feel like a bit of a knock-off (even though it's lots of the same people), it's still a very charming game. The casino level suffers with being a bit large but the gameplay was still a ton of fun.

A Hat in Time

A more mission-based platformer, A Hat in Time features some great levels and plenty of variation. Unfortunately it falls apart a bit on its collect-a-thon aspects, but focusing on the missions themselves is a lot of fun.

New Super Lucky's Tale

While it doesn't feel like it does anything new, New Super Lucky's Tale is a very charming and solid game which features a bunch of gameplay styles from different platformers.

Superheroing

Spider-Man

The PS4's Spider-Man was another game that was fun to play from start to finish, and another game that I found myself wanting to do everything for. Getting around the city was so much fun that the "Fast travel 5 times" trophy was the last one I had to get, and the fighting felt extremely solid with lots of options from the suit powers.

Gravity Rush 2

Managing not to completely remove Kat's power at the start, the second game added different fighting styles that you could switch between on the fly, making combat (the main flaw of the first) more engaging. It has new areas to explore, but you can also revisit the city from the first game. 

Batman: Arkham Knight

A great addition to the Arkham franchise, the fighting in it is extremely solid and the BatTank is fun to use. Batman "visions" throughout are amazing and it felt like a great celebration of Batman. While it's crazy that everything happened in one night, I do like that the game had times where a character would have to work with something while suggesting Batman work on the other issues in the city (i.e. making the side quests make some sense to do).

Infamous: Second Son

This game features an interesting power: the power to copy other people's power. This means you have access to multiple powers, including the amazing Neon power, which I feel is the best we'll ever see "speedster" powers represented in a video game.

Tell us a Story

Detroit: Become Human

Three stories that are linked to the same issues: androids becoming sentient and wanting freedom. All three stories are great (although I feel like one twist dampens the emotions of one of them a bit), with lots of great choices to make. 

Tell Me Why

A very interesting story in a small village about twins who want to find out what really happened in their childhood, and if their memories of it being because of one of them wanting to transition was true. A very personal story, but it's nice to have a game where the world isn't in any danger.

Shooty Shooty

Titanfall 2

With this being a "side" thing for a multiplayer game - especially one that is a sequel to a multiplayer game that had no singleplayer element - it's amazing how well the singleplayer campaign turned out. The gameplay is very fluid and mixes up the pilot/mech mechanics of the game in interesting ways, the levels are wonderfully designed and all feel unique, especially THAT level, which had an amazing unique mechanic.

Splatoon and Splatoon 2

The first Splatoon games are a ton of fun, I love the focus on painting the area more than killing. The mechanics are extremely solid (even though they're about liquid). The Octo Expansion is the true highlight for me, creating an amazing single player campaign exceeding the previous decent ones.

Doom

A modern take on old school shooting. The game was immense fun with lots of extremely fun combat. The movement oddly felt familiar to Metroid Prime in some ways. Only issue was that in the bigger battles, the sound completely cut out for me.

Prey

I want to mention this for an amazing first half of a game. The initial section is brilliant and the start of the game has a great mystery and exploring the space station is a ton of fun. Unfortunately, at some point the rewards for exploring seem to be less than the resources used fighting respawning enemies. At some point I went from exploring every nook and cranny (returning when I had new powers/keycards) to just running past everything to the next objective.

Fun with Multiplayers.

A Way Out

A split screen only 2-player game. This created for some great unique gameplay, both working together and working apart for some segments. The story was interesting and oddly it wasn't actually that disorientating to both be having different conversations. 

Overcooked and Moving Out

Both of these games have the same charm and issues. Both are co-op games doing typically simple tasks, but are difficult when trying to co-ordinate with each other, and messing up is a ton of fun. Sadly, the main issue for me is that later levels for both of these games go on making levels crazy instead of focusing more on the main task. I ended up giving up on both before finishing because they suddenly seemed to want to be playforming games instead of fast-paced puzzle games.

Sea of Thieves

While I haven't touched it in a while, Sea of Thieves is mostly an enjoyable experience but sometimes ruined by other players. I would love a pure co-op version with more AI dangers.

Mario Kart 8

An amazing Mario Kart game, extremely solid gameplay and some amazing levels (like Electrodrome and Mount Wario).

Jackbox Party Packs

The Jackbox Party games are a ton of fun, either locally or played via streaming. Fakin It, Fibbage, Drawful, Push the Button, Tirvia Murder Party, 

Memorable isn't always good.

Hello Neighbour

The worst game I've played this generation. I spent ages wandering around the first level, explored what I could and ended up looking up a guide. It seems like the "solutions" for puzzles are just absurd. And while strange and absurd can work for point and click games - they do so due to a limited amount of things to mix around. When you add 3D space and "physics" to the mix, it becomes illogical. So form the guide, I followed the steps, you have to use a fan to push an object onto a switch and run to a platform before it gets activated. The only problem: the fan wasn't actually pushing any objects due to broken physics, so I couldn't do it.

The second involved using a magnet gun, but at some point it fell through the level so I couldn't carry on without starting from the beginning

of the level. I opted to uninstall the game instead.

I haven't played everything.

I figured I'd list some games that I want to play eventually: God of War, Smash Bros Unlimited, Jedi Fallen Order, Star Wars Squadrons, Doom Eternal, Ghost of Tsushima, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, The Last of Us 2, Assassin's Creed Odyssey

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What a generation we've had.  I know it's been said before, but if Microsoft had revealed Xbox One as a console instead of how it was initially, i'd probably have stayed with Xbox for this generation instead of picking up a PlayStation 4.  At the start, people were complaining when games such as The Last of Us and Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection came out because they had played them, but for someone like me it was nice to be able to play these games.

Favourite game of the Generation

it's difficult as there's been so, so many great games over the last 7 years.  But for me, it's Day's Gone.  Reviews marked it as an average game, but i thought it was brilliant.  Decent enough story, and it has Walking Dead vibes to it with exploring a post-apocalyptic world filled with Freakers and many deadly traps.  It's a good 60+ hour game, so you get value for your money here.  You do need to maintain your motorcycle, otherwise you might get caught short per say and have an entire Horde coming after you.  First time i had one of these coming, it caught me by surprise.  You do need to use a strategy, more so with the larger ones (200+ Freakers) later in-game.

Action/Adventure

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

This is the result of if you take the classic Zelda formula and throw it out of the window.  A game where you can go where you want from the word go, do as little or as much as you want to do before the credits roll.  Just wish the weapons didn't break, or at least the Master Sword, Hylian Shield and a Bow you can get.

Tomb Raider Trilogy

I'm putting these down as one entry, because they were pretty good games.  It's a set of games where Lara learns to be the Tomb Raider, instead of already being such.  You learn abilities which in turn open up new areas in already explored areas.  People said Shadow isn't the best one, but i thought it was better than Rise in places.

Horizon: Zero Dawn

From the developers of Killzone comes this adventure, set in a world where robotic creatures patrol

Assassin's Creed Origins

Preferred Origins to Odyssey.  Preferred the Egyptian setting over the Greek one, plus it didn't feel as bloated with side-quests galore either.

Uncharted 4

If this was the final outing for Nathan Drake, it's a great outing.

God of War

I was confused at points, was this a cutscene or gameplay?.  How Santa Monica studios pulled it off was just something else.  Bring on Ragnarock i say.

Super Hero

Spider-Man

For super hero games, Spider-Man takes the crown.  Easily the best of the bunch for me, and can't wait to replay on PS5 with the new features.

Batman Arkham Knight

3rd outing for the caped crusader on PS4.  Lot of people didn't like the forced Batmobile sections, but i thought they were decent.  Gotham was (and remains) massive, so makes sense having something to drive around in.

Gravity Rush

This is a game that was recommended to me as something different, and i can't complain. Takes a little getting used to with the orientation, but it's a good game when you get used to how it's done.

Story

Detroit: Become Human

This could be a Telltale game here.  But, Detroit is different.  A game with multiple choices with multiple paths per option, each play as unique as the last one.

Platformers

New Super Lucky's Tale

It's on the easier side of platforming, but above all it's great fun

Super Mario Odyssey

Been playing Mario games since the days of the NES, people have said this is the best Mario yet.  I find it hard to disagree, it's pretty damn impressive.

Yooka Laylee and the Impossible Lair

I prefer this to the first game.  Playtonic tried to rekindle the magic of Banjo with the first game, but took a different approach on the sequel.

Sonic Mania

The result of what would happen if you let a group of dedicated fans make an original Sonic game, and we've got something better than Sega themselves could produce in recent years.

RPG

The Witcher III

This is the "how to do RPG games right" type of game.  CD Projekt even went as far as giving a fair bit of DLC to players for free, offered a very generously priced season pass with plenty of hours of additional content contained within.  And they're patching it for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S to run with better graphics, framerates and lighting.  All for no additional cost as well.

Racing

Gran Turismo Sport

Started off quite hollow, but over time it's been loaded with new cars, tracks and an offline mode.  It's not the full GT experience, but it's enough to keep things going.  Online is the meat of this game, but the penalties can be harsh at times.

DriveClub

This game was plagued with issues from Day 1, but it still holds some of the best weather effects for a racing game in a game to this day.  The online portion was great, racing with other faction members, competing to get fasted times against friends.  Then we have the Bikes and VR stuff, which was ok.  Shame Evolution was closed, and this game never got a PS4 Pro upgrade.  It's a shame that Sony didn't give this game more time, as the season pass content again was very generous.

Multiplayer

Destiny

I'm putting this as a franchise, and with Beyond Light coming it's apparently going to feel more like like the original.  You can play solo, or with others in various activities including Raids, Strikes or Crucible.  Frequently upgraded each season for new content to keep things fresh.

Mario Kart 8

What's not to love, it's Mario Kart

Super Smash Brothers Ultimate

Smash Brothers with every stage, character and piece of music ever from each Smash game created.  Solid game, and there are some cracking players which impress me when i see them playing on-stage or online.

The Tomorrow Children

This was a weird game.  You're online with other players, and you can build a community.  It's hard to describe, but it's a shame that this game doesn't exist anymore.

Metroidvania

Hollow Knight

A game you can easily get lost in, great depth and lore.  Silksong has a lot to live up to, but i'm 99% certain Team Cherry will do it justice

Dead Cells

A game where you can replay as many times as you want, similar way to Binding of Isaac where each level is randomly pulled.  Except this time, you keep upgrades with orbs you collect.  Which makes each play more unique.

Ori and the Blind Forest

Never thought i'd play this as it was Xbox exclusive, but thanks to the developers porting this over to Switch due to Microsoft and Nintendo's relationship.  Great looking game, awesome music and just impressive

Yoku's Island Express

Metroidvania meets Pinball.  Need i say more.

 

Edited by Jimbob
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Nice idea for a thread, a couple of great lists above and it really makes you appreciate how brilliant this generation has been.

I'll personally leave off Nintendo from this list, as I saw this topic as more PS4/Xbox/Indies.

 

Action/Adventure

Tomb Raider Trilogy - Shadow especially, I adored that game, but the whole series was really well made and modernised Tomb Raider in a brilliant way.
Tearaway/Tearaway Unfolded - Criminally under-rated. I bought a Vita for it (and it was pretty much the only thing I played on that thing).  
Thimbleweed Park - Old school throwback, charming characters and eerie tone made for a fun experience, even if I had to look up solutions every half hour lol
God of War - Probably PS4's best this gen. The one camera thing is seriously impressive, loved the mix of satisfying combat, traversal and puzzle-solving. 
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - Massive Star Wars nerd, I was always going to love this. Nothing ground-breaking but mixed a lot of genres together and presented a good story.
Control - Really surprised me by how much I fell in the love with the world. The gameplay got a bit repetitive by the end but still, what an experience.

 

Openworld

Assassin's Creed: Syndicate - The last AC before Ubisoft went all meaningless busywork and copy/paste on the franchise. Loved Victorian London as a setting.
Red Dead Redemption 2 - Probably in my top 5 games ever, left a real impression on me. The openworld genuinely felt alive. Also helped that the visuals were pretty much photo realistic at times.
Sunset Overdrive - Played this recently and whilst it probably feels like an early gen game, I still really enjoyed myself. Just FUN. 

 

RPG

Mass Effect: Andromeda - Another vote for this one, I had a great time with it. Didn't really see what all the hate was about. 
Darkest Dungeon - Spoken about this game enough, just amazing.
Dream Daddy Simulator - A Dad Dating Simulator - Ok not really

 

Platformer

Inside - Incredible mood and environmental story-telling. Pretty much a perfect game for what it's trying to be.
Celeste - Visuals, audio, gameplay, story-telling, even things like accessibility... it nails them all. A real gem.

 

Racing

Forza Horizon 4 - Just absolutely stunning. One of the best looking games I've seen. 

 

Metroidvania

Steamworld Dig 2 - Digging and making your own paths just felt so satisfying. Polished like a Nintendo game too. Glad they ditched the (pointless) procedural generation from the first game.
Hollow Knight - A masterpiece. Just amazing. I'm probably more excited for Silksong than BOTW2.
Guacamelee 2 - Under-rated, just tons of fun, brilliantly fast paced with a great world to explore and loads of humour. Combat is really satisfying too.
Ori and the Blind Forest/Will of the Wisps - It's a bit paint-by-numbers for a Metroidvania, but who cares when the world is beautiful and the gameplay and traversal is that much fun.

 

Honourable Mentions to Watch_Dogs (1), Star Wars Squadrons (not finished this yet) and Shovel Knight (I kind of see this as previous gen (Wii U/3DS)

Edited by Ronnie
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I don't consider many games as proper "standout moments", but here's my list of games I consider to be truly memorable games of the generation, divided up into genres.

Action/Adventure
Nier: Automata - An absolute gem of a game. I've never been one for this sort of game, but it was just an absolute joy to play.

 

Openworld
Red Dead Redemption 2 - One of the best games of the generation IMO. Everything a AAA game should be: engaging, fun and a beautifully crafted world and story. I don't think it will be topped for a long time.

 

RPG
Persona 5 - Hands down the most stylish game I've ever played. Awesome visuals, really catchy music and a deep, interesting story.  
Witcher 3 - The first game I got for the PS4 and one of the best. A great set of characters and a whole bunch of deep stories.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake - Everything a remake should be: easily identifiable, but infinitely better. Loved every moment of the story.

 

Racing
Forza Horizon 4 - It's like it was crafted just for me. The handling is perfect and there are tonnes of cars to collect and modify. Literally everything I want from a racing game. I've gone back through the earlier Horizon games and they've been great from day 1, with 4 being the peak of the series so far.

 

Moment of the Generation
Shenmue 3 - Genuinely got a bit emotional when it was announced. A game I had been waiting an eternity for, that I'd basically given up all hope of seeing, just came from nowhere (at least to me).
VR - It's always been a thing, but I think this generation has been the first time it's been a viable thing. The PSVR made a fantastic step towards making it affordable and easy to access, and that's still being improved on with things like the Oculus Quest and the more casual headsets. I think we've still got a way to go before it becomes truly mainstream, but the leaps made during this generation has been fantastic.

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Great lists so far everyone. While there's some cross over of games from list to list, the variety of games mentioned I think goes to show just how varied and great this generation has been; that there's been something for everyone in just about every genre. I do agree that the much maligned Mass Effect Andromeda got the raw end of the stick. It had plenty of problems, many still existing now, but I thought it was a fun game and what I'd generally want from moving the story beyond the original trilogy.

I sat and ruminated over the games that I've really loved this generation and though there's a really long list of games that I've played and enjoyed, I think there's 30-ish that to me are stand out from my perspective and are definitely games I've thought about a lot more through playing them and once finished.

The Banner Saga Trilogy - kind of cheating here (and won't be for the first time) but I played this as the complete trilogy when it released on PS4 and my god is it good. The visuals are beautiful, the soundtrack by Austin Wintory is superb and the gameplay is fantastic. I've never been a huge strategy game player but the way this wraps the narrative around the gameplay and the choices that you have to make not just over 1 game but over 3 is incredible. How things can go so wrong or how you can clutch things back from the brink, I think this series is majorly overlooked for how it managed to scope out choices and decision making and bring it all together for a satisfying conclusion (should you not have lost everyone along the way).

Celeste - I'm not going to lie but the first time I saw this during a Nintendo Indie event, I didn't think much of it. Then the reviews started to hit and I decided why not give it a go. And I feel in love with it. The way they nailed the gameplay, how the controls felt responsive and allowed you to hit that pinpoint accuracy needed in certain areas and how it was all wrapped up in a moving, emotional story really hit home for me. I find myself thinking about it constantly and thats the sign of a fantastic game for me.

Control - Massive Remedy mark here but even with loving Alan Wake and enjoying Quantum Break, this was something else. It was just so well put together, played so well and the depth of the world they created despite it all taking place in one bureaucratic office space was incredible. Easily one of the best action games this generation.

Disco Elysium - This one came out of left field for me but the writing in this game and the variety of choice to do whatever and how ever you like is incredible. My tales of the disco dancing, karaoke singing detective haven't finished yet but I can't wait to see where it goes because of just how well written the game is. That console port can't come soon enough so more people can try this.

Dishonored 2 - Superb level design, freedom of choice on how to approach objectives and a continuation of one of the best and well realised game worlds, Arkane have a knack for making great games that fly under the radar but this is worthy of everyone's time for the Clockwork Mansion level alone.

Divinity Original Sin 2 - The game whose main theme constantly gets stuck in my head. This game is so god damn good. Again, never was a huge fan of this style of game but this one stood out and grabbed me so hard. The characters and writing are superb, the world is amazing and the strategy combat really did leave things so open. One of the most captivating games I've ever played and I'd happily play it all again.

Forza Horizon 3 & 4 - Its a toss up between these two for the best racer this generation. I much prefer an arcade to a sim but both of these really let loose and are just so good. They handle great, the amount of content is ridiculous and its just so much fun to jump into every now and then to speed past speed cameras or do a drift challenge. I love 3 for its openness and 4 for just how beautiful the game looks.

God of War (2018) - I'd never had any experience with the franchise before this game but man was this incredible. The single shot camera work through the whole game is genius and the look and feel of the game was just so on point. I've since tried 3 and didn't like that style of gameplay but for me, this is easily my favourite action game of the generation because of how good it plays, looks and feels (that feeling when you catch the Leviathan Axe is just *chef's kiss*)

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice - Making a AAA tier game with little more than 20 people and on a shoe string budget is worth commending. But to make one as emotionally impactful and hard hitting as this is phenomenal. I keep toying with going back to it because I loved its play on Pictish/Norse mythology and how it didst shy away from shining a light on an important issue because it does it beautifully and its left an indelible mark on me in much the same way that something like how the TV show Mr Robot ended.

Hitman (2016) - While the episodic nature of the game might have worked against it somewhat, once the full compliment of episodes was available, playing through this was a treat. The openness of levels, the variety of targets and ways to dispatch them, how good the game looks and plays, its a fantastic game and it hooked me on the franchise for the first time. I can't wait for 3.

Hollow Knight - A game so good I bought and played it 3 times! Its almost the perfect game for me. It plays great, looks incredible, the soundtrack is hauntingly beautiful and it offers up a real challenge and depth for those willing to sink deep into it. I'd be hard pressed to think of another indie game that beats this for my favourite this generation.

Horizon Zero Dawn - I'm not a fan of the Killzone games so I was trepidatious about this. But having played it, I lived everything about it. It looks great, I loved the world they created, fighting the robots was exhilarating and tense and it all just came together as one of my favourite new IPs this generation. Can't wait for Forbidden West.

Inside - A superb narrative focused puzzle platformer, even better than Limbo. I just loved it as it just does everything so well. The subtlety of the music, the minimalistic look, the tension in certain puzzles and then that ending. Everyone needs to play this.

Kentucky Route Zero - The game that literally spans this whole generation finally concluded this year and for me, I thought it was worth the wait. Its such a unique and interesting narrative experience that I've thought about so much and would love to play through again to experience it all. Might just do that before next gen arrives.

The Last of Us Part 2 - I didn't initially see the need for a sequel but playing it, getting immersed in that world and going through the pains of the characters, god damn did Naughty Dog out do themselves. This was so hard hitting and depressive that I can't bring myself to replay but I thought the writing was great and how they played the story was superb (I know many have issues with it though).

Life is Strange - This taken with Before the Storm are two truly fantastic narrative games that showed in the wake of Telltale shuttering that narrative games like this can still be released and can be great. I loved the story of Max and Chloe, all the ups and downs, and remember it so fondly. That mix of indie music and the general vibe of the Pacific North West in America and the way the story focuses in on the oft used trope of small town America with its hidden secrets alongside supernatural aspects was so great. Shame the sequel didst land with me but the original and prequel are fantastic.

No Man's Sky - The redemption story of this generation. I enjoyed it out of the gate but where they've taken the game with the continual free updates is insane. The depth of content now is incredible and its just simply fun to load up and spend a couple of hours in here and there.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps - I loved the first game for its look and soundtrack and how tight the gameplay was but this sequel just added to those massively and created a phenomenal and emotional experience. Moon Studios outdid themselves with this one and even with the technical issues at launch, I absolutely adored playing through this. So happy to have the collector's edition sitting on my shelf and soon to be joined by the Ku and Ori plushes whenever they're back in stock.

Outer Wilds - This game is just remarkable. The way it slowly opens up for you as you explore and discover more, as you work out the little nuances and times of the time loop and how it all takes place with such a small set of areas. Its a game that will be studied for its game design for years to come but I don't think we'll see a game quite like this for some time. Its just amazing.

Rayman Legends - My favourite platformer of this generation, in spite of the news of Ancel's work practices at Ubisoft. The level design, tightness of the controls, the look of the game, it coalesced into one of the smoothest platformers I've ever played and I don't think even the platformer specialists Nintendo have been able to come close to beating this one.

Return of the Obra Dinn - Look passed the minimalist aesthetic because this detective game is well worth you're time. Lucas Pope did a great job building a captivating and intriguing game centred around the premise of identifying what's happened to the crew of a ship. Its got vibes of older PC games like Myst and such but its just so intriguing and makes you want to push on and try solve the smaller and larger mysteries at hand.

Rocket League - Just a fantastic all around game thats great fun to play with or without friends.

Supergiant Games - Transistor, Pyre and Hades. Any one of those could have been on here but realistically, its the studio behind it that deserce commendation for creating 3 of my favourite indie games this generation. I'm sold on whatever they have cooking up because everything they've touched is gold.

Tales from the Borderlands - The only Borderlands narrative worth anything and one of TellTale's best. The characters and story are great, serious when it needs to be but always managing to make you laugh throughout. The finger gun fight alone is one of the best moments in gaming this generation and if you haven't played it, at least give it a watch as its so good.

Tetris Effect - Its Tetris meets Miziguchi, what more could you want. It looks phenomenal and that soundtrack by Hydelic mixed with those visuals just turned Tetris up to 11. Its a game I always go back to and with the new multiplayer Connect version releasing soon, I can't wait to jump back in and fall in love all over again.

Titanfall 2 - The best FPS of this generation in my mind. A superb single player campaign thats as fun to play the fifth time through as it is the first. Fantastic controls and superb presentation there and a solid multiplayer effort that sadly didn't take off as it should, though I put hours into it. It deserved better than I got at market but to me, there's not been a better FPS.

What Remains of Edith Finch - Giant Sparrow's follow up to The Unfinished Swan was a roller coaster of emotions but was deeply captivating and thought provoking, not least for the Cannery section and its exploration of mental health issues. Short but sweet but its a game I find myself thinking about so much since playing it because of how well it handled its narrative.

The Witcher 3 - My favourite game this generation. I loved everything about it. Even the combat, where people had qualms, I thought was fine. The story was great, it has some of the best side quests in a RPG this generation and the addition of the expansions on top of rhe huge amount of content here is just insane. One of the most fulfilling games I've ever played and yet I'd happily play every second of the 150 hours+ I have with the game all over again. Just a truly phenomenal piece of work.

The Witness - My favourite puzzle game this generation. I just became engrossed by the gameplay and trying to solve everything, to the point I couldn't look at a bathroom tiled floor without seeing the puzzles from the game (a real life experience of the Tetris effect years before that game came out). Its just a fantastic game that stretches and wrinkles the mind with the variety of abstract and concrete puzzle ideas (using sound or shadows as a cue for how you complete puzzles for example) but that feeling of overcoming a puzzle you'd been stuck on, its something no other puzzle game has given me this generation.

The Wolf Among Us - The other great TellTale game this generation. I don't know the comics but the world they created, the story and characters and how they nailed that comic book look were so good. That sequel can't come soon enough.

And there we are. The games that I'll remember this generation for. A huge amount of variety and so many games left out that I enjoyed but all of these will be remembered fondly as some of my favourite games ever.

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Man this topic is a great read - but it makes me realise how much less I have been engaged this generation lol 🤣

Bought my PS4/jumped in I think probs around late 2014 same time as Ganepark(recently acquired a switch but not spent much on it) and maybe it's given me too much I've not pursued a lot of other games - as I get older or maybe just get used to the current world of tech I don't have good patience for 'long' games and prefer quick hit style stuff.

Having said that I need to give a real shout out to Overwatch - I checked stats this week and I think I'm rolling up close to 1500hrs or so clocked in it? I've made friends(and even arguably lost some :p) via it and I still play pretty much every week or so - helped in part from befriending an essex lass and now me her and her sister all play - so whilst not a game I'm really wanting to give Online communication a shoutf out for this gen too.

Overwatch itself has proved, at least for me, a curious and educational experience. It's made me consider how complex 'closed loop' or designed systems can be - and how humans can affect and interact with that. Spatial awareness tactical positioning thinking ahead of the enemy etc(even if I'm not the best at it) it all constantly keeps my mind thinking and going. In someways by part it reminds me a bit of Smash Bros - it feels constantly revisitable and that I can still learn grow and improve with every match. Even after all thrse years I've only just started delving into a few characters I never really had. Honestly it's the only thing atm(ie OW2) that is pulling me into the next generation.

Also slight recognition to Destiny 2 as Jimbob mentioned; tho for me there were some flaws in there I have no doubt enjoyed its content - but it CAN be quite a bait game designed to just keep you playing to keep you playing. They do do that well though!

For multiplayer following suit and giving both Overcooked and Overcooked 2 a shoutout here - fantastic multiplayer game even if it can cause some upsets at times when you fail!

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Funny that 2013 was set as the start, because that's literally the year I got Steam. I had gotten GOG earlier, but never bothered to use that digital store until I finally surrendered myself to the world of heavy digital discounts. As such, given the timeframe, I will count this generation as Steam+GOG, also including the 3DS that I would go on to buy a few years later (I will leave the Switch off the list because that "generation" is ongoing).

So my best games of the generation are (in no particular order):

Amnesia - Technically played it a year before, but I eventually got it on Steam anyway, so I'm counting it. This is the first horror game that I "got", and it was a brilliant experience. It's only fair I include it.

Mark of the Ninja - The first Steam game I played, and the one that kickstarted the generation for me. Phenomenal game, and was my favourite on Steam for a long time (now second best, but still impressive).

Civilization V - This was actually the game I got Steam for! It provided with many a hour of strategy, and learning of history, cultures, and listening to good study music. Also, Willem van Oranje's lovely diction.

Binding of Isaac - First roguelike I liked, and the one that made me appreciate the genre (as well as twin stick shooters, I suppose). It's gross, but beautiful in its grossness. Very bold and plentiful.

Spelunky - Not as many hours on this one, but I must include it, if only to drive home the fact that Isaac made me appreciate games I hadn't enjoyed before.

Rock of Ages - Steam also allowed me to try some weird stuff, and Rock of Ages stands out among them. Still haven't played the sequels, but I trust that they all share the unique kookyness of the original. Also, first game I've ever seen that has my home city Porto as a location (even as a surreal, abstract location) so HA!

To the Moon - Lovely story-driven game, and one that convinced me that such experiences are very much worthwhile alongside more gameplay-focused titles. This was definitely a generation for experimentation.

Deponia series - Also a generation for revivals, as I got back into point&click games. In particular, Daedalic is a company that specializes in those, and I enjoyed a few of their offerings, not just for their old-school logic and humour, but also to help me learn German. The Deponia trilogy is definitely the most memorable one.

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 - A generation for watching videogame competition as well! I watched too many videos of TTT2 to count, and loved every second. I did get to play it as well, and was not disappointed.

Blocks That Matter and Tetrobot & Co - Going back to more traditional experiences, I played quite a few indie puzzle games, and I'd say the best ones were these two cute titles from French developer Swing Swing Submarine. They're distinct, but both soothed my mind in their own way. I don't know, I guess these just clicked with me in all the right ways.

Teslagrad and The Swapper - And on the other side, these two titles from different developers are both brilliant puzzle-focused Metroidvanias that showed me just how much can Indie developers push the genre. Teslagrad has a solid skill progression system linked with puzzle solving (alongside a lovely art style and music), while Swapper has no skills to unlock, only a creepy atmosphere, a thought-provoking narrative, and one brilliant mechanic. Both of them are physics-based puzzle games, too!

What Remains of Edith Finch and The Vanishing of Ethan Carter - I played these fairly close to one another, and each brings a unique take to this "walking simulator" genre. One's a lovely story with brilliant presentation and immersion, the other one is just a creepy mystery that allows the player to figure it out at their own pace.

Bastion - I don't suppose there's anything unique to say about Bastion, other than the fact that it's really, really good. Fun gameplay, excellent storytelling, and a compelling art style. Sometimes it's not what you do new, it's what you do right.

Freedom Planet - Like this game, and the way it brought high-speed platforming from the Mega Drive era to the forefront! I love this game, and I could stand to play it again.

Sonic Mania - Almost as a response to the previous game, Sega, Christian Whitehead, and Tee Lopes answered in kind, with the best game the hedgehog's been in decades! I already gushed a lot about this game (which is my favourite Steam game, in case you were wondering), so I'll just cross my fingers for a Mania 2.

Huniepop - ........What? Dating Sims are also games. This one mixed with a puzzle game, and the results are far better than I ever expected. It helps that the writing is actually pretty solid (almost as solid as my D-

Doki Doki Literature Club - -oki Doki). Yes. Great game. Makes sense I'd lump these cute girl games together, huh? Great experiences, memories, and writing all around.

Fire Emblem: Awakening - Shifting to the 3DS, I came late into it, but I did it nevertheless. I finally got back into Fire Emblem after a long hiatus, and so I dove head-first into Awakening. I enjoyed it quite a fair amount, and dispelled some preconceptions I had about it, so I enjoyed what was a very fun, light-hearted, and accessible Strategy RPG.

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia - But this was the game that pushed me into the 3DS. Totally worth it, this game is challenging with its distinct mechanics, but the writing, translation, and presentation are off the charts. I could listen to this OST - or even the voiced script - for days.

Mega Man Legacy Collection - I also got to revisit a lovely platforming series on the 3DS. Fantastic collection with valuable extras, that somewhat drove me to get more of them. No regrets, classic collections are a great idea, I find.

Hydroventure: Spin Cycle - The 3DS had its own share of quirky ideas, and none better than a physics-based puzzle game where you physically flip the console to control water. I've come to appreciate this game more and more (it reminded me of the best the DS had, too), and I'm super happy it got representation in Smash.

Severed - Technically on Vita first, but I experienced it on the 3DS. Yet another genre I never liked until this generation, this first-person dungeon crawler is brilliant stuff. Dark story and aesthetics, creative enemy design, an original and well implemented mechanic, and a steady difficulty curve. Excellent game that I got almost for free, thanks to MyNintendo.

Legend of Zelda: Link Between Worlds - But returning to more traditional experiences, the 3DS's only original Zelda game is an absolute blast, and worthy to stand with the best of them. I make no secret that I'm not that big of a fan of LttP, but this game was just excellent, and despite reusing another game's world map, it nevertheless managed to carve its own identity in many a way.

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon - Finally, a shout-out to retro-style games that are also excellent in their own right. This is so much more than just a NES Castlevania successor, it's Inti Creates doing what they do best.

 

Finally, just a quick reminder that I haven't yet played everything this generation had to offer (the amount of unplayed 3DS games alone is staggering), so this list will always be incomplete.

Also, here are some
Honourable Mentions:
System Shock 2; Braid; Limbo; VVVVVV; Abe's Oddysee; King of Fighters series; I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream - These are all games that existed prior to this generation, but Steam's/GOG's vast combined library allowed me to experience them for the first time. The titles themselves are not emblematic of the generation, but their availability is;
Theme Hospital; Little Big Adventure 2; Garou: Mark of the Wolves; Mole Mania - Same thing as above, except I had played them before. However, the current generation allowed them to return to my hands in an easy-to-play form.
Fire Emblem Heroes - It's ongoing, but I started it alongside the 3DS. It's part of my personal Fire Emblem revival, so here goes.

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I'm doing a top 50 games of the generation of anyone is interested

Might do some articles in 10s to make it easier to read.

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Numbers 50-41

 

50: Overcooked 2/Moving Out

Starting with a dual one as they’re so close to each other, and both great for similar reasons. Both Overcooked and Moving Out turn simple tasks into a hilarious co-op challenge, causing arguments and blaming each other as you mess up. Both are great fun and failing massively is funny more than frustrating.

Overcooked has you preparing food in a restaurant, chopping and combing ingredients. In a lot of levels you are separated and have to pass stuff back and forth. It’s hectic and requires good communication so you’re on the right track. Later levels are crazy, with lots of moving platforms and having to throw stuff over gaps.

Moving Out puts you in charge of moving parcels and furniture into your van. Each level has extra optional objectives that lead you in playing in different ways. Sometimes you have to be careful, sometimes objectives can be stuff like smashing all the windows (the quickest way to get a bed out if a bedroom is thought the window). Again, levels get crazier further into the game.

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49: Splatoon

A shooting game where the focus isn’t on killing opponents (although that’s sill important), but more on covering the arena in your team’s colour. The brilliance of the game is in how all parts of its gameplay work together, as while you opponents ink hurts you, your own colour ink allows you to zoom through as a squid, or stay still to be hidden. You can also use this to move up walls.

Each arena has multiple routes, and your spawn point is protected, you can also perform a superjump to an ally (which is telegraphed so is dangerous to jump to someone near enemies), so you never feel cornered, just find another route and start covering the arena from there.

There’s also a singleplayer mode which, while simple, is still good fun and has some cool uses of ink that weren’t seen in multiplayer until free levels came out later on.

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48: Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

The end of the 3DS still falls into the time set, so I can include Layton Vs Wright. A fun an humorous game that includes characters and gameplay from both the Professor Layton and Phoenix Wright games, making for a very amusing and fun mixture of them both.

Professor Layton is a game where you solve many puzzles, riddles and conundrums. Making great use of the touch screen on the 3DS, some can be extremely challenging, and some make you feel stupid as the answer is obvious. You can unlock hints to help you out by finding hint coins.

Phoenix Wright is about being a defence lawyer in a courtroom, a kind of visual novel where you have to submit the right evidence at the right time. Both games have a humorous style and crazy antics that work well together.

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47: Rocket League

Football, but miles better. You drive around an enclosed arena in a crazy car that can jump (and sort of fly if you’re good enough), trying to knock a ball into your opponent’s goal. It’s a very simple concept, but is pulled off extremely well.

The game is a lot of fun even if you’re awful at it. Luckily, the matchmaking system is usually pretty decent so in most games you won’t be destroyed by the people that can do all the fancy flying and flips. There’s a very high skill ceiling, but it still great just to pop on every so often for a bit of fun.

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46: Mad Max

Set in a desolate apocalyptic Australia, Mad Max is an open world game with a crazy looking car and lots and lots of people wearing spikes. While it doesn’t to anything particularly unique, it’s a very solid game with plenty to do and a devastated yet oddly pleasing landscape to drive around.

The combat is a mix of guns and melee weapons, with occasional places where you can be stealthy if you want to be. It’s a solid combat system that keeps you entertained throughout most of the games – although if you decided to do everything, some side missions can get repetitive.

The dialogue between the two main characters is interesting, although the rest of the people in the game are fairly forgettable, but (up until the terrible last missions) Mad Max is still a game where you will feel oddly invested while playing. One highlight are the crazy dangerous sandstorms in the game, which look fantastic and feel dangerous without being frustrating.

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45: Ring Fit Adventure

I should probably play this more, but for a fitness game, I was very impressed with how much “game” there actually is. The main gameplay has you jogging down a path, opening doors, jumping and when you encounter enemies, it’s like a turn based battle system, except you need to work out (sit ups, press ups, yoga poses, jumps) to cause damage.

This is spread across multiple chapters, where you’ll play through a cheesy (but entertaining) story across many levels, with some bonus mini games thrown in for good measure. The device itself also feels extremely sturdy, like a real piece of gym equipment which is surprisingly difficult to push or pull, giving you a proper work out.

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44: Prison Architect

A game where you have to manage a prison. You have to keep the inmates inside the prison, but also attempt to keep them safe and try and avoid breakouts and riots. There’s also a “story” mode with different scenarios which add a bit of variety.

You’ll get new shipments of new inmates as you play the game, some can be more dangerous than others. You can create some more “casual” sections of the prison for more behaved inmates, complete with adding entertainment, exercise and other “luxury” items. For the more dangerous criminals, however, you will need to build more secure cells.

The balance of keeping inmates happy so they’re less inclined to try and escape vs making the prison more secure so it’s harder to escape is definitely an interesting choice.

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43: Sonic Forces

People seemed to absolutely hate this. I thought it was a good continuation of the Sonic Colours/Generations gameplay. The modern Sonic levels were a ton of fun, and the levels as your own character allowed for a few different approaches based on your selected options – and as you could create multiple, you could try them out in different ways.

The game also had Classic Sonic levels, but these were just fine. They didn’t really fit the rest of the game and Classic Sonic just seemed out of place, both in gameplay and in the oddly serious story starting with Sonic defeated and Robotnik taking over the world, and the rest of the cast forming a resistance. The serious tone adds to the cheesiness of Sonic, especially with people talking to your mute crazy-looking character.

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42: Two Point Hospital

A modern Theme Hospital, this game manages to keep the spirit of the original while also doing its own things along the way. The many different challenge hospitals lead you on specific paths, but you still have a bit of leeway to do your own things on the side as there’s not really a “fail”, just keep trying until you succeed.

Patients will arrive to your hospital with a manner of strange illnesses, most of which require special treatment rooms. You have to try and efficiently use the space you have, but also keep in mind that larger rooms make for happier patients. You’ll also have to manage and train staff members to be able to tackle issues quicker, with less deaths.

The different levels encourage you to focus on different areas, but once you have three stars you are free to maintain your hospital how you wish (or you can just ignore the objectives and do what you want).

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41. Thimbleweed Park

A new point & click adventure game, going back to the classic pixelated look. Thimbleweed Park is right at home with games like Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle. Made by Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick, the creators of Manic Mansion, Thimbleweed Park gives you a cast of interesting characters to control and solve puzzles with.

The puzzles are challenging with some strange solutions, however the game manages to stay away from the realm of “moon logic” – solutions that just make zero sense (like using a monkey to use a pump – especially in a game that came out before the song “Monkey Wrench” came out in the UK, as we don’t use that term) – and you can understand why a solution worked.

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We had The Last of Us which is totally awesome, by the way. :grin:

Resident Evil though, has been a bit meh, because Capcom just copies whatever is already trending. I'm more into the really old ones, before RE4 was released.

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The Easy Allies are currently doing a retrospective on "The Gen that Was", with a video dedicated to each year from 2013 to 2020. It goes that they first talk about major/memorable moments from that year, then talk about a handful of relevant games (also from that year, natch), and then play a bit from whatever game they agreed to be the most relevant. They mostly reminisce and comment on how significant these events and games were (or maybe weren't) in hindsight.

The videos are long enough to work as a podcast:

The 2013 episode focuses on the build and hype towards the launch of the PS4 and XBO, as well as the launch itself.

2014 delves a bit more into the consoles' actual first year.

It seems they're releasing one episode every two weeks.

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My next batch of 10 games:

40. No Man’s Sky

Talk about a tale of redemption. I stayed clear of this initially as some warning signs were going off in my head. It promised so much and then came out as a mess of a game and broken promises.

Over time, though, Hello Games have worked to bring all the promised features and more. It’s now a great exploration game in a colossal universe, where you can fly and land on any part of the billions and billions of planets, encountering randomly generated animals and a good range of different kinds of planets.

There’s a main story that utilises the procedurally generated objects, and is cleverly done so the game is never missing anything vital in your starting area (which is different in every area). It’s possible to encounter places discovered by other players, but even now it’s a rarity unless you visit featured locations and bases – of which you can build your own vast structures.

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39: Yoshi’s Woolly World

An incredibly charming platforming game, Yoshi’s Woolly World is just a joy to look at and play from start to finish. Everything is made out of wool (or wool-related haberdashery stuff), creating for a very unique style, even if Kirby did it first.

Levels have a pretty balanced difficulty curve, getting more difficult (but not extremely difficult) as the game progresses, with the bigger challenge being in finding all the collectables in each level. Some levels can be fast and frantic while others are slower paced and more about exploration and puzzle solving.

The accessibility options for making it easier are also great, my nephew was able to play the whole game alongside me without getting frustrated.

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38: A Way Out

A game that can only be played in split-screen co-op (either locally or online), telling a story of two prisoners trying to escape and get revenge on those who had them end up in there. The game is a 3rd person action game, focusing more on stealth and puzzles early on and shooting towards the end.

Surprisingly, it’s not as confusing as I initially feared to both have different conversations on the same screen. Most of the game has you working together but the true delight is when you get separated and have your own unique sections.

Some highlights of the game are early on in the prison, where you have to set up your plan for escaping and have to work out how to get items past guards. These sections seem a bit more open and flexible to your approach.

A Way Out Review

37: Planet Zoo

Similar on how Two Point Hospital took inspiration from Theme Hospital, Planet Zoo is like a modern Zoo Tycoon. However, instead of just being a new version of the original, Planet Zoo feels like its own game, with the main focus being on the animals themselves.

The animals all look amazing, they move and act extremely well, have babies, grow up and (sadly die). They can get ill if you’re not keeping their habitat clean, and keeping them happy is a major important point. While you can just plonk down the requirements of the animal and some basic fences, it’s also possible to create some amazingly elaborate habitats with the building tools in the game – or just download bluepirnts that others have made.

For a management sim, the rain and snow also look very impressive, with attention to detail regarding places that would be sheltered. The campaign mode is also well done, with lots of options for creating your own from scratch, to a sandbox mode with unlimited funds.

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36: Super Mario Maker

This is a strange one for me. I’m personally not a big fan of 2D Mario games, yet I absolutely adored Super Mario Maker. It felt like a really friendly and happy game, a celebration of Mario and a game with a great feeling of community spirit.

Using the Wii U gamepad, you could design levels on the touch screen while being able to look up for a better view of it on the TV. For playing levels, you could play random levels, follow creators or search for levels – there was also a website that you could use to send levels to your Wii U, allowing for people to easily share their creations and create collections of levels.

The Miiverse was also integrated into the game extremely well, letting people comment on levels, some of which even show up inside the levels themselves. The Amiibo outfits were also a ton of fun and there were lots of little secrets that added to the charm.

35: Fallout 4

Returning to the post nuclear apocalyptic universe of Fallout, Fallout 4 sets itself in Boston. You start of in the a future inspired by ideas of what the 1950s saw the future as – a vision which gives Fallout its unique look and charm, seeing robots alongside ancient looking TVs, it creates for an interesting world and the catchy 1930s music adds to the fun of it.

The gameplay in terms of combat has been much improved, managing to feel like a fully fledged shooter. VATS is still a thing and is handy in some instances, but it no longer feels like you need to use it all the time – that said, the melee perk that lets you use VATS to warp to enemies is a ton of fun to use.

Settlements are a large part of this game, allowing for you to build elaborate structures and providing food and security to attract new people. You can set up merchants here as well, along with caravan routes between the many (possibly too many) settlements you can start.

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34: Watch_Dogs

I wasn’t expecting much from Watch_Dogs, I got it for free at some point but didn’t get round to playing it until much later. I found myself rather impressed with it, even if it does have some flaws.

The driving and car chases in Watch_Dogs are thrilling and highly entertaining, possibly the best I’ve seen in this kind of game. The hacking while driving also adds to this, as the system is simple enough to use efficiently, even at high speeds. Escaping from the police also feels a bit more natural than games like GTA, encouraging hiding rather than escaping a circle (unless you abuse boats, that is).

The profiler is great to use. The “crime predictor” is fun to have as a side thing, even if its a bit of the same thing repeatedly, it’s just nice to be able to save random people. Listening in on people’s texts, calls and video feeds is also a satisfying thing to do.

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33: New Super Lucky’s Tale

While it doesn’t bring anything new to the table, New Super Lucky’s Tale is a very solid platformer that borrows various platforming styles from games like Mario, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro and Sonic (with a dash of Billy Hatcher for some levels) and provides a varies experience that is fun throughout.

Each level has four objectives to unlock “pages” (the main collectable), one for finishing the level, one hidden somewhere in the level, one for finding the letters that spell “LUCKY” and one for collecting 300 coins. Typically, these can be done the first time in the level, apart from the 2D autorun levels that feel a bit like a modern Sonic segment.

The variety does help mix things up. You’ll get some levels that focus one exploring the area, some A-to-B levels (3D and 2D), a few maze levels and some more objective-based levels. All of these, while feeling familiar from other games, are very well made and makes it a solid game.

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32: Yooka-Laylee

From Playtonic Games, a company made partially of Rare staff that worked on Banjo-Kazooie, comes a spiritual sequel to Banjo-Kazooie, with a similar platforming style, name and humour.

Yooka-Laylee is comprised of five levels, which start off small and expand as you collect more pagies. You will unlock more moves and find new transformations in each level, although one segment in particular doesn’t telegraph very well that you’ll need a move from a later level and lets you traverse a maze before encountering something you can’t pass at the end.

That said, the platforming is very challenging, with some good puzzles. Bosses are mostly fun – although the first was frustrating until the camera was fixed in a later update. Yooka’s kind words and Laylee’s rude sassiness are both charming to read, with the classic Banjo-style “grunt voices”.

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31: Infamous: Second Son

Continuing on from the Infamous games on the PS3, Second Son puts us in the hands of a new character. Delsin Rowe discovers that he is a “conduit” when he encounters someone with Smoke abilities only to discover his own ability: he can copy the abilities of other conduits.

As you progress through the game, you will unlock more powers, all feel quite different and you can switch between them by draining a related power source (which is needed to fill the power bar for the abilities). Smoke has a lot of jumping around, and can potentially be very aggressive (although there are abilities designed to subdue rather than kill).

The neon ability is an absolute joy. It’s the closest you’ll get to great gameplay as a “speedster” type superhero (such as The Flash), running at great speeds and shooting light. It’s really satisfying just moving around Seattle with this power.

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My Next 10:

 

30: Sonic Mania

Going all the way back to Sonic 3 & Knuckles and creating a new sequel to that, Sonic Mania is a love letter to the original Mega Drive Sonic games, with the thought of “what if Sega had just continued on this style of game on the Saturn”.

This means that Sonic Mania doesn’t constrain itself to what the Mega Drive could do, but also avoids the problem of looking to different to the originals. The style chosen works wonders, and the gameplay itself feels like an improvement over the original three and a half Sonic games.

The game consists of alternate versions of some classic levels (which, while great, we have seen plenty of times before), but also some brand new levels, all of which have great style and music. I really hope a sequel sticks to all new stuff. I love Green Hill Zone, but it needs a bit of a rest.

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29: Mario Kart 8

Most likely the best Mario Kart game so far, Mario Kart 8 has incredibly solid gameplay, with an amazing visual style and a wonderful jazzy soundtrack. The big addition to this game is “anti gravity”, which makes for some amazing looking levels that twist and turn all over the place.

The racing feels extremely well thought out. Physics change slightly when in “anti-grav” mode, where hitting other players will provide a short speed boost, yet moving between the two – along with underwater and glider modes – is incredibly fluid and you don’t really have to think about changing, it all comes natural.

The weapons are a good set, and this Mario Kart makes a great change to the items: if you hold an item behind you, it still counts as having an item. This means that you now have to think carefully if you want to drop an item before picking up an item box, as you may end up with something you can’t defend yourself with, which adds to the strategy of the game.

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28: Stellaris

A game about expanding your empire across the stars. Pick (or make) and alien race, start off on one planet with just a few basic ships and start from there. Explore your galaxy, colonise planets and encounter other aliens.

You can focus on taking things by force, or try playing nice – or switching between the two depending on what civilisations you encounter. Sometimes war may be the only option – especially if you encounter an aggressive people and something about your species greatly offends them, so they won’t rest until you are purged from the galaxy.

There is a lot in the game that you can manage, but Stellaris manages to not feel overwhelming either. The mod support for the game is great, too – there’s a Star Trek mod that is brilliant, and adds in missions and small events that can happen, turning it into an amazing Star Trek game.

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27: A Hat in Time

A very charming mission-based platformer. A Hat in Time is comprised of multiple chapters. The missions in these either take place on a section of a larger world (that you can choose to explore, but the missions point you in a certain direction) or singular more individual levels.

The more unique levels are the highlight of A Hat in Time. The second chapter is a highlight of a game, with lots of different missions, from one that’s a murder mystery to a mad dash across a collapsing train.

The platforming feels very precise, with a simple but effective control system that reminds me of Super Mario 64

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26: The Jackbox Party Pack 3

The Jackbox are amusing party games where they answer prompts/questions (or sometimes draw) on their phones in conjunction with what the screen tells them too (it’s aimed at playing locally, but you can stream and have others join in remotely. Three great game are in this pack:

Trivia Murder Party is basic trivia questions, but set in a hotel owned by a serial killer. The questions themselves aren’t “spooky”, but after each question, the people who got it wrong take part in deadly mini games. Die and you become a ghost, but you can still answer questions and potentially win if you do well in the final round.

Quiplash is just a really simple game of making your friends laugh. People are given prompts (each prompt is given to two people) and people have to come up with a funny answer. These are then compared and everyone picks their favourite. In jokes between friends are great for this.

Fakin It is my personal favorite. Each round there are three prompts that requires people to put up their hand (to say yes), hold up a number of fingers or point at another player in response to a prompt (such as “Have you ever had a speeding ticket?”, “Who most looks like Tom Cruise?”). One player doesn’t get this prompt and has to fake their answer and possibly justify it. People then vote on who the spy is – if they can’t figure it out after three questions, the spy wins.

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25 :Watch Dogs 2

The second Watch Dogs features a new main character and city, the wonderful San Francisco. It has a friendlier cast of characters, the city is much brighter and the game itself has more humour and just feels like a much happier game.

The on-foot gameplay is much improved, too. There are more non-lethal options and you have an RC car and drone to help you do your bidding, both of which are extremely satisfying to use. You can also use hacks to make people targets for police or gangs, so you can cause huge fights as a distraction, or just target people who annoy you (if anyone dies, it’s not though my hands).

There are a lot of fun side quests as well, including one where you have to hack into Ubisoft and leak a game trailer to the public (this was supposed to be an actual trailer, but the game was later cancelled).

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24: Stardew Valley

A farming game that looks simple on the surface, but has a lot to it. You start the game having inherited an old farm. It’s a bit of a mess, so you’ll have to clear land and start planting your first crops.

Each day, you’ll need to check on your farm and make sure everything is watered (unless it’s raining). As you progress you’ll unlock tools to make expanding easier – such as sprinklers that will water plants for you. Once you’ve done what you want to on the farm, there’s a village to explore.

Here you’ll meet a range of colourful characters, you can chat with them and some will have questlines to go though – some of them could even lead to marriage! There’s a larger questline involving a wizard and magic, a mystery regarding a chain shop, fishing and more.

If that’s not enough, there’s a massive cave system to explore, filled with monsters and treasure. Don’t forget to take a sword with you. The game is also still getting updates, with a local multiplayer option being added soon – this game could be a great game for couples.

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23: Shadow of the Tomb Raider

The third in the new series of Tomb Raider games. You start off raiding a tomb, with loads of the usual warning. Except that these warnings were true, and Lara sets off an apocalypse into motion.

There is a way to stop it, deep within Peru, in the lost city of Paititi. Most of the game revolves around this beautiful ancient village, helping out the inhabitants while also trying to stop the world from ending.

The combat in the newer Tomb Raider games are great, and the bow is still immensely satisfying to use along side a half-stealth approach.

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22: Luigi’s Mansion 3

There’s something about the style of Luigi’s Mansion 3 that just makes it look wonderful. The animation is very….animated and the clean style makes it seems like a Pixar animated film more than a video game. Luigi’s mumbles, screams and occasional words (occasional if you don’t press the “Mario?” button) all add to the lovely feel of the game.

You play as Luigi as you explore a haunted hotel trying to save Peach, Mario and some Toads. Using your trusty Vaccuum cleaner and its various settings to catch ghosts and save puzzles.

At first the controls were very fiddly, but once you realise you can use the shoulder buttons instead of the face buttons, you’ll be able to move, aim and use one of the poltergust’s features at the same time. The difficulty of the game is also very fair, there’s a bit of challenge in just completing the main story, but there’s a lot more challenge if you want to find everything.

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21: Detroit: Become Human

The idea of androids/robots gaining sentience, wanting freedom and rebelling isn’t exactly a new one, so the interesting stuff is in how it’s handled. In Detroit: Become Human, you play as three characters, who each have their own part to play in the recolution.

Connor is an android detective. His job is to investigate android with signs of being “deviant” – those that express emotions, self awareness or that disobey orders. He’s partnered with a detective that hate androids, although depending on your actions, you could end up as buddies.

Kara was bought to be a housekeeper. Upon discovering the father beating his daughter, she breaks programming to stop it and decides to flee with the girl, and tries to escape to Canada, encountering some friends and enemies along the way.

Markus is living a fancy life, essentially being treated as a son by a rich artist. During a burglary at the house, someone gets hurt and Markus is blamed, waking up in a junkyard of android. He finds his was to a safe haven and starts the revolution fully.

All three stories are extremely interesting, with lots of emotional moments. although Connor’s detective parts are definitely the best due to having more moments where you have to think and solve issues.

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I think at this point and for this generation I'd reached the point where I'd only buy newer games if they were really good. That said, there were still plenty of new games from this generation that I ended up buying. In terms of this Gen I acquired:

Luigi's Mansion 2

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team

Pokemon Y

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Shovel Knight

Super Smash Bros. for 3DS

Mario Kart 8

Super Mario 3D World

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Splatoon

Super Mario Maker

Freedom Planet

Xenoblade Chronicles X

Pokken Tournament (and DX)

Undertale

Metroid Prime: Federation Force

Pokemon Moon

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Fast RMX

Splatoon 2

Sonic Mania

F1 2017

Metroid: Samus Returns

Super Mario Odyssey

Rocket League

Xenoblade Chronicles 2

A Hat in Time

Marvel's Spider-Man

Soulcalibur VI

Spyro: Reignited Trilogy

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Collection

Kingdom Hearts 3

Nier: Automata

Hollow Knight

Super Mario Maker 2

Pokemon Shield

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Xenoblade Chronicles: Future Connected

Spider-Man Miles Morales (in here on a technicality that it was released on PS4 despite being a PS5 launch title)

 

Of all the games that are "new" this generation I'd actually say Nier Automata was the best one. I probably am a sucker for this type of storyline regarldess but this game was so good and unlike Xenoblade 2 I enjoyed this one from start to finish. Super Mario Odyssey was the other big game I really enjoyed overall and Final Fantasy VII Remake was another strong candidate, perhaps falling a bit short due to it's very KH like final chapter. That being said, it's still the best game I've played this year though I don't know what my opinions on Miles Morales are yet.

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Numbers 20 to 11

 

20: Doom

I wasn’t expecting to like this as much as I did. Doom is a very fast past first person shooter, blasting through demons to an awesome soundtrack.

With a very simple plot (Humans harvesting energy form hell, demons escape, kill all demons – although there are additional audro logs and documents to find), the focus on Doom is entirely on the gameplay. It feels extremely modern and very retro both at the same time.

For the retro vibe, the game has a non-recharging health system, with pickup and powerups floating on the battlefield. Along with this, levels are an A-to-B affair, but with secret areas to find along the way. To make it feel modern, you can upgrade Doom Slayer and his weapons, but the brilliance is in just how fluid the movement is. Strafing and circling enemies while double jumping and keeping your targets in sight feels easy to do with the controls, which means when you die, you only have yourself to blame.

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19: Until Dawn

A choose your own adventure horror game with a wide cast of characters, including Brett Dalton from Agents of SHIELD (grr!).

A bunch of 19 year olds (although as the characters faces are based on older actors, they don’t look like teenagers…then again, that usually is the case in horror films) have a gathering at a lodge in the middle of the woods, one where one of them lost his two sisters the previous year. Tensions are high as people aren’t as friendly with each other a year earlier.

Naturally, people start going missing. Throughout the game you swap between the different characters, making conversations options and making choices. The results of some won’t be apparent until much later in the game – for example, a choice to shoot a bird has a disastrous outcome a few hours later. At the end of each chapter, you can see why things happened, so it doesn’t seem random.

While difficult, it’s possible for everyone to live (although for one person, living is sort of the bad outcome for them). It’s also possible for absolutely everyone to die – although you sort of have to be trying to make that happen.

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18: Days Gone

I ignored this initially when it came out, thought I’d try it due to PS Now and I was very surprised by how good Days Gone is.

Days Gone is an open world zombie game set a few years after a zombie apocalypse and is set in Oregon. You play as a biker who is planning on heading north to try and find a better life when circumstances causes him to stay put. The story starts off slow, but gets really interesting at the end – with one of the hidden endings making me very curious about a possible sequel.

You can encounter massive hordes of zombies here. Literally hundreds at once – I think the biggest I encountered was somewhere between 400 and 500, although there are also a lot of smaller groups around. You’ll also be fighting other survivors and a few wild animals (and some zombie versions of wild animals). Thankfully, these will fight each other and there’s something very satisfying about clearing an area of enemies by luring zombies over to do your job for you.

The weather in this game is also amazing. The first time it snowed, I didn’t actually notice the ground becoming snow straight away because it just felt extremely natural. The rain looks amazing, too, with the ground getting wet and muddy areas turning into mud. It’s the most realistic weather I’ve seen in a game and it looks amazing due to how it makes the actual ground around you look so different.

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17: Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

An Uncharted game on a smaller scale, but that doesn’t mean smaller sights or reduced gameplay. This is the most refined combat in Uncharted so far.

Instead of playing as Nathan Drake, you take the role of Chloe Frazer as she looks to find an ancient relic (and possibly stop a warlord) in India. It starts off as you would expect, with some fun linear segments, but then you get to the main chunk of the game, which takes place in a massive beautiful landscape where you can choose the order that you complete the missions in.

This more open structure fits the uncharted style very well, and includes a large optional side mission to find some extra treasure. At the same time, this doesn’t fall into the repetitive nature of some open worlds as it’s only a portion of the game – with more traditional Uncharted sections both before and after. The mixture of styles works really well and makes Lost Legacy feel more like a full Uncharted experience than the “budget” title it was sold as.

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16: Tell Me Why

Some video game stories are about grand adventures, saving the world and all sorts of epic, massive things. Tell Me Why is about a brother and a sister looking into their past in their small Alaskan town.

The siblings, Ronan and Alyson prepare their old house for sale – a house where Ronan had killed their mother at, thinking that she was about to murder him due to hating that her “daughter” identified as a boy. He ended up in a special prison, and had only just been released. As they search through their house, they discover things that imply that their memories of the incident may not have been what it seems.

Throughout three chapters, you progress through their investigation, learn more about the people in town and go through a very personal story – something that seems quite rare in video games. The mystery is compelling and has a good pay-off at the end.

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15: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Dragon Age Inquisition’s biggest flaw is an odd one: there’s just too much stuff. Too many areas (that are too large), too many quests and stuff like that. So the major step to enjoy the game is to get used to not completing every little thing.

Get past this and you’re left with a great game which (in true BioWare fashion) is helped immensely by very likeable companions. The main quest and bigger side quests are engaging, and the main quest for each area is usually also enjoyable. Sticking to the quests you find more interesting will also give you more than enough experience to go through the main story.

The combat in Inquisition is closer to that of an action game, with a more tactical “pause” system being available (admittedly I didn’t touch this as I’m not a huge fan of that style of combat). I found it engaging, even if most of my enjoyment was due to the story. Having a lot of choice in the character creator (after only being human in Dragon Age 2) was also pretty awesome.

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14: Assassin’s Creed: Origins

After missing a few Assassin’s Creed titles after Black Flag, I decided to give the franchise another go when Origins looked like it was going to try a different approach to things.

Origins is much more like an RPG game, with a wide variety of side quests, levelling up, upgrades and a lot more gear and loot. It covers a vast amount of Egypt yet the map never feels overwhelming – the large fairly empty areas actually help the structure of the game quite a lot, allowing focus to be on cities and towns.

Combat was a lot of fun, and lets you focus on how you like to fight. While some people may like to charge in and smash stuff, I liked using a bow from the shadows to take out as many people as I could quietly.

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13: Batman: Arkham Knight

Following on from the amazing Arkham Asylum was a tough act to follow. City missed the mark, but Knight managed to be a wonderful game – even if it is very different to Asylum.

Arkham Knight takes place over one (extremely busy) night, with a plot involving Scarecrow and a mysterious “Arkham Knight”. Add in a brilliant personal plot for Batman, and Arkham Knight has a great story. One neat thing is that the support cast will say that something may take time – giving a good excuse to focus on side missions (you’re not forced to, it’s just nice to have a reason put into the story).

Moving around Arkham city feels great, using the grappling hook and gliding with the cape. One you level up some stuff, some journeys are faster than using the Batmobile (or BatTank). Combat feels extremely solid, and the sections of the game where you control both Batman and one of the support characters and swap between them are amazingly good fun.

I also enjoyed the tank combat, although the tank was best when used in conjunction with puzzles. Other than a couple of disappointing bosses, I didn’t feel like the tank was overused, either – a good balance of both gameplay types.

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12: Rise of the Tomb Raider

While the first “new” Tomb Raider game introduced us to a new version of Lara, Rise of the Tomb Raider solidified the combat and gameplay.

Rise of the Tomb Raider has a bigger focus on the “Metroidvania” style of gameplay – where you gain new equipment/powers throughout the game which enable you to discover new paths (and collectables) in areas you’ve previously visited. Rise of the Tomb Raider does a good job of balancing this with more scripted sections.

The bow is an absolute joy to use – to the point where I rarely touch other weapons in these games. It makes for very exciting combat and is easy to use both in stealth and when you have lots of enemies shooting at you. Puzzles in Rise of the Tomb Raider are also much improved from the first game, with them feeling more interactive and the side areas having much more of a personality to them.

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11: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

A spectacular blockbuster in video game form. Uncharted 4 is the most refined of Nathan Drake’s adventures, while also looking and playing spectacularly.

While other games have had extravagant plots with supernatural elements, secret societies and end of world scenarios, Uncharted 4 takes a step back and keeps it simple: pirate treasure. A myth about the world’s greatest pirates forming a colony and their combined worth, and people racing to find it first (your main opponent hiring a mercenary company to help him). I find this works great for two reasons.

First is that it means more focus can be on the characters, the relationship between Nate and his long lost brother, Nate’s marriage with Elaine and the struggles of settling down with a mundane job after a life of adventure. This feels like the most personal Uncharted story. Another benefit also means that there is more information on the myth itself, the people behind the myth and what happened to them.

Gameplay is very solid, with the grappling hook adding some fast paced movement. There are some more open levels which are still a set path, you can kind of go to the sides a bit more. However, both these and the more traditional “linear” sections are extremely well made, and never feel like you’re following a specific determined path- the way forwards feels natural enough that it feels like you’re doing the exploration.

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I figured I'd annoy everyone with a daily update for my final 10.

 

10: Titanfall 2

To some people, Titanfall 2 is a multiplayer game. So I’d just like to point out that I didn’t touch the multipalyer at all. This game is here purely based on the singleplayer.

You control a soldier who ends up with a “Titan” – a mech with its own AI system. You play the game both inside and outside the mech, and both are fun to do. Inside the mech, you feel very powerful, with strong weapons and melee attacks. Outside of the Titan and you get to experiences’ the games movement mechanics – with lots of fluid wall jumping and double jumping that makes Mirror’s Edge feel stiff and rigid.

The main story itself is fairly bare bones, the biggest part is the relationship between you and the Titan, who has a great personality and feels like a great friend. Level design is also amazing, with each level having a varied look and managing to use you and the Titan in interesting ways – some levels are Mech focused, some are pilot focuses, others use both in different ways. It means that the game always feels fresh throughout the campaign.

The levels are fun at the worst. Two levels are beyond outstanding – one played along an assembly line and one introducing an amazing mechanic which is best left for people to discover on their own.

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9: Marvel’s Spider-Man

Movement can make or break an open world game. If navigating the world is not fun, it’s hard to get into the game. Spider-Man delivers massively on that front. Web slinging across New York is easy, but there are still ways to master it to be more efficient. There are small moves that Peter Parker can use to go faster, and using these with the right “rhythm” to go with the upcoming rooftops and buildings makes the web slinging not only fun, but also keeps it interesting. The “fast travel 5 times” achievement was my last one because moving around is just so much fun.

Combat can be stealthy or all out brawling, with some fights being massive. That said, it rarely feel overwhelming, getting good combos will let you use a special ability, good for taking out multiple people at once. Using the area around you is vital as you need to control the battlefield – just rushing to the middle will get yourself killed.

The various special abilities are linked to the many different suits that you can unlock, all from various forms of Spider-man media like comics and films. Once unlocked, these abilities can be paired with any other suit, so you never have to use a suit you don’t like just for an ability. The cel-shaded suits also look phenomenal.

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8: Mass Effect: Andromeda

Leaving the Milky Way behind, Mass Effect Andromeda revolves around massive arks filled with people who have decided to make a fresh start in a new home, going into cryo for hundreds of years.

The arrival in the Andromeda galaxy is not smooth. The viable planet the human ark was heading towards is cracked into pieces and the region is full of vast areas of an unknown dangerous energy source. Furthermore, the other arks are missing and the forward base had a civil war. Your mission is to solve all this while finding new suitable homeworlds.

The combat in Andromeda is extremely satisfying. Biotic Charge, Push and Pull are some of my favourites, hurtling across the battlefield and throwing enemies at other enemies. It’s fast paced and so much fun. Missions are entertaining and the mystery of what has happened, and an ancient race that has vanished, is engaging.

The crew all feels like a crew – even the ones that stay on the ship. Everyone talks to each other, they move into different rooms at certain points and there’s extra chat logs to inspect. You ship – the Tempest – can be explored with no loading screens and feels like a home. Adding to that, as you select planets/asteroids/other objects from the map, the ship will fly to them and you will see many breath-taking views from the ships windows – it really makes it feel like you’re moving around the galaxy in a ship.

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11 hours ago, Aperson said:

Andromeda at number 8? Bold... bold.

It's my favourite RPG since Mass Effect 3, and has amazing combat on top. 

7: Horizon: Zero Dawn

Post-apocalyptic robot dinosaurs. It sounds fun but incredibly silly…yet Horizon: Zero Dawn not only takes it seriously, but actually pulls it off in a way that makes complete sense, too.

You play as Aloy, who was made an outcast from her tribe as a baby, raised by another outside. She doesn’t know why, but wants to improve herself, so sets her task on completing the Nora Brave trials before embarking on a quest, looking into why the mechanical creatures seem to be getting more powerful and agressive.

You will fight plenty of humans, but the main joy is with the creatures. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, some are instantly aggressive while others are docile…until you attack. As you fight them, you’ll learn more about their weak spots, enabling you to aim for specific weak points with specific arrows/weapons. Most of the time you’ll want to use the bow – because bows are just a ton of fun to use – but there are a variety of weapons, including one for setting rope traps.

Some of the larger robot creatures will seem daunting at first and you’ll definitely want to run away, but once you have better equipment and learn how all the different creatures act, you’ll be able to take on multiple at once.

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6: God of War

 

I have not played previous God of War games, but they do sound like hack and slash games. This new one, however, is definitely more of a story focused action/adventure game, although there is still plenty of combat.

 

Kratos, after killing all the Greek gods, has settled down in Midgard with a family. The game starts after his wife has passed away, leaving him and his BOY. While Kratos is waiting for BOY to be ready, they are attacked by a powerful stranger at their home. This forces them to undertake their quests of scatting BOY’s mother’s ashes from the highest peak in all the realms.

 

This being Midgard and all, this is heavily based on Norse gods and mythology. You will travel through multiple realms, to dwarven ruins, across high mountains and a large lake. Everywhere looks outstanding and has a light “Metroidvania” aspect were some areas are explored again later, with you being able to discover new paths due to abilities unlocked throughout the game.

 

The dialogue between Kratos and his BOY portrays a realistic father/BOY relationship, and there are some fun characters you meet along the way. Combat is great fun, the main weapon being the Leviathan Axe. It has frost powers and can return to its owner (a bit like Mjölnir), and is the closest you’ll get to an amazing Thor game. BOY helps out over time with his bow, becoming more adept as the game goes on.

 

The camera also deserves a mention. It’s kind of a “one shot” style – throughout the entire game (of you don’t die), the camera makes zero “cuts”, it follows you throughout the game but moves on its own during cutscenes. It means the entire game is one long “flow” and all loading screens are “hidden” behind tunnels, with a “tree of life” hiding fast travel loading times. The music from Bear McCreary is also one of the greatest soundtracks in a video game.

 

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5: Splatoon 2

While I got this game a bit late to enjoy most of the Splatfests, I still massively enjoyed Splatoon 2. A lot of that due to the Octo Expansion.

The core gameplay is just as fantastically crazy as the first game, with extra additions in the form of weapons, more interactive/moving arenas and extra mode. The best of which is Salmon Run, a co-op mode where you encounter waves of creatures with a wide range of “boss creatures” which all require different tactics – it’s a brilliant mode and somehow the co-op works great even with virtually no communication.

The regular single-player is similar to the first game, going through a bunch of challenges. There’s some good variety and a great final boss (again). The Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion steps things up big time.

You play as an Octoling – typically an enemy of the Inklings – who is woken up from brainwashing by music (or is it the Inklings who are causing the brainwashing? – it’s not really clear who the good guys are) and has to get out of the testing grounds you find yourself in. These tests take the form of 80 challenges, more difficult than the regular singleplayer but very rarely feeling unfair.

These challenges also feel very varied, lots focusing on single aspects of the game, particular weapons, grinding, special weapons, some platform, some puzzle, some combat focused. The levels also look strange but in a stunning way, some wonderfully bizarre (like a level with loads of GameCubes floating in the background).

This then ends with some spectacular levels as you escape the lab, and a stunning final level. All of this matched by some wonderful funky music. You’ll also find out more about the lore behind Splatoon, which is actually set in the future, after humans have messed up the world and become extinct.

The first Splatoon was a great multiplayer game. Splatoon 2 with the Octo Expansion expands on that and delivers an amazing singleplayer experience alongside it.

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4: Gravity Rush 2

A sequel to the amazing Vita classic, Gravity Rush 2 continues the story of Kat and her cat, Dusty, who grants her gravity-controlling powers.

Instead of the classic sequel trend of depowering the main character, Kat starts off feeling strong. Kat’s main power is that she can alter the shift of gravity for herself, so she can fall in any direction. This may sound disorientating, but it feels very natural – I think the gyro enhanced camera causes the natural shake of your hands to make the camera movements easier to understand. Even the new first person mode isn’t too mind-bending.

So as you have the unlocked through the first game, the main focus on this is two new sets of powers: Lunar and Jupiter. Lunar focuses on lighter attacks, but much faster movement, while Juper is slow but hard-hitting. You can swap between these forms extremely quickly with a swipe of the touch pad, making it easy to mix things up in the heat of battle. Some enemies are more suited to certain styles.

The world in Gravity Rush is stunning, gorgeous floating cities (even the lower slums look great) in a sort of semi-comic style. Lots of nooks and crannies to explore as you hunt for gems to increase your powers. Not only are there multiple new vast locations, but the entirety of the map from the first game also makes an appearance.

With a charming story and a wonderful atmosphere, Gravity Rush 2 is a complete joy to play.

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