Final Fantasy XVI is a monumental step forward for the franchise. Its grim and grounded narrative boasting some of the franchise’s best characters, music, and voice acting, is only outclassed by the masterful boss battles and addictive action combat system. The latest entry in the Final Fantasy series is one of the best comprehensive offerings Square Enix has released in the last decade and a must-buy title for RPG fans.
While Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is a fantastic title, I can't recommend it in its current state. Game-breaking bugs, plentiful performance problems, and immersion-crushing glitches are rampant here. You'll likely see significant issues no matter what system you play on. This is an unacceptable release from EA and Respawn that falls far below what we've come to expect from these talented developers. You're better off waiting out the game's rough launch window and picking it up on sale a year later.
Though a lack of character integration in core narratives does keep this title from masterpiece status, Octopath Traveler 2 is better than the original in every possible way. Improved combat, unforgettable characters, excellent narrative structure, gorgeous visuals, and a legendary soundtrack make this one of the best Square Enix titles in years. For fans of JRPGs, Octopath Traveler 2 is worth the price of admission and then some.
Despite a disinteresting narrative and lack of focus on the supporting cast, Fire Emblem Engage is another stellar entry in the franchise, improving on nearly every other aspect. Intuitive strategic gameplay, a loveable main cast, and the fascinating Engage system, which pays homage to previous mainline entries, make this a Fire Emblem any strategy game fan won't want to miss.
Overwatch 2 is a massive disappointment, falling short in almost every facet of its intended design. Monetization, the ranking system, server stability, and lack of polish make this a title with faults that are impossible to ignore. While the controls, new Push mode, and 5v5 structure make Overwatch 2 more enjoyable from a gameplay perspective, the surrounding systems bog down what could have been an excellent evolution for the hero-shooter franchise.
Stray is a short but sweet adventure game that will warm your heart. Few titles meld puzzles, world-building, and well-written characters so harmoniously. Though Stray is rough around the edges, it's a promising first title from BlueTwelve Studios with so much to appreciate. If you're in the market for a relaxing title with an adorable protagonist, invest in Stray, the cutest release of 2022. Come for the cat; stay for the adventure!
Despite an aggressive storefront and limited private game options, Fall Guys: Free for All is Mediatonic's best model. You'll have plenty to enjoy, with many levels to play and unique ways to approach the content. Whether you want solo play or partnering with friends, chasing the Crown is addictive as the first time I played. Fall Guys is a staple in my gaming catalog and a great time.
If you've got the stomach for a challenge, you'd be hard-pressed to find a title more impressive than Cuphead in any genre. This masterpiece only gets better, thanks to The Delicious Last Course. Cuphead remains my favorite indie game for the amount of love and dedication that goes into each level. Animation, music, and boss designs are all impeccable, somehow outdoing the base game's offerings. Considering that the expansion only costs $7.99, it's hard to argue that this isn't one of the best DLC packages of the last decade.
TMNT: Shredder's Revenge is everything a Beat 'Em Up should be. Dotemu's title is lovingly crafted with retro-inspired visuals and an original soundtrack. Not only this, but combat is some of the best the genre has ever seen. With fantastic co-op options and high replay value, it's a title you'll revisit for years. Whether you're a fan of the Turtles or not, it's easily one of the best titles of 2022.