In a gaming landscape where everything has to be big, bold and brash, Sable stands out as a calm escape from the norm. Its relaxing, low-fi approach with an equally soothing soundtrack will be the perfect escape for those who wish to just kick back, relax and explore.
Whatever may come in next year's WRC 11 Kylotonn leaves behind a strong legacy and has created what is probably the most underrated racing series currently in active development. That being said, WRC 10 really is an incremental upgrade and unless you absolutely must have it for one reason or another there's perhaps not enough here for owners of WRC 9.
Whilst you can argue Imagine Earth doesn't necessarily do anything new, its use of its campaign to send out a message of sustainability with one's own environment sets it apart. It may not scratch the itch of hardcore Anno style players but if you're in the market for a relaxing world builder with a solid art style and gameplay mechanics, Imagine Earth fits the bill comfortably.
F1 2021 yet again improves over its predecessors in enough ways to make it the version to be on and to upgrade to. Whether or not this trend will continue under EA's stewardship remains to be seen. The story mode isn't perfect and the omission of classic cars is a huge shame, F1 2021 is still a fantastic game through which you can live out your childhood motorsport dreams.
The world of professional cycling was never going to be an easy sport to translate to a game. Cyanide Studios have made this even harder by making a game that seems to appeal only to the sport's keenest of fans at the expense of educating and rewarding the curiosity of new fans to the sport.
As Mulder once said "all we can do is pull the thread, see what it unravels." Dark Nights with Poe and Munro has a fair number of threads to pull should you want to see them all, adding to its longevity. Brief as it is, the decently written script and well acted scenes tempt you into trying something different if only to see what would happen.
We clearly had the big leap last year, as WRC 9 only shows minor improvements overall. It still suffers from a lacklustre multiplayer experience, but for those wishing to take cars and drive at speeds that defy all sense around roads ill-designed to be driven that fast, WRC 9 is the game to do it with.
Codemasters has managed to inject new purpose into the arcade brethren of their DIRT Rally series. With some fun, community-focused game modes DIRT 5 could be great. It is, however, let down by a lacklustre handling model and mostly non-existent force feedback.
When you're shooting hoops and playing basketball, NBA 2K21 is rather fun to play. However, it suffers from obtrusive microtransactions and game modes that are made in such a way that they try to nudge you to buy more virtual currency. NBA 2K21's appeal dives even more when you realise very little has changed from NBA 2K20. Hopefully Visual Concepts will come back strong on next-generation consoles with something that feels more than just about making money.