What separates it from the pack and makes it more of a platformer pinnacle are the other parts of the whole: the layers of accessibility, the engaging story, and the charming presentation. All of those pieces gelled together in a spectacular way, in a way that led to me adoring this game much more than I thought. Celeste is magical and beautiful, mostly thanks to its brilliantly designed levels, but it becomes transcendent thanks to everything else.
Whether you want to play single games against friends, compete in online leagues, or sit back and binge a season by yourself offline, Super Mega Baseball 2 delivers in spades. This is a Triple Crown-winning batter, a multiple Cy Young-winning pitcher, and a first-ballot Hall of Famer all wrapped into one. This is the greatest baseball game I have ever played.
On top of that, it layers on an onslaught of laudatory elements, whether it's a winning, humorous tone, the excellent linear level design, or the marvels of the late-game exploration. When I first sat down with The Messenger, I thought it'd be hard for it to live up to my brilliant, childhood memories of Ninja Gaiden on NES. It didn't just meet those expectations, it annihilated them. The Messenger is a straight-up brilliant addition to the Switch and if you have any affinity for platformers of nearly any shape or size, go play it right this second.
This is an amazing, standout entry in a series with a history dotted with masterpieces. It absolutely reinvents the Zelda style while still staying true to what makes past games work so well. This is a hell of a way to kick off a new console (or close one out if you play it on Wii U), as Breath of the Wild is one of the most impressive games I’ve played in years.
Since it follows the roadmap so closely, it’s not quite as fresh as the SNES classic was in 1992, but that doesn’t make it any less of an amazing experience. A Link Between Worlds is a delightful adventure that hits every high note a 2D Zelda game has ever produced while creating many new hallmarks of its own. In a year filled with quality 3DS games, A Link Between Worlds is another fantastic entry on a system that is quickly becoming home to a number of instant classics.
Much like its predecessor, Picross 3D: Round 2 comes late in the system’s life to provide dozens upon dozens of hours of glorious puzzle goodness. It’s a charming experience from the moment you first crack a block, and the additions and changes in Round 2 make this even better than what came before.
After beating Metroid: Samus Returns, my skepticism washed away, mostly thanks to the fact that this 3DS game pays a loving homage to the greatness of past entries while adding enough new elements to feel like a fresh and wonderful modern experience. With their powers combined, Nintendo and MercurySteam basically struck gold with this game. Samus Returns is a dynamite entry in the fabled series and deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Metroid: Zero Mission and Super Metroid. If you've been waiting for a new 2D Metroid game from Nintendo for more than a decade, you owe it to yourself to play this game.
This offbeat and peculiar puzzle game takes a ridiculous concept and manages to shape it into a shockingly deep, balanced, and varied low-key masterpiece. I was looking forward to checking this game out since it was shown off, but I never expected it to be this good. Don't sleep on Sushi Striker, but be mindful that you'll probably really want to eat sushi after playing it for a while.
Not since Spelunky have I been so completely taken by the play and craftsmanship of this style of game. Every run is engrossing and fun and when I die, the only thought rushing through my brain is to start over and try again, pushing as far past my previous run as I can. This is a tremendous newcomer to the Switch indie scene and as long as you're up for a challenge, Dead Cells is spectacular.