In reinvigorating the Zelda series, Nintendo has rediscovered what gave it life all those years ago, capturing a spirit of adventure that flows through Breath of the Wild like the breeze on Hyrule's fields. Link and Princess Zelda's battle to save Hyrule and vanquish evil has rarely felt like such a personal journey, thanks to a masterful game defined by its peerless, charming and truly beautiful setting. A masterpiece.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe takes the best game in the series and improves it. It looks better, plays better, the soundtrack remains an utter joy and the inclusion of a fully-featured and fiendishly fun Battle Mode is the cherry on top. This is the best Mario Kart game ever, and it's hard to see exactly how Nintendo will ever be able to improve upon it.
What Remains of Edith Finch is an astonishing patchwork of inventive ideas rich in unforgettable moments. This is interactive storytelling in its truest form. A narrative adventure game that serves as another nail in the coffin of the reductive and derogatory term 'walking simulator', imbued with the ideas of a talented team working at the peak of its powers. This is a game that needs to be played. It's an essential new text in the history of video game storytelling.
Nintendo proves once again why it is the very best at what it does, with the Super Mario game players have waited 15 years for. Rooted in an wonderfully absurd design idea, Odyssey is a glorious and jubilant adventure for all that, like its plump hero, revels in the freedom to explore, experiment and play.
The enormity of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds' success will have surprised even its developers. This is a shooter that didn't invent the Battle Royale genre in gaming, but which certainly perfected it to the point that it found a massive, massive audience. With more than 30 million copies sold, PUBG is a bona fide phenomenon with an influence that will be felt in the industry for years to come.
Bluepoint Games has masterfully given new life to a masterpiece of the genre, making their Shadow of the Colossus feel in many ways like the definitive version. Porting and remaking the games of others isn't as trying as making something new, but doing so does come with significant pressure that Bluepoint have made their name dealing with. However, the studio's work wouldn't have been possible without the initial, groundbreaking efforts of Team Ico.Shadow of the Colossus is an adventure that's still every bit as breathtaking and astounding as it was over a decade ago.