You know what? I adore it. I adore every second. Forza Horizon 4 is potentially the best racing game I've ever played in terms of the sheer amount of stuff and how much fun I've had. I'm not a devout racing game fan, so I'm not going to say it's the best racing game ever, but I can say absolutely that it's the racing game I'm going to be comparing the genre to in my head, moving forwards.
It's a testament to the quality of XCOM 2 that despite performance hiccups on a mid-range PC I have been unable to put it down. It's at once radically different and reassuringly familiar, improving what needed to be improved and refining what needed to be refined without losing the core appeal of the series. XCOM has once again proven itself to be the strategy king.
Dead Cells could be the most surprising success of the year. Coming into the crowded Metroidvania genre was a bold move, but one that seems to have paid off as Dead Cells has delivered the best example of the genre in years. The game is deep and rewards exploration, with exceptional combat and so much content it's honestly a little intimidating.
Rainbow Six Siege is the finest shooter of the year. Its systems combine to create a game that's immediately tense and feels several steps beyond what we've come to expect from yearly Call of Duty iterations. AAA games aren't usually this bold, but in this case the gamble has paid off. Rainbow Six Siege is sublime.
Overwatch is a great package: fun, accessible and extremely well-made. It's a shooter as much for those pledge their lives to online play, as those chiefly interested in the occasional fun foray. It's an instant classic that, with the kind of good post-launch support Blizzard is known for, could prove the go-to shooter for an entire generation of gamers.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided doesn't reinvent the wheel, nor does it need to. Compelling, tightly paced and most importantly, fun to play, Mankind Divided has created an exquisitely detailed world and now it wants to turn you loose in it. A stronger contender for Game of the Year in a year already filled with great games, what are you waiting for?
Battlefield 1 is a bold reinvention of the Battlefield series, proving not only that DICE aren't afraid to move in brave new directions, but also that they have a genuine understanding of what makes a Battlefield game really tick. Series veterans will feel immediately at home in the multiplayer, while those scared by the online battlefields will find the campaign, while short, provides a great diversion and a good way to ease yourself into the chaotic world of Battlefield.
I was expecting Watch Dogs 2 to be more enjoyable than its predecessor, but I didn't expect it to be so well designed and full of heart. Watch Dogs 2 isn't reinventing the open-world game and fans of Ubisoft's special brand of go-places-and-pick-things-up gameplay will feel right at home, but it's one of the best examples the genre has to offer – as long as you don't want to shoot anything.