A continuation of Bandai Namco's long-running flight simulation series, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown offers fans an invigorating, polished and beautifully-rendered action game that sometimes becomes obscured by a silly story, vague objectives and a steep learning curve. Those familiar with the series will likely be able to see past the muck and enjoy the fast-paced action for what it is, as excellent controls and gorgeous graphics certainly help. Those, looking for more, however, may be disappointed. Still, this type of game is fairly rare these days, and if you're looking for one, just know what you're in for going in, and have fun.
A return to Hogwarts to relive Harry Potter’s school years, this remaster features an enjoyable adventure for fans who haven’t taken this trip before. Though the games are still fun to play, the experience doesn’t offer anything new (other than updated graphics) from the original releases. While the Harry Potter movie world keeps expanding, game fans get a rehash, which is something of a downer. If you haven’t played the Lego Harry Potter games before, this is a great package in terms of value and sheer amount of gameplay. Otherwise, it would be better to play one of the newer releases in the franchise.
A Lego game with an original story featuring a who's who of DC villains (and a few heroes for good measure), a universe of great locations, and plenty of bricky humor. A few game killing bugs do hinder the overall experience (at least on Switch), but otherwise Lego DC Super-Villains is a blast to play, either alone or with another aspiring no-goodnick.
Like a mashup of Star Fox and No Man's Sky, Starlink: Battle for Atlas features space combat, exploration, and a solid story to scratch your deep space itch. While presented as a toys-to-life game, the toys are entirely optional. Instead, opt for the digital version, which will get you additional content and greater convenience for about the cost of a physical Starter Pack. It's definitely the best way to play.
Take a haphazard trip through the Marvel Cinematic Universe with all of your favorite Avengers—as well as a whole host of B-level Marvel characters you may or may not have ever heard of. Gameplay is fun, and individual levels all play great, but LEGO Marvel's Avengers fails to come together in as cohesive a fashion as the material deserves.
LEGO Dimensions moves the toys-to-life genre in a new direction by introducing the need to build (and rebuild) your toys, and manipulate them during the game. This combined with the brilliant mash-up of different properties makes for a LEGO game fans of the series won't want to miss.
Disney Infinity 3.0: Star Wars Edition adds another massive and massively popular property to the series' roster. Both the Star Wars and Inside Out Play Sets are well done and the new Toy Box is much better organized. Since toys-to-life games are all about breathing life into your favorite characters, Disney has an advantage (at least now that they're past the Lone Ranger). They leverage that here and the result is fantastic.
The third proper installment of Sony's LittleBigPlanet series adds three new characters, several new tools, and a creation system with more options than ever before. Plus, the game is backward-compatible, so every unlocked item or created level from the first two games can be used here. Whether you just want to play or want to prove you're a top-notch designer, LittleBigPlanet 3 should have what you're looking for.
Taking the playstyle from Civilization V and launching it into space, Civilization: Beyond Earth introduces a number of interesting concepts into the series' tried-and-true strategy formula. While the gameplay remains addictive, the learning curve here is steep, with lots of small details that demand your attention. What you make of it depends on your patience and ability to adapt to the cruelties of space.
Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition) takes last year's tested formula and adds new features like leveling characters, streamlined editing tools for the Toy Box, and a cast of characters straight from your favorite Marvel comics and movies. While the new Play Sets are only a modest improvement over the ones from last year, the Toy Box is even more amazing, making this the perfect place for those wanting to express their creativity.
Since its original debut two years, Diablo III finally receives its definitive edition. It includes the original game and the Reaper of Souls expansion and features amazing graphics, great controls, and polished gameplay. Throw in a few new features and this version is the one to play.
This new-gen installment of the inFAMOUS franchise offers a new hero, a new city, and tons of new powers. But this is still inFAMOUS at heart, and it's filled with familiar—if refined—open-world gameplay. Protagonist Delsin Rowe's story is more interesting than former leading man Cole MacGrath's, and his powers are more fun to use, too. As far as I'm concerned, this is the first must-play PS4 title.
Another smash-and-collect game featuring everyone's favorite building toy. This time around, it's based on the new animated movie and offers many of the hilarious characters fresh off the screen. A little bit of fresh gameplay livens up this entry, but a few story and camera problems hamper the experience somewhat. Ultimately, The LEGO Movie Videogame is great fun and perfect for fans of the fantastic plastic.
For those who enjoy a simple hack-n-slash game, Ryse: Son of Rome fits the bill. This is no deep adventure, but rather a chance to burn your aggression by chopping your way through hundreds of barbarians, slowing only to enjoy the carnage during the brutal executions. Still, the stunning visuals and compelling setting will keep some gamers engaged throughout, making Ryse a flawed-but-interesting addition to the Xbox One launch lineup.