- Final Fantasy IX
- Persona 4 Golden
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
"Tears of the Kingdom is so much more than a sequel — it’s a total reimagining of what Nintendo did with Breath of the Wild in 2017. Sure, there are still some minor quibbles, like tedious cooking and clumsy horse controls. But all of that pales in the face of the many, things this game does right."
With 'Star Wars Jedi: Survivor', Respawn has crafted one of the most memorable Star Wars experiences of the last decade. If you’re a fan of a galaxy far, far away, you can’t miss this one. In the five years since 'Fallen Order', Cal has become more competent and confident, and that’s directly represented in all aspects of 'Survivor’s gameplay. The sequel doesn't take away any of Cal’s abilities from the previous game, instead building upon them in meaningful and gratifying ways.
Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp leans into the toybox aesthetic of the series, giving the first two games a gorgeous new coat of paint, along with several welcome gameplay updates. If you’re a fan of strategic, turn-based gameplay, don’t sleep on this one.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure is an incredibly strong RPG with phenomenal pacing, characters, and combat, but it also relies so much on the player’s connection to the previous game. I can’t in good conscience say anyone should play Trails to Azure without first playing Trails From Zero, but that’s exactly what makes the experience so special. The duology of Zero and Azure revels in sequential storytelling, building a convincing world filled to the brim with personality and political intrigue.
The core gameplay of Company of Heroes has never felt better, and there are hours upon hours of fun to be had simply blasting your way through other players or teaming up against AI opponents. The dual campaigns are honestly a bit of a letdown, but I’m hopeful things could be streamlined or improved with future patches and updates. The RTS genre has undoubtedly been in a slump over the last decade, but Company of Heroes 3 might be just the shot in the arm it needs to keep going.
I simply can’t imagine not seeing Chai and 808 again, whether it’s in another game or some kind of animated spinoff. As triple-A gaming starts to feel more homogenized each year, Hi-Fi Rush is a stark reminder of how this industry was built on taking chances and experimenting. It’s a gutsy move from a developer known for only making “spooky” games, but it’s a gamble that’s clearly paid off.
Forspoken is vibrant, experimental, and undercooked all at once. It feels like a throwback to the Xbox 360-era of Square Enix games that were weird and experimental, like The Last Remnant and Infinite Undiscovery, only with a much bigger budget and flashier visuals. Its traversal and combat mechanics shine, but they’re trapped underneath a story and setting that feels painfully average and completely unwilling to engage with more challenging themes.
Crisis Core Reunion doesn’t alter the story of the original PSP game, but it lands somewhere between a remaster and a remake on account of its gorgeous graphical updates and gameplay improvements. That being said, the limitation of the original game being on a handheld still shines through, becoming obvious through the game’s simple structure that uses mostly small confined environments and linear pathways. For anyone coming from the tremendously ambitious Final Fantasy VII Remake, Crisis Core is going to feel remarkably limited. Still, the overwhelming positives of experiencing the Crisis Core story on modern consoles make its minor flaws totally forgivable.
Pentiment is a vibrant adventure that fully embraces its time period, artistic style, and sense of mystery. It’s methodical pacing and focus on dialogue won’t appeal to everyone, but Pentiment knows what it wants to be and does it exceptionally well.
Sonic Frontiers is a fascinating game, mostly because of how little it actually feels like the rest of the series. The game’s marketing has called it an “evolution” of the Sonic formula, and that’s certainly accurate, but it’s still hampered by some growing pains. Sublime exploration and intuitive mechanics constantly clash with Sonic Frontiers’ insistence on introducing mandatory mini-games and one-off gimmicks, many of which simply aren’t engaging.
There’s still a layer of jankiness the series can’t escape in terms of visuals and tropey writing. But the compelling characters and gameplay mechanics overshadow the rough edges. If this is the last Star Ocean game, Tri-Ace has gone out with a bang.