With the most bewitching tale the series has ever told and an incredibly likable cast that rises above their typical archetypes, Persona 5 sings a song of rebellion. Not just against the norm of JRPGs, but of society's oppressive grasp, inspiring its players to rise up as the Phantom Thieves would. In the end, in spite of its minor missteps, Persona 5 has the power to steal the hearts of longterm fans of the series and newcomers alike.
We don't get games like Nier: Automata too often. And by that I mean games that simultaneously weave a deeply harrowing existentialist narrative, in addition to playing with our expectations on how we play games. There's nothing else around like Nier: Automata (except for maybe its predecessor). And in an industry that sometimes leans too heavily on sameness, it's wholly refreshing.
For all the new in Kingdom Hearts 3, there is plenty of the old too. The action combat is more satisfying than it's ever been, even if it's a tad easy to skate through the main storyline. For longtime fans of the series, all those emotional payoffs that have been building for 17 years await. For newcomers, buckle up: because you're in for a wild ride of bonkers Disney interactions and some exciting boss battles.
By the end of What Remains of Edith Finch, I felt close to the Finch family. I felt close in a way that only games could articulate with their unique interactive language. I was a kid on a swing, trying to get as high as he can. I was a baby in a bathtub. I was a curious, hungry kid. What Remains of Edith Finch doesn't just tell you about the tragic history of the Finch family, it allows you to embody it.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy doesn't reinvent the series. It takes one idea, the open-world area from Uncharted 4, and expands on it. Otherwise, this is an Uncharted game from top to bottom, with all the action and adventure that entails. Nathan Drake and Sully may be gone, but Chloe Frazier and Nadine Ross are more than able to fill their shoes.
On Tokyo 42's website, the developers boast the game as a beloved blend of Syndicate and Grand Theft Auto, and honestly, they couldn't be more wrong and right. It's both those games in spirit, but twists them into something wholly its own. Tokyo 42 is an isometric cyberpoppunk action-shooter with a city that's worth getting lost in.
Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus builds on the first game, making for another superb linear first-person shooter campaign. It's an empowering journey that BJ goes on—rising from his near death experience from The New Order to be stronger than ever, befriending others who are just as tough and ready to take back what the Nazis stole from them: their country.
Danganronpa V3 might end up being a controversial entry for fans close to the series, but its twists and turns are worth seeing through. With additional minigames and mechanics, the trials are more exciting than they've ever been before; its cast is even more endearing than past games; and best of all, its murders are still a delight to solve. After all, there's no better feeling than personally realizing something before the game even points at it directly.
Platformers, especially those with a retro flair, come along often. But so rarely do they work as well as Celeste does. Celeste is an exercise of excellence in the well-trodden platforming genre. Whether it's the score that kicks up just as busily just as heroine Madeleine does, the mechanics that build and build with each new room you uncover, or its lushly pixelated landscapes: there's a lot to love in Celeste. It's the sort of game that makes you feel strong while playing it; if you can dash-jump through impossible holes between narrow icy spikes to climb that goddamn mountain, you can probably do anything.