Charting the series' progress since that 2016 Paris debut has been a fascinating journey. IO have learned a lot over the past five years and that really shows in Hitman 3. It's a flashier, more fluid evolution of IO's original template - a rewarding conclusion to one of the most unique video game franchises around, and one we'll continue playing for many weeks and months to come.
Assassin's Creed: Valhalla effortlessly plants its banner as the best open world RPG available for the new consoles. This Viking epic flexes its gore-soaked, tattooed muscles when it comes to world-building, and medieval England wows with its enchanting untamed vistas. It's also portioned out at a steady pace and, if not for the repetitive, limited combat, Valhalla could have ranked even higher among our favourite games in the series.
An unforgiving, unrelenting classic reborn for a new generation, Demon's Souls is no more accessible now than it was back in 2010 (though the frame rate is much better). If you've ever been the slightest bit curious about the Souls series then you can revisit ground zero in all its glory, making for one of the best PlayStation launch titles of all time.
It takes a while for Godfall's combat to truly open up and when it does, you'll revel in its beefy ballet of well-timed blows and counters. That said, it's hard to ignore the flimsy scaffolding that keeps this PS5 launch title standing, the lack of matchmaking, and a loot system you'll quickly lose interest in. Although still great fun in short bursts, this isn't the rousing next-gen RPG experience you've been searching for.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales feels like more of a sequel than it is a stopgap, entangling players within its web of cleverly refined mechanics while delivering some familiar web-slinging thrills. A heroic technical showcase for PS5 owners picking up their consoles on day one, this meaty side story in the Spider-Man saga has us even more excited than before to see what Insomniac Games have planned next.
Dead By Daylight has evolved into somewhat of a phenomenon, proving that the often maligned games-as-a-service model produces more than just cookie cutter loot shooters. It's still an acquired taste and a bit rough around the edges though stands out as one of the most unique ongoing multiplayer games of the generation.
Nintendo continues to revive what some might call their lost generation of games. Pikmin 3 Deluxe is yet another Wii U transplant though one that slots seamlessly into Switch's first party line-up. Although unwieldy and slow to start, Nintendo's charming inventiveness has produced an intriguing, if not excellent, entry in the strategy genre.
While we would have preferred to see an adaptation of the grunnier 90s tabletop game, Necromunda: Underhive Wars is still a thorough, faithful adaptation of a Games Workshop classic. Its strategic skirmishing gameplay can prove rewarding, but it's clunky and gets bogged down by technical issues and stodgy pacing. Necromunda fans will delight in being able to create their own Underhive mob though casual fans of the genre may want to stay clear if they're not particularly fussed about Warhammer 40K.
The barriers that Windbound puts up makes it a tough game to enjoy, at least initially. It will take time to appreciate what it brings to the survival genre with its clever boat-building and authored open world action, though these smart nuances often go hand-in-hand with tedious, sometimes frustrating stretches of playtime.