The Sinking City is easily the best H.P. Lovecraft game yet, throwing players into a well-realised but characteristically melancholy town that's coming to terms with its cosmic fate. It's a classic detective game through and through, which rewards smarts and isn't afraid to let you explore and immerse yourself with no handholding. It's just a bit of a shame that's hindered by some rudimentary combat, shoddy technical issues and an open world that's a little too big for its own good.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night doesn't reinvent the idea of what a Castlevania game should be, but it does a better job than any of its contemporaries at emulating that classic formula that Konami have long abandoned. While it's technically got a few issues they're hurdles that I am sure it will overcome. Still, in a market that's flooded with imitations, Bloodstained is the real deal. A true successor to Castlevania that fans and newcomers will easily sink their teeth into.
Back In 1995 does an earnest job at trying to emulate the experience offered by the survival horror canon of the nineties, especially visually. But beyond it’s looks, 1995 fails to recognise why those games were so great, and is unfortunately an inferior experience because of it.
Underneath it all, RAGE 2 is one of the most energetic and frenetic shooters I’ve played since DOOM. But you must, unfortunately, wade through a poorly paced story, a drab open world, and a few locks and progression gates to even experience the best it has to offer. Those who persist will adore RAGE 2, but it’s such a bizarrely inconsistent journey to get there that it’s hard to recommend to everyone.
Mortal Kombat 11 is both joyful and frustrating. It's far and away a superior game to Mortal Kombat X where it truly matters - the roster is strong and varied, the visuals are phenomenal, and the flow of battle is as sharp as ever. If you play with friends, solid online offerings will deliver in droves. If you're thinking of playing solo, although Story mode is some of Netherrealm's best, the grind to unlock everything beyond that is sobering. It's this grind that means Mortal Kombat 11 stands besides Mortal Kombat X, and not above it.
Ace Attorney Trilogy is a modestly priced collection of thrilling adventures that highlight the best narrative arc in the series thus far. The writing is smart, the narrative is enthralling, and the characters are charming if not kooky. There's a personal concern that the newer and cleaner art direction will put off some series purists and the cases can feel a bit slow in some parts, but otherwise, this is the best the series has ever looked and played and easily worth your attention.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is an intelligent reinvention of the tried and true SoulsBorne formula. It successfully manages to strike a delectable balance between difficult and enjoyable, without the frustrating moments players might’ve experienced in Dark Souls or Bloodborne. Owing to its fast-paced combat that rewards an aggressive approach, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is both fulfilling and satisfying and easily the best of FromSoftware’s games yet.
Devil May Cry 5 rights all the wrongs of its predecessors with style and gusto, whilst being incredibly welcoming to series newcomers. The three playable characters bring great combat variety against the games huge slew of enemies and bosses. There are a few little niggles that stop the game from being the best it could be, but Devil May Cry 5 is undoubtedly one of the best in the series.
Crackdown 3 is without a doubt the best Crackdown yet. It successfully builds upon the previous two games to offer an open world experience that, while formulaic, is still incredibly enticing. This is in part due to the very flexible combat system, which offers heaps of different ways to be as destructive as possible. It's structure has been seen before, sure, and as such Crackdown 3 doesn't break ground in many ways, but it's still such an enjoyable experience that I'm not sure it entirely matters.
YIIK is an ambitious little RPG with an intriguing premise and engaging battle mechanics that is ultimately let down by some poor pacing and a very unruly inventory management system. In a game where stats matter so much, this is a pretty big issue to have. Regardless, if you can see past its flaws, there's a kooky game here with a weird but wonderful plot and a lovable cast to enjoy.
What would otherwise be a mess is beautifully brought together in Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes. While much more simplistic when compared to its predecessors, Travis Strikes Again is a fun and fast paced action game that commands your attention from beginning to end. It has a few pacing issues, especially towards the end and the co-op implementation might not be perfect, but Travis Strikes Again is yet another momentous trip through the wicked and warped mind of Suda51.
While the second and third games are arguably better, Onimusha: Warlords serves as a perfect introduction to one of Capcom's most underrated franchises. So many minor improvements have been made here to make the game very playable by modern standards, though the fixed camera angles will remain polarising with modern audiences. Regardless, Onimusha: Warlords is a brief yet rewarding experience that combines simple yet satisfying combat and ghoulish enemy designs to create something that's still unique.
Darksiders III is the follow-up that fans have been waiting for, no doubt, but this is both its greatest strength and weakness. On one hand, it feels just like the previous two games albeit with a much better combat system and some fantastic encounters. On the other, much like Darksiders II, it's trying too many things at once and comes off as having an identity crisis. Without a doubt, though, Darksiders III is easily better than Darksiders II, and that's worth celebrating.
Though some elements are clearly still being developed and will evolve in the future, HITMAN 2 is a great example of games-as-a-service done right. Specifically, the base game is a an already strong offering that will no doubt grow into something even better as time goes by. Eclipsing the previous game in practically every way, HITMAN 2 successfully leverages strong level design, creative kills and absurdist situations to offer the best Hitman experience to date.
As far as kart racers go, Nickelodeon Kart Racers is a disappointing case of missed opportunity. Nickelodeon, as a brand, is rich with properties though barely any are appropriately handled here too, with a roster that's quite frankly anemic. Instead, Nickelodeon Kart Racers offers some serviceable kart racing that's ultimately devoid of any personality. Some kids who don't know any better will find some enjoyment here, but most probably won't.
Diablo III: Eternal Collection for the Nintendo Switch represents the best way to play Diablo III right now, whether it be with friends or by yourself with whatever controllers you have. While the exclusive gear and equipment are superficial and not a sole reason to buy on the Switch, Diablo III is a perfect fit for the platform, as cliché as it sounds. Sure, it's starting to show signs of ageing, but it still plays as well today as it did all those years ago.
Call of Cthulhu is one of the better games based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft, and despite its visual shortcomings does a great job at commanding your attention from start to finish. It's not for everyone, however, and the emphasis on exploration and trial-and-error stealth mechanics is bound to turn some people off. Putting this aside, Call of Cthulhu feels like a triumph for many reasons – it's well paced, its story is intriguing and the uneasiness of it's chilling conclusion will stay with you long after you've turned it off.
With robust single-player offerings, as well as a fast paced and dynamic fighting system, Soulcalibur VI represents the best the series has been for a long time. It has a great and diverse roster of characters, and Geralt fits right into the world too. It's just a little bit of a shame that it's missing a few things from previous games. Despite this, Soulcalibur VI is easily the best Soulcalibur game and one of the best 3D fighters you can play right now.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey successfully builds upon the already strong foundation that Origins set to provide yet another Assassin's Creed experience that still feels fresh and, more importantly, fun to explore and dive into. Even better, it does all this without the typical bloat you'd expect, although Conquest Battles do feel like a missed opportunity. Despite this minor letdown, Odyssey eclipses Origins in practically every way, and is easily the best Assassin's Creed yet.