Stardew Valley is the rare kind of imitation that breaks free of the boundaries of its inspiration, becoming more than just a clone but an experience that thrives independent of its origins.
It's exciting to play an MMO that understands the importance of building a world worth living in, not just erecting a corridor of static set pieces to run through on your quest for power.
Overwatch is like going for an evening of speed dating and realizing everyone you meet is marriage material. I'll stare at the character select screen before each match, unable to decide which hero I want to play because I want to play them all.
The Banner Saga 2 is a beautiful sequel. There are moments where, as I watch the drama unfold in the dialogue and cutscenes, I almost forget I'm playing a game that came out in this decade. There's an evocative sense of timelessness about the story and world that few RPGs create.
Legions of Steel has a solid foundation that is spoiled by a lack of ambition and poor design.
Blade and Soul's excellent PvP is buried beneath a mountain of tired MMO tropes that are sometimes frustrating and rarely innovative.
With boring combat and a limited custom campaign toolset, Sword Coast Legends fails to capture the spirit of a true pen and paper role-playing experience.
Anthem's disjointed story, boring loot, repetitive missions, and shallow endgame are all disappointing. At least it's pretty.
Tree of Savior's biggest grind lies in chipping away all of its flaws just to experience its nostalgic charms.
Though A Fistful of Gun has potential, the empty multiplayer servers and repetitive campaign puts a bullet in any momentum it has going.
Star Wars Battlefront fails to match the ambitions of its visuals with equally as impressive gunplay, leaving it in the awkward position of looking amazing while also being rather boring.
Swords of Legends Online's endgame is great, but you're going to have to put up with a lot of crap to get to it.
It captures the spirit of Warhammer's lighter side and translates it beautifully onto the screen.
Technical faults aside, Planetside 2 remains a wonderful online experience capable of absorbing dozens upon dozens of hours. That endless tugofwar might seem exhausting from the outside, but once you're in the thick of battle it is as thrilling and engaging as few games ever manage to be.
World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Classic's endless grind is brutal, but the way it fosters community and relationships is still magical.
Repetitive combat and an abrupt ending spoil what is otherwise a remarkable feat of worldbuilding.
Light on content but heavy on freedom, Rebel Galaxy is a charming romp through a frontier brimming with choices to make.
Ambitious but uneven, Shadowlands is an exciting evolution of World of Warcraft.
World of Warcraft Classic's uncanny ability to bring players together and immerse them in adventure hasn't aged a day.
Vermintide 2's combat and level design are so feverishly fun that I'll put up with its bad matchmaking and RPG progression if it means chopping more ratmen in half.