Sackboy: A Big Adventure is the hessian hero's best outing yet. Tighter platforming controls and a fresh perspective go a long way to reinvigorating the franchise, and it helps that the whole thing is positively stuffed with charm from beginning to end. Levels that feel lonely when played solo, and worse, levels that aren't accessible at all in single player dampen the experience, but not enough for platforming fans to dismiss it. If you've just brought home a shiny new PlayStation 5 there's also a lot here to showcase what the console is capable of in both visuals and the user experience, making it well worth considering as part of your launch library. Viva la Sackboy!
The Pathless is the next great indie adventure. Whether the joy you take from it is in its unique and super-slick traversal mechanics, or the arresting world and faultless artistry, there's no denying that Giant Squid has absolutely nailed it. If I could somehow travel back in time and get lost in this game all over again, I would. While I can't speak to the experience on Windows or Apple devices, I believe this is one for the PlayStation 5 players most of all. This world needs to be taken in at its most visually rich, and the unique properties of the DualSense heighten its gameplay even further. If you only pick one, non-AAA exclusive for your next-gen PlayStation, pick this one.
Yakuza Like a Dragon is both a fresh start and a shot in the arm that caters to series veterans and newcomers like. It bears all the hallmarks of a great Yakuza game, while making a damned good case for its revamped battle system. After Yakuza 6 topped the rest of the franchise with a matured and succinct focus it feels even more exciting to see the whole thing blown wide open again and have Ryu ga Gotoku just run wild. Kudos is deserved at Sega of America for their commitment to the game's localization as well, which is incredibly considered and comprehensive. I think I've found a new favourite Yakuza game.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time is both a successful celebration of the original trilogy as well as a worthy follow-up. Toys For Bob has taken the essence of what fans loved about the classics, distilled and bottled it and then shaken it up. Some old issues rear their heads, and there are definitely some dud levels and boss fights, but it's a package so chock-full of content that the good far outweighs the small amount of bad. Anyone hankering for some old-school Crash Bandicoot action will find exactly that and more, and all wrapped up in one of the most gorgeous platformers I've ever seen.