God of War Ragnarok is a triumph. Santa Monica Studio has successfully taken everything that was great about the last game and amplified it while correcting just about every problem area and then some. There are slight stumbles, but it's a constantly surprising, epic adventure that shows genuine growth in its characters, backed up by best-in-class combat and a menagerie of breathtaking scenes. This makes Ragnarök an easy GOTY contender and one of the best games I've played in years.
This long awaited follow up to Asobo Studio's cult hit doesn't come without grievances, but A Plague Tale: Requiem a rock-solid adventure that's grim and gorgeous in equal measure. Smart iteration on established mechanics and pitch-perfect pacing lead the way to a journey across some breathtaking locales that ups the ante in nearly every way by its shocking conclusion.
We Are OFK doesn't quite hit the mark as an interactive experience, but it excels with a compelling narrative hook built on fantastic character and dialogue writing. It also doubles as a genuinely great EP by a virtual band that benefits immensely from the context its five episodes provide. This is a stark example of a game that is truly special, even if it's not perfect.
It's not perfect, but Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a confident sequel that's best-in-class in the ways that matter most. Your favourite bits of the first two games are here, cherry-picked and placed into a narrative with a tasteful balance of earnest ideas and anime bullshit.
Stray is a brisk and relentlessly charming adventure that offers a very unique window into a gorgeous sci-fi world. It won't challenge your mind or your reflexes too much but it'll absolutely delight your senses. Importantly, it's a video game with a dedicated 'meow' button, and what could possibly be better than that?
Sonic Origins keeps the focus on the hedgehog's early core entries, polishing them up to a fine sheen and creating an addictive ecosystem around them that breathes new life into each title. There are a few missteps and grubby mechanics to forgive, but otherwise this is well worth diving into for old-school Sonic fans.
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes succeeds admirably as both a spin-off stacked with fanservice that truly understands the source material and as a compelling take on the Warriors format. It's not going to win over any detractors of musou-style gameplay and it starts to buckle under the weight of repetition by the end, but if you're a fan of Three Houses and can handle that, you're in for a treat.
Mario Strikers: Battle League Football excels on the field, but it struggles to make a compelling offer for solo players or anyone not willing to invest time in forming and maintaining a Strikers Club. It's just pick-up-and-play enough to work as a party game with mates and it's compelling to watch in action, but the lack of embellishments is sure to hurt its long-term appeal.
Kao the Kangaroo is an inoffensive and very occasionally charming platformer, but it's uninspired and incredibly rough around the edges. It might hold the attention of some younger gamers and old-school platforming fans but by that same token there are far better games out there for both crowds.
It's not often that a game grabs me in quite the way Citizen Sleeper has. By stripping a video game adventure to its barest components and then manipulating those components to create just the right balance of hope and despair it successfully conveys the drama and danger of its small slice of sci-fi storytelling. Top-notch writing, impeccable narrative design and inviting tabletop mechanics accompanied by gorgeous art and music serve only to elevate it even more. Play this bloody game.
It's far from a best-case port, but Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition serves up a cult classic JRPG that deserves to be appreciated by everyone that hasn't had the legal means before now. The Radical Dreamers part is a very welcome bit of history given some genuine love from Square Enix, too. If you've already smashed out a Chrono Cross replay in the recent past though, you might be okay to skip this package for now.
Despite its awkward pacing, one-note combat and tedious open world collectible hunting, Ghostwire: Tokyo is as unique and atmospheric as they come. Side-stepping its horror roots, Tango Gameworks delves into the depths of Japanese folklore and urban myth through the lens of the modern world and the results are as refreshingly charming as they are routinely unnerving.
Triangle Strategy riffs on TRPGs of old without letting nostalgia get in the way of modern sensibilities. Exhilarating combat, sumptuous HD-2D visuals and an enthralling narrative with massive replay value make this a must-play for RPG fans of all kinds.
Chocobo GP copies the work of better kart racers while fundamentally missing the mark on what makes them great. It delivers entertaining Final Fantasy fanservice that's at least two decades too late for the one audience that might still find the fun it and tacks on microtransactions to boot. It's functional and sometimes fun but otherwise not worth your time.
While it's not overly surprising to see PlayStation migrate two of its biggest last gen titles to the PS5 and slap a new entry fee on the front, it's also not an overly exciting end product. There's merit in playing these beloved and bombastic blockbuster hits in an eye-searing new fidelity but the weight of this package isn't quite worth the gold.