Metal Wolf Chaos fulfills this criteria because of its unique premise that wouldn't be out of place in the late '80s, combined with From Software's penchant for mechicular (I just made this up) combat. If you hate old games and crave the newest visual advancements, avoid it. For everyone else: there is something here you can sink your teeth into that's more than just a novelty relic.
I cannot stress enough how much Fire Emblem: Three Houses exemplifies the "RPG" part of the acronym "SRPG." While strategy is indubitably a large part of Fire Emblem's DNA, the vast majority of my enjoyment was found having lunch with classmates and getting to know them better, or doing errands while running around the lovely academy grounds. This is a world you can absolutely lose yourself to for months on end, but if you find menus tedious, you might be reticent to the modern relationship-heavy Fire Emblem formula that's cemented in Three Houses.
It has a lot of potential, but Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot ends before it can reach most of it. Still, I hope Bethesda doesn't give up on VR. A few games like Doom VFR have been nice optional companion pieces, and I think they could stand to push that concept further, as the fundamentals are there.
There's plenty of room for improvement, but I had fun playing through Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3. With the Marvel IP less muddled and the simplicity of this deal between Marvel and Nintendo, I'd love to see another with enhancements in tow.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey: Fate of Atlantis has been one of the more consistent DLC storylines in the history of the series. All of the folks who have been holding off for a full Game of the Year edition have a lot to look forward to, and those of you who have been waiting to see if the entire saga was worth it can safely pull the trigger.
With Blazing Chrome you kind of get what you get: it's an hour and change shooter that pays extreme homage to the Contra series. JoyMasher has already proved that they "get" the bygone eras of retro gaming with Oniken and Odallus, and now they have yet another triumph to add to their resume.
Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers is more XIV, and right now that's something I'm still happy with. The story delivers with its effortless whimsy and urgency, the battles are filled with spectacle, and the core fundamentals have only gotten better over time.
I appreciate that the Yakuza studio wanted to try something different with Judgment, even if the biggest deviations are the absence of the bankable character Kazuma Kiryu and the addition of some detective busywork. Given that said work is typically brief, this is an easy one to recommend to Ryu Ga Gotoku acolytes and folks with patience.
Bloodstained is occasionally frustrating, refreshingly open, and as promised, wholly Castlevania. Hopefully some polish is on the way for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night as to not alienate folks who are new to the genre, but as any Castlevania fan knows, partial jank comes with the territory.
Cadence of Hyrule really surprised me. It takes the best parts of Crypt of the NecroDancer and makes them more accessible, which really comes with the territory when you're paying homage to The Legend of Zelda. Although it may still take you a while to pick it up, the familiar and welcome open world format is a much better way for new players to acclimate.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey: Fate of Atlantis' track record isn't too shabby so far, with two out of three of its add-ons delivering. While you can take or leave Legacy of the First Blade, this wacky romp through heaven and hell is just seamless enough to fit. It's great to see Ubisoft finally embrace the wilder, more mythic side of the series.
Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth hinges on a few hefty qualifiers. You have to dig JRPGs for one, and be willing to accept random battles in 2019. You also have to not be sick of Persona 5's characters, which for some, is a tall order. For everyone else, there's plenty of fun to be had. It also gets major points as one of the potentially final big 3DS releases from a major publisher that is best served on the 3DS platform. As stylus-based touchscreens are phased out, Persona Q2 is one last rallying battle cry.
Trover Saves the Universe is still going to be laugh-out-loud funny no matter how you approach it, but the additional context and enhanced mechanics when using a headset make it a little bit sweeter. Just approach it as more of a comedy experience that happens to be a platformer.
I didn't expect a whole lot from Blood & Truth and came away smiling. No it's not the best showcase for how far the VR industry has come as a whole (especially when the lead tech is a controller released in 2010), but it's the type of popcorn project I'd like to see more of from a major publisher in the space.
In most circles, Team Sonic Racing probably won't unseat Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (or Transformed's ever-enduring legacy if my house is any indication), and that's fine with me. Plenty of folks will enjoy the Sonic focus and many of the tracks would have been fantastic as Transformed DLC. I just wish it wasn't as limited in scope out of the gate.
Despite just offering a taste of what's to come with Vader Immortal, the first episode has me hooked and I want more. More opportunities to witness Mustafar's glory without the need to gain the high ground, more lore dumps, and more Vader being Vader.
I was pleasantly surprised with the shooter chimera that is Rage 2, which ended up being open world mini-Doom 2016. It's not going to make anyone a believer in shooters or the free roam format, but folks already predisposed to those vices will find plenty to sink their teeth into.
Despite clocking in at just a few hours long, A Hat in Time: Nyakuza Metro is an instant recommendation. It's pretty much everything I want out of a Hat DLC, and the exact formula I'd want Gears for Breakfast to keep replicating if said DLC never stopped coming. I hope it never stops.
It's a small price to pay for low-stakes arcade open world antics. Shakedown: Hawaii might play similarly to Retro City Rampage, but it takes place in a markedly different world. It's more than enough to warrant giving both games a shot, and a worthy successor to a now-seven-year-old game.