Creaks renovates a well-worn genre, delivering one of the most satisfying indie puzzle-platformers in some time. Between its stunning visual and audio design, absorbing world, and perfectly-balanced puzzles, it's hard to find serious fault with any part of this game's construction. If you're a fan of puzzles or Amanita Design's past games, you need to grab a flashlight and delve in.
The most underappreciated Souls game is ready to take its place atop the pantheon. Demon's Souls has always been one of From Software's most intricate, atmospheric, and satisfyingly-challenging games and Bluepoint's technically-impeccable remake elevates it to a new level with beautiful, fluid visuals and an assortment of smart gameplay tweaks. All From Software fans need this game, and even those who have struggled with their games should consider giving it a try. Once you start playing Demon's Souls you'll be hard-pressed to exorcise the game from your PS5.
A Way Out is an impressive achievement that definitively proves creativity matters more than bloated budgets and big-name franchises. A technically accomplished, endlessly inventive co-op masterpiece, A Way Out will surprise and excite you from beginning to end. This one deserves to be a breakout hit.
Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire is an exceptional roleplaying experience that truly lets you forge your own path in a rich, multilayered, grog-soaked world. Occasionally the game is just a touch too retro for its own good, but, for the most part, Pillars of Eternity II proves Obsidian has set the right course. It's clear sailing ahead for the classic computer RPG.
The debut episode of The Walking Dead: The Final Season is one of Telltale Games' best efforts in quite some time. It builds its cast of likeable new characters with uncommon skill, lets you feel a glimmer of hope, and then tears it all down in devastating fashion. I'm afraid of what might come next for Clementine and AJ, but I can't look away…The Final Season has already sunk its teeth into me.
Book of Demons is rather brilliant in its own small way. It strips the Diablo formula to its bare essentials without sacrificing any of its appeal. In some ways, it even improves on Blizzard's series. If you're a busy adult pining for your 90s gaming heyday, Book of Demons is a must play, but really, everyone ought to give it a shot. This deceptively addictive dungeon crawl is worth getting fired up about.
Once you check in, you won't want to check out. Luigi's Mansion 3 is a vibrant interactive CGI movie, beautifully-designed brainteaser, and top-notch action game, all rolled into one. The game isn't perfect, but its frustrating moments are brief and don't tarnish the experience as a whole. Luigi's Mansion 3 stands shoulder to shoulder with Switch must-haves like Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey – it's scary good.
Streets of Rage 4 doesn't reinvent the wheel, but honestly, that's okay. The game's dazzling visuals, silky-smooth action, varied level design, and sexy sense of cool more than make up for a few minor old-school irritations. Veteran Bare Knuckle brawlers will get the most out of Streets of Rage 4, but it should provide a satisfying thumb workout for players from all eras.
Crusader Kings III pulls off a difficult dual victory, bringing a new level of depth, charm, and polish to the franchise, while also making it far more approachable than before. Some aspects of Crusader Kings III still aren't as user-friendly as they could be, but overall, this is a worthy heir to the throne.
Hitman 3 is the definitive case for careful refinement over needless reinvention. While not that fundamentally different from its predecessors, Hitman 3 has been polished to a high sheen, offering up fantastic frictionless stealth gameplay and an eye-catching array of unique, exciting stages. At times it's felt like luck was against this trilogy, but Agent 47 would be proud of how IO Interactive's well-laid plans have come together in the end.