My time through Final Fantasy VII Rebirth was profound. In one moment I was relishing in the opportunity to learn more about a world and characters I have loved for nearly 30 years. In the next, I was mourning the passing of principles and ideas that represent the very foundation of my love for the RPG genre and the Final Fantasy franchise as a whole. Final Fantasy VII Rebirth marks the very best in class across practically every element of game design for the Final Fantasy franchise, but I still couldn’t help but feel I was bidding farewell to an old friend.
If you can stomach the rough seas of the early game, Skull & Bones has a bounty of live-service content on offer. The end-game mechanics and loot loop rely completely and entirely on the combat system that, thankfully, is one that delivers with every firing of a cannon. Taking over towns and cities, conquering trade routes, climbing the leaderboards - Skull & Bones is a thrilling ride. It's just a shame that it can take 30-40 hours to get there.
Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League is a great game for a certain type of player, having all the hallmarks of a fantastic single-player cinematic experience. It features a great story, excellent voice acting, beautiful environments, and captivating characters, but it all feels cut short to service this live-service model. I had a lot of fun playing through, and I’ll likely dive more into the end-game grind. Still, I still can’t help but ask: What if?
For The King 2 is the perfect sequel. It takes the very best components of its predecessor and uses those time-tested elements to raise the series to new heights. To put it simply, For The King 2 is one of the best strategy-based co-op experiences on the market today.
RoboCop Rogue City pays homage to its source material like no other. A faithful recreation of a beloved character and world over 30 years in the making. At its core, it’s a fantastic over-the-top 80s action shooter but dig a little deeper and you’ll find a dark, dystopian tale of man and machine more relevant today than ever.
Mirage is the Assassin’s Creed many have been waiting for. It pays homage to its roots, bringing with it the challenge and satisfaction of a well-planned and executed stealth assault. It effortlessly blends together the old-school approach with updated design philosophies, a deeper and more immersive game world, and a story that enthralls from start to finish.
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty is a tale of redemption in its purest form. No rubbish, no corpo spin, dedication, passion, and determination to deliver on promises made long ago. The team at CD Projekt Red may have taken a rough road to get here, but now they can rest easy. Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty is finally, the game we all hoped it would be.
Simply put, Starfield is Bethesda's greatest-ever RPG. The living, breathing universe they have created is one of the most impressive in the gaming space and the sound effects and musical score push the immersion to near perfection. If only I could stop speaking to the back of NPC's heads.
Mortal Kombat 1 delivers one of the most impressive and exciting storylines I’ve ever experienced in this genre. The voice acting, the facial animations, everything comes together in near-perfect harmony. Fighting is fun, challenging, and rewarding every step of the way. Mortal Kombat 1 is brutally brilliant, and probably the best Mortal Kombat game I’ve ever played.
Immortals of Aveum is a worthwhile and interesting spin on a genre that is renowned for its lack of drive and innovation. It features an engaging and rewarding combat system backed up by an excellent narrative in a fleshed out and immersive fantasy setting that wouldn’t feel at all out of place in a Netflix show.
Baldur’s Gate 3 is nothing short of a masterpiece. The story is incredible, the world gorgeous and immersive, voice-over and writing of the highest quality, an amazing soundtrack, everything comes together in near perfect harmony. It’s not only the best RPG of the year, it’s the RPG of a generation.
Ultimately, WWE 2K23 has something for everyone. Whether you’re a casual wrestling fan looking to jump into the squared circle for a quick match, or a die hard WWE fan looking to create and brand your own WWE Universe, each game mode brings something new and exciting to the table – even if the depth is somewhat lacking. The gameplay and combat is the best the franchise has seen for over a decade, the customization suite offers near endless possibilities, and the community content portal is incredible. All this, but I still can’t help but feel the game was so close to something more.
I ultimately think SpellForce: Conquest of Eo is going to be a turbulent release. As a fan of turn-based combat, I loved every minute. Exploring the world finding new and powerful allies to add to my armies, discovering new Necromancer recipes to summon deadly hordes of the undead, fighting off the constant attacks from The Circle - it's a game I will return to time and time again. However, long-time fans of the franchise may struggle with the stark differences between turn-based and real-time strategy in a franchise they've grown to love for the latter.
Summoners War: Chronicles is a fantastic new addition to the Summoners War franchise. While it may not appeal to all fans of the MMO space, it's definitely going to entice more fans of mobile gaming into bigger and broader open-worlds. There's already a lot to love about the game, but I cannot wait to see where the developers take it after launch.
There is no other game like Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord. It's a fantastic experience, one unique in the gaming space. The constant grind to manage and progress with your kingdom is hard work - really hard work - but the payoff is spectacular. This is not a game for everyone but if this is your kind of thing, you're going to love every blood-stained minute of it.
Gotham Knights is up there with Elden Ring as a Game of the Year contender. Its fast, responsive, and action-packed combat is surpassed only by a narrative that had me glued from the very first cutscene. A must-play for fans of open-world titles, and an easy pickup for anyone invested with the Gotham Knights or DC Universe.
LEGO Bricktales is exactly the kind of game you would expect as both a work of Thunderful Games and a product of the LEGO brand. Seeing your creations come to life, even visually sickening ones, is a rewarding experience and a must-play for LEGO enthusiasts.