While more iterative than it is innovative, Splatoon 3 is without a doubt the best entry in the series yet. Despite lacking new multiplayer modes at launch, there's a clear commitment to content and quality, with each aspect of the package being pushed to its logical extreme through smart and meaningful additions. This is the most feature-complete and tightly designed Splatoon to date, and you'd be missing out if you choose to pass it up.
While its unclear whether Soul Hackers 2 was an attempt to make a more inviting Shin Megami Tensei game for newcomers, the end result is a disappointingly streamlined RPG that both newcomers and long-time fans will inevitably bounce off of. It's a perfectly fine RPG, but so much of what makes SMT special is sorely lacking here in a palpable way.
Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak takes an already meaty game an expands on it even further. Despite a few missteps, Sunbreak sports a roster bolstered by sheer quality, smart improvements to the Switch Skill system, and the introduction of Follower Quests which coalesce together to propel Rise into the upper echelon of Monster Hunter titles.
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes feels tailor made for the relatively small cross-section of people who are both hardcore fans of Musou and Fire Emblem. That isn't to say you won't enjoy this if you liked Three Houses, there's a lot that Three Hopes has to offer on a first playthrough, just be ready for the repetition to set in if you want to see it all through to the end.
While Tiny Tina's Wonderlands doesn't offer a vastly different experience from what came before, it does venture outside of its comfort zone enough to establish its own identity. It's an excellent extension of the already great Assault On Dragon Keep, and is a worthwhile adventure for any fan of the series, with extensive build crafting, an entertaining cast of characters, and a world worth exploring.
Where Beyond Light and Shadowkeep felt like foundational expansions, The Witch Queen is the fully realized, feature-rich pay off that players have been waiting for. While it's easy to see that PvP is still comparably neglected to PvE, a superbly focused campaign, an excellent raid, and reinvigorated Void subclasses are just a few of the inclusions that build The Witch Queen up as the best Destiny expansion thus far.
While it feels like the impact of Breath of the Wild is waning as the open world genre starts to stagnate again, Elden Ring stands out as not only an achievement in FromSoftware's hall of fame, but also as an open-world RPG. Elden Ring is without a doubt, FromSoft's most ambitious undertaking yet, and like Dark Souls before it, I believe it will leave a permanent mark on both the open-world genre and the games industry in general.
While it feels like Game Freak have been trying to find their footing with Pokémon over the last few years, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are a confident showing by ILCA that proves the series is far from dead. The classic formula is unchanged here, and still holds up, which will no doubt please long-time fans and newcomers alike. Smart new additions that feel like natural additions to the base game, coupled with a visual overhaul that captures the feel of the originals make for an experience that's as nostalgic and comforting, as it is fresh and reinvigorating for the franchise.
Demon Slayer: The Hinokami Chronicles is a loving recreation of the first leg of Tanjiro and Nezuko's journey. It might not push the envelope in any meaningful way, but I can guarantee that this will satiate Demon Slayer fans and maybe even provide some entertainment for newcomers. It delivers on exactly what's promised, and I think that is what most people will want out of The Hinokami Chronicles.
JETT: The Far Shore is at its best when you're zipping across landscapes at breakneck speeds, with the music swelling and countless elements of the landscape begging you to explore them. Unfortunately, JETT struggles the most when it slows down, and its faults begin to show. It's a worthwhile experience if the traversal and exploration sound like your kind of thing, but if you're here for a strong narrative experience and tight mission design, JETT: The Far Shore might not deliver.
Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania is a confident and addictive reminder of why Monkey Ball was so popular back in the day. It truly feels like a celebration of the franchise that's jam-packed with content, bonuses, and unlocks. Monkey Ball still holds up with addictive challenge, fantastic music and a goofy, yet endearing premise, and all of it is accentuated by small yet meaningful additions that makes it more accessible than ever before.
While it might be a hard sell for those that have already experienced the intergalactic highs of the original, Sonic Colours: Ultimate is packed with value and tweaks that make it well worth your time if you haven't jumped into it before. It sports a simple yet entertaining narrative, great gameplay and a visual facelift that unleashes the potential of its namesake. All of this combines to further cement Sonic Colours as one of the best entries in modern Sonic.
Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin is even more enjoyable than the original. Small and meaningful improvement build on the same addictive formula and rewarding battle system, with an endearing story to boot that'll hook in any fan of the franchise. The current state of the Switch version is a shame, but if you can get past the problems, Wings of Ruin has a lot to offer.
Despite some glaring flaws in its pacing and length, I've come away from Scarlet Nexus enjoying what it had to offer. It delivers on the promise a brain-punk inspired world with an enjoyable narrative and a stylish albeit simple combat system. The result is a title that's greater than the sum of its parts and is worth experiencing if you can look past its problems.
Disco Elysium: The Final Cut is the definitive version of an already brilliant game. It's a melding pot of eccentric characters, thought-provoking social commentary, and a staggering sense of world and place within its setting. Its main narrative might fumble in its conclusion, but everything you'll experience before that is some of the best stuff you can find in this kind of RPG.
Monster Hunter Rise is nothing short of brilliant. It builds off of the solid foundations of World and Iceborne in ways that feel meaningful and add more depth to an already staggeringly deep gameplay loop and progression system. Despite a few minor shortcomings, Rise is another rip-roaring success for both CAPCOM and Monster Hunter as a franchise, that demands the attention of fans and anyone interested by its ever-lasting appeal.
Cyberpunk 2077 ultimately fails to deliver on most of the promises made during the lead up to its launch, but what it does deliver on is really spectacular. It’s one of the strongest RPG experiences in this kind of setting, with killer characters and a thoroughly enjoyable suite of side quests that’s easy to love in spite of its faults.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, is a defining example of what you can do with musou games in the right situation. Not only does it shine Breath of the Wild's enjoyable characters in a new light, but it also provides a new lens to experience Hyrule through. It's an experience that is as much musou as it is Breath of the Wild, but integrates ideas from both, and melds them in interesting ways that's guaranteed to please fans of either game type. If you're a fan of Breath of the Wild, or musou games in general, Age of Calamity is well worth your time and attention, even if the Switch sometimes struggles under its ambitions.
Whenever I play a new Supergiant title, I always find myself absolutely enthralled with it, transfixed by its visual allure and engaging gameplay. After playing their second title Transistor, I was convinced that they wouldn't be able to top themselves, but I stand corrected. Hades is a perfect amalgamation of everything that makes Supergiant Games one of the best independent developers out there, with a killer gameplay loop, heartfelt story, and writing that will have you hinging on every single word. This game deserves all the attention it's getting and more, and I implore you to play it for yourself.