Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader is a CRPG worthy of its grimdark sci-fi setting, offering players engaging tactical turn-based combat and an immersive adventure. It lacks polish, and we encountered some frustrating bugs, but deep class customisation and an exploration of the setting like nothing before means there's plenty to recommend for fans who are willing to take the plunge.
Jagged Alliance 3 is a rousing return to form for the series, offering a solid tactical offering that finds a welcome home on PS5. Rough around the edges, with a tone that might turn some off, it offers plenty of replayability, with each turn as tense as the last.
RoboCop: Rogue City does an admirable job of bringing the gritty universe of the films to life and of capturing the feeling of playing as the armoured enforcer himself. However, there are only so many cyberpunk lowlifes one can blast to bits before the repetition sets in.
We can't imagine who Infinity Strash: Dragon Quest The Adventure of Dai is for, as it mostly boils down to being a worse version of an existing IP, with some fairly bland gameplay tacked on for good measure. Newcomers will be lost, and enthusiasts won't appreciate the corners cut, so while technically - and mechanically - sound, it leaves very little to recommend.
The Expanse: A Telltale Series retains what made the earlier games such a success, for better or worse, and smuggles in upgraded visuals and a tight, well-told story. It's still classic Telltale at its core, but if you weren't a fan of those earlier games, this bold new direction isn't likely to make you a believer.
Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless continues the Disgaea series' inexorable march forward, adding new mechanics and further complexity. It features a story campaign that goes down smoothly, if a little forgettable, but it's full of clever encounters that require more input than previous outings. It won't convert unbelievers, but for those already on the hook, it's as good as the series gets.
Baldur's Gate 3 is the new reigning RPG monarch, demanding your homage with its insane level of depth and detail. Even if its gameplay might move too slowly for some, it's hard not to be astounded by the sheer scope of this adventure. An epic in the true sense of the word, Larian's latest is a game that can utterly consume your life for days, weeks, months, even years, should you embrace its brilliance.
Nobunaga's Ambition: Awakening streamlines the many complex systems and mechanics that have built up over the series' 40-year history, refining the strategic experience that is more approachable and all the better for it. While UI elements and precise control issues can frustrate at times, Awakening is a wonderful sandbox for samurai enthusiasts to play in.
Aliens: Dark Descent is easily one of the best video game adaptations of the legendary franchise to which it belongs, somehow managing to be an excellent tactical strategy game and genuinely terrifying at the same time. Tense, engaging, and extremely faithful, it stumbles only in technical execution, and even then, not enough to spoil the experience.
Diablo 4 is the true successor to the bad old days of action RPGs and oozes quality in its frenetic combat and deep, engaging character development. It tells a complex, gritty narrative set in the darkly beautiful world of Sanctuary. Even better, it provides a solid foundation for years of Diablo content to come.
Minecraft Legends lacks the strategic depth to entice genre veterans but could be a great place to get newcomers or younger audiences interested. It has a lot of heart and can be a good bit of fun, provided your expectations are properly calibrated.
Afterimage does enough to stand out in a genre that is quickly becoming overcrowded, with its surprisingly deep combat and excellent visual design. It doesn't reinvent the wheel but will likely find a loving home in the hands of Metroidvania enthusiasts.
Anno 1800 Console Edition is an excellent translation of a deep, satisfying PC strategy experience to console. With engaging mechanics and an insane amount of replay value (not to mention multiplayer), anyone looking for a more arcade-kind of management sim will find a happy home here.
Mato Anomalies is a tough sell; it features some fresh ideas and concepts (which should be applauded) but fails to create a compelling core gameplay loop in the process. With so many other other excellent turn-based titles demanding your attention, it fails to provide a compelling reason to undertake this surreal journey.
Transport Fever 2 is the type of enthusiast sim that will keep its target audience rapt for hours. For everyone else, though, it's harder to recommend, as even with its single-player campaign serving as an extended tutorial, it can be difficult to parse. Despite an inconsistent frame rate and some questionable dialogue, it's an undeniably satisfying experience for the strategic-minded, and one of the most in-depth titles of its kind available on PlayStation platforms.
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is an excellent action RPG that offers an even more hardcore take on the increasingly popular Soulslike formula. It's fast, frenetic, and hits like a truck, with one of the most mesmeric combat systems we've ever had the pleasure to master. It might scare off more casual players, but those looking for a challenge, well - you can stop looking.
Scars Above is a more appealing prospect than it is a final product - an interesting premise that's ultimately lost amidst repetitive gameplay and mundane design. Some aspects of it are genuinely intriguing, if underexplored, but simply reaching for the stars alone is no guarantee of ever actually leaving orbit, let alone getting off the ground - and recommending this experience over any other is a bit rich, even for the lower asking price.
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord combines RPG mechanics with grand strategy and features battles so epic they can be overwhelming at times. It has some rough edges, and the interface can be unwieldy, but at its core lies a roleplaying experience that is virtually unrivalled in scope - especially on console.
The strategy RPG genre owes a lot to the Tactics Ogre franchise, which is filled with lesser titles trying to recreate even a fraction of its winning formula. The experience that lies at the heart of Tactics Ogre: Reborn has stood the test of time admirably and, thanks to the swathe of intelligent tweaks and quality-of-life improvements introduced, will likely remain at the head of the pack for years to come.