Multiplayer experiments aside, Resident Evil 3 itself should delight anyone who's playing it for the first time or those who already know its story inside and out. It's easier than ever to become immersed in Raccoon City and Resident Evil mechanics have never felt as fluid as they do in this game. Resident Evil 3 proves that Resident Evil 2 wasn't just a one-off success of a remake and shows that Capcom has a winning formula on its hands.
Even though The Last of Us Part II relishes in making players uncomfortable and reminding them characters can lose everything at a moment's notice, those bleak traits are part of the game's appeal even if the charm's a morbid one. It's a monumental effort in storytelling and a model for tales of vengeance and repercussions pushed forward by gratifying gameplay, and while not everything you do will sit right with you, the game never leads players to believe the result would be anything different.
The Demon's Souls remake may flip perspectives on the Souls series once you've finished it. Instead of being a game that's tough to go back to, its polish and refinement will make it hard to return to Lordran or Drangleic even if another game still ranks higher than Demon's Souls. Completing the first playthrough is really just the start of Demon's Souls, and with more replayability than ever before, it's going to keep people dancing between the Archstones for a long time.
Returnal may not beat out other more anticipated titles for Game of the Year honors at the end of the year, but it won't by any means be forgotten as the potential of next-gen hardware is explored. It's a shame the game isn't available on the PlayStation 4 or even other platforms so that more players could experience it, but if that compromise means we get more games like Returnal, that's a convincing argument. Other games may employ similar mechanics in the future, but Returnal should always be remembered as one of the ones that did it first, and, as of now, did it best.
Aside from being a faithful take on the Aliens experience, Aliens: Fireteam Elite is simply a good game. Is it a shot-for-shot adaptation of its source material? Certainly not, but I definitely felt like I was in at least some version of an Aliens world through and through. Its loot and combat only improve with time without asking players to mindlessly grind just to keep progressing. The obvious push towards co-op, as opposed to single-player, may be a bummer to some, but even those who venture into Xenomorph swarms on their own will have plenty to look forward to in Aliens: Fireteam Elite.
Kena might not be perfect, but it's far from what one might expect from a studio's first game. It's a spectacle to look at without being too long or too short, and it's one of the rare examples of a game that deserves a movie adaptation, not the other way around. Perhaps more than anything else, it's a game that sets the bar high for whatever Ember Lab wants to do next.
Similarities to past games and references to Dark Souls 4 aside, it's difficult to directly compare Elden Ring to other FromSoftware games in the way that it's difficult to compare Demon's Souls to Bloodborne or Dark Souls to Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. It certainly feels like FromSoftware's most ambitious and thoughtful game to date, however, and with all the considerations to different audiences, it stands to be a familiar return and a welcome jumping-on point for any Tarnished who hope to become the Elden Lord.
Once you tally up the new and the old, there's really not that much "new" about Tiny Tina's Wonderlands, or at least not new in terms of innovation. Cascading loot and relentless humor check the Borderlands boxes, but instead of coming up with totally revolutionary elements, all it had to do was shift things around and finally let us create a character. Future Borderlands experiences may not be set in fantasy settings of this kind, but they should at least look to adopt in some ways the fanciful and varied nature of Tiny Tina's Wonderlands.
If you are totally new to this PC release and were simply waiting for PlayStation to bring it over to PC, you'll have a blast experiencing Spider-Man's story that rivals his big-picture adaptations and shouldn't have many issues at all, hardware permitting.
Diablo Immortal, a game I spent hours playing and want to see more of both in terms of its events, story, and roles beyond my Monk, has broken that trend. It does not at all play like a game to be booed on stage, and the planned PC version should make it even more accommodating for those who prefer that platform. Whether you're playing it to stay occupied until Diablo IV comes out or playing it out of excitement, Diablo Immortal is simply worth playing.
Some scattered FPS drops and behind-the-veil repetitiveness may hamper Metal: Hellsinger at times, but those infrequent hang-ups do little to detract from the overall experience The Outsiders have created. It's easy to say this game should inspire others to pursue this genre mashup, too, to create similar experiences, but The Outsiders got it so very right with Metal: Hellsinger that perhaps it's better to let this one marinate for a while before a truly creative iteration of this comes along.
For likely many others and I, the only hopes for this Dead Space remake were to be able to play through the game once more (hopefully with a jump scare or two) in a way that didn't feel ancient and clunky. The Dead Space remake far outstrips those minimal expectations, and though it may be premature a cliché to say it's raised the bar for remakes, it's certainly established a dominant foothold in 2023 and in the upcoming string of horror remakes fans have to look forward to. It's again not perfect, but it strives to be better than the original, and that's something other remakes should look to copy.
With how much there is to do in Judgment, this is a game that looks like it could easily turn into a 60- or 70-hour experience even if you don't see yourself as a completionist. It's a crime drama for people who don't just want to smash square and triangle for endless combos and it's an adventure-driven brawler for people who don't just want to spend all day cracking cases. Judgment might have ridden on Yakuza's success to get people's attention, but with everything this game accomplishes, here's hoping we get another game in order to see more of Judgment and Tak in the future.
Super Mario Maker 2 overall is entirely worth your time if you enjoyed the first game or if you've ever had a favorite Mario game that stood out to you, especially since the game encompasses worlds that come from the original Super Mario Bros. experience to more modern versions. Other games in the past have attempted and failed to make enjoyable experiences out of player-driven content while placing the onus on the community, Super Mario Maker 2 is a prime example of what that strategy looks like when it works. Considering the thriving community the Nintendo Switch boasts, this feels like a game that's in no risk of running out of content for the foreseeable future.
Despite its occasional frustrations, Ancestors is an invigorating and engaging survival game that'll hopefully be followed by more of the same. Each playthrough has the potential to be a bit different as you focus on different skills and spend more time in one biome compared to another, and thanks to the excitingly unsettling freedom it offers and its rewarding highs and lows, Ancestors is well worth the time investment.
Whatever the future might hold for Borderlands 3 regarding DLC, events, and optimizations, what we have right now is an absolutely stellar chapter in one of the most iconic series seen during this generation and the last. If you liked Borderlands and Borderlands 2, you're going to absolutely adore Borderlands 3. Its shortcomings do little to diminish what it has to offer, and I'll reload the game over and over and sit through a million Claptrap jokes if it means I get to keep looting.
Code Vein falls short of being a must have, but that doesn't at all mean it's a game you should pass on. It's simplified enough to attract those who felt like Dark Souls and its ilk were too punishing and has enough style to show that not every game like this has to be so grungy and bleak even if the stories have to be serious. Code Vein has its rough patches, but it absolutely accomplishes its mission.
It's easy to pick apart these components when isolated, but where does Modern Warfare stand among other Call of Duty games as a whole? It's certainly the best Call of Duty game we've received in years, but exactly where it falls will depend on how favorably you view the older games and how influenced you are by nostalgia. Its campaign is exemplary, and even if people have inevitable complaints and suggestions about the multiplayer mode, it feels like the culmination of what people have been asking for since the days of wall-running and questionable gadgets. One thing is clear though: Modern Warfare definitely has the potential to be people's favorite Call of Duty game, but the games-as-a-service model will mean its up to Infinity Ward and Activision to make sure that potential is realized in the coming months.
With the skillful, dynamic gameplay and the lukewarm story in the Star Wars timeline taken into consideration, the question of how this game holds up becomes a two-part query: is it a good game, and is it a good Star Wars game? The answer to the first question is an easy one. Heavy on adventure and cinematic style, Fallen Order is absolutely a game worth anyone's time if you've got even an inkling of interest in Star Wars. You won't feel left behind, thanks to the new characters, if you're less familiar with Star Wars, and those who know the fandom inside and out will pick up on clever nods and filled-in blanks. You could remove the Star Wars wrappings and it'd still be a fantastic experience which could be construed as both a positive and a negative. So many Star Wars experiences are based off prior exposure now that it'd be nearly impossible for one person to have the same experience with this story as another, but even if you knock the story, everything else about the game is solid and worth your time.
Dreams seems like a niche game from a first glance, but it's impossible to truly appreciate what it has to offer until you see what it has to offer yourself. It feels like an arcade with unlimited plays for everyone and a museum encompassing every interest all wrapped into one game. Whether you're there to build or just to look around, Dreams isn't a game to miss.