It's essential to remember that just a little over 10 years ago, Fire Emblem Awakening saved the franchise and brought it to the mainstream. Now, in the present, Fire Emblem Engage represents a series that now no longer needs saving. It's a series that has blockbuster appeal, with people eagerly anticipating every announcement. Fire Emblem is Forever, and I'm overjoyed to see friends and colleagues take to it so passionately, something I didn't think would happen.
Persona 4 Golden is an essential experience not only for JRPG fans, but people who appreciate a strong narrative with an endearing supporting cast of characters, along with a tight battle system that feels as modern as its iconic sequel. The poignancy of your interactions with the characters will resonate on a deep level with you, and will more than likely warm or break your heart on more than one occasion. It's exciting that modern players get to enjoy this, and if you're a Game Pass subscriber, this is a must-play.
Marvel's Midnight Suns has fantastic card-based combat, something it shares in common with Marvel Snap, along with excellent social features and deeply fascinating Marvel lore. It can engross you for dozens of hours with brilliantly layered, unique gameplay featuring just enough variety to make each battle run differently. But this doesn't mask its fatal flaws, namely some game-breaking bugs that'll prevent you from finishing a game with a clearly established ending.
Scorn is a special experience for anybody looking to have their expectations subverted for what a good horror game can be. It is a gory, surreal, provocative dive into difficult or even taboo topics, and is wonderfully crafted, and near perfectly optimized. The game's themes and visuals are challenging and extremely mature, but executed with great subtlety. The game is a technical marvel and concise as any horror game should be, so as to not overstay its welcome.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is the strongest JRPG in the modern Nintendo catalog, and is among the greatest games on the Nintendo Switch, and can potentially stand the test of time when considered among other platforms and generations as well. It's a complex, emotional journey, where you and the characters will confront challenging themes and philosophical ideas, and see them through to their respective cathartic conclusions.
While the game has problems typical of many JRPGs, it also has iconic qualities - a subversive, resonant plot that overturns expectations of how a typical heroic journey progresses, and presents us with fallible protagonists who encounter and experience human loss in different ways. This is a refreshing take on a genre usually populated with idealistic heroes and ultimately happy endings, featuring a memorable battle system and killer soundtrack.
Sonic Origins is an essential collection not only for any franchise fan with current or last-gen gaming hardware but also for anybody who appreciates tight gameplay with a banger soundtrack. Sonic is the ultimate "Animal With an Attitude" mascot still having major games released to this day, and while the franchise has had a tarnished reputation due to sub-par releases lately, it remains plucky and pushes forward, never losing sight of its roots.