- Shenmue II
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
- Super Mario 64
Our only criticism is that the gameplay hasn’t quite made the transition to pancake play perfectly; looking at objects made sense on PSVR, but is odd in a more traditional medium. You get used to it quickly, though, and from there the rewarding loop hooks you in.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is the best game in the series since Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time, which franchise fans will recognise as high praise. The familiar combat is elevated by outstanding DualSense implementation, while Insomniac Games' imaginative gameplay design keeps each planet interesting and engaging. It's not a particularly challenging platformer, nor is it necessarily all that original – but it doesn't need to be. This is one of those games that's just really, really good.
Rust Console Edition is punishing and a real test of your resolve. The game's persistent online world – which continues to exist even when you're offline – paired with its rewarding survival loop make it hard to get out of your head, however. The ephemeral nature of your progress means it's oddly unique, and the human interactions you'll encounter along the way give the title limitless replayability and unpredictability. Yes, it looks like garbage and is clearly in need of a patch or 10,000 – but even now, as we write this, we can't help but wonder whether someone's blown the door off our base and is rifling through our belongings.
Hood: Outlaws & Legends should be applauded for doing something different. In a just world, this release would steal players from larger brands and establish itself as a unique online alternative – but right now, its community is small. Assuming you can find a match, the stealth-based competitive gameplay is refreshing, and while it's not without its drawbacks, it can be seriously satisfying when you work as a team to achieve your objectives unnoticed. There's huge potential here, Sumo Newcastle just needs to find a way to keep its playerbase engaged.
Not everyone will warm up to Subnautica: Below Zero, but it's an unquestionably rewarding release once you begin to get a foothold into the frigid foray. The game's constantly tantalising you with new, exciting equipment, and its otherworldly ocean is an immersive environment in which to spend your time. A lack of landmarks mean that it can be a little too easy to get lost, and the story is light and largely uninteresting – but if the act of building an underwater base appeals to you, then this PS5 sequel unquestionably has strong foundations.
MLB The Show 21 swings-and-misses in a few areas, with the well-intentioned Ballplayer system diminishing Road to the Show. Despite being stingier, though, Diamond Dynasty is still the best card collecting mode available, and the series' tried and trusted gameplay has been further enhanced with the addition of Pinpoint Pitching and new fielding animations. Sony San Diego hasn't quite hit a home run this year, but this is a strong lead-off double for baseball on PS5.
Debuts don't get much stronger than Horizon Zero Dawn. Guerrilla Games' latest borrows liberally from a variety of different sources, and yet it leverages these fundamentals to forge an experience that's daringly unique. The main quest tires a little towards the end, and the writing never hits the same highs as The Witcher 3 – but the tactical action stands leagues ahead of what we've come to expect from the genre, and the presentation is quite simply unmatched.
Horizon Zero Dawn delivers a timely reminder of why it should be a Game of the Year candidate with The Frozen Wilds. This sizeable selection of snowy quests expands upon an already excellent campaign with a decent new storyline and plenty of fresh exposition. While it is, by its very nature, more of the same, it's hard to complain when the foundations are already so strong.
There will be case studies written about this release in the years to come, because it should have been a sure-fire slam dunk, and yet it feels like a missed opportunity. Make no mistake, the title has got better – and with the announcement of Black Panther, developer Crystal Dynamics remains committed to iterating on it for the foreseeable future – but as we alluded to in our Marvel’s Avengers PS4 review, there’s a disconnect between the promise of this product and what it actually offers right now.