Top Gun: Maverick certainly won’t put as many demands on your time as, say, Elden Ring, but it’s absolutely worth spending a couple of hours in it. And when the electronic guitar of the original Top Gun theme kicks in, it’s like returning to the 1980s for an hour or two.
[Bethesda] hammered and hammered and hammered and finally forged Fallout 76 into not only a better game, but one that deserves a second chance—from me, from you, and from all the naysayers.
Maybe it will win me over yet. It’s running out of time though.
As someone who’s already sold on VR, I think Alyx is a hell of a good time. I put in four or five hours straight on Saturday (thanks to Dramamine) and few VR games manage to hold my attention that long. But I don’t think it’s the revolutionary new experience that people might expect, particularly people who owned a Vive or a Rift and have been living in this future for a while.
Doom Eternal kicks ass. It's smarter than it looks, faster than it looks, and somehow even more fun than it looks. A triumph—except for the platforming.
the Wisps is more than the sum of its parts. Is it just another Metroid homage, one among many? Absolutely. I think it’s one of the best-playing, sure, but it’s still well-trod territory of late.
Above all, Kentucky Route Zero is an argument that games can be more. That argument isn’t nearly so revolutionary now as it was in 2011 when development began, or 2013 when the first act released. We’ve (thankfully) made some decent progress in the years since. People bought Kentucky Route Zero, and those people did go start their proverbial bands.
Jedi: Fallen Order borrows liberally from other games, but a strong supporting cast, clever level design, and a cute little droid companion make Respawn's Star Wars story more than the sum of its parts.
Need for Speed: Heat is probably the best series reboot EA's put out this generation, though it arrives just as the open-world racing formula is running out of gas.
Planet Coaster was already excellent at release, but an entire game’s worth of content has been built atop it in the ensuing years.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare tries to be a serious commentary on present-day conflicts, but is mostly just another Call of Duty game by nature of the series's longstanding blind spots.
While it bears surface-level similarities to Fallout: New Vegas, Obsidian's created a deeper and more meaningful role-playing experience in The Outer Worlds.
Gears 5 still feels like a series in need of an identity, but a more charismatic lead and experiments with open-world structure hold promise for the future—even if they don't quite pay off now.
Overall I really enjoyed Man of Medan though and I’m looking forward to replaying it—and to whatever comes next for the series, as it’s pitched as an anthology.
Control is the culmination of Remedy's entire oeuvre to-date, pairing a top-tier action game with a dizzyingly dense and layered story about the Federal Bureau of Control, and the everyday horrors within. It's so good, you might even stop asking for Alan Wake 2.
Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is an impossibly ambitious game, attempting to summarize the whole of human evolution into the span of a few hours—and succeeding to a surprising degree.
Dinosaur-soldiers, character customization, and strong storytelling help Age of Wonders: Planetfall get over the early-game onboarding hurdles and micromanagement woes.
Tetris Effect is gorgeous, and I only wish it cost less so that people wouldn't see $40 for a Tetris game and scoff. It's not that it doesn't deserve $40. Quite the contrary. It's merely difficult to convince people.
Full of emotion and high adventure, Final Fantasy XIV's Shadowbringers expansion brings MMORPG storytelling out of the shadows. Two great new combat classes, two cool new races, and a nifty system for running dungeons solo round out the experience of FFXIV's best expansion to date.
Layers of Fear 2 doesn't have many scares to offer, but visual panache and a multitude of classic film homages make for an extraordinary journey—for the right person.