So, we’re fast encroaching on the holiday season and for many gamers the holidays are a time in which to stock up on some of the best titles released throughout the year, especially as there should now at least be a little bit of time to be able to play them too.
This year saw the release of a load of great games. I’ve been lucky enough to play some of them throughout the year and thought I’d make a list of the games I felt really stood out this year and many should aim to play at some point.
Obviously, it goes without saying that this list is based on personal opinion and is limited to the games that I have actually played and thus in the comments I would like to see some suggestions of games that I should aim to play.
So, without further ado, here’s six games to include on your Christmas wish list.
6. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
In the first few moments of starting Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, the player is already made aware of the sensory overload Senua consistently has to put up with.
One hears voices of several people who are not there; objects are there one moment and the next not and enemies disappear into thin air once defeated.
Together with the very good visuals, this all works in creating a very tense experience, ultimately resulting in the player really feeling for the character.
Quite simply, from the moment I started this game, I was eager to play further to ultimately learn the end of this story and I think that any game that is able to invoke such a desire is definitely worth playing.
5. Super Mario Odyssey
The one common phrase that I’ve heard quite a bit when reading comments on Super Mario Odyssey is that Nintendo understands fun. As that is generally the primary objective of a video game, I don’t think the game can really be afforded any higher praise.
There has been a lot of debate about whether the 3D platform genre is in actual fact dead as more often than not players are disappointed in new releases within the genre – this year alone saw games like Knack 2, Yooka-Laylee and Sonic Forces be greeted with rather lacklustre reviews.
If anything, Super Mario Odyssey shows that there is still space for 3D platform games within the current gaming environment because it’s just fun to play and explore the different kingdoms on offer.
I love platformers and played a few of them this year and Super Mario Odyssey stands out as the definitive platformer experience this year. I understand that the game was released last month and this is why I may feel this way at this point (as it is still fresh in my mind) but the sheer amount of fun that I’m having at the moment makes the game simply worth owning.
4. Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus
Very much like the Super Mario Odyssey, the best way to describe Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus is that it is pretty much just a fun game to play.
Somewhat a rarity nowadays, Wolfenstein 2 is a single-player FPS game in which the player journeys through a crazy, but very compelling alternate history story in which the Nazis won World War 2 and thus has the player attempting to overthrow the Third Reich; pretty much like the previous instalment into the series, but this time set in the US.
To complement the rather interesting narrative, the title delivers fast-paced gameplay in which the player takes on hordes of Nazi soldiers in quick succession, almost as if single-handedly destroying an entire army themselves.
While some people may not necessarily enjoy this idea (a lot of people do complain about the idea of being a one-man army in war-based FPS games), many will find rushing enemies while dual-wielding two massive weapons entertaining and I am one such person.
So, I’ve already covered why Cuphead is a great game, so I’ll try not to be too repetitive here.
Basically, Cuphead is a challenging run-and-gun game. Despite the fact that it is quite a difficult game, the title’s systematic essence as well as the simplistic nature of its control scheme is very appealing to a lot of gamers and does provide this feeling that one can actually beat boss levels even if they’ve tried them 200 times and failed.
While I understand that this may be very off-putting for some, I can honestly say that Cuphead is a game that has been able to provide intense feelings of satisfaction when beating a boss that is felt in so few games, nowadays.
It has also provided me with some great co-op experiences that basically doubled these feelings of triumph when bosses were beaten. Let’s not talk about the failures though.
2. Horizon Zero Dawn
Horizon Zero Dawn was quite simply one of my favourite experiences this year. Immediately after starting the game, I was driven to find out exactly what happened to the world and why exactly it was left in this post-apocalyptic state with robot dinosaurs roaming around killing people.
This desire is strengthened when one takes into account that the game has got a world worth exploring. As the player explores they also begin to learn more about their environment and the exact skills and equipment that is required to efficiently take down each and every machine creature as each has their own weaknesses.
For example, you can’t take your spear and just smack a Thunderjaw like you do a Watcher; a quicker way to die would be to just jump off a cliff.
The fact that one has to prepare for battles and study up on creatures just makes the experience seem all that more rewarding, particularly when one is successful in taking down the machine being hunted.
If you own a PS4, this is a game that you have to own.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
This is the game that I bought the Nintendo Switch to play after it received incredible praise from seemingly the internet in its entirety, even though I had been undecided on the console on release. It’s safe to say that it had some pretty high expectations to live up to and live up to them it did.
I have spent so many hours simply exploring Hyrule, looking for shrines and completing quests and puzzles and none of it has ever really felt like a grind.
The simple fact that this game has an open-world and does not provide an experience where the user feels as if they’re engaging in mindless grind after grind to reach the game’s completion as often felt in many recent open-world titles is praise enough to suggest that this is definitely a game not only worth playing, but also worth owning a console for.
Every time I start the game, I’m extremely excited to play it and discover the secrets I have yet to find and this is a feeling that so few games are seemingly able to invoke in me, nowadays.
So, are there any games that you feel should be included on this list? What was your favourite game this year? Please share in the comments down below.