We’ve picked the best video games to play on every console available, from your wheezing original PS4 to Nintendo Switch.
1. Elden Ring: a majestic masterpiece
The word masterpiece is thrown around a lot these days, but a true masterpiece is a rare thing, and even art that deserves such praise isn’t always easy to warm to. Try asking anyone who managed to get through reading Moby Dick or Ulysses or anyone who understood what was happening on Mulholland Drive. Welcome to our Elden Ring review.
The same can be said for the Souls games, a series that many see as unplayable, but which is often hailed as one of the greatest games of all time. But while FromSoftware has remained uncompromising in its aim to challenge players to their limits, the mass hype and expectation that comes with its latest take on the dark fantasy action RPG,
2. Hades: hard as hell but heavenly to play
Failure is an important part of Hades, where each run has a random distribution of enemies and death sends you back to the beginning. That sounds like a turnoff for those who prefer story over the challenge, but this roguelike is more forgiving than most—and better, too.
More importantly, developer Supergiant Games was careful not to let defeat completely rob you of progress. You may have to start from scratch, but you’ll unlock new weapons, while collectibles can be used on upgrades to make your life easier on your next run – defying death is the next best thing to an extra life for your stats.
Sorry. Isn’t that an imaginative enough intro? A bit blunt? It’s just that the longer we sit here writing a review for Deathloop, the less time we spend playing and all we want to do now is play. Forever. Ad infinity. You know… like the very premise of Deathloop.
Deathloop proves to surpass this in almost every way, offering a wonderfully accessible adventure that’s easy to pick up but almost impossible to stop playing. It’s not just one of the best games of the year so far, it’s quite possibly one of the best games ever made – period. Yes indeed.
4. Halo Infinite: the best of the original trilogy
It looks like the third time is the charm for 343 Industries, who have spent the last decade trying to live up to making Halo worthy of its original creators, Bungie.
Not that Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians were terrible on their own merits, though Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians split their main characters, Master Chief and his AI companion Cortana.
5. Forza Horizon 5
You just have to wonder about it. Playground Games’ fifth venture into Horizon is the
the pinnacle of open-world racing.
After Forza Horizon 4’s merry romp through the gray roads and skies of the UK, this fifth iteration takes players somewhere just a little warmer. Festival Horizon hits Mexico, a vibrant combination of winding beach roads, dense jungle, and sun-bleached desert, all overlooked by a gigantic active volcano – the highest peak in Forza Horizon’s history.
6. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
While the PlayStation 5 remains as coveted as a Tottenham Hotspur trophy and an overpriced holiday abroad, those lucky enough to get their hands on Sony’s latest console in the months since launch haven’t exactly been drowning in games pushing the novelty. Hardware.
But the PS5 library is slowly starting to take shape, with launch hits Astro’s Playroom, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and Demon’s Souls being joined by a bold new IP, Returnal, which showcases the console’s 3D audio capabilities and unique controller features.
7. Metroid Dread
Both Donkey Kong and The Legend of Zelda may be celebrating not-insignificant anniversaries this year, but it’s the Metroid series that Nintendo is showing unexpected love for in the second half of 2021.
Link and Mario are certainly the beloved sons of the Japanese giant, but look at a list of the best games of all time online and you can bet you’ll see at least a few Metroid games right up there. Expertly combining mystery, platforming, action, and non-linear exploration in an atmospheric sci-fi universe, Samus Aran’s bounty hunter adventure offers everything the medium has to offer.
8. Psychonauts 2
Sadly, the game initially bombed when it was first released in 2005 as an exclusive for the original Xbox and could easily have been swept away with other platforms that also ran (anyone remembers Blinx: The Time Sweeper or Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee?). But it did so much more with its unusual art style, less Pixar and more Laika, with a genuinely interesting story that wasn’t just about saving the princess, the world, or collecting a hundred MacGuffins.
Its long-delayed sequel—following a crowdfunding campaign before Microsoft decided to acquire developer Double Fine Productions—is up to date. Not only are games about psychic powers on the rise, from Control to Scarlet Nexus, but in exploring the mental psyche in a light but sensitive way,
9. Horizon Forbidden West: Aloy’s story continues expansively
It’s weird on paper. Unlike the usual tropes that assume we’ll be flying cars and living in biomes in the not-too-distant future, the Horizon franchise’s futuristic planet Earth is a world so decimated by technology that humanity has been forced to… well, reboot.
10. Pokemon Legends: Arceus: refreshing and exciting
To move forward, sometimes you have to go back. That sums up the approach in Pokemon Legends: Arceus, arguably the biggest shakeup of the Pokemon series in its 25-year history.
While loved by players of all ages, there has always been a tension between the Pokemon series, created for kids to enjoy, and those who want it to grow up with them, especially as the series moved from handhelds to home consoles (even I switch qualifies for both), which is capable of something more technically ambitious and sophisticated.
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