Mass Effect Andromeda
While a handful of hiccups have won Andromeda a lukewarm reception upon launch, Bioware was swift to cross all the uncrossed “Ts” in the time since release with patches. Now that it had time to slap some makeup on, Andromeda is one of the best games that were released this year. The sci-fi space opera introduces fans to a new galaxy, and a cast of memorable characters, however when the time for chatting is over, the game still holds up in terms of gameplay and visuals. Add to that a multiplayer mode that was refined from the already fun version seen in Mass Effect 3, and you have a perfect game to satiate your RPG needs.
This sequel to 2010’s Nier became significantly more popular than its predecessor. While the design of the player character doesn’t reflect it, the game’s storyline is one of the deepest narratives in gaming as a whole, and likely the strongest narrative of the current generation, even if it is a tad bleak and depressing. In terms of gameplay, it’s a fast-paced, tight and fluid action title that is as spectacular as it is challenging laced with a bevy of RPG elements.
Grand Theft Auto 5
You might wonder why an over three-year-old game is still on our list, but GTA 5’s age has done nothing to slow it down, and at the end of the day, Online is still one of the most popular multiplayer games to date. It helps that Rockstar is supporting it with regular free DLC releases even now, with a major one on the horizon. Meanwhile, the single player cheats keep players returning to that portion of the game. Grand Theft Auto 5 is the gift that keeps on giving, with an insane amount of content and several million unique players each week. Everyone else is still playing this, so why shouldn’t you?
You’ve likely heard of Persona 5, and its predecessors, plenty if you’ve spent any time at all on gaming site these past few days. The title was recently launched to glowing reviews praising its storyline, which have always been a unilaterally esteemed aspect of the series. Living up to the legacy of P3 and P4, Persona 5 thrusts players into the world of rebellious millennials who, besides doing usual rebellious millennial things, also fight demons. The game is a JRPG, so expect all of the weirdness that comes with that.
Red Dead Redemption 2
RDR2 may not even be available yet, but it’s coming later this year, and knowing Rockstar Games, it won’t disappoint. Red Dead Redemption from 2010 (which wasn’t the first Red Dead game, as few fans know) is a classic masterpiece that managed to take a niche setting and turn it into a hyper-successful gaming blockbuster that has PC players begging for a port even today. Red Dead Redemption 2 will be more of that Wild West goodness, but with modern visuals and a number of improvements stemming from the lessons, the developers learned in the past seven years. Bring it on.
Horizon Zero Dawn
HZD is a must-play for any PlayStation 4 owners out there. Heck, this is reason enough to buy a PS4 if you don’t have one. It’s a truly unique open-world RPG about a post-apocalyptic world that, instead of being a grey/brown wasteland, has been taken over by nature – and massive robotic dinosaurs. The storyline is compelling even if it pulls some questionable sci-fi tomfoolery at times, but the gameplay is truly what elevates this game to the pedestal reviewers and fans alike have placed it upon.
Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War 3
While this title didn’t quite reinvent the real-time strategy genre as the developers have intended, it did perfect it. DoW3 took the best parts of both its predecessors and baked them into one magnificent game about magic space elves, fanatic imperialists, and cockney orks. Base-building is back, however, the heavier RPG elements seen in DoW2 are present here as well. As a bonus, you won’t need to wait for expansions to play the campaigns of non-human factions: the Orks and the Eldar are in the title already.
Call of Duty WWII
Another unreleased game that we had to put on the list. After Call of Duty went full sci-fi with Infinite Warfare after tending to the modern and futuristic in recent years, the very recent announcement that this year’s title will go back to World War 2 is refreshing. It’s clearly a decision influenced by EA taking Battlefield further back into World War 1, and getting showered with praise for doing so. We sure can’t wait to play a good old game of CoD with a Garand as opposed to a pulse rifle.
While Blizzard’s explosively popular multiplayer shooter wasn’t released this year, it hasn’t stopped being any less relevant. With the developers continually releasing new heroes to play as and hosting various events which are beginning to flesh out the lore and story of the world, Overwatch isn’t a game that should be put on the shelf and left there due to its age.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: A Telltale Series
With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 premiering soon, a lot of fans will be walking out of the theaters wanting more. This game is that particular ‘more’. Telltale became famous for their fantastic Walking Dead games of recent years, however, their take on cosmic Marvel is as endearing and entertaining as heart-wrenching and emotional their zombie-themed titles were. They took everything great about GotG, campiness included and translated it perfectly into adventure game format.