My top 3 consists of two games that I believe are overlooked and the top spot is my personal pick of the best game of this generation.
3) A Plague Tale: Innocence
Some might believe that short narrative driven adventure games have died a death this generation, but when A Plague Tale: Innocence arrived in May 2019 it left an impact that can’t be forgotten easily. Playing as a girl named Amicia De Rune, things start off nicely as you go hunting with your daddy Robert and trusted dog companion Lion as a means to tutor you in how to use rock-slinging doodad. Things take a dark turn when Lion goes missing and then the game plunges you into a gloomy, desperation-filled journey to find a cure for Amicia’s little brother Hugo because he is riddled with disease. A Plague Tale is proof-positive that narrative adventures on Xbox are alive and kicking, and after experiencing it you’ll be glad that there are games like this out there.
2) What Remains of Edith Finch
Derided as a walking simulator, What Remains of Edith Finch is anything but and such descriptions of its meticulous gameplay do it a great disservice. What Remains of Edith Finch is how games of its ilk should be done – even if you choose to define it as a game with a lot of walking. You experience the events that lead up to the death of Finch family members, but this is done so in a way that captivates and makes you feel engaged in what you’re playing. Bolstered by exceptional displays of gameplay involvement that are connected whimsically to the characters’ individual stories, What Remains of Edith Finch is a small game that leaves a massive and indelible impact and is a real triumph for indie videogaming.
3) The Witcher III: Wild Hunt
To truly define how great The Witcher III: Wild Hunt is would take at least 2000 words, so trying to distil the definition down to a mere handful is tough, but doable. One of the most stunningly beautiful open-world games ever made, The Witcher III is exacting, brutally vicious and malicious, it’s mature and salacious, with a literary flare as shiny as Geralt’s long hair and will consume you if you let it. The Witcher III is what happens when true care and attention to detail is favoured over boring drawn-out quests that devour you into feeling open-world videogame fatigue. So many open worlds out there suck your enthusiasm dry the longer you spend time with them, but The Witcher III ages like fine blood and wine – and that’s why it’s my favourite game of the generation.
This only came out in May with not much fanfare, but it’s a game fully deserving of a lot of fanfare. Retro and cyberpunk-inspired, Huntdown is one of the best 2D shoot-em-ups around and is stuffed with brilliantly diverse boss fights and a brazen nonchalant attitude. Huntdown is truly awesome and deserves heaps more attention.
(Editors note – please play this game, it is incredible!)
Forza Horizon 4
Easily the best racing game of the generation and only rivalled by its predecessor, Forza Horizon 4 celebrates the seasons as you blast through the many verdant locations across the UK in snow, sunshine and stormy weather. There’s hours and hours of racing game brilliance to uncover and calamitous multiplayer. You can marvel at the landmark castles and purchase a wealth of cosy cottages too. Forza Horizon 4 is the granddaddy of racing games and not that other racing series that shall not be named.
Resident Evil 2
Back in 1998 those zombies scared my clothes wet. In 2019 the panic, terror and horror is remade in the best ways possible, managing to maintain much of the horror of the original but sprucing the gameplay and atmosphere up to 11. Resident Evil 2 is as essential now as it was in the late 90’s, and it looks and plays better than it ever did.