The Best PS4 Games (June 2020)

Sony’s PlayStation 5 is coming in holiday 2020. While we wait on a release date confirmation, you might as well use this time to catch up on all the great PS4 games you may have missed in the current console generation. The PS4 launched back in 2013 (time flies, right?), and as you’d expect, the console has seen a ton of great games over the last six-plus years. That includes big titles like Death Stranding, God of War, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Spider-Man, Red Dead Redemption 2, and a whole lot more.

With so many to play, it can be difficult to decide which video game to commit your time to, especially if you’ve only recently picked up a new PS4. Luckily, the team at GameSpot have played tons of PS4 over the years and have more than a few recommendations–whether you’re a new PS4 owner or have had the console and are just looking for something you might’ve missed.

We’ve put together a list of the best PS4 games you can get right now. This includes many of the games that have received an 8 or higher on GameSpot, and we’ve prioritized games that were nominated for our end-of-year Best PS4 Game lists. Check out our choices for the best games released on the PS4. And with the console’s library continuing to expand, make sure to check back often as we update this feature over the coming weeks and months.

If you’re curious to see some of this year’s best games in motion, then be sure to check out the video above. Make sure to check out our gallery of the biggest PS4 game release dates of 2020 and beyond for every major video game coming to the console, whether it’s a racing game, open world RPGs with tons of side quests, survival horror classics, or multiplayer games to compete with Overwatch, we’ll help you find the next game to throw into your PS4 Pro or regular PS4 console. Of course, some of the marque Sony exclusives from Naughty Dog’s Uncharted series, Sony Santa Monica’s God of War series, and more are here.

There are heaps of amazing PlayStation 4 games out there. Which PS4 games do you love the most? Doesn’t matter if it’s popular or incredibly underrated. Let us know in the comments below.

Looking for even more recommendations? Check out our picks for the best Nintendo Switch games and the best Xbox One and Xbox Series X games to go along with our favorite PlayStation 4 games.

Persona 5 Royal — 10/10

“Persona 5 Royal is many things: a collection of small inspiring stories, an ambitious harrowing journey with some good friends, a stunning visual and auditory experience, a resounding call to action. By refining what was already great and building on its best qualities with a brilliant new story arc, Persona 5 Royal asserts itself as an unforgettable and empowering RPG that should be recognized as one of the best games of our time.” [Read the full review]

— Michael Higham

Final Fantasy 7 Remake (10/10)

“Regardless of your history with the original game, Final Fantasy VII Remake is an astounding achievement. The wait for its release was a long one, but in gameplay, story, characters, and music, it delivers–the wait was worth it. For first-time players, it’s an opportunity to understand why Final Fantasy VII is held in such high regard. It’s the chance to experience a multifaceted story that grapples with complex subject matter, be in the company of memorable characters, and be moved by their plight. For returning fans, this isn’t the Final Fantasy VII your mind remembers, it’s the one your heart always knew it to be.” [Read the full review]

— Tamoor Hussain

Bloodborne — 9/10

“The finest treasures are found within the city of Yharnam and the forests, lakes, and purgatories beyond it. Only Bloodborne would be so bold as to bury an entire factional player-versus-player mechanic within an optional region, which is in turn buried within a series of oblique steps you might miss if you aren’t exploring every nook and cranny, or ignore the game’s enigmatic hints. I finished Bloodborne in less time than I did Dark Souls II, yet I treasure it more in spite of its few missteps. In death there is life, and in blood, there is redemption. More hyperbole, yes, but for a game this theatrical, only hyperbole will do.” [Read the full review]

— Kevin VanOrd

Death Stranding — 9/10

“Death Stranding is a hard game to absorb. There are many intertwining threads to its plot, and silly names, corny moments, and heavy exposition belie an otherwise very simple message. That comes through much more clearly in the game’s more mundane moments, when you find a desperately-needed ladder left behind by another player or receive a letter from an NPC thanking you for your efforts. It’s positive without ignoring pain; in fact, it argues in both its story and its gameplay that adversity itself is what makes things worth doing and life worth living. It’s a game that requires patience, compassion, and love, and it’s also one we really need right now.” [Read the review]

— Kallie Plagge, Reviews Editor

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice — 9/10

“The orchestration of intense one-on-one boss encounters that truly test your mettle, and slower-paced stealth sections that let you take on battles at your own pace, is masterful. More so than in previous games, From Software has honed in on the inherent tension found in the challenging nature of its games, and uses it to incredible effect. Sekiro marries the developer’s unique brand of gameplay with stealth action to deliver an experience that is as challenging as it is gratifying.” [Read the review]

— Tamoor Hussain, Global News Editor

Control — 8/10

“It’s not often that a game invades my thoughts the way Control has. I’m at the point where I want to consume every last thing it has to offer. And if I’m honest, it also makes me want to go back and replay Remedy’s past games, too. Sure, it’s a faulty metroidvania in some respects, but there are so many exceptional qualities afoot that Control handily deflects any momentary ire. I can’t wait to take part in discussions about the game, to see what others have figured out, and to better understand where it all fits into Jesse’s story.” [Read the review]

— Peter Brown, Managing Editor

The Outer Worlds — 9/10

“I finished The Outer Worlds wanting more, eager to jump back into the world to see extra things. It’s not a short game, but it’s one packed with such a steady stream of wonderful characters to meet, interesting places to explore, and meaningful, multi-layered quests to solve, that it didn’t feel like there was any room to get tired of it. I wanted to rewind the clock and do everything in a completely different way. The Outer Worlds is consistently compelling throughout, and it’s a superb example of how to promote traditional RPG sensibilities in a sharp, modern experience.” [Read the review]

— Edmond Tran, Senior Editor & Producer

Outer Wilds — 9/10

“Outer Wilds’ deeply captivating narrative and plentiful mysteries push you further into exploring its richly varied and stunning solar system. The time loop you’re trapped in lets you craft bite-sized expeditions that all end up telling their own stories, irrespective of whether you make a monumental discovery or simply encounter a playful interaction. Having a tool to neatly document your discoveries helps you slowly piece together a tale filled with charming writing, and one that presents its own open-ended questions that add emotional heft to the numerous exchanges you parse through during your travels. By letting you chart your own course and piece together its mystery at your own pace, Outer Wilds makes each of its expeditions feel incredibly personal and absolutely unmissable.” [Read the review]

— Alessandro Barbosa

Apex Legends — 9/10

“Apex Legends is a mix of smart shooter ideas that makes for a competitive, team-based game that gets at all the best parts of battle royale while addressing a lot of the weaknesses. Respawn’s intense focus on team play makes Apex more than just a worthy addition to the genre; it’s an indicator of where battle royale should go in the future.” [Read the review]

— Phil Hornshaw, Editor

Resident Evil 2 Remake — 9/10

“Resident Evil 2 is not only a stellar remake of the original, but it’s also simply a strong horror game that delivers anxiety-inducing and grotesque situations, topping some of the series’ finest entries. But above all, the remake is an impressive game for the fact that it goes all-in on the pure survival horror experience, confidently embracing its horrifying tone and rarely letting up until the story’s conclusion. Though Resident Evil 2 has its roots firmly in the past, it reworks the familiar horrors into something that feels brand new and all its own.” [Read the review]

— Alessandro Fillari, Editor

A Plague Tale: Innocence — 8/10

“Powerfully ghoulish depictions of the plague and rats aside, Innocence is ultimately an emotive story of resilience against harrowing odds. The game’s title is an obvious nod towards the loss of innocence the endearing young cast faces throughout their journey. But more than that, it also speaks of the depths of human depravity and the agonizing cost of survival in the midst of war. Despite the unremitting horrors of Innocence’s beginnings, the game occasionally lets in a faint glimpse of hope. One of my favorite moments is when Amicia spots another wildflower in a lone trek across the city, nestled among the decay of the rats’ revolting nests. Without her brother around, she picks it up, and places it gingerly in her own hair–a personal reminder to keep trudging on amidst the hardships, and a testament to her growing strength and tenacity. Despite flashes of predictability, moments like these will bring a lump to your throat, as it did mine.” [Read the review]

— Khee Hoon Chan

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled — 8/10

“Simply put: This is a remaster done right. Nitro-Fueled maintains the spirit and rock-solid foundations of a childhood favorite while building on it and modernizing it where necessary–even if the handling might take a bit of getting used to. Adventure mode’s classic variant feels a little tough, but your first race on Roo’s Tubes or Sewer Speedway will bring a nostalgic grin to your face regardless. When the nostalgia fades, Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled remains fun and engaging enough to keep you racing on with a smile on your face for much longer yet. It’s good to have Crash back.” [Read the review]

— Oscar Dayus

Moss — 8/10

“It’s a testament to just how well Moss understands PlayStation VR and works with the device instead of trying to bend it to a will it was never designed for. Moss wouldn’t feel right without it at all, and its many strengths are married to the interactions that only full immersion can manufacture. Unsurprisingly, then, Moss is easily one of PlayStation VR’s best titles to date, even if it’s a little too eager to get you in and out of its world.” [Read the review]

— Alessandro Barbosa

Astro Bot: Rescue Mission

“Astro Bot is a 3D platformer where you control a bot, but also a representation of your controller that acts as a Swiss-army knife of useful gadgets. Your Bot friend may be cute, but it’s not very capable, so you’ll need to help it solve puzzles, free it from danger, and provide a home for the other bots you rescue along the way–who adorably scurry into your controller’s virtual representation by way of the hatch-door touchpad. This would all make for a fine game outside of VR, but a big part of its allure is feeling like you’re along for the ride with your charming companion in a bustling cartoon world. Astro Bot feels like the product of creators who recognized both the potential of the character at their fingertips and the unique strengths of VR, and the result is a lovely game that remains a delight to play from beginning to end.”

— GameSpot Staff

Marvel’s Spider-Man — 9/10

“Minor shortcomings don’t detract from Insomniac’s achievement in creating a game that feels like an authentic interpretation of a beloved creation. The feeling of embodying Spidey and using his abilities is astonishing, and the time spent on exploring its major characters help make its story feel heartfelt, despite superhero bombast. There have been open-world Spider-Man games before, but none so riveting and full of personality, none that explore and do justice to this many facets of the universe. Insomniac has created a superior Spider-Man experience that leaves a lasting impression, one that has you longing for just one more swing around New York City, even after the credits roll.” [Read the review]

— Edmond Tran, Senior Editor and Producer

Tetris Effect — 9/10

“Tetris Effect is a transformative game that will more than likely be overlooked by people who think it’s “just Tetris.” Well, it is and it isn’t. Anyone who knows Tetris can pick up Tetris Effect and begin playing right away. The fundamentals remain the same; it is a time-tested formula that continues to work, after all. But Tetris is just the beginning of Tetris Effect. It provides the foundation for a complex emotional journey that defies expectations. Its a vector for meditation. It’s a driving force that pushes you beyond your presumed limits. It is the definition of awesome, and if you have an open heart and an open mind, you owe it to yourself to take the plunge and see why it’s anything but “just Tetris.” [Read the review]

— Peter Brown, Managing Editor

Return of the Obra Dinn — 9/10

“But it’s more than that. Your magical pocket watch and its time-traveling, corpse-identifying mechanic offers far more than just an exceptionally clever puzzle game–as if that wasn’t already enough. It also delivers a wonderfully evocative method of storytelling as you gain glimpses into the lives of each person on board at vital moments along the Obra Dinn’s journey and piece together who they were, what they had to deal, what motivated them, and how they responded when tragedy struck. You may only see them in scratchy monochrome stills and hear them in brief snatches of urgent conversation, if at all, but if you’re paying attention then you should feel like you know (almost) every one of these sixty people intimately by the end of the game.” [Read the review]

— David Wildgoose

Dead Cells — 9/10

“Dead Cells is a fascinating amalgam of several of today’s most popular indie genres. It juggles elements of tough-as-nails action games and Metroid-inspired exploration platformers, with the procedurally generated levels and random item allotments found in roguelikes. It’s impressive how it all comes together without a hitch, especially given that the persistent character growth found in games like Dark Souls or Metroid squarely conflicts with the randomized resets emblematic of Rogue-inspired games.” [Read the full review]

— Daniel Starkey

God Of War — 9/10

“In many ways God of War is what the series has always been. It’s a spectacular action game with epic set pieces, big-budget production values, and hard-hitting combat that grows more feverish and impressive as you progress. What may surprise you is how mature its storytelling has become. Like Kratos, God of War recalls the past while acknowledging the need to improve. Everything new it does is for the better, and everything it holds onto benefits as a result. Kratos is no longer a predictable brute. God of War is no longer an old-fashioned action series. With this reboot, it confidently walks a new path that will hopefully lead to more exciting adventures to come.” [Read the full review]

— Peter Brown, Managing Editor

Monster Hunter: World — 8/10

“Ever since the title was first announced last year, it was clear that Capcom was gunning for something grander than Monster Hunter Generations. It has succeeded, and this is likely the biggest and best that the franchise has ever been. It’s not just the comparative depth of the narrative; it also boasts almost seamless integration between combat systems that were previously incomprehensible for amateurs. The Monster Hunter formula has definitely honed its claws, and all the above factors play their part in making Monster Hunter World a meaningful evolution for the series at large.” [Read the full review]

— Ginny Woo

Celeste — 9/10

“It’s a testament to convincing writing and ingenious design that after playing Celeste I felt like I’d been on the same journey as Madeline. Her struggle is one made easy to empathize with, her low points painful to watch, and her high notes exhilarating to experience. Her tale is delicately told and beautifully illustrated, confidently coalescing with the satisfying, empowering game it lies within. Not bad for a game about climbing a mountain.” [Read the full review]

— Oscar Dayus

Hitman 2 — 8/10

“The addition of other minor mechanical changes–like concussive weapons, a picture-in-picture enemy activity alert, and visible security camera sightlines–help to improve Hitman 2 overall as a dense and accessible stealth assassination game. But the new locations are the real stars, impressive and inventive sandboxes ripe for picking apart with exciting experiments. Hitman is about experiencing the anticipation of seeing whether a plan will work when you try it for the first time. It’s about feeling the tension of briskly walking away from a bad situation, hoping you can lose the suspicious guards. It’s the satisfaction of knowing the machinations of a level so well that when a target moves into a particular place at a particular time, you have the perfect way to intervene. Hitman 2 is a familiar experience, but in the Hitman world, familiarity is an incredible strength.” [Read the review]

— Edmond Tran, Senior Editor and Producer

Shadow of the Colossus — 9/10

“Shadow of the Colossus is a tremendous journey, and one well worth taking and retaking. The visual overhaul is stunning, thoroughly enhancing every facet of Wander and Agro’s excellent adventure. Galloping through the tranquil world is always breathtaking; felling a monumental colossus is always humbling. Shadow of the Colossus is a beautiful reconstruction of an already exceptional title. It continues to be a modern classic and is an extraordinary game that everyone must experience.” [Read the review]

— Edmond Tran, Senior Editor and Producer

Spyro the Dragon: Reignited Trilogy — 8/10

“The Reignited Trilogy is the best kind of collection that not only brings a beloved series up to current visual standards but also proves just how well-built the original titles were. Granted, the originals were done by a little studio called Insomniac, and it’s not exactly surprising something that team did is a fine example of the genre. But the Reignited Trilogy’s developer, Toys for Bob, deserves major kudos for bringing Insomniac’s vision to life in the way we could’ve only dreamed in 1998.” [Read the review]

— Justin Clark

Yakuza Kiwami 2 — 8/10

“The tale of Tokyo and Osaka, Kiryu and Sayama’s partnership, and Kiryu and Goda’s rivalry remains one of the Yakuza’s best stories, and Kiwami 2’s minor missteps don’t affect the heart of that experience. The modernization of its presentation and its mechanics elevate it, making it absolutely worth revisiting or experiencing for the first time. Yakuza is an exemplary, if flawed series that does an incredible job of steeping you in contemporary Japanese-style crime drama, and establishing an evocative sense of place. Yakuza Kiwami 2 is an excellent example of the series at its best, coupling its most memorable stories and characters with its most sophisticated mechanics yet.” [Read the review]

— Edmond Tran, Senior Editor and Producer

Divinity: Original Sin II Definitive Edition — 10/10

“From lonely farmhouses through pitched battles with gods in far-flung dimensions, Divinity: Original Sin II is one of the most captivating role-playing games ever made in both its original and Definitive incarnations, with the latter proving that even the most complicated role-players can be ported successfully to gamepad-limited consoles. This immaculately conceived and emotion-wrought fantasy world, topped by brilliant tactical combat, make it one of the finest games of recent years, and it remains an instant classic in the pantheon of RPG greats.” [Read the review]

— Brett Todd

SNK 40th Anniversary Collection — 8/10

“Digital Eclipse proves once again that it’s the right team for the job of both preserving and resurrecting classic video games. For SNK and its fans, the team has elevated some of the company’s most important milestones. It’s responsible for more than just Neo Geo games, and though not every game that came before is worth replaying on its own today, the addition of supplemental materials and revitalizing modern gaming conveniences make them feel more interesting than they have in years, and in some cases, decades.” [Read the review]

— Peter Brown, Managing Editor

Persona 5 — 9/10

“Within Persona 5 is a complex set of interconnected gameplay mechanics, and in almost every aspect Atlus has executed on its vision exceptionally, barring the pacing issues towards the end. At every turn, it presents something to marvel at, whether it’s the fluid combat, vibrant world, or the many memorable characters. It’s a game I could talk about for hours; I haven’t mentioned the ability to connect to the Thieves Guild, which lets you see how other players spent their day or ask them for help answering questions at school. Or the thumping acid-jazz-infused soundtrack that I’ve not been able to get out of my head. Or even just the joy of seeing how it stylishly transitions between menus. But that encapsulates why Persona 5 is a game that shouldn’t be missed. It’s stuffed to bursting point with gameplay ideas and presentation flourishes–there’s an overwhelming level of artistry in every part of Persona 5, making it a truly standout entry in the series. It’s a refined, effortlessly stylish RPG that will be talked about for years to come.” [Read the review]

— Lucy James, Senior Video Producer

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard — 8/10

“By the end of the campaign, I was ready for the game to be over, but that’s okay. RE7 ends just as it starts to outstay its welcome, and after the fact, I felt like I’d survived a truly harrowing journey. The boss fights may be slightly inconsistent and certain sections might drag after a while, but RE7 is still a remarkable success. It has a clear vision and executes it with impressive patience and precision. By returning to horror, Resident Evil has once again become something special.” [Read the review]

— Scott Butterworth

Horizon: Zero Dawn — 9/10

“This is the first departure from the Killzone series for developer Guerrilla Games, and though you might think the team took a risk by stepping out of its FPS comfort zone to create a third-person open-world action game, you’d never know it was their first rodeo. For every minor imperfection, there’s an element of greatness that recharges your desire to keep fighting and exploring Zero Dawn’s beautiful and perilous world. Guerrilla Games has delivered one of the best open-world games of this generation, and redefined its team’s reputation in the process.” [Read the review]

— Peter Brown, Managing Editor

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus — 9/10

“The New Colossus never lets you forget who and why you’re fighting. Nazi brutality is on full display, from the blown-out, irradiated remains of Manhattan to each of the resistance members, who all carry mental scars if not physical ones. You’re never given a chance between cutscenes, missions, and even downtime on the U-boat to lose sight of the Reich’s cruelty. Wolfenstein’s tense gameplay elevates this further by giving you the power to truly resist–and come out of each battle ready for another fight.” [Read the review]

— Kallie Plagge, Reviews Editor

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice — 8/10

“Hellblade’s most notable achievement is the handling of an incredibly sensitive subject matter within an engaging and well-crafted action/adventure game. At its heart, the story is about Senua’s struggle to come to terms with her illness. In the process, she learns to find the strength within herself to endure, and to make peace with her past. And in a profound and physical way, we go through those same struggles with her, and come away with a better understanding of a piece of something that many people in the world struggle with.” [Read the review]

— Alessandro Fillari, Editor

What Remains of Edith Finch — 9/10

“Developer Giant Sparrow managed to strike the delicate balance between joy and sorrow in 2012’s The Unfinished Swan, but What Remains of Edith Finch transcends even the latent sadness of that game, finding the beauty–even sometimes the fun–in what’s always fundamentally a tragedy. It’s not often that a game’s plot slips past the bitterness of grief to finally get to the acceptance, but that’s the triumph in What Remains of Edith Finch. Ultimately, if the game has any resemblance of a moral, it’s that the bravest, most beautiful thing every one of us does is choose to keep going, despite knowing what’s coming.” [Read the review]

— Justin Clark

Nier: Automata — 9/10

“Thanks to Platinum Games’ knack for riveting and gratifying combat, Automata is Yoko Taro’s most exciting game to date. The combat mechanics click after hurdling a low learning curve, and the end result is a skillful dance where balletic dodges complement wushu-inspired aggression. Moreover, this multi-ending trip is generously peppered with surprises and revelations, as well as Easter eggs that call back to the first game and the Drakengard series from which Nier spun off. It’s a meaty, often exhilarating trek that showcases Platinum Games’ and Yoko Taro’s unique blend of genius.” [Read the review]

— Miguel Concepcion

Wipeout Omega Collection — 9

“By focusing on this specific era of the series, Wipeout Omega Collection maintains a level of cohesion you wouldn’t get if this compilation included, say, Wipeout Pure or Fusion. While each of the three games exude style and stimulation in their own distinct ways, they collectively showcase the best elements of franchise’s engrossing racing and silky smooth visuals. And even though it doesn’t completely scratch the itch that only a completely new PS4 sequel can offer, this collection is easily the next best thing.” [Read the review]

— Miguel Concepcion

Yakuza Kiwami — 8/10

“Kiwami does a great job as both a remake of the original Yakuza game and as a sequel to Zero. Despite that combat remains more of a bump in the road than a rewarding pursuit, it’s a no-brainer for existing fans of the series, and shouldn’t be overlooked by newcomers, even if Zero passed them by. There’s nothing else quite like Yakuza, and Kiwami isn’t afraid to show it.” [Read the review]

— Peter Brown, Managing Editor

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End — 10/10

“Uncharted 4’s gameplay pushes the narrative forward, the narrative feeds off its gameplay, and every detail coalesces to create something bigger. Uncharted 4 bounces between set pieces and personal moments with such grace, with such skill and poise and affection for its characters, that you don’t mind when the guns stop firing, and the smoke clears, and Nathan gets a moment to breathe.” [Read the review]

— Mike Mahardy, Video Producer

Titanfall 2 — 9/10

“Titanfall 2 demonstrates a vitality that its predecessor couldn’t. Whereas the first Titanfall kept up its breakneck pace throughout the entirety of every match, Titanfall 2 understands that sometimes, dialing things back for a few moments can make the long run much more enjoyable. In many ways, Titanfall 2 feels like the game Respawn should have made in 2013. It’s a fantastic sequel. It’s a fluid shooter. It’s a spectacular game.” [Read the review]

— Mike Mahardy, Video Producer

Dishonored 2 — 8/10

“Any time I’m given a choice between stealth and action, I go stealth. I love the hold-your-breath tension of hoping a guard didn’t spot you and the hard-earned triumph of executing a perfectly timed plan. Dishonored 2 delivers that sneaky satisfaction, arming you with stealth essentials like hiding bodies, peering through keyholes, and silent takedowns. But it’s also an incredible engine for gleeful chaos, one so engrossing and amusing that I kind of accidentally beat the entire campaign raining hilarious, elaborate death on my enemies.” [Read the review]

— Scott Butterworth

The Last Guardian — 9/10

“It isn’t clear whether or not The Last Guardian means to be frustrating at times–if it’s a concerted effort to test your patience for a lovable-yet-stubborn creature. Your affection for Trico and sympathy for both characters blossom nonetheless, culminating in an enrapturing series of revelations that cements your attachment to their personalities. Trico is the undeniable star of the show, exhibiting believable physicality and emotional range, but the boy is a valuable lesson in how to be patient and resilient when faced with unforeseen challenges.

When the book closes on their story, it’s hard not to open it up again and begin anew. The trials you overcome endear you to both characters, but the emotions Trico elicits make you want to give it another chance–to be the patient, effective partner it truly deserves.” [Read the review]

— Peter Brown, Managing Editor

Doom (2016) — 8/10

“But without a doubt, the loud and chaotic campaign is Doom’s strongest component. It’s straightforward and simple, but it serves its purpose: to thrust you into increasingly dire scenarios fueled by rage and the spirit of heavy metal. Many shooters chase the thrill Doom delivers, but few are as potent in their execution. It captures the essence of what made the classic Doom games touchstones of their day, and translates it to suit modern palates with impressively rendered hellscapes and a steady influx of tantalizing upgrades. Doom is the product of a tradition as old as shooters, and while it’s not the model to follow in every case, modern shooters could learn a thing or two from Doom’s honed and unadulterated identity.” [Read the review]

— Peter Brown, Managing Editor

Battlefield 1 — 9/10

“With Battlefield 1, EA and DICE have proven the viability of World War 1 as a time period worth revisiting in first-person shooters. It brings into focus countries and nationalities that do not exist today while also shedding light on how the outcome of that war has shaped our lives. As World War II shooters proved many years ago, no game can truly capture the entirety of a global conflict. This is why the focused structure of the War Stories anthology works well. Moreover, Operations succeeds as an effective educational primer on the battles that this gripping adversarial mode are based on. Battlefield 1 is just an introduction to one of the deadliest world events in history, but it is an outstanding, feature-rich package in both its emotional stories and strong multiplayer.” [Read the review]

— Miguel Concepcion

XCOM 2 — 9/10

“Now that XCOM 2 has made its way to consoles, these sentiments remain the same. Some technical issues have migrated from this year’s PC release: characters sometimes freeze in place while the turn progresses; soldiers can take almost 10 seconds to execute commands; and cutscenes have a tendency to drop frame rates throughout campaigns. But the layered tactics, impactful meta-game, and deep character-building are all intact on PS4 and Xbox One. XCOM 2 remains a superb strategy title.” [Read the review]

— Mike Mahardy, Video Producer

The Witness — 9/10

“That’s what The Witness is about–gaining knowledge to make sense of the island and its gorgeous but exotic environments. The Witness molds its world, puzzles, and themes into such a layered, cohesive whole that, if we look hard enough, we’ll keep finding new ways to perceive it. There are still things about The Witness I can’t make sense of–some clues I might never notice, and some puzzles I might never solve. But the hints are there. It might not all be clear at first, but that’s okay, because I’m always learning.” [Read the review]

— Mike Mahardy, Video Producer

Inside — 8/10

“This is a beautiful, haunting, and memorable game, a worthy follow-up to Limbo. Its puzzles, although rarely difficult, are engaging complements to the story. The real achievement of this game, though, is the way that it crafts its narrative: detailed environments convey the bizarre world that you travel through; introspective moments are filled with minimalist sound design and just the barest touches of music; and the things you must do to complete your journey force you to confront the realities of humanity, freedom, and existence.” [Read the review]

— Alex Newhouse

Dark Souls III — 8/10

“Dark Souls III is a game of valleys and peaks, down through dungeons and up over castle walls. It’s a plummet into places we shouldn’t be–an escape from places we don’t belong.

But of course, we fight our way through the darkness, and find our way out. There are a few stumbles along the way, but in the end, Dark Souls III is well worth the riveting climb.” [Read the review]

— Mike Mahardy, Video Producer

Thumper — 9/10

“It sounds odd to claim that a lack of consistently original music wouldn’t be a major problem for a rhythm game, but music isn’t the point. Thumper thrives due to the way it marries speed, simple controls, and mesmerizing atmosphere. It’s far more convincing in VR, where you’re enveloped in the game’s space and free of distractions from the outside world, but it shouldn’t be ignored by those without the appropriate hardware. Thumper, no matter how you play it, is too good to miss.” [Read the review]

— Peter Brown, Managing Editor

Abzu — 9/10

“Art exists to bridge a gap, to communicate emotions or ideas that would otherwise be impossible to articulate. Abzu does this–courageously, confidently, sincerely. Its stirring soundtrack, vivid colors, subtle storytelling, living world, and thoughtful execution combine to create a singularly moving, transcendent experience. In a word: Abzu is beautiful.” [Read the review]

— Scott Butterworth

Stardew Valley — 9/10

“On the surface, Stardew Valley is a game about farming, but there are more adventures awaiting curious players beyond cultivating a rich and bountiful garden. From mining and fishing to making friends and falling in love, Stardew Valley’s Pelican Town is stuffed with rewarding opportunities. As modern-day woes give way to pressing matters on the farm and within your newfound community, Stardew Valley’s meditative activities often lead to personal reflection in the real world. It’s a game that tugs at your curiosity as often as it does your heart.” [Read the review]

— Mary Kish

Owlboy — 9/10

“Owlboy is consistently charming and surprising, and when its final act doubles down on every front, it’s bittersweet to see it end. As you relish the outcome of the final battle and watch the closing cutscene, you can’t help but reflect on the beginning of your adventure and how far the world and its inhabitants have come. You’ll never be able to play Owlboy for the first time again, but the memories of its magic moments stick with you. This is more than a treat for fans of old-school games; Owlboy is a heartfelt experience that will touch anyone with an affinity for great art and storytelling.” [Read the review]

— Peter Brown, Managing Editor

Firewatch — 7/10

“It’s a shame Firewatch fails as a mystery because it succeeds in so many other ways. Its world is captivating, its design is clever, and its characters are among the most well-written in gaming. Though it might sound counterintuitive, the plot is in many ways secondary to the relationship you build between Henry and Delilah, and that portion of the game is truly inspired. I’ve already returned to Firewatch for a calming walk in the woods; I imagine I’ll go back again soon to visit with Henry and Delilah.” [Read the review]

— Scott Butterworth

Final Fantasy XV — 8/10

“One of the first things you see when you boot up the game is this claim “A Final Fantasy for fans and first-timers.” It’s a strange statement; fans can’t agree on what makes a good Final Fantasy game, and who knows why newcomers shied away from the series in the past. It’s been a long ten years since Final Fantasy XV was first revealed, and tastes have changed in the meantime. While it’s safe to assume fans and outsiders will find some aspect of Final Fantasy XV disappointing–be it the shallow story or finnicky Astrals–it would be hard for anyone to deny that Final Fantasy XV is a fascinating game after giving it a chance. Where its characters fail to impress, Final Fantasy XV’s beautiful world and exciting challenges save the day.” [Read the review]

— Peter Brown, Managing Editor

Hyper Light Drifter — 9/10

“Lastly, consider how enjoyable it is to navigate Hyper Light Drifter’s spaces–the networks of elevators and shimmering force-fields that lead to more discoveries, more hidden regions, and more locked doors begging to be opened. I vanquished the final boss after six or seven hours, but I’m still exploring, hoping to find every last crevice, every opening I’ve missed, every invisible platform. There are untold stories lurking out there. And once I have uncovered them, I hope Hyper Light Drifter’s community has multitudes more to share.” [Read the review]

— Kevin VanOrd

Rez Infinite — 9/10

“Despite its short campaign–you can complete everything in a little more than an hour, if you’re skilled–Rez Infinite is the game to buy a PSVR for. It’s hypnotic and enveloping. And it’s transformative, both within itself and in the wider scheme of the experiences made possible by VR. You don’t want to sleep on Rez Infinite, because with the addition of more polished visual flair and the dreamy Area X, we have a new classic for the new generation on our hands.” [Read the review]

— Alexa Ray Corriea

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate — 9/10

“But a disappointing final fight and some control hitches can’t diminish the charms of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. The game is a triumphant return to form for the franchise, and presents a beautifully structured tale with heart and soul to spare. Ziplining through London is thrilling, and the game allows you to organically discover missions and leaves you open-ended solutions lets you to create a meaningful, personal experience within its world. Coupled with strong, loveable leads and a seemingly endless procession of ways to leave your (fictional) mark on London’s history, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is a shining example of gameplay and storytelling.” [Read the review]

— Alexa Ray Corriea

SOMA — 9/10

“These missteps of tedium shine a light on just how incredibly assured SOMA is elsewhere. I came in expecting something similar to Amnesia, just in a terrifying new location, but what I found is an intelligent game that forced me to think and contemplate ideas as only the best sci-fi is capable of doing. It may not stir the hordes of wailing YouTubers looking for the next best haunted house, but SOMA succeeds at crafting something much more meaningful in a genre that’s deserving of more than just simple jump scares.” [Read the review]

— Richard Wakeling

Undertale — 9/10

“Without spoiling the many ways it will screw with your expectations, it isn’t possible to truly capture how wonderful Undertale is. You wouldn’t know it with a passing glance, but it’s one of the most progressive and innovative RPGs to come in a long time, breaking down tradition for the sake of invention, with great success.” [Read the review]

— Tyler Hicks

Dying Light — 7/10

“I am rooting for Dying Light’s success, even as I shake my head at its avoidable foibles. I understand it, I get it, and so I find pleasure in it even as it disappoints me, even when I land between a fence and a rocky cliff and get stuck there, even when I don’t grab a ledge or pole after a jump for reasons that I can’t quite understand. My dearest Dying Light, I am so grateful for your specialness, for it shines through even when I am prepared to damn you to hell.” [Read the review]

— Kevin VanOrd

Cities Skylines — 8/10

“Even with a few PC issues and a less-than-perfect Switch port, Cities: Skylines remains the best city-builder on the market right now. The game’s presentation is stodgy, but it is all but guaranteed to provide you many hours of carefully crafting cities, laying out zoning, and establishing districts for specifics residential and industrial uses…all free from real-world mayoral headaches like 6 a.m. phone calls griping about snowplowing. Right now, there is no better way to take a peek at life as a mayor without filing your papers to run for office in the real world.” [Read the review]

— Brett Todd

Until Dawn — 8/10

“I didn’t expect to have so much fun with Until Dawn, and the depth with which my choices mattered and affected the final outcome encouraged repeat playthroughs. The visuals can be wonky at times, but in the end Until Dawn succeeds in being a thoughtful use of familiar mechanics, a great achievement in player-driven narrative, and a horror game you shouldn’t miss.” [Read the review]

— Alexa Ray Corriea

Kerbal Space Program — 9/10

“You will fail at this game. It will demoralize you and it will stress you out, but, more often than not, it will soothe, quiet, and inspire you. Innovative muscles will be stretched here that aren’t stretched very often by games, and more complex moments require a sort of zen beyond being simply twitch-ready for a surprise attack. Even failure imparts a lesson. No matter how big or small the achievement, anything else that can be done is limited only by your imagination. Even with its cartoonish humor and quirks, Kerbal Space Program has an almost sacred respect for the tiny miracles involved in space travel, and even at its most difficult, it deserves that respect in return.” [Read the review]

— Justin Clark

Tales from the Borderlands — 9/10

“Tales from the Borderlands’ is a triumphant piece of narrative, a thrilling romp through an already rich game world piled high with both reverential and tongue-in-cheek nods to its source material. It asks you what it means to be a hero, but on a deeper level explores themes of greed, family, friendship, and forgiveness. It has its cataclysmic, epic moments, plot twists that were impossible to see coming, gut-wringing sad bits, and an embarrassing wealth of humor. The choices you’ve made throughout the series matter and ripple outward to the finale, and with a cast as irritatingly loveable as this one, it’s impossible not to care about where they’re going next.” [Read the review]

— Alexa Ray Corriea

Rise of the Tomb Raider — 9/10

“Rise of the Tomb Raider’s first shot pans over the vast, foreboding landscape we’ll soon come to know. In many ways, it functions as a promise on the part of Crystal Dynamics: there are big things ahead of us. And at the end of Lara’s journey, after we’ve seen her through this adventure, and experienced everything the world has to offer, it’s clear that promise was kept.” [Read the review]

— Mike Mahardy, Video Producer

Fallout 4 — 9/10

“Fallout 4 is an engrossing game that lures you in with mystery and the promise of adventure. Its wretched wasteland can be captivating, and you never know what odd person or settlement lies around the next bend. Fallout 4 uses its dark world as a canvas for exciting combat and gripping stories, and when you dig deeper into its post-nuclear-apocalypse version of Boston–defending yourself from violent scavengers and using your wits to climb social ladders–you become attached to the new you, and ultimately invested in the fate of your new world.” [Read the review]

— Peter Brown, Managing Editor

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain — 10/10

“There has never been a game in the series with such depth to its gameplay, or so much volume in content. The best elements from the past games are here, and the new open-world gameplay adds more to love on top. When it comes to storytelling, there has never been a Metal Gear game that’s so consistent in tone, daring in subject matter, and so captivating in presentation. The Phantom Pain may be a contender for one of the best action games ever made, but is undoubtedly the best Metal Gear game there is.” [Read the review]

— Peter Brown, Managing Editor

Rocket League — 9/10

“The joy of Rocket League rests on the countless plans that are conceived and discarded every other second in any given match. Trying to predict where and how the ball will bounce next is a game within the game. Despite the use of cars, Rocket League emulates the emotional surges typical of The Beautiful Game, such as the rush of an unexpected fast break or a well-timed header into a goal. With Rocket League, the promising concept of combining two wonderful things–cars and soccer–is equally magnificent in execution. You can’t say the same thing about, say, combining cake and fruit to make fruitcake, as the comedian Jim Gaffigan observed.” [Read the review]

— Miguel Concepcion

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt — 10/10

“Where the Witcher 2 sputtered to a halt, The Witcher 3 is always in a crescendo, crafting battle scenarios that constantly one-up the last, until you reach the explosive finale and recover in the glow of the game’s quiet denouement. But while the grand clashes are captivating, it is the moments between conflicts, when you drink with the local clans and bask in a trobairitz’s song, that are truly inspiring.” [Read the review]

— Kevin VanOrd

Dragon Age: Inquisition — 9/10

“Inquisition’s characters and world recall the grand gestures of the original Dragon Age, even though the game as a whole is so structurally different to its predecessors. It offers the thrill of discovery and the passion of camaraderie. It features a glee club called The Sing-Quisition, and a dwarf with writer’s block. It establishes connections with its world in big ways and small, with the sight of a titanous temple and the smirk of an Orlesian commander in love. Dragon Age: Inquisition is a wonderful game and a lengthy pilgrimage to a magical world with vital thematic ties to one we already know.” [Read the review]

— Kevin VanOrd

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor — 8/10

“This is a great game in its own right, narratively disjointed but mechanically sound, made up of excellent parts pieced together in excellent ways. I already knew what future lay in store for Middle-earth as I played Shadow of Mordor; I’m hoping that my own future might one day bring another Lord of the Rings adventure as stirring as this one.” [Read the review]

— Kevin VanOrd

Transistor — 8/10

“Transistor is always a good-looking game, but in these instances, it demonstrates a rare knack for combining its visuals and music to powerfully convey both narrative information and tone, driving the story forward with Red’s own unwavering resolve. So in the end, yes, Transistor is a fun action role-playing game with a neat combat system, but beautiful moments like these make it more than that. They make it a game with a soul.” [Read the review]

— Carolyn Petit

Project Cars — 8/10

“That’s Project CARS at its best. No experience points. No parts to buy. No cars to add to your collection. The audacious decision to offer everything up front informs the rest of Project CARS’s design, making it distinct (and sometimes frustrating). Other games in the genre work like Skinner boxes, offering rewards according to a special schedule designed to keep you hooked. These games offer the fantasy of plodding, constant accumulation or low-stakes (if high-speed) action. Project CARS offers a different fantasy, one that’s a little less attractive and a bit harder to enjoy: the fantasy of learning how to do something difficult.” [Read the review]

— Austin Walker

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