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Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Endless online discourse about its difficulty aside, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is another masterpiece from Dark Souls creator From Software. 

Sekiro shares a little of the DNA that made Dark Souls so compelling, but it's absolutely a brand new beast, even more distinct from the Souls series than Bloodborne. It requires learning a whole new skillset (mainly parrying) but it's worth the initial pain. 

An early contender for game of the year.

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God of War

It's a complete reinvention for one of the PlayStation's most consistent franchises. 

God of War is extremely good.

The new combat system takes a while to get used to, but once it clicks, it really clicks. God of War is an absolute showcase for the PlayStation 4 (and especially the PlayStation 4 Pro). Get that thing going on 60 frames per second. You'll have yourself a good time.

See it on Amazon.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Santa Monica Studio (PS4 Pro screenshot)
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Spider-Man is probably the best superhero video game since Batman: Arkham Asylum. It's a little derivative, but there's no denying it's a well-made, supremely polished video game. You should probably check it out.

See it on Amazon.

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Red Dead Redemption 2

I mean obviously. 

It's been a while since Rockstar has released a new video game, but Red Dead Redemption 2 has been worth the wait. This is a video game dripping in detail. Get through the slow start and engross yourself in one of the best video game world's ever built.

See it on Amazon.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Rockstar Games
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Assassins Creed Odyssey

Assassin's Creed Odyssey is a very big game. It takes around five hours for the opening credits to roll and, depending on how fast you go, it might take around 20 hours for the game to properly hit its stride.

But once it gets good, it gets very good. Just prepare yourself for a bit of time investment on this one.

See it on Amazon.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Screenshot by CNET
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Apex Legends

Well this game came out of nowhere.

Apex Legends is the game no-one saw coming. In 2018 Fortnite literally ruled our cultural universe, but now its position atop the Battle Royale genre is being challenged by Apex Legends and with good reason. Designed by the core team responsible for Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and, more recently, the excellent Titanfall series, Apex Legends just feels so good minute to minute. Look for this game to stick around.

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Horizon: Zero Dawn

Horizon: Zero Dawn is like Video Games: The Greatest Hits.

It has the sprawling mission structure of The Witcher 3, Metroid Prime style scanning, Tomb Raider-esque bow and arrows and survival. 

And it has fricken' robot dinosaurs with fricken' laser beams. 

It also -- somehow -- weaves its ludicrous high concept into a story that not only works, but is actually incredibly compelling, affecting and features great writing and layered characters. 

It's arguably the best game on the PlayStation 4.

See it on Amazon.

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FromSoftware doesn't make bad video games. It makes classics, stone-cold classics, one after another.

But Bloodborne might be the best FromSoftware game yet. 

A brand new universe, a faster paced combat style, ludicrously well-designed environments and beautiful enemy design. Bloodborne is difficult, but it's intensely rewarding. Crucially, it's a great entry point into the "Souls" genre.

See it on Amazon.

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The Witcher 3

The Witcher 3 is glorious. 

A mind-bendingly massive open world that somehow doesn't sacrifice depth. Visually glorious. It also features surprisingly good writing and a mission structure that makes traditional side-quests feel meaningful. 

Prepare to sacrifice much of your life to this behemoth. 

See it on Amazon.

Updated:Caption:Photo:CD Projekt Red
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Persona 5

Do you like inter-dimensional, high-school drama anime featuring tremendously good-looking teenagers fighting demonic manifestations from another universe?

Boy, do I have the video game for you.

Spoilers: The game is Persona 5.

See it on Amazon.

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Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

From a story-telling perspective Metal Gear Solid V is a brutal, unfinished mess. 

But that doesn't even matter.

Because the absolute core of Metal Gear Solid 5 -- the sneaking, the moment-to-moment cat-and-mouse game of evading guards -- is just so mechanically dense and polished. 

Metal Gear Solid is simultaneously the most accessible Metal Gear game ever made and the most complex. I'm still scratching my head as to how they achieved that.

Play this video game.

See it on Amazon.

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Mortal Kombat 11

Mortal Kombat is still kicking and, some might say, is better than ever. Ignore. Once upon a time Mortal Kombat was a gimmicky ultra-violent competitor to the sublime Street Fighter II. Now it's a spectacular fighting game in its own right, with its own set of strengths. This is the best Mortal Kombat game to date.

Updated:Caption:Photo:NetherRealm Studios
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Rocket League

Rocket League is soccer with cars and it is so good I can't even believe it exists in this broken, corrupt world. 

It's not quite as popular compared to when it was initially released and everyone was going crazy, but Rocket League still has a massive core community.

And the game is just so instantaneously fun. So you should probably play it.

See it on Amazon.

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Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

Uncharted 4 isn't the strongest entry in the series (that's still the bar-setting Uncharted 2) but it's still a benchmark in visual story-telling excellence. 

It's a little bit too long, with way too many shooting sections, but Uncharted 4 does some truly ground-breaking things in terms of video game story-telling. 

And it's one of the most beautiful games ever made.

See it on Amazon.

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The Witness

The Witness is designed to make you feel like a complete idiot. 

In a good way.

You know how games like Metroid and Zelda sort of guide your progress by slowly giving you items that act like keys to unlocking brand new areas.

The Witness is sorta like that, only it upgrades your actual brain. With puzzles.

This game is extremely good. 

See it on Amazon.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Jonathan Blow
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Undertale is for people who have played a lot of video games.

I mean that in a good way. It's got in-jokes, subverts tropes, it's razor sharp and actually properly funny. It's also a really interesting RPG and you should play it.

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Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Punching Nazis: The Video Game.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus was one of the best games of 2017. A culturally relevant one as well. 

See it on Amazon.

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What Remains of Edith Finch

A unique, story-focused game that'll pique the interest of folks that liked Gone Home, Dear Esther or games of that ilk. 

Like those games What Remains of Edith Finch is narratively driven, short but affecting.

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DOOM is extremely good. This is established fact. This reboot had no right being as good as it is. It harks back to a different kind of first-person shooter. It's about getting up close and personal with monster-demons and spilling their innards on blood-stained floors. 


See it on Amazon.

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Nier: Automata

Nier: Automata was released in the same calendar year as games like Breath of the Wild, Mario Odyssey and Horizon: Zero Dawn, but there are people who think Nier: Automata was better than all of those video games.

I disagree, but even coming close to that level of quality is intense. Nier: Automata deserves your attention at the very least. It's extremely good.

See it on Amazon.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Giant Bomb
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Resident Evil 7

Every so often Resident Evil becomes awesome again. There's a cycle.

Resident Evil 2: awesome. Resident Evil 4: very awesome.

Resident Evil 5 through to 6: not awesome.

Resident Evil 7: extremely awesome. 

It's great to see the granddaddy video game horror series back to its best. This game is wild. Brace yourself.

See it on Amazon.

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Titanfall 2

Just when you think it's safe to write the first-person shooter off as a banal genre devoid of innovation, along comes Titanfall 2. Titanfall 2 is like any other shooter except wall running, double jumping, turning into gigantic robots and uh...

Actually it's not like another shooter at all. That's why it's so great.

See it on Amazon.

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You already know about Overwatch

This game is kinda at its best on PC, but the consoles version also rules. Just a tremendously made online shooter with great character design and well-balanced gameplay. 

See it on Amazon.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Blizzard Entertainment
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Destiny 2: Forsaken

Did you like Destiny? Do you like replaying the same levels over and over, grinding till you can grind no more with your friends. Abandoning the real world in search of ephemeral pleasures. 

Boy, do I have a game for you.

Nah, just joking. Destiny 2 is mostly good, and the updates that came along with Destiny 2: Forsaken made it even better.

See it on Amazon.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Giant Bomb
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Dark Souls 3

Dark Souls 3, like all Dark Souls games, is an acquired taste. But once you acquire that taste, everything else is ash in your mouth.

These games are good. 

Dark Souls 3 is great because it's refined and modern and eliminates a lot of the clunk of Dark Souls. It also features some of the best level design in any "Souls" game to date.

See it on Amazon.

Updated:Caption:Photo:From Software
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INSIDE is short, disturbing and stays with you long after you're done.

It really is one of those unforgettable gaming experiences. To explain more would spoil it. Just know that it is polished, smart, unique, interesting: It's just a well-made "thing" that you should experience. 

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Monster Hunter: World

Monster Hunter: World is the new kid on the block. 

In a lot of ways it feels like a coming out party for the Monster World series, which has always been huge in Japan, but has only flirted with success in the west. 

Now it feels like everyone is talking about Monster Hunter, and with good reason. It takes what we already love about Monster Hunter and makes it more accessible and just... bigger. We've been used to playing Monster Hunter on under-powered handhelds. Playing it on a big boy console just takes Monster Hunter to the stratosphere.

See it on Amazon.

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Resident Evil 2

Probably the best video game remake ever. Evokes the spirit of the original Resident Evil 2 but doesn't feel creaky or dated. Works as an nostalgia piece but is also perfectly playable for newcomers. It feels like a brilliant reworking of a type of game no-one really makes any more.

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