Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
This game continues the legacy of insane Nazi killing sprees of the franchise, while also building upon the compelling alternate world introduced in its predecessor, 2014’s Wolfenstein: The New Order. It’s like The Man in the High Castle meets Inglorious Basterds. As BJ Blazkowicz, you sneak, shoot and stab your way across an America that’s ruled by Nazis. Killer gunfights and some of the best character writing and voice acting in gaming this year.
NieR: Automata is one of the best hidden gems in a year filled with heavy hitting releases. A lot of that has to do with its twisting and thought-provoking story, focusing on the bleak and embattled journey of its robot protagonists. But it’s also a killer game, like Bayonetta with the safety off, where every slash and parry makes each encounter feel electric.
Resident Evil 7
After the jarring, tone-deaf cacophony that was 2012’s Resident Evil 6, there was almost nowhere to go but up for this long-running horror franchise. Taking its cues from Outlast, Amnesia and other indie horror games, Resident Evil 7 is a masterful execution of first-person immersion and a reminder that fear and revulsion over gore and bombast go a long way in making survival horror unforgettable.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild
It’s often been said that while Nintendo takes a long time to catch up, they also spend that time making things perfect. Nowhere else this year is that more true than in Breath of the Wild, a perfect distillation of pioneering games like Skyrim, Portal, Minecraft and even Dark Souls. It’s astonishingly beautiful, haunting in its melancholy and empowers its players with freedom of exploration and personal expression.
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