I tried to dedicate more time to actually finishing games this year. Usually I will buy games as they come out, play about 30% of them, and move onto the next new thing. Luckily there were a ton of amazing games this year so sticking with them was pretty easy. Here’s a list of my favorites:
10. Nioh (PS4)
Samurai Dark Souls had me on board immediately, and the core combat loop is just flawless. I just wish Nioh was half as long as it is because then I might stand a chance at ever beating it.
9. Tacoma (PC)
I really enjoyed exploring the world of Tacoma. Fullbright does an amazing job at setting a mood and Tacoma is no exception. Also doesn’t hurt that Tacoma takes place in a weirdly plausible future where corporations are feudal overlords.
8. Universal Paperclips (iOS)
I’ve only played a few of popular clickers over the years, but Universal Paperclips really got its hooks into me. I played the browser version at first, got stuck, and dropped it. Eventually I picked up the iOS version and beat it over the course of a couple days. Maybe now I’ll check out SPACEPLAN again.
7. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PC)
PUBG is a terrifying game to play solo. You’re dropped in the middle of nowhere and every sound you hear could be some maniac trying to kill you. My heart starts racing just thinking about it.
On the other hand, playing in a group is hilarious and insane. Everything can and usually does go wrong, and its almost always a lot of fun.
6. Dead Cells (PC)
In Dead Cells you can jump off a ledge, hold down and then Tetris-drop style fly toward the ground and obliterate any enemies below your feet. This mechanic alone is why Dead Cells is on this list.
5. Steamworld Dig 2 (Switch)
Steamworld Dig 2 is a really solid metroidvania that took me by surprise. It is perfect on the Switch, and just an extremely chill place to spend some time. While it is never particularly challenging, the puzzles are interesting and traversing the world quickly becomes very fun. I think I just have a soft spot for grappling hooks.
4. Everything (PS4)
You could put some Alan Watts quotes over anything and I would be on board, but Everything blew me away. You control everything from a fleck of dust to a flock of seagulls, an entire planet to section of fence. There isn’t really a point beyond fiddling around and thinking about the interconnected nature of the universe, which is Extremely My Shit.
3. Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy (PC)
Months later the game arrived on steam and, surprisingly, iOS. I picked it up on iOS and quickly realized I should be playing it with a mouse. It took me about 10 hours to learn how to climb everything – culminating in a run that takes about 10 minutes on a good day.
What I didn’t expect was that Getting Over It would be a incredible piece of art, critiquing both itself and the medium. I could listen to Bennett Foddy talk about games as art/failure/garbage all day.
2. Super Mario Odyssey (Switch)
Odyssey is just a masterclass in game design and polish. Every single nook and cranny is filled with charm. Over 60 hours I ended up with about 560 moons and all of the purple coins. I loved every second of it.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch)
I don’t think I could have asked for a better launch title on the Switch. I wrote more about Zelda earlier this year, but recently went back to check out the new DLC. After 100 hours Breath of the Wild is still one of my favorite games of all time.
Other games I played and liked
Nier: Automata (PS4)
Night in the Woods (PS4)
Yakuza 0 (PS4)
Horizon: Zero Dawn (PS4)
What Remains of Edith Finch (PS4)
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (PC)