10) Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice – Metacritic Score: 83
From Ninja Theory, the developers of Enslaved: Odyssey to the West and Heavenly Sword, comes a game that is nothing like those previous titles. Hellblade follows Senua as she fights her way through a nightmarish landscape in an intense and personal journey. Focusing more on the titular character’s story, rather than combat, makes for a far deeper and more terrifying game.
Critics praised Hellblade primarily for its creepy atmosphere and for the world it presents its story in. It is stunning to look at and Senua’s struggle with mental health is captivating. The compelling story is also strengthened by the inclusion of challenging puzzles and strong combat. For more on Hellblade, you can read our review here.
9) Uncharted: The Lost Legacy – Metacritic Score: 84
Before Uncharted 4’s release Naughty Dog promised that a piece of story DLC would come within the following year. At the time, they had no concrete plan for how that promised piece of additional content would take shape or who it would involve. After settling on fan favorite Chloe, and Uncharted 4 antagonist Nadine, Naughty Dog realized the story they wanted to tell was grander than they’d envisaged. The Lost Legacy is what they finally released and while it is still rooted in the basics of Uncharted 4, it stands alone as an important Uncharted title.
Chloe and Nadine are a compelling duo, each with their own motivations and interesting backstories. On top of the what you’d expect from an Uncharted game on PlayStation 4: stunning vistas, solid gameplay, clever puzzles and a detailed story, The Lost Legacy proves that the series can continue without Nathan Drake.
8) Shadow Tactics: Blade of the Shogun (PlayStation 4) – Metacritic Score: 85
Shadow Tactics: Blade of the Shogun originally came to PC in December last year but made the jump to PlayStation 4 this month. For those that don’t know, it is a stealth focused real-time strategy game set during Japan’s Edo period. In each level, the player commands a squad of up to five unique characters and must infiltrate the heavily guarded enemy compounds.
The blending of stealth and tactical gameplay elements is the main thing that makes Shadow Tactics stand out in the crowded RTS genre. The levels are very well designed and make the most of every inch of the map, it is challenging enough that it stretches your tactical intelligence, and this version irons out the kinks in the original PC version. Critics agree that is is one of the best and most unique RTS games of the year so far.
7) Starcraft: Remastered – Metacritic Score: 85
StarCraft: Remastered completely upgrades the 1998 essential sci-fi strategy title and its award-winning expansion, StarCraft: Brood War. The now famous series is set in the 26th century and centers on a struggle for dominance among four species – the adaptable and mobile Terrans, the ever-evolving Zerg, the powerfully enigmatic Protoss, and the Xel’Nagacreator race – in a distant part of the galaxy known as the Koprulu Sector.
While the remaster brings upgraded visuals and an excellent new lighting system, most of the game’s praise is attributed to what made the original so great. The gameplay is perfectly balanced, there’s a substantial multiplayer offering and an incredible story, and the remaster gives any Starcraft fan a hit of nostalgia. It is one of the best strategy games of all time.
6) Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle – Metacritic Score: 85
A Mario and Rabbids crossover may not have been the game you were expecting to play just six months after the Nintendo Switch launched, let alone a turn-based strategy game that closely resembles the format of XCOM, just with more selfies. However, Ubisoft, with the use of Nintendo’s cast of Mushroom Kingdom inhabitants, has created a unique and incredibly fun game.
Kingdom Battle is deep yet accessible, making it perfect for seasoned strategy fans and the younger Rabbids fans. It is funny and adorable, its world is vibrant and expansive, and it has well and truly proved anyone who said the concept wouldn’t work wrong.
5) F1 2017 – Avergage Metacritic Score: 86
We’re a significant way into the 2017 F1 Championship season and the competition is heating up. It is therefore time for the annual F1 game release from Codemasters, the masters of the modern track racing game. After the few underwhelming iterations before last year’s game that were light on content and less than reminiscent of the thrill of the sport, the F1 series has returned with a bang.
On top of the stellar career mode, improved multiplier offerings, increased number of race options, and stunning visuals, the cars are simply more of joy to drive than they have ever been on PlayStation 4. It is a high point for the series and you can check out our review here.
4) Sonic Mania – Average Metacritic Score: 86
Sonic Mania sees the long awaited return of the 2D Sonic the Hedgehog games with the nostalgic pixel-style art and precise gameplay fans know well. The game reimagines iconic Zones and Acts from Sonic The Hedgehog, Sonic The Hedgehog 2, Sonic CD and Sonic The Hedgehog 3 and Knuckles, and adds completely new Zones and Acts, as well as boss fights, into the mix.
According to critics, the game manages to feel like a brand new Sonic entry while it busts at the seams with nostalgic throwbacks. The level design is excellent, mixing fast paced-action with precise platforming, the music is wonderful and the 16 bit graphics are beautifully vibrant. For more on Sonic Mania, check out our glowing review.
3) Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition – Metacritic Score: 87
Pillars of Eternity, the role-playing video game developed by Obsidian, originally came to PC in 2015. Now, the complete version, including the two expansion packs, has come to consoles before the upcoming release of the sequel. Your character wakes to discover that they are a Watcher, a person who can see past lives and interact with souls, and sets out to cure the problem of Hollowborn that has plagued the land, a disease that sees newborns born without a soul.
The game hasn’t been changed from its PC release but it is still an epic adventure. The world of Eora is a joy to explore, the story is compelling, and its challenge can be balanced to suit any player. It is a must play for any fan of the genre.
2) West of Loathing (PC) – Metacritic Score: 87
You may not have heard of West of Loathing due to how many high profile games have released this month but it is a slapstick comedy stick-figure adventure role-playing game set in the Wild West. While the animation style is unique and matches the tone, you may have to look beyond it to appreciate the game’s excellence. It is hilarious from start to finish, with absurd imagery and jokes that the player and developer share, yet it still manages to make you connect emotionally with the stick figures. Also, past the humor and crude animation, there is a strong turn-based adventure to be played. You’ve probably never played an RPG as funny as West of Loathing.
1) Undertale (PlayStation 4/PlayStation Vita) – Metacritic Score: 94
The indie darling finally made its way to PlayStation 4 this month. The charming RPG follows a human who has fallen underground into the world full of monsters and must try to escape. The world is full of interesting characters and you never have to kill an enemy if you’re adept at negotiation.
As was the case in 2016, Undertale has been praised across the board. It plays around with what is expected from an RPG, building a charming and surprising world and making you smile from start to finish. It is funny, innovative, clever, and a joy to play. If you aren’t already sold on Undertale, you should check out our review.