3) Octopath Traveler – Metacritic Score: 84
Originally detailed at the Switch reveal event last year, Octopath Traveler finally arrived on Nintendo’s hybrid console this month, and it is as charming as many expected. It’s a turn-based RPG that is inspired by games of old and you play as eight different characters, learning about their own tales and how they fit into the larger narrative.
The combat is fun and rewarding, and the characters are unique and interesting, but it’s the game’s style that makes it stand out. The visuals combine pixel art animation and cinematic lighting to create something stunning, and it’s perfectly complemented by the orchestral soundtrack. If you have more than 50 hours to spend, and love turn-based RPGs, Octopath Traveler will be right down your alley.
2) The Banner Saga 3 – Average Metacritic Score: 85
The crowd-funded tactical RPG series has been a hit since the first game released in 2014. Now, the third and final game has arrived to wrap up the epic story. It builds on the gameplay strengths once more, creating the tightest game in the short series, and it looks as wonderful as always, but it is the chance to wave off the characters you’ve spent so much time with that’s the highlight.
The Viking tale is dark and thrilling, and the ending brings everything together perfectly through a combination of great pacing and devastating choices. If you want to see what we thought, you can check out our review here, but it’s safe to say that you’ll enjoy The Banner Saga 3 if you’re already invested in the series.
1) Sonic Mania Plus – Average Metacritic Score: 89
Sonic Mania initially released last summer to widespread positive reviews and we even called it “one of the best 2D platformers of this generation” in our own review. Sonic Mania Plus is more of an expansion of last year’s game than a full new release, so while it keeps the high-quality Sonic action we saw, there’s not a whole lot that is new. That being said, the ability to play with new characters and new abilities adds a freshness to Sonic Mania.
The gameplay was already among the best we’ve seen from Sonic games, so that was no need to touch that, but Plus is worth picking up if you’re already familiar with the base game or if you’re new to it. It adds a few extra hours of playtime onto your pre-existing save, making it the definitive version, and it finally answer the outcries for a physical version to be released.