For me, this was an incredible year for games. As a 3D platformer and JRPG fan, this year was much-needed candy to my palette. Let’s do this by category:
Zelda: Breath of the Wild– Quite the experience. Probably the ultimate form of adventure we’ve seen in any video game to date. Buy this if:
- You are interested in learning outstanding emergent game design and take some principles to your own games
- You want immersion in a VAST world full of secrets, puzzles, battles, beauty, people, etc.
- You want to find your own way through games without being boxed into completing goals one way
- You like WRPGs and want to see Nintendo’s (revolutionary) take on open-world gameplay
Horizon Zero Dawn – Such a great game that came out too close to Breath of the Wild. PS4 owners must try this.
So you like JRPGs? This was a great year, wasn’t it?
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 – I love this game. What does it have to offer you?
- A fascinating battle system that may be complex, but is extremely rewarding to learn.
- A fantastic story for the JRPG community. The concept of the world is to die for.
- Hours and hours of content. Easily over 100.
- Anyone who loves turn-based games must play this.
- Another incredible story.
- An awesome action battle system
- A tragic, strange story with beautiful music
Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age – if you’d rather play a classic game with great game design decisions.
If you like 3D platformers, this must be your favorite year this millennium.
Super Mario Odyssey – an outstanding masterpiece. Instantly skyrocketed to one of my favorite games of all time. Why should you play it? Any of the following:
- You want to be blown away by excellent game design and take some principles to your own games
- You want to explore traditional 3D platforming worlds to find every nook and cranny
- You like previous Mario games and want to relive classic moments
- You want to see how it avoids the pitfalls of previous 3D platformers
- You are a human that is able to play games.
A Hat in Time – Want more 3D platformer fun? This is an indie game made by fans of the old genre. It will undoubtedly give you the nostalgia you’re longing for.
Yooka-Laylee – Play this if you are still craving 3D platforming after the previous two or are incredibly nostalgic of Banjo Kazooie (for good reason). It has its faults, but is still good fun, especially after all the updates.
Snake Pass – Maybe not a traditional 3D Platformer, but if you like them, you’ll love Snake Pass.
Snipperclips – a cute, fun puzzle game if you play with another person.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Duh.
- With the Switch, it’s not even just couch-coop. Play on the go! I played this waiting in line at a game convention. What a Switch!
- This game has the golden example of negative feedback in game design. Blue shells keep the high-skilled players from being too far ahead and several powerups keep low-skilled players from doing too badly.
If there’s one thing to learn from this year, it’s that you must buy a Nintendo Switch.