Mortal Kombat 11
The story is just as ridiculously zany as ever, but the cast of characters and the continually rotating collection of towers with oodles of unlockable content has this game in my regular rotation still today. New characters, rare golden vaults and new gear / skins keep things relatively fresh as well. I only just recently unlocked the last part of the Krypt, which is a mini-game all unto itself and one of the best things to hit Mortal Kombat in a long time.
This literally came down to the wire and I’m more than happy to have played Phoenix Point as it’s everything that I’ve ever wanted in a squad based strategy RPG. You can split your forces to go to multiple locations, you can blow up walls and ceilings or floors to drop your foes, your forces JUMP OVER THE DAMN BARRIER instead of having to walk ALL THE WAY AROUND. Finally, the systems that support all of this for combat and exploration are extremely intuitive with both keyboard and mouse as well as a controller. I feel like it’ll take a long time before anything de-thrones this one for me.
World War Z
Many of you might go “Huh?” when you see this but please, hear me out. World War Z is a 4-player cooperative zombie horde game not unlike the zombie juggernaut series, Left 4 Dead. Sure there’s no story (a shame, too, given the fact that the novel of the same name is a must-read) and character progression is really weird, but the action is where it really wins out. From the poisonous hazmat zombies to the hulking brutes to the run-of-the-mill zombies, every aspect in game is meticulously designed and extraordinarily well-crafted. Add to it that World War Z is one of the few cooperative multiplayer games out there and you have a bubbling kettle of goodness.
My second runner up for game of the year is a game that is still being improved, but it’s by Coffee Stain Studios, and it is called Satisfactory. Simply put, it’s a factory builder that allows friends to join (up to 3 other players) for some crazy shenanigans. In the world that players start in, there are creatures that can either be hostile or not, but it’s up to you to discover which. I’ve spent a ton of time between my single player game and a couple multiplayer games in Satisfactory and I absolutely love it. When I started playing it to review the game, I was rather impressed with its graphics and development. When it was launched to the general public, players were able to join up with some of their friends, but the devs allowed us access to everything they had. After looking at the roadmap, Satisfactory will have a full story to go with the game, and I’m excited for it! I can’t wait for more features and items to be added. It may be one of the very few open world games I will ever play, but it is worth it. Definitely check this title out!
River City Girls
I’ll admit I wasn’t initially interested in picking this game up, but JaydaNyx got me to play it, and I immediately rethought that stance. It’s a great beat em up with a retro feel that doesn’t replicate the old school poor design choices, the pixelated graphics are super nostalgia inducing, the characters are hilarious (kyouko is the best), and you get a dab as an attack. Nuff said.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
I was happy to finally play an FE game on a home console again. Since the Wii version was my last experience on a bigger engine it left a bad taste in my mouth. But, lo and behold, Nintendo has spit out a very beautiful and fun game, that wasn’t on a handheld. If only I was able to marry everyone off like in previous titles… it would have made number 1 for sure.