My Favorite Video Games Released This Year
Happy Fandom Friday, everyone! With the year coming to an end in just over a week, I decided to do a roundup of my favorite games I played over the past year. Picking the best games of the year is usually pretty easy for me, but this year there were a TON of games that I loved. So, I divided this year’s best games up into categories: bronze, silver, and gold. Keep in mind that these are selected from games I’ve actually played – that means that quite a few great games were left out. Here we go!
Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means if you click through and purchase a game, I will receive a small portion of that sale. There are no extra costs for you.
Battle Chef Brigade
Battle Chef Brigade is more than a matching puzzle game. You play Mina, a young girl who dreams of leaving her small village behind to compete to join the Battle Chef Brigade. Only the most elite chefs make it in! Hunt for ingredients by slaying monsters with both physical and magical attacks, then whip up something delicious by matching the right colors to appease the judges. Full of great dialogue and fun characters, Battle Chef Brigade was a surprising and enjoyable addition to my collection this year. It’s available on the Switch and Steam for $20.
Dream Daddy is a super fun queer dating simulator. Pick your favorite daddy and try to win his affections by making the right dialog choices and winning various mini games. Created by the folks from Game Grumps, this game has a huge fan base and it’s easy to see why. The characters are super diverse with unique interests and tastes. And they’re very well written! Brian is my personal favorite. This is a great casual game to play for friends or on stream, and definitely worth the $15.
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
Crash Bandicoot came back this year! This may have only made the list because of the nostalgia factor. When I was a kid, I played the original games on the original PlayStation. I was obsessed. I picked up the N. Sane trilogy as soon as it came out and couldn’t wait to relive all of my favorite levels from childhood. What I didn’t anticipate was how hard this game turned out to be. After getting frustrated by failing levels repeatedly, news came out that the collision changes with the remaster actually made the game more difficult than we remember. That said, it’s definitely worth the $40 price tag if this was a childhood favorite for you too.
Sonic Mania is another revamped childhood favorite. I had a SEGA Genesis when I was a kid, and I can’t tell you how many times I played through the original. Unlike many other Sonic sequels, Sonic Mania actually captures the feel and gameplay of the originals. The music is everything you remember and loved. Haven’t played the originals? You’ll still love Sonic Mania if you’re into 2D sidescrollers with really fun music. This game is an instant classic. Go spend the $20 on it!
Cuphead, oh boy. Where do I even begin? Cuphead is the game you hate to love. Or love to hate. Either way, it’s true. This run and gun indie game is visually beautiful. It’s done in the art style inspired by the 1930s and fun, bouncy music to match. Don’t let that fool you, though. This game is by far one of the most difficult games I’ve ever played. One important thing to note is that this game doesn’t work like most – it’s pretty much all boss fights. Each boss comes with a unique set of abilities that you, as Cuphead, must dodge and parry to save your soul. And when you’re done, your actual soul might need a little saving too.
Life is Strange: Before the Storm
If you loved Life is strange and all it’s characters, then chances are you’ll love Before the Storm. As the name suggests, Before the Storm is a prequel that follows Chloe as she meets and forms an unbreakable bond with Rachel Amber. Get ready to have your heart break, and keep the tissue nearby. This game is great on stream, or in your room if you want to cry alone, and is under $20.
Little Nightmares was not at all what I thought it was going to be, but I loved it. I’m a huge wimp when it comes to horror games, but this one was different. Instead of focusing on gore and jump scares, Little Nightmares uses atmosphere and music to really set the scene. In this puzzle platformer, you help Six escape capture and slowly unravel the horror of an unlikely feast. At just $20, it’s well worth it, and I expect some awesome DLC in the future.
Persona 5 is masterfully designed RPG with hilarious dialogue, diverse characters, and a fun premise. While this is technically the sixth in the series, this is the first Persona game I played. It was easy to dive in and I didn’t feel lost at all. It blends several animated styles together in a unique way and takes advantage of a great selection of music. The anime-like combat system keeps things fast paced while the story keeps you hooked. If you like turn based games and JRPGs, this is definitely for you.
Horizon Zero Dawn
Horizon Zero Dawn is simply stunning. You play Aloy, an outcast in a tribal world. Hunt robots and try to make your way back into the tribe’s good graces, all while learning about Aloy’s mysterious past. But while you’re running around, make sure to take some time to enjoy the beautiful landscapes. I promise it’s worth it.
I am going to admit right off the bat that I own the first Wolfenstein, but haven’t touched it. I jumped right into The New Colossus and I followed along just fine. If you’re at all into first person shooters, this game is a ton of fun. Plus, what’s more noble than killing Nazi scum? For those who don’t know the story behind the first game, you play Blazkowicz, a rebel fighting for American freedom in an alternate world where the Nazis won WWII. The fight sequences are a lot of fun and while the story can get pretty gruesome, it’s so good!
Super Mario Odyssey
Super Mario Odyssey was one of the most hyped up games this year, and it deserved it. This game showed some of the true potential of the Nintendo Switch’s Joycons. The graphics were great and the levels were packed full of creative puzzles. This game was just fun. Each world offered new challenges and characters, and I couldn’t wait to move to the next one.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
I know Breath of the Wild has been on pretty much every game of the year list this year, but it really deserves it. This game really changed everything we thought we knew about Zelda games and open world games in general. There are endless things to do in this world, and endless combinations to help make the world easier to survive in. And aside from all of that, it’s gorgeous. This was one of the first Link adventures I was actually excited to join in a long time.
That does it! What were your favorite games this year? What are you looking forward to next year?