Five games to be thankful for … and five others not so much
Before you sit around the table this Thanksgiving, fill your face and regret life, there’s something I want you to do for me. And this can be done whether or not you are one of those families that makes everyone say what they are grateful for. When the family is sitting and ready to eat, you get up, raise a glass, and explain that you would like to toast the following five video games. Dad will ask you to sit down, and you will tell him – strictly – to do so shut up. It’s crucial to pronounce, to strike this twitter with the kind of force that lets the table know, “okay, it’s serious time.”
It may sound like drastic action, but I can assure you that it is absolutely necessary. Just wait until you are through the list and I think you will agree that these are fiver games that are so good that the only way you can really convey their brilliance is to respect your sheep. Come along when we first look at the best of the best and what you should be most grateful for this holiday season.
Bethesda’s personal pork day is a blast from start to finish. Not only does it feature some of the smoothest and most satisfying weapon games of the year, but it has also earned my vote for the best new character – Colt Vahn. The levels may be small, but they are different and offer prey to those who are bold enough to search in every nook and cranny. And the story engages right up until its dramatic finale. There have been many good things in 2021, but Deathloop may be the cream of the crop.
If you’re sitting on a Nintendo Switch and have not yet downloaded a copy of Metroid Dread, you might as well withdraw from games. Samus’ latest adventure is perhaps just her best to date, utilizing the Switch’s hardware to its full potential to deliver a master class in both style and substance. It looks good, plays well, and if you have one of the shiny new Switch OLEDs, there is no better way to break it.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Who would have thought I would be grateful this?
Guardians of the Galaxy is an easy candidate for this year’s darkhorse game. It’s great, and I can not help but think that this is exactly what the Avengers should have been. Instead of relying on a half-baked Destiny-like loot system to make us come back for more, Eidos-Montreal opted for a tighter single-player experience. And it eventually paid off. Guardians of the Galaxy is a great adaptation of its source material, packed with witty subtleties, bangin ‘tunes and hectic gameplay.
Forza Horizon 5
It’s time for the Xbox Series X to receive its first true killer app. Just in time for Christmas too. Forza Horizon 5 is the pinnacle of the series, bringing its unique blend of simcade-style racing and unsurpassed world-building. Playground Games has once again delivered a complete masterpiece, and if you consider yourself a racer, or for hell, for that matter a video game player, you owe it to yourself to get to the starting line and grab a copy.
While the original game in Sega’s Yakuza spinoff series – Judgment – was launched in late 2018, I did not manage to dive into the main character’s tale of lies and deception until earlier in the year. And it quickly became one of my favorite games of the last decade. Enter Lost Judgment, which takes the formula compounded in the first game and adds a pinch of this and a touch of it to create all that Judgment was and more. In addition, the sequel offers a new story that takes place in the charming, absurdly dense city of Kamurocho. Skateboard, smoke cigarettes, beat teenagers and solve a murder or two. What more can you ask for? Pray a prayer and be thankful for the lost judgment.
Proceed to PAGE 2 for another five games that I do not feel quite as strongly about.