Instead of creating a giant list of the best games of the year, resulting in fighting and tears, SideQuesting opts instead to let our esteemed Editors share their favorite 5 or so of the year. These are generally new games, but remakes (and heck, even old games if they get updates) are viable to be included. Without further ado, Erron gives us his take!
When I engage with a series, there tends to be a fever pitch of interest, which slowly tapers off over time. For myself, and I suspected a number of other people, that interest started in earnest with Persona 3, and the fever pitch was Persona 4 and all of the associated spin-off games. Which, inevitably, means that those levels of interest begin to taper off as the series continues away from the stuff you love.
Which means I was pleasantly surprised to find I enjoyed Persona 5 as much as I enjoyed Persona 4. The darker tone, the change in setting, and a more relatable cast served to keep me hooked in and rooting for the Phantom Thieves, even as their fate was ultimately playing out through my own input.
Puyo Puyo Tetris
Despite the fact that I am shit at puzzle games, I enjoy them quite a bit. Puyo Puyo Tetris was maybe the first of these that ever truly hooked me, though. The Tetris half of the game felt clean and snappy, and while I never managed to get my head around the Puyo Puyo side of things, I managed enough to muddle my way through and enjoy the utterly ridiculous, albeit charming story-mode.
Alright. Stay with me, here. Yes, Starcraft and Brood War came out like twenty years ago. Yes, the gameplay and story is basically identical to what it was back then, with some minor quality of life changes to the former. But the graphical enhancements make for a very pretty revisiting to the series that gave us the greatest space marine in the history of space marines, James Raynor, who I liked as a character so much that as a child I flirted with the idea of going by my middle name for a time. They say you can’t go home again, but StarCraft: Remastered either disproves the adage or is the exception to the rule. Either way, it earned a spot here.
Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood
My lists would never be entirely complete without some including of my off-again, on-again addiction. They say everyone needs at least one vice in their life, and Final Fantasy XIV is mine. Each content release summons me back to Eorzea, and Stormblood’s new classes, new zones to explore, and new dungeons means every time I get the shakes, I can re-sub and always have something to keep my attention for a month or two.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
While the combat isn’t anything especially noteworthy outside of a few brief mechanics, the story of this game more than makes up for any perceived flaws. If you’ve heard anybody who covers games talk about this, you’ve probably heard them talk about the handful of moments that are far and away the wildest shit ever, and they aren’t wrong. But what not many people really talk about is the internal monologue of BJ. An emotionally and physically crippled man, it’s only through the use of a power-suit that he manages to keep doing his brutal work against the Nazis, all while accompanied by a self-narrated, stream of consciousness obituary-slash-suicide-note composed of stark observations of the world and flowery prose.
The recent DOOM gave us a silent death-bringer who oozed machismo and humor through gestures and gore, and while it was all built around the murdering of the denizens of Hell, it was an actual, tangible personality. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus gives us a murderboy with a soul. A surprisingly elegant individual who can reflect on his mistakes and failures in one moment, and argue the philosophy of socialism in the face of a Nazi occupation in the next.