With its distinctive Old West-tinged approach to the post-nuclear wasteland, game-changing decisions, and flexible ways to complete its quests, Fallout: New Vegas carved out a spot as not just the best game of the Fallout series, but one of the best RPGs ever made.
Obsidian took the openness and flexibility of Bethesda’s Fallout 3 to a new level with more dark humor, memorable characters, and interesting stat-dependent dialogue options that make each playthrough feel tailored to your character’s strengths and weaknesses. And the fact that you, a nameless nobody courier, get to rise up from nothing and become the person who decides the fate of the region, gives you a real sense of control and power.
In New Vegas, the fun Fallout 3 formula is intact, with more polished combat, high-quality side missions, and the exciting setting of the Vegas strip. Unfortunately, the bugs also tagged along for the ride.
If Obsidian and Bethesda had polished up the game by fixing the AI, improving the animations or even gotten it to run smoothly, perhaps it would feel less like a giant expansion of Fallout 3 and more like its own game.
Be that as it may, Fallout 3 was a great game, so as similar as it is, Fallout: New Vegas is still a fun ride that offers more for fans of the series to enjoy. If you can look past its shortcomings, this is definitely a wasteland worth exploring.”
Into the Breach is a puzzle game masquerading in turn-based tactics clothing. Each mission presents you with overwhelming odds and limited options – a seemingly impossible task.
The twist that gives you and your team of giant robots the advantage you need to defeat the invading kaiju is that you can see every attack and other effect that will play out on your enemies’ next turn. Each turn becomes a puzzle for you to solve, using your limited actions for maximum effect. Sure, you could just attack head-on…
but what if instead you use your attack to knock an enemy into another’s line of fire, blocking damage from the second and killing the first in one fell swoop. It’s tactical strategy distilled down to its essence, with nearly infinite replayability thanks to a strong variety of unit types that each present unique and challenging ways to maximize their potential.
The wide variety of mech and pilot abilities make Into The Breach’s tactical combat deep, satisfying, and replayable. Every turn creates a new complex puzzle, and though sometimes there’s no perfect solution, finding the best way to minimize damage creates frequent eureka moments as you learn to make the most of the abilities you’re given to work with. It’s a small-looking tactics game that’s kept me playing more intently than most big ones.”
3.FTL: Faster Than Light
No game simulates the feeling of being in command of a starship flying by the seat of your pants like FTL: Faster Than Light. It’s a game you shouldn’t expect to survive – more likely, you’ll be blasted out of the sky by a vastly superior enemy ship or boarded by a death squad of giant killer insects who massacre your crew.
Maybe your life-support system will be hacked and everyone will suffocate.
But FTL’s not about winning – it’s a story generator, where you get to talk about the time you got a killer beam-weapon combo that cuts enemy ships to ribbons while your ship remains cloaked, or vented a boarding party into space while your crew laughed behind reinforced bulkhead doors. Its tactical combat never gets old, tons of loot and random events keep every game feeling unpredictable, and unlockable ships force you to change up your strategies on subsequent runs. And every so often, you might even win.
FTL: Advanced Edition is an incredibly replayable game, and each run gives me something memorable and rewarding – even the ones that end with my entire crew dead. The excellent iPad version has just become my go-to mobile game, since it includes all of the tense decision-making and unpredictability that make it endlessly entertaining on PC. Though I still prefer the speed and accuracy of the PC’s controls, the iPad version is very smooth and a close second.”
Microsoft Flight Simulator is the closest thing we’ve had to a near-perfect recreation of the real world in the virtual space. Using real-time Bing data to allow you to fly to and from any place on the entire planet has raised the bar for simulations to heights never seen before. Accessible to anyone, or as realistic as you want, this is open-world at its most literal. Free-flying around the globe, participating in landing challenges at some of the world’s most famously difficult airports, or just sightseeing, Microsoft Flight Simulator is an unparalleled achievement. Don’t forget to grab one of the best PC joysticks to make this flight-sim experience that more immersive.
Microsoft Flight Simulator is legitimately incredible. It’s difficult to fully describe how amazing it feels to jump into a plane and have the freedom fly to and from literally any place in the entire world.
The base game’s 20 included aircraft feel like more than enough for even hardcore aviation enthusiasts, and the ability to adjust the assists to tailor the experience to whatever skill level you desire makes it suitable for anyone looking to fly the friendly skies from the comfort of their home.
The real-world mapping data, however, takes Microsoft Flight Simulator from being just an impressive game to the most awe-inspiring simulation I’ve ever experienced, in spite of its less than stellar load times. Seeing famous landmarks, landing at the world’s most recognizable airports, or just touching down in a remote landing strip in South America is mind-bogglingly cool and an absolutely unparalleled way to virtually explore our world.”
Grand Theft Auto V’s sprawling, yet meticulously detailed map is still the high bar to which all other open-world games aspire. Not only is it huge, it’s incredibly dense with excellent content – not just the driving and shooting and three-protagonist story that make up its campaign, and not limited to the numerous side activities, but all the sights, sounds, and bustling activity you’d expect to find in a city teeming with humans, seedy underbelly included.
With so much to do, explore, and play with, both in single-player and Grand Theft Auto Online, plus great creative tools and mods, it’s truly amazing on multiple levels. Plus with the new Cayo Perico update adding a new solo heist and island to the map, not the mention the game coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X, there’s no sign of GTA V going to pasture anytime soon.
Grand Theft Auto V is not only a preposterously enjoyable video game, but also an intelligent and sharp-tongued satire of contemporary America. It represents a refinement of everything that GTA IV brought to the table five years ago. It’s technically more accomplished in every conceivable way, but it’s also tremendously ambitious in its own right.
No other world in video games comes close to this in size or scope, and there is sharp intelligence behind its sense of humour and gift for mayhem.