Fear not Borderlands fans, because "The Vault of the Traveler" doesn't just deliver a rocksteady ending, but it helps solidify Tales from the Borderlands as the best thing the franchise has ever done.
For 26 years, I’ve been waiting for a true follow-up to the first Legend of Zelda, a game that captured my imagination and catapulted me into becoming a lifelong fan of action-adventures and role-playing games. A Link Between Worlds recognizes that it’s not tacked-on stealth segments or waggling a controller to roll bombs that makes Zelda tick—it’s the unbounded exploration and freedom found in the NES original, and it’s finally back in full force here. Every Zelda fan needs to play this game.
Criticisms often come easier than compliments, but in the case of Red Dead Redemption 2, I am at a loss. This is one of the most gorgeous, seamless, rootinest, tootinest games ever made, and if you voluntarily miss out on it, you're either not a gamer or in a coma.
A mix of the nostalgic, the fantastical, and the wonderfully bizarre, Mario's latest adventure provides more than a dozen tantalizing playgrounds to explore. With hundreds of collectibles, Kingdoms full of delightful details, and secrets waiting around every corner, Super Mario Odyssey is bound to keep players exploring long after the credits roll.
Control is Remedy at the height of its abilities. Finally, the studio's expert handling of tone and story is met with gameplay that's just as engaging and refined. As an experiment in nonlinear world design, Control doesn't just stick with tried-and-true waypoints and forests. Its Oldest House is a brutalist masterpiece, and the characters inhabiting it are just as unforgettable. All told, it's going to be one of the most memorable games of the year.
The Outer Worlds is an impressive spiritual successor to Obsidian's work on Fallout: New Vegas, mixing familiar design elements and the same zany attitude with an imaginative new universe and even deeper role-playing. While you can breeze through the main questline a bit quicker than in similar games, this is the sort of RPG experience you'll want to play through multiple times, with multiple builds, to see all the systems and narrative paths on offer.
In the end, Death Stranding's biggest mystery isn't any of the elements we've had teased in three-plus years of trailers—it's what people are going to think of it. Even from a man known for making love-them-or-hate-them projects, this may end up being one of the most divisive games ever created. For me, it was an experience that I can truly say was unlike any other I remember. And, if nothing else, Death Stranding makes me respect Hideo Kojima for convincing Sony to invest millions into a game that's about a man delivering packages to holograms.
Though built on the same core as the Souls games, Bloodborne marks the largest departure from the status quo to date. The numerous changes, many in service of a faster and more aggressive playstyle, might not be for everyone, but if you embrace that shift, you might well have a new favorite in the From Software canon.