A great PvP game that offers some of the most intriguing and nuanced team combat around. As with all multiplayer games, sometimes the enjoyment can be marred by less considerate players, but when everyone is giving it their all, DOTA 2 is intense, challenging, and hugely enjoyable.
Ninjala at launch is thin on content, but still enjoyable. Despite a frankly skippable paid Story Package, it's the sheer variety in its weapon lineup that makes its colorful free-to-play melee action stand out. Whether you're a Splatoon fan hungry for any new content, or just curious about a game where you can swing a giant ear of corn as a bat and enwrap your foes in bubblegum, Ninjala is worth checking out.
Valorant leans heavily on its predecessors, but makes use of established schools of thought and the unique novelties of its Agents to create a fresh take on tactical shooters, even if its launch is a little slim. For years, there hasn't been a fight for Counter-Strike's throne; but in Valorant, Riot Games has found a valiant contender.
Mimimi Games returns to the real-time stealth tactical genre with Desperados 3. Across massive levels, players will guide their magnificent five characters toward their objectives. Each hero has their own strength they bring to the team, and they're all essential to survive. Desperados is a game of trial-and-error, expecting quicksaves and quickloads to "solve" each level. There's some small muddiness in the controls and enemy perception, and occasionally the punishment for slight mistakes in character or item placement feels punitive. That said, Desperados 3 nonetheless remains a fantastic follow-up to the first game and another win for the developer.
The Last of Us Part 2 is an outstanding action game; a darker, more introspective follow-up that seeks to challenge the conventions of big-budget action games. In this it's not always successful, but its execution is impeccable, and its story proves an appropriate bookend to the story of Joel and Ellie. In short, it's some of Naughty Dog's best work.
The Elder Scrolls Online heads back to familiar locale ahead of the 10th anniversary of The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim. Unfortunately, Western Skyrim isn't the same stunning location as Morrowind or Summerset. There are moments of beauty, but Skyrim itself is drab, grey landscape for the most part. The undercroft of Blackreach is a more interesting and fantastical location, but it's only half of the entire experience. And while the Antiquities system is a fun addition, the harrowstorm open-world events feel hauntingly familiar. ESO's storytelling is still top-notch, but where that story is told matters just as much.
Command & Conquer: The Remastered Collection gathers up every conceivable ounce of content from the first two games in the series and gives it a full makeover, resulting in a collection that feels holistic, modern, and true to its roots. It has some wrinkles that add an asterisk, but only just that much. This is Command & Conquer, not just how you remember it back then, but how you'll want to remember it years from now.
If you're ready to slow down a bit on Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but you want to keep that good, warm feeling going for a while longer, Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics is worth your time and money. Its clean, charming interface guides you through a wide selection, including classic card games, complex board games based in deep traditions, and simple pastimes that let you fiddle with toys. Don't know how to play something? No problem: 51 Worldwide Classics will happily teach you. It's a great choice for single players and families alike.
Mojang spins up its own take on the Diablo dungeon crawling formula. While it looks like it might be "Baby's First Diablo," Minecraft Dungeons has a good degree of challenge available for you and three friends. It's more focused on lowering barriers by streamlining the acquisition of loot, instead of miring you in pages of stats. There's a decent tail of playability with three levels of difficulty, but you'll have to look to potential post-launch content for the length of experience some dungeon crawling fans crave.