Top 10 Games this Console Generation [so far...]
Over this past generation we have been blessed with a handful of incredible games. The Zoned team got together to compile a list of our personal top 10. It was a difficult challenge and there are many honourable mentions but here is our collective list of the best games released so far for this gen. Check the video to hear us talk passionately about our top picks.
10. Stardew Valley
It’s work… but I love it! Stardew Valley is like Harvest Moon, but with additional quality of life features. It is still supported to this day and is a solid and addictive farm-life simulator. It is a perfect time waster and is a must have purchase, especially if you have a Nintendo Switch. It is a well made and polished game and the fact that an indie game is on our top 10 list is a statement in itself. Oh, and did you know it was initially created by 1 guy?
PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation Vita, IOS, Android
9. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Sekiro is Fromsofts latest Souls-like. In our opinion, it is simply one of the best action, role-playing titles released this generation. It does everything right and although its difficulty did stir up some controversy, always felt fair. Fromsoft have mastered creating games that teach the player how to "get good" at them and present them with challenges that at first seem impossible. The setting is beautiful, the characters and enemies are memorable and overall, it is definitely worth experiencing.
PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Hidetaka Miyazaki single-handedly created a new sub-genre of games with the release of Dark Souls. Somehow, he has managed to keep this genre fresh, with every new release. Bloodborne is much more than Dark Souls in a Lovecraftian setting, it is faster, and more action packed with unique systems and mechanics. Bloodborne is one of the best action games ever made.
7. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
All characters and stages are available in this iteration of Smash Bros, add a constant steady 60 frames per second frame-rate and 1080p, with up to 8 players at a time and you have the penultimate Smash Bros experience. And there’s more! Nintendo have recently announced a second season pass with even more characters! Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will definitely stand the test of time, as Melee did before it.
6. Resident Evil 2 (2019)
Resident Evil 2 is a solid and engaging remake. Capcom have been on a role recently, developing some of the best games of this generation. They use sound and graphics perfectly, in order to create a feeling of claustrophobic helplessness with a slither of hope. If you are afraid of horror games (like I am), this game is still worthwhile.
PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
5. God of War (2018)
The biggest surprise of this generation. No one would have been able to foresee what Santa Monica Studios would do with God of War. A Frequent criticism of the God of War series was how one-note Kratos was as a character. They managed to flesh out Kratos in a way that did not feel forced. There are few games which feel like they deserve to be made into films, and God of War is one of them. The performances are incredible and the relationship between Kratos and his son is believable and interesting. Changing so much was risky, as it could have alienated its core fan-base, but Santa Monica Studios managed to pull it off in spectacular fashion. They managed to tell a big story, set in a new world that feels personal. The game introduces the player to a new setting and characters and leaves them wanting more. Bring on God of War 5! I mean 2!
4. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Witcher III is an open-world, action RPG at its core but has some of the best side-quests available in a game hands-down. Stating this first may seem like a disservice but honestly, the side-quests are done so well that it becomes hard to differentiate the difference between a side quest and a main quest. Some of my fondest memories were when I was deep into a side-quest and the addition of choice adds an extra layer. I was playing this while my brother was also playing it, and I had not realised how different the outcome of quests could be depending on the player’s actions.
*SPOILER START* One mission tasks you with helping a baron and his family. Long story short by the end, the mother had transformed into a monster and the baron hung himself, my brother however, managed to save all the members of the family *SPOILER END*
All the quests in the game allow this level of freedom and the fact that the outcomes can be so different and feel so natural (I still do not know what I did differently) is nothing short of amazing. I went in hoping for a sandbox RPG like Skyrim and although I was initially disappointed, I quickly came to realise that the Witcher III was a different, and arguably better, beast. Make sure you take your time with this one.
PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One
3. Red Dead Redemption 2
“I have a Plan!” Red Dead Redemption II was nothing short of astonishing. A legit masterpiece. Whereas Grand Theft Auto is fast, and, in your face, Red Dead is slower paced and intimate. IT excels in its quiet moments and is a lot more methodical than the GTA series. Red Dead Redemption II’s world is, in my opinion, the most realised video game open world to date. When you consider all the active game systems, at times it can feel like a basic simulation game. You can spend hours exploring the world, hunting, robbing, doing side-quests, fishing and so much more. I know this has become a clichéd statement, but the world is alive! The attention to detail is unprecedented. Animals hunt one another and decay when killed; Arthur's (the protagonist) hair grows in real time; horse balls even shrink and expand based on the temperature. Rockstar also manage to tell a compelling and engaging story that expands on the Red Dead Redemption universe. If I had to mention a negative (and this is more a small gripe) its that most missions boil down to shootouts and, because of this, feel uninspired. Regardless, Red Dead Redemption proves once again that Rockstar are the Kings of open-world games.
PC, PlayStation 4, XBox One, Google Stadia
2. Divinity Original Sin 2 - Definitive Edition
This series surprised me. I had never played any game like the first Divinity Original Sin but once I started, I was hooked. I would often hear about how great the original DOS and review sites all lauded the original title, stating that it was one of the best RPG’s on console. I watched multiple walk through's and reviews of the game and honestly, I couldn’t see it. I did not understand what made the game so special and hesitantly rented it from an online video game website. I then proceeded to take a week off “sick” from work. DOS is, in simple terms, a turn-based role-playing game. When I first played it, I started a two-player journey and mayhem ensued. I have never had so much fun playing a multiplayer RPG; I don’t even think there are many multiplayer RPG’s (that aren’t MMO’s). We would go into town and steal everything that was not nailed down: cutlery, paintings, boxers, swords, potions you name it. The game allowed you to betray the people in your party in hilarious and inventive ways. They could get arrested and they would have to go to prison. DOS II expands on the original in multiple ways. It improves on all the good aspects of its predecessor while adding some new ones; and has been given a complete graphical overhaul. Additionally, it now supports 4 players. Simply put, if you are an RPG fan of any kind, give this game a chance.
PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, XBox One
1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is an incredible game. If you play one game this generation, play Breath of the Wild. We love open-world games, but they have become stale as of late. We have gotten to a weird time where developers are simply making larger games, but not filling them with meaningful content. Maps in open-world titles are often littered with icons, but once you break down the icons, they usually consist of the same missions, quests, tasks or exercises. Due to this, many open-world games often feel like a chore and there is little to no incentive to complete everything. IT all feels too familiar and Breath of the wild is a breath of fresh air (pun intended). Breath of the Wild made it fun to explore. There were very few map icons and exploring and finding new areas was reward enough. It evokes a constant sense of adventure and is an open world game in the purest sense of the word. The world truly feels alive and the mechanics and systems present make sense and allow the player a level of experimentation rarely seen in games. All this plus the trademark Nintendo polish makes for one of the best games ever made. This is proof that no matter how shiny or pretty a game looks, game-play will always be King.
There you have it, our teams absolute favourites from the past decade. We hope you enjoyed the video, we'd love to know what your top games were this generation so if you agree or disagree with us, let us know in the comments.