In this overview we look at the best games of the past two or three months. We look at the games released for different consoles: the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S. Games released for PS4 and Xbox One can also be played on the PS5 or Series X|S, often in better quality. Very often games just run smoother, but in some cases there is also a boost in the number of frames per second. Sometimes we also come across games that are less popular.
Best games- Mario Strikers: Battle League Football
Since we’ve been around here at the editors for a while, we look back with warm feelings on the Mario Strikers games that appeared for the GameCube and the Wii. The amount of playable characters, the different arenas and the items made for an unforgettable experience at the time. In terms of single player, the games offered a somewhat superficial experience, but the multiplayer was always top notch. On the Wii, we could even (and now with a little skill) play against other players online.
So it’s not surprising that many Nintendo gamers were looking forward to Mario Strikers: Battle League Football for the Nintendo Switch. It took about fifteen years, but the sequel is here and… somewhat disappointing. There are fewer playable characters than in the previous part, the sidekicks have disappeared (which makes it difficult to have a team overview on the field) and there is really only one stage where everyone plays football. The single player again consists of a small collection of cups, but is otherwise very meager. That was really into it.
So it’s clear that Mario Strikers: Battle League Football isn’t the game we wanted to see. So is this a bad game? Well, basically the gameplay (playing soccer without referees, pounding each other and being able to use items) is still cool and refreshing, precisely because there are few games in the series. In addition, the graphics and animations look beautiful and eye-catching and the online multiplayer is fine. But despite that, the game feels very basic, so you may be bored with it after a few games.
Ghostwire: Tokyo is a stunningly beautiful game that doesn’t rely on its shallow yet accessible gameplay. In the game you have to deal with an empty city, in this case Tokyo, where ghosts, demons and other scum from the underworld reign supreme. The ghosts you encounter are all based on Japanese folklore and stories and thus have a link to the (our) real world. While a lot of it is fiction, of course, Ghostwire: Tokyo still has an eerie sense of realism. People believe in this.
While playing the missions, where you try to push back the ghost world, you run and shoot your way through the ghost town. As the only human in town who is not (any longer) dead, you have access to supernatural powers. With that you defeat all kinds of ghosts and spirits; you bombard them with fire, wind and water forces. In fact, these are sort of alternatives to things like a shotgun or sniper, making Ghostwire: Tokyo basically an unadulterated first-person shooter. One with its own face that you say to yourself.
The game doesn’t have to rely on the meager main story. And also the side missions simply come to “go here, do this act”. It is mainly the atmospheric city with its rich stories that leads you through the game. It’s no punishment to explore desolate and haunted Tokyo. The graphics are of a high level and show what a console like the PlayStation 5 has to offer. Ghostwire: Tokyo is not necessarily one of the best games of the moment, but over time it will end up on many a list in which cult classics are discussed.
Best games – Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands
The Borderlands series welcomes its first spin-off game (after the standalone content on which the spin-off is based) in the form of Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands. And that’s a welcome addition to the series. In Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, you play as one of the players of a raiding party in Tiny Tina’s Bunkers and Badasses game; a fun twist on Dungeons and Dragons.
The game starts when Tina invites you to play and then you are immediately thrown into the action. Everything about the game reminds you of the inspiration for Bunkers and Badasses. It’s really cool. The story is a nice mix between Tiny Tina’s humor and the world of Dungeons and Dragons. You have to save the world and the princess from the evil Dragon Lord, but the princess turns out to be the Butt Stallion known to fans of the game.
There’s still the old and well-known skill system that other Borderlands games had, but in Wonderlands you can now also upgrade your base stats with each level up. Think of your wisdom and attunement for example. In addition, just like in Dungeons and Dragons, you can take on a second class and play as a multiclass. This gives very cool combinations, because for example you can play as a barbarian who also has a walking mushroom friend that attacks enemies and leaves wind. No one said the humor is top notch.
In a Borderlands game, the weapons should not be left behind, so that will not happen in this game. The diversity is also present. There’s a weapon that shoots exploding round barrels, a rocket launcher that shoots electric anchors and a weapon that turns enemies into sheep. It’s the usual Borderlands gun craze, still effective years later when it comes to the differentiator compared to other shooters. All in all, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is a welcome addition to the series. The gameplay is happy as usual, while the atmosphere feels surprisingly fresh. And that’s exactly what Borderlands needed.
Kirby and the Forgotten World
With Kirby and the Forgotten World, Nintendo brings one of its last 2d series into the three-dimensional world. While old Kirby games are all 2d or pseudo-3d, this is the first time you can really send Kirby in all directions in a level. That gives the game developer more freedom to hide all kinds of collectibles, while also putting more creativity into the world. It results in an open, colorful and imaginative world in which you can enjoy yourself for hours, if you like the gameplay.
Because let’s face it: while Kirby is a game for everyone, not everyone goes well on the accessible gameplay. Kirby games are never really difficult (although there are higher levels of difficulty or other challenges that may surprise you), making the series mainly played by younger gamers. But make no mistake about Kirby and the Forgotten World. This game can also challenge you when you look for all collectibles; Not to mention all kinds of levels with specific challenges.
Although the game plays nicely and really offers some afternoons of entertainment, we still miss the feeling that other Kirby’s give. This is mainly due to the lack of outfits, which gives Kirby special ability. This time there are only twelve, two of which are new. Granted, you can upgrade the powers, but that element won’t make too much of a difference. All in all, Nintendo once again delivers a somewhat superficial experience, but one that has just a little more (vega) meat in the tub than we have been used to lately.
Best games – Lego Star Wars: Skywalker Saga
Possibly the greatest Lego game ever. This is how you could see Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. It features all nine major Star Wars movies, including the locations, characters, and of course the great battles. Qui-Gon and Obi Wan, the rise of Anakin, Luke and Darth Vader, and later Rey, Kylo Ren and Darth Sidious: it’s all there.
When you start the game you can choose from the first movie of each trilogy. Completing it will unlock the next movies in that trilogy. Each film consists of a number of locations, with large parts built as an open world. For example, you can enter the spaceport Mos Eisley and the forests of Naboo. Here you can walk around freely and talk to the locals. Many have a job for you, after which you unlock a new outfit or character as a reward.
As usual, this game is full of opportunities to collect items, although certain tasks do become repetitive quite quickly. When you’re tired of this, the open worlds get a bit boring and too big, because you’re walking for minutes to the next starting point of the mission. Sometimes this is just a movie, in which the original voices from the movies have also been replaced by almost, but just not similar voices. A disappointment.
The game is clearly made to go through with two players. In addition, the split screen behaves a bit more unfriendly than in previous parts, where it ran dynamically when you were near each other. Now the game keeps on dividing itself up, so that the loaded menus (which were already excessively complex anyway) sometimes project over each other. It all seems a bit messy and it causes irritation.
Fortunately, these are largely issues that can still be remedied with updates. In any case, the core of the game is pretty good. You can feel the atmosphere when you land on famous planets with the well-known bombastic soundtrack, and then attack everyone with a lightsaber. It’s still fun to get into the shoes of all the different characters. This time you can also fly in space and fight against enemy ships. The shooting action works a bit better and it looks spectacular when buildings burst into Lego blocks. Despite the fact that the elaboration could have been a bit more refined here and there, The Skywalker Saga undoubtedly makes the hearts of Star Wars fans beat faster.
Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition
RPG enthusiasts may have played Chrono Cross years ago on the first PlayStation. But of course there are always (younger) gamers among us who have missed such pearls. That’s why it’s nice to see that publisher Square Enix has been going through its portfolio lately to see which franchise or video game still deserves some love. We’ve seen that happen before with, among other things, a complete re-release of Final Fantasy VII , and now it’s the turn of this PS1 classic.
Don’t get your hopes up too much, because this isn’t a remake like FFVII. This is a polished version of Chrono Cross, which is pleasant to play on modern game consoles. In addition, some parts of the story are slightly different than you may be used to, so that as a player from the first hour you can also discover new things. It provides a fresh playing experience regardless of your relationship to the game. So it doesn’t matter if you’re a player exploring the franchise or someone who played the PS1 version gray. You want to experience this (again).
Square Enix is also making some significant changes. For example, there is now an automatic combat system, which makes grinding a lot less of a problem. You also get access to a lot of options related to personalizing the experience. We understand that this review is a bit vague in the wording, but we want to say as little as possible and still get you excited to at least try the game. The fact that the publisher is not asking the main prize for the game is a small icing on the full cream cake.
Over the years, more and more fixed annual license sports game releases have been added and the official MotoGP game has carved out a place in that category. This year we are ready for the fourteenth game in the series, in the form of MotoGP 22.
Developer Milestone has been at the helm of the series for years and has therefore built up extensive knowledge when it comes to racing games; and for MotoGP 22 we can say that the gameplay is racing like a pro. This was also the case in the previous game, that’s true, but the team still made some improvements. For example, the weight transfer of the racer over the engine is slightly slower and therefore even more realistic. Because of this you have to try to cut the bend earlier. This is more difficult, but once you master it you will feel like a real MotoGP driver.
Fortunately, you don’t have to practice in career mode for this, because there is a real MotoGP Academy in which you can master the game through educational challenges. The big new addition this year, however, is the Challenge mode. It takes you through the 2009 MotoGP season, simply called NINE. The fashion is made in collaboration with Mark Neale. The British documentary maker has previously made two films about MotoGP, so this fashion feels like a cool interactive documentary. It’s great fun to relive the exciting championship where four of the best drivers competed for the title at every GP all season long.
This year there are also more opportunities to race with your friends. For example, in MotoGP 22 you can race against each other in split screen for the first time in the series. It is very entertaining to share the action with each other. MotoGP remains one of the standard games for a cool motorcycle racing game experience and with the improvements to MotoGP 22 you can once again race ahead with pleasure for a long time.
A new Formula 1 season has started and of course that includes an official game. This year it comes in the form of F1 22. The developer took two numbers out of the title, but you get more racing fun in return.
Formula 1 drivers sometimes drive supercars, such as a Mercedes AMG GT or a McLaren 720S, around the track with someone next to them in the seat or as teammates for marketing stunts. You can now do that this year in the new Pirelli Hot Laps mode, in which you have to drift with those supercars, or reach difficult checkpoints as quickly as possible. It’s a nice change from racing Formula 1 cars and it enhances the career mode experience.
Of course, this fashion needs little explanation. It has been excellent for a number of years and has almost no room for improvement. Still, there’s a welcome addition to the mode. For example, when you start your career, you can choose whether you are a starting, intermediate or well-known team. This gives you more freedom of choice and is therefore a great option. The two-player career mode made its appearance in the previous game and it’s back this year. It remains a cool fashion, because it is great to experience the sensation with just the two of you.
In F1 22 you can now also showcase your victories and your unique style in the new F1 Life feature. This is a lively place where you can display your trophies from GPs won in the comfort of your own home. You can personalize your house completely to your own liking, including supercars in the living room. It’s cool to brag about this and it just looks cool.
Finally, there is a cool new addition for the PC players. For example, you can now play the game in virtual reality with different systems for the first time. The official Formula 1 game has been a cool experience for years and F1 22 is building on that success, with new opportunities to race and cool opportunities to showcase your style.
Best games -Nintendo Switch Sports
In this overview of the best games we again come across a sequel to a Wii game. Nintendo Switch Sports is actually a new iteration of Wii Sports (and its sequel to the Wii U). You play this game entirely with the motion-sensitive controllers (the Joy-Cons) of the Switch. You can play a few sports with it, such as badminton, tennis, bowling and football. The gameplay is very accessible: you start a sport and make the same movement you make in the real world. Basically like we all did in 2006, when the Wii came out.
That doesn’t make this game any less fun, though. The colorful, fresh look makes the game feel like new; although the basics are almost the same. You can also easily play this game with your friends in both offline and online modes. For the online modes, everyone needs their own Nintendo Switch Online account, which costs a few euros per month or per year. Such an account is not necessarily required. But if you don’t have it, you won’t unlock outfits, accessories and other items for your online persona either. And that is very sad to see.
Nintendo Switch Sports does not have much to offer – except for that accessible gameplay. You just have to like this to play and then you put time into it. A system with which you unlock digital items is often a good motivation, but that is missing in the offline mode. As a result, you are dependent on that online stand, and you are somewhat obliged to take out such a subscription. That gives the game, which is not even complete without golf, a bit of a sour aftertaste.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong
Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong is a special game that combines many elements from different genres. Despite mentioning this game on our best games list, that’s not quite the case. We have more than enough to say about it, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it. Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong is a game that combines elements of tabletop game (such as Dungeons and Dragons), role playing games and story-driven video games for a unique experience.
The Vampire series is based on its own tablet series; however, we call it DnD, because this is a more well-known variant of tabletop gaming. Anyway, as a player of this type of games you immediately know what to expect. A gripping and exciting story, lots of choices and stats and abilities that you can expand, to make many conversations go in your favor. Unfortunately, Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong does not succeed in this optimally: the story starts in the middle of an event and never really gets going.
This is because important moments are only discussed. So you don’t see them happening. There is no climax, which keeps the game fairly on the surface. At the end of the game you don’t really feel that your choices have led to anything. But after playing several times you do see a difference, and we are not just talking about subtle details. That is why we can still recommend the game to anyone who is interested in story-driven games in which choices are central. And you have to like detectives a bit too.
Best games – Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes
Nintendo seems to have invented a new trick. With the Warriors series, the company, with the help of a third-party developer, presents an alternate version of the history of a particular game. We saw that happen with the second Hyrule Warriors installment, including its downloadable content, and is now happening again with the second Fire Emblem Warriors game. Fire Emblem: Three Houses players will once again encounter their favorite characters, but this time due to different circumstances and events.
The Warriors series is characterized by its large battles on open battlefields. You take on the role of one of the playable characters and ram your way through hordes of enemies. Dealing with punches feels very satisfying and the way the game presents the action is pleasing to the eye. This time the story is rock solid and forms a thick thread that encourages play. While gaming, we had a hard time putting the game down; and yes, we also played Nintendo’s other Warriors games.
So is this the perfect Musou title (a term given to these kinds of games)? No, for that the developer, Koei-Tecmo, has dropped a big stitch in the form of a laughably bad character. But if that doesn’t bother you, then you can give this game a shot. Especially if you liked previous Warriors games or if you couldn’t get enough of the characters and stories of Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Actually, this title is obligatory for the latter group — you really want to experience this.