I’ve played video games my whole life, computer games since I was 8, tabletop since I was 16, I’ve worked in every part of the games industry and I plan on burning it all to the ground. Watch this space or whatever.
This list is uh just stuff I liked playing over the past year or whatever so deal with it thanks, and you’re welcome for not including Skyrim okay, also it’s only 9 games to make people who like even numbers upset.
If you’re a fan of Grey Alien Games (Regency Solitaire), this is a step up. Everything’s more streamlined, you have the added fun of gear that gives you bonuses (previously, these bonuses were to a room or an area). Getting to see the items on you and carrying through the game was pretty rad. I generally am not a casual gamer but when this game was recommended to me, I ended up being sucked in quickly. There’s something about corsets, swashbuckling, and solitaire, I guess. Good if you have five minutes to play a hand or have an a free afternoon and want to relax.
Best moment: I wore a BEARD and a CORSET and a MASK while dual-wielding PISTOLS.
8. Divinity: Original Sin II
Yeah, this had a lot of bugs. HOWEVER, I’ve said this about the first Original Sin and it’s doubly so for this one – this game, even with a little less in the way of choices, reminds me more of how I felt playing Planescape: Torment than the new Torment: Tides of Numenera. Don’t hate. Planescape gave me a feeling of…adventure, even muddling through the copious amounts of combat. I’m older now and honestly don’t have the time a game like that requires. D:OS & D:OS II pack in the same feeling for half the time. *chef’s kiss*
Best moment: Romance with Ifan. What a delightful ruffian. Ifan, bb!
7. Knights of the Old Republic 2
I play this game about once a year and it’s always going to take a spot in my top 10 games, so don’t you dare judge me. This game rates – every year – because it is one of a handful of games that chides you for doing anything Goody Two-Shoes or Snidely Whiplash Evil. Plus, with the community update finally on Steam? It’s like playing a whole new game (Kreia. I love you). I even love the Peragus mining facility. Suitably spooky, which is a theme I feel is underrepresented in Star Wars.
Best moment: There’s a lot of good ones, but probably my fav is the moments where Kreia sits with you to unlock other parts of yourself – or maybe working on T3-M4. The idea of meditating is appealing to me, probably because I can’t do it IRL.
6. Darkest Dungeon
This game scratches my ‘gritty art and gruff voice’ itch like nothing else. It’s grimdark, it’s unforgiving, and you get to build a little town? Yes, please. The art is really rad, and suits the style of the game perfectly. The rattling voice of the narrator is unique, and when paired with the sound design it makes for a fun combat experience. Occasionally I’ll check in just to see how many dungeons I can run through before all my people die and I hire more. Hehe. Hehehehe. HEHEHEHEHE.
Best moment: Probably the first time one of my characters got the Affliction “Abusive.” I quit the dungeon, sent him in alone, and let him die. That’s what you get for being a jerk.
5. The Last Door 2
The original scared the pants off of me, and this one is no different. What’s most impressive is that this is a very simple pixel art game, but the story is excellent, the sound design is great, and the cinematic cues are really well done. Also, I feel silly for having jumped at a game with graphics this simple, but I think that’s a testament to how creepy The Last Door (1&2) can be. Also maybe I’m a huge scaredy-cat.
Best moment: More like worst moment, when the power went out IRL right when I heard the sound of someone limping toward me in-game, THANKS POWER COMPANY.
4. Bear with Me
Noir. A little girl and her teddy bear. Crimes. This game is equal parts cute and morbid, which I really enjoy. I went in with very little expectations and found myself liking it quite a lot. The voice acting was a little weird at first, but it settled in nicely. The story is interesting, the world is really imaginative, and if I were a kid I could totally have seen myself enjoying this game back then. I also watched horror movies before I should have, so…
Best Moment: The entire first chapter, tbh. Getting to explore the house, seeing the world of make-believe. It’s weirdly whimsical and still creepy.
This is my “I want to zone out and not pay attention to anything” game. The music is incredible, gameplay is fun, it’s the right amount of complexity, and you can make it as fast or as slow as you like. The only thing it lacks is a history log. Imagine being able to create unique worlds and races, and then letting it auto-generate a history! Call me a nerd, but that would be SO COOL.
Best Moment: When one of my scientists decided the species he was observing should worship him as a god, and I put that jerk in jail because WOW. Get OVER YOURSELF, guy!
2. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
I have a huge soft spot for Wolfenstein. I first started playing games on PC with Wolfenstein 3D (shareware, of course). Not much of a story back then, but wow, am I proud to see how the game’s evolved. Up until this point, I had never audibly gasped at a video game. I went through every emotion, and even though he’s a gruff main character, BJ is super enjoyable to play. I don’t want to go into the game too much because what if someone’s been living under a rock and hasn’t played it yet?? But – you should. Play it.
Best Moment: I finally got to shoot the KKK. 10/10
1. Night in the Woods
This game hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m from a part of the United States where general resentment just kind of lays around like a blanket – it’s an aging population that can’t move on and doesn’t want to. They captured that pretty well, but also the feeling of being home again after moving away (the looping home music is excellent). The characters encompass someone (several someones) I know back home. The parents are just the right kind of tired – or the right level of religious. (If you have a hometown like mine, you’ll know what ‘right level of religious’ really means). It’s a quirky game in how normal it is, and I even liked the ending. (I wish there was that kind of explanation for my hometown.)
Best part: Selmers, marry me.