Follow through with your New Year’s resolutions.
We’re now deep enough into the current generation of gaming consoles that massive, game-changing entertainment experiences have become the norm, and any month without one is a major disappointment. This year alone we got a new Red Dead, a new Smash Bros., a new God of War, and a new Spider-Man — all of which are arguably the best of their respective franchises, along with being some of the best games of the generation. Here’s a list of 20 games we’re most looking forward to next year. What they all have in common? Spinning features.
How the Spins Work?
For a limited time, you’ll find them all on sale for $10 or less, way cheaper than what they were originally going for on the market. Not to mention it’s a fraction of the price of a monthly gym membership, and a far more entertaining New Year resolution investment at that.
Ori and the Blind Forest — $9.97
A hand-drawn artistic masterpiece, Ori and the Blind Forest intertwines players in the endearing journey of Ori, an orphan creature, through a thoughtful tale of hope and fear. But make no mistake, this game is still a difficult action-platformer, with exacting movement and combat mechanics that are sure to trip up even the most skilled players. A beautiful soundtrack and excellent narrative pacing make all of these challenging sections well worth the trouble.
Cuphead — $9.99
Up for a challenge? Cuphead is a visually captivating and notoriously difficult sidescroller that channels the shoot-em-up gameplay of classics like Contra and Gunstar Heroes. While Cuphead will make you want to throw your controller at times, you’ll ultimately stick around thanks to its immensely satisfying gameplay and arresting, 1930s cartoon-inspired art style.
Steamworld Dig 2— $9.99
If you’re a fan of colorful, highly replayable Metroidvania games, Steamworld Dig 2 is one of the genre’s best. This charming 2D platformer lets you dig your way through a series of vibrant levels that are filled with secrets to discover and challenging enemies to take on. Thanks to your trusty shovel, hookshot and jet engine, simply moving around Steamworld Dig 2 is a joy — the well-crafted and highly replayable stages certainly don’t hurt either.
Rocket League — $8.79
Playing soccer with cars inside a closed arena with boosts and jumps is as crazy as it sounds. Add in a variety of gorgeous and distinctive arenas, custom cars and inventive game types such as a demolition and basketball mode, and you can see why Rocket League is such an overwhelming success. Consistent content updates keep the game looking fresh, while cross-platform multiplayer with PC players ensures a healthy user base and a quick matchmaking process.
Rare Replay — $9.15
For less than the price of most single AAA games, Rare Replay packs in over two dozen — most of which are classics, some of which are even masterpieces. Games in the latter bracket include hits like Banjo-Kazooie and Conker’s Bad Fur Day. From niche (Viva Piñata) to hardcore (Battletoads), this retro collection has it all for one very low price.
Night in the Woods — $9.99
Night in the Woods is a quirky 2D adventure game about finding your place in the world. You play as Mae, a college dropout (and anthropomorphic cat) who returns to a hometown that seems to have moved on without you. Despite its lush visual style and cute animal characters, Night in the Woods is a surprisingly mature and touching experience that nails the humor and heartbreak of getting through your awkward early 20’s.
Okami HD — $8.81
Okami HD is a remaster of Capcom’s 2006 cult-classic, and the closest you’ll come to playing The Legend of Zelda on your Xbox One. This stunning action/adventure game has you explore a gorgeously hand-drawn rendition of Japan as Amaterasu, a sun-goddess that can wield all kinds of cool powers as she fights to restore a broken world. Filled with satisfying combat, challenging puzzles and a unique painting mechanic, Okami HD will scratch a major itch for Zelda fans or simply anyone seeking an engrossing, beautiful adventure on the cheap.
Titanfall 2 — $8.82
What game has epic wall-running, big stompy robots and a price tag under $20? Titanfall 2, otherwise known as the rare AAA sequel that actually tries, and succeeds, to improve upon its predecessor. Featuring a full-fledged campaign, a bevy of neat multiplayer maps and a lot of character customization, Titanfall 2 is a game that does its series justice. If you want one of the most electric, pulse-pounding FPS experiences on the market, this is the game to grab.
Hollow Knight: VoidHeart Edition — $8.99
One of the most beloved metroidvania games of this generation is finally on Xbox One. Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition delivers the beautifully bleak, brutally difficult 2D platforming action of the original game, complete with four additional content packs that give you new abilities to master and new bosses to vanquish. If you’re looking for a challenging sidescroller with a stunning art style, engrossing atmosphere and tons of exploration, Hollow Knight is among the genre’s best.
Guacamelee 2 — $10
Everything about Guacamelee 2 comes off as smarter and more thoughtful than the first game, even while indulging in its self-aware shenanigans and Rick & Morty-esque dimensional hijinks. The game never stops finding new ways to hook you in, to the point that even the most painstaking and intensive playthroughs feel like they just fly by.
Onrush — $8.89
When it comes to crumpling metal and high speed thrills, not all of Onrush’s game modes are on equal footing in terms of consistent excitement. The question of longevity will, of course, depend on post-release support, with new classes, game modes, and tracks potentially on the horizon. Considering you need 12 players to fill a full room, it would be a shame if Onrush doesn’t find the kind of audience that will give it the lifespan it deserves.
Yakuza 6: The Song of Life — $10
Yakuza 6 reins in its scope, but doubles down on what has made the series great. It’s a unique and fascinating representation of the modern Japanese experience, worth playing even if you’re a newcomer. The narrative is dramatic and sincere, and the game’s endearing characters–coming from all walks of life–are interesting studies.
God of War — $10.99
In many ways God of War is what the series has always been. It’s a spectacular action game with epic set pieces, big-budget production values, and hard-hitting combat that grows more feverish and impressive as you progress. What may surprise you is how mature its storytelling has become. Like Kratos, God of War recalls the past while acknowledging the need to improve. Everything new it does is for the better, and everything it holds onto benefits as a result.
Monster Hunter: World — $8.99
Ever since the title was first announced last year, it was clear that Capcom was gunning for something grander than Monster Hunter Generations. It has succeeded, and this is likely the biggest and best that the franchise has ever been. It’s not just the comparative depth of the narrative; it also boasts almost seamless integration between combat systems that were previously incomprehensible for amateurs.
Celeste — $10.99
It’s a testament to convincing writing and ingenious design that after playing Celeste I felt like I’d been on the same journey as Madeline. Her struggle is one made easy to empathize with, her low points painful to watch, and her high notes exhilarating to experience. Her tale is delicately told and beautifully illustrated, confidently coalescing with the satisfying, empowering game it lies within. Not bad for a game about climbing a mountain.
Stardew Valley — $9.99
On the surface, Stardew Valley is a game about farming, but there are more adventures awaiting curious players beyond cultivating a rich and bountiful garden. From mining and fishing to making friends and falling in love, Stardew Valley’s Pelican Town is stuffed with rewarding opportunities. It’s a game that tugs at your curiosity as often as it does your heart.
Sonic Mania — $10.99
Sonic Mania methodically uses its sentimental appeal to great effect, but in the process, it heals the wounds inflicted by its most disappointing predecessors and surpasses the series’ best with its smart and interpretive design. An excellent 2D platformer, Sonic Mania goes beyond expectations, managing to be not only a proper evolution of the series’ iconic formula, but the best Sonic game ever made.
Night in the Woods — $10
Both intensely personal and widely relatable, Night in the Woods doesn’t just tell a story–it gracefully captures complex, often unpleasant feelings and experiences. From the quiet melancholy of doing nothing on a rainy day to the emotional vacuum of severe depression, I felt deeply, sometimes too deeply, while wandering through the cartoon-animal version of a small Midwestern town. Its witty writing and character development keep its crushing existential themes grounded, making Night in the Woods one of the most evocative games I’ve played in a long time.
Overwatch — $9
Overwatch is an exercise in refined chaos. There are multitudes of layers hiding beneath the hectic surface, and they emerge, one after another, the more you play. This is a shooter that knows how to surprise, one that unfolds at a frantic pace, one that takes a handful of great ideas, and combines them into something spectacular.
Dragon Age: Inquisition — $9.99
Inquisition’s characters and world recall the grand gestures of the original Dragon Age, even though the game as a whole is so structurally different to its predecessors. It offers the thrill of discovery and the passion of camaraderie. It features a glee club called The Sing-Quisition, and a dwarf with writer’s block. It establishes connections with its world in big ways and small, with the sight of a titanous temple and the smirk of an Orlesian commander in love. Dragon Age: Inquisition is a wonderful game and a lengthy pilgrimage to a magical world with vital thematic ties to one we already know.