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paulkangart · 3 days ago
NEO: The World Ends With You Complete Preorder Guide
NEO: The World Ends With You is set to release July 27 for Nintendo Switch and PS4. It will also arrive on PC via the Epic Games Store at some point this summer. You can preorder the game now--and it's even on sale for $49.94 at GameStop.
A sequel to the Nintendo DS original from 2007, this new installment stars a new cast of high schoolers who run amok in Shibuya and are forced to compete in the "Reapers' Game." Sounds spooky. Read on for more preorder info.
Preorder NEO: The World Ends With You
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Get it at GameStop - $49.94
Get it at Amazon - $59.99
Get it at Best Buy - $59.99
Get it at PS Store (digital) - $59.99
Nintendo Switch
Get it at GameStop - $49.94
Get it at Amazon - $59.99
Get it at Best Buy - $59.99 
Get it at Nintendo eShop (digital) - $59.99
Preorder Bonus
Preorder NEO: The World Ends With You at the PlayStation Store, and you'll receive a free avatar set. You'll also get the Legendary Threads Set, which is described like this: "This gear set contains five equippable items once used by the legendary Neku. These items are normally unavailable until you proceed considerably far in the story, so they will give you a leg up in the early days of the Game, and provide you with powerful unlockable abilities that will serve you well until the very end!"
What Is NEO: The World Ends With You?
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NEO: The World Ends With You is a full-on sequel to the 2007 original, a well-received JRPG that debuted on the Nintendo DS and has since been released on mobile and as an enhanced port for Nintendo Switch.
This new game follows Rindo, a high schooler who gets caught up in the mysterious "Reapers' Game," a life-and-death battle you're forced to play. Rindo is joined by new characters Fret and Nagi, as well as Minamimoto, who appeared in the original game. This group of heroes is known collectively as the Wicked Twisters. They'll have to face off against numerous rival teams in "a week-long battle for your lives!"
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As you play, you collect "threads" which are not only fashionable, but also impart stat boosts to your characters. You also collect pins that let you unleash "psych" abilities in battle. You control multiple party members at once, but each one can only equip one pin. Your job is to press buttons to deploy psychs in order to defeat your enemies. Over 300 pins are available to find, so you can mix and match to create effective combos.
This installment represents the first time the series has come to PlayStation.
Other Preorder Guides
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Chris Reed is a commerce editor and deals expert at IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @_chrislreed.
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paulkangart · 12 days ago
Loki Finale Explained: Who Is He Who Remains, a.k.a. Kang the Conqueror?
Warning: Full spoilers follow for Loki Season 1.
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Loki Season 1 did what its predecessors WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier avoided, serving up the big reveal that comics fans had basically been expecting -- and that the show had been hinting at throughout its six episodes: Jonathan Majors made his MCU debut as classic Marvel time-traveling villain Kang the Conqueror, or at least a Variant of the character known as He Who Remains.
The series also ended this first season by shattering the "Sacred Timeline," which sets up the upcoming events of Spider-Man: No Way Home, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, and probably a bunch of other Marvel projects as well.
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Kang from the comics, and a very Kang-ish version of He Who Remains from Loki.[/caption]
So the question is, now that Thanos is gone, how much of a role will Majors' character play in the MCU moving forward? We know Jonathan Majors will play Kang in 2023's Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, and Loki has been dropping Easter eggs indicating that Kang might be showing up even sooner than expected.
If you're not familiar with Kang or why he has the potential to be the next Thanos-level threat to the MCU, we're here to shed light on this powerful villain and also explain the finale of Loki. These are the topics we'll be covering here:
Loki Season Finale Explained
Who Is He Who Remains/Kang the Conqueror?
Kang's Origin
Kang's Powers and Abilities
Kang's Many Identities
Kang and the Young Avengers
Kang the Conqueror Actor Jonathan Majors and Marvel Universe Connections
Kang in TV and Games
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Loki Season Finale Explained
In the Season 1 finale of Loki, Loki and Sylvie finally make it to the end of time (should that be capitalized?) to confront the mysterious figure behind the TVA. No, not the Time Keepers, who we learned a couple of episodes back were fakes, but the actual figure who has been overseeing the pruning of the Sacred Timeline: He Who Remains.
Majors plays the character as a fun figure, one who perhaps has gone a little bonkers living forever at the end of all time, knowing everything that is going to happen.
Well, to a point. As the episode proceeds, He Who Remains explains his backstory, but also that they are now reaching a moment in the timeline where he will no longer know how things are going to play out -- a juncture that will finally free him of the self-imposed prison he has been living in as master of the timeline. And it's up to Sylvie and Loki to decide what comes next.
But first, about that backstory: He Who Remains explains that it all began with a Variant of himself, a scientist from the 31st century, who discovered that other timelines/realities exist. At first things were friendly as other versions, or Variants of this scientist, began to meet up across different timelines. But then some Variants turned to conquering, and the Multiverse War we learned about in Episode 1 began. In the end, He Who Remains... well, remained. As the winner of the war, he created the TVA to keep other timelines from coming into existence in order to avoid another multiversal conflict.
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The last words of He Who Remains: "I'll see you soon."[/caption]
And so now He Who Remains wants out, and Loki and Sylvie have a choice: Become the new masters of the Sacred Timeline, or kill He Who Remains, which will bring about the multiverse once again and, inevitably, the return of an untold number of He Who Remains/Kangs who will wind up re-starting the war. Loki wants to take over, if only to avoid the inevitable conflict that will result from killing He Who Remains. But Sylvie wants to kill He Who Remains, choosing the chaos of a multiverse -- and free will -- over all else. After fighting Loki, she kisses him -- and then pushes him back through time to the TVA before stabbing He Who Remains, who doesn't even fight back. We last see Sylvie at the end of time, contemplating her decision as the timeline splinters into an infinite amount of variations -- a multiverse.
The finale ends with Loki landing back at the TVA, but he soon realizes that it's a TVA from a different timeline, because Mobius and Hunter B-15 have no idea who he is. And then he sees it -- a statue of He Who Remains, who now looks a lot like Kang from the comics. Is Kang the Conqueror now the master of time (and the TVA)? We'll surely find out in Season 2, which was revealed in post-credits tease that simply shows TVA paperwork being stamped with the words "Loki will return for Season 2."
Who Is He Who Remains/Kang the Conqueror?
It's not easy recapping the convoluted history of Kang the Conqueror. He's a villain who's gone by many names and many different motivations in his countless clashes with the Avengers and Fantastic Four. But through it all the basics have stayed the same. Kang is a man who sees himself as the rightful master of the world. Using the power of time travel and the most sophisticated weaponry his future world has to offer, Kang has repeatedly sought to rewrite history to his own whims and ensure his own rise to power.
Kang's love of time travel is exactly what makes him such a dangerous and seemingly never-ending thorn in humanity's side. No matter how often he's defeated, banished or even destroyed utterly, some version of him is always out there, waiting and plotting. In the Loki Season 1 finale, He Who Remains is clearly a Kang Variant, but apparently a more benevolent one than the Kang (or Kangs) we'll likely get moving forward in the MCU.
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Kang's Origin
While the first appearance of Kang the Conqueror is featured in 1964's The Avengers #8, the character technically debuted a year earlier in Fantastic Four #19. We'll try to summarize Kang's confusing origin story as simply as possible.
Kang's real name is Nathaniel Richards. Originally a historical scholar from the 31st century (and possibly a distant descendant of either Reed Richards or Victor von Doom), Nathaniel discovers Doctor Doom's ancient time travel tech and uses it to travel back to the era of ancient Egypt. Crowning himself "Rama-Tut," he lords over his new subjects and uses his futuristic tech to make himself seem like a god. That is, until the Fantastic Four show up to end his reign.
After escaping to the 20th century, Rama-Tut meets Doctor Doom and uses Doom's distinctive armor as inspiration for his next supervillain identity, the Scarlet Centurion. However, he's again defeated by Earth's heroes and attempts to return to his own timeline.
This is where Kang the Conqueror is born. Richards accidentally travels forward too far in time, arriving in an era when human civilization has collapsed. As the only person left who understands the advanced but forgotten technology of the 40th century, the newly minted Kang is able to quickly conquer his new timeline and even extend his new empire beyond Earth's borders. Not content to be ruler of a futuristic empire, Kang begins a recurring game of toying with time and attempting to rewrite history to suit his own whims.
Kang Cheat Sheet
First Appearance:Fantastic Four Vol. 1 #19 (as Rama-Tut), The Avengers Vol. 1 #8 (as Kang)
Creators:Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
Aliases:Immortus, Rama-Tut, The Scarlet Centurion, Iron Lad, Mr. Gryphon, Victor Timely
Recommended Reading:The Avengers: Kang - Time and Time Again, The Avengers: The Complete Celestial Madonna Saga, Avengers Forever, Uncanny Avengers by Rick Remender
Kang's Powers and Abilities
As an ordinary human from the 31st century, Kang has no innate superhuman powers. However, he's a gifted physicist and historian, using his knowledge of science and history to manipulate the timeline and accumulate power. His distinctive green and purple suit of armor (inspired by Doom's own armor) both enhances Kang's strength and allows him to survive in whatever inhospitable environments he may find. Kang has a time-ship that allows him to freely travel through the time-stream, and he's also assembled a vast army comprised of the best warriors from throughout history.
Kang also sometimes wields a ray gun that can sap a person's strength and willpower, along with various doomsday weapons only a 40th century tyrant could dream of.
Kang also seems to be functionally immortal. Because he's so fond of abusing the timeline for his own selfish ends, there are countless variations of Nathaniel Richards in existence. No matter how many times Kang is defeated, there's always another incarnation of the Conqueror ready to continue his crusade.
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Kang's Many Identities
Kang is every bit as convoluted a character as one would expect from a man whose favorite hobby is manipulating time. But part of what makes Kang such a confusing character is that he's had so many different names and identities over the years. It doesn't help that these various characters weren't all originally conceived as being the same person, so a lot of these connections have been forged after the fact. If you're familiar with the comic book storytelling term "retcon," Kang is basically its living embodiment.
As we've already covered, Nathaniel Richards uses names like Rama-Tut and the Scarlet Centurion early on in his career as a time-travelling tyrant. But taking up the mantle of Kang isn't his last identity shake-up.
At some point in his long life, Kang gives up his name and his empire to instead forge an alliance with an advanced alien race known as the Time-Keepers. In exchange for true immortality, Kang agrees to preserve the timeline and ensure the Time-Keepers' rise to power. At that point he becomes Immortus. Ironically, his younger selves are responsible for much of the damage Immortus is tasked with undoing.
Kang has held other cover identities while masquerading as a 21st century human, including a small-town mayor named Victor Timely and a business tycoon named Mr. Gryphon.
If all this isn't complicated enough, thanks to time travel these various incarnations of Kang basically coexist alongside each other and sometimes collude or wage war against one another. There's even an entire team of Kangs known as the Council of Cross-Time Kangs. Picture the Citadel of Ricks in Rick and Morty, but with less alcohol and self-loathing.
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The many versions of Kang the Conqueror.[/caption]
Kang and the Young Avengers
There's another notable incarnation of Kang who may well factor into the MCU at some point. The 2005 series Young Avengers introduces a team of teen heroes modeled after classic Avengers but with very different backgrounds and origin stories. The team's founder, Iron Lad, isn't a descendant of Tony Stark, but is actually a teen version of Nathaniel Richards from a splinter timeline. Kang attempted to travel back in time and rescue his younger self from a group of bullies who had left him hospitalized for months. Kang saves himself and gives the young Nathaniel an advanced suit of armor in the hope of hurrying along his transformation from ordinary man to Kang. But instead, young Nathaniel is horrified by his older self and travels back in time to form a new team of Avengers.
Ultimately, this version of Kang is killed and Iron Lad is forced to wipe his own memories and return to the future, restoring the proper timeline. But he leaves behind a copy of his consciousness inside his armor, which fuses with the broken remnants of Vision to form a new version of that iconic Avenger.
Iron Lad is an important Kang offshoot to know, given that Marvel is showing every sign of introducing the Young Avengers in the MCU.
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Kang the Conqueror Actor Jonathan Majors and Marvel Universe Connections
We know Jonathan Majors will be back as Kang in Ant-Man 3, but Kang's love of time travel and perpetual habit of returning to threaten the Avengers all over again make him perfectly suited to become a recurring antagonist across the MCU. It doesn't hurt that he has deep connections to so many different Marvel characters and teams. Will he also play some kind of a role in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness or the reportedly multiverse-focused Spider-Man: No Way Home? Nothing is confirmed yet, but it would seem likely.
As mentioned before, Kang may well be a descendant of Mister Fantastic or Doctor Doom. Both characters have certainly played a key role in his development as a villain. He also has connections to major characters on the cosmic side of the MCU. In the comics, Kang once competed with the Grandmaster for a chance at godlike power, and he attempted to claim the so-called "Celestial Madonna" (better known as Mantis) as his bride.
Decades after it was originally published, Marvel added more layers to the events of Fantastic Four #19 by revealing Nathaniel's true motivations for travelling back in time and becoming Rama-Tut. He was actually seeking out a young En Sabah Nur, the mutant destined to become Apocalypse, to crown him as his heir. He never succeeded, though Apocalypse turned out to be a chip off the old block in terms of harnessing futuristic technology and seeking to dominate the world.
With Kang now firmly linked to the Fantastic Four, Avengers and X-Men, Marvel forged yet another connection in the 2015 series Uncanny Inhumans. There, Black Bolt gives his son Ahura to be fostered by Kang, seeing the time travelling tyrant as the only safe haven in a world growing steadily more hostile toward the Inhumans.
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Kang in TV and Games
TV: Given his status as one of the greatest Avengers and Fantastic Four villains, it should come as no surprise Kang has enjoyed a healthy career outside of Marvel's comics. His first animated TV appearance came way back in 1967's Fantastic Four animated series, with the episode "Rama-Tut" adapting the events of Fantastic Four #19. Whether as Kang or Rama-Tut, the villain has appeared in numerous other Marvel cartoons like X-Men Evolution and Avengers: United They Stand. He even had a brief cameo as Immortus in an episode of X-Men: The Animated Series. But Kang's most significant animated appearances have come more recently. He played a recurring role in both Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes (voiced by Jonathan Adams) and Avengers Assemble (voiced by Steve Blum). He made his live-action debut in Loki.
Games: Kang has appeared in F2P games like Marvel: Avengers Alliance and Marvel: Contest of Champions, but his most notable video game appearance so far has been in 2017's LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2. Kang (voiced by MCU veteran Peter Serafinowicz) serves as the main villain of the game and is also available as a playable character.
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July 14, 2021: This story has been updated with the latest information about Loki.
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Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.
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paulkangart · 18 days ago
Black Widow's Taskmaster: The Marvel Villain Explained
Marvel Studios' Black Widow movie is finally here. And with it comes the Taskmaster, a classic Marvel villain who is finally joining the MCU to face off against Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanov in the film.
But just who is Taskmaster, and what makes him capable of going toe-to-toe with one of the greatest super-spies in the Marvel Universe? Read on to learn more about this dangerous yet tragic mercenary villain.
Who Is Taskmaster?
Taskmaster is widely feared as one of the most dangerous mercenaries in the Marvel Universe. That's because his photographic reflexes allow him to mimic the fighting style of anyone he studies. Taskmaster briefly turned to a life of crime, but he quickly realized that his skills are better used training other villains how to fight. Taskmaster will lend his knowledge and experience to any organization that can meet his price, be it Hydra, SHIELD, AIM or the Thunderbolts. Deep down he's not such a bad guy, but Taskmaster will never let his morals get in the way of a paycheck.
For a quick breakdown of all characters in the Black Widow movie, watch the video below!
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Taskmaster's Powers and Abilities
Taskmaster was injected with an offshoot of the super-soldier serum that unlocked the full potential of his mind's memory processes. Because of this, he has photographic reflexes. He can recreate the movements and fighting styles of anyone he observes, and he can also predict their movements in battle with near-perfect accuracy. That effectively makes him as talented a martial artist as heroes like Shang-Chi and Daredevil and as expert a marksman as Hawkeye and Bullseye. Taskmaster carries a wide arsenal of weapons that further help him replicate the moves of other heroes and villains. He wields a shield similar to Captain America's, a sword similar to that of Swordsman and Black Knight and various other projectile weapons.
In addition to making him one of the deadliest fighters in the Marvel Universe, this unique talent has made Taskmaster a very in-demand martial arts instructor. He often makes his living training soldiers in the arts of self-defense and battlefield combat.
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Taskmaster's abilities do come with certain drawbacks. For one thing, he can be caught off-guard when battling unfamiliar opponents or someone like Deadpool, whose fighting style is chaotic and unpredictable. And his photographic reflexes come at a heavy cost. The more he relies on his abilities, the more Taskmaster's brain literally overwrites old memories. Because of this, he remembers very little about his past and family.
Taskmaster: Origin and Background
Taskmaster first debuted in cameo form in 1980's The Avengers #195, before making his first full appearance in the following issue. These early stories established a basic origin story and modus operandi for the villain. They also showed him capable of battling powerful Avengers like Captain America and Iron Man to a standstill, though ultimately his unfamiliarity with the relatively recent recruit Jocasta proved to be his undoing.
Taskmaster has appeared in a number of stories in the decades since, sometimes serving as a villain and other times more as an anti-hero. As various stories established, he only cares about getting paid, so he's just as likely to work for SHIELD or the US government as he is taking on jobs that pit him against heroes like Daredevil and Spider-Man. Taskmaster even sided with Iron Man's pro-registration faction in Civil War, eventually becoming a drill instructor at Camp Hammond and tasked with training a new generation of heroes how to fight. Eventually, though, Taskmaster returned to a more self-centered, illegal lifestyle.
It was only with the miniseries Taskmaster: Unthinkable that the character's true origin story and background were revealed. Readers learned that Taskmaster's real name is Tony Masters. He was once a SHIELD agent send to terminate a rogue Nazi scientist developing his own version of Captain America's super-soldier serum. When Masters injected himself with that serum, he gained his signature photographic reflexes but forgot his old life and even his wife in the process. While he briefly reunites with his estranged wife, Masters is forced to tap into his abilities to save her life, losing his memories all over again.
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Taskmaster has continued to play both sides of the aisle since returning to his usual routine. One day he's acting as a double agent for the Secret Avengers, the next he's teaming up with Black Ant to kidnap various animal-themed supervillains for Kraven the Hunter's amusement. As long as the money is good, there are few jobs this elite mercenary won't take on. Yet the good man that was Tony Masters is never quite buried forever.
Taskmaster in Black Widow and Beyond the Comics
Taskmaster has appeared in several animated Marvel projects, including the TV series Avengers Assemble and Ultimate Spider-Man and the direct-to-video movie Heroes United: Iron Man and Captain America (all of which featured the voice of Clancy Brown). He's also appeared as a playable character in a number of Marvel video games, including Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Marvel Heroes and LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (all voiced by Steven Blum).
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Taskmaster's most significant non-comics appearance to date is in the Playstation 4 game Marvel's Spider-Man. Taskmaster (voiced by Brian Bloom) appears as a recurring foe in the game, forcing Spider-Man to undertake various challenges while studying his moves. After Taskmaster is defeated, he reveals he was hired by a mysterious group to determine whether Spider-Man is worthy enough to join them. Taskmaster also appears in Marvel's Avengers.
Who Plays Taskmaster in Black Widow?
Taskmaster was once rumored to appear in Marvel's Most Wanted, a planned Marvel's Agents of SHIELD spinoff, but that project was eventually canceled. Instead, he now makes his debut in the MCU in the Black Widow movie, where he'll be ripping off Captain America's most iconic move. As for who is playing him, or what his (or her?) true identity is in the film, only time will tell. Some fans have speculated that it's actually going to be a female behind the mask -- possibly one of Nat's allies, like Rachel Weisz's Melina Vostokoff or Florence Pugh's Yelena Belova. Or perhaps it will just be a faceless henchman in the role... but, nah, who are we kidding? Taskmaster's identity must be an important part of the film!
For more on the Black Widow movie, check out our explainer on David Harbour's Red Guardian.
July 8, 2021: This story has been updated with the most recent information about the Black Widow movie.
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Jesse is a mild-mannered writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.
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paulkangart · 19 days ago
A History of Nintendo Console Redesigns
From the iterations on the Wii to the various versions of the DS, Nintendo is no stranger to redesigning both its home and handheld consoles. In the wake of the announcement of the Switch (OLED model), which will feature a larger 7-inch OLED screen (but the size of the console is unchanged from the base Switch model), a wider, adjustable base stand, enhanced audio, 64GB of internal storage, and a wired LAN port in the dock, it's a good time to revisit just how radical - or not! - some of Nintendo's design jumps have been over the years.
Here's the history of Nintendo's console and handheld redesigns, from NES to Nintendo Switch.
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What would you want a subsequent Switch redesign to look like? Which of these older models are your favorite? Let us know in the comments!
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Logan Plant is a writer for IGN, and the Production Assistant for Nintendo Voice Chat, IGN's weekly Nintendo show. You can find him on Twitter at @LoganJPlant.
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paulkangart · 27 days ago
The Witcher Books Reading Order
Now that Netflix’s The Witcher has arrived, this wild world of wonder and weirdness is being introduced to a whole new audience. However, executive producer and showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich’s adaptation of this beloved fantasy world isn’t tied to the massively successful Witcher game franchise developed by CD Projekt Red and which established its significance in the zeitgeist. Instead, the Netflix show is based on the books by author Andrzej Sapkowski. And maybe, just maybe, fans of the show are interested in giving the books a try as well now. Well, let us help you with that!
Sapkowski has published eight Witcher books since he started writing the series back in the mid-’80s when the illustrious Polish author first submitted Wiedzmín — “The Witcher” — to fantasy magazine Fantastyka.
The Witcher Books In Order
The books covered in this Witcher Books Order article are (a.k.a. the TL;DR version):
The Last Wish
Sword of Destiny
Blood of Elves
The Time of Contempt
Baptism of Fire
The Tower of Swallows
The Lady of the Lake
Season of Storms
[widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="slug=netflixs-the-witcher-cast-vs-video-game-characters&captions=true"]However, Geralt of Rivia didn’t make an appearance in the world of the Witcher until the publication of Sapkowski’s 1990 short story collection, also called Wiedzmín. This text is out of print now, so it’s not one of the eight books you’ll need to read to bring you up to speed on the literary counterpart of the games so many fans have grown to love. In fact, every story in this collection bar one — “The Road to No Return,” about Geralt’s mother — was included in 1993’s The Last Wish collection.
The Last Wish / Sword of Destiny
See The Last Wish on Amazon
See Sword of Destiny on Amazon
The Last Wish is your starting point in The Witcher, which is important to note because it was published a year after 1992’s Sword of Destiny. The Last Wish takes almost every single story from Wiedzmín and adds more, all of which feature events that occur before the previously published Sword of Destiny. It’s basically a prequel collection written to prep you for Sword of Destiny.
Once you’ve read The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny, you’re ready to move on to the saga. This is comprised of five novels, all of which tell the stories of Geralt, Ciri, Yennefer, Triss, Dandelion, and others. They also introduce a range of characters that don’t appear in CD Projekt Red’s adaptations, most of whom are great.
If you’re solely interested in covering what’s likely to be featured early on in the TV series, the Last Wish and Sword of Destiny short story collections should be fine. However, if you want to know the ins and outs of the world and ensure that you’re a true Witcher connoisseur, you’ll want to dive deeper into the saga, which is set roughly 10 years before the games and focuses largely on the relationship between Geralt and Ciri. This is where the bulk of Geralt’s stories unfold, and makes up the main constituent of The Witcher universe at large — at least in terms of Sapkowski’s conception of it. Here are the five novels in order:
Blood of Elves
See Blood of Elves on Amazon
The first book in the saga, Blood of Elves, takes place after the short story collections The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny. It introduces Nilfgaardian Emperor Emhyr var Emreis’ pursuit of Ciri, Geralt’s adopted daughter, in order to marry her and attain power over Cintra, the land that is hers by birthright. In an effort to thwart Emhyr’s plans, the Northern monarchs meet and decide to assassinate Ciri, but Geralt of Rivia watches over her in Kaer Morhen, the remote keep inhabited by Wolf School witchers. Meanwhile, a mysterious sorcerer is also trying to locate Ciri.
The Time of Contempt
See The Time of Contempt on Amazon
The Time of Contempt picks up where the previous novel finishes. The Northern Kings are still conspiring with one another in an effort to lure Nilfgaard into war, while Ciri is due to be enrolled at Aretuza in order to study magic. Ciri comes into contact with some of the most powerful sorceresses on The Continent. As war becomes inevitable, she finds herself on the run with a bandit group known simply as The Rats.
Baptism of Fire
See Baptism of Fire on Amazon
Geralt spends time in Brokilon forest recovering from events in the previous book, which is where he and Dandelion encounter an elven archer named Milva, who decides to join their group. People who have played the games will be glad to know that the dwarf Zoltan Chivay temporarily joins Geralt’s ragtag group too, as well as the vampire Regis. A Nilfgaardian knight named Cahir also tags along because he feels indebted to Ciri. Geralt officially receives his “of Rivia” title after an epic battle while Ciri begins to feel at home with The Rats.
The Tower of Swallows
See The Tower of Swallows on Amazon
Ciri is gravely injured after an encounter with Nilfgaardian bounty hunter Leo Bonhart, who was hired by the coroner Stefan Skellen to kill her. A kind old man nurses her back to health while Geralt’s party continues their search for Ciri and Geralt renounces his status as a witcher. The Lodge of Sorceresses attempt to gain control of a country called Kovir while Triss Merigold seeks information on Yennefer of Vengerberg. (Known as The Tower of Swallows in the U.S.)
The Lady of the Lake
See The Lady of the Lake on Amazon
Ciri encounters Arthurian knight Sir Galahad who believes she is the eponymous lady of the lake. The story cuts to a dream in which Geralt overhears Skellen and sets out to rescue Yennefer from a faraway castle. Ciri, meanwhile, tells Galahad about her time in the elven world of Aen Elle, home of the Wild Hunt. She begins to jump between worlds in order to escape them, but Eredin Breacc Glas persistently chases her, as she heads towards a final meeting with her surrogate parents Geralt and Yennefer.
Now we’re up to seven out of eight books. The last text is also a novel, but it’s a bit difficult to place and depends on personal preference...
Season of Storms
See Season of Storms on Amazon
If you’re somebody who likes to know everything that happens as it happens, then you might want to read Season of Storms immediately after The Last Wish. Originally published in 2013 — 14 years after Sapkowski wrapped the saga — Season of Storms contains stories that take place between the stories in The Last Wish, which aren’t necessarily in strict proximity to one another. However, it’s also written after the saga was completed by Sapkowski and contains slight hints about what’s to come, if not outright spoilers. If you’re dying to read the series in strictly chronological terms, it could be worth reading it right after The Last Wish. If you’re the type of person who worries about spoilers though, save it for the end and enjoy it as a retrospective piece.
Those are the eight books in The Witcher series — in English, at least. There are two anthologies consisting of Witcher stories penned by guest authors in Sapkowski’s world that were published in 2013 and 2017, but they’re in Polish. If you can read them, go ahead, but they aren’t considered canon and likely won’t have anything to do with Netflix’s show or the games.
Interestingly, “The Road to No Return” short (about Geralt’s mother), which is the only Wiedzmín story missing from the Last Wish short story collection, appears in the 2000 collection Something Ends, Something Begins, which is a name some gamers might recognize from the similarly titled quest at the end of The Witcher 3. A story called “Something Ends, Something Begins” also appears in this collection too, which was written as a wedding gift for two of Sapkowski’s friends and describes Geralt and Yennefer’s wedding.[ignvideo width=610 height=374 url=]
However, this collection is also in Polish. You can check out a fan translation of the “Something Ends, Something Begins” story that’s apparently pretty accurate here, but “The Road to No Return” is a little harder to find. Also, it’s important to recognize that “Something Ends, Something Begins,” like the anthologies by the guest authors, isn’t considered canon, so it’s not indicative of any plot direction in the series at large. The rest of the stories in Something Ends, Something Begins have nothing to do with The Witcher series.
With all of that said, you should also check out The Witcher games if you haven’t yet. The series may not have anything to do with them, but some of the characters you meet also exist in the books, so the games could indirectly serve as a primer for encountering or hearing about some of those in the show. They’re also fantastic, with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, holding up remarkably well — even by 2019’s standards. Henry Cavill, who portrays Geralt in Netflix's series, told IGN even he has played through The Witcher 3 multiple times.
If you’re excited about The Witcher, the above is the best possible order to read the books in, with an optional placement of Season of Storms depending on personal preference. After that, dive into the games and acquaint yourself with the wider world of The Witcher too![ignvideo width=610 height=374 url=]
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paulkangart · a month ago
Halo Infinite: Release Date, Gameplay, and What We Know So Far
Halo Infinite remains to be on the top of gamers' minds despite all the reworks and delays the game has gone through. While Xbox and developer 343 Industries have released trailers and gameplay footage of Master Chief's next adventure, there's still quite a bit of mystery around Halo Infinite. For one thing, the final look of the game is still up in the air and we still know little to nothing about the story. We're sure to hear more soon though as the game is the centerpiece of the upcoming Microsoft and Bethesda Showcase at E3 2021.
When is the Halo Infinite Release Date?
Halo Infinite has a Fall 2021 release date following an announced delay in August 2020. At the very least we know the game is scheduled to launch later this year, but we don't know the exact month or day.
Halo Infinite was originally scheduled to release during holiday 2020 onto the Xbox Series X, PC, and Xbox One with Smart Delivery support. At one point, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer said first-party games like Halo Infinite will available on Xbox Game Pass at launch.
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Is Halo Infinite Open World?
To date, we've only seen exactly nine minutes of gameplay that was released during the 2020 Xbox Games Showcase Livestream. From that footage, it was clear Halo Infinite was designed with more open-world gameplay in mind to give players more freedom.
Rather than linear levels, the Master Chief will be able to explore around an entire halo ring where players might come across a skull in the environment or happen across a Covenant outpost.
Playing as the Master Chief will also feel different this time since he now has upgrades and a tech tree. Overtime players will unlock new equipment such as a drop shield and a grappling hook. Halo games in the past have had upgrades like rocket packs and armor locks, but instead of limited pick ups it appears these upgrades will stay throughout your playthrough.
Unfortunately, though, dual-wielding won't be coming back once again but you can potentially knock enemies off of the halo ring.
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Halo Infinite Graphics
Halo's graphics have been a hot debate for years. After strong community feedback over Halo 4, Halo 5: Guardians, and Halo Wars 2, 343 Industries went back to more legacy aesthetics pulled from the original trilogy.
Unfortunately, even with the new/old art style the community wasn't satisfied with the visual fidelity Halo Infinite presented. The gameplay demo was filled with object pop-in, plastic-like textures, and flat lighting. To that end, 343 Industries has promised to raise the overall level of fidelity and presentation of the final game.
We're hoping to get our first glimpse of Halo Infinite's reworked graphics at E3 2021 soon.
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Halo Infinite Story
Halo Infinite and its story were first teased with a trailer at E3 2018, a cinematic trailer called Discover Hope at E3 2019 with a secret audio message from Cortana, and lastly a teaser video with a message from The Banished.
In July 2020, IGN got a chance to sit down with 343 Industries developers Chris Lee and Paul Crocker to reveal more about the game’s story and villain. First off Halo Infinite takes place well after the ending of Halo 5. The rampant Cortana is nowhere to be found and the effects of her AI uprising are still a mystery.
But what is clear is Halo Infinite’s main enemies are The Banished in Infinite – a rogue faction of Brutes from Halo Wars 2. The main villain is the banished’s leader War Chief Escharum who has taken control of the halo ring as his last stand against the Master Chief.
There could also be another mystery character that’ll play into the story that’s called “The Harbinger,” which may or may not be Cortana.
Is Halo Infinite Co-op?
343 Industries confirmed Halo infinite’s story campaign will support co-op for two players in local split-screen and four players while online.
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Will Halo Infinite Have Microtransactions?
A job listing for an Online Experience Design Director at 343 Industries revealed Halo Infinite will have microtransactions. The job description includes the design and implementation of "progression in- and out-of-game; microtransactions and integration of our business plan throughout the game; and, finally, social and engagement features that encourage players to return again and again with their friends." It's worth noting microtransactions have existed in previous Halo entries.
Responding to a Halo YouTube creator's concern over microtransactions in Halo Infinite, Studio Head Chris Lee said, "We’re still working through final plans and will share more when we are ready, but I can definitely say that Halo Infinite will not include real-money loot boxes."
Will Halo Infinite Be Cross-Play?
Halo Infinite will support multiplayer cross-play and cross-progression across PC (on Microsoft Store and Steam), Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
Will Halo infinite have Battle Royale?
343's Jeff Easterling and James Bachici stated long ago in June 2019 that Halo Infinite won't have a battle royale mode and noted that "the only BR we're really interested in is Battle Rifle." No one at the company has stated a change in opinion since then.
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Andrew Smith is a freelance contributor at IGN. Follow him on Twitter @_andrewtsmith.
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paulkangart · a month ago
Every Game Delay Announced in 2021 (So Far)
Game delays have become even more prevalent in 2021 — and it's not just because of COVID. With the pandemic (and other factors) still affecting how studios operate for the foreseeable future, that trend will likely continue throughout the year.
To track the pandemic’s continued impact on game development, we’ve compiled a list of every game and notable DLC delay announced this year (so far). This article will be updated as more release dates and windows are inevitably pushed, but for now, here are all 28 delays announced in 2021.
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Delayed from February 2 to April 1, 2021
Developer People Can Fly announced the delay in early January, saying, “We have decided to move the release date of Outriders to April 1st 2021 (no joke!). We will spend this extra time fine tuning the game and focusing on delivering a fantastic play experience at launch.”
This is Outriders’ second delay; it was previously pushed from Holiday 2020 to February 2021.
Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC | Developer: People Can Fly
Delayed from 2022 to 2023
Pragmata’s delay was quietly revealed at the end of a sizzle reel shown during Sony’s 2021 CES panel. Capcom’s mysterious new game was initially given a 2022 release window.
Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PC | Developer: Capcom
Elite Dangerous: Odyssey
Delayed from Early 2021 to Late Spring (PC) and Fall 2021 (Console)
Frontier Developments delayed its upcoming Elite Dangerous expansion due to the “ongoing impact of the pandemic.” The studio said the effects of the pandemic, “including the [U.K.’s] renewed lockdowns in 2021, continues to put added pressure on our teams and ultimately our development timeline.”
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC | Developer: Frontier Developments
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Hogwarts Legacy
Delayed from 2021 to 2022
On January 13 Portkey Games announced it was delaying its open-world Harry Potter action-RPG by a year. “Creating the best possible experience for all of the Wizarding World and gaming fans is paramount to us so we are giving the game the time it needs,” read a statement from the developer.
Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, PC | Developers: Portkey Games, Avalanche Software
Cyberpunk 2077 Free DLC
Delayed from Early 2021 to later in 2021
CD Projekt Red initially planned to begin releasing free Cyberpunk 2077 DLC in early 2021. However, that DLC may no longer hit its target window, as the developer has prioritized “working on the most important fixes and updates,” specifically for the poorly optimized PS4 and Xbox One versions of Cyberpunk.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC | Developer: CD Projekt Red
Riders Republic
Delayed from February 25 to later in 2021
On January 14 Ubisoft announced it was delaying Riders Republic from its former February release date to sometime “later” in 2021. “This additional time will allow our passionate team to deliver the best fun fueled experience to our players,” said the company.
Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC | Developer: Ubisoft Annecy
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The Lord of the Rings: Gollum
Delayed from Late 2021 to 2022
Originally set to be released later this year, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum will now arrive at some point in 2022. Publisher Nacon announced the new date for the stealth-focused Middle-earth adventure in late January, though it didn’t provide a reason for the delay.
Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC | Developer: Daedalic Entertainment
Delayed from March 19 to April 30, 2021
Returnal was pushed from mid-March to late April “to give the team extra time to continue to polish the game to the level of quality players expect from Housemarque.” The roguelike third-person shooter will be released exclusively on PS5.
Platform: PS5 | Developer: Housemarque
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake
Delayed from March 18 to 2022
The first game delay announced in February, and the ninth overall for the year, was Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake. According to Ubisoft, the extra development time will allow the team "to deliver a remake that feels fresh while remaining faithful to the original." A new release window wasn't announced until June, when Ubisoft confirmed the remake is targeting 2022.
This is the remake's second delay; it was previously pushed from January to March.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC | Developer: Ubisoft
New World
Delayed from Spring to August 31, 2021
In mid-February, Amazon announced it was delaying its upcoming MMO, New World, from spring to August 31. The development team will use the additional months to continue its work on "compelling end-game features," in addition to "polishing and fine tuning the whole game."
This is New World's second delay; it was previously pushed from August 25, 2020, to Spring 2021.
Platform: PC | Developer: Amazon Game Studios
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
Delayed from 2021 to an unannounced later date
Paradox Interactive delayed Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 out of its 2021 release window without announcing a new target date. Alongside the delay, the publisher announced Hardsuit Labs will no longer be leading development on the project. "A change" was needed, according to Paradox, "and, as a result, more development time is required."
Originally slated for Q1 2020, Bloodlines 2's troubled development has included multiple delays and departures of key talent, including the game's former creative director and senior narrative designer.
Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, PC | Developer: Hardsuit Labs (until February 2021); new developer TBA
Gran Turismo 7
Delayed from 2021 to 2022
GT7 was delayed from 2021 to 2022 due to "Covid-related production challenges," according to Sony. "With the ongoing pandemic, it’s a dynamic and changing situation and some critical aspects of game production have been slowed over the past several months," the company added.
Platform: PS5 | Developer: Polyphony Digital
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New Need for Speed
Delayed from EA's fiscal year 2022 to fiscal year 2023*
EA delayed the next, currently untitled Need for Speed from FY2022 to FY2023 as developer Criterion Games temporarily moves off the upcoming racer to assist DICE on the next Battlefield — a decision made to combat the effects of pandemic-related working conditions and ensure EA's flagship shooter hits its target Holiday 2021 release window.
*EA's fiscal year runs from April through the following March, meaning the next Need for Speed is now expected between April 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023.
Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One | Developer: Criterion Games
Guilty Gear Strive
Delayed from April 9 to June 11, 2021
Guilty Gear Strive was delayed by two months after developer Arc System Works received "valuable feedback" from the recent open beta. The additional time will be used "to polish some aspects of the game, such as the online lobbies and the server's stability," according to the developer.
The fighting game was previously delayed out of 2020 due to COVID-19-related development challenges.
Platforms: PS5, PS4, PC | Developer: Arc System Works
Borderlands 3 Director's Cut Add-on
Delayed from March 18 to April 8, 2021
The Borderlands 3 Director's Cut add-on was delayed by three weeks due to the "severe weather that impacted Texas last month," according to developer Gearbox. The Director's Cut content includes a new raid boss, story missions, and challenges.
Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC | Developer: Gearbox Software
Gotham Knights
Delayed from 2021 to 2022
WB Games delayed Gotham Knights into 2022 to give the development team "more time to deliver the best possible experience for players." Announced in 2020 at DC Fandome, the co-op Batman game was initially given a 2021 release window.
Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, PC | Developer: WB Games Montreal
Delayed from April 22 to August 17, 2021
SEGA and developer Amplitude have announced the delay of 4X strategy game Humankind to a little later in 2021 in order to give the developers time to finetune the pacing, balance, diplomacy, AI, and accessibility of the experience.
Platforms: PC, Stadia | Developer: Amplitude Studios
Back 4 Blood
Delayed from June 21 to October 12, 2021
The Left 4 Dead spiritual successor Back 4 Blood has been pushed into October to allow the devs at Turtle Rock Studios time to deliver "the best game it can possibly be at launch." There will be an open beta this summer, though.
Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, PC | Developer: Turtle Rock Studios
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
Delayed from Spring 2021 to an unannounced later date
The upcoming LEGO Star Wars game will no longer hit its targeted Spring 2021 release window, as TT Games needs more time to complete what it's calling "the biggest and best-ever LEGO game." A new release window wasn't announced; TT Games will "provide updated launch timing as soon as possible."
The Skywalker Saga was previously delayed from 2020 to Spring 2021.
Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC | Developer: TT Games
Delayed from May 21 to September 14, 2021
Bethesda's stylish, time-looping assassination game was recently delayed by four months. "We're committed to quality and preserving our team's ambitions for Deathloop while ensuring the health and safety of everyone at Arkane," read a statement from developer Arkane Studios. "We'll be using this extra time to accomplish our goal: create a fun, stylish, and mind-bending player experience."
This is Deathloop's second delay; it was previously pushed from its initial Holiday 2020 release window.
Platforms: PS5, PC | Developer: Arkane Studios
Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Wrath of the Druids
Delayed from April 29 to May 13, 2021
Wrath of the Druids, the first major expansion for Assassin's Creed Valhalla, was delayed by two weeks. The additional time will allow the development team to "deliver a more refined experience," according to Ubisoft.
Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, PC | Developer: Ubisoft
Resident Evil Re:Verse
Delayed from May 7 to Summer 2021
Resident Evil Re:Verse, the multiplayer game initially set to be released alongside Resident Evil Village on May 7, has been delayed to Summer 2021, Capcom announced in late April. Capcom didn't reveal a reason for the delay, though it's worth noting the game's beta was previously suspended due to matchmaking issues.
Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, PC | Developer: Capcom
Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach
Delayed from Early 2021 to Late 2021
The next Five Nights at Freddy's was delayed from early 2021 to late 2021. The delay is due to developer Scott Cawthon's decision to "put more time and money into [Security Breach] to make sure it's finished properly." As a consolation, Cawthon released a free FNaF beat 'em up called Security Breach: Fury's Rage on Game Jolt.
This is the second delay for Security Breach; it was previously pushed from late 2020 to early 2021.
Platforms: PS5, PS4, PC | Developers: Steel Wool Studios, Scott Games
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout (Switch and Xbox versions)
Delayed from Summer 2021 to an unannounced later date
In April developer Mediatonic delayed the Switch and Xbox versions of Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout out of their original Summer 2021 release window. The developer said the delay will allow for the implementation of additional features at launch, including crossplay. A new release window was not announced.
Fall Guys was first released on PS4 and PC in August 2020.
Platforms: Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Switch | Developer: Mediatonic
Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 (PS5 version)
Delayed from June 4 to an unannounced later date
The PS5 version of Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 was delayed indefinitely after CI Games discovered "unforeseen technical issues" while developing for the console. Alongside the delay announcement, CI Games shared that it will now be releasing the first major DLC for free on all platforms.
The sequel will come to all other platforms — Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS4, and PC — as scheduled on June 4.
Platform: PS5 | Developer: CI Games
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Skull & Bones
Delayed from Ubisoft's fiscal year 2022 to fiscal year 2023*
Ubisoft's long-in-development pirate ship sim Skull & Bones was delayed once again in May, with its release date being pushed back to 2022-2023. "Production led by [Ubisoft] Singapore has been advancing well over the past 12 months and the promise is better than ever," said Ubisoft CFO Frederick Duguet (via VGC). "The additional time will allow the team to fully deliver on its vision."
This is the latest in a series of delays for Skull & Bones, which was initially announced at E3 2017 with a 2018 release window.
*Ubisoft's fiscal year runs from April through the following March, meaning Skull & Bones is now expected between April 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC | Developer: Ubisoft
Axiom Verge 2
Delayed from Early 2021 to Q3 2021
Axiom Verge 2 was recently delayed from its initial early 2021 release window to Q3. Developer Thomas Happ didn't give a specific reason for the delay, though he noted the game "will be better for the additional time." Alongside the announcement, Happ released a free making-of documentary about Axiom Verge.
Platforms: Switch, PC | Developer: Thomas Happ Games
God of War 2
Delayed from 2021 to 2022
Sony's highly anticipated God of War sequel was delayed from its initial 2021 release window to 2022. According to Herman Hulst, head of PlayStation Studios, the decision was made "to ensure that Santa Monica Studio can deliver the amazing God of War game that we all want to play."
Platforms: PS5, PS4 | Developer: Santa Monica Studio
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Which of these are you most disappointed by? Which games of 2021 are you hoping don't get delayed next? Let us know in the comments.
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Jordan is a freelance writer for IGN.
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paulkangart · a month ago
Best Nintendo Switch Lite Accessories 2021: Stands, Batteries and More
If your priority is gaming on the go, the Nintendo Switch Lite is the console to beat. It delivers better battery than the original Nintendo Switch while upping the portability with a smaller form factor and permanently attached controllers. All that, and it costs much less. Of course, for a console you'll be taking on the go, you'll be needing some accessories, from protectors and cases to extra storage or a backup battery.
Some of the best Nintendo Switch accessories will still work with the Nintendo Switch Lite, so you don't have to worry about needing a special storage solution to hold all your games on the device. And, luckily, there are a lot of affordable case options to help you keep your Nintendo Switch Lite protected wherever you go. Here are the handy accessories we think will offer the most for your Nintendo Switch Lite.
TL;DR – These are the best Nintendo Switch Lite Accessories:
Nintendo Switch Lite Carry Case + Screen Protector
ButterFox Switch Lite Carrying Case
Hori DuraFlexi Protector
Orzly Grip Case
amFilm Tempered Glass Screen Protector
Satisfye Switch Lite Grip
SanDisk 128GB Ultra
Anker PowerCore Nintendo Switch Edition
SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless
GuliKit Route Air Pro
Nintendo Joy-Cons
Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
Adonit Mark
1. Nintendo Switch Lite Carry Case + Screen Protector
Best Nintendo Switch Lite Case
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Your Nintendo Switch Lite's portability is one of its chief assets, and you shouldn't have to sacrifice that to protect it when you're on the go. The Nintendo Switch Lite Carry Case + Screen protector has you covered in that regard. It adds minimal bulk by sticking close to the dimensions of the Switch Lite itself while providing 360-degree protection.
The case zips open for you to slide your Switch Lite in, and though it's compact, it offers additional storage for you to carry a collection of game cartridges. The fact that this product also includes a screen protector to put on your Switch Lite is just a nice little bonus.
2. ButterFox Switch Lite Carrying Case
Best Nintendo Switch Lite Rugged Case
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If you don't mind a little extra bulk when you're taking your Nintendo Switch Lite around with you, the ButterFox Switch Lite Carrying Case is an excellent option. The case offers a sturdy shell to protect your Switch Lite and other accessories inside from drops and scratches.
When it comes to other accessories, this case provides a decent amount of space and uses it cleverly. Two organizer layers provide slots for 19 game cartridges and two microSD cards, and they double as a protective layer over the screen and a buffer to keep other accessories from pressing the Switch Lite's controls. A mesh pocket provides room to hold charging cables, earbuds, and even a modest power bank. All that and the case is still surprisingly affordable.
3. Hori DuraFlexi Protector
Best Nintendo Switch Lite Cover
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While the Nintendo Switch is designed to sometimes live by your TV and sometimes live with you on the go, the Switch Lite is a true traveler. But, that makes it more susceptible to damage out there in the wild. It's amazing what a difference just a little bit of plastic can make wrapped around it though. The Hori DuraFlexi Protector covers the Switch Lite around the sides and back in a flexible TPU that can absorb shock for the portable console.
This sleeve doesn't cover up the design of your Switch Lite either, since it's transparent. It even has convenient cutouts to ensure you can easily access all of the Switch Lite's ports while the sleeve is on. You'll even get a bit of extra grip thanks to the material used. And, if the impressively low price raises any concerns about quality, it's worth noting that the DuraFlexi protector is officially licensed by Nintendo.
4. Orzly Grip Case
Best Nintendo Switch Lite Rugged Cover
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Sometimes we drop our Nintendo Switch. It's a fact of life. When we do, we want to be sure it's going to bounce back OK, and that's where a really rugged case can make a difference. The Orzly Grip Case is ready to put your Nintendo Switch Lite in a protective embrace with coverage all around.
The Orzly Grip Case adds just 25 grams of weight to your Switch Lite, so you won't have to stop calling it Lite just because you've tucked it into this case. What you get from the case is far more considerable than its weight. It covers the front, back, and sides in a rubberized sleeve that protects that device from bumps and scrapes while also giving your hands more grip. Orzly even added some thicker handles to the sides to make up for the lack of ergonomics around the Switch Lite's controls.  This kit also provides covers to protect the thumbsticks from wear. You can snag this case in a variety of colors or opt for a clear model.
5. amFilm Tempered Glass Screen Protector
Best Nintendo Switch Lite Screen Protector
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The Nintendo Switch Lite features a plastic screen just like its console brethren, which means it'll be very prone to scratching and you'll want a screen protector to prevent any damage. There are a ton of Switch Lite screen protectors popping up on the market, but amFilm's Tempered Glass Screen Protector is the one I would trust most.
amFilm produced my favorite screen protector for the original Switch and so I have every confidence that the one for the Switch Lite will be just as good. This particular Switch Lite screen protector is made of tempered glass, which won't scratch nearly as easily as plastic and it'll give your handheld the glossy, premium glass screen it should have had from the get-go. This also happens to be a three-pack so you'll have enough screen protectors to use as replacements for years to come.
6. Satisfye Switch Lite Grip
Best Nintendo Switch Lite Grip
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Don't leave your hands to suffer from the small controls and tight grip of the Nintendo Switch Lite. You can upgrade your hold with the grip from Satisfye. This attachment slides right onto your Switch Lite, adding two palm fins to give your hands something to really grab onto. This can help give your thumbs a bit more room to move, especially when reaching for the D-Pad or right thumb stick.
We loved the version of this grip for the full-size Nintendo Switch (read our review), so it's great to see a model for the smaller Switch Lite.
7. SanDisk 128GB Ultra
Best Nintendo Switch Lite Memory Card
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If you're building up a healthy collection of games on your Nintendo Switch Lite, you're going to want to make sure you've got enough room for them. The SanDisk 128GB Ultra drive is a helpful option, as it'll provide plenty of room for your game library while costing just $20. If you think you'll need more space, you can grab a larger version or you can just wait and grab a second one to split up your library onto multiple drives.
The SanDisk 128GB Ultra microSD card doesn't just have the space you need for your games but also the speed. The card offers read speeds of 120MB/s. This can help ensure you're not waiting forever and wasting precious battery life while you wait for your games to load up.
8. Anker PowerCore Nintendo Switch Edition
Best Nintendo Switch Lite Portable Battery Power Bank
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The Nintendo Switch Lite has more than enough battery to get you through even a long commute. But if you know you're going to have a long day away from a power outlet, it can't hurt to have a bit of extra power available. Anker makes a lot of the best portable chargers you can get, and this one is specifically tailored to work for Nintendo Switch.
This charger is officially licensed, and can give you hours of extra play time from its 13,400mAh battery bank. With two available ports, you can even charge a second device like a smartphone or tablet as well.
9. SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless
Best Nintendo Switch Lite Gaming Headset
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See it at Best Buy
The lack of Bluetooth support on the Nintendo Switch Lite might be a shortcoming, but you can get around it with this wireless gaming headset. The SteelSeries Arcits 1 (read our review) is one of the best gaming headsets you can get, and its even better given it works wirelessly with the Nintendo Switch.
It pulls off a wireless connection using a USB-C dongle that can plug into the bottom of the Switch to deliver a lag-free, lossless audio connection. You can also use a wired connection. It doesn't get much better than that level of versatility. The sub-$100 price tag makes it a steal.
10. GuliKit Route Air Pro
Best Nintendo Switch Lite Bluetooth Adapter
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Nintendo really failed to acknowledge the times with the Switch and Switch Light when it omitted Bluetooth support for Bluetooth earbuds and wireless headphones. Fortunately, there are workarounds like the GuliKut Route Air Pro. This little kit can get you up and running with your favorite Bluetooth audio devices, and when we say little, we mean little.
The GuliKut Route Air Pro is a super-compact little dongle that plugs into the bottom of your switch and largely stays flush with the bottom of the device. It also includes a tiny microphone you can plug into the Switch Lite's headset jack. With the adapter plugged in, you can pair it with up to two audio devices and even stream audio to them simultaneously. The adapter supports aptX for higher quality audio and also aptX LL for the lower audio latency that's crucial in games.
11. Nintendo Joy-Cons
Best Nintendo Switch Lite Controllers
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See it at Best Buy
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The Nintendo Switch Lite might have a pair of integrated controllers, but they lack much of the special functionality of the Nintendo Joy-Cons. By pairing these wireless controllers to your handheld, you’ll get back HD rumble as well as the infrared and motion-sensing sensors that some games like 1-2-Switch and Arms need to be played properly.
12. Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
Going Pro
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See it at Best Buy
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As portable as the Nintendo Switch Lite is, we can’t imagine it’s too comfortable to hold for hours on end and the same goes for even a pair of Joy-Cons slotted into a Charging Grip. That’s why users should pick up a Switch Pro Controller (read our review) for extended play at home or on the go. Not only is this more traditional controller easier to hold, but it also sports better triggers and bumpers while giving you back HD rumble and motion controls.
13. Adonit Mark
Best Nintendo Switch Lite Stylus
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Like most smartphones and tablets, the Nintendo Switch Lite offers a display with touch input. And sometimes a finger isn’t always the ideal tool for the job. Your fingers can leave oils and grease on your display, making it harder to see over time and requiring more cleaning, and your hands can get in the way of what you’re playing.
So, if you plan to play a lot of games that are centered around the touch input on the Nintendo Switch Lite, like Scribblenauts Showdown, a stylus can come in handy. The Adonit Mark is an affordable stylus that will register just like a finger on a touchscreen, but it won’t leave the same residue as your fingers. As the Adonit Mark has a mesh tip, it can also hold up better over time than some of the soft, silicone-tipped styluses you might find. Since the Nintendo Switch Lite’s display is in charge of registering the touches, the Adonit Mark also doesn’t require any power, making it a portable partner for your portable Switch Lite.
What to look for in a Nintendo Switch Lite Accessory
The most important thing you should keep in mind while shopping for Switch Lite accessories is that all accessories designed for the original Switch won’t necessarily work with Nintendo’s new handheld system. The Switch Lite is simply a different system that has smaller dimensions, integrated controllers, a lack of motion and IR sensors.
Cases and battery cases for instances are just going to be too large and while the Switch Lite will fit, it’ll probably jumble around with all the extra space inside. The same thing goes for screen protectors unless you’re ready to cut them down with a box cutter or some kind of knife they’re going to be too big for the Switch Lite’s smaller display.
Unfortunately, most if not all of the Labo Nintendo has released isn’t going to work with the Nintendo Switch Lite. This is especially true of any pieces of Labo designed to hold the screen by itself like the Labo VR Kit or Labo Piano, due to the system’s slightly different proportions and its inability to detach the controllers.
While you may be able to use other Labo kits like the Vehicle Kit, it wouldn’t quite be the same because you can’t connect the Switch Lite to a TV.
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Kevin Lee is IGN's Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam
Mark Knapp is a regular contributor to IGN and an irregular Tweeter on Twitter @Techn0Mark
from IGN Video Games via IFTTT
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paulkangart · a month ago
Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade: What Comes in Each Edition
Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade is coming to PS5 on June 10. It includes an upgraded version of the original game, plus a new episode featuring Yuffie. The PlayStation 5 game is now available for preorder (see it on Amazon), but the rollout is bit complicated. It comes in a few different editions, and owners of the PS4 version get some stuff for free. Let's dig into the details.
Preorder Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade
Get it at Amazon - $69.99
Get it at Best Buy - $69.99
Get it at GameStop - $69.99
Get it at Newegg - $69.99
Get it at Walmart - $69.99
Get it at PS Store (digital) - $69.99
If you want to preorder the full PS5 game, it's now available at all the usual retailers. And yes, it's priced it like a standard PS5 game. This comes with the base game, PS5 upgrade, and the Yuffie episode all in one package.
Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade Deluxe Edition
Get it at PS Store (digital) - $89.99
The game is also available in a digital-only deluxe edition. It includes everything in the standard version (game, PS5 upgrade, and Yuffie episode), plus a digital art book and a digital mini-soundtrack.
What if You Already Own Final Fantasy VII Remake on PS4?
With one exception, anyone who already owns Final Fantasy VII Remake for PS4 can download the PS5 upgrade for free starting June 10. (The PS4 version is on sale for $39.99 at Amazon right now). You will, however, have to pay extra for the Yuffie episode, if you're interested in that.
The one big exception is this: the PS5 upgrade is not available for people who got their copy of Final Fantasy VII Remake for free when it was available in March 2021 for PS Plus members. If that's how you got your copy, the PS5 upgrade will not be available to you unless you buy a separate copy of the game.
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Final Fantasy VII Remake PS5 Upgrade Details
The PS5 upgrade includes enhanced visuals, a photo mode, and haptic feedback through the DualSense controller. It also includes the option to switch between "Graphics Mode" that prioritizes 4K visuals and "Performance Mode" that prioritizes 60 frames per second. You'll also be able to carry over your save file from the PS4 version to the PS5 version.
What is the Yuffie Episode?
The Yuffie episode puts you in the shoes of the Wutai ninja Yuffie Kisaragi. She, along with other new characters, is on a mission to infiltrate Midgar and steal "the ultimate materia" from the Shinra Electric Power Company. The episode also includes "new combat and gameplay additions."
Note: The Yuffie episode is only available in the PS5 version of the game.
Other Preorder Guides
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Chris Reed is a commerce editor and deals expert at IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @_chrislreed.
title=&type=articles%2Cvideos&tags=us-shopping&count=3&columnCount=3&theme=article from IGN Video Games via IFTTT
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paulkangart · a month ago
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Are Up for Preorder
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Pokemon Shining Pearl are set to release exclusively for Nintendo Switch on November 19, 2021 (see at Amazon, and Amazon UK, or see the Double Pack, which includes both versions). These are 3D remakes of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, a pair of games that originally released in 2006 on Nintendo DS. Both upcoming remakes are available for preorder now.
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Double Pack
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Can't decide which version to get? Why not get both? This double pack gets you two games for the price of... well, two.
Get it at Amazon - $119.98
Get it at Best Buy - $119.99
Preorder Pokemon Brilliant Diamond
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Get it at Amazon - $59.99
Get it at Best Buy - $59.99
Get it at GameStop - $59.99
Get it at Walmart - $59.99
Get it at Amazon UK - £59.99
Preorder Pokemon Shining Pearl
Tumblr media
Get it at Amazon - $59.99
Get it at Best Buy - $59.99
Get it at GameStop - $59.99
Get it at Walmart - $59.99
Get it at Amazon UK - £59.99
What Is Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl?
Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl bring players back to the Sinnoh region, where you'll go on an adventure while collecting, evolving, and battling Pokemon along the way. The Pokemon Company says these are faithful remakes, preserving the towns and routes found in the originals. However, the games will also include some quality-of-life improvements found in more recent games in the series.
And for those who need a reminder, the starter Pokemon are Chimchar, Turtwig, and Piplup. Brilliant Diamon's Legendary Pokemon is Dialga, while Shining Pearl's is Palkia.
In IGN's 2006 Pokemon Diamond and Pearl review the game received an 8.5, thanks to its "strategic depth and gameplay that's incredibly rewarding."
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No Preorder Bonus
As yet, no preorder bonuses have been announced for the latest round of Pokemon remakes. If that changes, we'll drop the information here.
Other Preorder Guides
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Chris Reed is a commerce editor and deals expert at IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @_chrislreed.
title=&type=articles%2Cvideos&tags=us-shopping&count=3&columnCount=3&theme=article from IGN Video Games via IFTTT
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paulkangart · a month ago
Best Nintendo Switch Games
It's an exciting time for fans of Nintendo hardware, as a New Nintendo Switch announcement appears imminent. The upgraded Switch will reportedly be released as early as September, but for now we're taking a look at the best Switch games you can play on your current hardware. If Switch has proven anything, it’s that a console is truly defined by what you can play on it, and with such a vast library of excellent games, choosing only 25 has proven to be difficult.
This list was assembled by the entire IGN content team — including our resident Nintendo experts, the NVC podcast crew — and represents what we think are the best games to enjoy on the Switch right now, whether you're picking one up for the first time or have been a platform enthusiast since day one. So without further ado, these are our picks for the 25 best Nintendo Switch games.
More on the Best of Nintendo:
Best Nintendo Switch Black Friday Deals
Best Nintendo Gifts for 2020
Top 100 NES Games
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25. Ring Fit Adventure
Sure, exercising is good for you, but it’s got two pretty big drawbacks: one, it costs a lot of money to join a gym and, two, it’s kind of boring. Ring Fit Adventure fixes both of those problems by gamifying exercise and letting you work out from home while somehow making the entire experience feel like a fun, casual RPG. By strapping the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con to your leg and with the strange, brilliant new Ring-Con peripheral, Ring Fit encourages you to use your whole body to battle monsters, collect coins, level up, and push past your personal bests — all while giving you a serious workout within the confines of your living room. It proves that exercising can be fun — especially when it’s thousands of dollars cheaper than hiring a personal trainer, too.
Release Date: October 18, 2019 | Developer: Nintendo | IGN'sRing Fit Adventure Video Review | IGN'sRing Fit Adventure Wiki
24. Link's Awakening
With its charming, toyetic visual style and bizarrely dark undertones, the vast island of Koholint in The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening has never looked better than it does on Nintendo Switch. Link’s shipwrecked adventure on a mysterious island rife with eccentric characters and sprawling dungeons has always been one of the stranger Zelda stories, and this remake allows new audiences and aging fans alike to appreciate it on a modern system. It modernizes the classic beloved Zelda game with a shiny new coat of paint, some excellent quality of life improvements, and loads more hidden collectibles but, ultimately, its greatest accomplishment is retaining the weird, haunting, beautiful feeling of the original Game Boy game.
Another Zelda remake, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, is coming to Switch on July 16.
Release Date: September 20, 2019 | Developer: Nintendo, Grezzo | IGN'sLink's Awakening Video Review | IGN’sLink's Awakening Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon
23. Astral Chain
Astral Chain is PlatinumGames at its best. It’s got it all: a unique story; deep character customization with a variety of play styles, and - of course - power-armored robot pets. On top of all that, it’s got some of the most satisfying, challenging, and fast-paced combat you'll see on the Nintendo Switch. If you’re a fan of other PlatinumGames like Bayonetta, Vanquish, or Nier: Automata, Astral Chain won’t disappoint.
Release Date: August 30, 2019 | Developer: PlatinumGames | IGN'sAstral Chain Video Review | IGN’s Astral Chain Wiki
22. SteamWorld Dig 2
SteamWorld Dig 2 is a textbook example of everything a sequel should be: bigger, smarter, and just straight up more fun. Guiding Dorothy through SWD 2’s labyrinthine caverns searching for loot and upgrades is a challenging and charming twist on the classic “Metroidvania” style and has a gameplay loop that will undoubtedly keep you up into the wee hours of the morning for “just one more run."
Thunderful Games, f.k.a. Image & Form, recently announced it has several new SteamWorld Dig games in development.
Release Date: September 21, 2017 | Developer: Image & Form International AB | IGN'sSteamWorld Dig 2 Video Review | IGN’sSteamWorld Dig 2 Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon
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21. Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate
The Nintendo Switch makes it possible to get the best of both *worlds* with Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate. You can play using a comfortable pro-controller, but you can also slay its more than 100 monsters in person with friends. On top of the ridiculous amount of content packed in, you can also play as an adorable cat and pet alpacas.
Be sure to check out our recap of everything announced during Capcom's recent Monster Hunter livestream, which included new content for Monster Hunter Rise and new details about the forthcoming Monster Hunter Stories 2.
Release Date: August 28, 2018 | Developer: Capcom | IGN'sMonster Hunter Generations Ultimate Video Review | IGN'sMonster Hunter Generations Ultimate Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon
20. Splatoon 2
Splatoon 2 is one of those rare games you can play for more than a year and still not be tired of it. Many players hoped for a fast port to Switch to hit the ground running, but what we got was an impressive sequel with an all-new single-player campaign and plenty of incredible, and free, post-release content.
Nintendo announced Splatoon 3 earlier this year with a 2022 release date.
Release Date: July 21, 2017 | Developer: Nintendo | IGN'sSplatoon 2 Video Review | IGN’sSplatoon 2 Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon
19. Paper Mario: The Origami King
Paper Mario: The Origami King may not a perfect game – or, in fact, not even the best entry in the Paper Mario series – but it is one of the most charming adventures on the Nintendo Switch. While most of the RPG trappings of the earliest entries of the franchise have been stripped away in Origami King, it’s more than made up for by an interesting new take on the battle system and one of the funniest, silliest stories in any game to date.
Release Date: July 17, 2020 | Developer: Nintendo| IGN'sPaper Mario: The Origami King Video Review | IGN’s Paper Mario: The Origami King Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon
18. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Retro’s second entry in their Donkey Kong Country series is every bit as charming and challenging as Rare’s SNES trilogy. The Switch port of the Wii U original features an easy mode with Funky Kong but retains all the white knuckle platforming that made Tropical Freeze a hit back in 2014. Boasting some of the best boss fights and most original challenges in a platformer in the last decade, and a charming Saturday morning cartoon art style, it’s a must own on Nintendo Switch.
Release Date: May 4, 2018 | Developer: Retro Studios | IGN'sDonkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze Video Review | IGN’sDonkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon
17. Pokemon Sword & Shield
Pokemon Sword & Shield finally brought mainline Pokemon games to home consoles - even if it's only by default, since the Switch is both a handheld and home console. Beyond seeing hundreds of monsters in HD on your nice big TV, Sword & Shield brought with it a slew of welcome changes, including several quality of life improvements, the removal of random encounters, and Gigantamaxing, which basically gave your favorite Pokemon the Stay Puft treatment.
It’s also the first game in the franchise to include post-launch expansion packs, The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra, which include both new and classic Pokemon to add to your collection.
The franchise's latest game, New Pokemon Snap, was released on April 30. The series' next games, Pokemon Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl and Pokemon Legends: Arceus, were recently dated for November 19, 2021, and January 28, 2022, respectively.
Release Date: November 15, 2019 | Developer: Game Freak | IGN'sPokemon Sword & Shield Video Review | IGN'sPokemon Sword & Shield Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon
16. Xenoblade Chronicles 2
Monolith Soft’s Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is widely considered one of the best JRPGs ever made. You’ll never want to leave Alrest, even after spending 100+ hours exploring its huge open world.
You play as Rex, a salvager turned hero and “Driver” to the legendary Blade Pyra. Characters are extremely well written, there are dozens of Blades to unlock, all with their own unique look and personality, and the combat system is satisfying and complex.
Release Date: December 1, 2017 | Developer: Monolith Software | IGN'sXenoblade Chronicles 2 Video Review | IGN'sXenoblade Chronicles 2 Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon
15. Spiritfarer
It’s not an easy thing to make such a cheery, colorful game built around such a heavy topic, but Spiritfarer manages to have very real conversations about life and death with a warm smile and a plentiful amount of comforting hugs. This lovely town manager has you ferrying friendly souls to their ultimate rest, building them homes and growing close as you do. It’s a downright gorgeous mix of a building game and a platformer, and one that’s not quite like anything else available on Switch or elsewhere.
IGN named Spiritfarer the Best Adventure / Puzzle Game of 2020.
Release Date: August 18, 2020 | Developer: Thunder Lotus Games | IGN’sSpiritfarer Wiki | Buy It Here: Nintendo
14. Stardew Valley
Stardew Valley is a wonderfully open-ended farming sim. You’ll forge your own country path with fishing, fighting, farming, and falling in love. Additionally, being able to take advantage of the Switch’s sleep mode helps take some of the pressure off of not being able to save in the middle of a day, even if a few other bugs in the port are still waiting to be squashed here.
Release Date: October 5, 2017 | Developer: ConcernedApe | IGN'sStardew Valley Video Review | IGN’sStardew Valley Wiki
13. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle faced no shortage of skepticism before its launch. But Ubisoft Milan’s robust strategy game proved itself with some truly challenging levels and accessible but complex turn-based gameplay, while also finding a way of marrying the Rabbids and Mushroom Kingdom’s senses of humor into one, charming experience.
Release Date: August 29, 2017 | Developer: Ubisoft Milan | IGN'sMario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Video Review | IGN’sMario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon
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12. Super Mario Maker 2
Super Mario Maker 2 helped us achieve our childhood dreams of building our own Super Mario levels. OK, technically the first game did that, too, but the sequel took everything great about the original and somehow made it even more charming and wonderful. Not only are its 100+ story mode levels absolutely brilliant, but its accessibility as a viable game design tool is second to none — game designers of the future will almost certainly cite Super Mario Maker 2 as one of the catalysts for their careers. SMM2 is truly one of the Switch's best experiences: a challenging platformer that satisfies your creative urges, and offers a near-infinite stream of delights.
Release Date: June 28, 2019 |  Developer: Nintendo | IGN'sSuper Mario Maker 2 Video Review | IGN'sSuper Mario Maker 2 Wiki
11. Celeste
Celeste is a surprise masterpiece. Its 2D platforming is some of the best and toughest since Super Meat Boy, with levels that are as challenging to figure out as they are satisfying to complete. But the greatest triumph of Celeste is that its best-in-class jumping and dashing is blended beautifully with an important and sincere story and an incredible soundtrack that make it a genuinely emotional game, even when your feet are planted firmly on the ground.
A surprise semi-sequel, Celeste 2: Lani's Trek (or Celeste Classic 2), was released earlier this year. A proper sequel, however, probably won't happen, according to the developer.
Release Date: January 25, 2018 | Developer: Matt Makes Games | IGN'sCeleste Video Review | IGN’sCeleste Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon
10. Hollow Knight
Hollow Knight is one of the best modern MetroidVania’s available, using all the pieces that make the genre so great in the first place without feeling derivative of anything that came before it.
The expertly crafted map that is the kingdom of Hallownest has an absurd amount of paths to explore, bosses to fight, and secrets to uncover. That's all drawn in a somber but expressive art style that gives the adorable bug people who live their lives, and stories, of their own. It can undoubtedly be a challenging and demanding game, but what you get out of will be a reward worth far more than you put in.
A sequel, Hollow Knight: Silksong, is in development for Switch. IGN's hands-on Silksong preview said it's like Hollow Knight "but with the speed cranked up to 11."
Release Date: February 24, 2017 | Developer: Team Cherry | IGN'sHollow Knight Video Review | IGN’sHollow Knight Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon
9. Slay the Spire
There’s something about Slay the Spire’s balance of strategy and randomness that makes it an endlessly replayable puzzle. Assembling that perfect combo of synergistic cards can feel incredible, but there’s also a joy in scraping your way to victory despite the odds never quite falling in your favor. With that potent package on the Switch’s mobile platform — with some fairly decent touch control options, we might add — it’s a miracle we’ve ever stopped playing it.
Release Date: January 23, 2019 | Developer: MegaCrit LLC | IGN'sSlay the Spire Video Review
8. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart 8’s encore on Nintendo Switch didn’t just keep the online community alive and added returning favorites like Balloon Battle and Bob-omb Blast, we also got a brand-new “cops and robbers” team mode with Renegade Roundup, all of the great DLC stages, and even some guests from the Splatoon universe. It’s not a new game, but one so good, it deserved to reach a bigger audience on Switch right away.
Mario Kart 8 is now the best-selling racing game in U.S. history. To date, it's sold over 35 million copies worldwide.
Release Date: April 28, 2017 | Developer: Nintendo | IGN'sMario Kart 8 Deluxe Video Review | IGN’sMario Kart 8 Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon
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7. Hades
Roguelikes don’t always appeal to everyone, but Hades has somehow found a way to win over even those with a distaste for them. Fighting your way out of the Greek underworld is a ruthless and challenging affair, but every failure is rewarded in a way that somehow makes them exciting in their own right.
Instead of just notching up each loss and moving onto the next, the moments between each run push Hades’ excellent storytelling to the forefront, giving you opportunities to learn more about its charming characters and grow close to them – as well as improve the prince of the underworld’s abilities and weapons. It’s that meaningful mix of progression and infinitely repeatable escape attempts (coupled with genuinely fantastic writing, art, and action) that make Hades as delectable as Ambrosia itself.
Hades was crowned Game of the Year at the 2021 DICE Awards.
Release Date: September 17, 2020 | Developer: Supergiant Games | IGN'sHades Video Review | IGN’sHades Wiki | Buy It Here: Nintendo
6. Luigi's Mansion 3
Luigi's Mansion 3 is essentially a FrankenLuigistein’s monster of the first two games, a mashup of both that creates the perfect Luigi's Mansion experience. Charming, clever, and absolutely gorgeous to look at, Luigi's Mansion is 17 levels of pure ghost-hunting joy. Working your way through each of the haunted hotels may never extremely challenging, but the creative boss fights and deviously hidden collectibles will keep you busy for a dozen hours or more. The excitement of getting to a new level just to see its theme (TV Studio! Sewer Maze! Egypt!) is well worth the price of admission, plus the game opens with Toad driving a bus. Priceless.
Release Date: October 31, 2019 | Developer: Next Level Games | IGN'sLuigi's Mansion 3 Video Review | IGN’s Luigi's Mansion 3 Wiki
5. Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Fire Emblem: Three Houses takes the series to new heights, deftly blending grueling battles with an expansive social hub that allows for near limitless customization as you recruit, train, and bond with the memorable characters on your team. Its unique take on a three-pronged story ensures that no matter which house you choose, the engrossing plot that unfolds always leaves enough mystery to make multiple playthroughs incredibly hard to resist.
The Fire Emblem: Three Houses DLC Expansion Pass, which added seven new missions as part of the Cindered Shadows side story, is now available.
Release Date: July 26, 2019 | Developer: Intelligent Systems | IGN'sFire Emblem: Three Houses Video Review | IGN’s Fire Emblem: Three Houses Wiki
4. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Released on the doorstep of a global pandemic, Animal Crossing: New Horizons provided a much need escape to many, selling more than 32 million copies to date. Routine and discovery play equally important roles as you plan the perfect layout for your island, make friends (or enemies) with all your villagers, and invite your friends to your own little utopia to trade items and swap secrets. It’s brilliant in its simplicity and masterful in the way it encourages players to keep up with chores, redecorate and/or reshape entire plots of land, or burn dozens of hours trying to catch rare fish or find every last seasonal item. It certainly helps that all the writing is supremely funny and that, hundreds of hours in, you’re still able to chuckle at a random comment or find genuine inspiration in the places you’d least expect. Taking a cue from many of Nintendo’s Switch editions of their long-running franchises, Animal Crossing New Horizons does little to completely reinvent the franchise, but it makes a great series even more accessible, more exciting, and more wonderful than it has ever been.
New Horizons was nominated for Game of the Year at the Developers Choice Awards.
Release Date: March 20, 2020 | Developer: Nintendo | IGN'sAnimal Crossing: New Horizons Video Review | IGN'sAnimal Crossing: New Horizons Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon
3. Super Mario Odyssey
A masterclass in 3D platforming, Super Mario Odyssey seamlessly blends the best elements from nearly every Mario game with an entire portfolio of new gameplay mechanics to create something both nostalgic and courageous. New players will adore stomping through the vivid and vast new worlds, while seasoned veterans will stick around after the credits to unlock the hundreds of challenges that await their skill and dexterity. To put it succinctly, Super Mario Odyssey is pure, sublime joy and one of the best Super Mario games ever made.
Release Date: October 27, 2017 | Developer: Nintendo | IGN'sSuper Mario Odyssey Video Review | IGN’sSuper Mario Odyssey Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon
2. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is exactly what its name implies: it’s the ultimate incarnation of Nintendo’s now 20-year-old brawler series. It’s a celebration of Smash Bros. as a whole, filled with more fighters and levels than ever before, and packed to the gills with over 1000 more characters from all across gaming. “Everyone is here!” may have started out as just another tagline, but it’s one that Nintendo has impressively backed up, and it’s made Ultimate the definitive Smash Bros. game for a long time to come. Add a 20+ hour single-player mode with full-on boss fights and huge world maps and it’s easy to get lost in Ultimate. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate had a lot to live up to with that name, but it has undoubtedly done just that.
Smash Ultimate's latest fighters, Xenoblade Chronicles 2's Pyra and Mythra, are now available.
Release Date: December 7, 2018 | Developer: Nintendo | IGN'sSuper Smash Bros. Ultimate Video Review | IGN’sSuper Smash Bros. Ultimate Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon
1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Let’s face it, the Zelda series was long overdue for a major change, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild offers an unparalleled sense of freedom and scale in the palm of your hand. Now widely considered one of the best games of all time, Breath of the Wild tells an epic story, as you glide, cook, and battle your way across a beautifully ruined version of Hyrule. It helped reinvigorate The Legend of Zelda in a way that fans had only dreamt of, easily propelling it to the number one spot on our list and in our hearts.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, a spinoff prequel to Breath of the Wild, was released in November. A proper sequel is also in development at Nintendo — new info on Breath of the Wild 2 is expected later this year.
Release Date: March 3, 2017 | Developer: Nintendo | IGN'sBreath of the Wild Video Review | IGN’sBreath of the Wild Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon
Upcoming Switch Games
June features a handful of promising new Switch games, beginning with Ninja Gaiden Master Collection on June 10.  Mario Golf: Super Rush and the Switch version of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 and 2 will be released on June 25, followed by Disgaea 6 on June 29.
In July, Switch owners can look forward to Monster Hunter Stories 2 on the 9th, Skyward Sword HD on the 16th, the JRPG Cris Tales on the 20th, and The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles on the 27th. ,
Another notable Switch game dated for the back half of the year is No More Heroes 3. Travis Touchdown makes his return on August 27.
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Did we miss anything? Is your favorite game too low? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to check back when we reconfigure this list again!
from IGN Video Games via IFTTT
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paulkangart · a month ago
The Best Games to Play on Xbox Series X|S Right Now
Microsoft continues to improve the capabilities of Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, recently giving FPS boost to 74 new games and making its excellent Quick Resume feature even quicker. With a massive catalog of excellent titles already available, IGN has curated this list of the best games you can play right now on your new Xbox.
With a few big releases having already hit in 2021, we've updated our list to feature only games with dedicated Xbox Series X|S enhancements — no more Xbox One backward-compatible games.
Whether you're diving into an all-new adventure, getting the most out of your gaming TV with 4K 120Hz gameplay, or revisiting an old favorite through backwards compatibility on Xbox, these are the IGN staff's picks for the ten best Xbox Series X|S games.
Most recent updates were made on May 23, 2021.
More on the best of Xbox:
Where to buy an Xbox Series X
Best Xbox One Games
Best Xbox 360 Games
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15. The Medium
Depending on when you're reading this, The Medium might still be the ONLY actual next-gen exclusive for Xbox (i.e. it's not also available on Xbox One). In this case, it's because The Medium is basically running two game engines at once, and sometimes you control both at once, guiding Marianne through both the regular world of the living and the spirit world. The Medium is a psychological thriller a la Alan Wake and, thanks to its inclusion on Xbox Game Pass, is a Series X game you've got no reason not to check out.
Release Date: January 28, 2021 | Developer: Bloober Team | Last Position: New! | IGN's The Medium Video Review | IGN's The Medium Wiki
14. Gears Tactics
Translating the brutal, brooding Gears of War universe and its cover-based action into a top-down, X-COM-style tactics game, Gears Tactics is an excellent turn-based tactics game that does a fantastic job of melding Gears’ famous style and action with the mechanics. While it's lighter on the macro strategy elements than one might expect from an X-COM-like, its campaign fleshes out the expanding Gears lore, leaves a great impression with some clever, Gears-appropriate original ideas, and looks fantastic doing it. That's especially true with Xbox Series X optimization where Gears Tactics shines at 60 FPS and 4K UHD, with enhanced textures, increased world detail and fast loading times, bringing it on par with the best versions of the game on any platform.
Release Date: November 10, 2020 | Developer: Splash Damage, The Coalition | Last Position: New! | IGN's Gears Tactics Video Review | IGN's Gears Tactics Wiki
13. Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Moon Studios' excellent Ori and the Will of the Wisps builds on the first game’s fun foundation without bogging it down or becoming overcomplicated, which is the best praise you can give a sequel. It stays true to the spirit of the original, doubles down on what made it great, and gives you more stake in the world and options to navigate it. And now on Xbox Series X, Moon has pushed the already jaw-droppingly gorgeous game to new heights at 120 FPS and 4K UHD, with native HDR support, and even a 6K resolution supersampled rendering mode at 60 FPS. When paired with the dynamic high-range audio, Ori and the Will of the Wisps is the absolute best way to play this heartfelt followup of the little spirit that never gives up on its friends.
Release Date: November 10, 2020 | Developer: Moon Studios | Last Position: New! | IGN's Ori and the Will of the Wisps Video Review | IGN's Ori and the Will of the Wisps Wiki
12. No Man's Sky
No Man's Sky Next is the story that the entire industry points to when looking for a comback tale and it's well deserved. Hello Games managed to continue supporting No Man's Sky with several updates that added quality of life features, like Expeditions that add a new set of challenges you can play with your friends, or the overhauled space stations, new enemies, cross-platform bases, and a ton of other community asks. Hello Games really does deserve credit because what they've created is beloved by players everywhere.
Release Date: November 10, 2020 | Developer: Hello Games | Last Position: New! | IGN's No Man's Sky video review | IGN's No Man's Sky Wiki
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11. Control Ultimate Edition
Control was already a gorgeous dive into a delightfully strange adventure and the Ultimate Edition brings it up to shiny, 4K beauty. With two performance modes for the Xbox Series X (Performance Mode targets 60fps and Graphics Mode targets 30fps with ray tracing on Series X), you can choose to the look and feel of the destruction you bring to the Federal Bureau of Control. In Jesse Faden's search for her brother, she finds herself at the bureau. Not only is she suddenly put in charge of the bureau upon her arrival, but also needs to figure out how to save it from an invasion by otherworldly beings called the Hiss. Doing so is a joy with Control's excellent combat mechanics that lend themselves to your playstyle as you unlock new weapons, powers, and upgrades for both. The collectibles and side stories are fantastically written as well. Control Ultimate Edition also includes both DLC, so you also have a chance to reunite with a certain Remedy character who wrote himself into a peculiar position.
Release Date: February 2, 2021 | Developer: Remedy | Last position: New! | IGN's Control Video Review | IGN’s Control Wiki
10. MLB The Show 21
Xbox-owning baseball fans have been waiting an entire console generation to play a great simulation of America's pastime once again, and thanks to MLB making Sony take the phenomenal MLB The Show multiplatform, it is now here on Xbox Series X. This year's game brings a long-requested feature, a stadium creator, as a next-gen exclusive option, while continuing to deliver a fantastic looking, sounding, and playing baseball game to the field, with great modes like the long-running Road to the Show as well as newer favorites like March to October.
Release Date: April 20, 2021 | Developer: Sony San Diego | Last position: New! | IGN's MLB The Show 21 Video Review | IGN’s MLB The Show 21 Wiki | Buy It Here: Best Buy
9. Destiny 2
Destiny 2's new seasonal model was met with a bit of hesitance at first, but what Bungie has delivered is instead a compelling narrative that intertwines story beats from season to season. The fact that the game had major enhancements on the Sereis X including an FOV slider and 120hz mode in crucible and 60hz across all modes only adds more reasons to give this one a shot if you have the TV to support all the frames you can handle. The fact that it has been added to Game Pass only sweetens the deal bringing more players into the fold. Whether you're looking to push back the darkness with Stasis or just shoot things with cool guns Destiny has proven the test of time and keeps players coming back.
Release Date: December 8, 2020 | Developer: Bungie | Last Position: New! | IGN's Destiny 2 video review | IGN's Destiny 2 Wiki
8. Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Halo: The Master Chief Collection now collects six Halo games all under one digital roof – everything except Halo 5: Guardians. It's been torn down to the studs and rebuilt in grand fashion, and even better, it's been upgraded AGAIN for Xbox Series X with support for 120fps gameplay. Crazy to think that these games were 480i/30fps the first time we played them...
The series' next entry, Halo Infinite, is due out later this year. Developer 343 recently announced it will support multiplayer cross-play and cross-progression across Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC.
Release Date: November 11, 2014 | Developer: 343 Industries | Last Position: No. 8 | IGN's Halo: The Master Chief Collection Video Review | IGN's Halo: The Master Chief Collection Wiki
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7. Forza Horizon 4
One of the greatest racing games ever made – and the highest-rated Microsoft exclusive on Xbox One to date – Forza Horizon 4's Series X refresh absolutely slashes loading times, making its slightly laggy menu shuffling and car switching a thing of the past (even for players with enormous, 700+ car garages).
The Xbox One X enhanced version's 1080p/60fps performance mode becomes 4K/60fps here on Series X, too – although, curiously, there are a few flourishes from the Xbox One X's 30fps quality mode that have (hopefully temporarily) gone missing. Forza Horizon 4 may be a couple of years old, but it's never too late to get on board; new, free cars are still being injected into the game every month.
Release Date: September 28, 2018 | Developer: Playground Games | Last Position: No. 7 | IGN's Forza Horizon 4 Video Review | IGN's Forza Horizon 4 Wiki
6. NBA 2K21
Don't confuse this with the game you may have already bought on Xbox One – NBA 2K21 on Xbox Series X is a totally new, built-for-next-gen version that has different game modes, tech, visuals, and more. And it looks fantastic. In fact, this might be the most "next-gen" looking game of the Series X launch lineup. It's a pretty good basketball sim too!
Release Date: November 10, 2020 | Developer: Visual Concepts | Last Position: No. 6 | IGN's NBA 2K21 Video Review | Buy It Here: Amazon
5. It Takes Two
Admittedly, It Takes Two won't exactly melt your GPU with its graphical intensity. Is it a nice looking game with a whimsical, fairy-tale tone and graphics to match? Yes, most certainly. But you need to play It Takes Two (with a friend or loved one either on the couch or via online play, of course, since It Takes Two cannot be played alone) because it is simply one of the best and most unique multiplayer experiences you can find these days. Writer-director Josef Fares – yes, he of "F*** the Oscars!" fame – follows up the equally excellent A Way Out with this, a story about a failing marriage that might just be able to be saved thanks to the couple being turned into children's dolls and forced to work together to find their way back to their human forms. Play it and we promise you'll smile.
Release Date: March 26, 2021 | Developer: Hazelight Studios | Last Position: New! | IGN's It Takes Two video review | IGN's It Takes Two Wiki
4. Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Yes, it’s often silly, ridiculous, and features a side mission in which you have to deliver formula to a gangster who dresses up and acts like a baby, but when you get back on the main story path, Yakuza: Like a Dragon is one of the best video game stories of 2020.
Ichiban Kasuga and his loyal party of down on their luck misfits are all lovable in their own quirky ways, and absolutely live up to the high standard set by Kiryu, Majima, and the rest of the Yakuza series mainstays. Yakuza: Like a Dragon is funny, emotional, expertly acted both in English and Japanese, and is just an all-around wonderful RPG that pays homage to the genres roots.
Following the success of Like a Dragon, the Yakuza series will remain a turn-based RPG moving forward.
Release Date: November 10, 2020 | Developer: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio | Last Position: No. 4 | IGN's Yakuza: Like a Dragon Video Review | IGN's Yakuza: Like a Dragon Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon
3. Hitman 3
Agent 47's latest (and for now, last) outing is not only a much better game than its two last-gen predecessors, it's a much prettier one too. Hitman 3 has some truly breathtaking scenes from an eye-candy perspective, and of course it runs great on the Xbox Series X as well. The first mission in Dubai will get you hooked, but the remaining five – including the second one, which is essentially like a playable version of the fantastic film Knives Out – will keep your new Xbox powered on as you try out the myriad ways to take out your targets.
Release Date: January 20, 2021 | Developer: IO Interactive | Last Position: New! | IGN's Hitman 3 Video Review | IGN's Hitman 3 Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon
2. Assassin's Creed Valhalla
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla wasn’t built exclusively for next-gen, but it’s impossible not to look at it running on the Xbox Series X and marvel at the sheer beauty and impressive detail of its open-world. It’s hard not to get stuck focusing on the stunning lighting and thick atmosphere of each environment and as you pillage, plunder, and build a kingdom in 4K resolution at 60 frames per second. Valhalla’s scope, scale, and lightning-fast load times prove the series is poised to expand its tried-and-true formula on the power of new hardware.
Valhalla's first major DLC, Wrath of the Druids, is now available.
Release Date: November 10, 2020 | Developer: Ubisoft Montreal | Last Position: No. 1 | IGN's Assassin's Creed Valhalla Video Review | IGN's Assassin's Creed Valhalla Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon
1. Gears 5
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While it's a bit of a backhanded compliment to say that 2019's Gears 5 is arguably the most visually impressive game on the Series X at launch, the fact remains that the already-gorgeous Gears of War sequel has been dialed up to take advantage of Microsoft's new console. Better lighting, raytracing, 120fps support in Versus multiplayer -- the bottom line is that if you skipped Gears 5 last year, the Series X is a great place to play it for the first time.
Release Date: November 10, 2020 | Developer: The Coalition | Last Position: No. 2 | IGN's Gears 5 Video Review | IGN's Gears 5 Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon
Upcoming Xbox Series X Games
The Warhammer 40K FPS Necromunda: Hired Gun is next up for Xbox Series X|S owners. That will be released on June 1, followed a week later by Chivalry 2, which our preview said may be the ultimate melee combat simulator.
On June 18 the Series X|S version of Metro Exodus will be released as a free upgrade to existing owners. The Series X version will run at 4K/60 FPS, while the Series S version will target 1080p/60 FPS.
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Later in the month, Xbox owners can look forward to Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance on June 22 and Bandai Namco's stylish action-RPG Scarlet Nexus on June 25.
Looking a bit further ahead, there are currently three notable Xbox games scheduled for July: F1 2021 on July 16, the JRPG Cris Tales on July 20, and the isometric action-RPG/twin-stick shooter The Ascent on July 29.
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Updates: On May 23, Red Dead 2, Sekiro, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, and Watch Dogs Legion were removed, while The Medium, Gears Tactics, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, No Man’s Sky, Control Ultimate Edition, MLB The Show 21, Destiny 2, It Takes Two, and Hitman 3 were added. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Gears 5 also swapped positions on the list.
Those are our recommendations for the best game to play on Series X|S right now - let us know what's on your list that didn't make ours in the comments! And be sure to check out how the Xbox Series X stacks up against the PS5, and have a look at what we love about Microsoft's new console and where we think it needs some work.
from IGN Video Games via IFTTT
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paulkangart · 2 months ago
The Best PS5 Games
PS5 is the fastest-selling console in U.S. history based on dollar sales – an impressive feat considering it's rarely been in stock, a problem that will unfortunately persist into next year, according to Sony. Those lucky enough to secure a new console, however, already have a wealth of excellent games to choose from, and IGN is here to help with a curated list of the ten best PS5 games you can play right now.
Between exclusive launch titles, third-party games, and backward compatibility on PS5, there's a lot to choose from, and with a few big releases in the beginning of 2021, we've updated our list to feature all PS5 games — no more PS4 backward-compatible games. Our main qualifier now is that, given how many cross-gen games there are, games on this list have to have a dedicated next-gen version available.
Some games make excellent use of the DualSense controller’s innovative haptic feedback, others will make your gaming TV shine with 4K gameplay, and some are just plain great games. Without further ado, here are our initial picks for the ten best PS5 games.
Most recent updates were made on April 23, 2021.
More on the best of PlayStation:
Where to buy a PS5
Best PS4 Games
Best PS3 Games
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10. Yakuza: Like a Dragon
If you’ve never played a Yakuza game, fear not. Yakuza: Like a Dragon acts as a soft reboot, introducing a new protagonist and swapping the usual solo real-time brawling for turn-based combat and a party system. Yakuza has always had some role-playing DNA, but Like a Dragon fully embraces it to big success. Its hero Ichiban Kasuga is a die-hard fan of the Dragon Quest games, and many familiar JRPG tropes and mechanics are simultaneously parodied in Like a Dragon and also implemented extremely well. There’s a layer of meta-comedy sprinkled throughout, and though it gets extremely silly, it never feels out of place or distracting. Like all Yakuza games, there’s a long, engrossing, deadly serious crime opera of a main campaign, a slew of utterly ridiculous substories around every corner, and a suite of surprisingly addictive minigames, from business management to kart racing. But this time it’s set in Yakuza’s biggest locale to date, the bustling port city of Yokohama, coming together to set the franchise off in a new, exciting direction.
Following the success of Like a Dragon, the Yakuza series will remain a turn-based RPG moving forward.
Release Date: March 5, 2021 | Developer: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio | Last Position: New! | IGN's Yakuza: Like a Dragon Video Review | IGN's Yakuza: Like a Dragon Wiki
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9. Sackboy: A Big Adventure
While Sackboy: A Big Adventure foregoes the creation side of the LittleBigPlanet series, its focus on being a fun, charming platformer pays off in a delightful adventure that can be played both solo or co-op. Sumo Digital's level variety keeps things fresh, so one moment you're riding a train through a moving level that has you occasionally jumping off to grab collectibles, while the next you're grooving through a level set to Bruno Mars' Uptown Funk (yes, really).
The humor is cheeky, particularly when playing in co-op – you can help your teammates or just slap them with a fish. And – as with most games we've seen on PS5 – it's a visual treat. Sackboy looks great; the different fabrics and accessories on each of his customizable costume pieces dazzling thanks to the new system's improved graphical capability.
Developer Sumo Digital is now working on a AAA game in a well-known and beloved fantasy franchise.
Release Date: November 12, 2020 | Developer: Sumo Digital | Last Position: No. 8 | IGN's Sackboy: A Big Adventure Video Review | IGN's Sackboy: A Big Adventure Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon
8. Bugsnax
Talkin' bout Bugsnax started out as internet meme fodder brought on by a strong marketing campaign and a catchy tune, but Bugsnax deserves to be recognized for much more than that.
Developer Young Horses continued its absurdist streak with this environmental/creature based puzzle game that has you snapping photos and catching tasty critters. Underneath Bugsnax's cute and quirky exterior is a heartwarming story full of ominous twists and turns as you try to rebuild a settlement by fulfilling folks' requests. Each returned resident means another person to interview for the story you're writing about Bugsnax, Snaktooth island, and - ultimately - what happened to Elizabert Megafig, who invited you to the island, to begin with. Its progression systems continue to pique our curiosity, too, which makes the gameplay loop enticing throughout – and Bugsnax's big reveal (no spoilers!) didn't disappoint.
Bugsnax's cute, colorful exterior originally hid a much darker ending.
Release Date: November 12, 2020 | Developer: Young Horses, Inc. | Last Position: No. 6 | IGN's Bugsnax Video Review | IGN's Bugsnax Wiki
7. The Pathless
The Pathless marries a simple-but-elegant (and completely engrossing) movement mechanic with a gorgeous open world. Running, jumping, and gliding through developer Giant Squid's forests, rocky plateaus, and snow-capped mountains is a treat thanks to the main bow-and-arrow gameplay relying less on precision accuracy and more on empowering you to carve a fun path through the terrain. It's a world that encourages exploration and satisfies your curiosity, making the destinations you reach as fun as the journey itself thanks to a host of clever puzzles. Add in a handful of boss battles that are part epic chase scene and part Zelda-esque showdown – all backed by a moving, epic score – and you've got one of the most intriguing launch titles on the PS5.
Release Date: November 12, 2020 | Developer: Giant Squid | Last Position: No. 7 | IGN's The Pathless Video Review | IGN's The Pathless Wiki
6. Hitman 3
Hitman 3 acts as the finale in IO Interactive’s phenomenal “World of Assassination” trilogy, turning Agent 47 loose on some of the biggest and most intricate levels yet, including the inspired Dartmoor Mansion. And it's perhaps the finest example of IO's formula: He can assassinate his victims with badass cold-blooded efficiency, or trigger some Rube Goldberg-style series of events that results in a much more comical death... or if something backfires, a Wile E. Coyote-grade failure. When making a new Hitman game for next-gen consoles, IO Interactive could’ve shipped one game and called it a day, but they also remastered the first two games to the point that they’re visually indistinguishable from the latest installment (sold separately, unless you own them already, in which case it’s a free upgrade). In any case, the World of Assassination Trilogy was great on PS4, but it’s even better on PS5. Anyway, long story short, you can kill a guy by making him slip on a banana peel, which is funny anywhere, but on PS5 it’s also very pretty thanks to increased resolution, smooth 60fps, and an overall smoother experience over the last-gen version.
A seven-part expansion, Seven Deadly Sins, is currently in its second act; the Season of Pride will run through June 13.
Release Date: January 20, 2021 | Developer: IO Interactive | Last Position: New! | IGN's Hitman 3 Video Review | IGN's Hitman 3 Wiki
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5. Spider-Man Remastered
Marvel's Spider-Man was already one of the best superhero games ever made, but the PS5 remaster elevates it to a new level. Insomniac's visual updates don't look slight in any way - the entire relighting of New York City (along with upgrades to facial animation) brings the look of the adventure up to par with the brand-new Miles Morales. The addition of ray tracing with 4K resolution and HDR support makes any time of day so beautiful that you'd be forgiven for forgetting this wasn't running on code originally developed for the PS5. Add in the quality of life improvements Spidey got post-launch, new accessibility options, photo mode updates, and all the DLC episodes, and this is the definitive way to play one of the PS4's best games.
The superhero's next movie, meanwhile, is titled Spider-Man: No Way Home. The film is scheduled to open on December 17.
Release Date: November 12, 2020 | Developer: Insomniac Games | Last Position: No. 5 | IGN's Spider-Man Remastered Video Review | IGN's Spider-Man Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon
4. Astro's Playroom
The DualSense is one of the most defining characteristics of the PS5, as the nuanced haptic feedback and strategically used adaptive triggers create a level of immersion that feels genuinely special. Nowhere is that tech better showcased than in Astro's Playroom which is – quite literally – designed to show off the capabilities of the Dualsense controller.
But this would-be tech demo is also a fantastic game in its own right, with a delightful set of worlds to explore that all celebrate a different facet of the PS5 and the different eras of PlayStation software and hardware. Astro's Playroom reminds players why they've loved PlayStation while giving them a reason to fall in love all over again. Its solid platforming, fun environmental puzzles, and enticing set of collectibles will have you gunning for the platinum and getting it in no time.
Astro's Playroom took home two of IGN's end-of-year awards: Best Platformer and Most Impressive Feature in Games.
Release Date: November 12, 2020 | Developer: SIE Japan Studio | Last Position: No. 4 | IGN's Astro's Playroom Video Review | IGN's Astro's Playroom Wiki
3. Assassin's Creed Valhalla
The latest entry in the Assassin's Creed series proves the franchise shows no signs of fatigue. Centering the story around the Viking expansion into England during the 9th century, Assassin's Creed Valhalla has redefined the rules of the franchise yet again with the ability to sack monasteries, build up your budding Norse settlement, and uncover unique gear and powerful abilities. The PS5 beautifully captures the icy mountains of Norway and the bending rivers of England alike in stunning 4K, and the ability to travel between the war-torn kingdoms quicker than you can sound the horn for a raiding party remains impressive throughout.
Valhalla's first major DLC, Wrath of the Druids, is now available. IGN's review said "the new Irish setting adds only a few genuinely fresh takes on the process and a handful of new and interesting fights."
Release Date: November 10, 2020 | Developer: Ubisoft Montreal | Last Position: No. 3 | IGN's Assassin's Creed Valhalla Video Review | IGN's Assassin's Creed Valhalla Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon
2. Demon's Souls
Bluepoint Games had some high expectations to meet with the PS5 remake of Demon’s Souls. Not only was it an anticipated remake of a beloved and landmark game, but also as the first major showcase of what a dedicated PS5 game of this scope could look like.
Fortunately, Bluepoint delivered, and Demon’s Souls is not only jaw-droppingly gorgeous, but it’s also incredibly faithful to the source material.It's handily one of the deepest, richest, and most challenging experiences currently found on the console.
Demon's Souls received a BAFTA Game Awards nomination for Technical Achievement.
Release Date: November 12, 2020 | Developer: Bluepoint Games, SIE Japan Studio | Last Position: No. 2 | IGN's Demon's Souls Video Review | IGN's Demon's Souls Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon
1. Spider-Man: Miles Morales
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Though not a full-blown sequel, this standalone expansion sends Peter Parker on vacation and leaves his young spider-apprentice Miles Morales to look after New York. Building on the rock-solid foundations of Insomniac's first game, New York has been gorgeously blanketed with snow, holiday cheer, and next-gen polish.
The improvements aren't just cosmetic, however – the eponymous hero has a few more spider-powers at his disposal than Peter Parker, and these are cleverly adapted into new gameplay mechanics that, while they don't reinvent the wheel, they put enough of a spin on it to make it feel fresh - sometimes literally, thanks to the DualSense controller. It doesn't feature as robust of a campaign or as many colorful villains as 2018's Spider-Man, but Miles Morales' story has just as much charm and heart as its predecessor, possibly more. Its tagline of "Be Greater" set a high bar, but Miles Morales somersaults over it with ease.
Miles Morales took home the DICE Award for Outstanding Achievement in Character.
Release Date: November 12, 2020 | Developer: Insomniac Games | Last Position: No. 1 | IGN's Spider-Man: Miles Morales Video Review | IGN's Spider-Man: Miles Morales Wiki | Buy It Here: Amazon
Upcoming PS5 Games
PS5 owners have a lot to look forward to in June to kick off their summer of gaming. The fun begins right away on June 1 with the Warhammer 40k FPS Necromunda: Hired Gun. That will be followed on June 8 by Chivalry 2, which our preview said might be the ultimate melee combat simulator.
June 10 and 11 are big days for the platform with the release of two big PS5 exclusives: Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. Developer Insomniac Games recently revealed the extensive list of Rift Apart's accessibility features.
Moving into the back half of the month, the PS5 version of Metro Exodus will be released on June 18 as a free upgrade to existing owners. Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance is out June 22, followed by Bandai Namco's flashy action-RPG Scarlet Nexus on June 25.
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Updates: On April 23, God of War and Ghost of Tsushima were removed from the list, while Hitman 3 and Yakuza: Like a Dragon were added. Bugsnax and Sackboy: A Big Adventure also shifted positions on the list.
Those are our picks for the best games currently available on PlayStation 5. What's on your list that didn't make ours? Lets us know in the comments, and be sure to check out how the PS5 stacks up against the Xbox Series X after six months, and have a look at what we love about Sony's new console and where we think it needs some work.
from IGN Video Games via IFTTT
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paulkangart · 2 months ago
The Best Xbox One Games
While Microsoft is continuing to support its last-gen console, we have officially transitioned into the Xbox Series X|S generation, meaning we’ve reached the end of the Xbox One era. The console was home to countless excellent games over the past seven years, making it difficult to nail down our list of the 25 best Xbox One games.
These games were chosen by the entire IGN content team and – after plenty of internal debate – and represent what we believe to be the very best that Xbox One has to offer.
Most recent updates were made in May 2021.
More on the best of Xbox:
Best Xbox Series X|S Games
Best Xbox 360 Games
Where to buy an Xbox Series X
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25. The Outer Wilds
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Outer Wilds may be a Sci-Fi game, but it has a strange sort of magic to it. Its open-ended nature could leave you drifting through space (and often into planets at literal breakneck speed) without much idea of what to do, but this handcrafted solar system is filled to the brim with enticing breadcrumbs, tantalizing story teases, and some downright incredible sights that constantly draw you into one breathtaking moment after another.
It’s a world begging to be explored, and the time loop mechanic at its core both consistently leaves you wanting more and adds a terrifyingly tense pressure to its otherwise serene exploration. It may take you a moment to get your space legs, but Outer Wilds is a trek absolutely worth taking for yourself.
Release Date: May 28, 2019 | Developer: Mobius Entertainment | Last Position: No. 25 | IGN's The Outer Wilds video review | IGN's The Outer Wilds Wiki
24. Destiny 2
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Destiny 2's new seasonal model was met with a bit of hesitance at first, but what Bungie has delivered is instead a compelling narrative that intertwines story beats from season to season. The fact that it has been added to Game Pass only sweetens the deal bringing more players into the fold. Whether you're looking to push back the darkness with Stasis or just shoot things with cool guns Destiny has proven the test of time and keeps players coming back.
Release Date: September 6, 2017 | Developer: Bungie | Last Position: New! | IGN's Destiny 2 video review | IGN's Destiny 2 Wiki
23. Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
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Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is a masterclass of atmosphere, storytelling, and the marriage of mechanical and conceptual design. The care and attention Ninja Theory has clearly poured into Senua and her story has created something amazing. Hellblade’s beautiful presentation and dense story reinforce its serious subject matter in this vivid tale of harrowing darkness.
Release Date: August 8, 2017 | Developer: Ninja Theory | Last Position: No. 23 | IGN's Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice video review | IGN's Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice Wiki
22. Yakuza: Like a Dragon
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Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a revolutionary take on the Yakuza game formula. Not only does it feature a new protagonist, Ichiban Kasuga, but the series' classic beat ‘em up action transforms into a turn-based RPG. Add in a whole cast of laughably fun misfits behind Ichiban and hilarious side missions of delivering formula to diaper-wearing gangsters, and Like a Dragon takes Yakuza's absurdity to the next level.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon is also just as much a drama as it is a comedy with its main storyline revolving around betrayal. The game also touches on themes of those who are marginalized from immigrants to sex workers.
The makers behind Yakuza promise we will see more turn-based RPG games from the series going forward.
Release Date: November 9, 2020 | Developer: Ryu ga Gotoku Studios | Last Position: New! | IGN's Yakuza: Like a Dragon video review | IGN's Yakuza: Like a Dragon Wiki
21. Gears Tactics
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Just as Halo ended up making an excellent real-time strategy game in the form of Halo Wars, so too does Gears of War brilliantly make the leap to becoming an XCOM-like turn-based strategy game in Gears Tactics. All of the classic Gears of War gameplay is here – cover-based combat, up-close executions, e-holes, and much more – just in a more strategic form. The formula works fantastically, and the story is pretty good too, thanks to the usual high-quality character development and plenty of gorgeous in-engine cutscenes. Franchises rooted in one genre don't often make the leap to a completely different one so seamlessly, but Gears Tactics pulls it off.
Release Date: April 28, 2020 | Developers: Splash Damage, The Coalition | Last Position: New! | IGN's Gears Tactics video review | IGN's Gears Tactics Wiki
20. No Man's Sky
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No Man's Sky Next is the story that the entire industry points to when looking for a comback tale and it's well deserved. Hello Games managed to continue supporting No Man's Sky with several updates that added quality of life features, like Expeditions that add a new set of challenges you can play with your friends, or the overhauled space stations, new enemies, cross-platform bases, and a ton of other community asks. Hello Games really does deserve credit because what they've created is beloved by players everywhere.
Release Date: August 9, 2016 | Developer: Hello Games | Last Position: New! | IGN's No Man's Sky video review | IGN's No Man's Sky Wiki
19. Elder Scrolls Online
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There are plenty of excellent reasons to play Elder Scrolls Online on Xbox. One, it's an excellent online RPG that continues to get better with each new content update (side note: Morrowind is in here!). Two, it now officially takes advantage of the Xbox Series X. Three, with Todd Howard and Bethesda Game Studios hard at work on Starfield, we won't be seeing The Elder Scrolls VI for quite some time. And finally and perhaps most awesomely, ESO is on Xbox Game Pass! It's an MMO that can be dipped in and out of at will; no need to treat it like a second job. Just soak yourself in the world of Tamriel and enjoy!
Release Date: June 9, 2015 | Developer: ZeniMax Online Studios | Last Position: New! | IGN's Elder Scrolls Online video review | IGN's Elder Scrolls Online Wiki
18. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
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Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order does an amazing job making you master the art of combat with perfectly timed parry’s that you can follow up with a flourish of your lightsaber or the force power of your choosing. This is especially rewarding on the harder difficulties as you’ll need to master all of your abilities to conquer the many foes after Cal Kestus. In addition to superb gameplay Fallen Order adds a cherry on top in the form of a memorable story that will have you travelling across the galaxy far far away with a band of misfits by your side. A great story, stellar gameplay, and plenty of Empire baddies to slice away at await you on this adventure.
Release Date: November 15, 2019 | Developer: Respawn Entertainment | Last Position: No. 18 | IGN's Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order video review |  IGN's Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Wiki
17. Titanfall 2
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The original Titanfall was great, but the sequel delivered everything the first game failed to: an outstanding single-player campaign and some meat on Titanfall's strong but otherwise skinny multiplayer bones. The multiplayer part was obvious: more Titans, more game modes, more maps, etc. And Titanfall 2 delivered there. But that campaign almost came out of nowhere. It may not have had much of a story, but it's one of the best shooter campaigns of this generation on the back of its smart, variety-is-king design. You'll see when we mean when you get to *that* gameplay twist.
Release Date: October 28, 2016 | Developer: Respawn Entertainment | Last Position: No. 15 | IGN's Titanfall 2 video review |  IGN's Titanfall 2 Wiki
16. Apex Legends
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Respawn's slick gunplay came to life in an exciting new way when its battle royal Apex Legends first launched in 2019, and since then, it's only gotten better. Apex Legends' regular seasonal content drops are impressive. Not only can we expect a new Legend complete with story content and a neat kit, there's often also map changes (and sometimes a whole new map), a weapon or mechanic, and quality of life updates alongside the battlepass. Those regular updates plus the occasional holiday event and addition of quests keep Apex Legends in our rotation.
Release Date: February 3, 2019 | Developer: Respawn Entertainment | Last Position: No. 14 | IGN's Apex Legends video review |  IGN's Apex Legends Wiki
15. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
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Metal Gear Solid V – both The Phantom Pain and its precursor Ground Zeroes – is, without question, the most ambitious entry in the Metal Gear series, both in terms of its gameplay mechanics and scattered (some might say incomplete) story. Featuring what is undoubtedly one of the most complex sandboxes in gaming history, The Phantom Pain gives players a huge arsenal of weapons, vehicles, gadgets, and AI companions to approach missions creatively. As always, stealthy tactical gameplay is rewarded heavily, but if a mission goes sideways (or if you’re feeling squirrelly) the game doesn’t punish you for getting loud and messy. While the full scope of Hideo Kojima’s ultimate vision may have been stymied by creative differences with Konami, Metal Gear Solid 5 is still an absolutely worthwhile adventure for open-world stealth fans.
Release Date: September 1, 2015 | Developers: Kojima Productions, Konami | Last Position: No. 22 | IGN's MGS V: The Phantom Pain video review |  IGN's MGS V: The Phantom Pain Wiki
14. Ori and the Will of the Wisp
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Ori and the Will of the Wisps picks up the torch that Blind Forest lit in 2015 and carries it to new heights. The foundation was already there, but Moon Studios spent the five years between games building out a livelier world, a fully-loaded moveset with a new emphasis on combat, and another helping of bittersweet story. Ori and the Will of the Wisps is one of the best platformers you will find on any platform thanks to its creative puzzles and periods of racing platforming punctuated with soulful moments that give its characters a chance to breathe and shine.
Release Date: March 11, 2020 | Developer: Moon Studios | Last Position: No. 7 | IGN's Ori and the Will of the Wisps video review |  IGN's Ori and the Will of the Wisps Wiki
13. Forza Horizon 4
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Forza Horizon 4 isn't just the best Forza game ever made, it's the single greatest car game of the last decade, and maybe of all-time. With its four-season fictionalization of beautiful Great Britain and focus on socially fueled fun rather than hardcore simulation racing, it’s the equivalent of a perfect, breezy, 72-degree summer day distilled into video game form. It has a gigantic, diverse selection of cars , its seasons change the look and feel of the experience, and its soundtrack is bright, cheery, and bound to put you in a good mood. Somehow, Forza Horizon keeps getting better, which seemed all but impossible after the sublime Forza Horizon 3.
Release Date: October 2, 2018 | Developer: Playground Games | Last Position: No. 8 | IGN's Forza Horizon 4 video review |  IGN's Forza Horizon 4 Wiki
12. Gears 5
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Gears 5 loses the “of War” part of its title but absolutely none of its third-person cover-based shooter gameplay excellence. The chainsaw gun-wielding soldiers return and it’s finally time to uncover the mystery of Kait Diaz’s past and resolve the cliffhanger from the end of Gears of War 4. The story of Gears 5 is heartfelt, personal, and engaging, while multiplayer is once again a blast, too. The staple Versus and Horde modes are joined by the interesting new Escape mode that challenges a team of three to get the heck out of a map before a lethal poison cloud envelops them. Bring on Gears 6!
Release Date: September 10, 2019 | Developer: The Coalition | Last Position: No. 11 | IGN's Gears 5 video review |  IGN's Gears 5 Wiki
11. Halo: The Master Chief Collection
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This collection of six Halo games stands tall for the campaigns alone – particularly the completely remastered Halo 2 Anniversary – but now that developer 343 has updated the once-maligned multiplayer suite along with new features, enhancements, and an overall level of polish, Halo: The Master Chief Collection is an absolute must-own that just keeps getting better year after year. This is the quintessential Halo experience that has finally fulfilled all of its massive potential. If you're a longtime fan of the Halo universe or a newcomer who has no idea where to start in the long saga of the Master Chief, you can't do better than this.
Release Date: November 11, 2014 | Developer: 343 Industries | Last Position: No. 9 | IGN's Halo: The Master Chief Collection video review |  IGN's Halo: The Master Chief Collection Wiki
10. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
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Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice offers an exhilarating dose of what FromSoftware does best with new, skill-heavy combat systems that require precision and perfection to master. The supernatural take on Japanese history makes Sekiro’s obligatory moody atmosphere and cryptic story stand apart from its Souls-Borne siblings, and the new additions to traversal and combat offer unique and welcome updates to the already-excellent playbook of fighting tooth and nail for every inch of progress. Its specific brand of action may not be for everyone, but those who stick it out will find Sekiro to be an immensely rewarding journey.
Release Date: March 22, 2019 | Developer: FromSoftware | Last Position: No. 6 | IGN's Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice video review |  IGN's Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Wiki
9. Inside
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We define a 10 out of 10 as a "masterpiece," and Inside is every bit of one. The non-sequel follow-up to the sublime Limbo took six years to make, and it looks like five of those were spent on polish. Every pixel, animation, ray of light, and audio cue feels considered – not to mention the puzzles themselves. Inside won't strain your brain too hard, but its impactful non-verbal story will leave you contemplating what it all means for days after you finish it. Inside is simply unforgettable and should not be missed.
Release Date: June 29, 2016 | Developer: Playdead | Last Position: No. 12 | IGN's Inside video review |  IGN's Inside Wiki
8. It Takes Two
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Admittedly, It Takes Two won't exactly melt your GPU with its graphical intensity. Is it a nice looking game with a whimsical, fairy-tale tone and graphics to match? Yes, most certainly. But you need to play It Takes Two (with a friend or loved one either on the couch or via online play, of course, since It Takes Two cannot be played alone) because it is simply one of the best and most unique multiplayer experiences you can find these days. Writer-director Josef Fares – yes, he of "F*** the Oscars!" fame – follows up the equally excellent A Way Out with this, a story about a failing marriage that might just be able to be saved thanks to the couple being turned into children's dolls and forced to work together to find their way back to their human forms. Play it and we promise you'll smile.
Release Date: March 26, 2021 | Developer: Hazelight Studios | Last Position: New! | IGN's It Takes Two video review |  IGN's It Takes Two Wiki
7. Control
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Control won IGN’s 2019 Game of the Year award for good reason: it’s an exceptional third-person action-adventure that does nearly everything right. Developer Remedy has long been known for its storytelling prowess, and that’s on full display here. Great characters solving an engaging mystery in a beautiful brutalist-inspired setting, plus one of the best takes on telekinesis in gaming all combine to make Control a can’t-miss experience. It’s a game that keeps you guessing from the opening to the end credits, and even then you’ll be wanting to know more about its bizarre world.
Release Date: August 27, 2019 | Developer: Remedy | Last Position: No. 4 | IGN's Control video review |  IGN's Control Wiki
6. Hitman 3
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Agent 47's latest (and for now, last) outing is not only a much better game than its two predecessors, it's a much prettier one too. Hitman 3 has some truly breathtaking scenes from an eye-candy perspective. The first mission in Dubai will get you hooked, but the remaining five – including the second one, which is essentially like a playable version of the fantastic film Knives Out – will keep your Xbox powered on for hours as you try out the myriad ways to take out your targets. This is the best Hitman since Blood Money.
Release Date: January 20, 2021 | Developer: IO Interactive | Last Position: New! | IGN's Hitman 3 video review |  IGN's Hitman 3 Wiki
5. Doom Eternal
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Doom Eternal is arguably the best single-player FPS campaign we’ve seen in the entire Xbox One generation. Its entire gameplay loop is built around you being a badass – complete with other characters you encounter in the game being very, very aware of your badassery – but Eternal meets you in the middle by throwing literally dozens of demons at you at a time to even the odds. As the enemies get bigger and nastier during the campaign, you get faster, smarter, and more powerful too. It’s an incredible combat dance that’s quite simply unlike anything else on Xbox One.
Release Date: March 20, 2020 | Developer: id Software | Last Position: No. 5 | IGN's Doom Eternal video review |  IGN's Doom Eternal Wiki
4. Assassin's Creed Valhalla
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Assassin's Creed has essentially evolved from a stealth action-adventure to a full-blown open-world RPG, and Assassin's Creed Valhalla is perhaps the best example of its modern form yet. You'll never be lacking in things to do within its Norse-Viking world, and when you do get into combat, it's as weighty and brutal as it's ever been. What's more, if you've never played an Assassin's Creed game before, you can jump right into this one, as even though there's a larger universe at play here, there's no pre-required knowledge that will stop you from thoroughly enjoying your time here.
Release Date: November 10, 2020 | Developer: Ubisoft Montreal | Last Position: New! | IGN's Assassin's Creed Valhalla video review |  IGN's Assassin's Creed Valhalla Wiki
3. Red Dead Redemption 2
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Both a stunning technical achievement and a new gold standard for video game storytelling in an open-world setting, Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the best games Rockstar has ever made, and one of the greatest games ever, period. While its story is a complex tale of honor, loyalty, and loss woven around rich characters brought to life by nuanced performances, the real star of Red Dead 2 is its world. A sprawling and stunning recreation of the American south and west, it’s packed so full of detail that getting from A to B is virtually impossible without going off the beaten path to some other distraction. Whether it’s hunting, fishing, taking on any number of side quests for a parade of memorable NPCs, or just stopping to admire the verdant scenery, every single aspect of its world is deeply considered in its own right; providing a bespoke level of detail that makes Red Dead 2 nothing short of a masterpiece.
Release Date: October 26, 2018 | Developer: Rockstar Games | Last Position: No. 3 | IGN's Red Dead Redemption 2 video review |  IGN's Read Dead Redemption 2 Wiki
2. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
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Few RPGs manage to put forth a larger chunk of sophisticated content than The Witcher 3. Its massive open-world areas impress, in terms of both scope and density. Each massive area is generously dotted with great monsters to slay, tantalizing mysteries to solve, and personal stories to unfurl. It’s also one of the most impressive overall productions in gaming history, with reams of great dialogue performed by a stellar voice cast, an incredible original soundtrack, visuals that qualify as both a technical and artistic achievement, and a story with more branches than you could shake David Cage at. Package all that with two of the best and biggest expansions in recent memory, and you’ve got not only one of the best Western RPGs of all time, but a game that sets the bar for open-world adventures for years to come.
Release Date: May 19, 2015 | Developer: CD Projekt Red | Last Position: No. 2 | IGN's The Witcher 3 video review |  IGN's The Witcher 3 Wiki
1. Grand Theft Auto V / GTA Online
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Grand Theft Auto V’s sprawling, meticulously detailed map is still the high-water mark to which all other modern open-world adventures aspire. Not only is it huge, it’s impossibly dense with excellent content – and that’s not just the driving and shooting that make up its campaign, nor is it limited to the numerous side activities that could amount to a full game on their own – but one rich with all the sights, sounds, and bustling activity you'd expect to find in a city teeming with humans, seedy underbelly included.
Its single-player story is an engaging crime epic, one that smartly conveys Rockstar’s satirical take on the 21-st century American dream through three different playable characters, and when you’ve finally rolled credits on that - after some 30-plus hours - there’s literally years worth of content to dig into in its multiplayer component, GTA Online.
Featuring everything from elaborate multi-phase heists to custom high-stakes racing to flying DeLoreans and Mad Max-style vehicular deathmatches, Grand Theft Auto Online offers unparalleled variety, and with so much to do, explore, and play with, both with friends and on your own, there’s no question that GTA 5 remains the best Xbox One game ever.
Release Date: September 17, 2013 | Developer: Rockstar Games | Last Position: No. 1 | IGN's GTA 5 video review |  IGN's GTA 5 Wiki
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Spring 2021 Updates:
Added: Destiny 2, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, Gears Tactics, No Man's Sky, Elder Scrolls Online, It Takes Two, Hitman 3, Assassin's Creed Valhalla
Removed: The Witness, Devil May Cry 5, The Outer Worlds, Monster Hunter World, Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Resident Evil 2 Remake, Sunset Overdrive
Shifted: Titanfall 2 (No. 15 to No. 17), Apex Legends (No. 14 to No. 16), MGS 5 (No. 22 to No. 15), Ori and the Will of the Wisps (No. 7 to No. 14), Forza Horizon 4 (No. 8 to No. 13), Gears 5 (No. 11 to No. 12), Halo MCC (No. 9 to No. 11), Sekiro (No. 6 to No. 10), Inside (No. 12 to No. 9), Control (No. 4 to No. 7).
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Also make sure to check out our lists of the Best PS4 Games, the Best PC Games, and the Best Nintendo Switch Games.
from IGN Video Games via IFTTT
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paulkangart · 2 months ago
Resident Evil Village: Heisenberg's Factory Full Guide and Walkthrough
Heisenberg's Factory in Resident Evil Village is full of secrets and treasure - don't miss a single one with our guide. from IGN Video Games via IFTTT
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paulkangart · 2 months ago
Rainbow Six Siege to Begin Removing Dead Bodies from PvP
Rainbow Six Siege will now remove persistent dead bodies from PvP, with developers saying that the drop in realism will help competitive integrity. Ubisoft announced the change today, which will see dead bodies in PvP matches disappear after just a few seconds, being replaced with a translucent icon representing which operator died in that location. [ignvideo url=""] Game designer Sébastien François explained the problem that led to the change: "The issue now with [in-game corpses] is that they won't be replicated the same way for all the players [in a match]. So, sometimes, line of sight will be available to you, but it won't be available for another [player]. That will lean into very unfair situations where you're going to take decisions that maybe were not the best ones just because of the [location] of the body." The change has been made not just to stop that problem, but also to offer players more information – with multiple skins for the game's operators, it can be hard to tell at first glance which character has been taken down. That problem should be solved with the icon. "It might make the game look a bit less realistic," continued François, "but for us the main goal with that is competitive integrity. It's something we're striving for, we know it's been an issue for a while [...] but we're really striving for competitive integrity and we think this change is for the better." [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=rainbow-six-siege-new-look-screenshots&captions=true"] That trade of realism for fairness makes sense in the context of Rainbow Six Siege as an ongoing game. With the game now in its sixth year on the market, there will naturally be fewer new players looking for an immersive, sim-like experience, with much of the regular audience playing for the game's competitive thrills. That added fairness should help reduce frustration for more seasoned players, as well as lend some weight to the game's large presence in esports. This change is part of a wider evolution that Siege has taken recently, swapping its gritty, monochrome in-game style for a more vibrant approach, representative of its evolution into a sport, rather than a traditional Tom Clancy game. That's not to say Ubisoft isn't experimenting with Rainbow Six, though - the PvE-focused Rainbow Six Parasite (working title) should be on its way this year after some sizeable delays. Outside of the company, several of Siege's leads have also begun work on a new online multiplayer game for Amazon. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Joe Skrebels is IGN's Executive Editor of News. Follow him on Twitter. Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to from IGN Video Games via IFTTT
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paulkangart · 2 months ago
Resident Evil Village: Use These Speedrunning Tips to Beat the Game Fast
Unlock the Dashing Dad achievement or just build up your funds to upgrade weapons quickly on new runs with these important speedrunning tips. from IGN Video Games via IFTTT
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paulkangart · 2 months ago
Mass Effect 2: How to Perfectly Run the Final Mission
There is a way to make sure this mission goes without a hitch. Learn how with this guide. from IGN Video Games via IFTTT
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paulkangart · 2 months ago
Resident Evil Village: All Combinable Treasure Locations
Certain treasure in Resident Evil Village is worth a lot more when combined - don't miss their locations and which treasure to combine with our guide. from IGN Video Games via IFTTT
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paulkangart · 2 months ago
Mass Effect Legendary Edition Review Part 1: Mass Effect
Unsurprisingly, EA’s 4K remaster of the first Mass Effect is a night-and-day difference from the 2007 original. One look at a side-by-side comparison tells you most of what you need to know about this upgrade: textures, character models, and effects have been retrofitted and everything runs at 60 frames per second or more, though animations show their age in places, especially on human faces. But to find out how this famed but notoriously uneven game plays in 2021, factoring in the gameplay tweaks in the Legendary Edition, I spent 30 hours on a full playthrough. Revisiting an RPG I hadn’t played since 2008 turned out to be a fantastic refresher on one of gaming’s best original science-fiction universes, and also a reminder of the mechanical weaknesses a lot of us were willing to overlook at the time because of how revolutionary Mass Effect was back then.
In general, Mass Effect looks good at 4K. (I played on Xbox Series X.) Environments are a tad on the sparse side when it comes to how spread out everything is, but textures are sharp and detailed and the lighting effects look respectably modern. Its biggest weakness – visually – is its facial animations, which are hard to ignore considering how much you see of them. In contrast to their detailed and well-lit skin, a lot of human characters look like their faces are paralyzed between their upper lip and their eyes. Sometimes those eyes have an uncomfortable, unblinking gaze. It’s not terrible but it definitely stands out next to current games. However, the nice thing about aliens is that they’re immune to the uncanny valley effect because for all we know that’s how their faces are supposed to look – so they mostly look excellent.
(The new photo mode is a nice addition, though I don’t know if the original Mass Effect – even after its 4K upgrade – is a good-enough looking game to inspire a lot of photographers who could just as easily be practicing their craft in a game that originated in this decade.) [ignvideo url=""] What comes out of their mouths, though, has held up brilliantly. Mass Effect’s voice cast is outstanding, especially Jennifer Hale as the female version of Shepard. The supporting characters have plenty of recognizable voices, including Keith David, Seth Green, and Star Trek: The Next Generation veterans Marina Sirtis and Dwight Schultz. Naturally it’s all but impossible to have a 30-hour game without a few low points in the voice work here and there, but the prominent characters are all extremely well done. [poilib element="quoteBox" parameters="excerpt=There%E2%80%99s%20nothing%20terribly%20wrong%20with%20your%20human%20crewmates%20%E2%80%93%20they%20just%20pale%20in%20comparison%20to%20the%20four%20aliens."]The story of Commander Shepard and the crew of the Normandy working to stop the rogue Specter Saren from jumpstarting an ancient cycle of galactic genocide hasn’t missed a step in the past 14 years, and neither have its unforgettable alien companion characters. To be fair, there’s nothing terribly wrong with your human crewmates, Kaiden and Ashley – they just pale in comparison to the four aliens who’ve earned their reputation as some of the best companions in RPG history. Wrex, Liara, Tali, and Garrus’ personalities come through strongly in their voice acting and dialogue, like when Garrus needs to be talked down from his shoot-the-hostages style of law enforcement. It’s legitimately tough to decide which two characters to take with me on each mission because I want to hear how they’ll interact. Meanwhile, Saren is a strong villain who comes across as both a monstrous traitor and at times somewhat sympathetic. He’s certainly evil from the jump, but as you learn more about him you find that he has beliefs that drive him and an argument to support them – even if it’s one that no sane person would get on board with. (I remember the first time I played, which was relatively soon after Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, I was annoyed that Shepard couldn’t choose to accept Saren’s offer to join him. In hindsight, I can see how that might’ve been an issue for the sequels.) [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=every-ign-bioware-game-review&captions=true"] On top of that, it’s simply astonishing how much worldbuilding is crammed into this first game without any of it seeming like a giant exposition dump. Through conversations, both aboard the Normandy between missions and with dozens of characters on the worlds we visit, we learn the interconnected and complex histories of the Krogan, the Salarians, the Quarians, the Turians, the Asari, the Geth, and more, and all of it is used to build up tension in the uneasy alliance of species that governs the galaxy from the shiny white Citadel station. When bad blood bubbles up between characters of different species, it all makes perfect sense. Revelations come at a pace that keeps the energy up, and I’ve rarely seen a universe feel so thoroughly fleshed out so quickly. Also, the frequent criticism of the unchecked police power of the Specters feels relevant today, too (though its embrace of the idea that only a good space cop can stop a bad space cop may not please everybody). [poilib element="quoteBox" parameters="excerpt=Just%20about%20every%20major%20world%20you%20visit%20contains%20at%20least%20one%20weighty%2C%20life-or-death%20decision."]Of course, just about every major world you visit contains at least one weighty, life-or-death decision that we know will have repercussions in Mass Effect 2 and 3, including the fates of major characters and even entire species. Behind all of that is Mass Effect’s signature morality system, which lets you choose to play Shepard as a truth and justice-style Paragon or a Renegade who gets the job done by their own rules. It’s still a pretty great roleplaying mechanism that rewards consistency with more persuasive conversation options. And it’s not too rigid: I didn’t feel penalized for making my generally law-abiding Shepard knock a few heads or even work outside the law on a few side quests when it felt appropriate. [poilib element="poll" parameters="id=7a68469c-2ece-424b-be61-0cb42482ba5e"] Combat isn’t much of a highlight. To its credit, The Legendary Edition has smoothed things out a bit with improved aiming, shorter ability cooldowns, a revamped interface, and the ability to direct your two squad members individually. You do get some moments of intensity when you’re being pinned down by enemy fire and taking potshots at them. Also, Shepard can now use any weapon regardless of your class, which occasionally comes in handy. But the AI is barely there, to the point where you’ll see certain enemies moving in clearly predefined patterns, so they’re not exactly tactically interesting fights that really require you to make use of all of your squad’s abilities. As long as you’re periodically updating your squad’s gear with the slightly improved but still slow and clunky inventory system there aren’t many battles that are likely to slow you down much on normal difficulty. [poilib element="quoteBox" parameters="excerpt=Enemy%20AI%20is%20barely%20there."]Inventory management remains a drag on the pacing without a lot of upsides. You can now mark a bunch of items as junk and sell them all at once when you reach a store, which certainly is a big increase in convenience, but other than that it’s a lot of slowly scrolling through tons of items to find what you want. One thing that constantly gets on my nerves, given that you have the ability to swap out your weapon ammo mods on the fly, is that you’re effectively encouraged to do it whenever you need to counter a new enemy with a shield or other resistance. The problem is that in order to do that you have to pause, select the menu item next to the one where you change your graphics options, find the right character and weapon, then scroll through your list to find what you need. It’s just a lot when you’re in the middle of a gunfight, and it makes the shift to the ability-based ammo system in Mass Effect 2 feel like a great idea.
What About Mass Effect 2 and 3 Reviews?
This review covers only the first game of the trilogy, but my current plan is to replay them all and review each individually to see how they hold up. I don't have a precise timeline for when those will roll out (since it's probably not healthy to binge 100 hours of RPGs in rapid succession and I don't want to make myself tired of it before the end) but that's my ambition.
[ignvideo url=""] I played on the new default Legendary mode, which just means you’re only prompted to stop and put in upgrade points half as often as in the still-available Classic mode – and it still felt like it happened a lot. I preferred it this way because most individual points only give you a negligible stat boost; this way you can usually put in enough points to unlock something new when you level up. The original Mass Effect has a lot more old-school RPG stats than its sequels, but it’s not like it’s asking you to crunch any intimidating numbers – just pick which skills of your chosen class to boost and unlock. I wish there were more room to make my Shepard feel like a build I chose within my class, because I had enough skill points to max out nearly everything by the end and that made it feel homogenous. [poilib element="quoteBox" parameters="excerpt=The%20real%20problem%20with%20the%20Mako%20is%20that%20nothing%20you%20do%20in%20it%20is%20fun."]Another highlighted change in the Legendary Edition is the adjustments to the way the Mako landing vehicle drives. And sure, I appreciate that it’s less annoyingly bouncy and not as prone to instant deaths… but that just made me realize that the real problem with the Mako is that nothing you do in it is fun. Combat is incredibly bland because most enemies basically just sit there and shoot at you while you pick them off with two boring weapons, and the rest of it is just driving from point A to point B on the large, open, and mostly empty world maps you can land on and explore. Small adjustments to make it less punishing can’t save it, and it’s easy to see why BioWare mothballed the Mako in the next two games. [ignvideo url=""] Some other annoyances from the original version have been toned down to the point where you have to wonder why they’re even there at all. The hacking minigame, for instance, is the same simple Simon Says button-pushing routine from the original Xbox version (as opposed to the “Frogger” one from the PC version) except that failing is entirely consequence-free – you can try again instead of resorting to spending your omni-gel currency to unlock it (or reloading a save). In fact, in my entire playthrough I never used omni-gel to hack anything once. from IGN Video Games via IFTTT
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