Highly Recommended - Rated 4.5 Stars
Crown of the Sunken King: From Software went above and beyond with their Crown of the Sunken King DLC: invest in its tiny asking price, and you may find yourself getting just as much time out of it as you would a $60 game. But it's more than just the amount of content that makes this DLC irresistible-it's what From did with it. The amount of surprises and fresh ideas Crown has to offer should make any Souls fan salivate over the prospect of two incoming DLC packages developed (hopefully) with the same amount of thoughtfulness.
Transistor: Great combat mechanics and excellent writing help Transistor transcend the familiarity of its individual components. A gorgeous, intriguing, and ultimately moving tale, Supergiant's sophomore effort builds on the strengths that made Bastion so memorable without feeling like a mere retread. (PS4 review: PC version is the same)
The Witcher III: Wild Hunt:The Witcher III: Wild Hunt is probably one of the most well-crafted RPG worlds yet. As you wander the countryside, it feels like a real place filled with the real struggles of the beings that live there. Geralt's story is personal and quite grey; it's not about saving the world, it's about saving his surrogate family. Is it perfect? No, the combat is rote at times and the inventory and crafting needs work, but in the end, The Witcher III is a top-notch RPG experience. (PS4 review: PC version is better looking, unless your system isn't particularly powerful)
Project CARS:Project CARS features an excellent roster of cars and tracks, and delivers some of the most exciting and visceral racing action money can buy. It's not for everyone, since driving the game can be quite tough, even with all the assists turned on, but for those who are up for a challenge, few other racing games are as involving and potentially rewarding as this. (PS4 review: PC version is better looking, unless your system isn't particularly powerful)
Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls: If the purpose of an expansion is to not only introduce new content, but also extend the life of its core game, Reaper of Souls delivers. Act V might seem a little light, but Reaper of Souls' new features and Adventure Mode make it an essential purchase for anyone with even a passing interest in Diablo III.
Moebius: Empire Rising: A welcome return for Jane Jensen, and the beginning of a potentially fascinating series with an intriguing protagonist. More, please.
Pillars of Eternity: Pillars of Eternity is more than an appeal to nostalgia; it's a rich RPG in its own right, boasting enjoyable combat, a strong story, and masterfully paced quests. What flaws it has — poor pathfinding A.I. and a Stronghold that feels somewhat derserted — are comparatively minor in the grand scheme of things. Right now, its biggest problem is a surfeit of bugs, which seem endemic to Obsidian's RPGs. Ignoring all that, though, Pillars of Eternity is enormously entertaining, and may end up making a strong claim to being one of the best RPGs of the year.
Dragon Age: Inquisition: Dragon Age: Inquisition is a graphical showcase for the next-generation consoles—a sprawling, beautiful open-world RPG with a deeply satisfying exploration loop and just enough in the way of mechanical depth to keep hardcore adventurers happy. At more than 50 hours for a single run through the story, it packs in a tremendous amount of content across a wide number of locations. After stumbling a bit of their past few releases, BioWare has recovered to deliver a truly excellent piece of epic fantasy. (PS4 review: PC version is basically the same, if not better, depending on your system)
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter: Do you have a PC? Is it reasonably up-to-date? Well, if you haven't played The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, you're missing out on one of the best games of the year. Developer The Astronauts has crafted a masterful mystery in an unbelievably beautiful and atmospheric setting, and raised the bar for what this kind of an experience can be. And, for an extremely reasonable price of admission, you, too, can find yourself never wanting to leave its well-crafted world.
Alien Isolation: While it has a few rough patches and may prove too slow and drawn-out for some players, Isolation does an amazing job of capturing the essence of a classic film and recasting it as a video game. It can be a little too easy to see the man behind the curtain at times, but this is nevertheless one of the finest film-to-game adaptations ever... and a fantastic stealth adventure in its own right. (PS4 review: PC version is basically the same, if not better, depending on your system)
NBA 2K15: NBA 2K15's scope and ambition as a sports sim is admirable; and though its execution doesn't always match its vision, it's still an altogether polished and impressive package. Even if you don't care much about basketball, it's worth checking out for its highly entertaining MyPlayer mode alone. Once again, Visual Concepts has nailed what makes the NBA so appealing to a wide swath of people. (PS4 review: PC version is basically the same, if not better, depending on your system)
Fez: A novel exploration of the underpinnings of game graphics, Fez at once pays tribute to classic 2D platformers while revealing the shenanigans that went into their design. Borderline inscrutable at times, Fez is a puzzle on many levels. Yet its mysteries, clever as they are, deserve to be unravelled. (PS Vita review: PC version is basically the same)
Guacamelee: As fun in this beefed-up incarnation as in its original release, Guacamelee Super Turbo Champion Edition offers one of the best-designed and most original takes on the well-worn metroidvania phenomenon you'll ever find. The new material may not quite bring enough to the table to warrant a second purchase, and the game doesn't exactly push PS4 or Xbox One to the ragged edge of their capabilities, but once again excellent game design has less to do with technical specs and more to do with creativity and thoughtfulness: Features Guacamelee possesses in spades. (PS4 review: PC version is not dissimilar)
Shadow of Mordor: Shadow of Mordor is a great first step into the open-world action-adventure genre for Monolith. It up-ends what's come before with the Nemesis System, which brings the player closer to the game with personalized foes. The game isn't perfect - resurrecting foes can be frustrating - but those issues won't hold you back from enjoying yourself. (PS4 review: PC version is as good as, if not better, depending on your system)
FIFA 15: FIFA 15's improvements don't jump out right away, but they rapidly manifest themselves in smarter teammates, livelier stadiums, and more tactical gameplay. Beyond that, FIFA 15 is still a remarkably polished and complete experience, boasting excellent career modes and a variety of touches like Seasons mode and Match Day Live that remain unmatched by other sports sims. NBA 2K may yet challenge it for supremacy, but for now, FIFA remains the best all-around sports sim on the market. (PS4 review: PC version is as good as, if not better, depending on your system)
Up next are the games we've rated 4 stars. Click here to go to that page.