This week’s column is going to be a short one for me, and for good reason. It’s that time again…I’m moving. That’s right, I’m moving back to the same hometown that I’ve lived for nearly 20 years and getting ready for the move has taken over a lot of my time. But I can’t go without giving my readers (and yes even my haters) something to discuss while I’m away. I figured that with both the Xbox Scarlett and the PlayStation 5 being talked about, with releases coming next year, I figured we’d look back at some of the games that I thought were the best of this past generation.
Sure we still have a lot of great games coming out, such as Borderlands 3, DOOM Eternal, The Outer Worlds, and of course, Cyberpunk 2077. But this is a time of celebration, so let’s take a look at what I consider to be the best 5 games of the eighth generation so far.
Again, I need to address that the games on this list are games that I actually played. Yes there might be better games out there, but if I didn’t play them, I can’t count them. Anyway, let’s get started. And feel free to click on any of the numbered titles to see our full review of each of these games.
I’ve said this many times before and I’m going to say it again, I was never a fan of the original Assassin’s Creed formula. The repetitive game nature just got to me, as well as those cursed beggars who would always get in my way and ruin any attempts I made to perform an execution. However things started to change when Assassin’s Creed Origins came out, taking the game to more of a Skyrim styled action RPG. But it was the appropriately named Odyssey that made the new formula as perfect as it was. We have a massive environment full representative of ancient Greece, tons of settings to explore, massive army battles that can decide the fate of a nation, and two surprisingly likable lead characters in Alexios and Kassandra. I played the game for nearly 100 hours and there is still tons to do, and I haven’t even touched the DLC episodes yet!
4. XCOM 2
The first XCOM was great on previous generation systems, but it had some glaring holes that needed to be fixed. Thankfully XCOM 2 did more than patch them up, they made the game a whole new experience. Rather than just going the Terror From the Deep route the original series did, this time they changed the story to where the aliens WON the war and are now using a puppet government to coax people to join their gene therapy clinics, only to not know its sinister side, and only XCOM is able to uncover it in an immersive 40 hour campaign.
But the game took a complete change (and made even better) with the War of the Chosen expansion. Featuring three elite alien mercenaries that will do anything to ruin XCOM’s progress, they add an extra challenge. Thankfully three more unit groups (the Reapers, Templars, and Skirmishers) to combat them, all in an update that adds another 20-30 hours of gameplay to the main story! I’ve already gone through XCOM 2 several times on PC and Xbox and it never gets old!
The Forza Horizon series never ceases to be fun for me, but adding the new weekly Seasons feature makes the road you race on an element of itself. With each new season we get new challenges, new races, and new cars to unlock. I never thought that there could be such a thing as a racing RPG but we might have one here in the end. As for DLC, while the Fortune Island expansion was a nice little treasure map romp, it was the following Lego Speed Champions expansion that I enjoyed a lot more. Being able to drive Lego equivalents of a Ferrari or McLaren is fun itself, but it’s driving through and demolishing block based worlds that never stops getting old. It was so good that I even ended up buying Lego sets of these cars so I can have them for my own!
2. DOOM 2016
Be honest, did ANY of you think that a reboot of the king of first person shooters, despite being in development hell for so long, would end up as good as it did? I know I didn’t, especially when I saw the original “DOOM 4” concepts. I am so glad that id scrapped those ideas and made DOOM 2016 the fun single player experience it ended up being. DOOM 2016 is basically the anti-first person shooter as it takes all the tropes we are used to (cover mechanics, reloading, camping) and throws them out the trash like how the DOOM Slayer throws any monitor that tries to show exposition. No other game have I played to completion over multiple playthroughs as I did with DOOM 2016. And with DOOM Eternal coming out this November, it will so be time for me to once again “rip and tear….until it is done!”
And finally, what I consider the Game of this Generation…
This is coming from someone who NEVER played the first two Witcher games (though I really wish I did.) This game is so full of lore to unlock, an amazing epic journey, gorgeous visuals (especially when seen in 60fps,) and just like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, way too much to do in just the BASE game alone. In fact, I have nearly 300 hours put into the game, and I still have to finish the second expansion pack (Blood and Wine.)
In addition, keep in mind CD Projekt Red’s very pro-consumer policies when it comes to DLC. With the exception of the two expansion stories, they even released FOURTEEN separate DLC packs…all for FREE! I really hope they continue this trend when Cyberpunk 2077 comes out!
Next column will be when the big hits come out. Starting with Gears 5 and then Borderlands 3, we know the road to Broketober will be a long one, but I’m ready to let you all know what I think of it. The question is if any of these masterpieces will be taken off the list or not.
Currently Playing: Gears 5