As is becoming an annual tradition here at Push Square Towers, we’ve corralled our core group of staff writers and prodded them until they’ve told us what their favourite five games of the year are. With such a strong assortment to select from, added force was required in some instances. We told Kell we'd take away his traditional Aussie BBQ if he didn't write this list.
Fifth Choice: Destiny 2
I actually hate that I have to put Destiny 2 on this list. It’s a feature-incomplete game with a bizarre endgame setup, and a frankly predatory loot box system. All of those things annoy and disgust me in equal measure. And yet, I had too much fun playing it with friends for it not to make the list. There’s something so tactile and visceral about the way Bungie games play, and this one is no exception. Jumping around and shooting aliens with comrades is a gleeful experience marred by a bevy of unethical business practices.
Fourth Choice: NieR: Automata
I have never played a Yoko Taro game before, but after stumbling my way through NieR: Automata I’m now happy to count myself as one of his fans. Like Hideo Kojima or David Lynch, Taro seems to operate on a separate plane of existence from the rest of us. The result is a game that is inexplicably better than the sum of its parts. Somehow the combination of shallow combat, a convoluted story, janky visuals, and bizarre difficulty spikes makes for one of the more compelling experiences this year.
Third Choice: Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
As we noted in our review, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy feels like a compilation of the franchise’s greatest moments. It’s lean, it’s fast, and, like the serial films on which its foundation is built, it leaves you wanting more. This is in stark contrast to some of its progenitors, which quickly lose momentum in their final acts. It also features some genuinely interesting puzzles, a bunch of joyfully explosive set pieces, and dialogue that manages to be witty and heartfelt, often at the same time.
Second Choice: What Remains of Edith Finch
What Remains of Edith Finch is the smartest melding of game mechanics and narrative in recent memory. Indeed, several moments left me speechless at their sheer ingenuity. There’s also an alarming variety of different types of stories told in completely different ways, and its frankly flooring that the whole thing maintains any sense of internal logic. It’s hard to explain why this game is so inspired without giving away all its tricks, but needless to say, it comes highly recommended.
First Choice: Night in the Woods
There are a bunch of reasons Night in the Woods is my game of the year, but I think the most pertinent is how much it spoke to me and my situation. As I completed my final year of Uni, I began to see more and more of myself in its main character Mae – the anxiety, the uncertainty, the need for everything to stay the way it has always been. It perfectly captured those feelings, and helped me work through them in positive ways. I owe it a lot.
Game of the Year is off and running, and what better way to start than with some deep Kell cuts? Do you share anything in common with our token Aussie’s faves? Tell us if you think he’s got the perfect blend in the comments section below.