Every week, more games arrive with more ways to play them, from consoles to PCs to smartphones to VR headsets. So every week, we cut through the noise and pick out five games you should pay attention to and get your thumbs behind. And this week’s top pick is particularly special because it was a decade in the making, and helps close out a year of games that we never thought we’d see finally arriving.
Pick Of The Week
Final Fantasy XV, Tuesday (Xbox One, PS4)
Yes, after a decade of development, Final Fantasy XV is finally here. For those playing along at home, this started as Final Fantasy Versus XIII, a spin-off that was going to be an exclusive for the PlayStation 3. In 2006. We weren’t kidding about that decade-long development. That said, this is also the first proper entry in the franchise since Final Fantasy XIII, which first arrived six years ago, and it’s making some major changes, starting with the fact that you tap buttons and dodge to kill enemies instead of pick menu options or use an active battle system, and they’ve fully committed to the open world idea. Whether it’ll make a lick of sense if you haven’t read pages of lore is anybody’s guess, but if you need something to get you through the holidays, this’ll do the trick. We’ll have first impressions and video later today, and a review later this week.
This Week On Console
Steep, Friday (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
Ubisoft’s bold, unexpected new extreme sports game arrives to see if open-world gaming and its inherent silliness (notice the unicorn outfits and polar bear masks) can mesh with the world of extreme sports. This seems to be a refreshing break from trying to kill things with guns and swords, and it doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously. We’ll be excited to see where it goes, especially with its emphasis on social features.
The Dwarves, Thursday (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
Sadly not based on the awesome punk rock band, instead this is based on a German high fantasy novel and, well, looks more or less like yet another Diablo clone, albeit one with a sense of humor and thankfully does not appear to be a roguelike. If you’ve been missing Diablo, and randomly generated levels aren’t cutting it, this might be your game.
This Week On PC
Cities: Skylines: Natural Disasters Expansion, Tuesday (PC)
That’s right, buckle up and get ready to trash your lovingly built metropolii, because Cities: Skylines now has natural disasters! OK, so this is just an expansion, but it promises to be a highly entertaining one, and if you have fond memories of building a city and wrecking it like a kid crushing a LEGO castle, this’ll be right up your alley.
Townsmen, Tuesday (PC)
If you like your city-builders a bit more intimate, this game puts you in charge of a local medieval village where you allocate resources, manage design, and try not to accidentally kill too many people. The ’90s-style graphics and MIDI sound make this a throwback to the days where city-builders were a dime a dozen, and it might bring a smile to old-school gamers’ faces.
Any we missed? Let us know in the comments!