Shacknews' Scores

  • Games
For 369 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 32% higher than the average critic
  • 6% same as the average critic
  • 62% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 71
Highest review score: 90 Madden NFL 18
Lowest review score: 10 Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 18 out of 369
376 game reviews
    • 97 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Grand Theft Auto 5 is easily more likable than its predecessor, striking a better, more consistent tone than GTA4. Whereas Liberty City shifted jarringly from dire seriousness to slapstick, GTA5 is largely a purely fun, interweaving story of reluctant friendship amid shady activities.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a game that is meant to be loved and savored for years to come, and I'm sure it will be looked back on with as much fanfare and admiration as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Nintendo's other hallmark titles.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Super Mario 3D World is a tightly-designed platformer, raucously fun in multiplayer, and a master's class in level design. Don't pass it off as just another Mario game. This one is not to be missed.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    What I can say, however, is it is the best representation of the Uncharted series we have seen to date, and you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t experience it firsthand.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    You’re going to die a lot and become extremely frustrated more often than not. I can say Bloodborne is an experience that I will never forget as its combat mechanics, especially its transforming main weapons, helped me to adapt to the task at hand and I will gladly continue adventuring through in order to witness everything Bloodborne has to offer.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It’s been a heck of a ride, with the story twisting and tearing my heart out every chance I gave it. Most of this heartbreak stems from the choices that I made, which is why I love this series so much. Even so, some of the simplified elements like potion crafting or combat left me wishing it had kept more of its legacy intact.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The online component for Smash Bros. is astonishingly smooth.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is a fantastic addition to the Switch library, not just as a great game but as one that benefits from the system's core features. It adds the requisite new content and fixes the one large oversight of the original. Mario Kart 8 was already one of the best in the series. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is even better.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    An excellent addition to the Witcher 3 universe. The new enemies, redesigned UI, and exceptionally well-crafted new land to explore are all pluses in my book. The main questline introduced for the expansion is intriguing, and gives much more insight into the world that Geralt has spent his life adventuring through. In the final moments CDPR brings everything together to really help the player’s impact on the world feel more real, and it’s something that very few developers have ever managed to really accomplish.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Above all, Rayman Legends embodies the spirit of what makes gaming so wonderful: it's enchanting, it's memorable, and most importantly, it's sheer fun.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Bayonetta 2 is manic, adrenaline-fueled combat at its best, showing tremendous depth beyond its shallow lead character.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    After playing every game in the Forza series, I can say without any hesitation that this is, by far, the best Forza game to date.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Quite honestly, I didn't realize Nintendo still knew how to make a Zelda game at this level of sheer quality. Though A Link Between Worlds may not become an enduring classic through the decades like A Link to the Past, it stands as a worthwhile successor and a modern masterpiece in its own right.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A collection of firsts, but it carries itself with the confidence and proficiency of a veteran. It has plenty of room to grow and expand, but as our first step into this world, it's inviting, competitive, smartly designed, beautiful to look at, and fun to play. You can't ask for much more than that.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Hearts of Stone is a great addition to The Witcher 3 if all you’re looking for is more of the same. If you’re expecting something game changing or different, then this isn’t a DLC worth your time.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Majora's Mask 3D is just as much an oddity as it was fourteen years ago. While some aspects of it haven't aged well, Nintendo has made enough smart changes to make this remaster worth a second look for those like me who left the original undone. It's nicely presented, shows some real growth of the seeds planted in Ocarina, and is easily among the most unique games in the franchise.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Pillars of Eternity excels at bringing the look and feel of the Infinity Engine games to the modern world in an expertly written story that’s worth sitting through for over 70 hours...Honestly, it's one of the best RPGs I've ever played.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The addition of a single-player campaign was a huge positive for this series, especially due to the bizarre twists and turns it takes throughout. In a year filled with outstanding shooters in both the single and multiplayer fronts, Titanfall 2 does just enough to prove it can hang with the others, even if it is re-treading old ground.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With a huge, breathtaking world, an epic story, and choices that leaves a significant mark on the world around you, Dragon Age: Inquisition embodies everything that makes the series so popular.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    When I began Horizon: Zero Dawn, I was anxious it wouldn't be able to maintain itself for thirty-plus hours. I'm thrilled that fear was unfounded. The play was constantly rich and rewarding, and the mysteries constantly unfolding. I'm left not just feeling satisfied the entire time, but wanting more. This one is something special.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It shows how Nintendo can put its experience, even with some dips in quality, to use making a standout game. With the addition of new visual capabilities, stellar track design, and a continued slow march toward modern online functionality, this is the best the series has been since the GameCube era. If Mario Kart 8 is showing its age, it’s a spry octogenarian if I ever saw one.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Nintendo is known for being conservative and protective of its properties, and it's taking an uncharacteristic risk by giving players this much control over its most iconic character. We're already seeing creativity flourish. I can only imagine what will happen when we're all Mario's caretakers.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    As I closed in on the final endings for Nier: Automata, I found myself looking back on my time with it and wondering how I'd encapsulate all that into a review. Like its predecessor, this is something that must be experienced to be properly understood. At the time, I was sure I could see where it was going, and that fact left me wondering if this entry lacked that extra something that made the first Nier so memorable. As I worked my way through the final dungeon, Automata had something to prove in my mind. Would it simply stay the course, or would it save something special for the end? If you know Yoko Taro's work, you've probably guessed the answer to that question. Never before have the very credits held such sway over my opinion of a game. I leave Nier: Automata behind, not just pleased with it, but enraptured by it. Hopefully you will too.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Much like Assassin's Creed 2 took the unpolished ideas of the original AC, Black Flag builds upon the flawed AC3 experience. Ubisoft's latest adventure takes the best ideas of last year's game, refines them, and adds surprising new experiences in the form of underwater missions and a genuinely fun modern-day narrative.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    In many ways, XCOM 2 is more of what we already enjoyed in the recent reboot, with a few considerable improvements. The new units liven up the experience and add much more variety, while the procedurally generated maps help to customize every player’s experience into a one of a kind novelty. If you’re a newcomer to the resistance or an old veteran, XCOM 2 is a smartly designed action-strategy game with a staggering amount of content and replayability.
    • 88 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    All early indications are Dishonored 2 holds up to the high bar of its predecessor, and while it offers a bit more replayability with Emily and Corvo and some new game mechanics, it isn't as much of an advancement as it is a return to a formula that continues to work incredibly well for the series.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Fire Emblem Fates exemplifies the best way to approach a sequel. It maintains and iterates on Awakening's best qualities, while also introducing new systems that have a profound impact alongside a richer and more poignant story. It's more than just a worthwhile successor to a recent hit. Taken as a whole, it's the best Fire Emblem to date.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    All told, it's an impressive accomplishment, and a great start for the series on the Nintendo 3DS. I have no idea what the future holds, but for another few years at least, the beat will go right on for what may be the most important series on any Nintendo platform.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Moon Studios has a cinematic marvel on its hands, knowing exactly where to balance the light and the dark, both visually and narratively. It's a short game, coming in at about 7 hours for me, but it's worth every precious second.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It feels like Battlefield, it works like Battlefield, and it has plenty of opportunities for amazing things to happen that have only ever happened in a Battlefield game. It’s nice to see DICE returning to the roots of what makes this series so amazing, and I’m happy that, for the first time in years, a new Battlefield game doesn’t feel like it is in the middle of an identity crisis.
    • 88 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    To call Nioh a copycat would be doing it a disservice. Combat is tight and layered with options, levels are gorgeously rendered and ooze atmosphere, and the story is entertaining enough to keep me interested yet can still be set aside when I'm more interested in perfecting my ki pulses.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Injustice 2 feels like a step up from Gods Among Us in every way imaginable. It's a far deeper experience, follows up wonderfully on the last game's story, and also gives reasons to keep coming back for repeat visits. The rich cast of fighters all have their own distinct styles, but they're all wrapped up in an easy-to-learn fighting system that's just plain fun to play. NetherRealm has a true grasp of what makes the DC Universe special and this game is as much of a love letter to that world as it gets.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    These caveats aside, Pokemon X and Y is a very successful update for the venerable series, and actually, it compares rather favorably to Diamond and Pearl in terms of content out of the box (not as much Black and White, which had half a continent to explore after the Elite 4 was done).
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    If you manage to master the music you will be rewarded with engaging combat, a plethora of items to use and an addictive adventure that you can sink your teeth into. However if the beat breaks you down then this game is nothing more than a heartache.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Forza Motorsport 6 is what I always wanted a next-gen driving game to be. It offers beautiful visuals, a wide variety of options, and uses real-world physics to dictate how vehicles perform...It's unlikely anything will unseat it in the near future.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The Witness is an intentionally simple game to grasp, but enjoyment almost feels proportional to patience. These puzzles are absolute brain-breakers, so anyone that doesn't have the patience for them will get no enjoyment out of The Witness. I was certainly on the verge of being one of those people, but exploring the sheer beauty of the island and learning more about its central mystery turned out to make returning worthwhile.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While the heavy tilt towards simulation provided by Project Cars 2 is not really in my wheelhouse, I can still objectively see it for what it is, a love letter to driving that hardcore players will find irresistible.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    It's clear that Pikmin 3 was not designed with the GamePad in mind. Even in our review guide, Nintendo recommends playing with the Wii Remote and Nunchuck. Controlling the virtual cursor becomes much easier the Wii Remote, and alleviates many of the camera control issues you may face when playing with just the GamePad or Pro Controller.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Fallout 4 is exactly and precisely more Fallout. Its couple of new gameplay elements are well-executed and enrich the experience, but they don't make this feel especially different than the Wasteland we were exploring almost a decade ago. If you enter looking for a heaping helping of the Fallout action you already enjoy, and an enthralling romp through a newly realized portion of the Wasteland, this certainly fits the bill. Just don't hope for another revolution, because like war, the Wasteland apparently never changes.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    As a story-based game, it features some of Telltale's best writing to date and its humor separates it from the developer's more recent efforts. It also features a shocking amount of replay value and actually made me want to play the finale more than once to see the various character interactions, as well as find any little things I might have missed.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Fullbright Company's first indie effort is backed up by a touching narrative, one paced incredibly well, that effectively engages players through the bulk of the game's short three-hour runtime.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While the Uncharted series does have few bumps and bruises, and Drake’s wrinkles have deepened over time, fans of the Drake’s story, and action adventure games alike, couldn’t have asked for anything better.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A great addition to the series thanks to its impressive combat mechanics, its highly-detailed and locales, and its ability to be challenging, but not impossible to beat. Even though it still has some aspects I thought could be improved, it's still a game that I ended up enjoying way more than I initially thought I would.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Even with the usual launch jitters, Respawn has reinvigorated the multiplayer experience by incorporating campaign elements, and focusing on fun. While the long-term enjoyment of competitive play will be tested over the coming months, Titanfall establishes a solid base--one that should be rewarding for those who invest in the game for a prolonged period of time. This is no "flash in the pan," and we're eager for more.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Picross 3D 2 is what a sequel should be, especially for puzzle games. I would've been happy with more puzzles, but it went further. It iterated and engaged my brain in new and clever ways that I hadn't even considered, it revised its progression ramp in a way that I found more satisfying, and it gave and continues to give me dozens of hours of enjoyment. If you have any interest in logic puzzles and brain-teasers, this is a can't-miss.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Those minor issues with the game aside, Dishonored 2 proves to be a return to a classic formula that worked so well in the orginal. Strong level design, open world exploration and the ability to play your own way with powers that can be adapted or modified how you want makes the game one of the top titles of the year.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Auto-runners may be a dime a dozen on the App Store, but Fiesta Run is simple, satisfying, and gorgeous to look at.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Sonic Mania is at once a blast from the past and a wormhole to Sonic's future, bypassing everything between it and the early '90s. Come for the callbacks, stay to get a firsthand look at what Sonic's custodians have in store for his future.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Resident Evil was in dire need of fresh characters, ideas and mechanics to ensure we’d see additional numbered entries in the future, and this was one of the best ways to breathe new life into a franchise that’s been mistreated a bit in the past. From top to bottom it’s clear this was a project that was handled with great care, with excellent voice acting, gruesome surprises, and scenes you’ll be scratching your head about for days to come. To all Resident Evil fans out there, I say welcome home. You’re going to enjoy your stay with the Bakers.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While the 2013 reboot was growth for the sake of survival, Rise is more about growth on a more personal scale. Between a fantastic story that introduces some fascinating characters, its vast open world filled with hidden elements and wild game, and a greater emphasis on solving problems with brains as much as bullets, Rise of the Tomb Raider proves to be a remarkable follow-up to Lara's origin tale.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Forza Horizon set out to give racing fans the opportunity to enjoy the Forza series in an open-world environment, and with the addition of a vast and beautiful locale, multiplayer options, both online and in single-player mode, and all of its activities, Forza Horizon 2 is yet another sequel that vastly improves on its original.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The fact that I want to go back and grind some missions to level up my less developed characters speaks to SteamWorld Heist's longevity and satisfying appeal. Image & Form has another retro-inspired gem here, and has further established that like its denizens, SteamWorld stands for piecing together something great from a box of spare parts.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Equal parts frustration and elation, XCOM: Enemy Within is a bonafide fist-pump producer, taking players through the same emotional peaks and valleys of the original. Like most expansion packs, Enemy Within is targeted towards the experienced. But Firaxis once again manages to balance XCOM's disparate elements, resulting in a challenging and satisfying experience.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Heroes of the Storm is the least intimidating of the major MOBAs and that's a good part of what makes it so easy to keep coming back. It's easy to pick up and learn, while the option to turn Allied Chat off makes the game a pressure-free environment.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    On the whole, these improvements make Twilight Princess HD the best version of the worst modern Zelda game. That said, even a mediocre Zelda game is still pretty fun. If you can get past its tonal oddities and paint-by-numbers structure, it's a good game, but not a great one. I enjoyed it as a cultural artifact, but replaying it made me appreciate that this direction for the series was temporary.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Once you get a feel for the game, Cities: Skylines can be quite satisfying and fun to play. But getting there can feel like trying to build a house without blueprints and only a vague idea of how to use each tool.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Destiny 2 proves that the journey is more rewarding than the destination. Sure, I'll pick up duplicate or useless loot, but at least I had a good time along the way. And honestly, it's the kind of good time I could see myself having for a long time.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Square Enix may be taking its signature Final Fantasy series to new places, but Bravely Default shows that they still know what makes a good, traditional JRPG.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    As far as soccer games go, Rocket League stands out as a fantastic alternative to the more serious sports outings out there. The quickened pace and numerous customization options make this game a more intriguing and unconventional multiplayer option, but one that's definitely worth taking onto the pitch.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    As an RPG, it's hard to recommend South Park: The Stick of Truth, given that there are a number of more polished titles that offer deeper battle systems and much larger worlds. As a South Park game, however, this is easily at the head of the class, nailing the show's humor at just about every turn.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It goes a long way towards catering to both long-time fans of the series and casual newcomers with mechanics that are simple to grasp, while also adding some welcome new degrees of complexity.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Shovel Knight is an amazingly fun romp, offering precision platforming at its finest. Only at the end did I feel the game began to falter a tad, as it delved into some unwelcome cliches. But aside from that, this game brought back memories in the best way possible, all supplemented by a soundtrack that will ring through your head for a long time.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It’s always easy to recommend The Show, and even easier on its best years. While there are still a few rough spots, it’s hard to look at this year’s edition and not come away impressed by the sheer amount of content and modes, as well as the polished gameplay and player experience improvements. This is a gigantic care package of baseball, with countless ways to play the game for both hardcore and fair weather fans alike. I’ll be spending lots of time with this game all year, even when my Tigers inevitably hit a brick wall in August (prove me wrong, boys – prove me wrong). MLB: The Show ’17 is a love letter to baseball and its fans, and one of the secret best reasons to own a PS4.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Halo: The Master Chief Collection has a handful of quirks and legacy issues, but those don't diminish the achievement. It's a stellar collection of some of the best games of the last few generations, with options galore and clever ideas like Playlists to breathe new life into old content.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Even with some of the controls catered to novices, the game ultimately rewards patience and dedication. The result is one of the deeper fighting games I've come across, bolstered by an engaging presentation. Learning can be time-consuming, but for some of the keen-looking moves you can dish out, it's worth the effort.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Most of these additions and tweaks are bonuses or minor quality-of-life improvements learned from later games. The core is intact, unchanged, and still spectacularly fun. As the saying goes, they don't make them like they used to. Ratchet & Clank argues that maybe they should.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Although the stealth missions can be annoying--as is the fact that cut scenes can't be skipped and how there's only one save slot for the campaign--I can see myself returning to Kyrat despite its faults. There's so much to explore, and the world has so much detail that it's hard not to be drawn back.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    That a first-person shooter like Doom exists in 2016 is shocking. Its levels are vast and intricately designed, its gameplay diverse and joyful, its toolset robust. Multiplayer is its weak link, but the adaptability of SnapMap is more than enough to offset that.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Perhaps more importantly, it packs a surprising amount of historical heft, making it just as much a must-have for those interested in a broad and distinct look at the medium itself.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Shadow of Mordor is influenced by other games, but not defined by them. Instead it takes pieces from some of the best games of the last few years, augments them with RPG mechanics and the new Nemesis system, and integrates them all so well together that it's sometimes hard to tell where one system begins and another ends. It's a remarkable achievement.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    I loved the previous titles in the series, and although this new one can miss the mark at times, it's a beautiful treasure hunting romp that brings back that same Uncharted feeling.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For those who yearn for the days of platforming yore, Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment is a dream come true. Some will be turned off by its lack of scope, especially when it seems like every major title that comes out is filled with lore and unbound exploration. However, sometimes it's just great to spend some time with a game that just has tight, precise gameplay that doesn't require you to deal with endless mechanics and crafting to get enjoyment. Specter of Torment is that game, a modernized version of the platforming games that we loved and loved to hate from childhood.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is one of the best games to be released this year, without a doubt. While the campaign may have felt a bit short with its abrupt ending, it left me itching for a sequel.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Halo 5: Guardians isn't 343's first Halo game, but it's the first that really makes the series its own. This isn't a reflection of Bungie's efforts, or a remaster, or stage-setting. The studio has put its own identity on this Halo game with smart moves like a more identifiable story and a wider array of multiplayer options, along with increased polish like Guardians' incredible visual punch and impeccable multiplayer balance.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Darkest Dungeon takes the staples of roguelikes and adds the atmosphere and themes of Lovecraftian Horror and does so with incredible success. The game captures the feeling of battling an unending wave of nightmarish abominations with little to no chance of hope. But when you do succeed you feel like a million bucks. The difficulty may deter many people from trying this game out, but if you are brave enough you will be rewarded with a rich experience.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Axiom Verge does a phenomenal job of not only paying homage to some of the greatest games of the past, but also of crafting its own identity in the process. It doesn't just pay respects to the greats. It deserves its own place alongside them.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There are immensely satisfying moments for those that choose to stick with this game, but those moments need to be earned. Nothing will come easy, but nothing truly worthwhile ever is.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    All the stumbling around trades away any sense of suspense. It's hard to feel scared of monsters after you've walked circles around them several times. Not even tricks like suddenly switching off the lights saves the mood. Soma does a great job of making me feel lost and frustrated. Perhaps too good.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The combination of story, presentation, and atmosphere come together in perfect harmony to offer arguably one of the best point-and-click adventure games ever created. With that said, I was a bit disappointed to see the Grim Fandango not get the full remastered treatment I feel it should have received.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Like Hitman GO before it, Lara Croft GO proves to be a brilliant reimagining of a classic franchise. It may not have the tense atmosphere of the newer Tomb Raider games, but that's part of the reason that GO succeeds. It successfully illustrates the versatility of the franchise as a whole, showing that it can work as a soothing puzzle game just as well as an action-packed, nerve-wracking platformer.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Wolf Among Us is a winner for its pacing, its character work, its story, and the manner in which it makes the player think without being overly heavy-handed about it.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    While it offers much of the Persona experience fans will enjoy, such as the deep and challenging combat system, ability to fuse Personas, and unpredictable story, there are still some things fans of the series will certainly miss. The inability to randomly explore your surroundings or to take one of your friends out for a bowl of ramen in order to improve your bond with them is one I missed greatly while playing Persona Q.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Only those who are really into realistic driving simulators may flock towards Project Cars, although they might get bored easily considering there really aren’t any unique game modes either. It carries a sense of realism in spades, but there isn't much under the hood.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Its complexity can be overwhelming, but once you hit your stride, it's entertaining all the way to the home stretch.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Bastion certainly wasn’t a fluke. Transistor cements Supergiant Games as one of the sharpest, most stylish, and unique small developers. Though some of its flourishes aren’t quite as fresh the second time around, Transistor speaks with a unique creative identity, mostly successfully refreshes solid RPG mechanics, and tells a poignant story worth experiencing.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Madden NFL 17 is a quality Madden game. It does a lot of things right, and fixes most of the major shortcomings of previous editions. If you’ve lapsed in the series or just want to know if you should grab this year’s game, go forward knowing that you will get a lot of mileage from it. It’s good. At the same time, however, it is still absolutely a Madden game, and in the 12th year of EA’s exclusivity deal with the NFL it’s hard not to pine for a little competition. Sunrise, sunset.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Between the extra Fatalities, dozens of Brutalities, and match modifiers locked up alongside costumes and art in the interactive Krypt, players should be prepared for a long grind before they can unlock the "entire" game.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Though Madden NFL 16 has some great ideas in the form of new modes or changes to existing systems, it feels less cohesive and finished than the franchise deserves.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    It's too bad that now that the company has shown how well it can work, it's taking a bow.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While it is undoubtedly better in most respects than Donkey Kong Country Returns, that game spent its goodwill as a nostalgic throwback. Tropical Freeze is left suffering many of the same weaknesses, but without the sheen of a comeback story to set it apart.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The game's challenge might seem extreme at first, but it never feels cheap. It forces you to think out your strategy and carefully plan each move. Invisible Inc is a sort of paradox. You have to move carefully, but you're fighting the clock at the same time. It's immense pressure that is thrilling to play out.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    If you pride yourself in your Gears of War multiplayer skills, Gears of War Ultimate Edition will scratch your competitive itch. Just remember this is Gears of War, so there are some things you won’t be able to do like tag a grenade on a surface to create makeshift mine or stun an opponent by jumping over an obstacle they’re hiding behind.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A rare sequel where the developers took a chance instead of sticking by what was a successful formula. Although I personally wasn’t a fan of the original Watch Dogs, the game sold well and Ubisoft could have easily slapped some new paint on it and released another dreary, boring game. They didn’t though, and I hope it’s a trend other developers pick up on because Watch Dogs 2 is a superior product.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    But when 50 percent of all Pokemon games are remakes and the rest feel like remakes, it just makes me wish my favorite game series would stop dwelling on the past.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Geometry Wars 3 brings the tight twin-stick feel of the series to the modern gaming era while also paying homage to the series’ roots. Just steer clear of its online multiplayer game modes.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This platformer is chaotic fun and one of the best (and simplest) multiplayer experiences on Wii U.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    One of the best Madden games I have ever played. It’s accessible to new players and offers brand new experiences for seasoned video game football vets. There are some years when Madden just doesn’t have the right feel, and I usually will be the first to tell folks to hold off on buying the game. But this is not one of those years. 2018 is coming, and Madden is ready to give you hours of awesome gameplay experiences.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    If you're one of those people who lives to party (and honestly, who doesn't?!), Sportsfriends deserves an immediate addition to your game library. It comes with four unique competitive experiences that are worth checking out, even if some are better than others, and the presentation and gameplay each one presents is truly inventive--and a far cry from what you've come to expect with NBA Jam. Dig in, and don't forget your friends.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Endless Legend is a gorgeous game, with a unique take on 4X strategy, and a tremendous amount of potential. Its interface and diplomacy systems could use a bit of improvement, but the tactical combat and decision-based campaign help make up for it.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Child of Light is a magnificently balanced role-playing adventure. It has everything most players are looking for: a battle system that won't drive you mad, a gorgeous presentation, and a decent challenge (especially at higher difficulty settings). This could easily be one of Ubisoft's best games of the year.

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