Overload - Traditional style 6DOF game, but with VR support! I played this with a HOTAS because ‘immersion’ and it took me a long time to get used to the controls but was fun once I did. The difficulty escalated pretty quickly, so I put it down a little more than halfway, but still had fun.
Moss - This most adorable VR game ever created. The main character gives you little high fives, everything is tilt shifted, and it just gives you the warm fuzzies. Got wrapped up in other games so didn’t finish this one.
Subelevel 0 - Roguelite Overload. Was fun for a while, but more of a holding pattern game than anything else.
Borderlands 2 - honestly, Ill probably play this every year, now in VR!
Rage 2 - oof, was this this year? Looked nice, and the gunplay was a lot of fun, but the open world was pretty barren. Liked it more than I didn’t, but definitely a ‘buy on sale’ game.Deus Ex Mankind Divided - got into this after a previous failed attempt, and it worked better this time. Less glitches / performance issues, but I hit a point where I just hated every single thing in the world building and basically beat the game out of spite. Probably better than Cyberpunk?
Final Fantasy 13 - This was a really special time for me. I had a very successful 13 hour Extra Life stream with it, ending near the games most beautiful cutscene along with Thunderhead by The Native Howl playing on spotify. Everyone shits on this game so much that it almost had to be better than expectations, but I really liked it. Combat has a unique spin, the story winds up being teenagers killing god (in typical Final Fantasy fashion), but the motivation and villains felt really unique. A standout for the year for me.
Dark Souls - Much like Borderlands, this is just on the rotation.
XCom Chimera Squad - disappointing. Very easy for an XCom game, with very little of the base building and other ‘persistent’ features that make the game stressful. One boss winds up being oddly impossible compared to the rest of the game and required some scummy strategies to beat. Fine as a foray into the genre, but not exemplary.
Troubleshooter: Abandoned Children. Personal Game of the Year, mostly because I didn’t see it coming. It looked cool on Steam, is pretty cheap, and had positive reviews. The game itself has a really cool story, memorable characters, a fun gameplay loop, and systems upon systems upon systems. I am eagerly awaiting a DLC for another chapter, as well as anything else the studio puts out.
Final Fantasy 15 - The beginning of the end for Final Fantasy for me, I fear. It looks nice, but the plot is ‘eh’ for a Final Fantasy game, the main characters don’t have too much development. Worst of all, the combat is just not an RPG and I can’t abide by that. If this is the future, I want out (or Dragon Quest)
Borderlands 2 VR - Never stop never stopping.
Bumbo - Did you ever want to play a Bejeweled roguelike covered in shit? I didn’t. But I eventually played enough where the gameplay started to make sense, and it was interesting but not nearly as good as Binding of Isaac.
Dicey Dungeons - So much better than Bumbo. It shows you a concept with the initial run for each character, then the bonus runs really explore that concept to its fullest, and it is fun to see how far they can take it. Would be better on Switch (I was holding out, but a good sale came along), but just fine to kill time on PC as well.
Remnant From the Ashes - In hindsight, I think I liked this more than when I played it. Dark Souls with guns-ish, and apparently a roguelike more than an RPG. The controls are a little strange, but the loop was pretty fun. Some bosses were really rough, others were trivial. I could easily see myself returning to this at some point in the future.
Killing Floor 2 - prestige those classes, baby! Player count is dwindling, but I still had a lot of fun coming back and seeing which maps were added. Many cool maps with more objectives than ‘survive’ were thrown in. The changes to the game since I stopped playing last (once all classes were in, I believe) all felt really good.
Star Wars: Squadrons - Pretty fun stuff, played with VR and HOTAS as well. The shield system makes it pretty active to do strafing runs, as well as having to manage all your individual systems. Looks great, plays well, was fun.
Among Us - duh.
Warframe - god, this game is a trap. Its free, its fun! Trrrrry it. I made it my goal after about 30 hours to get every character unlocked for free. 200 hours later, I completed my goal. If you don't bind mouse wheel to melee during this time you will get carpal tunnel. So many missions end in a 10% chance or less at getting a piece of what you need, after 30 minutes of play. One character can only be completed by killing a boss only available during a seasonal-ish event. So many stars aligned to get me everything before I lost my mind. The gameplay is solid, but the fights, the bosses, the story missions, are almost all horrible. Do not follow my path. Play something better.
Dead By Daylight - The game is pretty player focused - you can queue as the killer or the survivor. You get points for progression by doing almost anything, so no match is a real waste of time. It is heavily monetized for something that I paid for, which rubs me the wrong way, but playing with friends, or killing teens on your own is pretty fun (until you get to higher levels, or run into horrible matchmaking which happens a lot)
DotA 2 - There is no escape from the MOBA.
Mario + Rabbids Battle Kingdom - I put this down a while ago because I picked it up after actual XCom. Coming back fresh, it is really fun, and very forgiving. The disconnect between sniping Rabbids and being Nintendo characters is never not funny, and so many of the characters just ooze charm. Boss fights are all well crafted. You definitely have to make your own challenge (all gold stars) to keep things interesting, but I highly recommend.
No More Heroes - A lot of the charm was jacking off and getting blood fountains on the Wii, and the disconnect between family friendly isn’t quite there. That being said, the bosses are mostly all a good time, once you get through the padding to get to them. There is a fun meta narrative (work is boring, killing is awesome) but it is a drag to have to play for an hour to get to the good parts. Nothing ever gets too dicey, and most bosses were killed on my first or second try. Better than the second.
No More Heroes 2 - Money means nothing, there are very few upgrades, and bosses have less padding. Somehow this makes things worse. The fights don’t feel as good, I think mostly because blocking isn’t free like in the first one - block breaking attacks aren’t nearly as telegraphed. The story, the writings, the characters are all better. In the first game, about midway through, is Shinobu who is pretty fun, but this game has Pizza Bat who is a Pizza shit. A huge spike in difficulty, with some really unfair stun locks, but still satisfying to beat.
Division 2 - More of the same of the first Division, which isn’t the worst. Decent gunplay, bullet sponge enemies, gear climb.
Outer Worlds - The beginning of the game was impossible to gain any traction, then about five hours in I was almost unstoppable. Stories are ‘eh’, and the corporations are bad message is incredibly ham fisted with no nuance to speak of. I would rather play New Vegas with a bobble head mod.
Final Fantasy X - Lot of cool additions to the RPG formula (hot swapping party members), and some interesting story beats. Also lots of moments where you need a strategy guide - mazes, puzzles, ultimate weapon bullshit, and bosses that will wipe your party instantly unless you know exactly what to do. Overall I liked it, but I ran through the story beats without doing most of the side stuff.
Final Fantasy IX - Was also very good. I liked how strong the princess was, and a lot of the early story beats really charmed me. That being said, the game is slow, and i don’t mean story wise. I mean every aspect of the game runs like its stuck in molasses, so I’m happy to have the option to speed everything up on the remake.
Forza Horizons 4 - started playing because it was very pretty, kept playing because its addictive as hell. Love it, and looking forward to the sequel.
Gears of War 4 / 5 - more Gears is never bad and Laura Bailey is always nice to hear. Unfortunately, or rather, expectedly, I don’t really remember much about the games other than a general feeling of ‘I liked it’. In my college days I beat the first trilogy on Insane, but this time I stuck to hardcore and had a good amount of fun (except against torque bows). Fun series, worth playing with XBox GamePass ™ .
Final Fantasy 7 - I was bitter growing up that everyone loved these blocky looking fools compared to beautiful sprite work, and I was never the biggest fan of ATB gauges. 20 years later, I was wrong. This game certifiably rules even with a little bit of jank from being so old. Biggest takeaway from me is that the music is great. And we raised a dickload for charity which was great!
Fire Emblem Tactics - Needed something simple to unwind with and this fills it in in spades. The base gameplay is way too simple to sustain me, though, and realizing how much grind (or money) you have to put in to get the best stuff turned me off. But Beach Dorothea is clearly the best.
Dota Underlords - its a game you can play! I played it over holidays to kill time. Yep.
Far Cry New Dawn - If you have played Far Cry, this is more of that. Its fine, nothing unexpected.
Tetris Effect - does Tetris need to be batshit crazy with particle and effects in VR? No. Is it stupid fun when it is? Yes.
Disco Elysium - Beat just before the year ended, and oh man, its a doozy. Kim is the best supporting character in a game because he acts as a compass while still being his own person. He will straight up tell you when you are being an idiot, but if you want to name the case ‘cock loving slut’, he will laugh before explaining why he can’t. Everything about him, and most other characters in the world, feels so rounded and well made. So many characters I thought I could never be friends with I wound up having a solemn respect for at the very least. The story has so many twists and turns that left me completely engrossed, to the point where I didn’t mind that you can play the game with only two buttons and no combat. The writing quality is absolutely stand out, and the fact that unlike every other game, its incorrect to click on every dialogue option feels like this game will taint every future game I play, and the odd choices for dialogue will influence my D&D sessions heavily. It was an absurd, entertaining, often shocking way to end the year, a real cherry on top.