Hey everyone, we’re halfway through the year, which means another quarterly update of 10 games that stand out among the rest. We’re sad to report that Redfall and Gollum will not be appearing on this list, even though we had high expectations for them. Well…not too high, but we always carry high hopes for great games to play. This leads us to this list of hand-picked titles that were released from April 2023 through June 2023, so let’s get to it, in no particular order.
We Love Katamari REROLL+ Royal Reverie (PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X, Switch, PC | June 2, 2023)
As far as remasters go, we couldn’t ask for a better game to be brought to modern consoles besides We Love Katamari REROLL+ Royal Reverie. This zany and over-the-top experience delivers a meta storyline, insanely addictive levels, extra content, and an amazing soundtrack to cap it off. This remastered effort features exclusive motion controls for Switch alongside new story scenarios where you learn more about the King of Cosmo’s upbringing. If you have yet to play a Katamari title, look no further, this is by far the best way to play it.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Switch | May 12, 2023)
Just like how Breath of the Wild lit up sales charts as a launch title for the Switch, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom has outperformed it, becoming one of the fastest Zelda games sold in the series’ lifetime. And for good reason, with the new abilities incentivizing experimentation and creativity as you make your way across Hyrule. And the adventure this time isn’t limited to just the overground, as you have a huge Chasm and the Sky Islands adding hundreds of hours of content, and making this one of the best adventures to date. When it comes time to discuss Game of the Year, you can expect to see this adventure on many lists.
Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly (PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X, Switch, PC | April 20, 2023)
It’s tough to follow up a game that was released during a global pandemic. The original Coffee Talk served as a distraction for many as we sheltered in place, which brought many new fans to the visual novel genre. Through the art of meeting unique characters and serving coffee, Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly manages to capture everything that made the first game so great and add a shot of espresso to it. Its creative cast and newly added systems give players a reason to return to this unique and low-stakes experience for total immersion…man, is anyone else craving a cold brew right now?
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor (PS5, Series X, PC | April 28, 2023)
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order paved the way for a fresh, new console Star Wars gaming experience, though it had its fair share of game design caveats. Thankfully, the highly anticipated Jedi Survivor has lived up to the hype with an even more gripping story, heavily refined combat system, and improved level design, resulting in a near-masterful follow-up you don’t often see. Even someone who has little to no experience with the Star Wars universe can enjoy this character-driven journey.
Honkai: Star Rail (PC, iOS, Android | Apr 26, 2023)
After the immense success of Genshin Impact, developer HoYoverse has done yet again with their space-faring RPG, Honkai: Star Rail, with a colorful cast of characters, both old and new, an engaging turn-based battle system, and an overarching story that continues to get updated as we speak. While a PlayStation 5 version is still a couple months away, the developer has diligently patched hundreds of bugs and continues to implement improvement after improvement. Yes, it’s a gacha game, but it’s undoubtedly a fun one to play, and I think the pros outweigh the cons in this case.
Fuga: Melodies of Steel 2 (PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X, Switch, PC | May 11, 2023)
The ol’ gang is getting back together for another furry adventure…which just so happens to include the option to kill any of your party members for the sake of destroying a strong enemy…Fuga: Melodies of Steel 2 takes all the feedback from the original game and streamlines many systems, including core gameplay elements that improve player experience. The strategic combat has also seen updates, but a chance to hang out with this cast again is all I really needed. It’s gorgeous, emotional, and fun. What more could you ask for of a JRPG?
Street Fighter 6 (PS4, PS5, Series X, PC | June 2, 2023)
The legendary fighting series has returned. Once again, Capcom has redefined the competitive fighting game space with the release of Street Fighter 6. Through several updated systems, players will find a far more approachable Street Fighter experience. However, it doesn’t shy away from its roots with a new Drive System that allows for unique offensive and defensive strategies. The roster includes some of our favorite fighters from across the series, along with some new characters who we’ll likely be seeing more of during competitions. Still, the real question is, are you playing with Classic or Modern controls?
Final Fantasy XVI (PS5 | June 22, 2023)
Final Fantasy is a franchise that constantly undergoes change, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. Its success is always dependent on fan and critical consensus, and it’s fair to say that Final Fantasy XVI has succeeded with flying colors. Featuring a gameplay experience solely reliant on a stellar combat system, coupled with terrific character writing and meticulous worldbuilding, this is a Final Fantasy for the diehards who really want substantial lore to sink their teeth into.
Diablo IV (PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X, PC | June 6, 2023)
As we neared the release of Diablo IV, I couldn’t help but ask myself if the wait was worth it. However, after my first hour turned into seven and the sun was coming up, I knew I was in for a hellish adventure. A couple of weeks after release, my friends wondered why they hadn’t heard from me, but those friends couldn’t help me here. I was on a mission to kill the demon Lilith, and friends nor family will stand in my way. Since then, my partner has left me, I’m past due on rent, and I’ve been surviving on rice for the past three days, but an update just released, so I must continue my journey. Diablo is love, Diablo is life.
Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE (Switch | June 30, 2023)
A crime was committed, and you enter the scene. While the room before you doesn’t spell out the exact cause, you know through proper deduction, you’ll find the answer. Lucky for you, you have an impulsive and energetic death god by your side. This is pretty much the setup for Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE, where players must find the truth within seemingly unsolvable cases. From the creator and director of the Danganronpa series, this detective adventure provides great character writing, edge-of-your-seat suspect reveals, and a rabbit hole you can’t help but travel down. If you find yourself to be a true detective, this is the game for you.
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