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  1. Platform: PS4 • Switch • PS3 • PC Publisher: Aksys Games Developer: Arc System Works Release: 2016 The stories in fighting games are frequently viewed as inconsequential, but the complicated tale in BlazBlue is a big part of its appeal. Central Fiction served as the satisfying conclusion to a long-running arc, but it also delivered on the combat front, with 35 playable characters competing in matches that encouraged offensive play. The highly technical bouts reveled in their complexity, making Central Fiction a rewarding entry for seasoned players. gameinformer.com
  2. Platform: PS4 • PS3 • PC Publisher: Arc System Works Developer: Arc System Works Release: 2014 The Guilty Gear series has long been known for its deluge of arcane systems, cancels, and tricky combos, but Xrd found an incredible balance between stripping the chaff without losing the essence fans of its aggressively stylish and busy action had come to love. Boasting an immaculate anime art style in the Unreal Engine and a roster that constantly asks you to learn new mechanics and approaches without overwhelming you, Guilty Gear Xrd is a fighter’s fighting game, and even five years into its
  3. Platform: PS4 • Xbox One • PC Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment Developer: Project Soul, Dimps Release: 2018 After a brief hiatus following the release of the solid-but-divergent Soulcalibur V, Project Soul delivered a powerful return to form in Soulcalibur VI. A reboot that brought back several fan favorites to make the title familiar to fans who’d lapsed from the series, it also improved combat by choosing components from every other entry. It wasn’t afraid to move forward, either, with a reversal edge technique that changed the pacing of each match and unique character traits that
  4. Platform: PS4 • Xbox One • PC • iOS • Android Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Developer: NetherRealm Studios Release: 2015 We’re still big Mortal Kombat fans, and X shows why. NetherRealm simply never stops revitalizing its classic series, or the genre as a whole. While the gruesome X-ray attacks and absurd fatalities still delivered the gore MK was founded on, a wealth of modes and multiple fighting styles for each character gave fans more ways to compete than ever. The Living Towers mode also added massive doses of replayability, with constantly changing scenarios. Mor
  5. Platform: Switch Publisher: Nintendo Developer: Bandai Namco, Sora Ltd. Release: 2018 Using Ultimate as the subtitle for an entry in a long-running series is dangerous, especially when the Smash Bros. purists already know their personal favorite (yes, you’ll see it later in this list), but the latest Smash Bros. earns the term. Featuring every character that has ever appeared in Smash Bros. and more on the way, Ultimate represents the pinnacle of the series in terms of content. It also nailed its moment-to-moment combat by hewing closer to the high-speed fighting of Melee. gameinfor
  6. Amazing Strange Rope Police – Vice Spider Vegas is a fantastic city simulator game in which you get to control a superhero that is like Spiderman. You can choose to become a superhero and save the day, or you can be the bad guy and become a supervillain instead! The 3D graphics in this game are immense, and the huge city you can explore is vast and full of surprises. You can use a myriad of superhero moves such as a web shot, building climb and laser beam too! To top it all off, you can choose from a range of different superhero costumes too. Which path will you choose? Release Date
  7. 10: Bookworm Adventures Deluxe Developer: PopCap Games Publisher: PopCap Games Once upon a time, a prolific generator of genuinely great puzzle games said, “Hey, look at our word spelling game Bookworm – you know what’s wrong with it? It doesn’t feature a green worm fighting Greek mythical beasts!” After the applause died down, PopCap got to work and created one of the most brilliantly executed, strange and silly puzzle games ever released: Bookworm Adventures. (And its follow-on sequel, Bookworm Adventures 2.) In a style a little bit similar to 10,000,000, Bookworm Adventure’
  8. 9: Gunpoint Developer: Suspicious Developments Publisher: Suspicious Developments Gunpoint does two important jobs on this list. Firstly, it’s a bloody great puzzle game that absolutely everybody should play. Secondly, it stands as a totem to all the wonderful 80s Speccy, Amiga and ST puzzle games that are unplayable today. It’s a puzzle game that feels timeless, partly thanks to its superb pixel graphics, and partly because the stealthy burgling feels like a good idea that could have happened at any point. Given a series of missions, you’re tasked with breaking into buildings
  9. 8: The Talos Principle Developer: Croteam Publisher: Devolver Digital It’s probably fair to say that we weren’t expecting the creators of Serious Sam to bring out the best first person puzzle game since Portal. More known for going out of their way to create games that are dumb, this time they set out to make something exceptionally clever. The contrived setting – you’re a robot attempting to complete a set of tasks in a broken down, overgrown outdoor facility, while attempting to discern what happened there, and indeed, what humanity is – works splendidly for presenting dozen
  10. 7: Scribblenauts Unlimited Developer: 5th Cell Media Publisher: Warner Bros. While most videogames are created using programming language and game engines, Scribblenauts is carved out of magic. There’s no other explanation for how this impossibly wonderful series of games could possibly work. You play Max, a little cartoon boy, who has a magic notebook. Anything he writes in it is created as an interactive object/living thing in his world. “Anything?” you ask incredulously? Well, almost, yes. How 5th Cell managed to not only draw and animate, but also provide meaningful applic
  11. frankzappa


    6: Peggle Developer: PopCap Games Publisher: PopCap Games Peggle is a pretty special game to these parts. Its 2007 release coincided with our being born into existence, and we all fell in love with it. (Although some more correct people than others pointed out that Bookworm Adventures was the deeper game.) In fact, for a year or so, all download sizes on the site were measured in “how many Peggles”. Inspired by the predominantly Japanese Pachinko, it was the first time the toy, originating in 1920, had been interpreted for videogames. And gosh, it was done with aplomb. A scree
  12. 5: Lemmings 2: The Tribes Developer: DMA Design Publisher: Psygnosis The explanation for the lack of an official Lemmings release for mobile sadly lies in the hands of Sony, who won’t let anyone else make one, and won’t make one themselves. These classic puzzle games would work perfectly on such devices, though the last time it was seen was in 2006 on the PSP. But fortunately you can still play it on PC today. If you missed it at the time, Lemmings was a game about seeing how many of the green-mopped little blighters you could safely navigate across a level as they aimlessly m
  13. 4: Puzzle Quest: Challenge Of The Warlords Developer: Infinite Interactive Publisher: D3 Publisher So here we are. The puzzle game that united the casual with the hardcore, match-3 with RPG, old with new with old again. A game that, from nowhere, pointed out that these two genres go well together. A million copies, clones and even its own sequels later, and still nothing beats the original Puzzle Quest. What made it – and indeed still makes it – work is that it remembers to be an RPG first, a match-3 game second. But like many RPGs, the emphasis of the game is on the fighting,
  14. 3: Hexcells Infinite Developer: Matthew Brown Publisher: Matthew Brown It’s really hard to overstate just how good Hexcells is. For puzzle purist aficionados, let me put it this way: imagine if Japanese publisher Nikoli were to announce a brand new, digital-only puzzle design. It’s that strong. For everyone else, let me put it another: it’s so bloody clever. A screen of yellow hexagon tiles, with scant information about which need to be turned blue, and which need to be destroyed. Your task is to figure out which are which, in a manner that’s most easily compared to the joys o
  15. frankzappa


    2: Portal Developer: Valve Publisher: Valve Well, it was going to be no. 1 or 2, wasn’t it? And how could it not be? Valve’s sublime first-person puzzle game that broke the laws of physics, made us fall in love with an inanimate cube, and had everyone making stupid jokes about cakes and lies for a year afterward. And that song. Famously born from a student project called Narbacular Drop, the Portal team was staffed with those students, led by Kim Swift, and with writing from Eric Wolpaw. The result was something utterly astonishing. Even more remarkable to reflect upon to
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