The 10 Best Video Games of August 2015

Now that the dust has settled and video game outlets have had a chance to review all of the notable releases, it’s time to take stock and see just how good the games were in August. To do so, we’ll use the Metacritic numbers, which average out reviews from all the trustworthy sources on the web.

August was a relatively slow month with big releases, but a number of smaller games and remastered editions came out. And while nothing scored in the range of the 90s, that doesn’t mean you can’t find something worth playing.

If you missed our previous monthly roundups, you can check out June here and July here. But let’s cut to the chase and see what August had to offer.

10. Satellite Reign

Platform: PC
Metacritic score: 80

Strategy and cyberpunk fans will want to take a look at Satellite Reign, a game that puts you in charge of four agents as they fight to take control of a futuristic neon-soaked city. Each agent has unique abilities that you’ll have to use in order to get the upper hand against your formidable corporate opponents.

From GamingTrend’s review:

Satellite Reign is an incredible successor to Syndicate that gets more right than not. Where it falls down on bugs and control issues, it shines brightly in aesthetics and fantastic combat mechanics.

9. Tales from the Borderlands: Episode 4: Escape Plan Bravo

Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC, and mobile
Metacritic score: 80

Telltale is on a roll with its episodic series of point-and-click adventure games set in the over-the-top world of Borderlands. In this Wild West-like environment, it’s shoot first and ask questions later, usually while getting a few hilarious quips in on the side. Now that this penultimate episode is out the story is nearly over, but the fun hasn’t slowed one bit.

From The Jimquisition’s review:

I loved this latest episode, and I’m adoring Tales From The Borderlands, easily the best thing Telltale’s done since season one of The Walking Dead. It continues to demonstrate how the light-adventure formula can be played for humor as much as tragedy, how good writing can shine in a video game with the right presentation, and just how accomplished the studio behind it is.

8. OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood

Platform: PC (already available on other systems)
Metacritic score: 82

This skateboarding game offers more of what fans loved about the original OlliOlli: tough side-scrolling levels in which precision and style are key factors. Your job is to reach the end of each level, while stringing together wicked tricks into high-scoring combos. It’s all about quick thinking and fast fingers. OlliOlli 2 will test your reflexes.

From USGamer’s review:

OlliOlli 2 will test you. The controls are simple and straightforward, but success requires precision. Across 50 levels and five worlds, you will trick, you will combo, you will fail, and finally… you will succeed. OlliOlli 2 is a wonderfully tight zen experience from beginning to end. It’s worth the price of admission.

7. Mega Man Legacy Collection

Platform: Xbox One, PS4, and PC
Metacritic score: 82

The Mega Man games practically defined the action platforming genre on the Nintendo Entertainment System. That console was home to the first six games in the series, which came out between 1987 and 1993 and are collected here.

Also in this collection are a number of extra goodies, like concept art, enemy descriptions, challenges that remix memorable segments of the games, and even screen filters that make it look like you’re playing on a CRT television. Pick this one up if you want to relive an important part of gaming history.

From GameSpot’s review:

It’s a peek into the early days of complex level design, interlocking combat mechanics, basic physics, and the best of what could be accomplished visually and sonically on the NES. Just don’t ask me to beat Snake Man again. Please, never ask me to do that.

6. Galak-Z: The Dimensional

Platform: PS4
Metacritic score: 82

Fans of old-school arcade games will definitely want to check out Galak-Z, a game that uses classics like Galaga and Asteroids as a launching-off point to do its own thing. The game has you fly through procedurally-generated caverns, fighting off aliens and beasties of all kinds. Like the games of its inspiration, it’s also tough as nails. So whether you played these kinds of games growing up or you’re on the lookout for a challenging game to test your skills, Galak-Z: The Dimensional is worth a look.

From Giant Bomb’s review:

More than just a checklist of familiar references, more than just the old stuff with a new coat of paint. It is a game that captures the feeling I had on that vinyl couch, watching those old animated machines on the screen and wondering what it was like to be so fast, so powerful, so invincible.

5. Gears of War: Ultimate Edition

Platform: Xbox One
Metacritic score: 82

The original Gears of War came out back in 2006 for Xbox 360, and it kicked off one of the best shooter franchises around. Since Gears of War 4 won’t be hitting the shelves until the end of 2016, Microsoft thought now would be a good time to polish up the first installment for the Xbox One. The game turned out great, so now if only they’d remaster the rest of the series…

From GamesRadar’s review:

Damn near essential if you’ve yet to experience the horror that followed Emergence Day, and very heartily recommended to those who’ve forgotten just what a special time that was.

4. Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight

Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Metacritic score: 83

If you like old-school dungeon crawlers in the vein of Wizardry, then the Etrian Odyssey series is for you. Basically, you assemble a team of adventurers and head deep into monster-infested dungeons. You don’t have a map at the outset, but you can use the 3DS’s bottom screen to draw your own map using the tools provided. (Don’t worry if you’re not the cartographic type; you can have the map auto-fill as you explore).

This installment is a remaster of a game that came out in 2008 for the Nintendo DS. It has new graphics, a new story line with new pre-built characters, and many concessions that make it more user friendly, including an easy mode. If you’ve ever wanted to see what the Etrian Odyssey series is all about, this is a fantastic entry point.

From USGamer’s review:

The latest, and greatest, refinement of Atlus’ Etrian Odyssey series, Untold 2 really manages to weave a ridiculous number of options into and around the basics of the franchise.

3. Madden NFL 16

Platform: PS4 and Xbox One
Metacritic score: 84

One of the most prolific and longest-running series in the history of video games, Madden NFL has come out in yearly installments since 1990. The games have come a long way since then, culminating in the most realistic digital version of the sport imaginable.

As usual, this year’s installment includes a few tweaks that may or may not stick in future editions, based on how successful they are here. Developer Electronic Arts is touting more advanced passing options, new receiver controls you can use while the ball is in the air, and new “broadcast graphics” that make the game look even more like a televised game.

From GamingTrend’s review:

Many people complain that sports games do not change sufficiently on a yearly basis to warrant another purchase. That is far from the case with Madden NFL 16 as EA Sports and EA Tiburon have introduced some smart, brand new features that are integrated very well.

2. Rare Replay

Platform: Xbox One
Metacritic score: 85

Ever since Microsoft bought Rare, most of the developer’s old games and franchises have been collecting dust. That changed in August, thanks to this huge collection of 30 games from Rare’s past, including classics like Battletoads, Banjo-Kazooie, Perfect Dark, R.C. Pro-Am, and more.

Achievement hounds will want to take note, because Rare Replay offers a whopping 10,000 possible achievement points (although you may already have some of them if you’ve played games like Viva Piñata on Xbox 360). Best of all, the whole thing only costs $30.

From The Jimquisition’s review:

It was already a steal before the extras, but the Snapshot mode and the videos, not to mention the classy production values overall, make this a must-have for those both old and new to Rare’s extensive library. If you’ve got an Xbox One, this is a shoo-in.

1. Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition

Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii U
Metacritic score: 85

Disney is pulling out all the stops with Disney Infinity 3.0, a game that brings together three huge properties that fall under the company’s empire of brands. The game has Disney characters like the emotions from Inside Out, Marvel characters like Iron Man and Captain America, and Star Wars characters like Anakin Skywalker and Han Solo.

To play as some of those characters, however, you’ll need to buy the corresponding figurines to beam them into the game. There’s no doubt about it: this game’s going to be a major moneymaker for Disney, a blast for kids, and a financial drain for parents.

From Destructoid’s review:

Just like its predecessor, Disney Infinity 3.0 feels a bit limited by the lack of variety in the Starter Pack, but the good news is that the studio is still on track with its core mission to create an action game for all ages. Twilight of the Republic is still a fun way to spend your time, and the Toy Box Mode should keep you busy even if you don’t intend on buying any more pricey add-ons.

Follow Chris on Twitter @CheatSheetChris
Check out Tech Cheat Sheet on Facebook!

More from Tech Cheat Sheet