Now that the dust has settled and video game outlets have had a chance to review all of June’s notable releases, it’s time to take stock and see just how good the games were. To do so, let’s take a look at the Metacritic numbers, which average out reviews from all the trustworthy review sources on the web.
June was a fairly slow month for big releases, but it had a few, along with lots of smaller games releasing each week. Overall, many of June’s games were fantastic.
10. LEGO Jurassic World
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, PS Vita, and PC
Metacritic score: 73
If there are two franchises that sound like a better match than LEGO blocks and Jurassic Park, I sure don’t know them. This adorable game zips through the stories of all four Jurassic Park movies, including the recent summer blockbuster.
This game offers all the blocky action and dinosaur chases you’d expect, with a campaign that can be played in a two-player co-op mode with gamers of all ages. That means your kids can play this game whether you’re comfortable sending them to the theater to watch the dinosaurs attack Chris Pratt or not.
From Gaming Age:
It’s fun to revisit events from the past four films, and there’s a hefty amount of comedic moments that take the edge off the more horrific and visceral moments found in the films.
9. Massive Chalice
Platform: PC and Xbox One
Metacritic score: 74
In this tactical strategy game, you play as the Immortal Ruler who’s responsible for defending your nation against the Cadence, a relentless and formidable enemy, in a war that lasts hundreds of years. To do so, not only do you control the battles, but you also get to guide the bloodlines of your heroes, marrying them together to create the next generation of warriors. It sounds like a unique take on the strategy genre, so check it out if that’s your kind of thing.
From US Gamer:
Massive Chalice‘s generational loop makes for a strong core, and elements like the hybrid classes lend it some much-needed depth. However, it doesn’t do a great job of tracking the history of your heroes, and it’s ultimately lacking in elements like diverse character art and base classes. Still, there’s the foundation for a phenomenal strategy game here if Double Fine is willing to build on it. As it is, though, it makes for a diverting few hours, and a welcome change of pace from XCOM.
8. Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition
Platform: Xbox One and PS4
Metacritic score: 77
One of the better fast-paced action games of the Xbox 360 era was Devil May Cry 4, a game that came out in 2008 but still holds up well today thanks to its solid combat foundation. This new edition comes with all the DLC and upgraded graphics for the new batch of systems.
Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition reaffirms the series’ status as the current king of the action genre. It may not fix some of the blemishes inherent to the game’s campaign, but the new characters and styles are fantastic, and will have players creating combo videos for years to come.
7. The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited
Platform: Xbox One, PS4, PC
Metacritic score: 78
The Elder Scrolls series is widely known for its story-driven single-player games like Oblivion and Skyrim. Last year, it made the leap into the world of MMOs on PC with some initial stumbles (as expected of any brand-new MMORPG).
Thanks to a handful of updates and new content packs, Tamriel Unlimited comes to consoles ready to rumble. The game takes place 1,000 years before the rest of the series, but despite the time shift, things in the fantasy world of Tamriel haven’t changed much. You’ll still find monsters, villages, cities, knights, thieves, and all kinds of awesome gear scattered around the enormous open world.
Like any MMO, you’ll create a character and take quests, many of which will encourage or require you to team up with others complete. Best of all, there’s no monthly subscription fee for this game. Buy it once, and you can play it until the servers go offline.
There’s a ton of great content in The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited waiting for solo and group-focused players alike, including crafting, PvP, four-man dungeons, and raid-like Trials at the endgame. The gamepad controls are pretty good, which makes the action-heavy combat work well from the couch. And except for some limitations from the voice-only communication system, it nails most of what I love about PC MMORPGs.
6. Yoshi’s Woolly World
Platform: Wii U
Metacritic score: 79
Ever since Yoshi’s Island on Super Nintendo, everybody’s favorite green dinosaur has been more than just Mario’s sidekick — he’s a capable hero in his own right. This game gives Yoshi the spotlight and turns the world into fabric and stitches, which means you can pull zippers to reveal secrets and unspool yarn to navigate treacherous paths. It was developed by the makers of the similarly stylized Kirby’s Epic Yarn, which means you can expect a light level of difficulty but loads of fun.
Yoshi’s Woolly World is out now in Europe, but U.S. fans will have to wait for October to get their hands on it.
Yoshi’s Woolly World is a challenging, cleverly designed platformer that as delightful to play as it is to look at. It’s unbelievably beautiful, unrelentingly challenging, and undeniably adorable.
5. Tales From The Borderlands: Episode Three – Catch A Ride
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4, iOS, PS3, Xbox 360
Metacritic score: 85
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. Now that this episode is out the story is half over, but the fun hasn’t slowed one bit.
Each second spent in its world teaches you something about the characters you’re shepherding and the Borderlands universe at large. Episode Three is definitely the best we’ve seen of this series so far.
4. Heroes of the Storm
Metacritic score: 86
Based on decades of incredible titles, it’s clear that Blizzard knows how to design a winning game. The latest piece of software to come out of the Warcraft company’s creative minds is Heroes of the Storm, a MOBA that acts as a fine entry point for people who have never touched a MOBA.
It has a decent number of heroes to choose from and plenty of strategy to cook up with your teammates during matches. But the most inviting part might be that the matches are only about 20 minutes long, as opposed to the 40- to 60-minute matches you’ll find in games like League of Legends and Dota 2.
Heroes has a ton of depth, it’s very well balanced (though not perfect), and nearly every cast member is a blast to play. It achieves almost everything it sets out to accomplish, so I really hope it catches on with the non-believers and continues to grow.
3. Her Story
Platform: PC and iOS
Metacritic score: 87
If you don’t need instructions (or structure) in your games, you’ll want to check out this unique title. The game takes place within a police database, and your job is to watch a series of witness testimonies revolving around a murder case to try to figure out whodunit. The catch? The only way you can find videos is by entering words into a search bar. Any videos whose transcripts contain the search term will pop up. Listeners to the podcast Serial will want to check this one out.
From Digital Spy:
A game which dares to be different, something which confidently redefines what should be considered a ‘video game’, but is as profound and important as any other game available today, telling a vivid and engaging tale which is as rich and colourful as any open world sandbox; its tangents and offshoots as playful as any sprawling side quest.
Platform: PS Vita
Metacritic score: 87
What would you do if you discovered a machine that could send emails into the past? That’s exactly what happens in this “visual novel” game that’s out now in Europe (and readily available to U.S. customers at online retailers; don’t worry, you can play the European version on your U.S. Vita). There’s not much gameplay to be found here, but the story is compelling, and the reviews are glowing.
From The Vita Lounge:
For a game about time-travel, it sure has taken a while for Steins;Gate to reach Western shores. All is now forgiven though, as the thrilling twists, fantastic characters and the eccentric humour make the wait worthwhile. Steins;Gate now has me wishing that I could time leap back to the day I started the game, just so that I can experience it over and over again!
1. Batman: Arkham Knight
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, and PC
Metacritic score: 88
June’s biggest game also turned out to be the best. Batman is back for his final(?) traipse through a Gotham City that’s densely populated with criminals, super villains, and thugs. The big new addition this time around is the Batmobile, in which you can expect to spend plenty of time as you skid through the streets and pump rounds into drone vehicles. If you have the hardware, be sure to pick this game up.
From Giant Bomb:
Arkham Knight sees Rocksteady becoming more confident in its design within the larger scope of an entire city, and despite a few uneven spots, this is overall a satisfying way to wrap up what the developer has referred to as its trilogy of Arkham games.