February is over, which means it’s time to tally up the games released throughout the month and see which ones come out on top. No matter what kind of games you’re into, from fighting to strategy, from handheld to PC, you’re sure to find something to play on this list.
Metacritic Score: 77
Evolve is a four-player co-op shooter in which everyone works together using unique special abilities to slay an enormous beast. Here’s the twist: A fifth player controls the beast. Reportedly the game is quite good (that’s why it’s on this list), but some fans aren’t taking kindly to the DLC plans.
Game Informer says: “As it is, Evolve does its one thing remarkably well, and the few other gripes I have – including long, multi-stage load times and the inability to customize A.I. teammates when playing with friends – don’t dampen my enthusiasm for playing more.”
9. Hand of Fate
Metacritic Score: 78
This PC game might seem like it has multiple personality disorder, but don’t let that stop you from playing it. Hand of Fate cherry picks ideas from action role-playing games, collectible card games, and decision-based adventure games, and mixes them all together into an experience you won’t find anywhere else. A guiding factor in the game is luck of the draw, because much of what happens is based on the cards you’re dealt. And since the game has you playing against a mysterious dealer, luck might not always be in your favor.
PC Gamer says: “Hand of Fate becomes frustrating instead of challenging too often, but I still commend it for its unique mix of concepts, which works better than I had imagined..”
8. Game of Thrones: Episode Two – The Lost Lords
Metacritic Score: 78
Developer Telltale’s take on the hugely popular HBO show continues with the second of six episodes of cruelty and hardship in Westeros. The game focuses on the Forrester family, who are in the unfortunate position of being loyal to the Starks of Winterfell. This new episode features numerous characters from the show, along with the voices of the actors, including Tyrion and Jon Snow.
VentureBeat says: “I really like Game of Thrones on HBO, but I’m enamored with this game. Something about having ownership of character decisions in a fantasy story that lives up to the legend of George R.R. Martin is incredible.”
7. Total War: Attila
Metacritic Score: 80
In the Total War series, you and your enemies take turns moving military units around on the field of battle, trying to find just the right time to strike. Different units have different abilities, so it winds up playing like an extra complicated game of chess. Which means, for the right type of strategic-minded gamer, it’s lots of fun.
Games Radar says: “By combining an improved UI with deeper strategic gameplay, Total War: Attila increments on Creative Assembly’s formula to deliver a strategy game (almost) worthy of its namesake.”
Metacritic Score: 81
Apotheon is a game that seems to unspool on the side of a Grecian urn. It’s a side-scrolling action game that uses graphics inspired by some of the earliest pieces of art in existence. The game is also steeped in Greek mythology, so you’ll find yourself battling all manner of gods and beasts as you progress.
Destructoid says: “While the combat hardly changes over the course of the adventure, Apotheon asks the player to apply their knowledge in such a wide variety of ways that it constantly feels fresh and exciting. The ancient Greeks valued balance and harmony in their art, and Alientrap has accomplished just that.”
5. The Book of Unwritten Tales 2
Metacritic Score: 83
This point-and-click adventure game centers on a handful of fantasy characters, including Ivo the elven princess and Wilbur the gnome. Each character is involved in a personal story that you get to play out, but as the game progresses, the stories weave together, culminating in a grand journey to save the world. If you’re looking for a modern adventure game to whisk you away to an imaginative land, this will do it.
RPG Fan says: “With engaging and believable protagonists, whimsical landscapes, and delightful voice acting to complement the shrewd writing, there’s little left to nitpick but the mediocre puzzles, predictable plot, and occasional graphical hiccups.”
4. Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late
Metacritic Score: 83
The gist of this fighting game’s story is that a rift has opened in reality, spilling demons into the world. For whatever reason, the fighters on the game’s roster take this as a good enough excuse to pummel the stuffing out of each other. And fighting game fans will be glad they did. Despite its off-the-wall title, this game succeeds where it counts: the fighting mechanics.
Destructoid says: “[Developer] French Bread has crafted an intelligent, tactical fighting game that I’ll surely be playing for a long time to come. I certainly hope you’ll join me.”
3. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
Metacritic Score: 87
This game takes place in a world full of beasts that come in a variety of sizes: large, larger, and “this was a bad idea, let’s get out of here.” You venture out from town, find a beast, and engage in an epic battle to slay it. Then you return home to craft new weapons and equipment to prepare for your next encounter.
The game is definitely not easy, but you can invite friends to hop into your game to help you take down a towering foe. For the first time in the series, if your timing is right, you can hop on a monster’s back and ride it until it grows tired — assuming you don’t get thrown off and gored first.
Lazygamer says: “Majora’s Mask is a testament to the idea that fantastic game design never ages. It’s engrossing while pushy, unique while also familiar and filled with contrasting charm and dread. If you have a 3DS it’s a must-have – and a good reason to pick one up in the first place.”
2. Homeworld Remastered Collection
Metacritic Score: 89
The original Homeworld (1999) and Homeworld 2 (2003) were fantastic real-time strategy games that played out in epic battles between fleets of space ships. Both games are gathered together and upgraded to HD in a package that could easily be mistaken for a brand new set of games.
Digital Spy says: “Homeworld Remastered Collection has been handled with the care and attention it deserves, and is worth a place in the library of any self-respecting fan of strategy games, spaceships or little things flying around going pew pew pew.”
1. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D
Metacritic Score: 90
With the success of the 3DS remake of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, it was no surprise Nintendo elected to port over its successor, Majora’s Mask. While that game hasn’t become the classic Ocarina has, it’s developed a cult following since its 2000 release.
In Majora’s Mask, the moon is on a crash course with the planet, and is expected to make impact in three days, destroying everything and everyone. You play as a time-traveling Link, who repeatedly goes back to the beginning of those three days to conquer dungeons and stop the end of the world. The game also features a handful of modern improvements over the original, making this the most accessible version of the game.
US Gamer says: “Majora’s Mask 3D feels at home among today’s indie games, but it also serves as a reminder that there used to be room for the offbeat at all levels of the games industry. And with the tweaks and improvements this version enjoys over the original release, it remains quite playable despite its age.”