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My favorite games of the current console generation.

Welcome to 2020! We've seen many ups and downs during the last ten years of gaming but I don't want to focus on those today. Instead, I'd like to discuss my favorite games from this console generation.
Genre: Fighting
Release: December 2018

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate features up to 8-players battling it out as Nintendo characters as well as those from other universes, like Mega Man and Terry Bogard! With a plethora of single-player, co-op, and versus modes, this game doubles as both a fighting game and a party game. Come for the characters, stay for the competition and some of the best music ever featured in gaming.
As a longtime Smash fan, Nintendo's platform fighting game series continued to push through its limits with its latest release. Ultimate has given me nearly everything I could ask for. Better character balance, arena modes online, and some of the fastest gameplay in the series since Melee. Not to mention it even incorporates fighting game mechanics, such as Rage, spot-dodge attack, and parrying, borrowed right out of series like Tekken and The King of Fighters!

Smash Ultimate might not have the lengthy Adventure Mode of Brawl's Subspace Emissary or the variety of single-player modes like in Melee it is loaded with more content than any other game. Besides, Subspace Emissary is nice but it's a glorified Event Mode. With over 100 stages and roughly 1,000 musical tracks this game alive and kicking! This is to say nothing o the fact, Nintendo is ready to add another DLC character before introducing their second Fighter Pack.
Genre: JRPG
Release: April 2017

Persona features a turn-based role-playing game world set in modern-day Japan. While you're going to school and building social relationships, you're also exploring dungeons, fighting demons, and changing the world to be a better place. Changing the hearts of villains becomes your primary goal after your character gets in trouble with the law. Along with your new friends, you'll summon demons called "Personas" and craft these magical beings to become stronger to face the growing threats that plague your world.
My entry into Persona came shortly after seeing P5 win "RPG of the Year" at The Game Awards 2017. Enamored by curiosity alone, I purchased the game and began playing. Slowly over the course of minutes and hours, I fell in love with this game. Its sense of style, the soundtrack, the character development, and everything about it came together perfectly.

100 hours into Persona 5 and I can safely say it is my 2nd all-time favorite JRPG. My personal favorite still being Super Mario RPG. I loved fusing Personas, engaging in side-stories with the characters, and taking down all the terrible villains while uncovering its mind blowing plot.
Genre: Action/Adventure RPG
Release: March 2016

Demon's Souls laid the foundation while Dark Souls popularized it. Dark Souls III, however, refined it to near-perfection. This hack-and-slash takes cues from 3D Legend of Zelda titles, built heavily around your ability to read out opponents' attacks and make as few mistakes as possible. Explore a dark world while summoning allies or even invading other players' realms. Dark Souls III brings the best out of a single-player fantasy experience and a multiplayer battles where you can fight it out one on one or engage in jolly cooperation!
In addition to adding new weapon attacks and more people to online modes, Dark Souls III balanced the gameplay challenge, included beautiful area design, created epic boss battles, and fixed online battles to remove the lag on backstabs. What I liked about it more than the original game includes quality of life improvements such as more Bonfire points, no bosses with a design like Bed of Chaos, and no levels such as Tomb of the Giants and Lost Izalith. Dark Souls was an unforgettable masterpiece, but flawed despite its good intentions. Dark Souls III perfected the formula.

Genre: Action/Adventure
Release: April 2018

God of War begins the illustrious hack-and-slash series on an all-new note. Moving away from Greek Mythology, series protagonist Kratos has journeyed to the land of Norse Mythology, started a family, and became a bit wiser. After his wife's death, he sought to journey across the land and fulfill her final wish. Along with their son, Atreus, the two learn to strengthen their bond as they come to understand one-another.
Using Kratos' mighty axe and Atreus' bow, you'll come across powerful weapons, fight formidable beings, and uncover many secrets exploring the  mythos the Norse realm and the series itself. This open-world adventure will bring you to meet many interesting characters and a plethora of side-quests to follow.

In the original series, Kratos was a one-sided vengeful man who was angry at the world and was willing to sacrifice anyone to achieve his goals. In God of War (PS4), Kratos is a father and a wise man keeping his son from going down the same dark path he traveled. His interactions with Atreus and their comrade, Mimir, are some of the best dialogue interactions you could ask for in any game. The combat felt similar to Dark Souls but with the over-the-shoulder perspective of Resident Evil 4. In addition to multiple difficulties, you could also take on challenging trials and even New Game+. Forging weapons was fun not just for the power you could obtain but for the dialogue between the dwarf brothers and how their stories unfolds.

God of War is full of plot twists and turns and some of the most exciting combat ever. Its gorgeous visuals and level design only supplement what could be a near perfect game.
Genre: Japanese RPG
Release: September 2018

Dragon Quest, the forefront of Japanese turn-based RPGs, turned 30 years old this decade. Despite influencing many other series to create similar titles, Dragon Quest XI helped prove why it's still among the top dogs of the genre. Using whimsical story-telling, Dragon Quest XI will take you on an epic journey across Erdrea where you will meet new friends and prevent a calamity from destroying your world.
Back in the day, I struggled with Dragon Quest VIII. I had such a difficult time with it I quit early into the game. "It's too old-school," I said as I fanboyed over Final Fantasy and Tales for its pretty graphics, sense of style, and modern-day combat mechanics. Watching Nairo stream Dragon Quest XI made me want to try the series once more. Its beautiful, cel-shaded visuals already drew me in, but it was all the things within the world of Erdrea that sold me completely.

The well-paced storyline never felt rushed, nor did it drag on. There were no fetch quests, only a solid storyline with optional side-quests. With charming characters, an immersive battle system, and a fun forge system, I enjoyed the early game. It only got better with each passing hour, culminating into 100 hours as I took down a superboss and eventually saved the world from evil three acts later.

Not only did I fall in love with Dragon Quest XI's charm, I delved into the rest of the series, beating DQ3 and even rekindling my love for DQVIII on 3DS. I saw what an amazing game it actually was and was very glad I could enjoy it.
Genre: Adventure
Release: September 2018

Enter the world of Spider-Man and prepare to swing through New York like never before. Telling an extensive narrative, Spider-Man's latest title will bring you in to the world of the web-crawler as you fight crime and try to build, and maintain, strong relationships with other people. Take on many side-quests or fight straight through the epic plot. There's plenty of abilities to learn and costumes to go with it. You'll be hard pressed to find a game with such well-crafted combat.
Right off the bat from its initial trailer, I knew this was going to be a heavy-hitter. The stunning visuals and immersive web-swinging physics brought me into a world that defied the quality of your standard superhero game. If it wasn't Batman Arkham, it probably wasn't worth playing, right?

Insomniac had already impressed me with the Ratchet and Clank PS4 remake, which was also my entry into the series. They knew how to polish a game and make it fun to play. But with Marvel's Spider-Man, they took it several levels higher. They knew how to write an impressive narrative, make characters lovable, write strong dialogue, perfect the battle system used in Rocksteady's Batman series, and even give you the time of your life swinging through New York like never before.

With the main game and 3 DLC packs, I couldn't ask for a better superhero experience. Spider-Man gave me everything I wanted and more.
Genre: Action/Adventure
Release: February 2017

The tale of Horizon is one of a post-apocalyptic world starring a young girl named Aloy. After you discover the ancient technology, Focus, you become a machine hunter and set out to achieve new goals. The title feels reminiscent of Metroid Prime, allowing you to scan your enemies, clues, and even uncover bits of lore. Plus, for Legend of Zelda fans, you'll find plenty of exploration in this immersive, open-world title.
As I played Horizon, I thought of how it could have gotten buried by The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which released within a month later. Sony-exclusive new IP vs. the most anticipated Zelda title in history, how could it compete?

Horizon: Zero Dawn offers a similar level of exploration and depth of combat. Unlike Breath of the Wild, though, it offers some of the best narrative in a story you could ask for. This branches out to its side-quests, which have some of the best writing this side of NieR: Automata and the Yakuza series.

Crafting ammo, fighting all kinds of machines, exploring a gigantic map, and scaling mountains has brought me into a world I never thought possible. Guerilla Games has completely surpassed my expectations and given me one of the longest, yet most beautiful games I have ever played.
Genre: Action/Adventure
Release: March 2017

The latest title of the Zelda series (prior to Link's Awakening's remake) celebrates the series' 30th anniversary. The hack-and-slash action and dungeon-crawling return along with tnew survival mechanics. Cook food, collect weapons and ammo, and sneak up on your enemies to gain the advantage. This massive adventure pits you in the world of Hyrule bigger than ever before while its narrative will surely keep you playing from start to finish.
Breath of the Wild blew my mind the moment I saw how big the world of Hyrule was. Getting to climb literally any mountain surface in the game became a defining landmark in gaming as it opened exploration to a degree never conceivable in the past.

Its beautiful cel-shaded graphics, charming soundtrack, and memorable characters brought together the best of Zelda. Plus with the side-quests involved, I feel it may have very well brought the best world-building in the series since Majora's Mask or Wind Waker.

My only issue with Breath of the Wild was the lack of enemy types. Aside from Bokoblins, Lizalfos, and Moblins, you won't find much more outside of Oktoroks, Hinoxes, Keese, and giant desert monsters. The lack of enemy types - especially compared to past Zelda games - felt like a missed opportunity.

Besides that, it features impressive combat and options to go with it. Want to use a Greatsword? Go right ahead. Parry your enemies' attacks or camp them out with arrows. Breath of the Wild's physics allow for puzzle and combat elements that go above and beyond anything ever featured in Zelda!
Genre: Strategy/RPG
Release: July 2019

Nintendo's tactical series comes to home consoles for the first time since 2007. In this grid-based strategy title you guide your forces and win skirmishes against an opposing army. Promote your units to new classes and equip them with the weapons and skills that will allow you to win against all enemies. Plus, you'll build relationships with your students and uncover a heavy narrative with many secrets to uncover!
After the recent success of the 3DS titles and the mobile title, Fire Emblem Heroes, Intelligent Systems poured all their best resources culminating into the first console game in the series since 2007's Radiant Dawn.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses features three Lord protagonists and your own Professor, Byleth, who guides the house of your choosing and their students. Borrowing from Genealogy of the Holy War, the game features a Monastery with the Lords and even a time skip halfway through the game. And similarly to Persona, there's a calendar system where you can choose how to spend your days and even interact with your students.

Despite lacking map variety compared to past titles, Three Houses brings out the best in the series' battle mechanics and some of the best narrative in the series. Choose how your students will be promoted and customize their abilities to give them multiple battle options. Play through 4 playthroughs to uncover the truth in each route. With 100 hours in for just one route, Three Houses is one of the biggest games I have ever played. And yet, it's polished beautifully with some of the most beloved characters in the series.
Genre: Action/Adventure
Release: February 2017

Take the hack-and-slash action of Dark Souls and enter feudal Japan. Become the western samurai and fight against demons and alchemy to save your guardian spirit. In Ni-Oh, you'll engage in deep combat, forge powerful weapons and armor, and become engrossed in a story filled with Japanese mythos and lore.
Team Ninja's biggest project since Ninja Gaiden takes place in a feudal Japanese world. Borrowing historical elements, you play as the western Samurai, William Adams, who chases after alchemist, Edward Kelley, to save your guardian spirit. These historical elements include the Nobunaga and Ieyasu era but with a fantastical twist. You'll fight monsters from Japanese mythology and use weapons and magic of all kind to your advantage.

Similarly to Dark Souls, you'll hack and slash your way through enemies and explore for treasure. Unlike Dark Souls, you can change stances to affect how you attack your enemy. Also, you can summon guardian spirits to attack enemies or even use their power to boost your own.

The attention to detail in regards to lore, great boss battles, and good co-op are why this is one of the most polished action games in history. Much like Breath of the Wild, however, the enemy variety leaves more to be desired tho it is remedied a bit in the DLC chapters. With that said, you'll uncover an exciting adventure with many side-missions to keep you busy. If you enjoy hacking and slashing, choosing the weapon you love, fighting exciting boss battles, and exploring Japanese mythology then Ni-Oh is the right game for you.
Genre: Action/Adventure
Release: February 2017

This post-apocalyptic title features hack-and-slash combat with a mind-bending story. NieR's claim to fame comes from its character designs, its deep side-quests, and some of the most outlandish, yet beautiful writing to grace a narrative. Complete with a beautiful soundtrack, you'll uncover the secrets of the world as well as your character's purpose in life.
My list would not be complete without this nihilistic masterpiece. The mind blowing sentiment of NieR: Automata includes side-quests where people die and 26 different endings. Featuring three major characters, NieR: Automata comes complete with conspiracy, romance, heartbreak, and tons of depression.

Plus, it features exciting hack and slash combat, a strong narrative, dialogue that ranges from serious to quite humorous, and 40-60 hours of gameplay, should you choose to clear all the side-quests and obtain Ending E, the canon true ending of the game.

If you love exploring open worlds, charming characters dressed in black clothes, and destroying the hopeless lives of the machine world, NieR: Automata will be one of the best games you ever play.
I wanted to start with 5 games, but just couldn't justify it. So I went with 10 and I couldn't stop there. This generation has provided me with some of the absolute best games I've ever had the chance to experience. There's so many more I would love to list, yet only so much I can write about. If you've played any of these games, please let us know in the comments which ones you liked the most.

These were my prime favorites, just edging out a dozen other contenders for some of the best games I've played in the past decade. I hope you, as well as I, will continue to play amazing games like this well into the next decade. Happy playing, everyone!

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