What’s Your Favourite Game From The Current Generation?

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favourite game current generation
Image: Kotaku

We’re less than half a year away from saying goodbye — if not in practice, then spirit — to the current console generation. So with that in mind, let’s look back at our favourites from the current PS4/Xbox One/Switch/PC generation.

I’m including the Switch here, primarily because it was built with technology from the PS4/Xbox One era. Sure, it’s only a few years old, but with more than 55 million Switches sold since March 2017, it’s hard to argue that it shouldn’t qualify.

So, obviously, Breath of the Wild has to be in the mix.

Every generation has a string of foundational games. They’re not just successful or iconic, but formative. Other games take design cues on their structure. Their mechanics. Gameplay. Characterisation. UI. The decisions they make during development.

Breath of the Wild isn’t alone here, though. CD Projekt Red set out to make The Witcher 3 a game that could stand up with the best AAA titles — and they did. It went on to become a successful Netflix series, the first video game franchise from this generation to really break out. (Other games had transmedia success, although most of those, like Sonic or Resident Evil, had already established their footing well before the generation began.)

In another sense, there’s games like No Man’s Sky. Regular consumers don’t think of titles like No Man’s Sky as seminal in the traditional sense, but the game’s long and critically successful recovery has become informative — even a template — for other studios facing their own rocky launches.

And then there’s games like Bloodborne, or the colossus that is Dark Souls, games that spawn and encourage the industry to adopt a new approach to difficulty. In a similar sense, I wouldn’t be surprised if The Last of Us 2 does the same for accessibility features.

The suite of options in that game is, truly, astonishing.

For mine, it’s hard to go past the game that I’ve spent the most time with. Counter-Strike spawned a global industry within an industry — although StarCraft took off more in South Korea, it was the popularity of CS that formed the basis of third-party organisers and production companies. The society that’s evolved around Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is now bigger than ever, despite the constant challenge from new video games, cheaters, and the occasional resentment from the community themselves at a lack of promotion from Valve. CS:GO even survived its own rough launch, years before No Man’s Sky did, with the community revived and coalesced around the inclusion of matchmaking — which other games have since drawn inspiration from for their own competitive communities.

Careers, friendships, rivalries have all formed around the game, a game that seemingly refuses to die nearly two decades on. I can’t think of anything else that’s had the success or stability of Counter-Strike, here and abroad.

But the generation has had aeons of incredible, memorable titles. What’s your favourite game from the current generation?

Comments

    • I currently have both Slay the Spire and Dicey Dungeons installed through Steam. It takes a lot of will power to be playing anything else.

      • My mate called out I had over 1000hrs on StS… I was shocked, but for us dedicated few, it’s a game that can stand up to daily runs, so yeah…I feel more fondly about it than most triple As.

  • Breath of the Wild has to be my favourite game from the current generation.
    I mean sure we’re less than half a year away from saying goodbye with the next gen PS5 arriving soon but the Nintendo Switch sales that don’t qualify Alex Walker you need to think again and come up with something different.

  • Geez, just one game? My recency bias is kicking in full time so DMC V, Monster Hunter World and Sekiro top the list. In terms of time played though Disgaea 5 would have that honour.

    Final Fantasy 7 Remake should have been in top place but although I absolutely loved catching up with everyone again and seeing a new take on the story, the gameplay and its unnecessary filler corridors left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth.

    • Yeah as much as I’d love to say FF7: Remake, there’s always a slight disconnect between how much emotional connection I have to it and the actual quality of the experience.

  • I’m going to have to go with BOTW for this one. Brought back the sense of exploration when I first started gaming as a kid. There’s been some excellent games this gen and I’ve still got the Witcher 3 to dive into. Bit late on that one…

  • if we’re counting CS, then bang for buck it would be WoW. you can watch a movie for 20 bucks or you can buy a whole month sub with the same money

    although for repetitive fun, it would have to be witcher 3. I’d pick a Bioware RPG but nuhh… I’ve sunk over 300hrs into witcher 3 and I keep starting a new game just to play the DLCs lol

  • If we’re talking raw hours – MLB The Show 18 (PS4)

    If its a game that draw me in me and I was compelled to see it through to completion – Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana (originally on Vita, but I grabbed a PS4 copy later on)

  • So many great options

    Uncharted 4
    God of war
    Last of us part 2
    Spider-Man
    Yakuza 0
    Rocket league

    For what it’s worth, Breath of the wild isn’t in my top 100 games this generation. God it’s terrible. Graphics out dated right from the box. World is bland, boring and uninspired. If it wasn’t a Zelda game (or Nintendo really) where the bar is so low, it’s a run of the mill 6/10 game.

        • I’ve never got the love for BoTW as well. Got it on release day.. still haven’t finished it. Sure it’s a huge expansive world, but there’s just so little to do with so little achieved…. Every reward you get is either inventory space, a deku seed dude or a weapon that breaks in 3 swings.

          It’s like TLOU 1 never really grabbed me because I found the Shiv breaking mechanic to be more tiresome than fun. TLOU 2, I finished yesterday and found it to be a masterpiece in story telling and also just a better video game all up.

    • Using the argument of bad graphics is ridiculous. Everything else you said is fine and your opinion but hating on a game that actually is very very beautiful but lacks current gen modeling/ visuals is out right stupid.

    • I really need to try it again. I got bored fairly quickly but I tried to play it at the same time as a bunch of other big releases. Jim Sterling kinda summed it up but I find some of his takes a bit hit and miss at times.

    • I felt like I missed the point.
      My priority list was:
      – Unlock the towers
      – Spot the shrines
      – Grind the shrines to get more hearts
      – Do the divine beasts
      – Beat the game

      And while this was a successful strategy in terms of progressing through the game, and found the shrines clever, I kinda missed what everyone else really loved about it.

      (Also there probably needs to be more enemy variety and more reasons to actually engage with the enemies at all)

    • A wide open world with fairly bland gameplay, and a game that trades on its nostalgia more than what it actually is.

      I will give it this though, its the best of its kind in a mobile format however.

  • I missed most of this generation as I was waiting to buy a new monitor (which I just got) so it’s hard to say. Out of what little I’ve caught up on I’d have to say Control, Middle Earth Shadow of War, Dying Light and Gears of War 5 have been definite highlights!

  • You should also probably include the Wii U in this discussion as well since that was originally meant to be Nintendo’s answer to PS4 and Xbone. While it’s true many of the good games on it have found heir way to the Switch, not all of them have.

    Breath of the Wild was good but it didn’t blow me away like I expected it would. Would I still put it in my top games of this generation? Dunno.

    I guess my top games in no particular order would be:

    Horizon Zero Dawn
    God of War
    Spider-Man
    Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
    Bayonetta 2
    Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
    Mario Kart 8
    Super Mario Odyssey
    Witcher 3
    SoulCalibur VI
    Mortal Kombat X
    The Last Guardian
    Batman: Arkham Knight
    Uncharted 4
    Final Fantasy VII Remake

    • Soul caliber 2 is in my all time top 10. I tried 3,4 and 5 and didn’t like them.

      I started 6 the other day cause it’s on game pass now, and it’s like they have forgotten what makes the game fun. Like it has no soul

      • As a competitive player I thought SC6 was a great return to form actually. It’ll never top SC2 of course but SC6 definitely did a lot of good.

  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps. I have to admit the list of current-gen games that I’ve played, enjoyed and finished is quite short. It was great fun, frustrating at times but immensely satisfying when I finished it.

  • Horizon: Zero Dawn is probably the best game of the generation for me, from the first time playing it was an amazing experience from start to finish.

    Incredibly psyched for the PC version.

    • +1 for Horizon: Zero Dawn. Absolutely loved it. The combination of the combat and story/lore

      Other notables were Bloodborne, God of War, and Witcher 3 but they were all well behind for me.

    • If I had to choose one, it would have to be HZD.

      I returned to gaming in 2017 after a 15-odd year break, drawn back in mainly by the Uncharted experiences & Tomb Raider reboots. After exhausting those available titles I resigned myself to giving HZD a shot- I’d seen the reveal demo but had dismissed it as looking a bit too FIGHT for my tastes… (the irony is I’m a masochist for Souls-likes now, but I digress 😉

      Of course, it was a revelation & I was hooked. When I finished it, I immediately played through it again on NG+ to completion.

      Then facing a several-year gap with a HZD-sequel-shaped void in my life, I attempted Assassin’s Creed Origins… this felt like a huge downgrade in comparison at the time.

      Fortunately I found The Witcher 3 as a ideal follow-up for the next course, and suffice to say if TW3 is the next best thing you could play…

      (I managed to taper my expectations down in the years following to return to AC Origins, after I completed Odyssey 🙂

  • I’d have to say Hollow Knight. A brutal yet beautiful game made by a small team of passionate developers.

  • In this order:

    Super Mario Odyssey
    RDR2
    TLOU2
    Super Mario 3D World
    Inside
    Ori and the Blind Forest
    GoW (reboot)
    HZD
    Stardew Valley

    (notable mentions: Cuphead, SteamWorld Dig 2, Luigi’s Mansion 3, BoTW, Mario & Rabbids, Captain Toad)

    (best streamed game: PUBG)

    Odyssey is the most concentrated game for creative ideas and pure fun. I think a lot of people dismiss Mario games because they see them as known qualities, but the series has evolved well and every generation gives so much new gameplay. I’m naturally a Zelda fan primarily (OoT is GOAT), so my more recent love for Mario (3D World is excellent) is because the Mario series has instead remained tight and consistent but still reiterates really well by getting the creativity (mostly) within the formula.

    BoTW was good but I believe not a Zelda game in the historical sense of the series, which really needs dungeons for their tight puzzles and best combat ideas and it needs staged restrictions to it’s overworld, more like a Metroid game, rather than open exploration which can be found in any Ubisoft game or game of this genre type.

    RDR2 has first act problems; it’s difficult to settle into. But, wow, the experience speaks for itself.

    TLOU 1 I believe has gameplay flaws, is not really a fun game, and the story is actually pretty conventional (but still very well written and animated, as you’d expect from ND). TLOU 2 is actually the game where the gameplay corrects it’s flaws, feels more liberating, and is fun, and the story telling is a lot more dynamic and nuanced (putting aside the vitriol, I do sympathise with the critics marking this game down as the character development and story-telling definitely feels a bit overwrought, and you can sense some politics creeping through the screen from the developers, but they do enough so as to not get in the way of their own great work).

  • Probably Bloodborne. An almost perfect singular experience (apart from the frame rate at times). I don’t care if they never make a sequel.

    Closely followed by Breath of the Wild and Monster Hunter World.

  • Horizon Zero Dawn. So keen for the Forbidden West.

    A close second/s would be TLOU2, Death Stranding (so kooky), The Division 1/2 (despite its flaws), MGS5 and Fallout 4.

    All could change with Ghost of Tsushima and Cyberpunk…

  • Probably a tie between DOOM & Titanfall 2.

    DOOM mostly because outside of the weapon upgrade system essentially relying on secrets, it distilled a gameplay loop down to a shiny, blood encrusted joy. It also helped refocus game music as something that should actively engage the player rather than treating games like movies.

    Titanfall 2 falls into much of the same as DOOM, a core gameplay loop distilled. Whilst its MP can occasionally have issues, it is still an absolute (and remarkably balanced joy) with a tonne of depth but a difficulty curve that isn’t as high as one might think. And its singleplayer is a masterclass, with gameplay elements introduced in ways that either build on previous lessons without feeling ‘tutorially’, or better yet, not outstaying their welcome.

  • If I was to distil my GOTO games (games I played obsessively) throughout the generation…

    Watch Dogs
    Battlefield 4
    Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare
    Titanfall
    Destiny
    Dark Souls II Scholar of the First Sin
    Far Cry 4
    Metal Gear Solid V
    Hitman
    Overwatch
    Titanfall 2
    Watch Dogs 2
    Superhot
    Cities Skylines
    The Division 2
    Apex Legends

  • I don’t have a single one, but my list would include…

    God Of War
    Uncharted 4
    Red Dead Redemption 2
    Yakuza 0
    Everybodys Gone To The Rapture
    What Remains Of Edith Finch
    Bloodborne
    Nioh
    The Witcher 3
    Celeste
    The Last Of Us Part 2

  • Game I bought the console for – Fallout 4
    Best expectionless game – Outer Wilds
    Best game to show non-gamers- Untitled Goose Game
    Best online game- BF4
    Best social game / best game others hated / best cost/hours ratio – Fallout 76 (15c/hr roughly!)
    Best writing – The Outer Worlds
    Best story – Red Dead Redemption 2
    Most OTT action- Just Cause 3
    Best overall – The Witcher 3

    • Don’t think it really fits, but being able to step back into the world of Half-Life in Alyx was amazing as a long-time fan. Was it the best game? I would say no, but it was the best experience for me this ‘generation’.

      Otherwise I’d pick Hollow Knight with BotW close behind.

  • Three way tie between Bloodborne, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and God of War all for different reasons.

    If I had to choose though, probably Bloodborne. That game came to me in one of the toughest times of my life and the sense of wonder exploring Yharnam for the very first time and the whole aesthetic will never be matched.

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