5. Armello ($19.99)
It’s always nice to come across a solid multiplayer game that you can pick up and play with your close friends. Armello‘s release this year led to several nights of me and three of my closest gaming friends plotting, scheming, and laughing with one another. Similar to a table-top game played on a PC, Armello provides a truly charming and refreshing gaming experience. With multiple ways to win a particular match, and no single game lasting more than an hour or two, I can safely say that Armello is a game that I will return to time and time again as long as I have people to play it with.
4. Darkest Dungeon ($19.99)
Despite having been in early access since February with no signs of coming out of it just yet, I can’t leave this game off the list. What I describe as the Dark Souls of side-scrolling dungeon crawlers, Darkest Dungeon is a fantastic experience that is as much fun as it is punishing. With several stats and effects to balance and manage (such as a light meter and a sanity bar) as well as party positioning actually having a place in combat strategy, Darkest Dungeon successfully proves that turn-based combat does not automatically equate to a boring experience. If you ever do plan on picking it up, my only piece of advice is not to grow too attached to the heroes you’ve chosen. It will really cost you.
3. Terraria ($9.99)
With hundreds of items to collect and craft, Terraria is one of the best craft n’ build games available. Easy to pickup and play, Terraria offers a literal boatload of content in a small, cheap package. You can play alone or online with friends via Steam or LAN. Terraria will have you digging for rare materials to see what you can make with them, exploring various biomes, battling minions and giant bosses, and more for hours on end. The fun never ends with Terraria! There is really no excuse not to have this game, as it’s very well priced and has a massive community that’s always willing to help you along.
2. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky ($19.99)
Originally released on the PSP in March 2011 (in America), Trails in the Sky offers one of the best deals for your $20. Clocking in with over 40 hours of RPG goodness, Trails in the Sky offers an interesting and fairly fresh story, and integrates a fun block/turn-based combat, which is similar in style to the Final Fantasy Tactics process of moving between blocked spaces, but on a much smaller scale. With great voice acting to boot (shout out to Johnny Yong Bosch), the characters’ well-developed personalities shine. Trails in the Sky is an RPG lover’s dream and a mouthwatering deal.
1. Transistor ($19.99)
Supergiant Games’ second release following up their smash indie-hit Bastion, Transistor is nothing short of a masterpiece. While fairly short, clocking in at just around 4-5 hours depending on your own pace, it offers a spectacular world, characters, story, and a deep strategic combat system where you can plan out and execute multiple actions in a row, or do the fighting in real-time. Not to mention the simply amazing art and soundtrack, which by themselves are more than worth the admission price. Featuring the vocal talents of Ashley Barret, Transistor’s soundtrack is one of the very best in recent years. You will very easily lose yourself in the vibrant, beautiful world Supergiant Games has crafted here in Transistor.