The hot summer weather wasn’t enough to keep the monthly video game ratings battle from heating up. July was a month filled with fun and unique titles, while surprisingly and successfully revitalizing many ghosts from gaming’s past.
In our ongoing monthly feature, we take a look at some of last month’s biggest games as ranked by Metacritic score.
8. Bomb Chicken
Metacritic Score: 76 / User Score: 7.9
We kick off July’s top games with Bomb Chicken; a quirky, retro indie game that is perfect for the Nintendo Switch. The charming platform-puzzler provides nostalgic graphics with straightforward and simple gameplay, as players take on the role of a chicken that lays bombs in place of eggs. While Bomb Chicken doesn’t provide much depth, the game is a great way to kill some time.
7. No Man’s Sky (Xbox One-Release)
Metacritic Score: 76 / User Score: 9
Who would’ve thought that No Man’s Sky would see its name portrayed in such a positive light again, following the disastrous release? Thanks to No Man’s Sky arriving on Xbox One at the same time as the NEXT multiplayer update, the game has seen a revival in its concurrent player base, as well as a surprisingly high Metacritic user score of 9 out of 10 on the Xbox. Unfortunately, No Man’s Sky developer, Hello Games, is currently battling a game-breaking bug that was also released with the recent update, but hopefully the embattled title will finally become the game that players had hoped for when it was originally released in 2016.
6. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
Metacritic Score: 81 (Averaged across platforms) / User Score: 8.6 (Averaged across platforms)
The puzzle-platformer, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, has successfully made the move to the Switch, and it is a perfect complement to the handheld device. The charming gameplay and graphics will have you feeling right at home within the world of the Nintendo universe. For those who played the original Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker on the Wii U, the lack of new content and additional features may limit your interest, but otherwise, the game is a solid addition to your Switch’s library.
5. Octopath Traveler
Metacritic Score: 84 / User Score: 8.1
Octopath Traveler shares a satisfying storytelling experience that differs from other traditional JRPGs. The eight character stories and paths to be taken are compelling in their own unique ways. If the promise of a different type of JRPG can’t convince you, perhaps the success of the game can leave its impression on you. Developer Square Enix underestimated the success of Octopath Traveler to the extent that the game has sold out of physical copies twice since its release, indicating that the title is at least worth checking out.
4. Banner Saga 3
Metacritic Score: 86 (Averaged across platforms) / User Score: 7.4 (Averaged across platforms)
The Banner Saga 3 continues its trend of immersive storytelling in the epic conclusion of the acclaimed Viking saga. The fantasy tactical role-playing game has received multiple awards since its release in 2014 – thanks to a cast of powerful, memorable characters and compelling story– with its third and final installment confidently concluding the trilogy. Every decision matters as you may your way through The Banner Saga 3. If you enjoyed the first two games, this is a final chapter that you certainly shouldn’t miss.
3. Mega Man X Legacy Collection
Metacritic Score: 86 (Averaged across platforms) / User Score: 7.9 (Averaged across platforms)
Mega Man X Legacy Collection collects the top, must-own games from the series, including Mega Man X, X2, X3, and X4. The true-to-form gameplay accompanied by a fantastic presentation and updated bonus content makes this title worthwhile for those who have previously played the games. In addition, the collection is only $19.99. So, for players new to the Mega Man franchise, this is the definitive place to begin.
2. Hand of Fate 2 (Nintendo Switch)
Metacritic Score: 88 (Averaged across platforms) / User Score: 7.6 (Averaged across platforms)
Hand of Fate 2 is a difficult game to put into any one genre of video game, but that is part of its appeal. Part action-RPG, part deck builder, Hand of Fate 2 is a game for those who enjoy taking risks. Build your deck and choose your battles wisely, and you will be handsomely rewarded. The title plays great on the Switch, but is also available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
1. Sonic Mania Plus
Metacritic Score: 91 / User Score: 8.5
Sonic Mania Plus somehow improves upon the original Sonic Mania, bringing players back into the worlds of Sonic The Hedgehog, Sonic The Hedgehog 2, Sonic CD, and Sonic The Hedgehog 3 and Knuckles. The reimagined Zones, Acts, and boss fights have all contributed to the fact that Sonic Mania Plus on the Switch is the highest-rated Sonic game in the past 25 years. Sonic Mania Plus is clearly a title worth checking out, perfectly suited for playing on the Switch, but also available on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.