June kicked off the warm, beautiful summer season with plenty of reasons for gamers to… stay inside. A wide variety of highly-rated titles were released to critical acclaim, with genres ranging from racing to retro platforming, allowing gamers to beat the heat of early summer.
In our ongoing monthly feature, we take a look at some of last month’s biggest games as ranked by Metacritic score.
8. Samurai Shodown
Metacritic Score: 80 (Averaged Across Platforms) / User Score: 7.6 (Averaged Across Platforms)
Remember the good ol’ days when fighting games reigned supreme? Developer SNK attempts to recapture those days with Samurai Shodown, and succeeds with flying colors. Literally. The vibrant visuals couple nicely with the beloved features of the franchise, focusing “heavily on rewarding players who learn character moves and combo fluidity.” The story mode alone provides a ton of replayability, giving fans of the genre reason enough to add Samurai Shodown to their PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or Nintendo Switch collection.
Metacritic Score: 80 (Averaged Across Platforms) / User Score: 8.4 (Averaged Across Platforms)
A spin-off of the Yakuza series, Judgment takes players on a journey into the seedy underbelly of the Kamurocho District as Detective Takayuki Yagami who is tasked with uncovering a vigilante who has been targeting Yakuza members and removing their eyes from their lifeless corpses. Fans of the Yakuza and Ace Attorney franchises will no doubt enjoy the game, despite its issue of having way too many random encounters with thugs. Judgment is currently available exclusively for the PlayStation 4.
6. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
Metacritic Score: 82 (Averaged Across Platforms) / User Score: 7.7 (Averaged Across Platforms)
Don’t let the User Score of 4.7 for the Nintendo Switch sway you, as Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night received a User Score of 8+ on every other platform, including PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Although the Metroidvania-style title does not really do anything revolutionary, the game succeeds in combining “elements from many of the later Castlevania games into one package.” Specifically, the game is essentially a spiritual successor to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, and is worth checking out for fans of the franchise.
5. Collection of Mana
Metacritic Score: 82 (Averaged Across Platforms) / User Score: 8.3 (Averaged Across Platforms)
Originally called Seiken Densetsu Collection in Japan, Collection of Mana is finally available for an international crowd thanks to being brought to the Nintendo Switch immediately following Nintendo’s E3 2019 Direct. The collection - featuring Final Fantasy Adventure, Secret of Mana, and Trials of Mana - is one that fans of the JRPG genre will surely not want to miss. The games, for the most part, have withstood the test of time, while the collection brings plenty of content for gamers to enjoy.
4. Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled
Metacritic Score: 83 (Averaged Across Platforms) / User Score: 7.8 (Averaged Across Platforms)
The 90s are alive and well for gaming’s favorite (and only) bandicoot. Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled follows the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy in remastering one of the classic racing titles that initially released on the original PlayStation. Luckily, in addition to PlayStation 4 users, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch players are able to get in on the nostalgic fun. In fact, we enjoyed it so much that in our review, we called Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled a potential future rival to the Mario Kart franchise, should new and original CTR games ever be developed.
3. Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring The Legend of Zelda
Metacritic Score: 86 (Averaged Across Platforms) / User Score: 8.4 (Averaged Across Platforms)
For fans of crossovers, look no further than Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring The Legend of Zelda, available now for the Nintendo Switch. Both titles influence the way the game is played through the rhythmic stylings of Crypt of the NecroDancer and the visual charms of The Legend of Zelda. The roguelike title is admittedly short, but fans of both franchises will undoubtedly be able to look past that fact and enjoy the game for what it is.
2. F1 2019
Metacritic Score: 87 (Averaged Across Platforms) / User Score: 7.2 (Averaged Across Platforms)
If you’ve ever wanted to be Formula 1 racer, F1 2019 may be the closest you can come without actually stepping inside a car. The F1 series is a franchise that commits to an annual release, but the team behind F1 2019 knocked this year’s addition to the catalog out of the park. Although multiplayer can be chaos at times (shocker, I know), the addition of online leagues elevates F1 2019 to a fun new level above its previous iterations. F1 2019 is available now for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
1. Super Mario Maker 2
Metacritic Score: 89 (Averaged Across Platforms) / User Score: 8.7 (Averaged Across Platforms)
It’s time to get creative (or trolly) again with Super Mario Maker 2, available now for the Nintendo Switch. Unlike the first game, Super Mario Maker 2 has a story mode for players to enjoy, before building levels themselves with the game’s expansive tool palette. Community-created levels are also a big part of the game, with players competing for the top spot on the online leaderboard. Build, jump, and survive your way to the top!