1. Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil 4 has an absolutely fascinating tone, which is a mix between sweeping adventure and at times, terror. For me, there are elements of Resident Evil 4 that will never not be scary no matter how many times I play it. The A.I. of the enemies in this game is far ahead of its time. Picture if you will, a zombie farmer, who looks like he would have been fairly intimidating in life, spotting you from a distance. He stands up tall, points at you and screams something in a language you do not understand to the other undead around him. You are then swarmed by another wave of the relentless hoard.
Such creepy imagery is scattered throughout the game and it only gets worse. The more you progress on your journey, the more messed up the adversaries become.
The fourth instalment in the iconic horror franchise is a deeply immersive experience that is perfect when you feel like escaping into another world on a quiet night in. Writing about this classic is making me want to play it again, I think I will break this one out tonight myself.
2. Alan Wake
Alan Wake is a captivating yet shockingly underrated horror experience. From the first hour of the story it is clear to see that the writers and developers took a lot of inspiration from Twin Peaks and the works of Stephen King. These properties obviously had a massive influence on the game and not just because it is set in a beautiful mountain retreat. The reason the story is so similar to those of the likes of Stephen King is because it is a horror tale about a writer.
The world that the story constructs is fascinating and there are some gripping plot developments along the way. Like in all good fiction, as questions are answered and the tale unravels before our eyes, yet more burning questions are raised.
As the player you find yourself really relating to the main character of Alan Wake, this is due to the way that we are given a window into the family’s life just before everything goes wrong. Also, the gameplay is very unique, utilising light as a tool to combat enemies.
A creepy and urgent tone is maintained throughout, you constantly find yourself holding your breath. In summary, Alan Wake is a very smart and stylish game with some relentless survival horror gameplay that constantly keeps you on-edge.
3. Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
With excitement for the next instalment in the iconic fantasy series at an all-time high, it is the perfect time to revisit Skyloft. While you wait for the release of Breath of the Wild, why not play as a previous incarnation of Link?
Skyward Sword is a perfect example of how great the franchise can be on non-portable consoles. This instalment brought a scale and gloss to the series that was not present in its handheld instalments. As in all Zelda games, the environments are gorgeous. Nintendo declined ultra-realistic high definition for endearing stylised cell-shading. This emotive graphical style is accompanied by an orchestral score that rivals some of the best video game soundtracks.
Skyloft is the comforting paradise you would expect from a Zelda home-world, you just want to hang out there. This is why it is a perfect game to dip back into for your comforting fix of Zelda.
4. Red Steel
If you need your memory jogged as to why Red Steel is great, or if you have never played it before, allow me to explain why you should dig out this little gem. Red Steel, released in 2006 for the Wii, was a thrilling journey into the depths of the seedy Japanese underworld.
You feel like an actual samurai in first-person katana boss fights. This game was a perfect example of how, if used correctly, the Wii controllers were not a cheap gimmick but a way to further immerse the player in the experience.
The story is pretty thin on the ground but the enjoyment comes from the gameplay, the action is fast and frantic. It is an awesome feeling dual wielding guns and using your katana to blitz through hundreds of enemies, as you storm a gang hideout. If you still have a Nintendo Wii somewhere dive back into Red Steel, it is a fun one and a very unique action game.
5. Injustice: Gods Among Us
Injustice: Gods Among Us is a fighting game featuring heroes and villains from DC comics. This is the perfect game for when you are meeting with a group of friends for pizza and video games. I know that me and my friends have had a lot of nights that featured tournaments on this game.
It is definitely more geared towards the casual fighting game fan; there are no complicated button combinations to initiate your finisher like in Mortal Kombat. With that being said, it does have the over-the-top cinematic finishers you would want. Once you fill the meter, you can watch as Batman calls in the Batmobile to mow down his opponent at 200 mph. Alternatively, as Aquaman you can bring your enemy beneath the sea and feed them to a gigantic shark.
Playing Injustice is an extremely rewarding experience as everyone has a favourite character that they have mastered. Gameplay for the sequel has recently been released so get your hands on a copy of the first instalment and hone your skills.