the best video games

Nerds! Looking for the best games? Well well, here they are.

🏆 Elden Ring, Dark Souls, Dark Souls III (From Soft, 2011-2022)

Uh, what to say? Dark Souls & Elden Ring are very, very, very good games (did I say “very”?). The feelings of immersion, discovery, awe they deliver are unmatched. Absolute must-plays.

By the way I haven’t played Bloodborne yet… hey, would you lend me your PS4 gathering dust in a corner?

🏆🤗🧠 Return of the Obra Dinn (Lucas Pope, 2018)

A crazy fun & immersive Cluedo Simulator, on a 19th century ship where MYSTERIOUS EVENTS occur.

🏆🧠 Outer Wilds (Mobius, 2019)

An absolute blast of a metroidvania in a solar system where you are not gated by hero powers, but by raw knowledge.

🏆 Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo, 2017)

The best platformer. I generally barf on collectathons, but Odyssey is so perfectly crafted and full of enjoyable and surprising interwoven gameplay mechanics that it’s irresistible.

🏆🤗🤣 Disco Elysium (ZA/UM, 2019)

Absolute best story & writing, original roleplay system. Disco Elysium won’t let go of you until you see the end of it.

🏆 Quake & mods (id Software, 1996)

Decades later, Quake is healthier than ever, and remains the no-nonsense grim shooter. With a caveat: although the main campaign is a classic, it isn’t exactly a peak of variety & level design.

For the best Quake, install a good sourceport like Ironwail, and look at recent mods: Arcane Dimensions, Alkaline, Dwell, the 2022 Remaster campaign, Copper, Honey, Re:Mobilize.

Aaaand as of 2022, I still enjoy myself more with Quake & mods than with one of the recent “boomer shooters”. It’s part gameplay & aesthetic, part feeling like many of these boomer shooters do too much nostalgic fetishization of things that don’t need to be fetishized, ending up putting on a pedestal random historical style & gameplay elements that don’t deserve it. I’d rather play a kickass Quake mod, or a recent “modern” FPS.

🏆🧠 The Witness (Jonathan Blow / Thekla, 2016)

A beautiful puzzler about { observing, researching, understanding, learning }.

By the same minds, see also Braid. For a variant in 2D, see Taiji.

🏆🤣 Grand Theft Auto ≥ 3 (Rockstar, 2001-forever)

Well, duh.

“≥ 3” because 1 & 2 were garbage to play unless you’re a Jedi who can react under 7ms to car-in-front-of-you-but-you-cannot-see-it-until-three-frames-before-crashing-into-it-because-of-that-stupid-top-down-camera 🤦‍♂️.

To “which one?”, my answer is “the last one”, because GTA games benefit from immersion into a world with a lot of stuff in it, and the more time & sky-high development budget passes, the more Rockstar is able to shove ever more STUFF in the next one.

Thaaat being said, as of 2024, I like IV more than V because a pragmatic Niko “ex-killer trying to turn good guy and learning from past mistakes” Bellic is kinda relatable, unlike ⅔ of V protagonists who are caricaturally funny but unrelatably psycho. If playing IV on PC, do yourself a favor and follow PCGamingWiki’s advice: DXVK, Fusion Fix, Various Fixes.

🏆 Thief II (Looking Glass, 2000), The Dark Mod

Young me stole a lot of gold and blackjacked A LOT of guards in Thief I + II 😄. Re-playing Thief II in 2022, I expected to be unable to enjoy it because of its age and jankiness, but nope, it aged well and remains a foundational landmark: a fun core gameplay loop, good mechanics, excellent story & voice acting, giant maps worth exploring every nook and cranny, and the environmental storytelling is the cherry on the cake. After you finish them, and want to know more about the game and studio’s {birth, rise, fall}, go watch Noclip’s 2021 documentary “The story of Thief & Looking Glass studios”.

The original mechanics, AI, and visuals did age, though. So, the mega-patch T2Fix is an absolute must-have, and Thief Enhancement Pack 2 is the best textures + models pack that is “enhanced, yet true to the original”. Now, you might ask:

  • “What about Thief I?” Eeeeh I’m partial to II, it focuses on what works: stealth! Thief I is wildly creative, but also full of muddy combat with unconvincing monsters & zombies, and annoying maps / missions. If you insist you must play this thing: like with T2, TFix is a must-have.
  • “What about Thief III?” No, it’s subpar jank. Even after the heroic Sneaky Upgrade megapatch, it remains subpar jank.
  • “What about Eidos’ 2014 reboot?” You. Don’t. Even. See Thief vs. AAA gaming for why this game is a disgrace to I & II.

After you’re done with Thief I & II,

  • Play a couple amazing Fan Missions, with AngelLoader.
  • Try the community-fueled spiritual successor The Dark Mod, “a free standalone Thief-inspired game built on the Doom 3 engine” that is solid technically, frequently updated, and has tons of great fan missions.
  • Play The Black Parade (see below).

🏆 The Black Parade (Feuillade, 2023)

A jaw-dropping Thief mod of incredible quality. Probably the best mod I’ve ever played. By fans, for fans. Everything you love about Thief is here, dialed to 11: enormous maps bursting with secrets, weird universe, excellent environmental storytelling, no hand-holding.

Warning: do not play this before Thief I & II. This game is extremely well crafted, but expects you know the mechanics & lore.

🏆 Deus Ex, BioShock, Dishonored, Dishonored 2, Prey (2017)

Deus Ex and BioShock are vidy good, and my younger self got totally blown away by them. But since then I played soooo many of these “immersive sims” that they’re a bit of a blur now, and I might be bored of the formula for a decade or two.

So, these two foundational masterpieces (and their spiritual successors) are definitely in my “best” list, but my adult brainz refuses to comment on them 🤷‍♂️. Would you kindly accept it?

For Deus Ex 1, community QoL & visual mods like GMDXv10 will halp make the experience look & feel less dated.

🏆 Thumper (Drool, 2016)

Thumper’s subtitle is “rhythm violence”, and it means it. This is the bestest, most polished, most original, gem of a hard rhythm game.

🏆 Shadow of the Colossus (Japan Studio & Team Ico, 2005-2018)


🏆🤣 Psychonauts 2 (Double Fine, 2021)

What a gem. A fun, smart, adult, polished 3d platformer with mad creative style, world and story. 👏👏👏.

🏆🤗 SOMA (Frictional, 2015)

Please steal my memory so that I can enjoy this for the first time again. Thank you.

🏆🤗 A Short Hike (adamgryu, 2019)

Lovely lovely lovely fun exploring an island. “Casual” doesn’t do it justice, it’s more than that.

🏆 Hollow Knight (Team Cherry, 2017)

Dark Souls, but in 2D. Same feelings of immersion and exploration. Nuff said.

🏆🤣 Control (Remedy, 2019)

A blast of stuff exploding, made supremely enjoyable by SCP-like weird / paranormal story & characters that perfectly balance serious with offbeat.

🏆 Slipways (Jakub Wasilewski, 2021)

A “4X”, but without the “eXterminate” X, where everything is interconnected and local decisions can become global tragedies (or the contrary). This brilliantly-designed thing makes you think, and there’s always a way out.

🏆 Umurangi Generation (Origame Digital, 2020)

Bestest mix of a chill core gameplay loop of shooting pretty pictures, and environmental storytelling telling you about a grim dystopia.

🏆🤗🧠 FEZ (Polytron, 2012)


🏆 Resident Evils, the good ones: 4, 7, 8, 4 remake, 2 remake, 3 remake (Capcom)

Hard to top Yahtzee’s summary of the Resident Evil series: a rollercoaster with very low lows, and very high highs. 4 (and its 2023 remake) is a delightfully campy nonsensical action romance thing, 7 is good horror period, 8 is 4 x 2, and 2 & 3 remakes are serviceable “modern” remakes. If starting with 4, do yourself a favor and play it with RE4HD.

🏆 Celeste (Maddy Makes Games, 2018)

The perfect tough-as-nails, yet permissive, hardcore platformer.

🏆 Alien: Isolation (Creative Assembly, 2014)

I’m on the record for saying this thing is the best Alien thing, regardless of media. The best Alien movies get you to see the Alien being fought. This makes you feel it.

🏆 Strangeland (Wadjet Eye Games, 2021)

For all the SCUMM fun I had decades ago, to me point-and-click adventure games are generally a thing of the past, and beyond nostalgia they reached their intrinsic limits as a genre. Except when they’re done by absolute masters of the genre, with crazy world-building skills, the boundless imagination of a newborn, and respect for the player.

🏆 Rayman Legends (Ubisoft, 2013)

Unfathomably good 2d platformer: perfect gameplay, tons of batshit excellent levels, fun world, incredible illustration.

🏆 BallisticNG (Neognosis, 2018) & WipEout (Psygnosis & Sony, 1995-2017)

BallisticNG is the best WipEout-like by many landslides. Tons of tracks, perfect handling, mad oldschool style, dope music.

🏆 Mark of the Ninja: Remastered (Klei, 2012/2018)

Such! Good! Level! Design! And! Perfectly! Balanced! Stealth! Mechanics!

🏆 DOOM 2016, DOOM Eternal (id Software, 2016-2020)

Have your trophy of the best reboot, id. These games are beyond kickass.

🏆 Black Mesa (Crowbar Collective, 2020)

Half-Life as your embellishing memory remembers it.

Yeah yeah, “No! Play the original!” says the purist. I say the purist can go eat a headcrab, and I say I’ll enjoy this labor of love remake anytime over the still-certainly-playable-but-still-certainly-janky OG. Okay fine, I have one productive thing to recommend to the purists: Half-Life: MMod is the more respectful to the original polish-only mod you want. Now go away and let me play Black Mesa.

🏆 Super Meat Boy (Team Meat, 2010)

Suuuuuuper! Meat boy! For more, check out Super Magbot.

🏆🤣🧠 Portal, Portal 2, and mods (Valve, 2007-2011)

Solid, excellently-designed puzzles. Inspired tons of super polished mods like Portal Stories: Mel and Portal Reloaded.

🏆🧠 Braid (Thekla, 2009-2024)

A timeless puzzler of time manipulation and good narration.

🏆🤣🧠 Teardown (Tuxedo Labs, 2022)

What a FUN thing! Teardown is a “Reverse Minecraft” or “creative destruction” sandbox-ish gem that feeds you with A. world, B. tools, C. objectives, then 101% gets out of the way and lets you do your own thing with the game’s systems & physics. What a refreshment from the ever-growing list of handhold-ey modern games!

Also, a tongue-in-cheek backstory that doesn’t take itself seriously, a physics engine that excel at balancing enjoyability vs. (lack of) realism, technically impeccable, and incredibly moddable in Lua.

🏆 Receiver 2 (Wolfire, 2020)

A weird one, and one of the rare rogue-likes I enjoy. Not that I’m a gun freak, but I like how this thing goes against each and every FPS habit you accumulated over years, rewarding calmness, concentration, and careful weighing of options. To complement with even more mood, it’s wrapped in great conspiracy theory and voice acting.

🏆🤗 Her Story (Sam Barlow, 2015)

Pulp Fiction, but interactively through searching an old computer for keywords. Brilliant.

🏆🤗 INSIDE (Playdead, 2016)

HOW CAN “GO TO THE RIGHT” BE SO WELL-MADE AND SO GRIPPING?!? Successor to good-but-not-quite-as-good Limbo, and for more like this, see also Little Nightmares.

🏆 Spec Ops: The Line (Yager, 2012)

When people say FPSes are dumb and unable to convey anything deeper than reptilian threat→shoot, you enthusiastically answer “Generally, yes! However, Spec Ops: The Line”.

🏆 Cuphead (MDHR, 2017)

As harrrrd as stylish. Very fun to couch-coop with a friend.

🏆 INFRA (Loiste, 2016)

Never had so much fun being a civil engineer, exploring kilometers of decrepit infrastructure, and unveiling a conspiracy. Warning: the final terribly-lit map is an absolute shit sandwich; use a guide or a mod.

🏆🤗🧠 A Monster’s Expedition (Draknek, 2020)

A lovely and polished difficult puzzler full of “oh!” epiphanies that will make you smile. By the same devs, see Bonfire Peaks.

🏆🥳 Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (Sumo, 2012)

Better than Mario Kart. The drifting is better, tracks are fun and creative, and the car / boat / plane yo-yo is perfect. Fight me.

🏆🤗 NORCO (Geography of Robots, 2022)

Enjoyers of weird Sci-Fi, do yourself a favor and play this in one sitting.

🏆🤗🧠 Stephen’s Sausage Roll (increpare, 2016)

“A simple 3d puzzle game.”

🏆🧠 Into the Breach (Subset, 2018)

Strategy, especially turn-by-turn strategy, isn’t my cup of tea. Into the Breach is a distillation of all the good bits of the genre, and none of the annoyance.

🏆 Boomerang X (DANG!, 2021)

You might think this is yet another “room + you + monster = boom” shooter, but this actually does something original and combines old things to make a fresh new thing. In this case, { frenzy arena fights, grapple physics, constant new powers to vary gameplay }. It’s very well made.

In the “frenetic 3d action” genre, check out Post Void and Devil Daggers and HYPER DEMON. For 2d, take a look at FEWAR-DVD and Disc Room.

🏆 The Forgotten City (Modern Storyteller, 2021)

Investigation games are hard to pull off, they’re often either A. inscrutable, or B. putting you on a treadmill where the investigation is happening anyway without you bringing any agency / intelligence.

Well well, this falls firmly into camp B., but at least it’s extremely well written and full of interesting relationships.

🏆 Furi (The Game Bakers, 2016)

A gem of a “boss rush” game that is half swordfight, half bullet hell, zero filler, good pacing thanks to light world-building between fights, and mad mad style & music.

🏆🤣 Struggling (Chasing Rats Games, 2020)

If QWOP was good for a laugh but horrible to play for more than a minute, Struggling is the utmost bestest goofy-physics thing to couch-play with a friend, with you controlling an arm of the monster, and your friend the other. Extrrrremely funny. Cherry on the cake: it’s chock full of actually good gameplay variants, and surprising levels making fun of tons of games.

🏆 Dap (Melting Parrot, 2021)

The psych-horror Pikmin-like to n̬͍͖̙o͕͎͈̖̝͝t̥̀ play with your kids.

To play a friendlier non-psych-horror Pikmin with your kids, play Tinykin.

🏆🤗🤣 TSIOQUE (OhNoo, 2018)

“A dark but playful point & click adventure, hand-animated in meticulous, frame-by-frame 2D”. What a treat! This thing was soooo funny! We! Need! More! Games! With! Humour!

🏆 Beyond Good & Evil (Ubisoft, 2003)

What a world to explore.

🏆🤗 In Other Waters (Jump Over The Age, 2020)

Maybe not everybody’s cuppa’tea because it takes time to find its groove and some of the gameplay is annoying, but I loved the way this thing tells its story: like a good book, directing your attention and letting your brainz do all the hard work of imagining what’s going on. Brilliant.

🏆 Ori and the Blind Forest, Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Moon Studios, 2015-2020)

The most “AAA” a Metroidvania can get. Story is bland and controller bindings can be tedious, but both Oris remain exceptionally polished and visually impressive.

🏆 Amnesia: The Dark Descent & The Bunker (Frictional, 2010-2023)

Immersive weird survival horror.

🏆 Ridge Racer 7 (Namco, 2006)

I rarely appreciate games for realism. So, when it comes to racing games, from least to most enjoyed, for me there’s: annoying ultra-realist sims, most racing games, then racing games who remember to be FUN, a.k.a. Ridge Racer and WipEout.

As of 2024, this Ridge Racer is the Last Good One™, true to the series physically-nonsensical-but-extrrremely-fun drift physics (and nitro and slipstream for good measure).

🏆 Metal Gear Solid V & maybe older ones (Konami, 1998-2015)

“Why just V and why « maybe » older ones ?!?!”, I hear you yell at clouds.

Because I didn’t grow up with earlier MGSes, and trying to enjoy them in 202x with fresh eyes and no nostalgia is impossible, even though I love the batshit-crazy Kojima lore.

The reason is simple: early MGS controls suck. MGS 4 & V are the only MGSes that are playable to someone used to the fluidity of “modern” twin-stick controls (left stick: movement, right stick: camera) and with no patience for early rickety 3D control schemes. As of 2024,

  • I hope MGS Δ will be a good remake, and lets me finally enjoy MGS 3.
  • I’ll give MGS 4 a try soon, when it’s emulated well enough.

Controls rant aside, MGS V gud: serviceable action & stealth, enjoyable batshit-crazy Kojima world & characters.

🌄🤗 Gorogoa (Buried Signal, 2017)

A beautiful light-puzzle story that is arty & accessible but not boring.

🌄 Grow Home & Grow Up! (Reflections, 2016-2018)

A simple idea executed excellently: you are Bud, a cute robot task with gathering stuff floating above a little planet, and so you’ll have lots of climbing and flying around to do. Lovely.

🌄 Neon White (Angel Matrix, 2022)

A perfectly tuned runner-puzzler-platformer-kindashooter.

Would move from good to greatest if it wasn’t for the unfathomably shitty anime “story” & cringeworthy writing. Thankfully there’s a skip button.

🌄 Mirror’s Edge (DICE, 2009)

Perfect movement.

🌄🤗 ISLANDERS (GrizzlyGames, 2019)

A lovely cozy city-builder with “synergies” (and anti-synergies) between buildings.

🌄🥳 Jamestown+ (Final Form, 2019)

Best and most stylish shmup, with a blast of a co-op mode.

🌄🤗🤣 Katamari Damacy REROLL (MONKEYCRAFT, 2018)

One of the most “what?” games. You push a ball made of random objects, and rolling the ball over smaller objects makes the ball bigger. Now go.

🌄 The Long Dark (Hinterland, 2017)

Canadian wilderness apocalypse simulator. Story is generally not great, but oh boy is the whole thing immersive.

🌄🤗🧠 Cocoon (Geometric, 2023)

When I hear “aesthetics don’t matter”, I say Cocoon. Good puzzle design made great by exquisite audio & video, immersing you like no other in a weird universe.

🌄🧠 Mirror Drop (Ian Lilley, 2018)

The one “non-euclidian” puzzler that doesn’t overstay its welcome, and leaves before getting overly repetitive and/or nonsensical. Difficult but fresh, cohesive, and punchy.

🌄 Extreme Evolution: Drive to Divinity (Sam Atlas, 2024)

A platformer / collectathon just like Mario, but with more psych boll.

🌄🤣 The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe (Galactic Cafe & Crows3, 2013-2022)

<Insert meta-comment about a game meta-commenting about games>. See also The Beginner’s Guide.

🌄🤣🧠 Supraland & Crash! (Supra Games, 2019)

Portal meets Metroid meets Zelda. Vidy well designed.

🌄🤣 Trials Rising (RedLynx, 2019)

Enjoyable over-the-top-funny X-Moto+++ 2.5d arcade platform/racer.

Also, fuck you, Ubisoft.

🌄🤗🧠 World of Goo (2D BOY, 2008)

An early “indie” favorite, still a blast to play and to make discover to friends & family not familiar with games.

🌄🤗 Engare (Mahdi Bahrami, 2017)

A lovely meditation around islamic geometric drawing.

🌄🤗🤣 Hidden Folks (Adriaan de Jongh, 2017)

Coziest and most full of charm “where is Charlie?”

🌄🤗 Journey (thatgamecompany, 2012)

A beautiful exploration of a deserted world.

🌄🤗🧠 Taiji (Matthew VanDevander, 2022)

Witness in 2D, as excellently designed as its inspiration.

🌄🤗🧠 Evan’s Remains (Matías Schmied, 2020)

Good puzzler and excellent story.

🌄 24 Killers (Happy Shabby, 2023)

A treat of Love-de-Lic-inspired { weird, kind, chill, fun } joy.

🌄🤗 Papers, Please (Lucas Pope, 2013)

An amazing “dystopian document thriller”.

🌄 Children of the Sun (René Rother, 2024)

“On a deadly road trip into darkness, control the path of a single bullet and unleash a fury of vengeance on the sinister cult that ruined your life”, well said Steam description.

🌄🤗🤣 The Henry Stickmin Collection (PuffballsUnited, 2020)

Fun choose-your-own-dumb-joke game just like your favorite Flash game of 199x.

🌄 Death Stranding (Kojima, 2019)

As gripping as infuriating, this is a Kojima-est game that I cannot ev—. Just try it, there’s zarroo point talking about it. It might be the best or worst or blandest thing to you. But it’s a thing, this is certain.


Time passes only when you move; now kill the bad dudes. Simple idea, sharp execution.

🌄🤗🤣 Thomas was Alone (Bithell, 2012)

It’s amazing how a good narrator can transform a game.

🌄 Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine, 2016)

Beautiful game, and kickass music by disasterpeace.

🌄🤗 Machinarium, Botanicula, Creaks (Amanita Design, 2009-2020)

Amanita games are !@#$% incredible bundles of illustration & music. If you’re not fan of point & clicks, start with Creaks, which is less point & click and more puzzle.

🌄🤗 Stories Untold (No Code, 2017)

Spooky stories mimicking old horror adventure games.

🌄🤣 Old School Musical (La Moutarde, 2018)

Competent classic rhythm game on excellent chiptunes, spruced with videogame references & tongue-in-cheek humor.

🌄 Hotline Miami, Hotline Miami 2 (Dennaton, 2015)

Solid stylish hardcore instant-death action. Or “Katana Zero but with camera above rather than on the side”, if that speaks to you.

🌄 Katana Zero (Askiisoft, 2019)

Solid stylish hardcore instant-death action. Or “Hotline Miami but with camera on the side rather than above”, if that speaks to you.

🌄 BETON BRUTAL (Jan Malitschek, 2023)

First-person no-savegame parkour in stylish overgrown brutalist architecture, accompanied by excellent sound design.

🌄🤗 Late Shift (CtrlMovie, 2017)

A reasonably-well acted “high-stakes FMV crime thriller”. If “FMV” means nothing to you, it stands for Full Motion Video and it basically means an occasionally-interactive movie with multiple paths & endings. There’s been a resurgence of those, and this is one of the better ones.

🌄🤗 OpenTTD (OpenTTD contributors, 2004-now)

Nostalgia aside, this game is a marvel of community care for a classic.

🌄 Minishoot’ Adventures (SoulGame, 2024)

Neat bullet hell meets metroidvania meets Zelda exploration.

🌄🤗 TOEM (Something We Made, 2021)

A cute-as-heck photo-taking adventure.

🌄🤗 Mothmen 1966 & Varney Lake (LCB, 2022-2023)

“A 'Pixel Pulp' visual novel fusing exceptional writing and stunning illustration”. Well said, Steam description.

🌄🤗🤣🧠 Puzzle Agent (Telltale, 2010)

A funny & quirky Fargo-style investigation, but made into a light-puzzle comic/game with excellent illustration. We! Need! More! Funny games!

🌄🤗 Decarnation (Atelier QDB, 2023)

Light-horror gameplay serving a well-narrated heavily horrifying story.

🌄🧠 The Talos Principle 2 & 1 (Croteam, 2014-2023)

Good puzzling and sci-fi story, from the makers of Serious Sam!

🌄🤗 The Invincible (Starward, 2023)

A delightfully-crafted walkingsim sitting on the shoulders of hard sci-fi that is great to begin with, made even better by excellent voice acting.

🌄 Uncharted 4 (Naughty Dog, 2016-2022)

You must work hard on suspending disbelief with this “game”, given the batshit ridiculous over-the-top blockbuster action and stupid dialogues & relationships.

But if you do, this is a hell of a perfectly-executed shooter / climber / quasi-walkingsim in lush postcard-grade tropical vistas that make you whoaaa, and climb buildings with your bro as blissfully as child climbs tree.

🌄 Dead Space (2023 remake) & Dead Space 2 (Motive, 2008-2023)

Solid stupid blockbuster sci-fi action/horror.

🌄🤗🧠 Event[0] (Ocelot Society, 2016)

In a deserted spaceship, you talk to a helpful / evil AI via text, and things happen. There’s probably a dozen games in development based on post-GPT AI that will be a million times better, but this will do in the meantime.

🌄🧠 TUNIC (2022)

A gem of a “show, don’t tell” riff on the Zelda formula, that is chock full of secrets hidden in plain sight. Misses my “great” list because of the merely serviceable combat.

🌄🤗 Plants vs. Zombies (PopCap, 2009)

Tower defense distilled.

🥳 Hidden in plain sight (Adam Spragg, 2014)

Best and most accessible friends betrayal simulator party game.

Also worth a mention: Unspottable.

🥳 Towerfall: Ascension (Maddy Makes Games, 2014)

4-player chaos maker.

🥳 Nidhogg & Nidhogg 2 (Messhof, 2014-2017)

Best party fight games ever.

🥳 Tricky Towers (WeirdBeard, 2016)

Tetris with physics! Very fun with friends.

🥳 Stick Fight: The Game (Landfall West, 2016)

Fun messy chaotic brawler with varied levels.

🥳 Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (Steel Crate, 2015)

Fun with an instructions manual 😻.

🥳 Gang Beasts (Boneloaf, 2017)

Delightful silly physics chaos.

🧠 Stuffo the Puzzle Bot (Hapatus, 2023)

Darn good puzzles and !@#$% kickass music.

🤗🧠 Bonfire Peaks (Corey Martin, 2021)

Extra sausage, from the makers of A Monster’s Expedition.

🤗🧠 Patrick’s Parabox (Patrick Traynor, 2022)

Ready to recurse?

🤗🧠 Cypher (Matthew Brown, 2018)

Learn about cryptography and have fun doing it.

🤗🧠 Railbound (Afterburn, 2022)

Charming and well-made.

🤗🧠 Tametsi (Grip Top, 2017) & Polimines 1 & 2 (Molter, 2022-2023)

Variations on minesweeper.

🧠 She Remembered Caterpillars (jumpsuit entertainment, 2017)


🙅‍♂️ “Nope” games

Now, dear reader, “how dare this list omit <game that is precious to you>?”, you ask, shaking your fist at clouds. Glad you ask, and please pause the shaking.

First, the list is PC/Steam-centric (as this is where I game most), and has a recency bias (as I started compiling it in 2022).

That being said, these two biases aren’t the only reason it lacks many “classics”. I intentionally omitted games that younger-me would have described as masterpieces, but that move me much less nowadays. This is not a list of “games most significant when introduced”, one where you’d see more of the likes of Super Mario, Super Mario 64, Wolfenstein 3D, Dune II, Alone in the Dark, Civilization, Tetris, and many more.

Some of the aforementioned games are indeed significant, some remain alive and kicking in niche communities, and some of them I enjoyed long ago. But would I recommend them now to a friend? Nope.

This list is me being enthusiastic about games that surprise me, now, to share with you my friend, hoping one of these games surprises you, now.

Game on 🤙.

🍿 But wait, there’s more!

Ate all the bestest stuff? Hop on to 🌄 More good games, 🤗 Games for “non-gamers”, 🥳 Party games, 🥳 Games with humour, or 🧠 Puzzle games.

🍿 But wait, there’s more!

Ate all the good stuff? Hop back to 🏆 The absolute bestest games, 🤗 Games for “non-gamers”, 🥳 Party games, 🥳 Games with humour, or 🧠 Puzzle games.

🍿 But wait, there’s more!

Ate all the nongamer stuff? Hop back to 🏆 The absolute bestest games, 🌄 More good games, 🥳 Party games, 🥳 Games with humour, or 🧠 Puzzle games.

🍿 But wait, there’s more!

Ate all the party stuff? Hop back to 🏆 The absolute bestest games, 🌄 More good games, 🤗 Games for “non-gamers”, 🥳 Games with humour, or 🧠 Puzzle games.

🍿 But wait, there’s more!

Ate all the humour stuff? Hop back to 🏆 The absolute bestest games, 🌄 More good games, 🤗 Games for “non-gamers”, 🥳 Party games, or 🧠 Puzzle games.

🍿 But wait, there’s more!

Ate all the puzzle stuff? Hop back to 🏆 The absolute bestest games, 🌄 More good games, 🤗 Games for “non-gamers”, or 🥳 Party games, 🥳 Games with humour.

Comments and feedback welcome by email.