If you have, then join us once again as we tuck into the penultimate list of this five-part series, and countdown today's entries, kicking off with...
For the first game on our list today, we have the vibrant, fast-paced arena shooter known as ShockRods. This title is an action-packed joyride that'll have your adrenaline going in no time. Seemingly the love-child of Quake and Rocket League, this game sees vehicle arena combat at its finest. Climb into your tanky yet ultra-nimble ShockRod and get skidding around and jumping about in the variety of arenas to choose from. Boost, jump and swerve to be the first with the weapons and ammo needed to annihilate your opponents, whether that be full-auto lasers or long-range ballistic cannons. The choice is yours, and it will surely be a destructive one!
With options to fully customise your ShockRods, numerous arenas and multiple game modes, this 6v6 or free for all mayhem is perfect for groups of friends looking to have a bash and blow each other up in beautiful and frantic vehicular carnage!
We actually did a case study on Stainless Games (the ShockRods devs) a little while back - we interviewed Sam Corser, who told us all about their inspiration and passion for the game. It was great to hear how the game came to be, and is a fantastic insight into the world of Indie developers. Definitely worth a watch.
If you've ever thought to yourself, "Gee, I wish there was a game set in space which allowed me to build anything I could possibly imagine, and has a fully functioning physics system capable of simulating all manner of physics calculations, all set in an infinitely spawning universe limited only by the hardware it's run on," then you need to stop reading this now and go get Space Engineers immediately.
This title is honestly a marvel of game design - capable of having fleets of ships, completely built and designed by players, go head to head in all out war, and all of them being fully destructible and physics simulated. You want to crash a 1:1 recreation of the Pillar of Autumn into a 1:1 recreation of the Death Star? If you can build it (or find some else who already has on the Steam workshop), and your hardware is powerful enough, then hell yes you can!
Want to have a fully operational space station in orbit of a planet? If you've got the smarts (or can find someone that's shared theirs on the workshop), then you can.
A huge cargo hauler carrying a fleet of one-man mining ships to swarm through asteroid fields drilling up all that wonderful ore? You can do that too. How about a space elevator? Yup. Drones that follow you around like little pack-mules or deadly bodyguards? Of course!
If you can engineer it (or, you guessed it, find it on the workshop), you can have it. That simple. Forget the sky, because space really is the limit in this game. Which as modern science tells us (or the option in the advanced settings menu), is infinite.
Go play it. Right now. I'm not biased, honest. This is a completely objective opinion... just ignore the 1400hrs I have in-game...
Seriously though, the scope in this game is insane - check out this video below, it really does put things in perspective.
Moving on from engineering to grand strategy, at 18 we have Paradox's Stellaris. A huge open-ended title that has you choose (or create if you're up for it) your very own civilisation, fit to venture out among the stars.
Explore a vast universe, research strange and mysterious anomalies, discover ancient, long lost civilisations and other space-faring creatures. Conquest or coalitions, trading or raiding, everything is for you to decide. Just don't expect to be ignored if you embark on a journey to conquer the universe.
If you saw our post from yesterday, then you'll have read about EVE: Online. Well think of Stellaris as similar in scope and freedom of choice, but rather than being massively multiplayer, it can be either single player, or you and your friends playing co-operatively or competitively. As with any grand strategy game, you can be sure that it'll keep you entertained for many, many hours, as you negotiate and fight your way through the known and unknown universe.
Grab a headset and a few friends, chill out, and go explore the galaxy!
From the depths of space to the depths of the ocean; Subnautica is a gorgeous survival game set on the hostile alien planet, 4546B. After crash landing on the planet in your life pod, it is up to you to survive on this beautiful and dangerous water world.
Gather supplies, learn what you can and can't eat, what will and won't try to kill you, build a base with a red sea-grass and Sand Shark view, fix the Aurora and find out if there's away to get back home. This is a truly fantastic game that will fulfil all of your underwater videogame desires, and then some. Another personal favourite of mine, and many others too.
And if that isn't enough for you, then Unkown Worlds have a second entry in the Subnautica series, Below Zero, which continues on from the first game's excellent and unexpected narrative. A must have for any survival and base-builder fans out there.
Another grand strategy game, this time set in the fantasy Old World of the Warhammer universe.
Pick from any number of factions, from Lizardmen, Dwarves and Vampires to the imperialistic human race known as The Empire, or the frantic and fighty goblins and orcs of the Greenskins. There's a race and faction for everyone here. Then, when you've chosen, begin your conquest as you attempt to complete your faction's objectives, sweeping through the Old World to destroy factions or initiate diplomacy with them, though all-out war is often the most fun option.
Why you ask? Well, unlike many other grand strategies, and essentially one of the biggest selling points, I think, of the entire Total War design philosophy, is that you get to fight your own battles. All those units you unlock and recruit, you get to control them in glorious open battlefields, chokepoints and ambushes, and even stronghold or city sieges.
Equally, if campaigning, strategizing and managing an empire isn't really you're thing, then you can always jump into quick battles, scenarios and custom games, that allow you to play out those battlefield fights to your heart's content.
A game for masterminds on the battlefield and the world map alike, this title is another awesome game to really sink some time into. Better yet, single player isn't the only option, and you can either compete or play co-operatively with up to three other friends in the Old World.
Speaking of sieges and the likes, Besiege is a great little game unlike any other. With a gorgeous art style and innovative level design, fun game mechanics and a great physics system, this is the medieval siege-enthusiast's dream.
Build your own catapults and trebuchets, battering rams and anything else you can fathom that can complete the objectives given to you at the start of each level. It might take a few attempts to get to grips with the building system (mainly the camera - which you soon realise can be "anchored" to a point on your build to make things easier), but once you've mastered it and you've got an idea in mind, you'll soon have all manner of crazy medieval contraptions rolling around.
It's an immensely satisfying game, watching triumphantly as your design ploughs through maps, squashing sheep, peasants and soldiers all the same, as your terrifying machination crumbles entire castles before your eyes.
Surprisingly calming with its idyllic soundtrack and soft blue backdrops, this title is perfect for those creative minds looking to unwind and launch some flaming boulders around. And yes, that is a V3 Missile Launcher...
If you take Total War Warhammer 2, tone down the violence several notches, and remove the ground level battles, you'd think you'd have less of a game. But you'd be wrong. Instead, you have a much more fleshed out grand strategy, where the focus is on those overworld views and tactics, with way more options when it comes to victory conditions.
If you're the passive type, then you could win this game by becoming the most scientifically advanced civilisation on the map. Or by converting everyone to your religion of choice, unifying the world through shared beliefs and Gods. Perhaps just plain old diplomacy?
Or maybe you could just nuke everyone - since some people will never be satisfied with anything less than completely incinerating the face of the world as we know it...
Favouring a turn-based style on a hex-grid map, you'll spend your time exploring and researching, growing out cities and supporting your populations. Plus, you can play alongside your friends and compete to see who can be the first to become the greatest civilisation.
For me, Halo was the FPS that first got me into the genre. It managed to do that for two main reasons; firstly, the gunplay was simple and yet extremely satisfying, with its impressive array of different weapons to choose from, all with their pros and cons. And two, much like older titles such as Wolfenstein and Half-Life (way beyond my years at the time), the games did (at least originally) follow a strong and coherent narrative with some really solid characters that kept you fighting. Every mission made you want to progress through the hordes of Covenant so you could find out what was going to happen next, and to who.
Those two points aside, I'll also never forget that first game menu; looking out across the Halo world with that phenomenal and ethereal choir filling the air in the living room.
If you've never played a Halo game before, then now is most definitely the time. Renowned for being Microsoft's flagship console exclusive, the series has final arrived on PC, remastered and ready to go, with its incredible multiplayer modes to match.
Fast-paced, futuristic, full of alien scum and some great cinematic sequences in places, this game has action, tension, visual fidelity and more. A definitive and unforgettable series that is still going strong, this is definitely a series you'll want to give a go.
This is the farming life simulator to rule them all - you start with nothing but some basic tools, living in your little rundown farmstead. From there, well, it's all down to you.
Explore the town and help your neighbours, collect everything you need to tidy up and kickstart your farm, sell your produce and buy some better tools. Repeat. And if you fancy it, then grab your trusty sword and do some dungeon delving in the town cave system, where you can mine some raw minerals and ore. Maybe you can craft them into a gift for a special someone?
There's stories and friends to discover, plenty of things to grow and keep you busy, and overall, it's just a super chill game. Oh, and you can do it all with 3 other friends!
Give it a go!
And taking the top spot on today's list it's Team17's Worms!
Where to even start with these games? Absolute mayhem - guns and baseball bats, finger prods and dynamite, parachutes and grappling hooks, donkeys and old ladies... the list goes on and on, and it's all weaponised so you can unleash absolute chaos on your opponent!
With an incredible array of titles in this series, with fully destructible maps, from the hand-drawn to the 3D, either on your own or with friends locally and online, you'll be taking the fight to your fellow worms with ridiculous weaponry and outrageous tactics.
Anything goes in these games and with that you can be sure that total hilarity ensues!
A must have game for anyone who likes fun, worms, destruction, or all three.
And that wraps it up for the penultimate 10 entries in our Top 50 list. Join us next week, when we'll be counting down our top 10 games and revealing our pick for the number one spot.
See you then!
What do you think of the list so far? Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments!
14 Jul 2021
We caught up with PNY's David Flood to discuss how the 4th industrial revolution GPU refreshes and other major tech developments are powering incredible and exciting transformation in the media and entertainment industry.