Today's the day - we're counting down our final Top 10 entries for our Top 50 games to play in self-isolation. If you haven't seen part one, two, three or four yet, then check them out first. You don't want to miss out on all the great games we've seen so far!
But if you're all up to speed with 50 through 11, then join us one last time as we tuck into the final list of this five-part series.
So, without further ado, let's kick things of with...
Honestly, at this point, who hasn't heard of Minecraft? It really is everywhere, especially on YouTube. But there's a reason for that and quite simply, it's because it really is a good game. It has that signature blocky look and feel, some basic survival mechanics, enough to compel you to go out and do things, a simple XP system which, though often ignored by many players, especially in the early-game, is still reason enough to make people more adverse to death. But what does it do better than many other games of similar design? It makes digging and collecting extremely simple and extremely satisfying, puts everything in neat stacks, with never enough room in your inventory or chests - but there's a use for every item which just begs you to hoard it and make all the things!
It's a game with loads of creative freedom, and plenty of things to keep you occupied, plus with a cutsie soundtrack and adorable little pigies, it's a super chill game for you and as many friends as you can rope onto a server.
There's also the added bonus of a prolific modding community, meaning once you complete the vanilla experience a few times over, you can delve into the evermore complicated and intuitive game systems, designed by various members of the talented Minecraft player-base.
If you're looking for a game that satisfies your blood-lust but also gives you a good laugh, then Pit People is the perfect game for you. Narrated by the incredibly talented William Andrew Stamper, you'll be laughing from the get go with his unique and comical lines about giant space bears and bear blood acid rain, as well as his maniacal outbursts as you kill multiple enemies before his ever-omniscient presence.
You will follow your protagonist Horatio, as he tries to survive in a hostile world full of child eaters and helmet themed bandits, as he recruits a team to help him fight off the aforementioned nasties. From Pixies dressed like lawyers, to apparently Trump supporting Spidaurs (half woman, half spider), zombie Doges to Rainbow artillery unicorns, you can recruit and customise just about anyone (or anything) you come across in this colourful turn-based strategy game.
There's plenty of humour, fourth-wall breaks, and just plain nonsense, which I think is all anyone can ask for in the current state of affairs. Even better, there's a co-op adventure mode too, so you can bring along a friend for double the carnage and double the giggles!
In 2016, id Software and Bethesda Softworks treated us to the glorious Doom reboot. Now they've returned, bringing us a second game in the series with Doom Eternal. If you played the first Doom then you can imagine what a treat you're in for, because it's basically a more refined and even more skull bashing version of that first title. But if you've never had the joy of experiencing the new Doom games, then I'll break it down real quick for you: Demons, heavy metal, totally brutally viscous combat, and raw unfiltered awesomeness.
You play as the Doom Guy (yes, that's his name), and your only goal is to kill as many demon scum as possible, and in as many violent and imaginative ways as you can. Based on the original definitive game series, which pretty much birthed the FPS genre, this game is the definitive FPS of the last decade (dethroning it's 2016 predecessor).
If you want a game that is challenging, tactical and non-stop adrenaline pumping chaos, with a hellishly healthy helping of cinematic cut scenes depicting savage violations of Hell's Geneva Convention, then Doom Eternal is where you need to spend your time.
And once you've machinegunned, chainsawed and one-punched your way through the campaign, there's even a PvP Arena mode, allowing three players to duke it out as either the Doom Guy, or one of the two demon spawn sent to destroy him. It's a surprisingly well-balanced game mode and one well worth trying out once you've had your fill of single player.
Here at Novatech, Kenshi holds a special place in our hearts, or at least for the marketing department anyway. We can't get enough of this game at the moment, and it'll be that way for some time (probably until Kenshi 2 releases). But there's a reason for that; this "free roaming, squad-based RPG" sees you in a harsh, post-cataclysm world. Drawing on real world history and packed full of eastern, sci-fi and early RPG inspirations, it's dark, it's gritty and the decisions you make and actions you take will be morally ambiguous. It's atmospheric, has great environmental story-telling, interesting factions, and even tackles real-world politics and debates in a subtle but prominent way.
Possibly the best part of Kenshi though, is how real it feels. That is to say, unlike many other games which tend to have things happen as a direct result of something the player does, Kenshi allows the game world to develop free of the player's actions, creating a game almost more akin to a sort of wasteland simulator.
It's an amazing game and the guys and gals over at Lo Fi Games have worked really hard on it, for over 12 years. That's a long time for an indie game, but quite appropriate for this kind of scope and depth!
If you'd like to know a bit more about it though, keep your eyes peeled for a blog post in the coming weeks, where we'll be offering up some answers to some questions we had for Lo Fi Games, which we asked in an interview with them a few weeks ago. So stay tuned for that, it's a great insight into the game and how it was developed.
Rockstar Games have been making the Grand Theft Auto series pretty much since they were established back in '98. It's probably fair to say it's their staple, and if the reception of these games by players is anything to go by, then there's no doubt about it.
GTA:V is the latest game in the flagship series, and it's a whole load of fun, especially when you venture into the game's online mode with a few friends. There's pre-made maps and game modes by Rockstar themselves, but the fun really starts once you get into the custom, player-made maps.
From Death-runs and Car Sumo, to RPGs vs Insurgents or the infamous Ling maps, there's no shortage of fun and games to be had with your friends. You'll be in stitches as you attempt to mow down your opponents (on bicycles) in your V24 Supercharged Phantom Truck, or shooting them out of the air with an RPG as they attempt to knock you from sky-high platforms in armoured vehicles. Or maybe just seeing who can be the first to complete a 3-mile long wall ride over the city of Los Santos.
What's really amazing is that despite being released in 2013, GTA:V is still receiving patches and content updates from Rockstar, so it's clear the game is here to stay, and for a long time to come (seeing as there's no word of a GTA:VI anytime soon).
Of course, the brand-new title from Valve was bound to show up on our list at some point!
An incredible game with astounding attention to detail and an excellent narrative to supplement the excellent gameplay, if you're a VR user then Half-Life: ALyx is definitely a game to get on as soon as you can. If you haven't seen it already, then be sure to have a read of the article we posted on everything you need to know, the weekend before the game dropped. It'll give you a great idea of what you can expect to find in the game and will almost certainly sell you on it if you weren't already sold.
Also, be sure to check in on our YouTube Channel in the coming weeks, as our very own Toby has completed the game from start to finish, and we'll be uploading the game footage there soon!
Much like the Halo port to PC, Red Dead Redemption 2 was another highly anticipated title that arrived on steam November last year. After a rocky start with a few issues surrounding poor optimisation, the game is back at its best, with a lot of those initial kinks ironed out, making it the perfect time to play if you're on PC.
Saddle up, ride out and explore a vast open-world on the western frontier, where you'll follow the grizzly narrative of Arthur Morgan as he and his gang are pursued by lawmen and rival gangs alike. If you've ever wanted a gorgeous western cowboy shoot 'em up, then Red Dead Redemption 2 is a perfect solution. There's plenty of shoot-outs to be had, with satisfying gun-play and detailed environments to duck and dodge in and out of.
There's also some basic survival and crafting elements to tinker with, and although not a hugely necessary part of the game, they certainly make things feel very immersive when you're sitting at a campfire atop the edge of a cliff, looking out across the lonely landscapes and stunning vistas...
The XCOM games are the type of games that stick with you for a long time after you play them, if not indefinitely. There's something quite special about them, and similar to games like Kenshi, it's because they do things that a lot of major publishers wouldn't dare to open their wallets for - they innovate.
With XCOM, that translates into games that are incredibly in-depth and well thought out, mixing the elements of several genres into titles that become a strategy player's dream come true. In XCOM, you lead Earth's resistance against the alien forces know only (in the later titles) as ADVENT. Manage your base and which rooms or modules you build, choose which research avenues to pursue, manage your soldiers and customise them to your heart's content, altering their roles, loadouts, visuals, pretty much everything, then scour the Earth in search of missions and opportunities to wipe out the alien invaders.
Combat is turn-based and uses an action point system for soldiers to move, shoot, explode and ambush, and takes place on diverse procedurally generated maps with multiple levels, interiors and randomised mission objectives.
XCOM really does give you pretty much everything you could ask for from an Earth Defence game, and it always manages to do it in an exciting and original way. It's an awesome series of games, and well worth sinking many hours into, making it a perfect choice for anyone looking to press fast-forward on all this self-isolation madness.
Relatively topical but in a way that'll remind you to stay hygienic in these hand soap and sanitiser times, Viscera is exactly what it says on the cover. And it's pretty hilarious in concept. Essentially, somebody thought to themselves, "But what happens after I complete all those levels in Doom and other brutally gory shooters? Who resets the level to how it was before, ready for the next player to enter?"
That's where you and your friends come in! You and your trusty cleaning tackle. Sweep, mop, incinerate and dance your way through level after level of hideous messes; from people to aliens, or even elves in Santa's workshop... yeah don't ask about that one... there's plenty of blood and goop and gore to be binned and burned, with many, many surfaces to hose down and polish up.
Whether you get straight to the task or stop to play catch with a rogue torso first, that's all up to you, but I can guarantee you'll have a good chuckle with your friends either way. It also has a bright neon pink boom box to put on some bangers too, for those that love to boogie whilst they clean.
And that brings us to our number one spot, which is...
This one's got all the tags. Seriously, this game covers something for everybody. A colony management sim with huge attention to detail, plenty of replayability value, a great and simplistic art style and so much more, it's difficult to fit into just a few paragraphs.
So in short, you choose from a number of different start scenarios, each with different difficulties, and begin each game with a different set of randomly generated colonists each and every time. These colonists have different names, traits, backgrounds, relationships, health conditions and more, all bringing their unique personalities and skills to your colony. From here, it's your job to manage them and what they do, building up your colony and their base, recruiting new colonists and survivors, researching ways to thrive, defending from pirates and dealing with environmental circumstances and catastrophes.
There's no real story in Rimworld, but if you ask anyone who plays the game, they'll tell you that the reason you play Rimworld is to create the stories. Just head over to Reddit, at r/Talesfromrimworld, where you'll find tonnes of posts from players who've seen some real hilarity and heartaches unfold before their eyes. In fact, I'll leave you with a link to one here, just to really show how unpredictable and truly fantastic this game can be.
And that wraps it up for our Top 50 games to play in self-isolation. We hope you enjoyed following the countdown with us, and maybe brought some games to your attention that you haven't played before. Let us know in the comments if you think you'll be playing one or more of these games any some time soon!
Thanks for reading!
What did you think of our Top 50? Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments!
Posted in Gaming and esports
Published on 06 Apr 2020
Last updated on 06 Apr 2020
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