Dozens of new videogames come out every month, more than we could ever cover in full here at Paste. Even the good ones can sometimes get lost in the shuffle. Starting with August we’ll be running a regular recap of the best new games released every month. In case you’re wondering what you should be playing, let our games editors and writers help you decide.
August 2017 was full of familiar faces, inspired sequels and the return of the game developers responsible for our favorite game of 2013, one of the more influential games in recent years, Gone Home. Here’s the best of what we played last month.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PC, Mac
At its core, Nidhogg 2 is still Nidhogg. And you can turn off the new weapons and still fence your way across a castle stage if you so desire. But unless you’re a hardline hater of Nidhogg 2’s sludgy aesthetic, the sequel enhances the formula across the board. Don’t be put-off by Nidhogg 2’s rainbow slop, there’s still a silly white-knuckle, slay-your-friends action game underneath the mess.—Dan Solberg
Platform: Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
With Sonic Mania Sega could’ve simply taken old assets, upped the resolution, and threw it out there but they didn’t. From the beautiful and lively opening animation to the start screen, it immediately felt both comforting and fresh like putting on a pair of brand new pajama pants. I’m glad they took a chance on getting developers who originally started work on Sonic ROM hacks because they really nailed the feeling. This is what nostalgia should feel like and hopefully this leads to more excellent reboots of Sega properties.—Terence Wiggins
What originally felt like an ungainly mash-up between two properties that share almost no common ground unexpectedly turned into one of the biggest gaming surprises of the year. The Mario imagery and Rabbid humor is almost beside the point: this game works so well because it’s a smartly built and balanced tactical RPG that innovates on genre convention through its liberal approach to movement. If you like Final Fantasy Tactics and XCOM but wish you could move farther and faster across their grids, with multiple different ways to accomplish that, you should check out Mario + Rabbids. It’s a colorful strategy game that looks and feels like nothing else out there.—Garrett Martin
Platform: PlayStation 4
The Lost Legacy isn’t the best Uncharted since Uncharted 2 (and the second best overall) just because it replaces the increasingly annoying Nathan Drake with two strong women of color who don’t maintain a constant stream of sitcom-level chatter. That certainly doesn’t hurt, though. The game takes its subtitle seriously. Yeah, it’s another would-be action film full of bullets and improbable parkour, but it has greater depth because it explores the lives of its co-leads, Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross, and shows how they’re both grappling with the legacies of their fathers and the decisions of their youth. By shifting the focus to these two characters the Uncharted series has struck a narrative vein richer than anything it’s explored in the past.—Garrett Martin
Platforms: Xbox One, PC, Mac
Tacoma might present itself as science fiction. It’s set in a shiny, futuristic space station, with each window a beautiful vista of black and pinpricks of light. But like all good sci-fi, it’s focused squarely on the present. Its depiction of exploitative labor practices and the one-sided relationship between employers and employees, of the marginalization of the worker, might be set near the end of the century, but its message is as current as videogames get.—Garrett Martin