If you ever played Fallout: New Vegas (or any recent Fallout game, really), you will feel right at home with the weapons, abilities, items, and gameplay options on offer here. At the same time, the combination of a completely new, more outlandish setting and the subtle twists to the Fallout formula really do keep the game fresh. Obsidian should be congratulated for the success of this fantastic new "original" franchise. We look forward to exploring even more of these bizarre new worlds in the future.
Best PlayStation 4 Exclusive
The Coalition took the opportunity with Gears 5 to make several notable changes and enhancements to the familiar Gears formula, even more so than they did the last go round - - from everything to the visuals, cues, and modes of play, to controls, gameplay features, and even the story focus. While not all of these changes were necessarily needed or welcome (Why would they mess with the damage indicator and chainsaw controls without at least providing the option to switch them back to normal?!), on, on the whole they did add more to the experience than they took away. Making Gears 5, not only one of the freshest, most unique Gears games yet, but also one of the best.
Now, Advance Wars is one thing. After all, Nintendo hasn't even touched that series in years. Perhaps it was cannibalizing Fire Emblem sales? Or maybe they just hate money. Who knows? But Fire Emblem has been and still is a major release pillar for the big N. In fact, by offering more features, modes and some stylish Advance Wars-infused gameplay, Wargroove even managed to outclass Nintendo's latest installment, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, which was released the very same year (and several months afterwards, too). To reference another movie classic, "there can be only one". And Wargroove is most definitely the one.
Best PC Exclusive
Million Arthur: Arcana Blood is an incredible-looking Square Enix-produced, 2D arcade fighter from Japan (where else?). The original characters it features are all unique, varied, and interesting enough to get you hooked by themselves, but MAAB ups the ante by also including two fantastic guest characters in the form of Iori Yagami, from the King of Fighters series and a character named Riesz, from Square Enix's own very long-awaited JRPG export, Trials of Mana. Their inclusion is appreciated and helps to make an already superb fighting game that much more of a blast to play.
Best Switch Exclusive
Cadence of Hyrule is a Zelda game like no other. Not only because it's one of the only Zelda games not to include the name "Zelda" right in the title, but also because it's the very first rhythm game in the franchise. Cadence of Hyrule takes the unique gameplay stylings of the otherwise okay indie title, Crypt of the NecroDancer, and mashes it up with the wonderful world of Zelda (or, perhaps we should say Hyrule). The result is a chocolate/peanut butter-caliber combination that somehow elevates both series to something that is nothing short of pure unadulterated gaming perfection. It's beautiful, it sounds amazing, and it's an absolute joy to play. If you own a Switch, you really owe it to yourself to check it out.
Best Multi-Platform Game, Game of the Year
Not only is Devil May Cry 5 one of the best entries in the series, it's also among the greatest action games ever made. It just gives you more - - more visual splendor, more top-of-the-line action, more characters to play as (including the newly introduced, V), and more ways to play. If we had to sum Devil May Cry 5 up with one word, that word would be "incomparable". That's why we named it the best game of the year.