The third annual PlayStation Experience took place this past weekend, and this year was the biggest and best yet for Sony’s year-end celebration. More announcements than ever before were made at the show—but more than that, the show floor had more games than ever before, too. I was able to go hands-on with nearly two-dozen titles while at the show, and I’ve whittled those experiences down to the 10 best games that I think you should be chomping at the bit for.


Developer: Metalhead Software
Publisher: Metalhead Software
Super Mega Baseball 2

The original Super Mega Baseball was the kind of arcade-y experience that baseball games started out as back in the day. Due to its initial December release back in 2014, it might not have gotten the love it deserved, but it was good enough to easily cement its status as a cult classic. Clearly, the love was heard loud and clear from the folks over at Metalhead Software, as they’re now working on a sequel planned for 2017. Super Mega Baseball 2 features more stadiums, more players, and more modes than the original, while still bringing over its 1-4 player couch co-op/versus play. Its controls remain easy to pick up but difficult to master, as your pitchers have every possible pitch imaginable, and knowing when to swing for power—and getting the timing right—or swing for contact is critical to success. If you love baseball, and are looking for an alternative to the more serious simulation that is The Show, Super Mega Baseball 2 is all set to knock it out of the park again.


Developer: Yager Development
Publisher: Grey Box

We’ve been hearing about Dreadnought for a while now, and on the precipice of its 2017 release, we got the awesome news that it’s also coming to PlayStation 4. For those unfamiliar with the game, you take control of one of a series of massive starships, waging space war against those who would stand against you. Each ship has different statistics based on their size, speed, and armaments, and playing what best suits your style—and what can best help your team win—will be critical, as the planning stages are just as important here as the actual combat itself.

My one worry with the PS4 announcement was how the controls (based around a mouse/keyboard) would transition to a controller. Luckily, the team found a way to do it. The PS4 controller’s touchpad is utilized when choosing to divert extra power to shields, engines, or guns, picking up the slack of the lack of buttons on the controller face. And, after playing a couple matches this way, I found using a controller to be just as intuitive—if not more so—than the PC controls. Now, it’s just a matter of time before we can get access to the beta and become captains of our own starships.


Developer: PlayTonic Games
Publisher: Team17

If you loved the original Banjo-Kazooie games, then Yooka-Laylee is not only a love letter and spiritual successor to them, but to all the platformers of the N64 era. During my PSX demo, I was introduced to a massive world chock full of collectibles, puzzles, and colorful characters that shared the British tongue-in-cheek, fourth-wall breaking humor that made us all smile a little wider back in the ‘90s. The single area I saw required Yooka and Laylee to change the seasons in order to collect every single Pagie they could as they try to save all the world’s literature from nefarious forces. Besides the seasonal puzzles, Yooka the chameleon can also eat special berries that changed his attributes. For example, one makes him turn to stone in order to withstand high winds, while another allows him to spit ice and freeze platforms. Laylee the bat also gets in on the action, shooting out a sonic scream that can wake up sleeping totems and reveal new platforms to hop across. Simply put, the gamut of gameplay on display here—from shooting to platforming to puzzle solving—made me feel like a kid again in all the best ways.


Developer: Supergiant Games
Publisher: Supergiant Games

I love games. Always have, always will. Being a games journalist for nearly a decade now, however, means I love them differently. I appreciate them, but it’s rare I ever get outwardly excited anymore. There is an exception to every rule, of course, and I admit I absolutely mark out for anything Supergiant Games makes. So, when they officially announced that Pyre would have a local versus multiplayer mode at PSX (something we speculated when we first saw the game earlier in the year), and I got to play it? I went bonkers. And, it turned out, with good reason, because it seems Supergiant has taken the time and care they always apply to their worlds and their narratives, and have successfully done the same with multiplayer.

Much like the main game, Pyre’s multiplayer has two teams of three face off as you try to get a special orb into your opponent’s base—like a game of celestial basketball. The strategy and intensity that emerges from playing another human, however, takes the gameplay to an entirely new level. It’s difficult to predict these things, but I could easily see Pyre turning into a couch versus phenomenon. Supergiant told me at the show they’re trying to get online to work, but would rather no online than broken online. I think that’s entirely the way to go, because even as is, this game is primed to be a slam dunk.


Developer: Sloclap
Publisher: Devolver Digital

Following E3 2016, I had heard from fellow EGMer Matt Buchholtz how amazing Absolver was. After finally getting to try it out at PSX, I don’t think Matt gave the game nearly enough credit. On the surface, Absolver is an arena fighter where your character moves through a world, taking on opponents, growing stronger, and learning new moves in the process. Dig just a little deeper, however, and you find a game that celebrates fighting as an art form, a complicated dance of fists and feet and force that when perfectly flowing together creates a performance unparalleled elsewhere. This is where Absolver makes itself special.

Its visuals are already beautiful; the character designs remind me fittingly a bit of the dancer from Bound. But when you start to understand the timing of moves, your fighter’s four different stances, how you can properly chain moves together, and even customize your own combos from dozens of moves, there’s a level of detail here rarely seen in any fighting game—and which has me equally excited for both the campaign and its versus modes.


Developer: Whitemoon Dreams
Publisher: Sony
Starblood Arena

When I saw Starblood Arena announced at the PSX 2016 showcase, the first thing that came to mind was how it would it compare to RIGS—another game involving players shooting each other while piloting mechs that was, to me, PlayStation VR’s best launch title. After playing it, Starblood Arena might be even better.

Right off the bat, Starblood Arena provides a cast of colorful characters and mechs of different shapes, sizes, and stats to differentiate itself from other early VR shooters (and inject some personality into the game). It also provides a full six axes of motion, meaning your mechs are constantly flying through the air and that threats can come from any angle. What Starblood Arena also does smartly is provide standard FPS controls with the two sticks on a controller, and then have finer aiming done by moving your head. This not only gives most gamers a control scheme they’ll be familiar with, but also reduces nausea-inducing situations down to nothing for most. Although I only took on bots in the limited demo—19:1 K/D by the way—the game features deathmatch and other standard shooter-fare modes. If Starblood Arena can build a solid player base, it could be the next great multiplayer game for PS VR.


Developer: Lightbulb Club
Publisher: Lightbulb Club
Games of Glory

The PS4 has been offering some interesting free-to-play fare recently, starting with the announcement that Gung Ho’s Let It Die was launching right there at PSX 2016 for everyone. Another F2P game that’s coming exclusively to the PS4 is Games of Glory, which could prove to be immensely popular among the multiplayer crowd. Combining MOBA elements with a Guardian mode, Games of Glory splits six players up into two three-person teams. Your team must attempt to win a best-of-9 series by holding the center of a map and keeping your designated captain alive for the entirely of a round. Who fills the role of captain always rotates between rounds, so every player could potentially be the captain three times. Each character has moves and roles similar to what you would see in your typical MOBA, including tanks, DPS, healers, and so on. Coming up with a strategy and combination of players to overcome your opponents isn’t easy, but it sure can be fun. Although only a few characters and only the one mode were available for play at PSX, some variety here could easily see Games of Glory catch on with its ease of play.


Developer: Giant Sparrow
Publisher: Sony
What Remains of Edith Finch

I saw What Remains of Edith Finch a couple of years ago at E3, and have been waiting to find out the final, sordid history of the Finch family tree with bated breath ever since. Players are tasked with exploring the Finch family home, where whenever someone in the family meets with a tragic end, their bedroom is sealed off. By discovering new rooms, you also discover new tragedies and tales as you try to uncover the secret of the Finch legacy. With a release finally coming supposedly right around the corner, I played through one of the shorter stories on the tree, that of a twin brother who wanted to fly in the worst way—and got his wish.

What Remains of Edith Finch is the next step in interactive storytelling, providing players with fantastical experiences that also find ways to tug on heartstrings. The two stories I played through on two separate occasions took me places I never thought games might go, but when the game is finally done and we play through this entire collection of short tales, I think we’ll all be happy they did.


Developer: Prideful Sloth
Publisher: Prideful Sloth
Yonder: The Cloud Chaser Chronicles

Imagine a Legend of Zelda game minus the enemies, and you’ll have a pretty rough idea of what to expect from Yonder: The Cloud Chaser Chronicles. Here, you play a boy or girl who, after waking up in a mysterious world, sets out both to figure out how they got there and help purge a mysterious force that is consuming the land. To do that, you’ll have to find fairy-like creatures on your journey that can help you purge the encroaching darkness. Along the way, you’ll also be able to build your own farm, befriend a variety of animals, collect resources, or go on quests for nearby villagers to earn the tools needed to open up more of the world. You can fish, chop wood, mine stone, and more to gather resources, which—when combined with your farming aspect—gives the game a bit of an open-world Harvest Moon feel as well. I admit, normally I prefer a bit more conflict in games of this ilk, but I’m curious as to where the story could go. As a change of pace, the peaceful open-world quests of Yonder might be just what we need as gamers.


Developer: Exploding Tuba
Publisher: Exploding Tuba

The twin-stick shooter is a pretty common video game staple; rarely has it ever been tied to a complex narrative, however. Enter: Divide. It’s a science-fiction action/adventure game that will demand every second of your attention. Every bit of information needs to be taken with a grain of salt as you work your way through a futuristic dystopia in search of your missing daughter.

What makes Divide even more interesting is its control scheme, which uses none of the PS4 controller’s face buttons. Instead, everything is mapped to triggers and the control sticks. Whether hacking a terminal to open a door, or aiming down the sights of your gun when in confrontations with soldiers or security bots, you’ll have to master this simple control scheme to work your way out of some complex jams as you dive deeper into the story.  Much like the story itself, Divide may look simple at first glance, but when you start to get past the surface, there is so much more to discover.