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Best single-player games: top titles for playing solo

Best single-player games: Assasssin's Creed Valhalla's male Eivor against a gray background
(Image credit: Future/Ubisoft)

Looking for the best single-player games right now? This is where you’ll find them. Single-player games have an endless appeal for a few reasons: you don’t need to worry if your friends will stop playing, it doesn't matter if the game is taken offline, and you're not relying on other players to enjoy the experience. All you need is the game and, well, yourself.

From epic stories you will want to experience again and again to expansive open worlds that beg to be explored, single-player games can capture our imagination in ways that multiplayer games often can't. After all, sometimes we simply want to be the hero of our own story. 

That's why we've put together this list best single-player games available right now. Our list includes single-player experiences, both big and small, that boast fresh narratives and gorgeous environments to get lost in. We've tried to include games that have been released across several platforms, but if you’re looking for platform-specific game recommendations, try our lists of the best PC games, the best Playstation 5 games or the best Nintendo Switch games

Ready for your next epic solo adventure? Read on for the best single-player games available right now.

Best single-player games

Eivor defending herself with two axes against an attacker jumping at her

Assassin's Creed Valhalla (Image credit: Ubisoft)
A Viking adventure

Reasons to buy

+
Funniest game in the series
+
Eivor is brilliant protagonist
+
Every hub bursts with life

Reasons to avoid

-
Huge open world can feel sparse
-
Plot never gets you invested
-
Combat can feel messy

If you’ve ever harbored a suspicion that the Viking life is for you (it’s hard not to when you keep getting Thor on those Marvel personality quizzes), then Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is probably the best chance you’re going to get to find out.  The Assassin’s Creed games tend to offer fantastic single-player experiences and this latest entry is no different. 

In our Assassin’s Creed Valhalla review we awarded Assassin’s Creed Valhalla 3.5 stars, praising the game’s memorable protagonist Eivor who’ll be your primary company on your grand adventure through the Viking Age.

The game is available on PC as well as both last and current-gen consoles, with some visual and performance enhancements for those on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S. If you want to add even more content then it's worth picking up the Ragnarok DLC too, especially as the next Assassin’s Creed is rumored to be set in the same world.

Protagonist Jin crouching towards two oblivious Japanese soldiers

Ghost of Tsushima (Image credit: Sucker Punch Productions/Sony)
Killer katana action

Reasons to buy

+
A beautiful world to explore
+
Exciting and engaging combat
+
Great variety in gameplay

Reasons to avoid

-
Sticks to open world staples
-
Lead character is a bit dull

If you’re looking for a game world that will totally sweep you off your feet, then look no further than PlayStation exclusive Ghost of Tsushima. Set on the island of Tsushima in feudal Japan, this open-world game lets you live out your samurai dreams in style. Its mysterious landscape, engaging combat and eventful main story make it the perfect single-player game, though it does also have an excellent multiplayer mode called Legends is available.

Since it's initial launch, Ghost of Tshushima has received a Director's Cut which adds an additional island called Iki for players to work through alongside visual and performance improvements. This is the version we greatly recommend picking up, especially if you plan to play on PS5. 

Ghost of Tsushima is a PlayStation exclusive so you’ll only be able to play it if you’re on PS4 or PS5.

Control protagonist Jesse Faden ducking away from an explosion

Control (Image credit: 505 Games)
Free your mind

Reasons to buy

+
Stunning particle effects
+
Inspired art direction
+
Satisfying gunplay

Reasons to avoid

-
Starts quite slow
-
A few structural compromises

Remedy Entertainment’s Control is a deeply cinematic single-player game that’s probably going to appeal to anyone who’s got a fondness for the work of David Lynch.

In Control you step into the shoes of Jessie Faden, the newest director of the clandestine Federal Bureau of Control (FBC) - a Government agency which researches, and ultimately aims to control, paranormal activity. But Jessie’s new role has a few issues not exactly laid out in the job description, including the uprising of a paranormal force known only as the Hiss.

In our Control review, we gave the paranormal adventure 4.5 stars out of 5 for its inspired narrative, cinematic visuals, clever environment design, standout performances, and deeply satisfying combat system, all of which come together to make it not only one of the best single-player games, but likely the best game by developer Remedy to date.

Control is on PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation and Xbox. If you’re hoping to get the option of a free next-gen upgrade with the game, then you’ll need to make sure you buy the Ultimate Edition of the game.

Ori riding their owl friend Ku

Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Image credit: Microsoft)

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

A heart-warming platformer

Reasons to buy

+
Hauntingly beautiful world
+
Challenging platformer
+
Excellent improvements on predecessor

Reasons to avoid

-
Shorter than many games on this list

A lot of the best single-player games tend to be sprawling open-world RPGs, so if you’re looking for something that isn’t that, then Ori and the Will of the Wisps might be perfect for you – it’s a 12-hour challenge in a hauntingly beautiful world that will stay with you. 

A sequel to Ori and the Blind Forest – one of our favorite Metroidvania 2D dungeon crawlers - Ori and the Will of the Wisps takes our protagonist Ori into new environments while keeping the heartfelt spirit and enjoyable gameplay that made the original so good.  

Ori and the Blind Forest is available on Xbox consoles, Nintendo Switch and PC.

Zagreus looking over Tartarus

Hades (Image credit: Supergiant Games)

Hades

Mythologically-infused, stylish fun

Reasons to buy

+
Comic-like art style
+
Meaty combat
+
You can pet the two-headed dog

Reasons to avoid

-
Requires patience to master
-
Can overwhelm with difficulty

If you’re looking for an excellent rougelike that will bring you hours of fun, then Hades is the one for you. If you have even a passing interest in Greek mythology then it’ll get bonus points.

From Transistor developer Supergiant Games, Hades sees you take control  of Zagreus, the son of Hades, as he attempts to escape from the Underworld to reach Mount Olympus, with the occasional bit of help from the Olympians themselves.

With a great soundtrack, satisfying combat, an interesting story and intuitive RPG systems,  it has a lot going for it. Oh, and it even lets you pet Cerberus. It’s just really good fun with high production values that will last you a long while if you want to uncover everything Hades has to offer.

If Hades sounds like your idea of Heaven (or maybe Hell?) then you can play it on PC, Playstation 4, Playstation 5 and Nintendo Switch.

  • Hades is the most addicted I’ve ever been to a video game

Geralt fighting a monster using a fire spell

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Monsters and myths aplenty

Reasons to buy

+
Memorable characters
+
A huge and varied open-world
+
Plenty to do outside main quests

Reasons to avoid

-
Long load times
-
Combat can feel clunky

Seven years after its release, millions of gamers are still carrying on their solemn journeys across the war-ravaged low-fantasy world of The Witcher 3. It remains the apex of video game storytelling and one of the best single-player games out there. Everything – from side-quests with lowly peasants to political tinkering of lords and barons – seems to be treated to the same degree of love and attention by the writers.

The Witcher hero Geralt of Rivia is an icon and now the star of The Witcher Netflix show, where he is played by Hollywood hunk Henry Cavill. The world of The Witcher is not just astounding in terms of topographical scale and variety, but also impressive in its sense of history and life, as it seems that every village, castle ruins and cave has a story to tell.

The fact that The Witcher 3 remains as remarkable an experience today as it was when it first came out is proof of its groundbreaking role in the medium.

The Witcher is available on PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC, with PS5 and Xbox Series X|S versions scheduled for release in 2022.

Leon trying to fight off a zombie about to bite him in the neck

Resident Evil 2 Remake (Image credit: Capcom)
A stone-cold classic cements its legacy

Reasons to buy

+
Stunning RE Engine Graphics
+
Masterful environment design
+
Heaps of replay value

Reasons to avoid

-
Voice acting falters at times
-
Trapped by original story

A remake of one of the great survival horror games can be a poisoned chalice, but Capcom succeeded in creating a magnum opus both within the series and among all video game remakes.

Like the original, Resident Evil 2 Remake has two coinciding campaigns, each with a different protagonist: Leon Kennedy or Claire Redfield. While it follows the narrative beats of the original game, it’s also an archetype of modern level design, as you solve puzzles and open up shortcuts around the maze-y Raccoon City Police Department. 

Each zombie is a bullet sponge and mortal threat, resources are hardly adequate, and an unkillable blue man dressed like a hard-boiled detective marches after you through much of the game. Remake or not, this is one of the best horror games to date and is available on PS4, Xbox One and PC.

a text box saying “while you’re in a fight, try to strike up a friendly conversation”

Undertale (Image credit: GameMaker Studio)

Undertale

One that'll stay with you

Reasons to buy

+
Beautiful, memorable soundtrack
+
Incredibly charming and funny
+
Fantastic modern-day JRPG

Reasons to avoid

-
Combat mechanics can be a pain

Undertale is the kind of game that will pull you in and then stay with you long after you’ve put the controller down.

Taking many of the best elements from the ever-evolving RPG genre, it weaves a world built on choice, consequence and compassion. As a child dropped into an underground world filled with terrors, you’ll have to face a whole host of monsters to make it home. How you face them and what choices you make define your journey. This is one of the best single-player games because it’s challenging, both mechanically and emotionally.

Undertale had a somewhat sporadic release on different platforms but as of now, it’s available on PlayStation, Xbox, PC and Nintendo Switch.

Celeste kneeling in an elevator, saying “I can’t breathe”

Celeste (Image credit: Matt Makes Games)

Celeste

A hidden masterpiece

Reasons to buy

+
Challenging and engaging
+
Thought-provoking narrative
+
Super-tight gameplay

Reasons to avoid

-
Can be repetitive

The makers of Towerfall, one of the greatest couch multiplayer games around, took some of the game’s best mechanics and transformed them into a winning 2D platformer about climbing a mountain. 

The core mechanic is the ability to rush in eight directions, but as you progress, you’ll find yourself confronting a constant and growing trickle of different obstacles and challenges. Ultimately, Celeste amounts to a tough old time.

Many levels can be played through in different iterations, and all that finger-cramping platforming is wrapped in a touching story about friendship and tribulation. Celeste feels as significant and seismic for the modern 2D platformer as Super Meat Boy was when it came out a decade ago.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey's Kassandra fighting enemies with shields

Assassin's Creed Odyssey  (Image credit: Ubisoft)

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

This is Sparta

Reasons to buy

+
Graphically stunning
+
Huge world to explore
+
Great protagonists
+
Enthralling story

Reasons to avoid

-
Long game

Assassin's Creed Odyssey is one of the more recent additions to the epic Assassin's Creed RPG franchise. Odyssey is set during the Peloponnesian War and sees you stepping into the sandals of either Alexios or Kassandra as they try to uncover the truth about their history while navigating the turbulent world of Ancient Greece as a mercenary. 

It’s not just the backdrop and gloriously recreated Greek architecture that makes Odyssey such a joy. It’s also in the way Alexios and Kassandra’s story weaves through history and myth, and in how Ubisoft enhanced certain systems - like ship-sailing and level-based enemies - from earlier Assassin's Creed games.

While Assassin's Creed Valhalla is the most recent addition to the series, we still think Odyssey is one of the best single-player games you can play right now.

Link fighting a large skeletal monster

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild  (Image credit: Nintendo)

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

A compelling adventure

Reasons to buy

+
Hours of gameplay
+
Plenty to explore and secrets to find
+
Engaging narrative

Reasons to avoid

-
Can be overwhelming in size

The game that helped the Switch sell bucketloads, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is still played regularly by fans even today – five years on from release.

Setting players loose as longtime protagonist Link in a beautifully realized (and ruined) Hyrule, Breath of the Wild is the first truly open-world Zelda title and takes some cues from The Elder Scrolls franchise.

Rolling plains, puzzle-filled shrines, and dense forests are there to be explored, while combat slowly reveals its impressive nuance after some tough early skirmishes. With crazy physics that allows for new solutions to each problem, Breath of the Wild is the gift that keeps on giving and it's definitely worth playing before Breath of the Wild 2 releases in 2023.

The Chaos God Slaanesh peering down in Total War: Warhammer 3

Total War: Warhammer 2 (Image credit: Creative Assembly)
Embrace the chaos

Reasons to buy

+
Incredibly varied factions
+
A rich and focused campaign
+
Wonderful fantasy unit designs

Reasons to avoid

-
Tedious campaign management
-
Underdeveloped diplomacy system

Creative Assembly first brought its signature brand of strategy to the grimdark world of Warhammer in 2016, but it wasn’t until 2022 that the studio refined it. Total War: Warhammer 3 builds on its predecessors in every way to deliver a superbly inventive strategy experience and possibly the best Warhammer video game of all time.

The open-ended sandbox gameplay that characterized past Total War games is reigned back in favor of a more directed grand campaign. You’ll still be raising armies, growing cities, and crushing your enemies under the hawkish boot of your ever-expanding empire, but you’ll no longer be conquering for conquest’s sake.

Instead, a central questline will have you delving into the twisted Realms of Chaos to defeat the champions of the dark forces. The semi-linear segments act as tense, challenging dungeons that provide structure to the single-player campaign, and punctuate its gameplay to make your warring that much more engaging.

But Total War: Warhammer 3 really shines by spotlighting Chaos, letting you command the brilliantly colorful legions of Khorne, Nurgle, Slaanesh, and Tzeentch. Combined with the magic-imbued Cathay, the swords-and-spears of Kislev, and the hero-focused Daemons of Chaos, Warhammer 3 has one of the most varied faction rosters of any Total War game.

Learning that diversity of options is easy. Warhammer 3 may well be one of the most ambitious single-player strategy games to release, but it’s also one of the most accessible. If you’re looking to jump into the strategy genre, start here.

Sekiro grappling over a flaming village

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice  (Image credit: From Software)
A worthwhile challenge

Reasons to buy

+
Shinobi Deathblows are satisfying
+
Balances brutality with beauty
+
Combat is smooth and rewarding

Reasons to avoid

-
Not for those without patience
-
Accept you may never finish it

Sekiro is a tense, tough, and visually striking samurai game set in a more mythical feudal Japan, and it's one of the best single-player games you can buy.

If you’ve played Dark Souls or Bloodborne, you’ll know what awaits, and already have an idea of whether its unforgiving style is for you or not. Some see the severe combat as sadistic, others see it as a highly challenging, high rewarding experience that has no equal. Whichever way you lean, you can’t question the meticulousness of Sekiro’s mechanics.

Where Sekiro differs from its spiritual predecessors is that it’s less obtuse, with a linear, articulate narrative and the addition of more mainstream action-game elements. 

You leap around vertically oriented levels in quest of shortcuts and secrets, while combat is about finding the right angle and timing for that legendary killing katana blow. It’s never easy to land, but once you start doing so consistently, you begin to understand what all that suffering is for.

Sekiro is available on last-gen consoles, PC and Stadia.

Elden Ring characters fighting large enemy wielding a double-sided axe

Elden Ring (Image credit: FromSoftware Inc.)
Not for the faint hearted

Reasons to buy

+
Outrageously rich open world
+
Combat to die for 
+
Endlessly inventive

Reasons to avoid

-
Difficult to learn
-
Performances issues
-
Unhelpful players

FromSoftware’s latest game may be on our list of the best single-player games, but playing it can be an almost communal experience. There are so many secrets to find in its sprawling open world that you will likely exchange notes with friends for a while to come.

Outrageously difficult as the other FromSoftware games, Elden Ring will allow you to find alternative routes to your goal- sometimes that can involve playing with other people from its online community, but this is fundamentally still a single-player game. Our five-star Elden Ring review called it huge, consistently inventive and absurdly good – an invitation to dive in if we’ve ever had one.

Elden Ring is available on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC.

Arthur Morgan holding a pistol and a rifle

Red Dead Redemption 2  (Image credit: Rockstar games)

Red Dead Redemption 2

An epic for the ages

Reasons to buy

+
Huge open-world to explore
+
Plenty of activities
+
Exciting story and interesting characters

Reasons to avoid

-
Red Dead Online is lacking
-
Prologue is very long

Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption 2 took 2018 by storm, giving us the gun-toting, western open-world we were hoping for. 

Red Dead Redemption 2 offers a prequel to the original game, telling the story of Arthur Morgan, a member of the notorious Van Der Linde gang at the tail-end of the Wild West. A bad man looking to make amends for his many transgressions, Arthur’s narrative lacks immediacy but weaves itself through one of gaming’s most detailed open worlds with true artistry.

Red Dead is certainly a game that will keep you busy. Between story missions, mini-games, activities and side quests, you will find yourself sinking plenty of hours into this title without even noticing it, making it a brilliant single-player game.

Spider-Man web swinging past exploding glass

Marvel's Spider-Man  (Image credit: Insomniac Games)

Marvel's Spider-Man

Ol' web-head is back and full of surprises

Reasons to buy

+
Web-swinging feels amazing
+
Fantastic storytelling
+
Great performances
+
Open-world New York is fun to explore

Reasons to avoid

-
Relatively short

Taking one of the world’s most iconic characters and handing the reins to one of the most consistent developers in gaming turned out to be a match made in heaven for PlayStation fans.

Telling an (excellent) original tale in a non-MCU Spider-Verse, Marvel’s Spider-Man is anchored by fantastic performances from Yuri Lowenthal and Laura Bailey as Peter Parker and Mary Jane. That’s to say nothing of new versions of the Wallcrawler’s rogues gallery and surprising relationships explored with longstanding characters.

Thankfully, the gameplay is more than up to snuff, too. Combat is kinetic, exciting, and rewarding, and swinging from building to building to traverse a stunning recreation of New York is like something from our childhood dreams.

Marvel's Spider-Man is a PlayStation exclusive available on PS4 and as a remastered version on PS5.

Spider-Man crouching on a building looking down on a busy road

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales (Image credit: Sony)
Miles gets a superhero’s welcome

Reasons to buy

+
Incredibly detailed visuals
+
Blazing-fast load times
+
Ray tracing support

Reasons to avoid

-
Main story doesn’t last long
-
Challenges can be repetitive
-
DualSense implementation is fairly limited

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales puts you in the sneakers of the charismatic rookie web-slinger, Miles. With Peter Parker off on holiday, it’s up to Miles to take over the stewardship of New York, and predictably, his first week on the job doesn’t go smoothly. 

A sequel that’s more akin to Uncharted: The Lost Legacy in terms of scale, Miles Morales takes the best bits of the first Spiderman game and builds upon them, adding a new thoroughly charismatic and loveable protagonist while retaining the elements that made the first game a hit  – like the buttery smooth feeling of web-swinging through New York City. 

Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales delivers a blockbuster, cinematic experience that easily rivals Hollywood’s best. We gave it 4.5 stars in our Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales review, calling it “comfortably the best action blockbuster” of 2020. It's definitely worth playing before the release of Marvel's Spider-Man 2 in 2023.

This game is a PlayStation exclusive, available on PS4 and PS5, with the PS5 version offering some visual and performance enhancements. 

Cloud looking up at a building omitting smoke

Final Fantasy 7 Remake (Image credit: Square Enix)
An old favorite, made brand new

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous visuals
+
Combat is excellent
+
Story additions are amazing
+
Encourages experimentation

Reasons to avoid

-
It's pretty linear

The original Final Fantasy 7 introduced many players to Japanese roleplaying games for the first time. More than 20 years later, Square Enix has created a sumptuous remake that doesn’t only look graphically fresh, but also overhauls the battle system and part of the story.

Final Fantasy purists may raise their eyebrows at the changes, but Final Fantasy 7 Remake is a bombastic reimagining of an absolute gaming classic. Our in-depth, 5-star Final Fantasy 7 Remake review agrees! 

While Final Fantasy 7 Remake was released as a PlayStation exclusive, available on PS4 and PS5 and PS5, you can now play it on PC, with the game available digitally via the Epic Game Store. If you are planning on playing on PC, or PS5 for that matter, we highly suggest picking up Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade, an expanded version of the game that adds an extra 10-hour campaign focusing on Yuffie.

A living room with a bookshelf and a stairlift

What Remains of Edith Finch  (Image credit: Giant Sparrow)

What Remains of Edith Finch

An unforgettably strange tale

Reasons to buy

+
Emotive and poignant
+
Creative and bizarre at times
+
We don't want to spoil it

Reasons to avoid

-
Not for those who enjoy a lot of action

A breath of fresh air from the big-money behemoths that dominate this best single-player games list, Edith Finch is so poignant and exquisitely crafted that it will soften the hearts of even the most resolute walking-simulator naysayers.

As the titular character, you meander about in her sizeable but recently abandoned family home set on a haunting, crepuscular island in Washington State. You explore the richly detailed house, visiting the still-furnished rooms of each family member where you get swept up in the dreamy haze of surreal vignettes that show you how they died.

It’s a meditative game about piecing together the story of a family that seems to be afflicted by a merciless curse.

Edith Finch is the kind of thematically heavy, highly curated experience that doesn’t seem to be quite done justice by the word ‘game’.

Available on Switch, PS4, iOS, Xbox One and PC.

Nathan Drake swinging on a rope towards a bridge

Uncharted 4  (Image credit: Naughty Dog)

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

The end of the road

Reasons to buy

+
Ties up the series wonderfully
+
Stunning visuals and thrilling adventure
+
Story has emotional depth 
+
Engaging level design

Reasons to avoid

-
Not a great shooter

Nathan Drake has become one of gaming’s most enduring heroes thanks to his everyman nature and quippy dialogue, but Uncharted 4 might be the game that solidifies his place as the most likable gaming protagonist.

On the trail of pirate treasure with his long-lost brother, Drake’s final adventure is full of incredible action set-pieces including a car chase, a heist, and fights in plenty of crumbling buildings, each chapter is more unforgettable than the last.

It’s a perfect closing chapter for the characters we’ve come to love over more than a decade, their conversations and interactions more believable than ever before.

Uncharted 4 is available on PS4 and PC, or as part of the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection for PS5 and PC.

Solid Snake standing in a row of soldiers

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain  (Image credit: Konami)

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain

The return of the Big Boss

Reasons to buy

+
Solid stealth mechanics
+
Huge maps
+
Non-linear mission design

Reasons to avoid

-
Could be confusing for new players

Metal Gear fans are understandably disappointed that Kojima’s final instalment didn’t tie up the series’ long, winding narrative as they’d hoped, but in gameplay terms ‘stealth action’ has never been better.

Taking the infiltration-based mechanics to an open world and then layering plenty more on top, Metal Gear Solid 5 is a toy box of gadgets, gizmos, and missions players can attempt a near-infinite number of ways. 

Carefully extracting enemies can allow you to recruit them to your cause, which then feeds into a huge metagame as players build out their ‘Mother Base’, which then offers extra benefits in the middle of a mission. It’s compulsive, with ‘just one more mission’ feeding into another, and then another.

Available on PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.

Hollow Knight’s bug knight

Hollow Knight  (Image credit: Team Cherry)

Hollow Knight

Masterful Metroidvania

Reasons to buy

+
Dark and beautiful
+
Challenging but fun
+
Memorable characters
+
Lots of replay value

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite difficult

Of all the gaming genres to have re-emerged since the indie revolution, metroidvanias have likely had the biggest resurgence.  New metroidvanias haven’t just been throwbacks to the good old days of the 90s, but often profound evolved the formula.

Hollow Knight feels like the pinnacle of the last several years of Metroidvania design, and it's certainly earned its place in this list of the best single-player games. You traverse an enchantingly forlorn subterranean kingdom as the titular knight, incrementally gaining abilities, which then let you go down deeper into the world.

Fans are impatiently waiting for the sequel Hollow Knight: Silksong, but until it arrives we’ll be here playing and re-playing Hollow Knight on all platforms we can get our hands on, be it Playstation, Xbox, PC or Nintendo Switch.

Kratos swinging his axe towards a tall troll

God of War  (Image credit: Sony)

God of War

Kratos is great at raising hell, but can he raise a son?

Reasons to buy

+
Engrossing and heartfelt story
+
Characters have depth
+
Semi-open world offers plenty to explore

Reasons to avoid

-
A bit slow-paced
-
No DLC

2018's God of War is a soft reboot of the series and sees a fresh beginning for Kratos, the titular God of War. Here, the antihero has moved from ancient Greece to the frigid colds of Norse Mythology and started a new family. After the death of his wife, he takes his son, Atreus, to cast her ashes from the tallest mountain in the realm.

Of course, things don’t go to plan, and our protagonist finds himself in the sights of a whole new pantheon of gods. With incredible combat (the Leviathan axe might be one of the best weapons in all of gaming) and a story that features absolutely no camera cuts, God of War is gaming nirvana. Definitely play this one before the release of the sequel, God of War Ragnarok.

Available on PS4 and PC.

A hand moving to cast a spell

Dishonored 2  (Image credit: Arkane Studios)

Dishonored 2

Black magic and blades

Reasons to buy

+
Fun stealth and powers
+
Polished mechanics
+
Beautifully detailed world

Reasons to avoid

-
Main story isn't particularly gripping

One of the tragedies of single-player gaming is that the immersive sim – sprung from cerebral first-person games like System Shock, Thief and Deus Ex – has seldom been a big seller. The future of masterpieces like Arkane’s Dishonored, therefore, has always seemed tenuous.

Dishonored 2 casts you as a preternaturally skilled assassin on a revenge mission in the sun-kissed steampunk city of Karnaca. Each large area lets you explore apartments, shops and cluttered rooms from all angles before you swoop in on your objectives.

It’s both visceral in its black-magic-and-blades combat, and ingenious in its level design, with the ever-shifting Clockwork Mansion and the time-traveling Crack in the Slab giving you some of the most memorable gameplay sequences you’ve ever played.

Available on PS4, Xbox One and PC.

Master Chief under a tree looking at something unseen in the distance

Halo: The Master Chief Collection (Image credit: Microsoft)

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

A collection of greats

Reasons to buy

+
Six Halo games in one
+
Multiplayer features every map originally released with each game
+
Updated audio and visuals

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn't include Halo 5

Ok, this is technically cheating, but if you own an Xbox One (or Windows PC), you really must invest in The Master Chief Collection (or download it from Xbox Game Pass).

A collection of the big, green Spartan’s first four mainline adventures, the Halo games have aged impressively – particularly given the increase in resolution across Combat Evolved, Halo 3 and Halo 4.

The main attraction, however, is Halo 2 Anniversary. With 4K visuals, reworked sound effects, and the ability to switch between original and Anniversary graphics with the push of a button, it’s one of the finest first-person shooter campaigns in history.

The collection continues to grow, too – with Halo Reach and Halo 3: ODST also being added since launch.

Vic Hood
Vic Hood

Vic is TechRadar Gaming's Associate Editor. An award-winning games journalist, Vic brings experience from IGN, Eurogamer and more to the TechRadar table. You may have even heard her on the radio or speaking on a panel. Not only is Vic passionate about games, but she's also an avid mental health advocate who has appeared on both panels and podcasts to discuss mental health awareness. Make sure to follow her on Twitter for more.

With contributions from