#GamerGate aside, it is a splendid time for video games.
November will mark a full year on the market for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles. The Wii U, meanwhile, is coming up on its second birthday.
While the PlayStation 4 is edging out the Xbox in terms of sales, both consoles are still very young, and there are plenty of exciting games coming to these platforms. Nintendo’s more mature console is also starting to release some real heavy-hitters.
There are plenty of other game platforms — mobile, PC, and portables like the PS Vita and Nintendo 3DS — but these are the best games you can buy for all the latest-gen living room consoles, namely the PS4, Xbox One, and Wii U.
Consoles: Wii U
Summary: 'Players control three alien captains who explore the surface of a planet known as 'PNF-404' in search of cultivable fruit seeds to save their home planet, Koppai, from famine. They meet and befriend the Pikmin, who assist them.'
Notable review: 'When playing a Nintendo game, such as 'Pikmin 3,' it's hard to wrap your finger around what exactly it is, or how the company made it that way, but it's there. What is it? Magic, secret sauce, whatever you want to call it -- that feeling of pure fun and excitement in your belly. Nintendo knows how to make it, and with 'Pikmin 3,' the wonder, excitement, fun, uniqueness, and a variety of other adjectives come together in full force to make a truly magical experience that you can only find on a Nintendo system. The presentation, from the cutscenes, the engaging banter between the three characters, the cinematic camera angles and bosses, and the beautifully intricate end-of-day segments all work together to make you realise that better graphics aren't the only thing that comes with an HD Nintendo system, but a more polished, better game experience as well.' - Dustin Grissom, Nintendojo
Consoles: PS4, Xbox One
Summary: ''NBA 2K15' features approximately 5,000 new animations, new defensive AI, shooting systems, new team-specific play sets, and more control over rebounding, steals, and blocks. Ernie Johnson and Shaq O'Neal delivers commentary and analysis to the action.'
Notable review: 'The overhauled control scheme and helpful shot meter are the types of improvements basketball fans have been waiting for. Battling for space and effectively using a screen to set up a wide-open jumper is superbly satisfying, and while it can be a struggle to keep up on defence, the interaction between all 10 men on the court at any time has never looked or felt this real.' - Josiah Renaudin, GameSpot
Consoles: PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360
Summary: 'Take on the role of one of six powerful character classes -- Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor, Wizard, or the all-new Crusader -- and embark on a dark journey through Acts I-V to save the world of Sanctuary from ancient and sinister forces.'
Notable review: 'This is the third time I've reviewed some version of 'Diablo 3,' and each time I've been met by a better, more refined experience. 'Ultimate Evil Edition' collects the entirety of that experience in a slick new wrapper, giving console owners a complete, and uncompromised version of 'Diablo 3.' Finally, 'Ultimate Evil' serves up a few social-minded twists like an in-game mail system to gift loot to friends, and a new nemesis system which allows a monster that slays someone on your friend's list to grow in power and come into your game to give you a chance to avenge your fallen comrade. It's a cute trick, but not a game-changer in any way. The real star is still the ability to play on the couch with up to three friends, tearing through the angry hordes that await you in adventure mode, where the wildly randomised dungeons form the backbone of 'Diablo 3's' endgame.' - Vince Ingenito, IGN
Summary: 'Players assume the role of Delsin Rowe, a young graffiti artist who gains super human abilities. From a third-person perspective, players explore the city of Seattle and use a chain and elemental-based powers (e.g., cinder blasts, smoke dash, neon shots) to defeat various humans and super-powered enemies.'
Notable review: ''inFamous Second Son' is most definitely an inFamous game through and through, which makes it a super power-infused action adventure game at heart. If you're expecting a massive, varied 'Grand Theft Auto V' map, or realistic traffic patterns and vehicles, don't. 'Second Son's' virtual recreation of Seattle is a playground for Delsin's abilities, first and foremost. Forget cars, planes or public transportation, his preferred form of travel around the area is either on foot or by utilising his traversal abilities. Traversal is something you'll do a lot of as Delsin… he's quick and nimble, and can climb damn near anything in the city. In conjunction with his new superhuman abilities, he can run or fly, over or through obstacles, and clear across each district, with lightning speed.' - Paul Bryant, Gaming Age
Consoles: PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360
Summary: 'While investigating the scene of a gruesome mass murder, veteran police detective Sebastian Castellanos, aided by his colleagues Julie 'Kid' Kidman and Joseph Oda, must confront the invincible apparition Ruvik after getting transported to a dilapidated room in a mental hospital.'
Notable review: 'It's been nine years since Shinji Mikami directed a horror game with 'Resident Evil 4'; none of that game's rhythm and pace has been lost in the intermission. There are fat, mad friars who roam derelict churches. There are rabid super-dogs, creeping villagers who stare with bright eyes and wield torches or chainsaws -- and there's your own a burgeoning armory, which you are restrained from using liberally through the scarcity of ammunition. There are familiar sections during which you fight alongside a second, computer-controlled character, tending to their well-being while trying to maintain your own. This is a Mikami game from hilltop to catacomb, and it's undeniably the closest we've had to a direct sequel to his greatest work, 'Resident Evil 4.'' - Simon Parkin, Eurogamer
Consoles: Xbox One
Summary: 'A catastrophic event has left your city overrun by mutants. While the majority perish or transform, you flourish. It turns out your calling isn't picking up trash or serving food, it's mutant destruction. With an arsenal of kick-arse, overpowered weapons and a knack for traversing the city with hyper agility, its not the end of days for you. Your story is just beginning.
Notable review: 'Given its heavy reliance on more subjective design choices such as its fourth wall -- breaking comedy or distinct sense of personality, 'Sunset Overdrive' could've gone very wrong. As I progressed through my character's story, however, Insomniac's efforts did exactly what they were supposed to do: They grew on me. While the style of humour won't connect with all players -- and if it doesn't, your opinion of the game could definitely be somewhat soured -- my hero grew from a selection of character-customisation choices into a person I actually liked and cared about. Her sass and attempts at wit weren't always cool, but they gave her a certain charm. I went into 'Sunset Overdrive' thinking that it'd be a fun, interesting smaller adventure in between the big blockbuster releases; now, it's probably the most enjoyable game I've played so far this generation.
Consoles: Xbox One
Summary: 'In 'Titanfall,' players control 'pilots' and their mech-style Titans, and fight in six-on-six matches set in war-torn outer space colonies.'
Notable review: ''Titanfall'
represents a potent fusion of established and modern design ideas, creating a tense and rewarding balance of power and moment-to-moment unpredictability. MOBA-like minions mix with traditional on-foot deathmatch, jetpack-powered locomotion, and giant-robot combat -- each role playing its own part in the battle and coming with its own tactics and strategies -- while the well-designed maps make the ideal weapons and loadout completely situational and dynamic. Though 'Titanfall' is somewhat regrettably a barebones game in terms of modes and customisation features available at launch, its intense action is almost as exciting to watch a friend play as it is to pick up the controller yourself. It's surprisingly lacking many accoutrements we've come to expect in a multiplayer shooter, but it nevertheless unites its elements in a cohesive, approachable way. 'Titanfall' earns a seat at the table with the genre's entrenched powerhouses.' - Ryan McCaffrey, IGN
Consoles: PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360
Summary: 'Years in the future, a group of space-born humans fight to remove the Earth of alien invaders.'
Notable review: 'Even with its stumbles, the initial release of 'Destiny' is a colossal achievement in interactive design, integrating a number of differing genre elements into a smart and unified whole. Bungie's latest futuristic opus is one of the first true event games of this new generation, and while it still has room to grow, it's worth your attention right out of the gate.' - Matt Miller, Game Informer
Consoles: Wii U
Summary: ''Mario Kart 8' introduces new racing circuit designs and antigravity karts that will have players driving upside down. Players will also enjoy a variety of series-favourite features, including the return of 12-player online competitive play, hang-gliders, underwater racing and motorbikes.'
Notable review: 'Every aspect of 'Mario Kart 8' is polished to the finest shine: the look of joy as your character faces the camera for a split-second after a boost jump, the way the canvas of the gliders ripples in the breeze, or how the Sweet Sweet Canyon's spectators are gingerbread versions of Mario characters. No detail is too incidental.
Regardless of the Wii U's troubles Nintendo remains one of (if not the) greatest developers on the planet in terms of making games that are a pure joy to play, and 'Mario Kart 8' is one of its finest. The question with 'Mario Kart 8' was never really 'is this going to be good,' because with Nintendo that much can be taken for granted. The question is whether it's the best yet. And, among one hell of a field, it takes first place.' - Rich Stanton, The Guardian
Consoles: PS4, Xbox One, PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Summary: 'The family of Talion, a ranger of Gondor responsible for guarding the Black Gate of Mordor, is killed by Sauron's armies, but Talion is revived with wraith-like abilities and heads into Mordor to exact his revenge.'
Notable review: ''Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor' is a well-paced sandbox game with a revolutionary new game mechanic in the Nemesis System, which I imagine we'll see iterated on in the years to come. The Nemesis System creates the opportunity for two players to have wildly different experiences fighting the Uruk-hai, while Talion collects trinkets and upgrades. Your nemesis (an Uruk who will find a way to kill you time and time again) will be completely different from your friend's, and you'll have plenty of unique experiences to share about different tactics you used to take out a certain warchief. Or, how you were chasing a captain who retreated in battle and ran right into the jaws of a wild caragor, robbing you of sweet victory. 'Shadow of Mordor' is the strategic person's action game.' - Alexander Sliwinski, Joystiq
Consoles: Wii U
Summary: 'Starting a few months after the events of the first game, Bayonetta and Jeanne are fighting off a group of angels who attacked a city during a parade. During one particular attack, Jeanne protects Bayonetta from a sudden demon summon gone wrong, causing her soul to be claimed by the depths of Hell. Upon a tip from her informant Enzo, Bayonetta heads to the sacred mountain of Fimbulvinter. An entrance to Inferno, the Gates of Hell, is said to be inside and Bayonetta plans to use it to save her friend.'
Notable review: 'Even if you don't care one bit about the plot, it hardly matters. Bayonetta is such a fantastic lead character that the ride is enjoyable regardless. She exudes confidence with a commanding authority. Bayonetta is not only completely satisfied with who she is, she flaunts it in such an empowering way, using sexuality to humiliate her enemies and flipping the script on what we typically see. Every single moment, Bayonetta is in total control, never following the whims of anyone else or seeking approval. From its peerless combat to its outlandishly entertaining world, 'Bayonetta 2' is a triumph. Platinum Games has created a classic so thoroughly excellent that it can't be ignored. Action games don't get better than this.' - Ben Moore, GameTrailers