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Ben Pack's Top 10 Games of the Year

The Pack is back!

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Hi! My name is Ben and if you’re reading this then you probably know that I used to work here. If you didn’t know that, welcome to Giant Bomb! You should know that Giant Bomb Premium gives you an incredible ad-free experience and access to hundreds of hours of premium content.

I’ve been very busy this year but managed to play ELEVEN video games that made an impact on me this year, so I cut one (sorry Pokémon Unite) and ordered the rest. You know how it goes.

Unfortunately, I am still in podcast jail with Sarah Koenig and The Office Ladies, so this might be my last message to the public for a while. Keep up the good fight,


10) Back 4 Blood

Left 4 Dead more like Dead on Arrival if getting three of my friends to play this with me is any indication. But it turns out you can have fun even with a mediocre zombie survival shooter.

9) Valheim

Valheim has plenty to offer. Whether you are interested in mining, farming, seafaring, combat, or exploring, you can find your niche and stick with it or enjoy all the game has to offer. And as a bonus, the server-based nature of the game means that you can coordinate and focus on the tasks that give you the most joy.

Unfortunately, that also means that when one of your friends accuses another one of stealing his rare materials, you might suddenly find yourself in seas so tricky, not even the most veteran vikings would want to navigate.

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8) Halo Infinite

Ok, I get Halo now.

7) The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

If you want to hear my extended thoughts on the subject of this game you can listen to Giant Bombcast 709. It basically boils down to

Ok, I get Breath of the Wild now.

6) Inscryption

Best game I’ve ever played that lets me create poisonous corpse maggots.

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5) Guilty Gear Strive

The first fighting game I’ve put good work into since Samurai Showdown. Fun, flashy, and fairly competent netcode makes this a game that should stay in my rotation for some time.

4) Chivalry II

I get to play Mordhau again without dealing with (as many) racists so I count that as a huge W.

3) Metroid Dread

Metroid Dread is the 2D metroid game I have been waiting for since finishing Fusion back in ‘02. It’s a return to form that is safe, yet incredibly effective

Outside of some hamfisted scenarios where you are not permitted from backtracking and the initial E.M.M.I. encounters, the game is a well-polished 2D action adventure, a genre that never goes out of style.

2) Chicory

By design, the first time you load up Chicory the world looks empty. Hiding behind the blank canvas is an intricate world bustling with secrets, collectables, and immaculate vibes. You often might catch yourself channeling your inner child as you sit and patiently wield your brush and restore color to every rock, river, and pizza parlor hiding in this deeply beautiful world.

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1) Slay the Spire

I had never given Slay the Spire the time of day, despite being invested in the two genres it so masterfully melds. It was hard for me to get past the way the game looked. And the UI. And its sounds. Honestly it’s a miracle that this game found an audience at all.

That’s just a testament to how good the design is in Slay the Spire. It’s a game where every move matters. Top-level players can sit and think about something as simple as a card reward for twenty minutes, factoring in everything from their existing deck, future events, percent chance that they spawn a potion in the next hallway fight, and more. I have been forced to reset my progress on making it to ascension 20 three times. I wouldn’t be playing many other games where I had lost all my progress once.