The best games of 2024… so far!

These are the essential titles gamers need to be playing

By the time summer rolls around, we’re usually looking ahead to see what games are going to keep us busy through autumn and winter. In 2024 though, a string of incredible releases means we’re far too busy trying to clear our massive backlog to think of anything else.

This year has been defined by indie hits and blindsiding success stories that have taken us by storm. Trying to pick our top 15 was tough, but we’re thrilled with the below selection – and whether you’re here to reminisce on the last few months or find a new favourite to play, you can find all of them below.

Words: Andy Brown

Children Of The Sun

Children Of The Sun follows The Girl’s quest to dismantle a cult using her sniper rifle, telepathic powers, and just one bullet. A compelling blend of strategy and arcade-y action, chaining together tens of kills with a single shot never gets old in this stylish revenge epic. Back in April, we spent several bleary afternoons hooked on Children Of The Sun – and if we had The Girl’s psychic powers, we’d be using them to get everyone playing this short and sweet snipe-em-up.


For fans of: Hotline Miami, Superhot

Content Warning

Thanks to its goofy ragdoll physics and co-op shenanigans, viral sensation Content Warning took over the internet when it launched for free in April. The premise is simple: round up your pals, grab a camera, and head underground to shoot viral videos. Oh, and avoid the terrifying monsters. Or don’t! Filming your mate being dragged off by a subterranean demon will definitely go viral on in-game site Spooktube. Content Warning is as funny as it sounds – but prepare to have your friendships tested in the all-consuming quest for Content.

For fans of: Among Us, Gang Beasts

Crow Country

Exploring a haunted theme park usually isn’t a great idea, but PS1-style horror Crow Country – in which you do exactly that – gets a pass because it’s so bloody good. Earlier in the year, creative director Adam Vian told NME he wanted to make something “a bit more horrible than Resident Evil and a bit more video-gamey than Silent Hill.Crow Country offers all of that and more.

For fans of: Resident Evil 2, Silent Hill

Dragon’s Dogma 2


Reams of brilliant games have launched this year, but only Dragon’s Dogma 2 left us raving about how fun it is to throw people like meaty javelins. Dragon’s Dogma 2 combines a hands-off role-playing experience with thrilling third-person combat, and the result is in one of the most immersive adventures we’ve ever played. Seriously, how could you not love throwing goblins off mountains?

For fans of: Baldur’s Gate 3, The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim

Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree

While not a full game, Elden Ring expansion Shadow Of The Erdtree has enough in it to rival plenty of standalone titles. Despite years of anticipation, this long-awaited follow-up exceeded all expectations with vast new areas to explore, piles of new equipment to try out, and (most importantly) legions of brutally hard bosses. Shadow Of The Erdtree brings more of the same to our favourite game of 2022, and we couldn’t be happier.

For fans of: Dark Souls, Lies Of P

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth

Remaking a game as revered as Final Fantasy 7 is risky, but Rebirth took everything we loved about the ‘90s role-playing game (RPG) and turned it up to 11. The second entry in a planned trilogy, Rebirth transformed mercenary Cloud Strife’s journey into an adventure that felt part road trip with buddies, part world-saving epic. Rebirth was a bona-fide triumph – and don’t even get us started on its phenomenal soundtrack.

For fans of: Final Fantasy 16, Kingdom Hearts 3


If we’ve learned anything from hospital management sim Galacticare, it’s that you don’t need any medical knowledge whatsoever to be a doctor. A can-do attitude and strong stomach is all it takes to run a space-hospital in this hilarious, deeply compelling gem. Like all great management games, expect time to lose all meaning when you play Galacticare (so don’t say we haven’t warned you).

For fans of: Two Point Hospital, Prison Architect

Helldivers 2

Sci-fi shooter Helldivers 2 took Super Earth by storm, and it’s easy to see why. Not only are there millions of overgrown bugs and deadly robots to fight across distant planets, but it’s all done in the name of sweet, sweet democracy. Starship Troopers-inspired satire of fascism gives Helldivers 2 an endearingly silly tone, while on the battlefield, calling down a retina-searing nuke on top of your enemies never gets old. If you haven’t yet played, what are you waiting for? The best time to enlist was yesterday.

For fans of: Left 4 Dead, Deep Rock Galactic

Life Eater

For better or worse (definitely the former), there isn’t another game like Life Eater. A horror kidnapping sim that plays out across several years, the goal is to stalk victims, learn their daily routines, then abduct and sacrifice them. We described it as one of this year’s “most creative (and uncomfortable) games yet” in our glowing review, and who are we to argue with ourselves?

For fans of: Home Safety Hotline, Immortality

Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth

The subhead of Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio’s latest RPG may be called Infinite Wealth, but you’ll need infinite free time to see everything there is to see in this behemoth. A staggering amount of side content, in addition to an over-the-top cast of Yakuza misfits and delightfully chaotic brawling, make this Hawaiian adventure a must-play.

For fans of: Yakuza 0, Persona 4

Persona 3 Reload

Speaking of gargantuan RPGs, supremely stylish remake Persona 3 Reload brought a fresh coat of paint – and much-needed mechanical improvements – to the original Persona 3, which is now (wince) 18 years old. You’ll attend school by day, battle monsters by night, and cry your eyes out by the end of its sublime exploration of life and loss. As special now as it was in 2006, this remains developer Atlus’ boldest story to date and is thoroughly worth the time it takes to play.

For fans of: Persona 5, Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Prince Of Persia: The Lost Crown

After years of neglect, the Prince Of Persia series was revived with The Lost Crown. The spin-off follows warrior Sargon on a rescue mission through Mount Qaf, a cursed city where time doesn’t flow as it should. Gripping combat and Sargon’s fluid movement turn this into one big adrenaline rush, while unexpected plot twists kept us guessing until the credits rolled.

For fans of: Hollow Knight, Metroid Dread

Shin Megami Tensei 5: Vengeance

Another entry from Persona creator Atlus, Shin Megami Tensei 5: Vengeance took a game that we’d already given five stars, and added oceans more to do. Set in two versions of Tokyo – one normal, another destroyed in a war between angels and demons – Vengeance told a gripping new story while using the opportunity to make some neat improvements to combat.

For fans of: Persona 3 Reload, Devil May Cry 5

Tales Of Kenzera: Zau

Set in a fictional world inspired by African culture, Tales Of Kenzera: Zau followed a young shaman on a quest to resurrect his father. Developer Surgent Studios’ debut game was a thrilling, colourful platformer that managed to excite while poignantly exploring themes of grief – a topic that creative director Abubakar Salim has been very open with.

For fans of: Ori And The Will Of The Wisps, Animal Well

Tekken 8

For anyone who’s been too intimidated to get into fighting games, Tekken 8 was a blessing. Beginner-friendly control schemes made it easier than ever to grasp tricky combos, while returning veterans enjoyed a wide cast of returning fighters and the series’ most in-depth story to date. If you’ve been sitting on the fence about trying this genre out, this is as good a starting point as any.

For fans of: Street Fighter 6, Mortal Kombat 1


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