Balam Wonderworld, Monster Hunter Rise and more simulators than you can shake a joystick at – it’s all to play for!
By Jon Billinge, Writer
Stuck at home with little to do, you’d be forgiven for thinking we’re living inside the world’s most boring simulator. Great news then, that the game release train is coming back around the bend, ready to whisk you off on a new adventure.
So whether you’re keen to get driving, fighting or, erm, ranching, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Persona 5 Strikers
Available to play on PC, PS4 and Nintendo Switch from Tuesday 23 February
Fans of Final Fantasy XV, Dynasty Warriors and cutlass-wielding cats (so everyone, then) will be captivated by this more action-orientated entry in the immensely popular Persona series.
Ghosts ’N Goblins Resurrection
Available to play on Nintendo Switch from Tuesday 23 February
So you’ve completed Kirby, mastered Mario and destroyed Donkey Kong? Pfft, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Help the good knight Sir Arthur navigate the forbidding Demon Realm in this reboot of the 1985 original, widely regarded as one of the hardest games ever.
Bravely Default 2
Available to play on Nintendo Switch from Friday 26 February
Turn-based battles, fantastical creatures, magic crystals – so far, so Final Fantasy. But with its novel Brave/Default fighting system, gorgeous visuals and stunning special effects, Bravely Default 2 is its own beast, and a must for any classic RPG fan.
Monster Jam Steel Titans 2
Available to play on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch from Tuesday 2 March
Going from magical monsters to monster trucks is quite the leap – but there’s a whole lot o’ leapin’, crushin’ and general monster-truckin’ fun to be had in this smashing sequel, which expands on the first with more challenges, more multiplayer modes and MORE. MONSTER. TRUCKS.
Yakuza: Like A Dragon
Available to play on PS5 from Tuesday 2 March
If you’ve never brawled with the smooth criminals of the Yakuza series, then Like A Dragon is simply an offer you can’t refuse. Repackaged and primed for the PS5, this crime simulator/beat-’em-up/virtual karaoke party set in Japan has all the bells and whistles fans of the series have come to expect, together with its trademark OTT action.
Available to play on PC from Thursday 4 March
Simulators are surely the new Terminators. First there were flight sims, then tractor sims. Before we knew it, walking simulators were at our doorstep, beckoning us for a ramble. Now, we can live out our wildest frontier dreams by constructing a thriving virtual homestead – and not a killer robot in sight… for now.
Harvest Moon: One World
Available to play on Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox One from Friday 5 March
Clearly, we spoke too soon. Mixing RPG elements with your typical farmyard chores, this new entry in the beloved farm simulator franchise actively encourages players to search its vast world for new seeds and recipes, paying heed to a variable climate and each region’s unique quirks.
Available to play on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch from Tuesday 16 March
First-person horrors are a dime a dozen these days. From the flickering corridors of 1994’s System Shock to the towering vamps of Resident Evil Village, it’s a well-trodden (and dimly lit) path. But with its hand-pencilled visuals and Alpine setting, this distinctive folk horror tale offers a refreshing – and genuinely unsettling – take on the genre.
Available to play on Xbox Series X from Tuesday 16 March
Join a spellbinding cast of cel-shaded samurai as they take umbrage at the Bushido code, each other and the letter “W”. This next-gen upgrade of the blistering beat-em-up will have you slicing and dicing at a buttery smooth 120fps. Move over, Fruit Ninja.
Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time Remake
Available to play on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC from Thursday 18 March
Let’s face it, we’re living in the age of the remake. But when it’s for one of the best games ever, we’re absolutely remade up. Join the eponymous Prince in this update of the pixel-perfect platformer, where a time-rewinding mechanic means that death is never quite the end.
Terminator: Resistance – Enhanced
Available to play on PS5 from Friday 26 March
Right, that’s it, get Sarah Connor on the phone. Set during the harrowing future war seen in the first two Terminator films, this PS5 update of Resistance is the sci-fi shooter you always knew you needed. And with future DLC in the works, you’ll be back. Sorry.
Monster Hunter Rise
Available to play on Nintendo Switch from Friday 26 March
How do you get Pikachu onto a bus? You Pokémon – something you absolutely won’t be doing to the monolithic beasties of Monster Hunter Rise. In true MH style, you’ll traverse a massive open world, fight some seriously fearsome fauna and be served meals by the best darn cat chefs in town.
Available to play on Nintendo Switch, PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4 and PS5 from Friday 26 March
From the mind of Sonic The Hedgehog creator Yuji Naka comes this suitably bonkers-looking platformer in the vein of Super Mario Odyssey. Players switch out their costumes to gain different abilities as they follow the enigmatic conductor Balan across 12 glittering stages.
It Takes Two
Available to play on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S from Friday 26 March
While not the Marvin Gaye/Kim Weston experience you were perhaps hoping for, this thrilling co-op adventure is something special indeed. With its gorgeous, Coraline-esque graphics, dizzying blend of genres and genuinely hilarious script, it’s a category-defining, two-player triumph.