Top 5 Friday: Games of the Year for 2024

That’s right, I’ve been 10 years into the future. And here are the five best games I played.

5. Call of Duty: The Second Korean War (Part 3) (all platforms except for Nintendo’s)

It’s been nine years since the U.S. and North Korea went to war over Sony Pictures’ release of the comedy The Interview, and the Call of Duty series revisited that battle for the third time in its latest installment. The game featured all of the tight gunplay and thrilling setpieces of the previous 23 CoD titles, as well as the usual multiplayer mode that added some stuff, took out some stuff, and just changed the name of some stuff. The inclusion of undead versions of Seth Rogan, James Franco, and Kim Jong Un in the Zombies mode were a nice touch.

4. Minecraft: Xbox Pi Edition (Xbox Pi)

Microsoft’s 2014 purchase of Minecraft and its developer Mojang continue to pay off as the classic game came exclusively to their latest console this year. Among the additions to this version are slightly crisper textures and a Halo 7 mod. Take that, PlayStation 6 owners!

3. Kingdom Hearts 3 (PS6, XBP)

Square-Enix-Atlus-Namco-Bandai’s long-awaited third core installment to their Kingdom Hearts series finally arrived, and it was absolutely worth the long wait. While the game takes very brief and very cool jaunts through the worlds of Star Wars and Marvel Comics, it thankfully sticks to what KH‘s does best: revisiting the same 10 worlds from the same 10 Disney movies it always has. The only odd choice was bringing back the now 36 year old Haley Joel Osment to voice the still-teenage Sora.

2. Panzer Dragoon Saga Ultimate (Sega Jupiter)

Sega had a huge year in 2024, having returned to the console market with the no-brainer move of hiring back all of its old talent and reviving its many long-dormant classic franchises. Space Channel 5 Part 3, Skies of Arcadia 2, Jet Set Radio Ultra, Shenmue 3, Vectorman 3, Virtua Fighter 6, and Phantasy Star V all impressed, but not as much as Panzer Dragoon Saga Ultimate, the follow-up to the Saturn cult hit that also included a full HD remake of the original. Why Sega didn’t think of all of this sooner is anybody’s guess.

1. Metal Gear Solid I: Shadow Moses Island (PS6, PS5, PS4, XBP, XB@, XB1, PC)

Having finally caught back up to the events of the first MGS with The Phantom Pain, Kojima Productions decided to keep right on rolling and remake the original game using the FOX engine. It seems that most of the game’s decade-long development time went into the additions to the story, extending the total length of the game’s cutscenes to a whopping 28 hours (with the same amount of gameplay as the original). Although Kojima stated several times throughout development that he wouldn’t be directing the game, he still did so, of course. A fun little Easter egg was the poster of Denis Dyack that could be shot to earn the “You Broke My Game” Achievement/Trophy.