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39 Great Games Like The Last Of Us Part II

Our experts have spent time searching for great games similar to The Last Of Us Part II and have found the following:

The Last of Us Part II is an action-adventure game set five years after The Last of Us. You control two characters in a post-apocalyptic United States. Ellie is out for revenge after suffering a tragedy, and Abby is a soldier who becomes involved in a conflict between the militia and a cult.

If you enjoyed The Last Of Us Part II, there are other games in the The Last of Us series you should try. Unfortunately, The Last Of Us Part II is not available on Android, Mac, PC, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S or iOS. However, we recommend the following games that offer a similar experience or theme, and at a lower age rating:

DetailsGame Details

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Skill Rating: 16-18 year-olds

Release Date: 19/06/2020

Price: 36% off

Platforms: PS4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Role-Playing, Shooting and Stealth

Accessibility: 49 features

Developer: Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog)

Players: This is a single player game

Costs: Purchase cost

28 Hand Picked Games Like The Last Of Us Part II

These are our hand-picked games similar to The Last Of Us Part II. This doesn't use automatic matching, instead, we hand-pick games that are good to play if you have enjoyed The Last Of Us Part II, or as younger rated alternatives for players not ready for PEGI 18 or ESRB MATURE 17+ games. These selections also include games that offer a different experience but address a similar theme or topic.
 

A Plague Tale: Innocence

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 14/05/2019, updated in 2021

Price: 75% off

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Puzzle and Stealth

Accessibility: 25 features

Developer: Asobo Studio (@AsoboStudio)

Players: This is a single player game

A Plague Tale: Innocence follows Amicia and her little brother Hugo as they use stealth to escape soldiers and swarms of rats. Against the stark threat and darkness of the world, the sibling relationship develops as the two learn to trust one another....

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 13-18 year-olds

Release Date: 13/10/2009, updated in 2015

Platforms: PS3 and PS4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Shooting and Stealth

Accessibility: 20 features

Developer: Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog)

Players: This is a single player game

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is an action-adventure game that puts you in the role of treasure hunter Nathan Drake. You head to Nepal looking for the lost city of Shambala, unfortunately, you're not the only one looking for it. On your journey, you'll...

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 13-18 year-olds

Release Date: 23/08/2017

Platforms: PS4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Puzzle, Shooting and Stealth

Accessibility: 27 features

Developer: Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog)

Players: You can play this with 10 players online

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is an action-adventure game where you Chloe Frazer and your counterpart Nadine Ross seek the Tusk of Ganesh. Set in the Western Ghats mountain ranges of India in the midst of a civil war, it's the first Uncharted game not to...

Everybody's Gone to the Rapture

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 12/08/2015, updated in 2016

Price: 50% off

Platforms: Mac, PC and PS4

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Open World

Accessibility: 16 features

Developer: Chinese Room (@ChineseRoom)

Players: This is a single player game

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture lands you in a fictional deserted English village in 1984. As you walk the streets of another era you discover bright human forms who re-enact events like a radio play. Through their eyes, you see a web of fear,...

The Long Dark

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds

Release Date: 22/09/2014

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Role-Playing and Simulation

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Hinterland Games (@HinterlandGames)

Players: This is a single player game

The Long Dark is a thoughtful exploration-survival game where you have crash-landed in the icy Canadian wilderness after a global disaster and must find a way to survive. Through exploring, crafting and fighting you must look after your body...

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 13-18 year-olds

Release Date: 19/11/2016, updated in 2017

Platforms: PS3 and PS4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Shooting and Stealth

Accessibility: 33 features

Developer: Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog)

Players: You can play this with 10 players online

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is an action-adventure game set several years after the events of Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. You play Nathan Drake, a happily married former treasure hunter coaxed out of retirement by his brother. This leads into...

The Last Of Us

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Skill Rating: 16-18 year-olds

Release Date: 14/06/2013

Platforms: PS3 and PS4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Shooting and Stealth

Accessibility: 22 features

Developer: Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog)

Players: This is a single player game

You play a father, Joel, whose daughter was killed during the early stages of a deadly fungal outbreak. It’s now 20 years later, and he has clearly suffered from the loss. When Joel is given charge of a girl, Ellie, about the same age his daughter...

Uncharted: Golden Abyss

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 11-16 year-olds

Release Date: 15/02/2012

Platforms: PS Vita

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Shooting and Stealth

Accessibility: 25 features

Developer: Bend Studio (@BendStudio)

Players: This is a single player game

Uncharted: Golden Abyss is an action-adventure game. It's a spin-off of the Uncharted series, although also a substantial experience in its own right that features the series protagonist, Nate. As with the other games you explore, run, jump and shoot...

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 13-18 year-olds

Release Date: 01/11/2011

Platforms: PS3 and PS4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Shooting and Stealth

Accessibility: 20 features

Developer: Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog)

Players: This is a single player game

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception is an action-adventure game and the third entry in the Uncharted series. In Uncharted 3 you once again take the role of Nathan Drake, treasure hunter, in the hunt for the lost city Ubar (also known as Atlantis of the...

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 13-18 year-olds

Release Date: 19/11/2007

Platforms: PS3 and PS4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Shooting and Stealth

Accessibility: 20 features

Developer: Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog)

Players: This is a single player game

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is an action-adventure where you, treasure hunter Nathan Drake, follow in the footsteps of your ancestor Sir Francis Drake in search of El Dorado. You run, jump, fight, shoot, and explore a rich world that unfolds a film-like...

God of War

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 20/04/2018

Platforms: PS4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Role-Playing and Shooting

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Sony Santa Monica (@SonySantaMonica)

Players: This is a single player game

You play super-strong Norse fantasy hero Kratos as he takes his son Atreus on a brutal quest in the wake of his mother’s death. The exploration, puzzle solving, climbing and fighting gameplay intertwines with a mythological family drama played out in...

Shadow Of The Colossus

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 18/10/2005

Platforms: PS2, PS3 and PS4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World and Simulation

Accessibility: 8 features

Developer: Sony Japan Studio (@SonyJapanStudio)

Players: This is a single player game

You play a young man who enters a forbidden land to defeat sixteen massive beings to restore the life of a girl he cares about. It sounds like any other video game, although in fact, Shadow of the Colossus stands apart in many ways.

Control

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Release Date: 28/08/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Narrative and Shooting

Accessibility: 28 features

Developer: Remedy Games (@RemedyGames)

Players: This is a single player game

This game is an outlandish paranormal fantasy where you are swept into a role as the new director of the Federal Bureau of Control agency of the ‘paranatural’. With impressive cinematic visuals and storytelling, your interactions involve exploring,...

Resident Evil Village (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 22/03/1996, updated in 2021

Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Wii, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Narrative and Puzzle

Accessibility: 19 features

Developer: Capcom USA (@CapcomUSA_)

Players: You can play this with 6 players online

Resident Evil Village is a survival horror adventure. It follows on the narrative of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and the first person perspective. As in the other games, you play Ethan Winters who is searching for his kidnapped daughter in a village...

The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 26/06/2018

Price: Free

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Developer: DONTNOD Ent (@DONTNOD_Ent)

Players: This is a single player game

The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is an adventure game set between Life Is Strange and Life is Strange 2. You play Chris Eriksen, a young boy who creates the superhero alter ego Captain Spirit to deal with the loss of his mother.

This War Of Mine

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 14/11/2014, updated in 2016

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Narrative, Role-Playing, Shooting, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: 11 Bit Studios (@11BitStudios)

Players: This is a single player game

Inspired by the 1992–96 Siege of Sarajevo, this is a war game where you play the civilian trying to survive during the fighting. You face tough decisions on how to spend time and resources each day to maintain health, hunger and mood levels until a...

Dragon Age (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 03/11/2009, updated in 2014

Price: 65% off

Platforms: Android, PC, PS3, PS4, Web, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative and Role-Playing

Accessibility: 19 features

Developer: Bioware (@Bioware)

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 4 players online

The Dragon Age series are narrative-driven role playing games with an emphasis on combat and player choices. You play the hero in the medieval fantasy world of Thedas, exploring the world and using your power to stop the impending darkness spread across...

Kirby and the Forgotten Land

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Switch

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting and Platform

Developer: HAL Laboratory (@HAL_Laboratory)

Players: This is a single player game

Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a running, jumping game where you explore a mysterious world with Nintendo's famous character who can inhale enemies to gain their powers. With a nod to Super Mario Odyssey, this version of Kirby has a full 3D world to...

Days Gone

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 26/04/2019, updated in 2021

Price: 63% off

Platforms: PC and PS4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Open World, Role-Playing, Shooting, Simulation and Stealth

Accessibility: 29 features

Developer: Bend Studio (@BendStudio)

Players: This is a single player game

Days Gone is a survival adventure game set in a post-pandemic Oregon. You roam an open world pulsing with life (and zombies). It's unusual for its scale and sheer number of enemies. Add to that the changing light and weather and Days Gone creates a...

Disjunction

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 28/01/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Role-Playing and Stealth

Accessibility: 14 features

Developer: Ape Tribe Games (@ApeTribeGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Disjunction is an intense cyberpunk stealth-action game set in 2048. You take on missions as one of three characters that lean towards different skills. Use lethal force, hide in the shadows or distract for non-violent ways to reach your objective.

I Am Alive

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Skill Rating: 15+ year-olds

Release Date: 07/03/2012, updated in 2013

Platforms: PC, PS3 and Xbox 360

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Platform and Simulation

Developer: Ubisoft (@Ubisoft)

Players: This is a single player game

I Am Alive is an action adventure in a post apocalyptic future where an event has reduced cities to rubble. You traverse the country to find your wife and child. It draws on end of humanity fiction like The Road, and stands out for its commitment to...

Eidolon

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 01/08/2021

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World and Simulation

Developer: Ice Water Games (@IceWaterGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Eidolon is a narrative game where you slowly explore a massive, post-human Western Washington. Unlike other action-oriented adventures, here you navigate an open world without threat. It's simply been reclaimed by nature, so your task is to discover...

Demon Spore

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Shooting and Simulation

Accessibility: 32 features

Developer: Ed Form (@EdForm)

Players: This is a single player game

Demon Spore us a shooting game set in a lab with an escaped alien creature that grows organically as you play. You take on the role of a failed lab experiment that gives birth to a rapidly growing viral horror.

A Plague Tale: Requiem

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, PS5, Switch and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Puzzle, Shooting, Simulation and Stealth

Developer: Asobo Studio (@AsoboStudio)

Players: This is a single player game

A Plague Tale: Requiem is an action adventure where you play a pair of siblings Hugo and Amicia. The story continues from the first game's discovery of the plague of rats and Hugo's latent abilities. Standing out again for weaving the sibling...

Dying Light 2 (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 04/02/2022

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Role-Playing, Shooting, Stealth and Strategy

Developer: Techland Games (@TechlandGames)

Players: You can play this with 4 players online

Dying Light is a pair of role play survival games set in a zombie infested city. Following in the line of Dead Island and Call of Juarez, you explore a dynamic open city, scaling buildings and hunting for rescues. Combat is not only gory but punishing...

Quantum Break

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 15+ year-olds

Release Date: 05/04/2016, updated in 2000

Platforms: PC and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative and Shooting

Accessibility: 21 features

Developer: Remedy Games (@RemedyGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Quantum Break is an adventure shooting game with action-packed combat sequences. You explore and influence a world where the time has been distorted, make important decisions in intense narrative scenes. Play in punctuated with live action TV-style...

Redfall

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Fighting and Shooting

Developer: Arkane Studios (@ArkaneStudios)

Players: You can play this with 4 players online

Redfall is an open-world team shooting game set in a Massachusetts town under siege by a legion of vampires. You work with a handful of survivors to purge the town. It's a cooperative experience with diverse characters and wide-ranging ways to approach...

The House of the Dead (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 01/01/1996, updated in 2018

Platforms: PC, PS2, PS3, Switch, Wii and Xbox

Genres: Action and Shooting

Players: You can play this with 4 players online

The House of the Dead is a horror-themed shooting game where you control the targeting but not the movement. Unlike general on-rails shooting games, this was controlled using a light-gun pointing at the screen (or similar controller). This gives the...

16 Games Like The Last Of Us Part II Based on Genre

These are games of a similar genre mix to The Last Of Us Part II. This includes games from the Role-Playing, Fighting, Action, Adventure, Shooting, Narrative and Stealth genres. We pick out games of a similar PEGI rating to further hone these generated suggestions.
 

10 Easier Games than The Last Of Us Part II

If you like the sound of The Last Of Us Part II but find it too complex or challenging, the games in this section offer a similar experience but with a lower Skill Rating required.
 

The Last Of Us Part II is in These Lists

In addition to the similar games listed above, which have been linked to this game specifically in the database, you may find games with a similar theme to The Last Of Us Part II in the following lists:

Good For Reduced Gross Motor Control

We've worked with SpecialEffect on this list of games which aims to highlight games that are good for people with reduced gross motor control.

Special Effect is a charity that aims to put fun and inclusion back into the lives of people with physical disabilities by helping them to play video games. They use technology ranging from modified joypads to eye control to find a way for people to play to the very best of their abilities.

Last time we talked about game options which may work well for those with difficulty using fine motor movements. Today we will talk about game options which be more accessible for those who mainly have fine motor control instead. Several conditions which can cause or impact a reduction in gross motor control include; chronic pain, Muscular Dystrophy, Dyspraxia and some Neurological conditions, to name a few examples. People with these and similar conditions might identify with some of the following phrases:
  • “I find it easier to play if I rest the controller rather than hold it”
  • “My fingers have more strength when things are positioned well”
  • “I can’t move my arms much, but I can move my fingers and toes well”
  • “I find joysticks easier than buttons"
  • ”I find it easier if my hands can stay in one place”
  • ”My body doesn’t move much, but I can move my head really well”

Alongside options such as mounting or resting the controller to alleviate the need to hold and use the controller at the same time, it may also be easier with games that are remappable, require only one input at a time (joystick or button) or have options to reduce button inputs (either for Quick Time Events, or permanently).
Additionally having low force options such as a lighter joystick and light weight external switches using a switch interface like the Xbox Adaptive Controller or Hori Flex could make access easier. Games that meet some of the following criteria:
As well as the games we have picked out below that meet these criteria, there are some common searches on the database that are good for people with reduced fine motor control: 1 Stick + 1 Button, 1 Stick, 1 Button , Remap Buttons or Remap Keys, Low Pressure, Rapid Pressing Optional, joystick sensitivity and Co-Piloting with Xbox games.

We hope this list helps you discover games that work for you. If you are struggling to game due to access issues caused by a physical disability do contact SpecialEffect who will offer support free of charge, as capacity allows.
 

Space for Gender

We've worked with the Mermaids charity to find games that create space for gender identity including trans, non-binary, gender diverse perspectives. Mermaids has been supporting trans, non-binary and gender-diverse children, young people, and their families since 1995.

The games in this list offer a chance to play as a wide range of genders as well as assigning various roles to characters regardless of their identity.

Some games, like Animal Crossing, offer a chance to step out of the common binary choices and instead play as a character without having to define a specific gender identity. Other games, like A Fold Apart, allow players to combine genders, roles, careers and relationships as they want. Then there are games, like The Last Of Us II, that include trans, non-binary, gender diverse characters.

The games in this list all offer space to consider these topics and themes through different lenses and experiences. They can provide parents, carers and young people with common (non-confrontational) ground and are a unique way to gain understanding of this complex area of life.
 

Designed For Easier Play

These games go above and beyond just adding a few difficulty settings. They consider a wide range of ability and accessibilities by offering customisable difficulty settings as well as special low pressure or assist modes that aid progress.
 

Gaming 101: Big Budget Games

In this series, we are learning how different aspects of video games work by playing games that offer an easy introduction to this one concept. This is designed for people new to gaming, and aims to identify games with the least barriers. In this entry we are looking at big budget games.

These games are big, brash and popular. They have big budgets which means the visual and interactive quality is particularly high. They also have strong and wide ranging player communities.

For new players these can be overwhelming as they combine a number of genres like Strategy games, Shooting games, Adventure games, Role Play games. Still, they are a good way to see how these different elements combine in a large and ambitious experience.
 

Designed for Autistic Diversity

Autism affects the way people communicate and experience the world around them. It is a spectrum of developmental conditions, including Asperger’s Syndrome. Many autistic people play games to have fun, relax, connect with others and build skills. This is a list of games we have put together with some of Autistica’s Autistica Play Ambassadors, to highlight games that have been enjoyed by autistic people.

Autistica is the UK’s national autism research charity. It focuses on giving autistic people the opportunity to live long, happy, healthy lives. It does this by funding research, shaping policy and working with autistic people to understand their needs.

Cognitive Pressure: Some autistic people may take time to process information and could feel pressured by time limits. Games like A Short Hike or Roki let you progress at your own speed, without being on the clock. Other games, like Townscaper or Stardew Valley, help here by not making game tasks time-limited or requiring quick reactions. Then there are games, including Rocket League, Celeste and Eagle Island, that let you adjust the overall speed of play.

Difficulty Settings: Autistic people may prefer to tailor their experience based on how they are feeling. Some days they may want more of a challenge than others. Adjust how hard the game is. Some games like Subnautica or Bad North let you set the overall difficulty. Others, like Mario Kart or The Last of Us Part II let you adjust specific aspects of difficulty. Then there are games like Marvel’s Spider-Man or Immortals Fenyx Rising, that allow you to adjust the difficulty as you play.

Sense of Control: The real world can be an overwhelming place with constant change and unpredictable situations. Games like Viva Pinata, Civilization or The Sims let you play in a world where you control the variables. Other games, like Mini Metro, Traffix or Mini Motorways offer a chance to work with systems and see how changes impact outcomes. Then there are games that magnify this, like Factorio or Planet Coaster, by letting you create interconnect systems and tweak for the desired result.

As Autistica helpfully highlights, every autistic person is different. While many autistic people are able to learn, live and work independently, some have learning differences or co-occurring health conditions that require specialist support. Finding a game that can be a positive experience can therefore take some time and investigation.
 

Designed For Reduced Motor Function

These games’ mechanics and options make it possible to adapt the experience to be accessible for people depending on your physical capabilities.
  • Remap Controls: Remapping buttons and swapping joysticks (like Fortnite) help customize the player’s way to interact with the game, also helping players that use only one hand.
  • No Holding: Some games (like Moving Out) also offer the option to avoid having to hold any buttons down for actions like aiming, opening or equipping. You can use simple taps or toggles instead to reduce muscular fatigue.
  • Sensitivity: Some of these games (like Fortnite) also enable you to adjust control sensitivity as well as controller vibration if that is present.
  • Fewer Buttons: Simpler controls (like FIFA) are good to consider, as well as those that offer extensive difficulty settings.
  • Speed: Reducing how fast a game plays (like Eagle Island) is a helpful setting.
  • Difficulty: Offering customisable difficulty, like how fast a game plays (like Eagle Island) or adding invincibility (like Celeste), and other features allow tailoring the game to the player’s needs.

This list and accessibility details in each game was compiled the help of Antonio Ignacio Martínez and Kyle “onehandmostly”. Please be aware that options may vary depending on the platform you choose to play. Also there is no game that works the same for everyone, so be mindful of your own needs when considering this information.
 

DualShock Motion PlayStation 4 Games

After the Wii's success, PlayStation added motion controls to its PlayStation 3 controller. Although a novelty at first, this continued to mature in PlayStation 4 games and its DualShock 4 controller that included motion detection as well as a Touchpad and speaker.

The games in this list make intelligent use of the motion controls and other interactive features of the DualShock PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 controller.

This ranges from games like Journey that lets you control the direction you are looking with controller motion, to Tearaway that uses the gyroscope and touch pad to launch objects from the controller to the screen. Then there are games like Gravity Rush that use motion to direct movement.

Some of these games use motion controls to complement traditional use of sticks for aiming and movement. You can use the Motion Aiming accessibility search to find more of these games on the database.
 

Motion Controls Better Than Joysticks

Growing up playing video games has taught us that controllers with two sticks are a good way to move around a game. One controls looking and the other controls movement. Or maybe you prefer a mouse and keyboard?

However, the prevalence of these somewhat awkward schemes (similar to the prevalent but inefficient QUERTY keyboard layout) means that motion controls are often overlooked. This was made worse when the Wii failed to offer many high-end games and made motion synonymous with kid’s games.

The reality of well-implemented motion controls for aiming can make a profound difference to how approachable and accessible the experience is -- especially if two sticks don’t work for you or are unfamiliar.

We’ve worked with Jibb Smart on this list of games that offer motion controls that work as a viable (and often enhanced) replacement for stick control. He is pioneering well-executed motion controls and has created open-source tools JoyShockLibrary and JoyShockMapper to help explore the potential offered by the gyroscopes in these controllers. His website GyroWiki teaches developers how to implement these features well. In this list, we highlight games that put motion controls to good use in a way that is effective and well-executed.

Much of Jibb’s work focuses on the potential of gyro aiming. “It replaces the mouse with gyro controls. And since mouse control is a core pillar of PC gaming, it bridges a significant gap between PC and console players.” But motion controls is a very broad category. It’s worth breaking it down into more specific types of control that can help players in different ways:
  • Motion Aiming: Can use small movements of the gamepad to fine-tune aiming or as the main aiming mechanism. This is sometimes known as Gyro-Aiming. Games like The Last of Us Part II and Rogue Company provide this ability to replace one of the sticks or mouse with gyro controls. This usually requires the ability to calibrate these controls to taste. Search database for Motion Aiming games.
  • Motion Pointing: Can use the direction of the gamepad to move a cursor-target around the screen like a mouse. Games like Ghost Squad, World of Goo and Boom Blox use this to offer a light-gun experience. Search database for Motion Pointing games.
  • Motion Tilting: Can use movements of the gamepad to replace steering or left/right movement with sticks. Games like Forza, Mario Kart and Wipeout offer this to enable you to steer left or right by tilting the controller. Search database for Motion Tilting games.
  • Motion Gesture: Can motion with the controller to direct an in-game action. This can be a nuanced one-to-one motion for analogue sword (Zelda Skyward Sword) or bat movement (Wii Sports Resort). It can also be a simple shake to trigger a one-off action, like in Super Mario Galaxy. Search database for Motion Gesture games.

 

Game Time Has Day-Night Cycle

Games use the spaces they create to tell stories. Some games do this by locking you in a key moment where the time of day doesn't change. Other games let you explore and revisit places at different times of day.

These day-night cycles invite players to explore at different times not only to find different things to do but to see how different locations change visually and audibly at different times of day.

Some games, like The Long Dark, do this to offer a different environmental challenge at night, when the sun is in and the cold wind really affects your character. Other games offer more unusual ways to tie in-game light levels to the real world, like Unmaze that uses your smartphone's camera to determine how much light there is in the game.
 

Inhabit Another World

Whether it’s a simple puzzle grid, a battlefield or a universe of planets to visit, all games create virtual spaces in which to play. Some of these are simply the background to a campaign - the game’s unfolding drama, missions or challenge. But others invite you to invest in the worlds they create, move in, tend to and inhabit in fantastical ways.

The games in this section invite you to spend time in spaces that have a sense of place, life and character. Worlds that hold history and lore in their landscapes, flora, fauna and inhabitants; environments that respond to your presence and invite you to restore them to their former glory.
 

Designed With Deaf and Hard of Hearing Features

Video games are a medium that can be enjoyed by a diverse audience, but sometimes, Deaf or hard of hearing players can struggle to enjoy a game due to information not being conveyed to them properly. Audio cues without visual indicators or captions, spoken narrative or direction without subtitles, for example.

However, games that include well-illustrated subtitles or captions can enable these players to understand what's being spoken through dialogue, and what's going on in the surrounding area.

Providing subtitles and captions is a good first step. But also important is that subtitles are readable and stand out from the game. Some games do this by adding a background, or a heavy drop shadow behind the text while others use colours to separate different meanings. Metro Exodus, for example, will inform the player where an enemy is located in the world through captions.

Where audio is used to locate events in the game world, a visual representation of this information is helpful. Games such as Fortnite have an audio visualiser ring that identifies where key audio (and the related event) is coming from. Assassin's Creed Odyssey uses a similar feature to indicate nearby dangers.

Games that enable Deaf and hard of hearing players with subtitles, captions and visual indicators are hugely welcomed by the community, with wider accessibility benefits for other players who can opt to benefit from these interface enhancements as well.
 

Walk in Someone Else's Shoes

While many games include characters to interact with, some are specifically designed to make relationships a central element. Whether this is during the rounds of a puzzle game amidst a zombie outbreak or as we race cars around a circuit, they can offer a unique way to think deeply about how we relate to each other and to the games people play.

In contrast to films or books, characters and relationships in video games need to be discovered by the player. Some of my favourite relational moments in games happen amidst other action. Often these other actions – whether shooting, puzzle-solving, or fetching and carrying – serve to underline the difficult, awkward and snatched nature of interpersonal interactions.
 

New Yorker's Games of the Years

Each year, journalist Simon Parkin picks the top games for New Yorker magazine. Along with a look back on the major events in video games, these offer a window on the games that stood out for innovation, novel interactions as well as perfect execution.

This includes games from the following years: 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013.
 

BAFTA Nominated Games

The British Academy Games Awards are presented annually to recognise, honour and reward outstanding creative achievement in Games. The awards categories reflect the wealth and diversity of the games sector.

The awards started in 2004 and are presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). For parents, they are a great way of discovering brilliant games to play in their family. The games included here are from these categories:
  • The Family Games Award highlights games that will work really well for parents and children. These often include multiplayer features and feature a cast of family-friendly characters.
  • The Games Beyond Entertainment award is also of interest as this highlights more unusual games with an emphasis on storytelling that addresses topics that parents may find appealing themselves.

 

The Game Awards

The Game Awards highlight the best video games each year. It's an award produced and hosted by Geoff Keighley. Games are selected by video game news organizations who then vote on the games to choose the winners in each of the categories.