PLAY #30 is out now! And it’s time for the annual Hot 50, where we rifle through PlayStation’s sweat-inducing oven of upcoming hits to bring you the PS5 & PS4 games that need to be on your radar. While it’s a special issue, there’s much more besides as well (like plenty of retro content, and some sizzling news), but first let’s take a peek at The Hot 50…
The Hot 50
We won’t go beat by beat through the whole thing as there’s just too many great games crammed into The Hot 50. But here’s the 12 that sit at the top of the list:
- Marvel's Spider-Man 2
- Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
- Alan Wake 2
- Assassin's Creed Mirage
- Armored Core 6: Fires Of Rubicon
- Avatar: Frontiers Of Pandora
- Like A Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name
- Mortal Kombat 1
- Sword Of The Sea
- Dragon's Dogma 2
- Baldur's Gate 3
- Star Wars Outlaws
It may come as no surprise that Spider-Man 2 takes both this issue’s cover and the top spot in the Hot 50. Insomniac have proven themselves the masters of PS5 hardware, and Spider-Man 2 looks set to establish the pace of current-gen exclusives. In some ways, it’s more of what you expect, but it’s SO much more of what you expect. Venom, Kraven, and Lizard as villains, both Peter Parker and Miles Morales, plus the symbiote suit, all wrapped up in a bigger map to explore with new powers? Sign us up.
Just as Final Fantasy 16 lit up our world with its fiery Phoenix flames, yet another brand new FF is set to do the same early next year. And yes, we do mean ‘new’, as the FF7 Remake trilogy is just as much a reinvention of the PS1 RPG we fell in love with as it is a retread. While much of what know of this middle-part only raises more questions, the more open environments combined with greater party synergy in combat is reason enough to be excited.
It’s been a long time since Armored Core 5, and to say FromSoftware’s profile has increased since then would be an understatement. Like the mechs that star in this one, the likes of Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Elden Ring have souped up the studio to rocket-propelled popularity. And yet, from our look at AC6 this issue, it doesn’t lose the magic that mech-heads loved about the comparatively niche series. This is still that, with lush, big budget production values.
Just because something is part of one of the biggest franchises in the world doesn’t mean it can’t feel new. Star Wars games have really begun to ratchet up over the past few years (mostly thanks to Respawn’s terrific Star Wars Jedi games). Ubisoft’s take is, as you might expect, open world. Or should that be open worldS? We take a long look at what outlaw Kay Vess’ adventure will be like, from speeders to cuddly companions and of course plenty of blasting.
Can remakes, spin-offs, and spiritual successors hold the line until Persona 6?
While it’s the Hot 50 special, there’s still lots more in store inside the mag. Within Insider, we dig into Atlus’ current state of play across a Persona 5 spin-off, a Persona 3 remake, and the rebirth of their new high fantasy series, Metaphor Re:Fantazio. Can the slate prop them up in the absence of Persona 6 news?
If that’s not enough, we put Apex Legends’ F2P structure under the microscope, investigate whether Skill-Based Matchmaking is really as controversial as some people online seem to think (hint: it’s good actually), give you the alternate Chill 10 (games that have fallen off the radar), and lots more.
Our massive Final Fantasy 16 verdict leads the reviews section
The gaming present is just as important as the gaming future, and we bring you some meaty reviews. Not least of all our massive Final Fantasy 16 one, where we pick apart the combat, analyse the story, and let you know whether this PS5 exclusive lives up to the series’ immense legacy.
Plus a review of Synpase, which is PSVR2’s best game to date (you heard us right), the glorious Ghost Trick remaster, a fantastic sequel in Rogue Legacy 2, and much more.
And a little something from the past… The big highlight this month is our look at PlayStation’s FPS gamechangers that didn’t just buck genre conventions, but helped establish them. We also dust off Parasite Eve 2 for a retrospective, jump into Ghostbusters: The Video Game on PS Plus, and ask whether the hate for Final Fantasy 13’s Vanille was really justified. Also – Silent Hill 3 turns 20. You may turn to dust now.
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