This will be an unordered list because there were four injuries, two of them fatal, during the editorial process of narrowing it to five entries, and we have families and no health insurance, so like just deal with the uncertainty, okay?
The Missouri Sea
This surrealist point-and-click adventure, set in a fishing village along the coast of the fictional(?) underground aquifer of the title, won acclaim for its artsy visuals and even artsier entirely unicode-symbol-based dialogue. Kompjuter! magazine called it (roughly translated) “the high-water mark of videogame storytelling, ha ha do you get it? See, because ‘water,'” and several indistinguishible white male videogame streamers agreed that the primarily theremin-based original score was “chill af, bro.” The Missouri Sea‘s scathing allegorical critique of anarcho-capitalism (which some would even term “anarcho-crapitalism”!) elevates the heartwarming man/fish surrogate fatherhood tale at the core to the level of high art, or dare we even say it, literature.
Death Battle DX Mega
Have you ever wanted to basically have a conference call with your friends while you perform menial resource collection tasks for hours before being abruptly murdered by a 12-year-old homophobe shrieking the vilest slurs imaginable? Well you’re in luck, because this is the first-person shooter of your fucking dreams, you weird motherfucker! Why do you like these things? How have you infected the nation’s children with your bizarre videogame tastes? What is wrong with you?
Anime League 2K19
Combining gacha mechanics with a robust field hockey simulation, the Anime League franchise really hits the spot for millions of sports gamers. This entry, released in 2017, is inarguably the finest, setting the bar high with a refined-to-perfection career mode and the brand new (at the time) “Waifu Lab” character editor, allowing you to create the anime girl of your dreams and then grind field hockey matches for hundreds of hours to make her stats comparable to the five-star players that you can only get through expensive microtransaction-based gambling. Look out on your online auction site of choice for the rare Japan-only Anime League 2K19++ // Do You Remember Love? edition for the PS4, which features exclusive hair styles and color gradients for the character editor.
Sid Meier’s Civilization vs. The Elder Scrolls: Clash of Two Worlds
Everyone thought Bethesda had made a masterpiece that could never be matched when they released the fifth main-series Elder Scrolls title, Clown Kingdom, but they had one more ace up their sleeve. This competitive roleplaying/strategy hybrid finally brought roleplaying to the esports scene, where it always belonged. Aristocratic courtships and dynamic physics-based swordfighting are the focus here, where you never know if you will be smooching each opponent or gutting them like a fish. It’s even said that the success of this title is what inspired Nintendo to finally bring blatant Elder Scrolls copycat franchise Fire Emblem to the west!
haha just kidding