Another month has gone by in a flash, and that means a whole new slate of video games are on the way. While 2021 hasn’t been short of great games to play, we’re starting to move into some of the larger AAA releases. September is always in the awkward middle ground between holiday releases and the traditionally slower summer. However, there’s usually a big hit here and there worth playing. With big-time titles, a yearly sports game, and potentially the finale of a franchise, we’re getting a lot to play this month.
While this list doesn’t follow an exact ranking system, we always like to say that the best deal in video games right now is a mix of Gamepass and the PlayStation Plus games. It’s hard to pass up on multiple free games a month and that’s what these two deals give us. With that in mind, these are the games that we think everyone should play in the month of September.
PlayStation Plus Games (PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5)
PlayStation owners got a big win this month. Overcooked is one of the most entertaining multiplayer experiences out there and is a must-play for anyone that has a significant other they like to game with. It’s also a really good time for anyone that likes to play on their own. However, this particular deal is only available to PlayStation 5 owners, so PlayStation 4 players beware.
That said, PlayStation 4 owners are still in a pretty good spot with Hitman 2 available for download. One of the best games of the last few years, Hitman 2 is a great time for anyone that enjoys stealth games. Of course, what’s great about Hitman is that every mission can be done, but the player choosing stealth is more a recommended option than an outright requirement.
Finally, there’s a multiplayer game based on the Predator series. Predator: Hunting Grounds didn’t light the world on fire when it came out, but anyone who’s a fan of the movies may want to give this a try since it’s a free download.
Games With Gold (Xbox ONE, Xbox Series X/S)
Games With Gold continues its trend of giving away two Xbox 360 games alongside two others. This month isn’t quite as strong as the PlayStation lineup, but it does feature Zone of the Enders HD Collection. That’s two games in one, which means that in reality, these are five games available to Xbox Gold and Gamepass Ultimate members. Zone of the Enders is a hack and slash game from the creator of Metal Gear Solid, Hideo Kojima. Since Kojima is involved, that means it’s going to be wacky and out of control, so expect a good time.
Warhammer: Chaosbane is reminiscent to Gauntlet to anyone who ever played it. It’s a top-down perspective action RPG and can be a good time with friends. There is also Mulaka, an absolutely gorgeous-looking game from 2018. It flew under the radar when it came out, but everyone who’s played it can’t speak highly enough about how great a game it is.
Rounding out the Xbox titles is Samurai Shodown II. This is a fighting game that was first released in 1994, so the audience for it will be small, but it has some unique aspects such as weapons and the rage system.
Deathloop (PlayStation 5, PC)
Finally, we’re going to get our hands on Deathloop. This is a game that has been getting teased for more than a year, but multiple delays pushed it all the way back to September of this year. The delays appear to have done the game some good because the last few looks showed a game with some fun mechanics, an intriguing setting, and enjoyable characters. The big hook of the game is, of course, that everyone wants the main character dead and it’s up to them to kill their way off of this island. Fail and they’re looped right back to the beginning, forced to try again.
One of the big questions about Deathloop is how long a playthrough takes. Most loop-based games like this can be finished in one sitting, but if it’s a longer game, then the penalty for failure being that the player is sent all the way back to the beginning feels very harsh. However, the environment looks fun to explore, so maybe being forced to go back to start won’t be too bad. We’ll just have to wait until we can finally get our hands on it.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits (PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC)
Kena: Bridge of Spirits is one of those games that hooks someone the first time they look at it. The art style is gorgeous, and on next-generation hardware, it’s going to look even better. The trailers have given off a very Legend of Zelda vibe to them, but while those games are more about puzzles, this seems more about combat and exploration. Who wouldn’t want to get super into exploring a game that looks as great as this one does?
This looks like a game with so much potential behind it. The setting and art show a world that someone can get lost in. If it has a story that is intriguing enough to keep us going, then this game could really be something special. We can’t wait to get our hands on it later this month.
Lost Judgment (PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S)
The next game in the Yakuza spin-off series, Lost Judgment is the continuation of Takayuki Yagami’s story. There’s a lot of excitement and high expectations behind this one because this is essentially a new franchise for SEGA. The mainline Yakuza series is going off in a more JRPG-focused direction while Judgment is going to follow the action brawler roots that the franchise was built on.
There’s a lot of reason to be excited about Lost Judgment. The first game had an excellent story, a really great cast of characters, and it still had that Yakuza charm that makes the series so beloved. This is going to be more of that with a foundation to build on top of. Unfortunately, there’s also a bit of a cloud hanging over this. A contract dispute between Takuya Kimura, the voice and likeness for Takayuki Yagami, and SEGA could mean an early ending for the series. This might be the final Judgment game, so let’s hope it ends on a strong note.
Lost in Random (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)
We actually got to take part in an early preview event for Lost in Random and played the first few hours of the game. This game is a storybook come to life with an art style straight out of any Tim Burton movie. The setting is interesting: What if there was a world where everyone’s fate was decided by a dice roll? Children who roll a six get to live the rest of their life in a land of riches next to the queen, while those who roll a one are forced to live at the bottom of the world’s food chain.
Well, the land of One is exactly where main character Odd lives, and when her sister Even rolls a six, she’s taken away from her. Odd sets forth on an adventure to rescue her sister, and with a little dice block friend of her own, she’s quite capable in combat. Lost in Random has a really unique combat system. The player will have a deck of cards that they can pull powers from, but to utilize them, they need to roll their dice. This creates a fun mix of action-adventure and deck building elements. It all works together really well and makes Lost in Random worth checking out.
NBA 2K22 (PlayStation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, PC)
The latest game in the NBA 2K franchise! While fans of 2K are growing a little tiresome at the franchise focusing so little on the basketball part of the game, it’s still one of the better-developed sports simulation games out there. NBA 2K22 will also have the advantage of being the first game in the franchise to be developed with next-gen consoles in mind. 2K21 released before the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S were out so it couldn’t dive too deep into the new technology. 2K22 however is coming out with almost a full year of next-gen consoles being available. This means they can utilize all the tricks new technology is allowing them.
Where 2K22 is going to really hit or miss with some fans is the microtransactions. These games have gotten more egregious with their use of microtransactions over the years, and the game now costs $70 so fans are putting up with less. 2K22 is a chance to get back in these fan’s good graces, however.
WarioWare: Get It Together! (Switch)
One of the best party games out there, Warioware: Get It Together was a surprise announcement during E3. These games are always chaotic, but they also feature some of the best minigames of any party game out there. There’s a reason everyone who loves Nintendo lost their minds when they saw it announced.
Of course, these games are also typically light on content. While Warioware is really fun it’s hard to sell people on getting them at pricetag above $40 because usually everything there is to do can be found in only a few hours of playing. Unless you’re someone that really loves the Warioware series this is a game that might be worth waiting on a sale or price drop to get.
New World (PC)
The last time Amazon tried to release a game it went so poorly that they pulled it off shelves. New World, the MMO that Amazon has been developing for years, will finally hit the public this September. The Beta received a little bit of praise, but there were a lot of complaints about it not being optimized very well for PC’s that aren’t running the best hardware. This is a problem for a game entering a genre that is currently being dominated by Final Fantasy XIV.
Despite all this, there’s a fascination with New World because of who is working on it. Amazon has the kind of limitless resources that even giants of the video game industry like EA and Activision do not have. If New World is a success that would be a huge first step toward Amazon becoming a legitimate video game developer. If it flops though then we have to question what it is they’re doing in this space.
The Artful Escape (Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC)
The Artful Escape has the look of one of those games that really make us think about the role of art in video games. The trailer features a plethora of colors and unique landscapes, but it approaches that setting in a really fun way through music. Anyone that’s ever wanted to play an instrument knows the exact feeling this game is going for.
Anyone who enjoys platformers, music, or really gorgeous looking games is going to want to give The Artful Escape a glance. It doesn’t look like it’s going to change the video game landscape, but it is one of those games that’s going to deserve the attention it gets.