Nintendo just announced a new $350 Switch with a fancy new screen, but you probably don’t need it

Nintendo Switch (OLED model) that's expected to launch in October 2021.
The 2021 Nintendo Switch “OLED Model” was announced on July 6, 2021. It’s scheduled to launch on October 8 for $350.

  • Nintendo just announced a new, more expensive, slightly upgraded Nintendo Switch model.
  • Whether or not you already own a Switch, there aren’t a lot of good reasons to get this one.
  • Its main feature is a larger, higher-quality screen. It’s otherwise nearly identical to existing models.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

After years of speculation about a more powerful, upgraded Nintendo Switch model, Nintendo announced the “Nintendo Switch OLED Model” on Tuesday morning.

It’s got a bigger screen from previous models that uses OLED display technology, and it’s got a higher price tag to match: $350 for the new OLED model compared to $300 for the original Nintendo Switch.

Beyond the bigger, better screen, the “new” model is almost identical to the original Nintendo Switch that launched in March 2017.

It runs games at the same resolution and frame speed because it’s powered by the same processor and has the same amount of RAM that’s in the other Switch models. The same Joy-Con controllers that attach to the original Switch attach to this new model, and the new Dock even functions as a replacement for the original.

There are a few other subtle physical changes: a larger rear kickstand, a slight overall increase in weight, and a few design changes to the Dock.

Some Nintendo fans balked at the news.

“Finally, a Nintendo Switch that’s basically the same as the old Nintendo Switch,” one said. “New Nintendo Switch upgrade is a lot worse than expected. Zero performance upgrades?” said another.

That reaction is due at least in part to persistent rumors that the new Nintendo Switch model would have the ability to produce games at a 4K resolution. Nintendo is notoriously low-tech compared to its competitors in the console gaming market, like Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X, and the Switch isn’t capable of producing now industry-standard 4K visuals.

With the Nintendo Switch OLED Model, that isn’t changing – it’s still only capable of producing 1080p resolution games at best.

Since games will run the same, the only reason to upgrade to this new model is if you’re a dedicated handheld gamer – and even then, there are still plenty of strong arguments for buying the $200 Nintendo Switch Lite instead. It’s nearly half the price, and built specifically for handheld gaming!

Unfortunately, waiting for a price cut on the now over four-year-old original Nintendo Switch is a fool’s errand. When asked if there will be a price drop for the original Switch, which still costs the same $300 it did in April 2017, a Nintendo representative said, “No. The price of the Nintendo Switch Lite and Nintendo Switch systems remains the same.”

The representative added that “consumers can pick the model that best fits the lifestyle and gaming experience they desire, and that fits within their budget. In the US, the Nintendo Switch Lite system is the lowest-priced model at $199.99, followed by the Nintendo Switch system at $299.99, and now we have Nintendo Switch system (OLED model) at $349.99.”

But there’s good news: If you already own a Nintendo Switch, you almost certainly don’t need this new model. And if you don’t own a Nintendo Switch, you probably don’t need this new model either.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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Nintendo just unveiled a new $350 Nintendo Switch model featuring a larger OLED screen

All three Nintendo Switch models, including the new OLED model.
The new Nintendo Switch, which is known as the “OLED model,” alongside the original Switch (left) and Switch Lite.

  • Nintendo has a new, upgraded, more expensive model of the Nintendo Switch in the works.
  • The new Nintendo Switch has a larger screen that uses OLED technology.
  • Nintendo’s pricing the new Switch at $350, and it’s scheduled to launch on October 8.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Nintendo has a new Switch model with a higher quality, larger screen, and it’s expected to launch this October, the Japanese gaming powerhouse announced on Monday morning.

The new Nintendo Switch console, which is simply known as “Nintendo Switch OLED Model,” costs $350 and is scheduled to launch on October 8.

There is one key difference between the new Switch console and the original console that launched in March 2017: Its screen uses OLED technology and is physically larger than the previous model at 7 inches (the original screen was just 6.2 inches).

A handful of small tweaks to the original form factor are also part of the new Switch, from a larger rear kickstand to a built-in ethernet port on the console’s dock. There are also some clear design changes, particularly to the console dock which now has more rounded edges. Internally, the new Switch has more storage (64 GB) and features “enhanced audio” via two front-facing speakers.

Despite previous rumors stating that the new Nintendo Switch model would be able to produce 4K visuals while docked, that doesn’t appear to be the case.

Nintendo showcased all the differences between the original Switch and the latest model in an announcement video:

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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How to watch E3 2021: The biggest gaming event of the year starts this Saturday and continues through June 15

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e3
  • E3 2021, gaming’s largest annual event, starts June 12 and runs through June 15.
  • Industry leaders like Nintendo, Microsoft, Ubisoft, and Capcom will deliver world premiere trailers.
  • All of E3’s keynote presentations will stream live and gamers can participate in the event for free.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

E3, the video game industry’s largest annual conference, is returning as a virtual event after taking a year off due to the coronavirus pandemic. The show will begin on June 12 and continue through June 15 with premieres, announcements, and trailers from major industry players like Xbox, Nintendo, Ubisoft, Square Enix, and Capcom.

Following the launch of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S|X last year, E3 2021 is expected to focus on the next-generation of games being designed for those consoles. The Nintendo Switch remains wildly popular too, and Nintendo is reportedly working towards an announcement of a new version of the Switch with more power, a better screen, and improved battery life.

E3’s broadcast schedule also includes compilation showcases for PC and indie gaming, giving lesser-known titles an opportunity to shine on the industry’s biggest stage. Some games, like Warner Bros’ “Back 4 Blood,” have their own extended streams planned. Other E3 presenters and publishers include “Borderlands” creators Gearbox, gaming product specialists Razer, the gaming entertainment channel VENN, and Verizon.

How to watch E3 2021

You can watch every E3 2021 event live through the E3 2021 YouTube and Twitch websites. Broadcasts will begin at 1 p.m. ET on June 12.

Gamers can also sign up to participate in E3 2021 virtually for free by registering at the conference website. This will give you access to a feed of E3 announcements and let you visit different publisher booths for a closer look at upcoming games during the event.

E3 2021 schedule

Below, we’ve broken down the full E3 2021 schedule and what you can expect from the biggest keynote presentations.

Saturday, June 12

Publisher Start time
E3 Pre-show 1 p.m. ET, 10 a.m. PT
Ubisoft Forward 3 p.m. ET, 12 p.m. PT
Gearbox E3 Showcase 5 p.m. ET, 2 p.m. PT
GamesBeat Session 5:45 p.m. ET, 2:45 p.m. PT

Sunday, June 13

Publisher Start time
E3 Pre-Show 11:45 a.m. ET, 8:45 a.m. PT
“Naraka Bladepoint” by 24 Entertainment 12:30 p.m. ET, 9:30 a.m. PT
Xbox & Bethesda Showcase 1 p.m. ET, 10 a.m. PT
Square Enix 3:15 p.m. ET, 12:15 p.m. PT
“Back 4 Blood” by Warner Bros. Games 5 p.m. ET, 2 p.m. PT
PC Gaming Show 5:30 p.m. ET, 2:30 p.m. PT
Future Games Show 7 p.m. ET, 4 p.m. PT

Monday, June 14

Publisher Start time
E3 Pre-Show 11 a.m. ET, 8 a.m. PT
Verizon 12 p.m. ET, 9 a.m. PT
Intellivision 12:45 p.m. ET, 9:45 a.m. PT
Take-Two Interactive 1:15 p.m. ET, 10:15 a.m. PT
Mythical Games 2:10 p.m. ET, 11:10 a.m. PT
Indie Showcase 3 p.m. ET, 12 p.m. PT
Freedom Games 3:30 p.m. ET, 12:30 p.m. PT
VENN 4 p.m. ET, 1 p.m. PT
Capcom 5:30 p.m. ET, 2:30 p.m. PT
Razer 6 p.m. ET, 3 p.m. PT

Tuesday, June 15

Publisher Start time
E3 Pre-Show 11 a.m. ET, 8 a.m. PT
Nintendo Direct and Nintendo Treehouse 12 p.m. ET, 9 a.m. PT
Bandai Namco Entertainment 5:25 p.m. ET, 2:25 p.m. PT
Yooreka Studio 6:20 p.m. ET, 3:20 p.m. PT
GameSpot Play For All Showcase 6:35 p.m. ET, 3:35 p.m. PT
E3 2021 Awards Show 7:45 p.m. ET, 4:45 p.m. PT

Ubisoft

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla
Ubisoft’s “Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla” was one of the first titles released on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S.

French publisher Ubisoft is the creator of games like “Assassin’s Creed,” “Far Cry” and “Rainbow Six.” During their E3 address you can expect to see more of “Far Cry 6,” which features actor Giancarlo Esposito of “Breaking Bad” and “The Mandalorian,” as well as gameplay from “Rainbow Six Extraction,” an online multiplayer game that previously premiered as “Rainbow Six Quarantine” in 2019.

Ubisioft has confirmed that a previously announced remake of “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” will not be shown at E3. “Beyond Good and Evil 2,” another long-awaited Ubisoft title, hasn’t shared any news since September 2020 but that last update anticipated a trailer arriving in 2021.

Xbox and Bethesda

Phil Spencer Microsoft E3 2019
Xbox executive Phil Spencer addressing the crowd at E3 2019.

Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda has been one of the biggest stories in the gaming business this year, bringing a healthy library of iconic video game franchises like “Fallout” and “Elder Scrolls” into the Xbox family.

While Xbox launched it’s next-gen Series X and Series S consoles in November, the company has been slow to deliver exclusive games. At E3 we expect details on “Halo Infinite,” a flagship Xbox title that was originally intended to launch alongside the Xbox Series X|S but was delayed to fall 2021 to improve the finished product.

Bethesda has fewer announced games on its slate, but fans have been excited for new details on the space roleplaying game “Starfield” and the next “Elder Scrolls” game. Future Bethesda releases will reportedly be exclusive to Xbox consoles and Windows PCs.

Square Enix

Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade
Square Enix released “Final Fantasy VII Remake” last year after more than seven years of development.

This Japanese developer publishes a wide range of blockbuster games, including “Final Fantasy,” “Tomb Raider,” and “Marvel’s Avengers.” The company has promised news on upcoming action game “Babylon’s Fall,” narrative adventure “Life is Strange: True Colors,” and the next big update for “Avengers.”

Square Enix’s Eidos-Montreal will also show a world premiere trailer for their latest game; the same studio previously worked on “Tomb Raider,” “Avengers” and “Deus Ex.”

Take-Two Interactive

Grand Theft Auto V
“Grand Theft Auto V” is one of the bestselling games ever, and it’s coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X.

Take-Two is best known as the publisher of “NBA 2K” and the parent company of “Grand Theft Auto” maker Rockstar Games. Rockstar is currently planning to re-release “Grand Theft Auto V” for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

Take-Two recently signed Tiger Woods to an exclusive deal for future games, so we may see some of PGA Tour 2K22 at E3.

Ultimately, Take-Two’s conference could feature a range of surprises from partner studios; early leaks indicate the publisher could announce a Marvel-themed crossover with its “XCOM” strategy games.

Capcom

Resident Evil Village Capcom
Capcom’s “Resident Evil Village” is one of our favorite games of 2021 so far.

Capcom plans to talk about updates coming to some of the big games it released earlier this year, like “Resident Evil Village” and “Monster Hunter Rise.” There will also be news on at least two upcoming titles, “Monster Hunter Stories 2” and “The Great Ace Attorney.”

Nintendo

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2
Nintendo fans hope to learn more about the latest “Legend of Zelda” game at E3 2021.

It’s not clear what exactly Nintendo has planned for this year’s E3 presentation, but there has been wide speculation that the company could be working on a new version of the Switch with 4K resolution and an OLED screen.

Fans are eagerly awaiting new details on “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2,” but Nintendo is planning to release a remake “The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword” in July. The company recently announced a new Pokémon game called “Pokémon Legends: Arceus,” so we could see more of that, or the upcoming remakes of “Pokémon Diamond” and “Pearl,” too.

Bandai-Namco

Scarlet Nexus Bandai Namco video game

Bandai-Namco has two anime-inspired games set to arrive in the coming months, “Scarlet Nexus” and “Tales of Arise.” Expect to see footage of those two alongside more footage of “Elden Ring,” a new game from “Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin and the creators of “Dark Souls.”

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Netflix apparently wants to break into the video game business. Experts say that’s a bad idea.

reed hastings ted sarandos
Netflix co-CEOs Reed Hastings, left, and Ted Sarandos, right.

  • Netflix is reportedly fishing around for a major video game business executive to hire.
  • The company intends to expand its gaming efforts – to break into the lucrative video game industry.
  • That initiative is likely to fail, given the history of tech and entertainment companies in gaming.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

With over 200 million paid subscribers worldwide, Netflix is an absolute behemoth.

The streaming entertainment giant has successfully transitioned from a scrappy startup paying to license its content to a major player in Hollywood, splashing out tens of millions of dollars on its own productions.

So, what’s next for Netflix? The answer to that question, at least in part, appears to be video games.

Netflix is fishing around for a gaming executive to help it expand out its gaming initiative, according to a recent report in The Information. While the company has acknowledged an interest in interactive entertainment, it has yet to decide what this will mean in practice. Licensing content from existing game makers? Making its own games? And how will you actually play those games?

While we still don’t know much about Netflix’s plans, one thing is clear right now: Netflix getting involved in gaming is almost certain to fail.

“I do think they will try, and do think they will fail,” Wedbush managing director Michael Pachter told Insider. “It’s hard to make games.”

bandersnatch choice
“Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” is an “interactive movie” on Netflix that is more choose-your-own-adventure than video game.

Indeed, the video game industry is a very risky business, and even entrenched studios with top-tier talent and years of experience regularly go under. “We have the failures of THQ, Midway, Acclaim, 3DO, BAM, Eidos, Atari, Infogrames, Interplay, and probably a few others to illustrate how hard it is,” Pachter said. “I don’t see how Netflix could possibly think it can develop and sell games.”

Joost van Dreunen, author of “One Up: Creativity, Competition, and the Global Business of Video Games,” echoed Pachter’s skepticism.

“Big tech sucks at games,” he told Insider.

He pointed to Google’s Stadia, Amazon’s Luna, and Facebook’s scattershot gaming efforts across the last decade as prime examples of how major tech companies routinely fail at gaming initiatives.

Google and Amazon and Facebook have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into gaming across the last decade, yet none are major players in the video game market. “They look at it in a way that distribution goes before the content,” Van Dreunen said, “and that’s the wrong way around.”

Instead of creating video games and building beloved brands, they’ve largely focused on the mechanics of how you buy and access those games: Google’s Stadia platform, a Netflix-like video game streaming service, is a prime example.

Less than two years after Google announced a major game development initiative led by “Assassin’s Creed” creator Jade Raymond, and less than one year after outright buying a video game studio, the company folded those efforts this past February.

What’s Google focusing on for its big gaming service rather than making games for it?

An “increased focus on using our technology platform for industry partners,” Google Stadia Vice President Phil Harrison said in a blog post – a pretty huge step back from the splashy announcement of Stadia back in 2019, which promised a new digital service that would compete against the likes of Nintendo, Sony’s PlayStation, and Microsoft’s Xbox.

FILE PHOTO: Google vice president and general manager Phil Harrison speaks during a Google keynote address announcing a new video gaming streaming service named Stadia that attempts to capitalize on the company's cloud technology and global network of data centers, at the Gaming Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, U.S., March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
Google VP Phil Harrison speaks during a Google keynote address announcing Google Stadia at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, March 2019.

For Netflix, which has the benefit of owning a beloved intellectual property like “Stranger Things” that could lend itself to games, another problem exists.

“Building games from owned IP is also super hard,” Pachter said. “Disney has failed at least three times trying to do so, and its IP is much stronger than Netflix.”

In recent years, Disney’s biggest properties – from Marvel characters to the “Star Wars” franchise – have found success in gaming by Disney largely handing over creative control to major video game companies.

Examples include 2018’s “Marvel’s Spider-Man” and 2019’s “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.” The former, a PlayStation 4 exclusive game made by Insomniac Games, sold over 20 million copies. The latter, a multiplatform “Star Wars” game with original characters and story, sold over 10 million copies.

At approximately $60 apiece, each game has grossed well over $1 billion in sales.

Spider-man (PS4)
2018’s “Marvel’s Spider-Man” for the PlayStation 4.

Netflix could follow a similar model and potentially find success.

The company could build a wildly successful game streaming service that seamlessly leverages its existing streaming service. It could spend years, and hundreds of millions of dollars, building its IP into major game franchises.

Or it could buy its way in, splashing out billions of dollars on a major game publisher like EA or Ubisoft – akin to Amazon’s recent purchase of MGM Studios, but for gaming. That would require a major, long-term institutional buy-in from Netflix, in addition to major financial investments.

“You need to have the stomach,” Van Dreunen said. “Like when you look at Google and Amazon – they just don’t have internally the numbers or the understanding of the space to say, ‘Yeah, you know what we should do? Spend $10 billion to really break in.'”

For its part, Netflix hasn’t detailed its gaming plans just yet – but the company is acknowledging the reported interest in a larger gaming investment in the future.

“Our members value the variety and quality of our content,” the company said in a statement. “Members also enjoy engaging more directly with stories they love – through interactive shows like ‘Bandersnatch’ and ‘You v. Wild,’ or games based on ‘Stranger Things,’ ‘La Casa de Papel’ and ‘To All the Boys.’ So we’re excited to do more with interactive entertainment.”

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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15 great gifts to buy for the gamer in your life

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Family Father and Son Playing Video Games
  • Finding gifts for the gamers on your shopping list can be tough with so many gadgets to choose from.
  • We’ve put together a list of our favorite gaming gifts, ranging from controllers to collectibles.
  • Before choosing a gift, it’s helpful to know if your gamer prefers PlayStation, Switch, Xbox, or PC.

Gift shopping for a tech-savvy gamer can be challenging, but we’ve put together a list of suggestions that will leave any gamer happy.

From this year’s most popular releases to wireless headsets and awesome collectibles, our gift ideas offer something for all gaming tastes and budgets. If you’re looking for more tech gifts, be sure to read our guides to the best tech gifts under $100, the best tech gifts under $50, and the best tech gifts under $25.

Here are the best gifts for gamers:

A headset to stay in contact with friends

hyperx cloud headset

The right pair of headphones can help players feel fully immersed in their games, whether they’re exploring a fantasy world or listening closely for enemy footsteps. Headsets with microphones are essential for communicating with teammates online, whether you’re playing on your computer or a console.

The HyperX Cloud II headset with 7.1 surround sound is available for $150 right now, and it works with PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC, and Nintendo Switch. It uses a USB dongle for a faster, more consistent wireless connection than Bluetooth can provide, at ranges up to 60 feet.

The battery can last for up to 30 hours on a single charge, and even without power, you can always connect the HyperX Cloud II to your phone or controller with a 3.5mm audio cable. There’s a physical mute button for the microphone, and you can even remove it when you only need the headset.

PS5, PS4, and Nintendo Switch have different headphone requirements than the Xbox, so you’ll have to pick up a pair of Xbox licensed headphones like the HyperX CloudX if you know the gamer in your life prefers Xbox.

If you’re willing to go with a more affordable wired headset, the Razer Kraken X provides 7.1 surround sound on PlayStation, Switch and Xbox, and it’s only $50.

Cloud II Wireless Headset (small)
A gaming monitor for 4K resolution and competitive play

BenQ gaming monitor showcase

Sharing the living room TV with a gamer can be tough, so consider getting your favorite player a dedicated screen so they can play in peace. Monitors have become increasingly popular for gamers of all types, including console players, since they offer less delay than TVs and sport smoother frame rates while playing.

Newer monitors have support for popular TV features, like HDR color and contrast, making them easier to pair with consoles like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. This BenQ 28-inch gaming monitor is about the size of a small TV, it supports 4K resolution, it’s AMD FreeSync compatible, and it boasts a fast 1 ms (GtG) response time.

This year’s best blockbuster games

The Last of Us Part II Guitar
“The Last of Us Part II” was named the 2020 Game of the Year by The Game Awards in December 2020.

The best games of the year can vary based on a gamer’s platform of choice, so it’s essential to know if your gift recipient owns consoles (like the PlayStation, Switch, or Xbox) before buying a game.

Some of the best games released in 2020 and 2021 are console exclusives, like “Ghost of Tsushima” and “The Last of Us Part II” on PlayStation 4. “Ghost of Tsushima” is an open-world samurai adventure set on a scenic Japanese island, while 2020 Game of the Year winner “The Last of Us Part II” features impressive cinematic storytelling and cutting-edge graphics.

Nintendo’s offerings are known for being more family-oriented; the casual village-building game “Animal Crossing New Horizons” helped millions of people spend time together amid social distancing. “Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury” is a four-player platforming adventure that’s reminiscent of classic “Mario” games, with an extra open-world mode called “Bowser’s Fury.”

for PlayStation 4 (small)

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury (small)
A rare collection of classic Mario games

Super Mario 3D All-Stars (Super Mario Galaxy)
“Super Mario Galaxy” is one of three games remastered for Switch in “Super Mario 3D All-Stars.”

Super Mario 3D All-Stars” is a collection of three classic Mario adventures remastered for the Nintendo Switch, but it was discontinued on March 31. That means you can’t buy it digitally, and Nintendo isn’t planning on making any more copies; you’ll have to find one of the remaining ones in stores.

With the Switch continuing to grow in popularity and the longstanding legacy of “Super Mario,” you can expect “3D All-Stars” to become a collector’s item in the years to come. “Super Mario 3D All-Stars” includes “Super Mario Sunshine,” which hasn’t been re-issued since its release in 2002, along with “Super Mario 64” and “Super Mario Galaxy.”

A subscription to hundreds of games on PC, Xbox, and Android

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (Xbox Netflix of gaming)

Millions of people picked up Microsoft’s Netflix-style subscription for video games to help pass the time at home during 2020. The library has more than a hundred games, ranging from Xbox classics, like “Halo,” to some of the most popular games of 2020, like “Among Us” and “Doom Eternal.”

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate isn’t exclusive to Xbox consoles; games can be played on Windows computers and streamed on Android phones. For Xbox owners, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate also includes Xbox Live Gold, a $10 monthly service required to play games online, so you get a ton of value for just $5 more per month.

A premium controller with customizable buttons

Xbox Elite 2 controller

If you know a gamer who has been playing with the same old Xbox or PlayStation controller for years, you can give them a major upgrade. The $180 Xbox Elite 2 controller has a rechargeable battery, four extra paddle buttons on the rear, and comes with extra tools to customize and tighten your joysticks and directional pad.

The Xbox Elite 2 works on PC, is Bluetooth compatible, and will work with the Xbox One and Xbox Series S|X.

Sony doesn’t make their own premium version of the PlayStation’s DualShock controller but Scuf Gaming makes a $160 PlayStation 4 controller with paddles similar to the Xbox Elite 2, plus a wide selection of customizable faceplates.

Extra storage space to spend more time playing, and less downloading

Can you get YouTube TV on ps4

The latest games can require anywhere from 20GB to 200GB to install, so gamers of all types will appreciate an upgrade in storage space. PlayStation and Xbox both allow external USB drives for storing games, screenshots, and your video recordings. You’ll need a USB 3.0 drive with between 250GB or 8TB of storage.

We recommend buying a drive from a reliable brand like Seagate or Western Digital — 1TB is enough to at least double the space available on consoles, and there’s not much of a performance advantage if you buy a more expensive solid state drive for your consoles.

The Nintendo Switch uses MicroSD cards to expand beyond its 32GB of internal storage. The Switch supports MicroSD cards up to 2TB in size but we recommend a 128GB or 256GB card, which offer plenty of space at a significantly lower price.

A retro console for nostalgia and preserving the classics

Sega Genesis Mini

Retro consoles like the Sega Genesis Mini pack a bunch of classic games into a nostalgic replica of consoles past. The Sega Genesis Mini comes with 42 games from the ’90s console including “Sonic the Hedgehog” and “Street Fighter 2.” Games are displayed in high definition and the digital copies let you instantly save.

Nintendo set off a craze for retro consoles a few years ago with the NES Classic and Super NES Classic, but those consoles had a limited run and have less games than the Genesis Mini. The PlayStation Classic also collects 20 games from that console, but the selection isn’t as impressive as the competition.

An all-in-one VR headset to explore gaming from a new perspective

Quest 2

Released in May 2020, the Oculus Quest 2 has set a new standard for virtual reality headsets with finger tracking, greatly improved image quality, and no external sensors needed for setup. Oculus Quest 2 can be used as a standalone device for gaming, chatting, and watching movies, or connected to a PC for even more immersive performance.

Iconic collectibles inspired by popular games

iam8bit collectible TMNT
iam8bit is one of many specialty shops offering awesome gaming and comic book inspired collectibles.

Not every video game series is popular enough to have its own set of collectibles, but you can find a wide selection of gaming-inspired figures and statues from brands like Pop!, Nendoroid, and Kotobukiya. Prices can range from $10 to $250 or more depending on the item, but what’s important is finding a collectible that matches your gamer’s style.

The collectible shop iam8bit also offers lots of rare and limited collectibles, like vinyl video game soundtracks and customized cartridges for old games. Limited Run Games also puts together physical releases for popular indie games and retro titles that include unique collectibles like t-shirts and art books.

Mandalorian statue by Kotobukiya (small)

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The best deals on Nintendo Switch consoles, games, and accessories right now – including $13 off NES wireless controllers

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Nintendo Switch vs Nintendo Switch Lite
The Nintendo Switch debuted in March 2017, while the smaller Switch Lite was released in September 2019.

  • The Nintendo Switch is rarely discounted, but there are plenty of deals on games and accessories.
  • We’ll update this list regularly with the top Nintendo Switch deals as new discounts are announced.

Even with the release of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S|X, the Nintendo Switch continues to be the highest-selling video game console on the planet, with more than 68 million units sold worldwide.

The Switch was the top selling console for 24 consecutive months leading up to the release of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, and the console will still be easier to find in stores for the next few months while Sony and Microsoft ramp up production of their new systems.

Nintendo’s $300 Switch offers many of the most popular games on the market in a portable package, with the option to connect the Switch to a larger television or home entertainment system. The $200 Switch Lite is smaller and can’t connect to your TV, but it’s still a popular pick for parents who want an affordable alternative to the PlayStation or Xbox, and gamers who want a second console.

Below, we’ve collected the best deals on Nintendo Switch consoles, exclusive games, and accessories. These discounts should all come in handy whether you’re looking to buy a Switch for the first time, building your library of games, or trying to find the cheapest price on a Switch peripheral.

Here are the best Nintendo Switch deals for April 2021:

NES Wireless Controllers for Switch (medium)Joy-Con Charging Dock (medium, Preferred: Target)Mario Tennis Aces (medium, Preferred: Target)Switch Pro Controller (medium, Preferred: Amazon)

Best deals on Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite consoles

Nintendo Switch Lite Case Side

The Nintendo Switch can be connected to a TV for high-definition gameplay, or taken on-the-go as a portable console. Furthermore, the Switch’s controls can be separated from the console and used as two separate controllers called Joy-Cons.

Meanwhile, the Nintendo Switch Lite is a handheld-only version of the console that lacks the original Switch’s removable controllers and ability to connect to a larger television. The Switch Lite appeals to gamers who may already own a PlayStation or Xbox and want to play games with a similar level of quality while they’re traveling. Parents may also be more willing to invest in a handheld console at a lower price point when introducing their children to gaming.

The Nintendo Switch Lite comes in four colors (coral, turquoise, grey and yellow). There haven’t been many deals that drop the Switch Lite below its standard retail price of $200, but a refurbished model is sold for a $15 discount when it’s in stock at GameStop.

Best deals on Nintendo Switch games

Super Mario Maker 2

Though the Nintendo Switch has been around for just under four years, there are already more than 2,300 games available for the console. 

Now through April 25, Nintendo’s Spring Indie World sale offers discounts tons of titles, with many games now selling for less than $10. For some inspiration before you shop, check out our list of the best video games of 2020, according to critics.

Katana Zero (medium)Hades (medium)Yoshi’s Crafted World (small, Preferred: Walmart)Ring Fit Adventure (medium, Preferred: Amazon)
Best deals on Nintendo Switch controllers

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is the official alternative to the Switch’s built-in Joy-Cons.

Though the Switch’s Joy-Cons give players access to two controllers at all times, some gamers prefer the Nintendo Switch Pro controller, which more closely resembles a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One controller.

Nintendo also sells spare Joy-Cons with multiple color options for Switch owners who want to add some additional flair and an extra set of motion controllers for multiplayer games. 

NES Wireless Controllers for Switch (medium)Switch Joy-Con Pair, Neon Pink and Neon Green (medium, Preferred: Walmart)Switch Joy-Con Pair, Neon Red and Neon Blue (medium, Preferred: Walmart)

Best deals on on Nintendo Switch accessories

nintendo switch lite figures

As a portable console with replaceable controllers, the Switch has no shortage of accessories. The most important addition you can make is a MicroSD card, which can expand the Switch’s initial 32GB of storage by 128GB or more for less than the price of a new game.

If you plan on taking your Switch on the go, it’s probably a good idea to pick up a basic case with space for extra game cartridges too. The Switch is fairly durable so you don’t need to spend a ton protecting it.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Take a look inside Wall Street darling Ryan Cohen’s ambitious plan to ‘transform’ the retailer into the Amazon of gaming

Ryan Cohen - Chewy
Chewy cofounder and former CEO Ryan Cohen is now the head of RC Ventures, an investment firm that’s taken a 12% stake in GameStop.

  • Chewy cofounder and former CEO Ryan Cohen is the largest individual GameStop shareholder.
  • He’s also in charge of the board, and intends to turn the company into the Amazon of gaming.
  • Cohen is already making major moves at the company, and he has big plans for the future.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

What does Ryan Cohen want with GameStop?

That’s the big, unanswered question at the heart of his 12.9% ownership stake in the company – an investment he made well before GameStop became a meme stock.

Cohen, who cofounded Chewy and acted as CEO before it sold to PetSmart for $3.35 billion in 2017, does not have a background in the video game industry. His claim to fame is outfoxing Amazon at its own game – e-commerce – in a specific category: pets. That’s an especially meaningful claim to fame when it comes to Wall Street, which saw Cohen’s involvement in the company as a reason to buy the ailing retailer’s stock before Reddit found it.

Read more: Ryan Cohen made millions when Chewy got acquired. Now the millennial entrepreneur has a plan to turn around GameStop.

But Cohen is no casual investor in GameStop – he’s the chairman of its board, and an activist investor who has successfully lobbied the company to follow his advice several times thus far. He is clearly in this for the long term.

Though the lingering question of “Why GameStop?” remains unanswered, we know a lot about Cohen’s plans for the future of the company.

1. Cohen wants GameStop to become a technology company, with a focus on ecommerce over brick-and-retail stores.

gamestop store
A GameStop Corp. store on November 5, 2013 in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

Cohen’s investment firm, RC Ventures, owns 12.9% of GameStop. That stake makes it the second-largest single shareholder of GameStop.

Those shares cost tens of millions of dollars in 2020, and they put Cohen in a position to more directly engage with the company’s leadership. But those private conversations apparently didn’t go very well.

“Given that our attempts to privately engage with you since the summer have yielded little progress, we feel compelled to send a clear message to the Board today,” Cohen wrote in an open letter aimed at GameStop’s board of directors published in November 2020.

“GameStop’s leadership should immediately conduct a strategic review of the business,” he said, “and share a credible plan for seizing the tremendous opportunities in the rapidly-growing gaming sector.”

The letter, overwhelmingly, focused on the company’s need to transition to ecommerce.

“GameStop’s challenges stem from internal intransigence and an unwillingness to rapidly embrace the digital economy,” the letter said. “GameStop needs to evolve into a technology company that delights gamers and delivers exceptional digital experiences – not remain a video game retailer that overprioritizes its brick-and-mortar footprint and stumbles around the online ecosystem.”

Throughout his letter, Cohen directly criticizes the company’s leadership – both its executive suite and its board of directors, to whom the letter is addressed.

GameStop CEO and board member George Sherman, “appears committed to a twentieth-century focus on physical stores and walk-in sales, despite the transition to an always-on digital world,” Cohen said, and the board lacks “the type of strategic vision” necessary for GameStop, “to pivot toward becoming a technology-driven business that excels in the gaming and digital experience worlds.”

That criticism appeared to have a major impact, as GameStop announced in early January that Cohen and two of his former Chewy lieutenants would become new members of the board. Soon after, Cohen was put in charge of a committee created to reshape GameStop and appointed the chairman of its board.

2. He’s swapping the company’s current leadership, both its board and c-suite, for former Amazon and Chewy leaders.

GameStop execs (April 2021)

Since Cohen joined GameStop’s board and was put in charge of the Strategic Planning and Capital Allocation Committee, the company’s entire executive suite has been cleared out.

That includes CEO George Sherman, who is stepping down in the near future, and CFO Jim Bell, who was suddenly forced out of his role at the company after the board of directors “lost faith” in him, according to a person familiar with the decision who spoke with Insider. At the same time, a gaggle of former Amazon and Chewy leaders have been elected in their place.

Similarly, the company’s board of directors is being completely flipped – at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in June, it plans to elect a small group of Cohen’s colleagues to the board. And Cohen is expected to be elected chairman of the board.

In the last six months, Cohen has completely reshaped the leadership of GameStop.

3. The potential future of GameStop: online trade-ins.

GameStop Clerk
A customer laughs with a clerk as he purchases a copy of the video game “Grand Theft Auto IV” at a GameStop store in New York

Game trade-ins, and their subsequent resale, are the lifeblood of GameStop.

In September 2020, when Cohen initially purchased a significant chunk of the company’s shares, he privately proposed a plan to the board to focus GameStop on e-commerce opportunities.

One example of those opportunities is tied to GameStop’s core business: reselling used games.

Cohen reportedly proposed an online version of the retailer’s (in)famous game trade-in program.

During those talks, he proposed a major expansion of GameStop’s online footprint, according to Bloomberg. Beyond just games, GameStop’s online store would offer “a wide range of merchandise,” the report said, and prioritize fast shipping.

Cohen has yet to publicly spell out his specific plans, and representatives repeatedly declined requests for comment.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 50 best video games of all time, according to critics

"Super Mario Bros."
  • The 50 best games of all time are a surprisingly diverse list of games spanning decades of consoles.
  • There are iconic household names, cult classics, and forgotten gems.
  • Did your favorite game make the list? Let’s find out.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

There are dozens of ways you could put together a list of the best video games ever made.

You could look to classics, like “Super Mario Bros.” You could look at impact on the medium, or highest sales. You could write down your personal favorites on pieces of paper, then throw them into the air. Where the pieces land? That’s your list!

But what we’ve got here is something slightly more scientific. Reviews aggregation site Metacritic compiles all reviews of games, then it averages those scores into an overall average. What you’ll find below is the top 50 highest-rated games of all time, based on the averages obtained by Metacritic.

One quick disclaimer!

Super Mario

We made one small change: Since there are a handful of duplicates on the list (multiple versions of the same game, released on multiple platforms), we’re using the highest-ranked version of the game to make room for a handful of games that wouldn’t have otherwise made the list.

Without further ado, these are the 50 best video games of all time:

50. “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2”

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Critic score: 94/100

User score: 6.4/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “‘Modern Warfare 2’ continues the gripping and heart-racing action as players face off against a new threat dedicated to bringing the world to the brink of collapse. An entirely new gameplay mode which supports 2-player co-operative play online that is unique from the single player story campaign. Special Ops pits players into a gauntlet of time-trial and objective-based missions. Rank-up as players unlock new Special Ops missions, each more difficult. Missions include highlights from the single player campaign, fan favorites from ‘Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare’ and all new, exclusive missions. Setting a new bar for online multiplayer, ‘Modern Warfare 2’ multiplayer delivers new capabilities, customization, game states and modes, including: Create-a-Class Evolved. Secondary Weapons – Machine Pistols, Shotguns, Handguns, Launchers. Riot Shields. Equipment – Throwing Knives, Blast Shield, Tactical Insertion. Perk Upgrades. Bling (Dual Attachments). Customizable Killstreaks – AC130, Sentry Gun, Predator Missile, Counter-UAV, Care Package. Accolades (Post match reports).”

Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, OS X

Buy it here >>

49. “Final Fantasy IX”

Final Fantasy IX

Critic score: 94/100

User score: 8.9/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “The last ‘Final Fantasy’ for the PlayStation, ‘Final Fantasy IX’ returns to the pure fantasy roots that spawned the series. This latest installment features highly detailed characters, vehicles, and environments, and breathtaking cinema-graphics. The addition of brand new features such as the story-enhancing Active Time Event system and the return of mini-games that grant additional gameplay make ‘Final Fantasy IX’ not only a memorable gaming experience, but also a significant step forward in the series.”

Platforms:  PlayStation, iOS, Android, PC, PlayStation 4

Buy it here >>

48. “BioShock Infinite”

BioShock Infinite (The Collection)

Critic score: 94/100

User score: 8.5/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Once conceived as a floating symbol of American ideals at a time when the United States was emerging as a world power, Columbia has been dispatched to distant shores with great fanfare by a captivated public. What begins as a brand new endeavor of hope turns drastically wrong as the city soon disappears into the clouds to whereabouts unknown. The player assumes the role of former Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt, sent to the lost city to rescue Elizabeth, a young woman imprisoned there since childhood. He develops a relationship with Elizabeth, augmenting his abilities with hers so the pair may escape from a city that is literally falling from the sky. DeWitt must learn to fight foes in high-speed Sky-Line battles, engage in combat both indoors and amongst the clouds, and engage the power of dozens of new weapons and abilities.

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Buy it here >>

47. “World of Goo”

World of Goo

Critic score: 94/100

User score: 8.8/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “‘World of Goo’ is a physics based puzzle / construction game. The millions of Goo Balls that live in the beautiful ‘World of Goo’ don’t know that they are in a game, or that they are extremely delicious.”

Platforms: Wii, PC, OS X, Linux, iOS, Android, BlackBerry OS, Nintendo Switch

Buy it here >>

46. “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain”

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 7.4/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Following the prologue Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain concludes the Metal Gear Solid V experience by following the story of the protagonist of the series, Big Boss (a.k.a. Snake). The Metal Gear Solid V experience is Creator and Director Hideo Kojima’s first time incorporating open world gameplay to the groundbreaking Metal Gear franchise.”

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One

Buy it here >>

45. “Portal 2”

portal 2

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 8.4/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “‘Portal 2’ is the sequel to the title named “Game of the Year” 2007 by over 30 publications around the world. ‘Portal 2’ promises to break new ground in next generation gaming by expanding the award-winning recipe of innovative gameplay, immersive story, and creative inclusion of music while also introducing multiplayer co-op game modes.”

Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Buy it here >>

44. “Persona 5 Royal”

Persona 5 Royal

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 8.4/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Prepare for an all-new RPG experience in Persona 5 Royal based in the universe of the award-winning series, Persona! Don the mask of Joker and join the Phantom Thieves of Hearts. Break free from the chains of modern society and stage grand heists to infiltrate the minds of the corrupt and make them change their ways! Persona 5 Royal is packed with new characters, confidants, story depth, new locations to explore, and a new grappling hook mechanic for stealthy access to new areas. With a new semester at Shujin Academy, get ready to strengthen your abilities in the metaverse and in your daily life. Persona 5 Royal presents a unique visual style and award nominated composer Shoji Meguro returns with an all-new soundtrack. Explore Tokyo, unlock new Personas, customize your own personal Thieves Den, discover a never-before-seen story arc, cutscenes, alternate endings, and more! Even for the most seasoned Phantom Thieves among us, Persona 5 Royal is a new challenge to defy conventions, discover the power within, and fight for justice. Wear the mask. Reveal your truth.”

Platforms: PlayStation 4

Buy it here >>

43. “Madden NFL 2003”

Madden NFL 2003

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 7.5/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Take Your Game Online: Access an online community where you can meet, chat, and play head-to-head against other gamers. Audio Dream Team: Dynamic play-by-play and analysis by Madden and Michaels. All-New Mini-camp: Hop on John Madden’s Cruiser Tour Bus and travel to all NFL cities to complete skilled tasks. Create-A-Playbook: Customize receiver routes, player formations, and your team’s entire playbook. Deepest Franchise Mode Ever: Play 30 years of Franchise mode and draft players each season with tips from your scouts.”

Platforms: Game Boy Advance, PC, GameCube, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Xbox

Buy it here >>

42. “The Last of Us”

last of us

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 9.2/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Twenty years after a pandemic radically transformed known civilization, infected humans run amok and survivors kill one another for sustenance and weapons – literally whatever they can get their hands on. Joel, a salty survivor, is hired to smuggle a fourteen-year-old girl, Ellie, out of a rough military quarantine, but what begins as a simple job quickly turns into a brutal journey across the country.”

Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4

Buy it here >>

41. “The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask”

Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 9.2/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Thrown into a parallel world by the mischievous actions of a possessed Skull Kid, Link finds a land in grave danger. The dark power of a relic called Majora’s Mask has wreaked havoc on the citizens of Termina, but their most urgent problem is a suicidal moon crashing toward the world. Link has only 72 hours to find a way to stop its descent.”

Platforms: Nintendo 64, Nintendo 3DS

Buy it here >>

40. “The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past”

a link to the past

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 9.0/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “In a ‘Link to the Past,’ Link travels between the light world and the dark world, conquering fierce monsters and uncovering Hyrule’s deepest secrets along the way.”

Platforms: Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy Advance, Virtual Console (various platforms)

Buy it here >>

39. “Halo 2”

Halo 2

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 8.2/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “The Covenant alien race threatens to destroy all humankind, and the only thing standing in its way is Master Chief, a genetically enhanced supersoldier. Master Chief returns in ‘Halo 2,’ which features new vehicles, weapons, environments, and more. This time, you can interact with your environment, wield two weapons at the same time, board opponents’ vehicles, and even switch sides to play the role of a Covenant Elite. ‘Halo 2’ also supports broadband multiplayer action via Xbox Live.”

Platforms: Xbox, Xbox One

Buy it here >>

38. “Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec”

Gran Turismo 3

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 8.5/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “With the addition of two new courses (a downtown Tokyo circuit and the Monte Carlo Grand Prix course), an impressive range of cars (from Vipers to Cooper Minis), and a soundtrack featuring everything from Lenny Kravitz to Jimi Hendrix, this highly anticipated title is finally ready to be driven.”

Platform: PlayStation 2

Buy it here >>

37. “Red Dead Redemption”

red dead redemption

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 8.9/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Developed by Rockstar San Diego, as a follow up to the 2004 hit game ‘Red Dead Revolver,’ ‘Red Dead Redemption’ is a Western epic, set at the turn of the 20th century when the lawless and chaotic badlands began to give way to the expanding reach of government and the spread of the Industrial Age. The story of former outlaw, John Marston, ‘Red Dead Redemption’ takes players on a great adventure across the American frontier. Utilizing Rockstar’s proprietary Rockstar Advanced Game Engine (RAGE), ‘Red Dead Redemption’ features an open-world environment for players to explore, including frontier towns, rolling prairies teeming with wildlife, and perilous mountain passes – each packed with an endless flow of varied distractions. Along the way, players experience the heat of gunfights and battles, meet a host of unique characters, struggle against the harshness of one of the world’s last remaining wildernesses, and ultimately pick their own precarious path through an epic story about the death of the Wild West and the gunslingers that inhabited it.”

Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

Buy it here >>

36. “The Legend of Zelda: Collector’s Edition”

The Legend of Zelda (NES)

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 9.0/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Receive four complete classic Zelda games all on one disc when you buy the Zelda GameCube Bundle: ‘The Legend of Zelda,’ ‘Zelda II – The Adventure of Link,’ ‘The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time,’ ‘The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask.'”

Platforms: Nintendo Entertainment System, Virtual Console (various platforms)

Buy it here >>

35. “LittleBigPlanet”

LittleBigPlanet

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 6.8/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “In ‘LittleBigPlanet,’ players meet on a blue and green planet scattered with individual plots – and use their character’s amazing abilities to play, create and share what they build with other gamers throughout the world via the PlayStation Network. The ‘LittleBigPlanet’ experience starts with players learning about their character’s powers to interact physically with the environment. There are places to explore, creative resources to collect and puzzles to solve – all requiring a combination of brains and collaborative teamwork. As soon as players begin their creative skills will grow and they will soon be ready to start creating and modifying their surroundings – the first step to sharing them with the whole community. Characters have the power to move anything in this glued and stitched-together 3D landscape; they have the power to design, shape and build both objects and entire locations for others to view and play. There’s no complicated level editor; all of these skills can be learned by simply playing the game. Creativity is part of the gameplay experience and playing is part of the creative experience. Players can make their world as open or as secretive to explore as they like. When it’s ready, they can invite anyone within the LittleBigPlanet community to come and explore their patch – or can go and explore everybody else’s.”

Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4

Buy it here >>

34. “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City”

Grand Theft Auto 3: Vice City

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 8.7/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Welcome to Vice City. Welcome to the 1980s. Having just made it back onto the streets of Liberty City after a long stretch in maximum security, Tommy Vercetti is sent to Vice City by his old boss, Sonny Forelli. They were understandably nervous about his re-appearance in Liberty City, so a trip down south seemed like a good idea. But all does not go smoothly upon his arrival in the glamorous, hedonistic metropolis of Vice City. He’s set up and is left with no money and no merchandise. Sonny wants his money back, but the biker gangs, Cuban gangsters, and corrupt politicians stand in his way. Most of Vice City seems to want Tommy dead. His only answer is to fight back and take over the city himself. Vice City offers vehicular pleasures to suit every taste. For the speed enthusiast, there’s high-performance cars and motorbikes. For the sportsman, a powerboat or a golf buggy lets you enjoy the great outdoors. For those that need that sense of freedom and escape, why not charter a helicopter and see the beauty of Vice City from the air.”

Platforms: PlayStation 2, Xbox, PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Fire OS

Buy it here >>

33. “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas”

Grand Theft Auto 3: San Andreas

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 9.0/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Five years ago Carl Johnson escaped from the pressures of life in Los Santos, San Andreas… a city tearing itself apart with gang trouble, drugs and corruption. Where film stars and millionaires do their best to avoid the dealers and gangbangers. Now, it’s the early 90s. Carl’s got to go home. His mother has been murdered, his family has fallen apart and his childhood friends are all heading towards disaster. On his return to the neighborhood, a couple of corrupt cops frame him for homicide. CJ is forced on a journey that takes him across the entire state of San Andreas, to save his family and to take control of the streets.”

Platforms: PlayStation 2, PC, Xbox, Xbox 360, Mac, PlayStation 3, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Fire OS

Buy it here >>

32. “Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn”

Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 9.2/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “An epic continuation of the story that began in ‘Baldur’s Gate,’ this RPG is set along the southern portion of the Sword Coast, a detailed and rich area of the Forgotten Realms called Amn. It features 300 spells and 130-plus monster types compared to only 130 spells and 60 monster types in ‘Baldur’s Gate.'”

Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux

Buy it here >>

31. “Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty”

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (HD)

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 8.8/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Since the incident on Shadow Moses Island, Metal Gear’s top-secret technology has been leaked into the black market through the machinations of Revolver Ocelot. As a result, countless variations of Metal Gears have sprung up in every corner of the globe, making the weapon an increasingly common component of the armed forces of nuclear powers. In the midst of all of this, Solid Snake, now a member of the anti-Metal Gear group ‘Philanthropy,’ has learned that a new prototype Metal Gear has been developed by the U.S. Marines and is being transported in secret to an unknown destination. To learn more about this new machine, Snake must infiltrate the transport, disguised as a tanker, as it makes its way down the Hudson River. Just as Snake is about to begin his mission, however, the ship is seized by a mysterious and well-armed group bent on stealing the new Metal Gear for their own, nefarious purposes

Platforms: PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Vita

Buy it here >>

30. “Gran Turismo”

Gran Turismo (PlayStation 1)

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 8.6/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Welcome to the most advanced racing game ever created! Encounter exhilarating high-speed racing in 11 stunning environments. Feel handling agility and throttle response so convincing, the car seems to be an extension of yourself. Experience the extraordinary world of ‘Gran Turismo’!”

Platform: PlayStation

Buy it here >>

29. “The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker”

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 9.0/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “In this ninth entry in the ‘Legend of Zelda’ series, Link debuts on GameCube with a fun new cel-shaded look, but the game stays true to the respected heritage of the series. The classic mix of sword-swinging action, perplexing puzzles and stirring story lines remains intact, but the stunning cel-shaded graphics give the people and places of Link’s watery world a wildly artistic new look. And for the very first time, Link sails freely on the high seas. Join Link on his most epic and scenic adventure yet. Face unimaginable monsters, explore puzzling dungeons, and meet a cast of unforgettable characters as he searches for his kidnapped sister, Aryll.”

Platforms: GameCube, Wii U

Buy it here >>

28. “Half-Life”

Half-Life

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 9.0/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “‘Half-Life’ combines great storytelling in the tradition of Stephen King with intense action and advanced technology to create a frighteningly realistic world where players need to think smart to survive. ‘Half-Life’ has won more than 50 Game of the Year awards from publications around the world, and was named ‘Best PC Game Ever’ in PC Gamer’s November 1999 issue.”

Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 2

Buy it here >>

27. “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim”

skyrim

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 8.5/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “The next chapter in the ‘Elder Scrolls’ saga arrives from the Bethesda Game Studios. Skyrim reimagines the open-world fantasy epic, bringing to life a complete virtual world open for you to explore any way you choose. Play any type of character you can imagine, and do whatever you want; the legendary freedom of choice, storytelling, and adventure of ‘The Elder Scrolls’ is realized like never before. Skyrim’s new game engine brings to life a complete virtual world with rolling clouds, rugged mountains, bustling cities, lush fields, and ancient dungeons. Choose from hundreds of weapons, spells, and abilities. The new character system allows you to play any way you want and define yourself through your actions. Battle ancient dragons like you’ve never seen. As Dragonborn, learn their secrets and harness their power for yourself.”

Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch

Buy it here >>

26. “The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess”

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD (Wii U)

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 9.1/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “In the next chapter in the ‘Legend of Zelda’ series, Link can transform into a wolf to scour the darkened land of Hyrule. With the help of Midna, a mysterious being, you must guide Link through hordes of foul creatures and challenging bosses using new moves and a new horseback combat system. Many puzzles stand between Link and the fulfillment of his quest, so you must sharpen your wits as you hunt for weapons and items.”

Platforms: GameCube, Wii

Buy it here >>

25. “Mass Effect 2”

Mass Effect 2

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 8.9/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “The ‘Mass Effect’ trilogy is a science fiction adventure set in a vast universe filled with dangerous alien life forms and mysterious uncharted planets. In this dark second chapter, Saren’s evil army of Geth soldiers has just been defeated, and humans, who are still struggling to make their mark on the galactic stage, are now faced with an even greater peril.”

Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC

Buy it here >>

24. “Tekken 3”

Tekken 3

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 9.1/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “An ancient evil force has reawakened, attacking in secret and feeding on the souls of mighty warriors. To lure it out of hiding will take the greatest fighting contest the world has ever seen…Tekken 3. Some are fighting for revenge, some for honor. Ultimately, all are fighting for their lives and the fate of all mankind.”

Platforms: PlayStation, Arcade

Buy it here >>

23. “Batman: Arkham City”

arkham city batman

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 8.7/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Developed by Rocksteady Studios, ‘Batman: Arkham City’ builds upon the intense, atmospheric foundation of ‘Batman: Arkham Asylum,’ sending players soaring into Arkham City, the new maximum security ‘home’ for all of Gotham City’s thugs, gangsters and insane criminal masterminds. Set inside the heavily fortified walls of a sprawling district in the heart of Gotham City, this highly anticipated sequel introduces a brand-new story that draws together a new all-star cast of classic characters and murderous villains from the Batman universe, as well as a vast range of new and enhanced gameplay features to deliver the ultimate experience as the Dark Knight.”

Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Mac, Wii U, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Buy it here >>

22. “The Orange Box”

"Portal"

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 9.2/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Games included in The Orange Box compilation: The original Half-Life 2 – The player again picks up the crowbar of research scientist Gordon Freeman, who finds himself on an alien-infested Earth being picked to the bone, its resources depleted, its populace dwindling. Freeman is thrust into the unenviable role of rescuing the world from the wrong he unleashed back at Black Mesa. And a lot of people – people he cares about – are counting on him. ‘Half-Life 2: Episode One’ – The player reprises his role of Dr. Freeman, who must immediately face the repercussions of his actions in City 17 and the Citadel. Freeman reconnects with Alyx Vance and her robot, Dog, as they continue their support of the resistance’s battle against the Combine forces. ‘Half-Life 2: Episode Two’ — the second installment in Valve’s episodic trilogy advances the award-winning story, leading the player to new locations outside of City 17. ‘Portal’ – a pioneering type of single player action game that rewrites the rules for how players approach and manipulate their environment – much like how Half-Life 2’s Gravity Gun reinvented the way gamers interact with objects in the game. ‘Team Fortress 2’ – an all-new version of the legendary title that spawned team based multiplayer action games. The game’s daring new art style features the most advanced graphics of any Source-based game released to date.”

Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Linux, Mac

Buy it here >>

21. “Resident Evil 4”

resident evil 4

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 9.4/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “In ‘Resident Evil 4’ players are reacquainted with Leon S. Kennedy, Raccoon City Police Department’s idealistic rookie cop from ‘Resident Evil 2.’ It has been six years since the destruction of Raccoon City and in that time, the U.S. government has been able to destroy the nefarious Umbrella Corporation. Fast forward to 2004 and players rejoin Leon, who is now a U.S. agent with a top-secret mission. He has been tasked to look into the abduction of the President’s daughter and his investigation has led him to a mysterious location in Europe. As Leon encounters unimaginable horrors, he must find out who or what is behind everything.”

Platforms: GameCube, PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows, Wii, Zeebo, iOS, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Android, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Buy it here >>

20. “Uncharted 2: Among Thieves”

uncharted 2 among thieves ps3 game

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 8.8/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Fortune hunter Nathan Drake returns in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, a third-person action-adventure/shooter created by award-winning developer Naughty Dog. Down on his luck, Drake is lured back into the treacherous world of thieves and mercenary treasure-seekers he had sought to leave behind. When a mysterious artifact propels Drake on an expedition to find the legendary Himalayan valley of Shambhala, he finds himself embroiled in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse against a fugitive war criminal who’s after more than just the fabled riches of the lost city. Caught in a web of deception and plunged into an increasingly deadly pursuit that tests the limits of his endurance, Drake will be forced to risk everything – but has his luck finally run out?”

Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4

Buy it here >>

19. “GoldenEye 007”

"GoldenEye 007"

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 9.1/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “You are Bond. James Bond. You are assigned covert operations connected with the GoldenEye weapons satellite. M will brief you on your mission and objectives from London. Q Branch will support your efforts with a plentiful supply of weapons and gadgets. Moneypenny offers you light-hearted best wishes and you’re off! Your mission begins in the heavily guarded chemical warfare facility at the Byelomorye Dam in the USSR. Look and shoot in any direction as you navigate 12 interactive 3-D environments. Use stealth and force as you see fit in matters of international security. Consider the military personnel expendable. You are licensed to kill!”

Platform: Nintendo 64

Buy it here >>

18. “BioShock”

bioshock

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 8.9/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Going beyond ‘run and gun corridors,’ ‘monster-closet AIs’ and static worlds, BioShock creates a living, unique and unpredictable FPS experience. After your plane crashes into icy uncharted waters, you discover a rusted bathysphere and descend into Rapture, a city hidden beneath the sea. Constructed as an idealistic society for a hand picked group of scientists, artists and industrialists, the idealism is no more. Now the city is littered with corpses, wildly powerful guardians roam the corridors as little girls loot the dead, and genetically mutated citizens ambush you at every turn. Take control of your world by hacking mechanical devices, commandeering security turrets and crafting unique items critical to your very survival. Upgrade your weapons with ionic gels, explosives and toxins to customize them to the enemy and environment. Genetically modify your body through dozens of Plasmid Stations scattered throughout the city, empowering you with fantastic and often grotesque abilities. Explore a living world powered by Ecological A.I., where the inhabitants have interesting and consequential relationships with one another that impact your gameplay experience. Experience truly next generation graphics that vividly illustrate the forlorn art deco city, highlighted by the most detailed and realistic water effects ever developed in a video game. Make meaningful choices and mature decisions, ultimately culminating in the grand question: do you exploit the innocent survivors of Rapture…or save them?”

Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Mac, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, iOS

Buy it here >>

17. “Half-Life 2”

Half-Life 2

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 9.2/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “By taking the suspense, challenge and visceral charge of the original, and adding startling new realism and responsiveness, ‘Half-Life 2’ opens the door to a world where the player’s presence affects everything around him, from the physical environment to the behaviors — even the emotions — of both friends and enemies. The player again picks up the crowbar of research scientist Gordon Freeman, who finds himself on an alien-infested Earth being picked to the bone, its resources depleted, its populace dwindling. Freeman is thrust into the unenviable role of rescuing the world from the wrong he unleashed back at Black Mesa. And a lot of people — people he cares about — are counting on him.”

Platforms: PC, Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Mac, Linux, Android

Buy it here >>

16. “NFL 2K1”

NFL 2K1

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 6.3/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “In the end, NFL 2K1 is a deeper, more refined version of the original game.”

Platform: Dreamcast

Buy it now >>

15. “Halo: Combat Evolved”

Halo: Combat Evolved

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 8.6/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Enter the mysterious world of Halo, an alien planet shaped like a ring. As mankind’s super soldier Master Chief, you must uncover the secrets of Halo and fend off the attacking Covenant. During your missions, you’ll battle on foot, in vehicles, inside, and outside with alien and human weaponry. Your objectives include attacking enemy outposts, raiding underground labs for advanced technology, rescuing fallen comrades, and sniping enemy forces. ‘Halo’ also lets you battle three other players via intense split screen combat or fight cooperatively with a friend through the single-player missions.”

Platforms: Xbox, PC, Mac, Xbox 360, Xbox One

Buy it here >>

14. “Super Mario Odyssey”

Super Mario Odyssey

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 9.0/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Mario embarks on a new journey through unknown worlds, running and jumping through huge 3D worlds in the first sandbox-style Mario game since ‘Super Mario 64’ and ‘Super Mario Sunshine.’ Set sail between expansive worlds aboard an airship, and perform all-new actions, such as throwing Mario’s cap.”

Platform: Switch

Buy it here >>

13. “Grand Theft Auto III”

Grand Theft Auto 3

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 8.5/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Players are put at the heart of their very own gangster movie, and let loose in a fully-realized 3 dimensional city with a cast of hundreds, 50 plus vehicles, ranging from sports cars to ice cream trucks and from boats to buses, 3 hours of music, including opera, reggae, house, drum and bass, pop and disco, and a huge array of street ready weapons.”

Platforms: PlayStation 2, PC, Xbox, Mac, Android, iOS, Fire OS

Buy it here >>

12. “Metroid Prime”

metroid prime

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 9.3/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Samus returns in a new mission to unravel the mystery behind the ruined walls scattered across Tallon IV. In Metroid Prime, you’ll play the role of this bounty hunter and view the world through her visor, which displays information ranging from current energy levels to ammunition. Equipped with a Power Beam and Gravity Suit, you must shoot locked switches, solve puzzles, and eliminate enemies. It’s up to you to explore the world and recover more power-ups and weapons, which gradually open more gameplay areas.”

Platforms: GameCube, Wii

Buy it here >>

11. “Perfect Dark”

Perfect Dark (N64)

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 9.0/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Step into the Dark… As Carrington Institute’s most promising new Agent, Joanna Dark must uncover the truth behind the dataDyne Corporation’s recent technological breakthroughs – breakthroughs which could have serious consequences for mankind.”

Platforms: Nintendo 64, Xbox 360, Xbox One

Buy it here >>

10. “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3”

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 7.4/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Challenge up to four friends in online competitions over a LAN or the Internet. Take them on in both Trick Attack and Graffiti modes.”

Platforms: PlayStation 2, PlayStation, Game Boy Color, GameCube, Xbox, Game Boy Advance, PC, Nintendo 64, Mac

Buy it here >>

9. “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild”

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 8.4/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Forget everything you know about The Legend of Zelda games. Step into a world of discovery, exploration and adventure in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, a boundary-breaking new game in the acclaimed series. Travel across fields, through forests and to mountain peaks as you discover what has become of the ruined kingdom of Hyrule in this open-air adventure. Explore the wilds of Hyrule any way you like.”

Platforms: Wii U, Switch

Buy it here >>

8. “Grand Theft Auto V”

grand theft auto v

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 7.8/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Los Santos: a sprawling sun-soaked metropolis full of self-help gurus, starlets and fading celebrities, once the envy of the Western world, now struggling to stay alive in a time of economic uncertainty and cheap reality TV. Amidst the turmoil, three very unique criminals plot their own chances of survival and success: Franklin, a street hustler looking for tangible opportunities and serious money; Michael, a professional ex-con whose retirement is less rosy than he figured it would be; and Trevor, a violent dude driven by the opportunity for a cheap high and his next big score. With options at a premium, the crew risks it all in a myriad of daring and dangerous heists that could set them up for life.”

Platforms: Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PC

Buy it here >>

7. “Red Dead Redemption 2”

Red Dead Redemption 2

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 7.7/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): ” Developed by the creators of ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ and ‘Red Dead Redemption,’ ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ is an epic tale of life in America’s unforgiving heartland. The game’s vast and atmospheric world also provides the foundation for a brand new online multiplayer experience. America, 1899. The end of the Wild West era has begun. After a robbery goes badly wrong in the western town of Blackwater, Arthur Morgan and the Van der Linde gang are forced to flee. With federal agents and the best bounty hunters in the nation massing on their heels, the gang has to rob, steal and fight their way across the rugged heartland of America in order to survive. As deepening internal fissures threaten to tear the gang apart, Arthur must make a choice between his own ideals and loyalty to the gang that raised him.”

Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4

Buy it here >>

6. “Super Mario Galaxy 2”

Super Mario Galaxy 2

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 9.1/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Super Mario Galaxy 2, the sequel to the galaxy-hopping original game, includes the gravity-defying, physics-based exploration from the first game, but is loaded with entirely new galaxies and features to challenge players. On some stages, Mario can pair up with his dinosaur buddy Yoshi and use his tongue to grab items and spit them back at enemies. Players can also have fun with new items such as a drill that lets our hero tunnel through solid rock.”

Platform: Wii

Buy it here >>

5. “Super Mario Galaxy”

Super Mario Galaxy

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 9.0/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “The ultimate Nintendo hero is taking the ultimate step … out into space. Join Mario as he ushers in a new era of video games, defying gravity across all the planets in the galaxy. When some creature escapes into space with Princess Peach, Mario gives chase, exploring bizarre planets all across the galaxy. Mario, Peach and enemies new and old are here. Players run, jump and battle enemies as they explore all the planets in the galaxy. Since this game makes full use of all the features of the Wii Remote, players have to do all kinds of things to succeed: pressing buttons, swinging the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk, and even pointing at and dragging things with the pointer. Since he’s in space, Mario can perform mind-bending jumps unlike anything he’s done before. He’ll also have a wealth of new moves that are all based around tilting, pointing and shaking the Wii Remote. Shake, tilt and point! Mario takes advantage of all the unique aspects of the Wii Remote and Nunchuk controller, unleashing new moves as players shake the controller and even point at and drag items with the pointer.”

Platform: Wii

Buy it here >>

4. “SoulCalibur”

SoulCalibur

Critic score: 98/100

User score: 8.6/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “This is a tale of souls and swords, transcending the world and all its history, told for all eternity… The greatest weapons-based fighter returns, this time on Sega Dreamcast. Soul Calibur unleashes incredible graphics, fantastic fighters, and combos so amazing they’ll make your head spin!”

Platforms: Dreamcast, iOS, Arcade, Xbox 360, Xbox One

Buy it here >>

3. “Grand Theft Auto IV”

Grand Theft Auto IV

Critic score: 98/100

User score: 7.5/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “What does the American Dream mean today? For Niko Belic, fresh off the boat from Europe. It’s the hope he can escape his past. For his cousin, Roman, it is the vision that together they can find fortune in Liberty City, gateway to the land of opportunity. As they slip into debt and are dragged into a criminal underworld by a series of shysters, thieves and sociopaths, they discover that the reality is very different from the dream in a city that worships money and status, and is heaven for those who have them an a living nightmare for those who don’t.”

Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC

Buy it here >>

2. “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2”

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2

Critic score: 98/100

User score: 7.4/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Hawk’s back – with new technology, new pros and new tricks! ‘THPS2,’ the legend rides on! Skate as legendary Tony Hawk or any one of 12 other pro skaters. Create your own custom skaters. Multiple play modes including 1-Player, Career and Free Skate modes, as well as 2-player modes such as Trick Attack, Graffiti Tag and Horse. Build your own custom skate parks with the real-time 3D park editor”

Platforms: PlayStation, PC, Game Boy Color, Dreamcast, Mac, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo 64, iOS, Xbox

Buy it here >>

1. “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time”

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Critic score: 99/100

User score: 9.2/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “As a young boy, Link is tricked by Ganondorf, the King of the Gerudo Thieves. The evil human uses Link to gain access to the Sacred Realm, where he places his tainted hands on Triforce and transforms the beautiful Hyrulean landscape into a barren wasteland. Link is determined to fix the problems he helped to create, so with the help of Rauru he travels through time gathering the powers of the Seven Sages.”

Platforms: Nintendo 64, Nintendo DS, Virtual Console (various platforms)

Buy it here >>

Read the original article on Business Insider

Here are 5 things you can do at the newly opened Super Nintendo World theme park, from Mario Kart racing to riding Yoshi

Super Nintendo
The theme park is located in Universal Studios Japan in Osaka.

  • Super Nintendo World recently opened at Universal Studios in Osaka, Japan.
  • The opening comes after eight months of delays due to the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Insider rounded up five things visitors can do at the theme park.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Super Nintendo World theme park recently opened at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka, after months of delays.

The park was originally meant to open last summer ahead of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo but this timeline was disrupted by the pandemic. It then set an opening date of February but this also got postponed after Osaka declared a state of emergency because of high rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations.

In the days since opening, visitors have been immersing themselves in the park’s many attractions while wearing red Mario hats and other Nintendo-themed outfits, CNN reported. The pent-up excitement of visitors was the latest sign of people itching to get back to normality and enjoy fun days out, as mass vaccine rollouts continue around the world.

Visits will not be a totally carefree experience, though, as there are many safety protocols in place at the park. These include mandatory masks, temperature checks, social-distancing measures, signs requesting riders to refrain from shrieking, and readily available hand sanitizer.

Read on for five things you can do at Super Nintendo World

1. Compete in a Mario Kart race

Racing around a Mario Kart circuit is probably one of the most high-profile activities. Using AR headsets, visitors can experience a five-minute race. They can also see projections of other characters and collect virtual coins.

2. Ride Yoshi

Visitors can hop onto a Yoshi-themed ride as they search for Captain Toad during a treasure hunt. Its leisurely pace is good for children and families looking to kick back and enjoy the weird and wonderful scenery.

3. Purchase a Power-Up Band

Power-Up Bands are wristbands that tally scores, coins, and digital stamps. The devices can also be synced with a smartphone device.

4. Punch giant question blocks

The recreation of question and note blocks from the Mario franchise is likely to satisfy diehard fans. Visitors can jump and punch the blocks until their heart’s content.

5. Chow down on gaming-based snacks

Among the quirky eateries are Kinopio’s Cafe, Pit Stop Popcorn, and Yoshi’s Snack Island. The food items are just as zany as you might imagine, and include such delicacies as mushroom-flavoured popcorn, tiramisu question blocks, and koopa shell-shaped calzones.

The launch of the park comes after a slump in the theme park industry. Though Super Nintendo World is only open to those living in Japan, Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of the Mario franchise, said he hopes the whole world will come and visit it when the pandemic is over, The New York Times reported.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Get used to playing 2020’s biggest video games: The pandemic is devastating this year’s lineup

Gran Turismo 7
Upcoming PlayStation 5 game “Gran Turismo 7” is among the group of games that have already been delayed out of 2021.

  • In 2020, the video game industry enjoyed explosive profits with more people than ever stuck indoors.
  • In 2021, the game release calendar is slimmer than ever and several major games are being delayed.
  • For many of these games, the difficulty of development during a pandemic is the cause of the delay.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

When the COVID-19 pandemic caused millions of Americans to shelter in place starting in early March 2020, “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” was just days away from launch.

The combination of the game’s charming atmosphere, its busywork, and a sudden infusion of free time for millions of people turned “Animal Crossing” into one of Nintendo’s biggest hits in years.

It was one of several games that had especially strong sales in 2020 – the benefit of accidentally lining up launch with a totally unexpected global pandemic. But with 2020 rapidly fading into the past, the other impact of the pandemic on the video game industry is starting to emerge: Several of this year’s biggest games have already been delayed to 2022 due to development struggles related to the pandemic.

The developers of a marquee PlayStation 5 game, “Gran Turismo 7,” directly cited the impact of the pandemic for their delay.

Gran Turismo 7

Making the game was, “impacted by COVID-related production challenges,” Sony told GQ in late February. The game’s launch was moved from 2021 into 2022.

“With the ongoing pandemic, it’s a dynamic and changing situation and some critical aspects of game production have been slowed over the past several months,” the statement said.

For a game series like “Gran Turismo,” which intends to simulate real-life racing, pandemic-related development challenges abound: There is no way to capture the sound of an engine, or to model a real-life car, or to track a race, without being there in person.

But even without the added complications of creating a racing video game, several other major video games have been pushed out of the 2021 launch window into next year.

Hogwart's Legacy
“Hogwarts Legacy” takes place in the 1800s.

A long-in-development game based on the “Harry Potter” book franchise was scheduled to launch in 2021: “Hogwarts Legacy” will have players creating their own wizard and progressing through a unique story set long before the events of the books.

Though the game has been cooking for at least the last three years, WB Games announced a delay to 2022 back in early January.

“Creating the best possible experience for all of the Wizarding World and gaming fans is paramount to us so we are giving the game the time it needs,” a statement published on Twitter said.

It’s one of two major games from Warner Bros. that have been pushed back into next year.

Gotham Knights

“Gotham Knights,” a Batman spinoff game, was also just recently delayed into next year.

Instead of playing as the Dark Knight, players control Nightwing, Batgirl, Robin, and Red Hood in a Gotham City that has no Batman. Players will have to wait until at least 2022 to give it a shot.

“We are giving the game more time to deliver the best possible experience for players,” the statement said.

Notably, it’s still March – there’s a lot of 2021 left, which means these games likely have a long way to go before they’re ready for publishing. That’s especially notable right now, in early 2021, when new owners of new consoles from Xbox and PlayStation are desperately in need of new games to play.

This isn’t a surprise problem: Xbox leader Phil Spencer even warned about the impacts of the pandemic on 2021’s game lineup in an interview with Insider back in May 2020, as did Nintendo leadership in a May 2020 investor call. Though all three major console makers have a handful of major games on the horizon, 2021’s game release calendar for each is looking slim.

When Nintendo laid out its plans for the first half of the year in a recent video presentation, fans largely balked: Aside from a new “Mario Golf” game, there are next-to-no heavy hitters scheduled for launch on the Switch in the first six months of 2021.

As coronavirus vaccines are distributed worldwide, and work on video games returns to some semblance of pre-pandemic normalcy, the cadence of game launches will assuredly return.

For now, though, 2021 is looking light on major games – and the pandemic is largely to blame.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

Read the original article on Business Insider