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What are the best fighting games to play in 2023 and beyond? Following a number of bombshell releases and E3 announcements, the FGC (fighting game community) is looking to thrive more than ever in a post-2024 world. Whether you’re brand new or have been a part of the FGC for some time, we wrote this guide to help you choose a great fighting game to invest your time into.

You can skip straight down to our picks if you like, but if you’re new, I recommend reading the sections below first.

How Roster Size Can Impact Your Experience

Roster size is a big deal, especially in our modern era of fighting games.

Some players only want to see rosters expand with new characters and new opportunities as time goes on. But if you’re a newcomer or looking to compete at a high level, a large roster can seem rather daunting, especially if it’s the kind of game where knowledge of specific character matchups is of high importance.

I’ll clarify my thoughts on each game’s roster in its individual section, but roster size before and after DLC is one of the main data points I have listed for every game here.

Why Rollback Netcode Matters

Disclaimer’s first: not all rollback netcode is made equal. It is a sight better than the alternative, though, which is delay-based netcode. If a game has well-functioning rollback netcode, you may still experience occasional issues with connectivity, but you shouldn’t need to worry about severe slowdown or lost inputs in the majority of situations.

In our era of social distancing, a game offering good rollback netcode is a great way to ensure players and communities can continue enjoying their games without taking the risks associated with in-person events.

As long as you’re practicing the proper safety measures, though, I can’t recommend going to a local fighting game event enough! These events are where you’ll meet your strongest rivals and have the most potential to improve.

Do You Need an Arcade Stick?

The short answer is no, you can use whatever you like. People can win with just about anything if it suits them well enough.

Additionally, on a controller, you’ll be managing all of your face buttons with at best your thumb and your pointer finger. Many fighting games require you to push two to four attack buttons at once, and that’s much easier to do when you have five fingers to push eight buttons instead of just your thumb for four.

Our Picks of the Best Fighting Games: 1. Street Fighter V

Platforms Supported: PC, PS4 consoles, PS5 consoles

Crossplay Support: Yes

Rollback Netcode Support: Yes

Roster Size without DLC: 16, 40 (Champ Edition: PC/PS)

Roster Size with DLC-to-Date: 46 (Season 5)

Street Fighter V is an obvious pick for a best fighting game list. Street Fighter is the definitive fighting game series, and without it, chances are the rest of the games on this list simply would not exist. If they did, they’d be unrecognizable.

Street Fighter V largely sticks to traditional 2D fighter design, as you would expect from a Street Fighter game. This means quarter-circle inputs, meters that can be partially or fully burned to unleash special moves, and a strong combo game. With a roster of this size and variety, you’re sure to never run out of things to learn and improve upon.

That being said, Street Fighter V can be pretty punishing, especially if you’re new to fighters of its ilk. Fortunately, the in-game training mode is decently in-depth, and the resources available online will teach you anything they don’t. As long as you’re patient and willing to put in the practice, Street Fighter V will show you an amazing time.

2. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Platforms Supported: Nintendo Switch

Crossplay Support: No

Rollback Netcode Support: No

Roster Size without DLC: 69

Roster Size with Announced DLC-to-Date: 82 (Fighter’s Pass 2)

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is about as accessible as it gets for a fighting game. You only have two attack buttons and don’t have to do any kind of complicated motions for your special attacks.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is also the biggest crossover fighting game of all time. Out of the box, two Street Fighter characters are present. Later DLCs add more characters from more fighting games, including Terry Bogard from King of Fighters/Fatal Fury and Kazuya Mishima from Tekken. Even traditional fighting fans have characters to play here who can reflect their time spent learning those other games!

Despite the expansive roster of characters, the simplicity and accessibility of Smash Bros. doesn’t make this as much of an obstacle to newer players as it may look. You don’t need to study every conceivable matchup to be good at this game – focusing on fundamentals and perfecting the characters you actually play is all you really need.

As great as Smash Bros. Ultimate is, though, I do have to mention that its netcode is bad, even by non-rollback standards. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is best played locally. Ensuring both players have Ethernet can help alleviate some of the online issues though.

3. Guilty Gear Strive

Platforms Supported: PC, PS4 consoles, PS5 consoles

Crossplay Support: No

Rollback Netcode Support: Yes

Roster Size without DLC: 15

Roster Size with DLC-to-Date: 20 (Season 1)

Guilty Gear Strive is the most recently released game on this list, and at the time of writing, the most-played fighting game on Steam.

First and foremost, the visuals are gorgeous. The game looks like a super well-animated anime come to life, and you may not even believe that the visuals you’re looking at are actually 3D graphics. Its system requirements are fairly low, and it will run well on any reasonably modern CPU and GPU.

Secondly, this game is easy for newcomers to get into. A lot of changes and cuts have been made from previous entries to turn this into a streamlined jumping-on point for new fans. An exhaustive tutorial and mission mode will walk you through absolutely everything you need to know about the game, including specific character matchup tips. Most characters have no more than about 20 unique moves, and the roster is small enough that you’re unlikely to get overwhelmed as you keep playing and learning.

Despite the small roster, every character plays completely differently. There’s a ton of variety here, and there’s bound to be at least one character who suits your style. Strive is also lauded for having among the best (if not THE best) rollback netcode on the market, which means you’ll have the best possible online experience with this game.

4. Tekken 7

Tekken 7 is a curious case. This is one of the most punishing fighting games you can play, especially if you aren’t used to 3D fighters. Tekken 7 alleviates this by including 2D fighting game characters with their inputs intact, and they’re good!

This isn’t a game where just picking a good character is enough. You have to be fairly skilled with them to succeed. Each individual character in Tekken can have 100 or more moves in their movelist and at least a few 10-hit combo strings. Add that to a large roster, and it becomes a lot to keep track of.

As punishing as Tekken can be, there are many design elements in Tekken 7 that alleviate this. For instance, every character gets a special Rage Art when near KO that can be used to steal victory from an overly confident enemy. You can also use assist shortcuts for certain powerful moves.

Compared to Street Fighter, you actually have two fewer attack buttons to worry about. What you have to do is watch, learn, and adapt in real-time to how your enemy is playing, which is really just a fundamental fighting game skill.

Netcode-wise, Tekken 7 is pretty good. While it uses rollback, it uses a far inferior form of rollback when compared to other implementations. This is understandable, though, because a 3D fighter would naturally have many more real-time calculations to keep track of than a 2D fighter.

5. Mortal Kombat 11

Mortal Kombat 11 is a 2D fighter with great rollback netcode, an exhaustive set of tutorials, and amazingly realistic graphics. Mortal Kombat is built around rapid, brutal combat culminating in gruesome fatalities and other special moves. The amazingly realistic graphics may be offputting if you’re squeamish to scenes of blood and gore in your media.

Despite the harsh aesthetics, MK11 is a surprisingly beginner-friendly game, especially with its tutorials. It also has hours upon hours of single-player story content (more if you buy the DLC), considered by many to be the best offered in fighting games. Inputs still share some similarities with Street Fighter but are largely simplified to work better on a D-Pad – all commands use four directions, and no diagonal inputs are in sight.

This game won’t hold your hand, but it won’t leave you to fend for yourself in the woods either. If you’re looking for a chunky-but-satisfying fighting game, it’s hard to beat Mortal Kombat 11.

6. Soul Calibur VI

Soul Calibur VI is one of the more unusual picks we’ve placed here, but we stand by it. Like Tekken, Soul Calibur is a 3D fighting series, but unlike Tekken, the focus is on melee combat with various weapons. If you’ve been looking for a fighting game with swordplay and fancy circle-strafing, Soul Calibur is probably what you’re looking for.

In addition to excellent weapon-based combat, Soul Calibur VI also has a super in-depth character creation tool that can be used to make all manner of art and abomination. For the wider gaming community that isn’t dedicated to Soul Cal full time, its character creation tends to be the main draw.

Unfortunately, the game doesn’t have rollback netcode. My experiences playing it online have been generally fine, but playing overseas or at other very long distances is definitely not recommended with netcode like this.

7. Skullgirls 2nd Encore

Platforms Supported: PC, PS4 consoles, PS5 consoles, PS Vita; Xbox release announced years ago but has yet to happen

Crossplay Support: No (unless between PS consoles)

Rollback Netcode Support: Yes

Roster Size without DLC: 14

Roster Size with Announced DLC-to-Date: 18 (Season 1)

Skullgirls 2nd Encore is a traditional 2D fighter with a unique hand-drawn aesthetic. As the name might imply, the roster is largely dominated with a variety of female characters, ranging from nurses to zombies to demon nuns. In addition to a unique artstyle and an extremely diverse roster, you also have superb rollback netcode to wrap a nice bow on the experience.

While Skullgirls isn’t as popular as the entries we’ve listed above, it’s kept a dedicated following over the years. That “2nd Encore” in the title is actually the result of a crowdfunding campaign that revived the game from a long period of dormancy. Now that 2nd Encore is on, support has officially restarted with Season 1, which at the time of writing is slated to introduce four more characters to the roster over the next two years.

8. Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid

Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid is the only fighting game out right now that supports both rollback netcode and full cross-platform support. As long as you and your friend both have this game, you can play it online together (regardless of the platform) and have an amazing experience, and that by itself is an astounding achievement.

There are no complicated motion inputs to worry about remembering here. Plus, if you’re a Power Rangers fan, you’ll see a lot of deep cuts from the various versions of Power Rangers released over the years.

This is a tag team fighting game, so you aren’t controling just one character. You cycle between controlling one to three characters during each match, with one player cycling between their characters as they lose health or are KO’d until one of the players has no characters left.

This is our main tag-team fighting game recommendation due to the full cross-platform support and excellent netcode, but there are a few others worth checking out! Marvel vs Capcom 3 and Dragon Ball FighterZ both provide excellent tag battle gameplay, though they won’t have either the beginner-friendliness or superb netcode of Battle for the Grid.

9. Killer Instinct

Platforms Supported: PC (F2P Version MS Store Exclusive), Xbox One consoles, Xbox Series consoles

Crossplay Support: Yes

Rollback Netcode Support: Yes

Roster Size without DLC: Depends (F2P Rotates Playable Chars)

Roster Size with Announced DLC-to-Date: 29

Killer Instinct is a 2D fighting game with a free-flowing combo system. It’s easy to rack up pretty insane combos with basic button combinations once you figure out how Killer Instinct works, but the big twist of that system is the combo breaker system. Basically, if you press the same button your enemy is pressing while they’re comboing you, you can break out of it. This is different from most fighting games, where getting combo’d pretty much means you put down the controller until they’re done.

The Free-to-Play business model does leave some things to be desired, but most of the time, it’s fine. If you just pay the asking price for the game (or get Game Pass), you can get all 29 characters and not have to worry about who’s on the rotation this week.

Beside being Free to Play, the game also has crossplay between PC and Xbox consoles. As long as you and your friends have a PC or Xbox, both of you could start playing it together without spending a penny.

Parting Words

I tried to look at all the big fighting games on the market and really narrow down the best picks. Ultimately, I can’t tell you which game or even which character in that game is best for you, but part of the fun of fighting games is learning that stuff about yourself.

Meanwhile, check out the best gaming console in 2023 and whether a gaming laptop is worth buying.

Image Credit: unmatched value on WikiMedia Commons

Christopher Harper

I’m a longtime gamer, computer nerd, and general tech enthusiast.

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Best Way To Play The Legend Of Zelda Games In Order

From an outside perspective, every Legend of Zelda game seems to have a completely different story, with only a few constants, such as the appearance of Link and Zelda in every game. 

However, each game is connected through the background lore, and there is a true order you can play the games that follows the storyline of the games. This is different from the order of release.

Table of Contents

This article will outline where the canonically correct order came from, as well as how to play the games in this way. 

The True Order of the Legend of Zelda Games

In 2011, Nintendo released the Hyrule Historia book, which detailed the master timeline of all the Legend of Zelda games. In this timeline, Link and Zelda are essentially reincarnated for hundreds of years into each of the game’s storylines. 

The timeline begins with the backstory of the three Golden Goddesses, who, after bringing order to the world of Hyrule, created the Triforce (another recurring motif in the games) that can grant its holder their heart’s desire. They entrusted the protection of the Triforce to the goddess Hylia. 

Eventually, a demon king called Demise rose to power against Hyrule. Hylia took the remaining humans of the world and brought them to a land in the sky, called Skyloft. She also hid the Triforce there. 

After sealing away Demise, Hylia created the Goddess Sword and the spirit Fi to bring a chosen hero to it as a precaution for when the demon king’s seal broke. Then, in order to continue to protect the Triforce, she transferred her soul into a human, who would be Zelda. 

After these events is when the first game in this timeline begins. 

Skyward Sword

This game is the very beginning and starts when Link is led by Fi to draw the Goddess Sword. Zelda also regains her memories as the goddess Hylia. Link seeks out the Special Flames in order to temper his sword into the Master Sword, which he eventually uses to travel to the past through the Gates of Time to take down Demise. 

The Minish Cap

As word about the Triforce gets out, many groups and individuals begin to seek it out. However, beings known as the Picori came from the sky to protect Hyrule from evil beings. They used the Picori Blade to do so and the evil was sealed away in the Bound Chest.

In this game, a corrupted Picori known as Vaati takes the Picori Blade and opens the Bound Chest again, unleashing the evil, breaking the blade, and turning Zelda to stone. Link, reincarnated as a blacksmith in the game, is enlisted by the king of Hyrule to reforge the Picori Blade and break the curse on Zelda. 

Four Swords

Vaati reappears in this game, kidnapping Zelda and keeping her in the Palace of Winds. Link then draws the Four Swords, splitting him into four separate Links. They gather keys throughout the land to enter the palace and save Zelda. 

Ocarina of Time 

Ganondorf appears in this game, attempting to obtain the Triforce. In order to do this, he curses the Deku Tree of Kokiri Forest in an attempt to gain the Kokiri’s Emerald. As he is dying, the Deku Tree sends out Link and the fairy Navi to stop Ganondorf. 

Link eventually meets Zelda, and the two decide to travel through the Door of Time to get to the Triforce before Ganon. Link draws the Master Sword from the Pedestal of Time, but is trapped for seven years, to reawaken as the Hero of Time. During those years, Ganondorf brought the land of Hyrule into darkness. However, he was only able to obtain one portion of the Triforce. 

Link and Zelda obtain the other two pieces and are able to eventually seal Ganondorf away in the Evil Realm.

Timeline Split

During the events of Ocarina of Time, the timeline is split three different ways. The first is the Fallen Hero timeline when Link is defeated by Ganon. The other two take place where Link does defeat Ganon, yet are split further into Child and Adult timelines, due to Zelda sending Link back in time to his childhood during Ocarina of Time. 

The Hero Is Defeated

In this timeline, Ganondorf obtains the entire Triforce and defeats Link. However, Zelda and the Seven Sages are able to seal Ganondorf into the Sacred Realm for a short time. 

A Link to the Past

He puts Zelda in a cell, where she calls out to Link telepathically. He rescues her and brings her to a sanctuary to keep her safe. However, Agahnim eventually finds her and kidnaps her. Link, now with the Master Sword, finds Agahnim, who turns into Ganon, and defeats him. 

Link’s Awakening

Link now decides to train in order to be ready for future troubles. However, during a journey on a boat, he runs into a storm and gets stuck on an island. He meets Marin here, who resembles Zelda. 

Link discovers that in order to leave the island he must wake the Wind Fish, who upon waking would cause the island to disappear as though it were just the Wind Fish’s own dream. Link eventually does so and wakes up on a piece of driftwood of his old ship. 

Oracle of Seasons & Oracle of Ages

When Link one day touches the Triforce in Hyrule Castle, it sends him to the land of Holodrum. Meanwhile, two witches named Twinrova plot to revive Ganon once more using three special flames and a human sacrifice. 

A Link Between Worlds

A dark wizard named Yuga turns the Seven Sages into paintings and steals them, as well as kidnapping Zelda. He is able to resurrect some of Ganon’s power and uses it to fight against Link. However, Link is able to defeat him. 

The Legend of Zelda

Zelda sends Impa to find someone to defeat Ganon. However, Ganon captures Zelda and sends others to find Impa. Link is eventually discovered by Impa and is sent on a quest to find the eight pieces of the Triforce. He uses this to then defeat Ganon.

Adventure of Link

Ganon’s henchmen continue to cause issues within Hyrule. Link is brought by Impa to North Castle, where Princess Zelda lays in a cursed sleep. Link is sent to find the final piece of the Triforce in the Great Palace in order to wake Zelda.

The Hero Is Successful: Child Era

This part of the timeline split takes place after Ocarina of Time, when Link is sent by Zelda back to childhood at the end of the game. Link leaves Hyrule at this point to search for his fairy, Navi.

Majora’s Mask

During Link’s search, he becomes lost in a forest. He meets Skull Kid, who wears the Majora’s Mask. Skull Kid steals Link’s horse and he chases him into the world of Termina. 

Skull Kid plans to destroy Termina with the moon above it, and Link has three days to save the land from this fate. He succeeds by defeating the demon inside the Majora’s Mask, and leaves Termina to continue to look for Navi.

Twilight Princess

In this game, The Seven Sages have sent Ganondorf to the Twilight Realm. In this realm, he partners with one of the royal servants of the Twili family, Zant,  to take the throne from Princess Midna. Midna finds Link in Hyrule and together they go back to the Twilight, which transforms Link into a wolf form. 

Together, Midna and Link defeat Zant, and Link defeats Ganon with the Master Sword. Midna returns to the Twilight Realm and breaks the link between the worlds. 

Four Swords + Hyrule Adventure

Long after Ganon’s death, Hyrule and the Gerudo tribe have made amends. However, a reincarnation of Ganon was born in the tribe. He plotted to release the ancient evil Vaati from the Four Sword, and created an alter ego of Link called Shadow Link. 

Before Zelda could renew the seal on Vaati, Shadow Link released him. The actual Link took the Four Sword and split into four Links, journeying through Hyrule and eventually defeating Vaati and Ganon, and sealing him in the Four Sword. 

The Hero Is Successful: Adult Era

This timeline takes place after Ocarina of Time, after Link disappears from Hyrule once Ganon is defeated. 

The Wind Waker

Hyrule was submerged in water by the gods in order to seal it and to seal Ganon with it. They moved inhabitants to the mountains, which became islands when Hyrule was flooded. Part of the Triforce, the Triforce of Wisdom, was split in two and given to Hyrule’s king as well as his daughter Zelda. 

In the events of Wind Waker, Link meets the pirate Tetra, and finds the Master Sword. He attempts to defeat Ganondorf, but fails. He brings the sword to Hyrule’s king, who fixes it. Link and Tetra then go to defeat Ganondorf again. All the pieces of the Triforce come together, but before Ganon can use it, the king steps in to wish for Hyrule to be flooded forever. 

Phantom Hourglass

As Link and Tetra set out to explore the land, Tetra is lured onto the Ghost Ship and taken away. Link tries to save her, but becomes lost in the ocean and ends up on Mercay Island, where he meets the fairy Ciela. 

Link and Ciela eventually find the Ghost Ship, but find that Tetra has been turned to stone by the demon Bellum. Link journeys to forge the Phantom Sword, and then uses it to defeat Bellum and save Tetra. Link and Tetra continue their journey to find a new land. 

Spirit Tracks

Eventually, Link and Tetra discover a land covered in Spirit Tracks, put there by the Lokomo to seal the demon Malladus. Tetra deemed this land as the new Hyrule. 

After a hundred years, these Spirit Tracks begin to disappear. Link, in this reincarnation now a Royal Engineer, and Zelda, the descendant of Tetra, travel together to restore the Spirit Tracks. 

Calamity Era

Thousands of years after the events of these games, and 10,000 years before Breath of the Wild, the Sheikah Tribe worked to prevent Ganon’s next resurrection. 

Thousands of years later, another Princess Zelda was born, and she and Link went to stop Calamity Ganon once more. However, Link was injured greatly while trying to help Zelda and had to sleep for 100 years in the Shrine of Resurrection. 

Zelda went to stop Calamity Ganon on her own, but in order to do so she had to seal herself with Ganon as well, as she couldn’t fully seal him away without the Master Sword, which only Link can use. 

Breath of the Wild

After a hundred years had passed, Zelda’s seal had weakened, but Link was ready to awaken again. Using the Shiekah Slate left by Zelda, Link was able to find the Master Sword, free the Divine Beasts, and injure Calamity Ganon with the sword so that Zelda could finally seal him away fully. 

What Order Should You Play Legend of Zelda Games?

The order listed above is best in order for the overarching story behind the games to make the most sense. However, playing them in order of release can be a good way to go, too. 

If you play the games in the official order, you might wonder what to do when the timeline split occurs. In that case, you can play either path first, just make sure that when you’re playing through the Hero is Successful path that you play the child era, then the adult era. 

8 Best Kingdom Hearts Games You Can Play 2023

See, the saga’s story and quality fluctuate between titles. Nevertheless, the saga, as a whole, is incredibly popular both as a cult and mainstream experience.

Then again, the series is sporadic, and it’s hard to follow the story. It’s also full of confusing and bombastic names.

We want to clarify your doubts and tell you which available installments are worth your time and money. Afterward, we’re putting the series and bundles in order. Overall, it’s a definitive guide on what Kingdom Hearts games to play and in what order.

Selecting The Best Kingdom Hearts Games

Kingdom Hearts is a long-running franchise, and it includes main entries, re-launches, expansions, remasters, remakes, and spin-offs. That’s why it’s hard to follow. Moreover, some side games still pack important bits of the story.

Still, Kingdom Hearts has a special spot in the industry. The franchise made a name for itself by combining various things that no one thought to combine before:

Final Fantasy, Disney, and original characters traveling together in fantastical stories. Even Goofy and Donald become playable badass heroes.

Disney scenarios and magical settings intertwined with riveting stories about pushing the darkness away.

Hardcore RPG elements are akin to the Final Fantasy series. Each game features various character progression and skill mechanics to spice it up.

Fast-paced real-time combat combines melee weapons, magic, ranged skills, and swords. It blends action-RPG, hack & slash, and aerial combat.

Keyblades, as a signature element for the saga. These are giant blades but also keys that open the “hearts” of entire realms.

Family-friendly themes with plenty of friendship and hearts. 

Lengthy and difficult boss battles. The series is surprisingly challenging and includes Final Fantasy and Disney villains to top it all off.

These elements come together and deliver a wacky and extremely fun juice; fans love it. And after 20 years of beloved original and Disney characters, the franchise gathers a loyal gaming community.

You may be part of this community, you might be a casual fan, or you might be looking to enter. In any case, we’re choosing the Kingdom Hearts games with the best critical and user scores.

Moreover, the titles we pick must be available to play today. As a result, rather than counting older titles like the original release, we’re finding the best alternatives for modern consoles.

You can find these games on Windows (Epic Games & Microsoft Store), Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Nintendo 3DS devices. We’re not counting mobile games, though, as they feel completely different the console entires.

So, let us help you navigate through the convoluted series catalog. We’re listing main titles, remasters, “remixes,” re-launches, and similar, as long as they are the best and currently available.

At the end of the article, you’ll see more information about the saga. That includes release date order, timeline order, and bundle information.

Best Kingdom Hearts Games Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix

Developer: Square Enix

Publisher: Square Enix, Disney

Release Date: March 2023

Platform: PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch (Cloud only) 

The title includes a remastered version of the first six main Kingdom Hearts games. All of these titles are highly rated among fans and critics. In fact, Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts I, alongside its re-launch versions, are at the top of the charts. 

However, the gameplay mechanics and the graphics look outdated; after all, the original game debuted in 2002, and it hasn’t aged all that well. Still, the bundle brings the saga’s original experiences to modern consoles.

You play as Sora, a teenage hero saving the Destiny Islands. As Sora, you go through a series of 3D linear areas to defeat enemies and help NPCs with smaller quests on semi-open hubs. Lastly, the plot is about defeating darkness and pushing it out of the hearts.

Kingdom Hearts III

Developer: Square Enix

Publisher: Square Enix, Disney

Release Date: January 2023

Platform: Xbox One, Xbox Series, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Windows 

The game follows Sora, once again, traveling alongside Goofy and Donald. They travel through linear worlds coming from classic Disney Worlds. There’s even a Toy Story world, which represented Pixar’s debut in the franchise.

The gameplay is similar to before. There’s 3D hack & slash combat with character progression similar to the first game. As a new addition, you can travel with a party of five characters, which means two extra heroes apart from the main trio.

Kingdom Hearts III + Re Mind

Developer: Square Enix

Publisher: Square Enix, Disney

Release Date: January 2023

Platform: Xbox One, Xbox Series, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Windows 

Re-Mind needs the base game to work, as it’s an expansion. So, the gameplay is exactly the same as the main title. That said, The content brings three scenarios: “Re Mind,” “Limitcut Episode,” and “Secret Episode.” You unlock these sequentially as you clear the levels and progress the game.

Overall, the DLC stands out because it has some of the hardest boss fights in the saga. However, if you’re one of the fans that believe KDIII has a confusing ending, Re-Mind won’t probably clear your doubts. Rather, it will give you more of that sweat Keyblade / magic action. 

Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days

Developer: h.a.n.d, Square Enix

Publisher: Square Enix, Disney

Release Date: May 2009

Platform: Nintendo DS, Nintendo Switch 

358/2 Days (“Three-Five-Eight Days Over Two) is one of the best entries in the action-RPG saga. The title you can play currently is available for Nintendo Switch, but it’s not a remaster. It’s just as it is and as it was. 

The story follows Roxas, a member of the evil Organization XIII. He has two companions and friends, Axel and Xion. Together, the trio delivers a different experience compared to the other games. 

The story happens in-between Kingdom Hearts I and II. It’s a revealing prologue episode depicting the side of the antagonists. As before, it blends action-RPG and hack & slash combat, and it does so while delivering a set of new skills and magic. 

Lastly, the game introduces a mechanic that allows you to customize your character’s abilities, equipment, items, and mechanics. These are “Panels,” and panels can enable or lock you out of magic and abilities. There’re other RPG elements like this one, which delivers welcome character customization. 

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue

Developer: Square Enix

Publisher: Square Enix, Disney

Release Date: January 2023

Platform: Xbox One, Xbox Series, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch (Cloud only), Windows 

Dream Drop Distance comes with enhanced visuals, music, elements, design, characters, and scenes. The original installment came out for Nintendo 3DS, and the bundle delivers a newer version for home consoles.

Here, you play as Sora and Riku, trapped in a dream. The setting takes you to old and new magical worlds, and the quest is about defeating Dream Eaters to escape. 

Kingdom Hearts: Re:coded

Developer: h.a.n.d, Square Enix

Publisher: Square Enix, Disney

Release Date: October 2010

Platform: Nintendo DS, Nintendo Switch 

Re: coded is a remake of one of the less known games in the saga, “coded.” We recommend it because it’s easy to pick up, extremely fun, cheap, and not too short.

The gameplay also looks outdated, and the stand-alone version available for Nintendo Switch is not a remaster. It brings the game as is, but luckily, the original game had plenty of charm to sustain it on modern screens.

In particular, the character progression system is deep and greatly different. You play as Sora, traveling alongside Goofy, Donald, King Mickey, and Jimmy Cricket.

The story follows the events of Kingdom Hearts II, and the setting is a virtual world, a digital diary. Here, you go through levels to defeat bugs and glitches. Combat relies on the “Deck Command,” which allows you to “code” attacks you can execute in battle.

Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory

Developer: Square Enix

Publisher: Square Enix, Disney

Release Date: November 2023

Platform: Xbox One, Xbox Series, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Windows 

Melody of Memory is a rhythm game, perfect for saga fans. Even though it’s a spin-off, it packs story beats you could enjoy. If you’re a newcomer, you can enjoy it for what it is and forget about the story.

The gameplay follows saga characters running in straight lines. Each one is one lane, and each lane represents an instrument string. The characters move automatically, and you must slash enemies and obstacles in rhythm.

You can play it alone, or you can play it in co-op with another person (locally or online). In co-op, the gameplay is the same. For example, failing still drains your health, and both can work to level up the HP bar, attacks, skills, and ranged skills. All of this happens while following musical and visual cues. 

Outside the levels, you can travel a “constellation” of levels you see with a 2D overhead screen. You use a small ship to travel and pick the world, and settings include Disney and Disney Pixar games. As you complete levels, you’ll unlock items like apparel and cutscenes. 

Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece

Developer: Square Enix

Publisher: Square Enix. Disney

Release Date: February 2023 

Platform: Nintendo Switch (Cloud only), PS4 (Japanese only) 

Our last recommendation equals saying, “just play everything.” It’s inevitable, though. The original entries are not available as individual games. You won’t even find them as retro-compatible experiences.

The Integrum Masterpieceincludes, as we said, everything. You can check the charts below, but overall, Masterpiece is the entire main story.

That means the staggering amount of 10 games plus a prequel movie. It allows you to explore the entire universe and open your way across the different realms with Sora, Goofy, and Donald. It means fighting against the darkness in dozens of Disney and Disney Pixar worlds. 

Lastly, the title is available through Nintendo’s cloud streaming service only. You need a stable connection to play it, but not a subscription service. It’s also available for PS4, but the version is in Japanese. 

Kingdom Hearts Games In Order Of Release Date

Here’re the Kingdom Hearts games in order of release date. Perhaps, the list could help you understand the saga.

Kingdom Hearts I (2002 – main game)

Kingdom Hearts Final Mix (2004 – re-launch of the original game)

Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (2004 – main game) 

Kingdom Hearts II (2005 – main game) 

Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix (2007 – a newer version of Kingdom Hearts II)

Kingdom Hearts: Re Chain of Memories (2007 – a remake of Chain of Memories)

Kingdom Hearts coded (2008 – spin-off)

Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days (2009 – main game)

Kingdom Hearts Birth by sleep (2010 – main game)

Kingdom Hearts: Re: coded (2010 – a remake of coded)

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep Final Mix (2011 – western version of Birth by Sleep. It has an expansion and extra content)

Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance (2012 – main game)

Kingdom Hearts X (2013 – mobile spin-off. It has been re-branded various times)

Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMix (2012 – bundle) 

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMix (2014 – bundle) 

Kingdom Hearts Union X (2024 – re-launch of X)

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue (2024 – bundle)

Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage (2024 – a short prequel to Kingdom Hearts III. It’s only included in Final Chapter Prologue )

 Kingdom Hearts 1.5 ReMix + 2.5 ReMix (2024 – bundle)

Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far (2024 – 

definitive bundle, as it includes every main title until 2023

)

Kingdom Hearts III (2024 – latest main title)

Kingdom Hearts VR (2024 – spin-off)

Kingdom Hearts: Dark Road (2024 – mobile spin-off)

Kingdom Hearts Re Mind (2024 – expansion for Kingdom Hearts III) 

Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory (2024 – spin-off) 

Kingdom Hearts III + Re-Mind (2024 – bundle)

Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece (2024 – bundle)

What are the Kingdom Hearts bundles?

These are the Kingdom Hearts bundles in an easy-to-understand chart:

Kingdom Hearts Games In Chronological Order

Lastly, here’re the saga’s games in order of timeline events:

Kingdom Hearts X

Kingdom Hearts Union X 

Kingdom Hearts: Dark Road

Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep

Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage *

Kingdom Hearts

Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days

Kingdom Hearts II

Kingdom Hearts coded

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance

Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage *

Kingdom Hearts III

Kingdom Hearts III Re-Mind

Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory

* Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage continues the story you play in Birth by Sleep. Also, as the story covers 10 years, the ending connects directly to Kingdom Hearts III.

7 Best Games To Play With Alexa

Your Amazon Echo can be one of the most useful tools in your home. It can let you know of upcoming appointments, control smart home devices with just a few words, and even let you know when packages have arrived. But did you know it can play games?

Alexa is jam-packed with a ton of entertainment options that you can play alone or with friends and family. If you’re tired of the same stack of board games and in the mood to try something new, give Alexa a shot. From Deal or No Deal to Song Quiz, there are tons of games to play with Alexa.

Table of Contents

The Best Games to Play with Alexa

Earplay places you into the role of a character in a radio drama. You can interact with other characters in the story and watch how the tale unfolds, with numerous stories to choose from. Be aware that not all of the stories are appropriate for children.

There are numerous options that are available for children too, including “You  and the Beanstalk,” or “Jurassic World Revealed.” Adults may enjoy “Mr. Robot” or “Codename Cygnus.” There are also previews users can try out of upcoming stories, such as “Pugmire.” 

WhereInTheWorld is a fun trivia game based entirely around geography. It ranges in difficulty from easy questions about the capital cities of countries to significantly harder questions such as what language is spoken where.

The game is easily approachable for anyone and ensures all players have fun while learning a little bit more about the fascinating planet we call home. It’s appropriate for all ages, with a decidedly educational slant to it.

Have you ever done an Escape Room before? Think of Escape the Room as an audio-only version of the game for Alexa. There are multiple levels and stages to try, each ranging in degree of difficulty. The game offers you contextual hints when you ask for them.

The premise is that you are stuck in a room. It’s up to you to escape by searching for useful items and solving puzzles that will help you find your way out. While it’s primarily a single-player game, any number of people can join in to help you solve the clues and find your way out.

There are five levels right now, but more will be added in the future. Best of all, Escape the Room supports English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish language options. 

Song Quiz is the best game for music lovers on Alexa. If you fancy yourself a bit of a music historian, give this game a shot. The way it works is simple: Alexa will play a song from sometime in the past 60 years and challenge you to guess the name. You have to provide the correct title and artist for points.

Song Quiz includes pop music from every decade, with more music added on a regular basis. You can challenge your friends and family to live competitions or compete with players from across the country. 

If you master the base game, there is a subscription service that provides you with thousands of additional songs, exclusive playlists, and new music added every month. It also gives you the option to sort music by much narrower terms, such as “2024 hits.” 

Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? Is a classic television game show, and one that has humbled many a viewer. Either fifth grade students are geniuses, or education has gotten significantly more difficult than it used to be. If you’d like to take on the challenge yourself, Alexa has the perfect game for it.

You start answering questions from the first grade and then work your way up through the categories. Questions come from five school subjects: English, Math, Animal Science, Social Studies, and US Geography. You can play the game by yourself or team up with friends and family to find out who is the best at trivia. 

If you get stuck, there is the option to cheat–but you can only do it once per game, so choose carefully.

Akinator is a bit like 20 questions. You will be challenged to think of a character, and Akinator will attempt to guess who you are thinking of by narrowing down the options. The questions will be yes or no answers, and after a certain number of questions the game will guess the character you have in mind. 

Don’t be surprised if it gets the questions right. The Skill is surprisingly adept, and thanks to a clever bit of programming–and access to a massive database of knowledge–Akinator could guess nearly every character we thought of. 

Solo Blackjack is exactly what it sounds like: a voice-powered round of Blackjack. Try your hand at beating the dealer. Alexa will narrate what’s going on at the table, including what cards are currently dealt. There are three stages of each game, including the betting stage, the hand stage, and settling the bet. 

It’s definitely a solo game, but it’s a fun way to spend a few minutes when you need something to pass the time. You can even change the amount Alexa speaks by changing the “verbosity level.” 

Alexa is a powerhouse of games. These seven options are just a few examples, but there are dozens of options available. Take the time to explore what Alexa can do and find games you can play with your entire family. 

Best Paid Games For Mac In 2023

Macs have long been an absolute beast for gaming. What stands them in good stead is consistent performance. And as a hardcore gamer, this is exactly what you’d like to have at your disposal to take on the high-octane racing or epic battles. After assembling top-notch free macOS games in a separate roundup, I’m excited to share my collection of the best paid Mac games that are ruling. They boast amazing graphics and provide intriguing gameplay. Moreover, they also work elegantly with game controllers.

If you are a gaming aficionado, my picks would definitely light up your fun time. But even if you are not much into gaming, I bet you’d like to give a try to some of my unique picks. So, it doesn’t matter whether you want to see yourself as a mighty warrior, a sharp-shooter or an ambitious farmer, chances are high that your desire will be able to find an exciting game. Here you go!

1. Disco Elysium

Take your Instagram game to the next level with stunning panoramas that are a breeze to create with this app. You can split any panoramic photo into up to 10 squares to post as multiple photos on the gram.

The best part is how easy this app is to use. Your PanoPano photos get saved to your camera roll, and the quality of images is retained. Further, your original file stays intact for convenience.

2. Stardew Valley

“Stardew Valley” is my favorite country-life RPG for Mac. To me, the best part about this game is the interesting gameplay.

As you get into the groove, you will also get to learn cooking and making delicious recipes. What’s more, you can unlock new areas to explore and also be able to customize your skills by selecting from a number of professions.

3. Civilization VI

Ever dreamt to rule the world and build a remarkable civilization? If yes, “Civilization VI” is the sort of game that can live up to your taste really well.

As the astute warrior, you are on a mission to expand your empire across the map. Along the way, you’ve to compete against a number of great leaders and win the battle of supremacy. And then you need to build a civilization that will remain intact forever.

Keep in mind, the natural disasters like floods, storms, and volcanoes will completely destroy your progress. So, always be prepared to encounter such challenges with all your might and wisdom.

4. Rise of the Tomb Raider

Don the role of a smart archaeologist and conquer every tomb coming your way and defeat your rivals. Overcome the challenges to find the truth behind a mythic terror in Baba Yaga and also thwart a deadly outbreak.

There is an endurance mode where you have to face several hurdles in the Siberian wilderness. Eventually, leave behind an unmatched legend for the rest to follow.

5. Soma

It’s a horror time! In this exciting game, you’ve to encounter dreading challenges to unearth the truth behind the chaos. Keep in mind, it’s never going to be an easy task as dangers always loom large.

Face corrupted humans cleverly, deal with twisted creatures and insane robots bravely. You must figure out a killer strategy to deal with each one of them as one set of tactics won’t take you anywhere.

6. World of Warcraft

If you love epic battles, “World of Warcraft” is undoubtedly your thing. With eye-catching graphics and ever-fascinating gameplay, you will enjoy playing this game.

As one of the heroes of Azeroth, fight against your rivals to win the battle of legacy and might. To stay ahead of everyone else, be sure to recruit new allies and plan a killer strategy to eliminate your enemies.

Play hard to claim all the useful resources to build robust forces and make the most of them take control of the battle. And oh, also indulge in the 20-player cooperative Warfront to capture the most vital strategic location that can eventually prove to be a gamechanger. 20-player cooperative Warfront to claim a key strategic location.

7. BORDERLANDS 2

Consider yourself a great shooter? Take on “BORDERLANDS 2” to discover how good you are at shooting and looting!

This game lets you choose from four different playable classes such as Siren, the Commando, the Gunzerker, and the Assassin. So, depending on your mood or style, you can select the class and get into an endless shooting spree.

Never take the Hulking, Bullymongs, and the dangerous predatory Stalkers for granted as they might just be waiting for your little mistake to throw you out of the battle.

8. CUPHEAD

CUPHEAD is inspired by cartoons of the 1930s and incredibly fun to play. I mean this is exactly what you should try to bust stress. Things like the hand-drawn cel animation, jazz recordings, and watercolor backgrounds make it unique in its own right.

You’ve to deal with the strange world and unravel hidden secrets. Acquire lethal weapons and then plan killer moves to encounter devils. What’s more, you also get a chance to get into the deadly boss battles to display your game-changing moves.

9. Train Valley

So much about shooting and killing? “Train Valley” is a fun-loving railroad managing game for macOS which I’ve liked playing a lot.

In this game, you have a huge task to build railways that can stand the test of time. Figure out the better ways to manage traffic and also ensure how accidents can be avoided.

Agreed, the gameplay is pretty simple and you hardly have to spend any time to master it. However, I bet you will find Train Valley very addictive after just a few rounds of play.

10. DIRT RALLY

Now is the perfect time to give a shot to a fantastic rally game! To get going, choose from 40 high-speed cars and perfectly configure them. Then, showcase how fast you can race at some of the best circuits.

Kickstart a singleplayer race or head into the high-intensity multiplayer races where you gonna have to play astutely and beat out several hurdles. You will love displaying your unmatched speed at Lydden Hill, Holjes and Hell tracks.

The game boasts six huge rallies with as many as 70 stages. So, there is plenty at stake and you’ve got to be wicked fast to win the battle of speed.

That’s pretty much it!

What’s your pick?

So, you’ve finally discovered my hottest picks. Do tell me about the paid macOS games that you have always found adorable. It would also be great if you could suggest some worthy contenders. As you are heading to bash the baddies or win plenty of rewards, I’m going to explore more games to line up for you in the next roundup. So, remain tuned in.

You’d like to explore these games as well:

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Dhvanesh

The founder of iGeeksBlog, Dhvanesh, is an Apple aficionado, who cannot stand even a slight innuendo about Apple products. He dons the cap of editor-in-chief to make sure that articles match the quality standard before they are published.

10 Games To Play With The Family Over Christmas

If your family is coming to visit, or if you are headed home for the holidays, you may be in need of some festivities that will keep any opinionated uncles from talking about politics and religion.

One way to keep things light is to participate in good old-fashioned family game night. Whether you pass-and-play on the iPad, compete via Game Center on your iPhone, grab two controllers for Apple TV 4, or simply pull out a tabletop board game from grandma’s dusty closet, we have some suggestions for keeping spirits bright as you while away the evenings this holiday season.

This is probably one of the most popular board game adaptations in the App Store. Players collect train cars that they use to claim route throughout different locations. The longer your routes, the more victory points you earn. You can also earn points by completing Destination Tickets and being the player with the longest continuous route. With the iOS version, you can play the game online with up to four players, or in person via pass-and-play. The game was recently updated with additional maps, cross-platform asynchronous game play, and a new user interface. It is on sale in the App Store for $2.99.

Gather your cold weather gear and head out to this fish-filled chunk of ice to compete against up to three friends in person with this strategy fish-gobbling game. Players must collect fish on a fast-crumbling hexagonal ice floe while carefully planning how to stop their opponents from getting to any of them. The player with the most fish at the end wins the game. When you grab fish, you can remove tiles from the board, which blocks your opponent from being able to get to the good stuff. Be carful, though. You may accidentally block yourself in if you aren’t careful. This game is available for $2.99.

Can’t Stop

Fluxx

This game has been a favorite amongst my friends and I because it is so chaotic. Players lay down cards with rules on them and each turn, everyone must follow the current rules in play, no matter how weird they are. Some rules completely change the point of the game, while others make it possible for someone to win with just one card. Things are constantly changing (or, in flux, if you will), so you never know what the goal of the game will be when your turn arrives. Something you thought would help you win the game may have just been taken out of play. You can play the iOS version with up to four people in pass-and-play mode. This game is available in the App Store for $2.99.

If you’ve got Apple TV, than you can play this game on your big screen against up to three opponents. Similar to Wii Sports, players compete against each other in a series of swinging athletic games, like tennis, baseball, and golf. However, swinging to the beat is the most important part of this competition. The better timed your hit is, the more points you earn. If you don’t have extra Siri Remotes (and lets face it, who does?), then you can download the Beat Sports Remote app on your iPhone for multiple simultaneous gameplay. You can download Beat Sports in the App Store on Apple TV for $9.99.

One of iOS’s most popular arcade hits recently got an upgrade to Apple TV. The big screen version also has cooperative multiplayer mode included with it. Players pick their character and then try to make their way across the rush hour road without getting slammed. To activate Crossy Road multiplayer, open the iOS game on your iPhone to find the feature and turn it on. Then, restart the tvOS version and when you log back in, multiplayer mode will be available. All of the game’s original rules apply here. Don’t get smushed by a car and don’t fall in the river. This game is available for free in the App Store for iOS or Apple TV.

Guitar Hero Live

Somehow, Activision managed to skirt Apple’s strict rule that all games must be compatible with the Siri Remote. Not only is this game not compatible with the included Apple TV remote, but the free game also actually requires that you purchase a $100 dollar Guitar Hero controller in order to play. That being said, if you got one for Christmas, this game sure would be fun to play while your cool cousin watches. Take turns tapping out riffs from some of rock ‘n’ roll’s finest. You can simply switch between players every time a new song pops up. Or you could compete to see who can get the highest score on one particular song. This game is available for free in the App Store for iOS or Apple TV.

You don’t have to play complicated riffs or swing away with your Siri remote to play fun multiplayer games on Apple TV. In fact, This game is for the minimalist in your family. It is not entirely unlike a mix between Plinko and Breakout, but with multiplayer support for up to eight people. When your ball bumps into a peg, you’ll earn a point. The player with the most points, after all of the pegs have been claimed, wins the game. You can play with a total of eight people. Of course, no one is going to have eight Siri remotes stuck between the couch cushions. So, instead, download the Peg Ballet Controller on iOS to use your iPhone as a game pad. This game is available on Apple TV for $0.99.

In January of this year, a funny card game with exploding kittens launched on Kickstarter and immediately won the hearts of kitty and card game fans everywhere. It is now available at your local board game store and it is simple enough to play with the whole family, but interesting enough to keep you going late into the night if you wish. Players pick random cards from a deck and either play or keep them. There are exploding kittens hidden throughout the deck that you don’t want to pick. If you do, you must find a way to diffuse the kitten’s actions using one of the cards in your hand. If you can’t you are out of the game. Exploding Kittens is available on Amazon for $20. There is also a “NSFW” deck that has a lot of hilariously offensive stuff in it if your adult family has a weird sense of humor.

For something that is a little sweeter and less… kitten explody, try Just Desserts. Players try to beat their opponents in a sweets café by making and serving customers with the treats that their hearts desire. Collect cards with such ingredients as chocolate, apple’s cookies, ice cream, and more. Choose a guest for players to try to compete for. If you have enough ingredients for the type of desert a guest needs, you can add him or her to your collection. The player with the most collected guests wins the game. The game is available on Amazon for $9.99.

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