Welcome to week three of the Boss Rush Bucket List! The writing staff at Boss Rush has curated a list of the top 50 games released since 2014 that are a must-play. Five games surrounding a genre or theme will be featured every Friday at 10a.m. until September 3rd. The fifth game of each article will count down the top ten, so stick with us to find out which title is our number one recommended game!
Sit tight. We’re listing some of the most chilling video games we dare you to play.
The Last of Us (Remastered)
Developer: Naughty Dog. Publisher: Sony
Release Date: 07/29/2014. Platform(s): PS4
TheLast of Us (Remastered) in three words: The Walking Dead
The Last of Us (Remastered) is a post-apocalyptic survival game where you explore the ravaged cities across the United States as Joel. He is one of the few survivors of a pandemic that took out most of the country’s population with a virus that turned humans into hostile zombies. He finds a teenage girl by the name of Ellie whom he is tasked with escorting across the land to get her to safety because she is somehow immune to the virus.
I have owned both versions, the original for PS3 and this remastered one for PS4–the game was great enough for me to double dip. It was during the start of my love for horror stories. I became obsessed with The Walking Dead as it has become my most watched series of all time even to this day. So when I saw a trailer of The Last of Us, I was immediately reminded of the show and delighted with the gameplay and story.
Your emotions run high right from the start and continues throughout the events of the game, like the unfortunate deaths that surrounded Joel who reminded me a lot like the main protagonist in The Walking Dead, Rick Grimes. This game was truly something special…something I never actually experienced before in gaming and wanted more of it. As I was playing this game, I couldn’t believe how much I was enjoying this game…I mean, crafting weapons, carefully timing attacks against the infected and other humans who try to kill you to survive…even Ellie was truly amazing! I’ll admit, I never got around to finishing the game because I wanted to “pace” myself but watching how Ellie (who you escort and is a pretty good partner to assist you) would throw a brick at a guy for you to get the jump on him kept me laughing and happy in gameplay. The Last of Us (Remastered) is one of those games that I think everyone should have in their collection and experience at least once.
Snack Pairing: I honestly don’t remember eating much while playing this game, but I did drink a lot of water and ate a lot of Lays potato chips.
By: The Madpharmacist
Developer: Frictional Games. Publisher: Frictional Games
Release Date: 09/22/2015. Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC/Mac
SOMA in three words: What is human?
SOMA is a psychological horror-survival game that will send you into an existential crisis by the end. You play as Simon Jarrett who wakes up in an unfamiliar facility after undergoing an experimental treatment for his traumatic brain injury.
You navigate across PATHOS-II and unlock the mystery of what happened to the crew…and the rest of the world. Machines and monsters chase after you, and unlike most horror games, you cannot defend yourself. This game made the list because of the fascinating story that unspools–one that makes you wonder as to what truly defines humanity. Bonus: There is a safe mode for those like me who are scaredy-cats!
Snack Pairing: Lightly salted popcorn. They’re easy to clean up when you spill them during fits of terror!
Resident Evil 2 (Remake)
Developer: Capcom. Publisher: Capcom
Release Date: 01/25/2019. Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One
Resident Evil 2 ReMake in Three Words: Survival Horror Masterpiece
Resident Evil 2 released for the original Playstation in 1998, and received a complete makeover for ReMake just over 20 years later. Gone are the stationary camera angles and tank-like controls and has evolved into a third-person over-the-shoulder viewpoint. The game stars Leon Kennedy, a rookie cop, and Claire Redfield, the sister of series star Chris Redfield, as they enter into the small town of Raccoon City, where a zombie outbreak takes over. You’re tasked with navigating through the town and its various locations as you try to save who you can, collect evidence as to what’s happened, and find those responsible for the outbreak. Series veterans will love the return of the survival horror elements, where ammo and health items are scarce, corridors are narrow, zombies and other monsters are relentless. Sometimes the best options is to RUN, especially when you are being chased by the large trench-coat wearing monster, Mr. X.
The game sports two full campaigns from Leon’s and Claire’s perspective. After completing them you also have “Side B” content, where the game follows the same story elements, but puts you in a few different scenarios compared to your original play through. The RE Engine used to make the game is stellar in its graphical quality, character models, and smooth animation and frame rate. The game itself is action packed, scary, suspenseful, and packs a story that keeps you guessing until the end.
Beer pairing: A Chocolate Stout. A dark game requires a dark beer, and the creaminess and chocolaty-ness of the stout will attempt to relax you as your heart races in suspense.
Developer: Blooper Team. Publisher: Blooper Team
Release Date: 01/28/2021. Platform(s): Xbox Series X, PC and (soon) PS5
The Medium in three words: Two Worlds horror
The Medium is set in Poland, 1999 and follows medium, Marianne. After losing her foster father, Marianne gets a call from a man named Thomas who knows about her mysterious powers. Marianne then arrives at the town of Niwa, where Thomas would be waiting for her at the abandoned resort.
What made The Medium different to any other horror game was the ‘duality of worlds’. The concept allowed the player to experience Marianne’s point of view within two dimensions; our world and the spirit world. This experience changed the way the game was played as the player needed to watch both screens to see if there were threats on one screen that were unavailable on the other screen.
Snack pairing: None, as you will be too engrossed in the story and the tension of having to deal with dual screens.
Boss Rush Bucket List Top Ten: #8 Alien: Isolation
Developer: Creative Assembly. Publisher: SEGA, Feral Interactive, SEGA of America
Release Date: 10/06/2014. Platform(s): PC, PS3/PS4, Xbox 360/Xbox One; (soon) Nintendo Switch.
Alien: Isolation in three words: Terrifying. Immersive. Masterful.
For fans of the Alien franchise or those who simply enjoy the survival horror genre, this game is an absolute must-play. Set between the first and second films, the story follows Amanda Ripley as she searches for her mother Ellen, who has not returned home from her deep space salvage mission. Amanda’s search leads her to the space station Sevastopol, where she discovers dark secrets about the company operating it, and ultimately must outsmart a terrifying creature (the Xenomorph) in order to survive. The visuals, sound, and attention to detail make the game stunningly atmospheric, an immersive experience like few others. Fans of the films will especially appreciate how faithfully Creative Assembly portrays the narrative universe and lore.
The Xenomorph’s artificial intelligence and the game’s compelling narrative make this special. Most survival horror games rely on cheap jump scares to create a sense of fear or tension; Alien: Isolation weaves a sense of dread that steadily builds as the game progresses until it becomes nearly unbearable. The music and atmosphere work in tandem with the terrifying intelligence of the Xenomorph, a creature that becomes ever present, stalking you from the ventilation shafts or beneath the floors. Your only chance to survive is to craft distracting noisemakers, stun the monster with makeshift weapons, or hope your motion tracker doesn’t give you away as you hide beneath tables. For those wanting an experience on par with the films, try the difficulty setting Nightmare Mode–but be warned, it’s aptly named!
Snack Pairing: I recommend a cup of hot coffee, a sweet-chewy candy bar like Snickers, and something with a good crunch like pretzels or chips. The game is so engrossing that you’ll find you need to take breaks to collect yourself, calm your nerves, and renew your resolve. Snacks that ground you in your senses will help you manage the manic anxiety you’ll face. And remember: in space, no one can hear you snacking. (Well, unless you play with the Xbox Kinect).
Honorable Mentions: Outlast: Whistleblower DLC (2014), The Evil Within (2014), Oxenfree (2016), Resident Evil VII: Biohazard (2017)
This wraps up week three of the Boss Rush Bucket List. Next Friday (7/23), we reveal the cream of the crop FPS and beat-em-ups! Remember, there are hundreds of amazing games that have been released since 2014, and this is just our personal, curated recommendations. lf you see a game that is not listed, we would love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts on these nominated games on our friendly Discord channel!
This week’s contributors: Stoy, Charlie, LaMont, David, the Madpharmacist