Boss Rush Bucket List Week 7: Up Your A-Game

Welcome to week seven 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!

Got a competitive edge in you? These curated games are perfect to hone your skills as a gamer, either by yourself or with friends.

Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2

By: Logan

Developer:  Vicarious Visions. Publisher: Activision

Release Date:  08/14/2020. Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2 in three words:  Rad, shred, DUDE (or basically any other words that were popular in the 90’s)

Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2 is the perfect remaster of an iconic skateboarding franchise. Players have the opportunity to play as legendary skateboarders like Tony Hawk, Bucky Lasek, Bob Burnquist, and more. Each legend comes with a skill set to fit their unique riding styles. 

Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2 encourages you to play with your friends in free skate, S-K-A-T-E mode, or even a friendly competition of horse. Tony Hawk is available on all major consoles; plus it features a unique online experience for you to skate with your friends. 

Snack Pairing:  The best snack for Tony Hawk is the 90s classic Hi-C Lavaburst with the go-to snack of skaters–tacos! 

Forza Horizon 4

By: Eddie V

Developer: Playground Games. Publisher: Microsoft

Release Date: 10/02/2018. Platform(s): Windows, Xbox One, Series X|S

Forza Horizon 4 in three words: Cruising around Europe

Forza Horizon 4 is an arcade racing game where you race, jump, score, and even battle against friends in various courses. You’ll also do stunts for directors, search barns for secret cars, customize your car and character, and listen to some of the best licensed music to date.

Forza Horizon 4 is one of Microsoft’s best games of all time that draws you in. Even if you don’t come in first, you make progress in the game. With the seasons changing and affecting the tracks, you can’t help but drive around with unlimited gas and no damage. It’s just a relaxing and fun game to play.

Snack Pairing: Berry flavored Lifesaver gummies

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

By: LaMont

Developer: Nintendo . Publisher: Nintendo

Release Date: 04/28/2017. Platform(s): Nintendo Switch

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in three words: Ultimate Kart Package

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is an enhanced version of the Wii U version with all of the DLC included, along with a few tweaks in game play and new characters like Inkling boys and girls from Splatoon and a Gold Mario costume for Metal Mario. Due to the fact that the Wii U failed in sales during its spotlight, it was a smart move to port Mario Kart 8 Deluxe as it proved to be the best selling Mario Kart game along with the best selling Nintendo Switch game ever! I’m almost positive that everyone who has a Nintendo Switch console has Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and if some don’t, they should.

I’ve been a huge fan of Mario Kart games from the very beginning of the SNES days, and this Mario Kart is one of my favorites of the acclaimed series. There are various selling points, from its colorful, vibrant, and addictive nature to its unique features. I love the remastered versions of some classic courses of the game like Donut Plains (SNES) and Moo Moo Meadows (Nintendo 64). The smooth textures and resolutions of the graphics are beautiful. I definitely love Link’s inclusion with his Breath of the Wild attire. I especially love the fact that all of these tracks, including the DLCs, are available at the start of the game. It’s truly a fun and addictive good time that you can pick up and go with. This pretty much begs a few questions: Will there be a Mario Kart 9? How will Mario Kart 8 be topped? Finally, is this the beginning of a new spin off in the form of a Nintendo Kart including everyone in the Kart series along with tons of other Nintendo characters?

Snack Pairing: While racing along with your buddies in this awesome Mario Kart, I always love some popcorn and a nice chili dog with a slightly toasted hot dog bun, grilled hot dogs/smoked sausages…even turkey smoked sausages, beefy chilli with light beans, shredded sharp cheddar and a pickle or relish. Yum Yum! 

Shovel Knight

By: Jack

Developer: Yacht Club Games. Publisher: Yacht Club Games

Release Date: 6/24/2014. Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, OS X, Linux, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One, Amazon Fire TV, and Nintendo Switch

Shovel Knight in three words: Modern Retro Side-scroller

I haven’t played a new game that has felt familiar and fresh at the same time quite like Shovel Knight. At first glance, it appears to look like a title you would find on the NES, and you would still think that after your initial gameplay. The inspiration from other games such as Duck Tales, Super Mario Bros. 3, and the Mega Man series is abundant, but the storytelling and flexible checkpoint system bring a modern feel to this action packed side-scrolling platformer. 

Shovel Knight puts you in the role of the title character, Shovel Knight, as he traverses the land to save Shield Knight from the Tower of Fate. Along the adventure, you will visit towns filled with merchants, challenge areas, and other Knights to battle along the way. Each of these are accessed through an overworld map where the other Knights act as the end level boss of that level. Friendly NPCs and colorful Knights, such as King Knight and Specter Knight, add colorful life to this must-play game. Financed originally through Kickstarter, Shovel Knight has spawned three additional expansions through the goals set in the Kickstarter campaign. Each of these could be it’s own game, and they put the player in control of a Knight that you battled in the original campaign. 

Snack Pairing: Your favorite ice cream should be grabbed and ready to dig in with a tiny shovel, or “spoon” if you choose. With all of the innovative shovel usage, you won’t want to stop scooping up goodies.

Boss Rush Bucket List Top 10: #4 God of War (2018)

By: Jack

Developer: Santa Monica Studio. Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Release Date: 04/20/2018. Platform(s): PS4

God of War (2018) in three words: Single Father Adventure

Kratos is tasked with honoring his late wife’s wish to spread her ashes at the peak of the nine realms. The antihero has completed his revenge against the Greek gods and has created a new life in Midgard with his coming-of-age son, Atreus. The gruff character in the earlier games is still here, but the visibly tired god of war must battle new enemies while teaching his son the mistakes from his past life. Kratos and Atreus (BOY!) grow their powers and relationship through a surprisingly mature story-telling that hasn’t been explored in the franchise until now. 

The gameplay makes a shift as well. The over-the-shoulder perspective and new weapon the Leviathan Axe add a fresh new take on the combo-heavy action adventure series. Mastering the Axe and new magic abilities will be crucial to hunt down Kratos’ new foe, Baldur. Kratos and Atreus are not alone in the journey across the nine realms. Supporting characters are abound to provide advice and act as a device to propel the plot points during traveling sequences. The visuals and soundtrack complete the package of excellent gameplay and story-telling in order to make this Norse adventure a must play. 

Snack Pairing: Grab your drinking horn filled with mead as you embark across the realm of Midgard. You will need every drop to aid you on your quest as a god and as a father. 

This wraps up week seven of the Boss Rush Bucket List!

Next Friday (08/20), we circle back to RPGs and reveal the game that made the #3 spot on our overall top ten list! We also have the entire Boss Rush Bucket list schedule here.

Remember, there are hundreds of amazing games that have been released since 2014, and this is just our personal, curated recommendations. If 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: Logan, Eddie V, LaMont, Jack

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