Although I played Dragon Quest XI on the Nintendo Switch, it was originally released on PS4 in 2017. The main criticism of the Dragon Quest series is the sameness that runs through each title, but it is this very criticism which is also its greatest strength to long-term fans of the series like myself. With a Dragon Quest game you always know roughly what to expect: solid turn-based combat, charming characters, and a gorgeous medieval world designed by Akira Toriyama of Dragon Ball Z. Dragon Quest XI is by far the most polished Dragon Quest game ever, being the most graphically impressive, sure, but it most shines in the animations of its characters: subtle expressions, hand movements, and changes in posture. I completed this over the course of about a week, totalling fifty hours before the credits, although there is a very expansive postgame which could probably double that playtime.
Honestly, nothing from this latest generation of consoles has come close to beating the Elder Scrolls titles from the Xbox 360 days. The Elder Scrolls Online’s release for Xbox One was lacklustre to say the least.
My favourite console of this generation is honestly the Nintendo Switch: it punches way above its weight in terms of playability and versatility. With that my favourite titles were probably Mario Party and Ring Fit (and of course Mario Kart!); these titles never get old and are great fun with family and friends or on solo play.
The Switch doesn’t appear to be going away any time soon though, so it seems odd to focus an article on that as we wave goodbye to one generation of consoles in preparation for another.
In which case, looking at the Xbox One, my favourite series of games was Forza Horizons, combining the incredibly realistic gameplay and sleek graphics with a vast expanse of free world exploration was just remarkable. With the fourth title of the series implementing gameplay in the UK, this made it even more exciting. I’m looking forward to seeing how this series develops with the capabilities of the next gen consoles.