|past years||2020: #9, 2019: #9, 2018: #8, 2017: #12|
Okami is a beautiful game with a classic story and excellent gameplay. It feels just great to roam around as a wolf, fight demons and help the people free the land from the demonic influences. You play as the sun goddess Ameratasu in the form of the white wolf Shiranui and you wield the godly brush with which you can influence the environment: you can make plants bloom, put the sun in the sky, repair broken stuff and so on.
The game looks absolutely gorgeous. I think never saw I used the cel shading technique used in a better way. There are so many details in this too. But it is not just the cell-shaded art-style. It is the way nature is restored through your actions. It is how the humans fit in so well with the nature. Even details like running let's plants grow in your path feel right.
Gameplay is somewhat close to the Zelda formula, although you obviously doesn't wield a sword. But you have to solve quests, fight enemies and find secret stuff to overall free the land and bring nature back. This includes some interesting boss fights. Besides that you explore the lands. Movement is so fluid, alone running and jumping around is quite fun. I absolutely loved the wolf-form in Twilight Princess, but Okami made it even better. The classical Zelda-items are replaced by the divine brush, which works great as well.
Sadly the title released at the end of the PS2 lifetime did not great and Capcom closed down Clover Studios after this title. Still, the game developed a cult following and always did great with the reviewers, so over time Capcom rereleased the title again and again. So now you can play it basically everywhere - and you totally should.