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Change YoY: NEW!   My Rating: 9.1 / 10

My history with the Monster Hunter series is relatively short. The only title in the series that I'd played to any notable extent before World was Monster Hunter Tri on the Wii well over a decade ago, and I never actually owned the game myself. I just never found the series that appealing for whatever reason, and the same was true with Monster Hunter World. In fact, it was my wife who got the game originally, not me, and she was the one who played it while I just largely ignored it for several years. It wasn't until late last year as I was looking for something to play I though I'd give it a chance. After all, I could certainly see the appeal with the general concept of the series.

As you can probably guess by its ranking, I absolutely loved the game. The setting is wonderfully varied, with the different zones having a very distinct atmosphere and look of their own. The visuals and music are excellent as well, and even the story and characters, while essentially serving as just an excuse to go out and hunt, are surprisingly engaging. Yet, it is of course the gameplay and the monsters themselves that serve as the true stars of the game, and both elements are fantastic. I played the game for nearly 150 hours, and I never got tired of the core gameplay loop of hunting materials to craft more gear so I could then go on more challenging hunts. It helps that the monsters are impeccably designed and exciting to fight against. Even just the base game alone would be enough to warrant a spot on my list.

However, I must also mention the game's expansion pack, Iceborne, which could almost be its own game entirely considering how much content there is in it. Introducing a new are to explore and several new monsters, it was essentially more of what I'd already learned to love, with the challenge level ramped up even further. It's one of the best expansion packs I've ever played, and serves as a great final chapter to one of the best games of the previous console generation.