#3 Sekiro Shadows Die Twice
Ladies and Gentlemen say Hello to the new king of Hack n' Slash! In 2001 DMC brought the Hack n' Slash genre to 3D, and possibly invented the genre altogether. In 2004 Ninja Gaiden further honed the genre by way of crushing difficulty, and having to choose whether an attack was best dodged or blocked. Blocking a heavy attack would either deal heavy chip damage or not be blockable at all. On the flipside trying to dodge a quick attack would get you hit. In 2009 Demon's Souls came out and introduced the Souls' XP/death system that has been copied by Hollow Knight and Nioh. When you die you leave a puddle of XP on the ground. Die again and you lose all that XP. This made death in games a lot more meaningful and punishing, upping the tension. In 2019 Sekiro built on all of this even further. Here's how...
First off instead of just flatly dying you can stock power to resurrect yourself effectively giving yourself multiple lives before leaving that Soul Puddle. This led to being able to reset smaller fights if you messed up and died, lowering the tedium in the game. Second Sekiro came with a whole slew of Ninja tools that you can equip to your prosthetic arm. From a big axe that can break shields to a ghost blocking umbrella these tools were all extremely useful against certain enemies and bosses. They allowed players to customize their playstyle in a game that only offers a single main weapon, the Sword. But the best thing Sekiro did was the damned posture system.
Blocking an attack, dodging, or doing pretty much anything in the game usually increases your posture meter. If the posture meter fills up the enemy can instakill you. But the enemies in this game all have posture meters too, and you can do the same thing to them. Enemies in this game deal a ton of damage to you, so it's in your best interest to instakill them if you can. Pressing block during the instance an enemy's attack would land parries their attack. Parrying an enemy attack keeps your posture meter from growing as much as a regular block. It also prevents chip damage, and adds to your opponent's posture meter. There's also a system of counters in the game. You can counter a sweep, stab, or grab by pressing the appropriate button at the right time. If you counter correctly your opponent either takes a ton of posture damage or is left wide open to a few quick stabs from your Sword. The lower your health the faster your posture meter grows, and the slower it shrinks. This is true for both the player character and enemies in the game. The end result of all this is that fights demand that you get in the bosses' face, and keep the pressure on with a flurry of parries, dodges, and counters. Since bosses all have absolutely massive HP bars and Posture Bars, as well as devastating attacks this makes for the most intense fights in any game ever.
How to counter a stab attack in game. Step on their spear and then kick their ass!
Finally enjoy some hilarious Dunkey Highlights of the game!