I’m just going to come out and say it now: I think you should play ALL of the games on this list, but if you’re really strapped for time, cash, or both, and can only play one of them, then please for the love of Jiggies, make it Playtonic’s Yooka-Laylee.
Never before has there been such a delicate artisanship to a love letter quite like this Modern take on the classic formula, as you take control of animal duo as they set off on a quest for mysterious pagies that hold an answer more valuable than the gold that they happen to be printed on.
Every analog and contrast that you can make between the two is in full effect, as you travel through 5 giant worlds that can be expanded into bigger stages with the more you collect, giving you access to new moves and abilities so that you can repeat the process again, and again. The presentation spares no expense either as it delivers some of the best fourth-wall breaking commentary towards the video game industry and game culture it panders to with writing that hasn’t been this cheeky or clever since Banjo-Kazooie itself.
Yooka-Laylee takes every single concept that was celebrated by the classic Banjo games, and amplifies them tenfold, it truly is the new-age Banjo-Kazooie, and is easily the genre finest return to form that I’ve seen so far for the genre as a whole.