A side-scrolling, environmental puzzle-'em-up, Limbo is mesmerising to look at and shot through with tension. With clever use of shadows and a moody soundscape, it builds atmosphere as well as any game out there.
You're provided no context for who the young boy is or why he's in this hazard-filled setting, but you'll still feel compelled to push forward through the gripping, compact adventure.
7. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Brought back from the dead in glorious fashion, the XCOM franchise is arguably better than ever in the excellent Enemy Unknown. Blasting aliens in games is old hat, but Firaxis uses the premise to spin out an impressively extensive and challenging tactical campaign, and losing a comrade after a series of tough battles really stings - just as it should. The Enemy Within expansion adds further treats and is well worth trying.
8. Gone Home
Gone Home is the rare first-person experience without guns or combat, and it's all the better for it.
You take the role of a young girl visiting her parents' new home for the first time after a lengthy spell away - only they're not there. What happened? Examining the contents of the mansion and piecing together the story is the only way to find out. It might sound boring, but instead it's affecting and fascinating.
9. The Walking Dead
Another licensed game? Believe it: Telltale Games' point-and-click take on the smash comic series is a marvellous thing, generating incredible, gut-punching emotion as it pulls you through the undead uprising.
Every decision you make, whether it's an action or a response, alters the path of your story, and it all carries across the five-episode season - and then into season two, complete with its big shake-up.
This mind-punch of a retro homage anchored Indie Game: The Movie and nearly drove its creator crazy - and its more perplexing puzzles might do the same to you.
Fortunately, it's the kind of frustration made more than bearable by the brilliant platforming tweaks (you can 'rotate' the 2D world) and utterly charming presentation, not to mention the treasure trove of alluring secrets buried within.
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