Game Picks: Bloodborne, Xenoblade Chronicles X among those still worth checking out as the year ends

One notable game is Bloodborne 4 and its downloadable expansion.
One notable game is Bloodborne 4 and its downloadable expansion.PHOTO: PLAYSTATION/YOUTUBE

As the year winds down, lists of all sorts recaping the best of the year have begun springing up on media outlets everywhere.

In the world of video games, it's a little too early for that. There are still significant titles are debuting that don't deserve to be overlooked.

Here are some from the past two weeks that are worthy of your attention:

Bloodborne: The Old Hunters

Bloodborne's potent mix of unsettling terror and fast-paced combat made it the best game of the year for me, so far.

So it was little surprise that I found this downloadable expansion fantastic as well. The game is infamous for its gruelling difficulty that pushes the player to get better, fast, and The Old Hunters features some of the most challenging boss fights I've seen so far.

Add to that a handful of intriguing new areas - one of which is possibly the most spine-chilling yet seen in Bloodborne - and some unusual new weapons to master, and The Old Hunters is a bargain of an expansion at $27.80 and a fitting conclusion to one of the best games on PlayStation 4.

Available on: PlayStation 4

Just Cause 3

There are few games that do wanton destruction as well as the Just Cause series does. This latest instalment once again stars "dictator removal specialist" Rico Rodriguez as he attempts to overthrow General Sebastiano Di Ravello from his fictional homeland of Medici.

This involves creating chaos, which in this game entails tearing down statues, destroying bridges and generally making things explode.

It's a game in which you jump out of a moving plane, glide in a wingsuit, blow something up and land in a vehicle having never touched the ground. In other words, it's an action fan's dream, and a game that offers breathless thrills in its open world.

Unfortunately, the game's technical performance reportedly drops when things get hectic on-screen. The PC version looks like the way to go, if your system can handle it.

Available on: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC

Xenoblade Chronicles X

Plenty of games give you vast, empty tracts of land to wander in. Xenoblade Chronicles X drops you in an actual world that is filled with wondrous sights and is teeming with alien beasts that attack on sight.

Earth has been destroyed, so you are among the remnants of humanity as they try to establish a new home, New Los Angeles, on the hostile planet of Mira.

This involves exploring the planet, one continent at a time, in this sprawling role-playing game that will consume hours of your life. It demands time - reports have it lasting at least 70 hours - but there are not many games that capture the feeling of treading on a strange alien planet as well as Xenoblade Chronicles X does.

Available on: Wii U

Shadow Complex Remastered

"Metroidvania" games - 2D platformers with a focus on exploration that see you picking up new skills - are in no short supply these days, but this one from 2009 is still worth a look.

Shadow Complex was released on the Xbox 360 to great fanfare and a solid critical reception. Despite calls for a sequel, developer Chair Entertainment moved on to the Infinity Blade series on iOS, which sold so well that a Shadow Complex 2 never materialised.

Last week, however, Shadow Complex Remastered emerged on the PC, for the fantastic (temporary) price of free. It remains a fine example of the genre, with snappy, responsive shooting, a good array of abilities to learn and plenty of upgrades scattered about its expansive map to find.

Available on: PC; Xbox One and PlayStation 4 (2016)