2. Death Stranding
An indie game with the budget of a triple-A production, Death Stranding couldn't give an EFF about convention or expectation.
Conceptualised and overseen by Hideo Kojima as the first full non-Metal Gear project he's done in almost 20 years, you can tell such a creative mind was bursting with things to say and do.
To that end, Death Stranding's script is convoluted as hell, but everything else is exemplary, from the communal way players can interact and help each other advance the story, to every last detail of the world itself.
For the former, the quest to "rebuild America" has you delivering packages to a number of characters, but it's HOW you do this, that constantly changes across a mammoth 50 hour runtime.
Walking, climbing and struggling to balance becomes riding superbikes and trucks. Ropes and ladders become high-tech ziplines, powered exoskeletons and full roads mapping the country, ALL of which is shared between players.
The feeling and visual of watching everyone work as one is something no game has ever come close to, and whilst its story will require some chin-stroking to fully grasp, it's the gameplay here elevates the whole experience.