Which Developers Have Earned “Must Play” Status Due to Their Reputation?

video game studios must play games

While gamers can’t possibly like every game they come across, have you encountered a studio that seems to make games perfectly in tune with your tastes? So much so, that over the years, you’ve decided to trust said studio(s) that your brain goes into “must-play” territory whenever this studio announces a game (regardless of genre)?

We here at MP1st have different gaming tastes, but we have the same feelings too. Below are some of the staff members’ “must-play” studio list, which means that, whenever these studios announce a game, we’re bound to play their game (play doesn’t necessarily mean buy) given the trust we have with the studios.

Sean Mesler:

Naughty Dog – While I played the Crash Bandicoot games and Jak and Daxter, my love affair with Naughty Dog didn’t begin until Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. It was the reason I bought a PS3. And while I liked the game quite a bit, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves was truly when I fell madly in love with Naughty Dog as a studio. Their ability to tell a good story while also having a fun game is pretty much unmatched and with The Last of Us Part II, which I find to be their masterpiece in both storytelling and gameplay, they have earned my money pretty much sight unseen.

FromSoftware – I admittedly avoided From’s games since Demon’s Souls through Dark Souls and Dark Souls II because of their reputation for being incredibly harc and obtuse. Then I tried Bloodborne when it released in 2015 on a whim and it became my favorite game of all time. After that I played all of the available “Soulsborne” games at the time, Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin, Dark Souls then Demon’s Souls (yes, I went backwards). Dark Souls III and Sekiro were day one purchases for me. The Demon’s Souls remake was the first game I played on my PS5. They’re easily my favorite developer so anything new they release in those genres is a must-play.

Tim Villasor:

Resident Evil 4K

Capcom Dev 1 – The ones behind the Resident Evil/ Biohazard games, and utilizing the RE Engine. Since Resident Evil 7, they’ve been on a roll, and I’d want them to keep chugging in some Survival Horror action.

Kojima Productions – Anything by the man Hideo Kojima and his team I will absolutely dive into. After Death Stranding, I want to see what’s next from the guy who created the Metal Gear franchise.
Dotemu – With Streets of Rage 4, this company nailed nostalgia beat-’em-up to a tee, and they’re going for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles next. Bring on some more of that retro gaming action.

Jimmy Lara:

Nintendo: More so specifically the talent behind Mario and Zelda, because 28 years and I’ve yet to hate any of those games. Just when you think those franchises have done all that they can, Nintendo proves everyone wrong and somehow keeps things fresh after decades.

Demon's Souls PS5 Reviews

FromSoftware: Ever since the release of Demon’s Souls I have yet to be disappointed by any offering from this studio. They’re fun, addictive, and challenging, and it’s hard to picture them making a “bad” game.
Sony Santa Monica Studio: God of War, come on.

Alex Co:

DICE: This is probably the most controversial pick in the group, but given how big of a Battlefield fan I am, I’m a fan of the studio since early on, too. Mirror’s Edge, Medal of Honor, and other past DICE projects have all been played by me automatically given the trust I have with the studio. And yes, I cannot wait for this year’s Battlefield game!

Naughty Dog: I’ve been a fan of Naughty Dog ever since the Crash Bandicoot days, and have even played the studio’s Way of the Warrior on 3D0! So far, after the first Uncharted, the studio has been on a roll when it comes to quality gaming experiences that I’ll gladly play whatever game they cook up regardless of genre.

Respawn Entertainment: Titanfall, Titanfall 2, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (and more) are three games that are critical darlings, and with good reason. Simply put: since Respawn started operations back in 2010, the studio has not released a “bad” game, or even an average one. Don’t believe me? Check out the studio’s Metacritic profile which is currently sitting at an impressive 80 for career score on games released.

Which studios fall under the must-play category for you? Share yours down in the comments below.

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8 thoughts on “Which Developers Have Earned “Must Play” Status Due to Their Reputation?

  1. I agree with these choices.
    Though isnt it crazy that most people would have had CD PROJEKT RED on their list.
    Shows how a company can lose trust quickly.

    1. It was considered by myself tbh, even given the original state of Witcher 3. CP2077 however really pushed it for me and many. Love the game, but I won’t ignore all the glaring issues in front of it.
      Basically made me double think their next release

    2. I agree. Pre-Cyberpunk, they would be included for sure, but now? Any new project of theirs will be under intense scrutiny.

      1. You should have held them to that standard before hand. I stand by the Witcher 3 being one of the most overrated games of last Gen. Not an RPG at all, really. Not a bad action game, enjoyable for that. Regardless people often forget the first year or so of the game having insane performance problems and game breaking bugs. A year in. I do remember the DLC combo being $20, that should be their single biggest crown. Not that I enjoyed all the content or that it added much depth, but the overall amount of other parts of the expansions had value at $20. Better than most games these days, even years leading up to.

  2. 100% agree with Naughty Dog, Santa Monica, and From Software. Those studios just don’t make bad games.

  3. Pretty much nobody. Anyone that did went woke and made crap. It’s easier to sell pieces of a game and make money. The idea of selling a complete product that retains value is foreign to most developers outside of Nintendo. Some obvious exceptions to prove the rule, none of the developers listed here would be it. Plenty of games in the same genre have left these games in the dust in terms of quality.

    Respawn being listed is beyond gross. Stroking a game that sells a skin for $20 is disgusting. Those are the AAA versions of those awful mobile games you see on YouTube ads. No substance, no soul, dated mechanics.

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