I review a whole lot of new video games each year. So when one sticks with me long after I’ve beaten it, that’s an indication of a truly great game — doubly so if it’s a AAA release. That doesn’t always happen with the games to which I gave the highest and lowest scores; it can happen with any game. A good example of this is 2023’s Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. I gave the game a four-star review in April, and it’s been one of the most memorable games for me in 2023, a year that had tons of fantastic games.

This Black Friday, the PS5 and Xbox Series X versions of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor will be discounted to , a massive discount from its usual $70 price tag. In a time when a lot of Star Wars content has been inconsistent in terms of quality, as a game critic, I highly recommend picking up Star Wars Jedi: Survivor at a discounted price this Black Friday.

The second entries in Star Wars sagas have a habit of being very distinct and meaningful, whether that’s because they hit high heights like The Empire Strikes Back and The Mandalorian season 2 or were divisive like The Last Jedi and EA’s Star Wars: Battlefront II. Survivor continues this trend, but ends up in that positive camp. It’s a sequel to 2019’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (it’s helpful, but not necessary to play beforehand) and continues the story of Cal Kestis, who is once again expertly played by Cameron Monaghan of Shameless fame.

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Like its predecessor, Survivor is inspired by Metroidvania and Soulslike titles when it comes to gameplay, but is much bigger in scope. Much of the game takes place on the planet of Koboh, a sizable world full of areas to explore and secrets to find. Difficulty and accessibility options also make the game as easy or as difficult as you want it to be; Survivor can provide an overwhelming Jedi fantasy or a grueling action game experience. In a year full of great sequels, it’s another follow-up that improves upon its predecessor in all the right ways.

Although its gameplay is enjoyable, the story Survivor tells is why the game has stuck with me months after launch. Survivor tells a markedly darker Star Wars tale about how people find hope, purpose, and the will to survive in what is undoubtedly one of the cruelest times of the Empire’s reign. I don’t want to spoil much, but the game’s major characters — Cal, Cere, Merrin, Bode, and Dagan — all have different, compelling storylines.

Like the Andor series on Disney+, this is one the most humanistic Star Wars adventures ever, and definitely the best story ever told in a Star Wars video game. The game’s ending is one of my favorite conclusions of the year and elicits a lot more powerful emotions than I expected. Over half a year after I’ve rolled credits on Survivor, I still find myself thinking about this game specifically quite a bit whenever Star Wars comes to mind.

Survivor is a massive AAA game that’s part of a franchise you probably recognize. Those surface-level qualities alone already make it a decent recommendation. But even though it wasn’t as widely recognized at The Game Awards as sequels like Baldur’s Gate 3, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, and Alan Wake 2, know that from a narrative standpoint, this is one of the most captivating AAA experiences you can play this year.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is discounted to $30 starting November 22 at Walmart.

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