Oh man, this gen was full of outstanding moments for me. I'm probably forgetting a bunch, but off the top of my head:
The Witcher 3: entering Novigrad. Now, I was already a massive fan of the series since the first one. And I had even read a bunch of the books. So I was already REALLY looking forward to seeing Novigrad in this gorgeous gorgeousness of a game set in a setting that I already absolutely adored. Still it managed to surpass my expectations. I had upgraded my PC just for this game and was therefore able to play on high settings which meant a lot of people of walking around and it was just... wow. I mean, just.... the atmosphere, how both lively and lived in it looked, it was mind blowing.
Dark Souls 3: the first Dark Souls will probably forever remain the Souls with the best overall world design, none of the others have even really attempted to do something as intricately layered and connected on that scale between so many areas as DaS1. But as far as individual areas go, The Cathedral in Dark Souls 3 is the one to rule them all. An absolute masterclass in level design, which has has you circling around this huge structure first before entering through a massive doorway to find yourself literally face to face with a giant who is standing a few stories below. As you circle around and explore, your path weaves in and out of the massive central area on multiple levels, with each discovery opening up new paths and connections which seem to have no end. As I had finally rinsed and explored every nook and cranny of that area, I had to pause for a moment to take it all in. The intimidating giant at the start paled in significance compared to the epic scenes that surrounded him, he was but a small detail in one of the most exquisite areas I have ever experienced in a video game.
Yakuza Zero: it's tempting to just say "the whole damn game! Let's goooo" but that wouldn't be in the spirit of this thread. Instead I'll describe this one moment that floored me and I'll always remember whenever I think back to this wonderful game. It's a spoiler for the very end of the game though
NieR : Automata: well of course THIS CANNOT CONTINUE crossed my mind, but it's very difficult to choose just one moment. Or even just two. So I'll do two. Instead of doing spoiler tags for this one, I'm going to keep it vague. If you've played, you'll *know*. First, Pascal. The first impression you get from this dude and his village totally subverts what eventually happens and it hit like punch in the gut. Second: the start of the second playthrough, when I realized exactly what was happening in the tutorial. Yoko Taro you wonderful crazy genius, you.
Super Mario Odyssey: the ending of New Donk City, I had the most biggesest and supidest grin on my face all the way through. Sheer, joyous brilliance.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake: The original holds a special place in my gaming memory. I was young and stupid back then, and all about DAT NINTENDO. Because that was the platform I happened to own. Didn't want anything to do with that PlayStation crap! Until I walked into my usual gaming shop and I saw the Final Fantasy 7 CGI intro running on a big television on the counter. I was a big fan of FF6 so I was already bummed out that it wasn't coming to TEH SUPER1OR N64, but what I saw there was jaw dropping. I'd never seen anything like it. Was this a game?! In hindsight, of course not, it was a CGI intro. But in that moment right there, I decided I needed a PS1 with FF7 more than anything. Subsequently I played nothing else for a year or so, played it three times in a row, immediately inserting disc 1 immediately after credits had rolled. I loved it, it was so unlike any other JRPG I had ever played. I was completely captivated by it. Thanks to all of this, my nostalgia for FF7 was strong as I started FF7R.
And you know what that one mid blowing moment was for me in Final Fantasy 7 Remake? Walking around in the slums... and looking up. Looking up! I was so fascinated by the setting playing the original game, but of course that game featured pre-rendered static backgrounds. Your mind tried to imagine what you couldn't see beyond the 2D image - what did it look like underneath the plates? In Final Fantasy 7 Remake, more than 20 years later, I looked up. And it was a glorious moment.
Control: well, the entire game really - it's a strong contender for my Game of the Generation, after all. But if I have to be more specific, I would maybe mention the wonderful combat which is so much fun - way up there with the likes of CE and FEAR for me. Or maybe the story/setting which is a perfect blend of X-Files, Twin Peaks, and Remedy absurdity. But when it really gets down to one specifically specific moment... (HUGE HUGE HUGE MASSIVE BLOODY SPOILER DO NOT OPEN UNTIL YOU"VE FINISHED IT 100%)
...and marvelled at the brilliance of Remedy as a developer being at the top of their game again. Making wonderful weird stuff like this seem easy. It all fits so perfectly and this one moment has made me so excited for everything they have planned right now.
Titanfall 2: seeing the levels being built as you're parkouring up them