So the year is drawing to a close, and before everyone goes off to Christmas I wanted to know what were your favorite titles this year?
Not just your #1 GOTY, but all of the major titles that left an impression of enjoyment on your face. Let’s say the format is a countdown from 10, and if necessary list some honorable mentions. If you have a game in your list that you think has gone under the radar, been forgotten, or you just want to evangelize something good feel free to boldface a short summary of why you love it. So go comment below!
To start things off, here is my personal list:
10. Metal Gear Solid V
Honestly hated the 1st hour of this game, never liked the previous entries, and in the end still couldn’t care less about the story. Yet...I loved this one. It dropped the janky controls, grew some systemic depth, and encouraged multiple playstyles as you choose your own path through bases. I’d have liked more diverse mission types, with more challenging AI, but still fun.
9. Fallout 4
I expected this game to be higher, but the reduced dialog and dropped karma weaken the capacity to role-play, holding it back. Still, it’s the first Bethesda game where the combat is now passable, the crafting honestly among the best I’ve experienced, storytelling has its moments, and that wanderlust only stronger in a Fallout that discovered color.
8. Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide
My surprise game of 2015. In quite a few ways it’s basically Left 4 Dead, yet the more refined first-person melee draws focus over ranged combat. Fights become more tense because of that, class types offer greater play variety, and the loot system promotes progression. Also, I just like the look of Warhammer over generic zombies.
Only PS4 exclusive that grabbed me this year, but it did a solid job. A faster Souls game, where dodging and gun crowd control replaces shields. Love the new health system, dual-function weapons, and procedural levels. Nice return to form in a cooler world than the other Souls games.
6. Cities: Skylines
After EA failed with Sim City, it’s great to see a smaller dev pick up the pieces. They kept the curved roads, stellar UI design, but expanded the size, had less broken systems, and day 1 mod support got me a Bladerunner Police Tower. Game deserves all the success EA could’ve had.
5. Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void
I planned on jumping into the main story campaign, or doing some friends vs. AI fights that I usually do with this series. Instead...I’ve largely played the new co-op mode. All the crazy generals with their OP units/powers in varying objectives is a great new spin that makes this expansion stand out.
4. Ori and the Blind Forest
Ori is the balance I want in games. Something that is utterly gorgeous to look at and listen to, without being weak in terms of gameplay. The controls are refined, the game is actually challenging, and it constantly throws news stuff in at the right pace. Even the story hits well.
Best ‘pure fun’ experience I’ve had this year. The game just oozes polish out of every orifice. I can pit warring factions against each other, hurl meteorites at people, transform into a mech with a laser-sword, and knock people into alien monsters that eat them. Controls are utter perfection.
2. Invisible Inc.
It’s the best stealth experience this year. When MGSV got easier the further I got into its campaign, Invisible Inc. only got more challenging/rewarding. The focus on intel and scouting is only amplified by procedural levels, and turns upping security makes each action matter. Klei continues to be great.
1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Open-worlds are always too big for me. Never enough variety or story to fill their space, and so fall back on checklist repetitive side-questing. Witcher 3 largely breaks this, giving side-quests the narrative context and player choice of RPG main threads. Instead of grinding through tasks, I’m exploring a world for the next tale. I wanna get lost, because there is something worth finding.
Honorable Mentions: Dying Light, Sunless Sea, Just Cause 3, Rocket League
So again, what are you favorite titles this year?