It’s the end of the year which means it’s time for everyone’s game of the year announcements. 2015 was a really good year for gamers.
1. The Witcher III: Wild Hunt: This took me 5 months to complete, but the ending was totally worth it. The Witcher series has always had a nice touch on bringing a “realistic” (for fantasy) world to life with characters and side stories. The Witcher III just brings more of that and in a fantastic open-world. Every main story quest along with every side quest felt well thought out. I could only imagine their storyboard and how that looked. The graphics are great, and the voice acting just brought each character to life. There were performance hick-ups and weird bugs (like the endless loading bugs from launch), but a fantastic experience all-around. It’s one of the few video games my wife has asked me to play through with her instead of watching a movie or TV show with her.
2. Bloodborne: From Software makes another incredibly hard action role-playing game set in a cool world that’s full of fast moving creatures and sweat triggering bosses. I’m a decent enough fan of the Souls games so this was going to be a sleeper hit for me. Only after playing this did I really notice how slow and clunky Souls games feel. This is definitely the best playing From Software game to date.
3. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: This could have easily been my game of the year if the game was actually complete. The gameplay is top-notch and a blast to play. It’s so good that you easily forget you’re spending a good chunk of chapter 2 doing the same missions you did before just on a harder difficulty.
4. Batman: Arkham Knight: I really enjoyed the previous entries and this was a bigger version of that. The combat felt great and the world felt a lot darker (thanks to that Mature rating — finally!). While this is clearly an unpopular opinion on the internet, I enjoyed the tank sequences a lot too. It’s one of those games I used to sit back and just take in the world.
5. Rocket League: This was an unexpected smash hit among my friends and myself. Take soccer and throw in some RC cars that do stunts. It’s a simple game that ended up being one of my most played multiplayer games of this year. It’s rare that I go out and buy DLC just to support them (since the PS4 version was free for Plus members), but I did just that.
6. Super Mario Maker: Who doesn’t enjoy 2D (or 2.5D) platforming with Mario physics? Being able to make and remake maps for 4 different Super Mario eras is great. It’s the perfect game to play when you don’t even want to play a game. And it’s the first game I’ve played that has a very practical reason to have a screen.
7. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege: I ate major crow on this game. I wasn’t a big fan of the first beta I played. I liked parts of it, but the terrorist hunt (one of my favorite modes from Rainbow Six Vegas) was really broken and had some ridiculously mediocre A.I.. I didn’t think I would ever play the final release. Now, this is my go to multiplayer game. It’s a party game so if you don’t have friends playing with you, I don’t know how much you’re going to enjoy it. But I have a rotating set of friends playing with me anytime I want now. It’s one of the few games that has lasting appeal with limited maps, limited customization (compared to Vegas), and lacking a campaign. As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve had more fun than I could have imagined with it.
8. Mortal Kombat X: This game doesn’t hold a candle to how great Mortal Kombat 9 rebooted the MK series, but it’s still a great game. I know the PC version had some issues at launch, but once you were in the game it was a bloody good time. The first month this was out, I had played over 300 matches. That’s a lot of MK time for me since I suck at fighting games. And that gore. Whew!
9. Transformers: Devastation: A Platinum game based on the Transformers from the 80s? Sure. And graphics that look very 80s anime? Sure. This was kind of a shocking hit for me because I’m not the biggest Transformers fan.
10. Dying Light: I wasn’t a big fan of Dead Island, but who was? But Dying Light took the things I didn’t like, threw them in the trash, and made a game I think they originally wanted to make. A lot bigger open world to parkour through, less jank, and a great co-op experience. There was still the problem with having limitations on weapons you built, but they lasted a lot longer than in the Dead Island games.
* Yakuza 5 – It only missed my list because this game came out in 2013 technically.
* Axiom Verge – Really close to being on my list. It would be in the top 15, for sure.
* Tales of Borderlands – I haven’t finished the entire thing yet, but I enjoyed the first few chapters.
* Life is Strange – Same as above with Tales of Borderlands.
* Until Dawn – So close, but I picked Dying Light over this because I had more time with it.
I have a lot of games from this year that I haven’t played enough to say yes or no too. Undertale and Pillars of Eternity I just bought so I can’t say yes or no to it.