Probably no big surprises but who knows. What about YOU? What are YOUR top games?
10. BOXBOY! (3DS) - This neat little puzzle platformer had a lot more to it than I expected. 9. Stretchmo (3DS) - I still like Pushmo the best, but Stretchmo was a solid take on the Pushmo 3D puzzle formula. 8. SteamWorld Heist (3DS) - This 2D turn-based strategy game about fighting and looting popped up on my radar and won me over. 7. FAST Racing NEO (Wii U) - Not quite at F-Zero GX level, but man does it try. Great clone of the GX formula. 6. Kirby and the Rainbow Curse (Wii U) - Sequel to canvas curse, doesn't have the freshness of the original but was still great fun. 5. Splatoon (Wii U) - I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting much from this when it was announced but it's a super fun squad shooter that plays by its own rules. 4. DUCK GAME (PC) - A wild 2D brawler with a variety of zany weapons and courses. Great for Smash Bros. fans. 3. Human Resource Machine (Wii U) - A puzzle game about writing code might not be for everyone, but it got me hooked hard. 2. Xenoblade Chronicles X (Wii U) - Tough to place this one at "only" 20 hours in, so it might eventually end up somewhere else on the list, but for now I'm loving the huge and beautiful world in a great follow-up to one of my favorite RPGs ever. 1. Undertale (PC) - Totally took me by surprise. I had never even heard of this game until the week it came out. 2D SNES style RPG with elements of Earthbound and WarioWare that makes non-violence fun. Could say more but you have all heard me talk about this game enough already.
Some 2015 games I would have liked to play but didn't: Bloodborne, Crypt of the NecroDancer, Her Story, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, Read Only Memories, Rocket League, Super Mario Maker, Until Dawn, Yoshi's Woolly World, and more!
nate38's top 35 games played in 2015! (that'd be all of them) Games released in 2015 are in Italics Nintendo system games are in Red
35. Gunman Clive -- Less than 30 minutes long, and its lasting impression is even shorter. 34. Bit.Trip Runner 2 -- I just can't harmonize with Runner or its sequel. 33. Outland -- Played with a buddy in co-op and got lost, so we quit. I'd like to finish it someday but I think we've abandoned it. 32. Hammerwatch -- Played through it with a buddy in co-op, pretty forgettable. 31. The Next Penelope -- Wasn't nearly as fun as it looked, unfortunately. 30. Game of Thrones: A Telltale Game Series -- Only played the first episode. Just couldn't get into it for some reason. 29. Tales of Xillia -- Played for maybe five hours before I came to an area where the random enemies would one-shot my party. I'd consider grinding if the combat were as compelling as other Tales games, but it's not. 28. Rodea The Sky Soldier -- Didn't even beat the tedious final boss. A unique game that doesn't do enough with its gimmick. 27. Resident Evil 6 -- Played in co-op through Chris's campaign (barely counts as RE) and a little bit of Leon's (passable). Dunno if I'll play more. 26. Valkyria Chronicles -- Made it to Chapter 7 before losing interest. Can't pinpoint a reason why it didn't appeal to me. 25. One Way Heroics -- Beat it a few times, neat idea and does enough to justify its super budget price tag. 24. The Misadventures of Tron Bonne -- Beat the game, charming and fun but clunky. 23. OlliOlli -- Finished all stages on Amateur mode. Not a lot to it, but it does well with what's there. 22. Transistor -- Cool style, but the combat/strategy felt lacking. 21. Shadow Complex Remastered -- Pretty okay Metroidvania, I guess. 20. Pandora's Tower -- Fun premise and decent combat, but too repetitive for its length. 19. Nintendo Badge Arcade -- Don't give me that look! It's fun and I haven't spent a dime! 18. Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim -- These games are just a nice, short JRPG palate cleanser. 17. Kirby's Star Stacker -- Nothing amazing, but it's good enough (and easy enough) for me to actually 100% a puzzle game! 16. Shantae and the Pirate's Curse -- I definitely have my issues with this (and the DSi game) but it's pretty solid fun. 15. The Legend of Korra -- A halfway decent licensed game! Lasted just long enough. 14. The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes -- Having technical issues, but it's good when it works. 13. Kirby and the Rainbow Curse -- The core of the game is just decent, but it's got good variety and lots of charm. 12. Titan Souls -- It's a top-down, faster paced Shadow of the Colossus, which is cool. I actually prefer it to SOTC. 11. Umihara Kawase -- I love a good grappling hook mechanic, and Umihara Kawase / Yumi's Odd Odyssey has the best one ever. 10. Umihara Kawase Shun: Steam Edition -- Basically the SNES game but slightly better...maybe? I dunno. 9. Mega Man: Super Fighting Robot -- Solid fan-game! 8. Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows -- Great DLC, and for free! Looking forward to more. 7. Stealth Inc. 2: A Game of Clones -- Has a few little issues, but overall a great puzzle platformer. 6. Super Mario Maker -- I've burned out on both playing and making stages, but I still like it if only to see what creative stuff people make with the tools. 5. BOXBOY! -- Great little game! 4. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze -- It's DKC, obviously it's great. 3. Freedom Planet -- Worthy of standing with the Genesis-era Sonic games, with its own twists on the formula. Looking forward to the forthcoming free character DLC. 2. Crypt of the Necrodancer -- Perfect marriage of Roguelike and Rhythm, awesome soundtrack, surprisingly decent little story. Can't say enough good things about this game. 1. Undertale -- I didn't buy into the hype. But it's the real deal.
It was a tight race between my top 3 for overall GOTY, and maybe the fact that I JUST played Undertale gives it a leg up. But the more I read and think about it after playing, the more I like it.
Cool! I always look forward to these end of year threads. It's fun seeing what everyone thought of this year's games. Here's my countdown for all the new games I played this year.
15. Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival -- I don't dislike this game, but I don't enjoy it for more than a few moments per play session. More than anything it makes me feel bored, which is in some ways worse than just being bad. At least there's something interesting to talk about with games that are worse. 14. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain -- Probably the biggest video game dissapointment I've ever experienced. The gameplay is pretty fun at first, but you end up spending 60-100 hours commuting through a wasteland and sneaking into repetitive huts so you can press the pickup button. And then you have to wait for the helicopter to come pick you up, and you spend a lot of time waiting for that helicopter. I give MGS4 a ton of shit, but at least that game tried to tell a story. They didn't even finish making- No, no. I'm not going to get into a rant on this. 13. Mario Party 10 -- A decent entry in a somewhat tired series. I had fun with this one, but there are more than a handful of other Mario Party's I'd rather play than this one. 12. Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection: -- I'm not entirely qualified to speak on the full package, as I've only played the original Uncharted on this collection. And it's AAA game design from 2007 in its most distilled and pure form, for better or worse. In 2015, it's just a middling action game. For Naughty Dog, this feels like a huge step back coming off of the Jak series. 11. BOXBOY -- A simple a fun puzzle game. I only got stuck in a few places, but the low difficulty level allows for a nice feeling of flow as you smoothly travel from one obstacle to the next. 10. WWE 2K16 -- A pretty good wrestling game. Not much else to say. 9. Gunman Clive 2 -- I'm kind of surprised this didn't end up higher on my list. It's a short and sweet platformer with fun variety in its characters. This sequel goes global, offering an impressive variety of locales and level themes. 8. The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes -- The best multiplayer Zelda, but only an okay Zelda game. It's good fun in local play, and online holds up surprisingly well. I don't think multiplayer Zelda can get much better than this, so my comparatively lower rating comes from my preference for single player Zelda games. However, I still can appreciate this game for what it is. 7. Codename: S.T.E.A.M. -- A nice, unique take on turnbased strategy. The best way I can think of to describe it is mixing the mechanics of Valkria Chronicles with the narrower level structure of Fire Emblem. It makes for an interesting strategy game where every unit feels unique and valuable, and busting out their unique powers in a tight situation feels very empowering. 6. One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 -- This feels like a passion project made by One Piece fans. From the way level structure mirrors events from the manga within the Dynasty Warriors framework to the loving recreations of oft-seen landmarks from the series (such as the Franky House or the hills to Syrup Village). I also love the vibrant colors. Playing this after Hyrule Warriors makes the experience feel so much smoother since there are no enemies that force you to stop in your tracks and monotonously wait for an opening. I love One Piece and I love maritime settings, so I really dig this game. 5. Super Mario Maker -- Making levels is fun and a lot less intimidating once you just jump in and do it. The constant stream of Mario levels is nice to have, but most can't compare to an official Mario release. I imagine this game will have a lifespan that matches or exceeds that of the Wii U, with creative new levels being made for years. Once in a while, I'll get the urge to see what new stages are available or put together a new stage, so it's nice to have this game available for that creative urge. 4. Splatoon -- A delightfully vibrant and inspired shooter. I love the bright colors, urban environments, and aquatic design inspirations. Swimming through ink is a fun quirk that is fun to do on it's own, but also offers tactical depth, and covering up your opponents colors with your own is satisfying. 3. Yoshi's Woolly World -- Whether I prefer this or Splatoon comes down to which day you ask me. This is such a lovely game. A pleasant atmosphere and upbeat music make Yoshi's world enticing, and collecting everything feels rewarding. It's a nice, charming game that is easy to relax to. 2. Bloodborne -- Bloodborne is one of my favorite games, period. I love the dark, twisted world, the descent into lovecraftian horror, and the speedy take on Dark Souls gameplay. The history of Bloodborne's world is intriguing, with the way society structured itself around the old blood and great ones being a fascinating twist on a Victorian setting. Insight is a brilliant mechanic that really drives home the impact of the monstrous horrors your character is witnessing. The creature designs are superb as well, feeling both repulsive and irresistible to look away from. 1. Majora's Mask 3D -- My favorite game of the year is a remake of my favorite game. Bloodborne did put up a good fight, though.
BONUS My favorite game I played for the first time in 2015: Dark Souls (it just barely beat out Bloodborne- they're almost tied for me). Most surprisingly fun game I played for the first time in 2015: Pandora's Tower. It's like a more polished and straightforward take on the painfully overlooked One Piece: Unlimited Adventure. Well, they do have the same developer. I'm surprised more people weren't talking about this game when it came out a few years ago, as it has quickly become one of my favorite Wii games.
I was unemployed for most of the year so I've only recently got some new games. So my selection may include a few releases from previous year or so that I got and played this year.
10. Crimson Dragon - This is a fun game but only pretty late into it. Ugly as heck though.
9. Picross e5 - Nothing special. I just love Picross.
8. Strider - I still need to get back to this, but it was good when I was playing it.
7. 3D Galaxy Force II - The amount of work put into these 3D releases is amazing.
6. Yoshi's Woolly World - I'm not a hater when it comes to the other Yoshi's Island sequels, but at the same time they weren't amazing. But I'm really liking Woolly World. Some of the secrets feel like they require smart solutions.
5. Resident Evil: Revelations 2 - A game that I love certain moments more than the whole. Plus Claire is still my favorite character in the series.
4. Super Mario Maker - Just the existence of this game is kinda amazing.
3. 3D Out Run - It's weird. I don't drive in real life, but I love games like this. I guess you don't have to know how to drive to experience a good ride in the country.
2. Call of Duty: Black Ops III - A much more accepted game than the previous two COD entries. It's fast and fun and they've managed to have a pretty good balance between weapons. Which the previous two games struggled with.
1. Xenoblade Chronicles X - I love exploring the world. Day turns to night and you see the two moons. And then there's the aurora. And then there's a meteor shower. So beautiful.
There's a handful of games I got but haven't put the time in to have a real opinion about. Batman: Arkham Knight, Lego Batman 3, Shantae and the Pirate's Curse are all games that I think would definitely be on my list if I've played for than a hour of each.
I've got a solid list of 10 right now, but I'm probably going to come up with something more formal towards the end of the month. As far as 2015 games, there are only four left that I really want to get to (or play more of). Fallout 4 hasn't grabbed me yet, but admittedly I've only put a few hours into it. I don't feel like I've really hit the meat of it yet. I'm going to be starting Undertale and Splatoon soon. And then my copy of Xenoblade X gets here in a few days, which I'm really curious to try. The weird thing about all four of those is that they aren't typically the sorts of game I'd be into, but there are several things I find very appealing about each of them, where I feel like they're all worth checking out.
That said, if I never got to play those games I'd be pretty happy with my list as of now, but I plan to give them all a fair shake. Here's where I'm leaning right now:
10. Rise of the Tomb Raider - It's still not the Tomb Raider I really want, but it's a really good game on its own merits. Better than TR2013 in every respect. Most of my time spent playing the game was enjoyable, and you could do a lot worse than that.
9. Grow Home - I'm glad that this game can exist in 2015, and from Ubisoft, no less! It takes N64/GCN-era 3D platforming in a direction that I've always wanted to see it go.
8. Until Dawn - It's a David Cage-style game that's actually good, in addition to being well-written and well-acted. It's one of the most genuinely entertaining games I've played all year. Beyond this, I was surprised by its chops as a horror game and its ability to subvert genre expectations.
7. Ori and the Blind Forest - One of the prettiest-looking games I've ever played. But there's far more to it than just how beautiful it looks and sounds; it's a really great Metroidvania that doubles as a very tightly-designed and very challenging 2D platformer.
6. Yoshi's Woolly World - Deceptively-challenging and bringing something unique to each level, it's the second-best 2D platformer on the Wii U behind Tropical Freeze, and Good Feel's best work since Wario Land: Shake It! It's the most charming game I've played all year.
5. The Talos Principle - Fills the void left by the lack of Portal since 2011. It's an excellent first-person puzzler that expects a lot from you as a player. Coming up with the solution for each puzzle, as well as exploring each world for its myriad hidden secrets, is incredibly rewarding and satisfying.
4. SOMA - If not for the monster encounters being very underwhelming after last year's Alien: Isolation, this would probably be my game of the year. It's a master class in video game storytelling, world-building, and developing suspense. It rarely holds your hand, leaving it to the player to explore and figure out what to do, where to go, and piece the story together. It offers a thought-provoking narrative where choices are less about how game events will play out, and hits more on a personal level about where these choices are ethically or morally acceptable. It's also probably the most atmospheric game I've ever played.
3. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - It follows the modern open-world design that I've gotten tired of in recent years, but it makes up for it by how much care is put into every piece of content in the game (and there's lots of it). I was driven to see everything in this game, because if I skipped anything, I felt like I was missing out on something worthwhile. It's very impressive how even the smallest quests are well-written and compelling, and in a game that's very dense with content, very little of it felt throwaway.
2. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain - I never would have expected this sort of gameplay showpiece to come from a Kojima game, but here it is. The story is undeniably shit and the design and structure of the game leaves a lot to be desired, but the game plays like a dream and I had so much fun with it that I kept coming back for more. I put hundreds of hours into it, and it's the first game I've ever platinum'd.
1. Bloodborne - My first "Souls" game, and while I expected to like it, I wasn't prepared for this game to get its hooks in me the way that it did. I could not get enough of the game's sense of progression, that constant feeling of "I'm getting better" as I chipped away at exploring every inch of the game world. It's brilliantly-made in so many respects: the combat mechanics, the level design, the boss fights, the art-style. When I wasn't playing Bloodborne, I'd be thinking about how much I'd rather be playing Bloodborne. I'd literally be sitting at work, thinking about how I'd tackle a certain area or boss fight once I got home. It's probably the closest any game has gotten to being the equivalent of an addictive drug.
Pretty awesome year, and there's still more to check out.
1. Fallout 4 Bethesda has this patented brand of exploration and discovery that feels wholly unique in the open-world genre. Their worlds simply demand that no stone is left unturned. They did it again with Fallout 4, bringing a much-welcome vibrant color palette to the party as well as shooting mechanics that ** gasp!! ** actually feel good.
2. Life Is Strange Loved the grounded nature of this game. Authentic people is everyday normal spaces is such an exciting direction for games (if you ignore that whole "rewind time" thing). LiS also gets my vote for best presentation of 2015, simply gorgeous top to bottom. Bonus props for the incredible licensed soundtrack.
3. Hacknet Hacknet makes me feel like a real, bad-ass hacker, not a Hollywood phony. Using a terminal-based interface is genius. Great story to boot, and I loved the voyeuristic fluff writing (non-story emails, irc chat logs, etc.). Hacknet is my Sleeper Hit of the year.
4. Pillars of Eternity My Comfy Slippers pick of 2015, PoE marked a welcome return of the classic CRPG format with fresh new coat of paint. Wonderfully descriptive writing brings the characters to life. My favorite words of the year.
5. Skiing Yeti Mountain (iOS) Part 1 of my mobile, F2P, single-thumb game winners. Yeti Mountain is a liquid smooth joy. Addictive Gold par times, TONS of content (800+ levels), no badgering with micro-transactions (watch an ad every dozen levels or so). I just paid the two bucks to turn off the ads. This is my daily-public-commute-podcast-Zen game.
6. Galactic Keep (iOS) An 80s-inspired sci/fi tabletop game. Galactic Keep is a labor of love, developed over a 6-year period by two people. It has a hand-crafted feel and wonderful, hand-drawn grid-paper presentation. Another title with fantastic, expressive writing. Best $2.99 youíll spend on mobile all year.
7. Blackbay Asylum Donít buy Blackbay. Just donít. Itís crass and non-P.C. Every object in the game has at least 2 wholly unique lines written for it that are commented on by the anti-hero Doug. And itís just WRONG. But itís WRONG in the RIGHT kind of way. At thatís why it easily lands on my Top 10 this year.
8. GTA V The remaster of this game is a technical marvel. The sheer amount of assets that went into the production is mind-boggling. And putting it all into first-person perspective for the first time completely changes the way the franchise both feels & plays. Iím not big on Summer Blockbuster gaming, but Rockstar just has this magic that pulls me in.
9. Rebel Galaxy Grungy with Attitude is how Iíd describe RG. A space-combat game on a 2D plane isnít supposed to work, but it does here. Another title with simply fantastic licensed soundtrack
10 . Shooty Skies (iOS) Part 2 of my mobile, F2P, single-thumb games, Shooty Skies comes from the Crossy Road guys and shares the same presentational style. Itís an endless shoot-Ďem-up and it packs a punch in the audio/visual dept. Hilarious, non-traditional characters (both player & a.i.). Crazy-addictive thatís another work-commute, podcast gem.
One thing I noticed about my picks this year is that there are exactly 2 full-priced $60 games on the list. It makes me feel really good about the state of indie game development and the self-publishing/digital distribution model that makes it all possible. It feels like ideas and experiences on offer are becoming exponentially more fresh & diverse as a direct result.
It's simply an awesome time to be a gamer.
Titles that Just Missed the cut: Her Story Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 (360) Car Mechanic Simulator 2015 Sunless Sea Lara Croft GO (iOS) Ryan North's To Be Or Not To Be (iOS)
Likely Candidates I Haven't Played Yet (or put enough time into): Contradiction - Spot The Liar! Cibele Undertale Duskers Rodina DiRT Rally Cradle
It's hard for me to come up with a list of 10 because I'm so far behind with my backlog and I haven't really played a ton of games this year, I've yet to play Super Mario Maker and Yoshi even though I own both those games and I'm sure they'd rank high.
So I'll just do top 5, in no particular order.
1. Bloodborne 2. Wolfenstein The Old Blood 3. Dark Souls 2 Scholar of the the First Sin 4. Steamworld Heist 5. Splatoon
@New Forms Rebel Galaxy is high on my list of things to try out once it makes the jump from Windows-only to consoles.
10. Transformers Devastation - It's rare these days to play a licensed game as polished and playable as this. Though it's safer and smaller than Platinum's best games, their mastery of the action genre is evident throughout.
9. Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX - This rhythm game tries its best to put a smile on your face with its catchy songs and adorable graphics. It succeeded in my case!
8. Yoshi's Woolly World - I've been waiting for a Yoshi game to be this good for years. It's totally devoted to its aesthetic and does so many fun things with it. I haven't finished it yet, so I can't rank it much higher than this.
7. SteamWorld Heist - The "Heist" part of this turn-based strategy game's title is well-conveyed through its rewarding loot system and randomly generated levels that lead to some exciting, spontaneous shootouts. The excellent sound design and dense, detailed graphics compliment the creative gameplay.
6. Etrian Odyssey Untold 2: The Fafnir Knight - Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl is a good game, but this sequel improves upon its design in just about every way possible. The battle system has more depth, the environments are livelier, and exploration is more complex. Like the first Etrian Odyssey Untold, the characters are likable, and their quest adds a bit of fun to the Etrian Odyssey experience.
5. Bloodborne - I was constantly intrigued by Bloodborne's fiction and atmosphere, but it's also incredibly fun to play. The environments are intricately-designed and exploring them fills me with a sense of dread and fascination. The combat feels smart and immensely rewarding, too.
4. Kirby and the Rainbow Curse - Playing this game is like wrapping yourself with a warm, fuzzy blanket on a cold day. Like Yoshi's Woolly World, the graphics are instrumental to its appeal, and directing Kirby around by drawing lines is still as fun as it was back on the Nintendo DS.
3. Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. - I found this game's brand of turn-based strategy to be incredibly engaging, and the cast of literature characters turned comic book heroes appeals to me in a big way.
2. Super Mario Maker - I absolutely love the silliness, wickedness, and all-around creativity that Super Mario Maker inspires. It's truly amazing what can be done with its building blocks, and our creations speak volumes for the quality and accessibility of Super Mario Maker's design and the genius of the Super Mario series. It's also something that my brother and I can enjoy together, and for that I'm thankful for this game.
1. Splatoon - Splatoon is Nintendo at its best. It's a refreshingly original take on a genre that Nintendo isn't known for, and the gameplay that they concocted is sublime. Making a mess with ink and then using that ink to get around is conceptually and mechanically brilliant. I also love the aquatic and trendy culture of Splatoon's world. To top if off, Nintendo released a variety of additional content throughout 2015 for free. Each new stage, weapon, mode, and set of gear made Splatoon even more colorful and enjoyable with each update.
Nintendo has come up with another new IP that innovates and leaves a lasting impression. Splatoon has joined Nintendo's most celebrated franchises seemingly overnight, and for good reason. It owns its style and feels fun, fresh, and new every time I play it. It's easily my favorite game of 2015.
@Octorockin There seem to be a lot of decent Transformers games, no? Looking at GR there are like 4 or 5 different Transformers games at over 75%. Wish some of my favorite licenses could say the same.
@Mop it up There is some back and forth and different opinions on this, but I think we sort of loosely ended up at "official site content should be Nintendo stuff". And my list is MOSTLY Nintendo stuff, but not all. Plus we have the GOTY stuff coming up for our more "official" site consensus on 2015 games.
Oh man, how many games did I even play in 2015...?
MGSV and Mario Maker were pretty much all I played during the last third of the year, and both of those games are excellent. I had a lot of fun with Splatoon this summer too, it's like Mario Kart and Smash's shooter cousin.
Her Story and The Beginner's Guide were both really awesome new takes on what a game can be. I didn't get super-big into Her Story, but I definitely respect it, and I just played through The Beginner's Guide last night... was super interesting.
Hotline Miami 2 was probably the most forgettable game I played all year. I've got nothing against that game since I totally understand and respect what Dennaton was going for with it, but ultimately I'm not going to remember it nearly as well as Hotline Miami 1, which is one of my favorite games ever. I didn't care nearly as much about Snakebird as I expected to either.
Playing Lakeview Cabin Collection in the dark at night with a group of friends is probably the best gaming experience I had all year. Such a fun, hilarious game.
Human Resource Machine really got me back into coding, so I'm glad that game existed. Was very fun.
Sonic Dreams Collection was an amazing experience too. I guess what excites me the most about games nowadays is that they're all so different and crazy that you never really know what to expect, and that makes them really hard to compare to one another. There's no way I can possibly choose between MGSV, Mario Maker, and the Sonic Dreams Collection. That's like choosing between climbing a mountain, eating a plate of spaghetti, and reading a book!
Oh yeah, shout out to Shapes of Gray. I made the game I wanted to play, and I still go back and play through it about once a month or so. So much fun.