The whole team got together and we compiled a list of our top 10 games this year. It’s been an amazing year for games, let’s hope 2016 has as much to offer.
Besides the fact that I’m indie loving hipster trash, Undertale beats other triple A gaming titles for my game of the year because it managed to give me the type of experience I’ve never had from any game with a budget in the millions. It featured some of the most memorable characters, music, and mechanics I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing through. While I wanted to play more, I think the game is a good length for what it was, and I found the second play through to be quite interesting given the subtle references to the fact that it wasn’t the players first run. The twists at the end of the game still blow my mind just thinking about them, and it was an incredibly strong finish for a game that was enjoyable for the entire time I played. If the developer Toby Fox was to produce direct or spiritual sequels without going full Five Nights at Freddy’s mode, I would absolutely pick them up on release.
One thing that stood out: How the game both breaks the mold of and parodies its own genre
Eddie: Uncharted: Nathan Drake Collection
So I know that technically these games were released quite a while ago, but I feel that this remake of Naughty Dog‘s classic PS3 games really is a top notch collection and worthy of being top 10. The games look wonderful, the mechanics and general game play are a breeze, especially with the gun mechanics from Uncharted 2 being used in all three games. Never a dull moment, puzzles galore and Sully’s quick wit will keep you going for hours on end, and leave you hungry for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (set for release March 2016)
One thing that stood out: That god-damned helicopter bit in Uncharted 2; equal parts hard/frightening, but it looks incredible, which just adds to the stress.
Michael: Fallout 4
Fallout 4 is a no brainer for this list, and that’s great! 7 years after Fallout 3, Bethesda Softworks came back better, bigger and stronger than ever with Fallout 4. The game is breathtaking; beautiful visuals combined with a seemingly endless supply of missions and a compelling storyline makes this one of the greatest games of 2015, if not all time. Set in post-apocalyptic Boston, you are a vault dweller with one main desire. The world is filled with familiar factions and throwbacks to the previous titles, but also a truckload of new stuff for you to find, play and build. With only a few drawbacks (poor dialogue options and quirky Bethesda-bugs) Fallout 4 is a must play for anybody, gamer or not.
One thing that stood out: Seemingly endless fun.
Clarke: Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
When I first bought this MH4U, I had no idea exactly how much I would be absorbed. Being a 3DS game, of course the graphics aren’t going to stack up to some of the other titles on this list, but for what it is, they’re brilliant. The real appeal of Monster Hunter titles is the challenge, and the AI of what you’re hunting. With the addition of a few new features, it’s become the perfect title to get new scrubs into the series (like me), while still providing a good challenge. Monsters feel alive, not just like mindless enemies, more like animals in their ecosystem. It’s really the replayability that seals the deal for me though, with the fact that I’ve invested almost 500 hours in this and there’s still more to do.
One thing that stood out: Monsters use head tracking to actually look at you.
Joss: Ori and the Blind Forest
It is incredible how Ori and the Blind Forest can invoke such emotion and heartbreak through a short and wordless opening. This soul-crushing prequel to the rest of the game sets you up for an incredible journey, with the best platforming gameplay I’ve experienced since Metroid on my Gameboy. This breath-taking platformer seriously has it all, satisfying progression through mechanics and gameplay, engaging and intense enemies that push your skills and collectables that make a real difference to your gameplay. But the crescendo, the cherry on the cake, has to be the titles’ jaw-dropping artwork that rivals artists through the generations.
Moon Studios I bow to you. This game will leave you feeling violated. 10/10, would play again, and again, and again.
One thing that stood out: Escaping Ginso tree as it rapidly floods with water, insanely fun, challenging and b-e-a-utiful.
Tahlia – Rise of the Tomb Raider.
Rise of the Tomb Raider is the latest installment in the Tomb Raider series, and is a worthy contender for Game of the Year. The game sits perfectly between the old and new Tomb Raider series’, and we experience a delightful mix of both seeing Lara as a tough young woman taking on her second big adventure since the 2013 reboot, and seeing crowd pleasing features returning such as the larger amount of tombs/puzzles that are available to be explored/completed. Whether you’re a stealth master or run-in-guns-blazing type there are weapons and challenges to suit everyone in this spectacular new game that captures the badass nature of the old series and combines it with open world like areas and innovative new gameplay that made the reboot such a massive hit.
One thing that stood out: The detailed and impressive skill trees.
Dion – Rocket League
Humans love a great underdog story, we can’t help but cheer for them. Whether it’s a courageous battle like Rocky, a death defying war such as 300 or even just a tale of a small boy given a loan of a measly 1 million dollars who then grew up to entertain the world (god bless Trump). Rocket League is one of those stories. An Indie label with a crazy idea for a game that blew up and defecated all over most triple A “games”. The beauty of Rocket League came from its simplicity, you take soccer (uhuh), you take monster trucks (uhuh) and you throw them all together in some demolition derby action fun! It breaks away from the normal structure of a modern game and just lets the player have fun and that’s what gaming should be all about. The controls are not too difficult that you give up straight away but also have enough room for you to actually improve and for it to show in your game, but you may still end up winning via some pot luck bogus goal that you will end up telling your grandchildren about. That all looks amazing but it gets better, because this is a game that you can even just sit and watch. I found endless hours of fun just watching people stream as they boosted, bashed and bobbled around the map while simultaneously giving gravity a big FU.
Thank you Rocket League.
One thing that stood out: A quality indie game
Callum: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Over twenty five years after Metal Gear was released and Hideo Kojima’s legendary franchise was introduced to gaming, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain brought the canon to a close. MGSV is not only one of the greats because it has a rich heritage, it is a masterpiece of gaming for many reasons. Most notable is MGSV’s incredibly dynamic massive open world and diverse, intriguing base building. The game manages these two expansions to the franchise while staying loyal and true to Kojima’s “tactical espionage action” and the series as a whole. While the game is not perfect and in many ways is a let down to the story arc of Big Boss, its gameplay is engaging, unpredictable and exciting. Metal Gear Solid V is one of Kojima’s greats and a fitting end to his Metal Gear series but it is also one of 2015’s best games.
One thing that stood out: Fultoning. So many hours of fultoning, so many hours of fun.
Matthew: Halo 5
Halo 5 is the best Halo title since Halo 2, perhaps even of all time. With a completely revitalised multiplayer, stunning visuals and an all new multiplayer mode, Halo 5 belongs in the top ten games of 2015. 343 Industries has done wonders with Halo and it’s protagonist Chief, bringing an all new life to a game that we thought had ended when Bungie handed the reigns over. Halo 5 is a testament to what 343 industries and the Xbox One is capable of (plus it’s the only game I’m not terrible at). The story may seem weak or patched together at times, but the multiplayer is where Halo has always and will always shine. Halo 5 is a game not to be missed, and has left us thirsting for Halo 6.
One thing that stood out: Blue team back in action, what a sight.
Jayden: Life is Strange
If you haven’t heard of Dontnod, don’t worry too much, they’re still pretty fresh out the oven. Their first title, Remember Me, was not the most well received of games, but provided us with original concepts, interesting gameplay features, and a fairly cool experience overall. Life is Strange is their second release, a point and click graphic adventure game, which again provided us with originality and interesting gameplay, but also brought so much more to the table. Travelling through time, solving mysteries, and going on adventures with your best friend gave the game a very unique vibe, and with so many well written and complex NPCs, you could truly feel at home inside Arcadia Bay. It’s a shame that, even with Square Enix backing them, Dontnod had budget issues and had to cut one of the possible endings short, but overall it was such an amazing experience, which will hopefully only be improved upon with the announced sequel.
One thing that stood out: A true to heart mystery solving adventure like you’ve never experienced before.