Boy was this year interesting. we finally got a new Battlefront game, and it sucked. A game about befriending monsters became the unexpected hit of the year, and we still didn’t get Persona 5 yet. 2015 brought quite a few games that tickled my fancy, not much in the the handheld department like last year, but plenty in the console zone. Now let’s talk about my top 10 games for the year. But don’t expect Black Ops 3 or The Witcher 3 to be on this list, because I didn’t play those.
10. Mortal Kombat X
A 10 at number 10. The latest installment to the iconic Mortal Kombat franchise provides an opening and welcoming experience. The gameplay is smooth and easy to pick up, the new characters are just as memorable as the old ones, and the fighting styles add versatility to the cast of characters. It’s a good fighting game to play for the days when you just want to tear someone’s head off, but don’t want the jail time.
Remember when 90% of licensed games sucked? Oh, that was a dark time. Thankfully, Mad Max did not return to that dark trend, and instead followed after the recent Fury Road movie in the sense that it was better than I expected it to be. While the Narrative was lacking, Mad Max more than made up for it with fluid and well-done gameplay, creative visuals, and some good car combat. Call me crazy, but I thought that Mad Max was a mad fun time.
8. Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax
Dengeki Bunko‘s easily accessible gameplay and simple roster of characters make it an enjoyable fighting game that any genre fan could enjoy, regardless of whether or not they understand the source material.
As much as I know you must want to hear me talk about an anime game, I already talked about it a lot in my review, which you can read
I never knew that I wanted a Platinum Games beat-em up based on the first generation of Transformers, but once I got my hands on it I was incredibly pleased. Gameplay is good, the combat is intense, and everything is surprisingly faithful to the original series in even the smallest of ways. It looks, sounds, and feels like the original series. Transformers Devastation is one half fast-paced beat-em-up, and the other half a well-crafted love letter to the series that started it all. Its a must-have for fans of Platinum’s work and Transformers fans alike.
After the failure that was Battlefield 4, I started having doubts about the series. Then Hardline comes along and restores my faith in the franchise. The story is great in comparison to Battlefield 4’s awful campaign, the gameplay is still strong, and the multiplayer is better than ever thanks to the money-based unlock system. In addition, modes like Hotwire make Battlefield Hardline my favorite multiplayer experience of the year. Thanks, Visceral Games, for showing me what Battlefield can still be.
You can Gary Swallow’s review of the game here, and my own impressions of the beta here.
5. Tales of Zestiria
While Zestiria had a slow start, almost everything after went really well. The characters are likeable, well-written, full of that chemistry only a Tales game can create. The visuals are great, the soundtrack is fantastic, the world itself has a rich lore full of potential, and the gameplay is great as well, and slightly more risky than the usual. The only things holding it back are its slow start, some questionable narrative choices (Especially regarding a character who drops out of the party for a poorly-explained reason not even halfway through the story), and a few other minor flaws. Despite the negatives, it’s a tale that deserves to be told.
4. Tales from the Borderlands
Tales from the Borderlands was incomplete last year, but now that it’s all done, I’m proud to say that it’s still worthy of my list. It took the already colorful and rich world of Borderlands, threw in some traditional Borderlands humor and Telltale storytelling, and spun an intricate and amusing tale that stands as Telltale’s most unique story yet, in my opinion; all building up to a climax where your choices throughout all the game, even the little ones, had an effect. Its the best of two worlds coming together as one.
The team at Spike Chunsoft have done it again, and made another great and unique Danganronpa game. It has everything that makes the series good: great characters, an exciting story, and plenty of innovative ideas, along with fully animated cutscenes, superb voice acting, and level exploration that didn’t feel like a waste of time. This was actually going to be my GOTY pick for the year, before my top 2 games came along in the last couple months and changed my mind.
But you don’t have to take my word for it! Oh wait, yes you do. You can read my full review of the game here.
Funny how the most unique game this year came from seemingly nowhere; but given Undertale‘s great story, innovative take on the traditional turn-based RPG gameplay, addicting soundtrack, and cast of likable and memorable characters, it’s no wonder Toby Fox’s RPG became a huge hit in a short amount of time. Its a game monstrously worth talking about, and I hope it’ll still be talked about years after its release.
1. Fallout 4
Out of every new game I’ve played this year, none was as fun to play as Fallout 4. While the narrative is a bit lacking and the sense of moral choice is very limited in comparison to New Vegas, the more than makes up for it with a large expansive world that I spent hours exploring, interesting characters full of personality, solid gameplay, and the best plot twist of the year. Combined with all the fun new features like settlement building and weapon crafting, Fallout 4 comes out on top as the best new game I’ve played this year.
Destiny was in my top five for games last year, and The Taken King has improved greatly on the flaws the original had. However, it can’t qualify as a new game in my book, as it’s really more like DLC that requires a copy of the original Destiny to use.
Say what you will about the questionable dlc plan, I personally enjoyed Evolve. It’s fun alien-hunting gameplay with a variety of unique hunters and monsters to suit every play style. While its not a game I’ll play every day, it is one that I’ll gladly jump into every once in awhile.
The demo for FF15 gave us a glimpse at what is to come; just a glimpse though. That glimpse contained good characters, exceptional gameplay, product placement, and loads of potential that I hope will be used when the full game comes out next year. Episode Duscae was an experience more enjoyable than the game it came with.
You can see my full impressions of Episode Duscae here.
Here’s to hoping that 2016 will bring more good games, and hopefully a release date for the Final Fantasy 7 Remake
Jack Hills is a critic, writer, gamer, and total weaboo. After writing video game reviews for his high school newspaper for three years, he somehow weaseled his way into the Hey Poor Player writing staff and hasn't left since. Jack also manages the bi-weekly Youtube Garbage sack.