I’m almost three weeks late for this, but at least I got it out before February rolled around. While late for that annual hot period for top 10 lists for X year, I think it’s still ripe for yet another list because I do think I’m hot shit like that. It’s not a very “complete” list though since I only include games I got to play in 2015, so it’s bound to get sticklers flustered by the absence of certain titles that do merit recognition, but those games already got enough attention as is.
This list is for games released in 2015 that I got to play and/or experience on the same year. Each of the titles are good in their own right for various reasons, either it’s the gameplay, narrative, visuals, or so on. It’s entirely preferential and subjective; it’s my list, after all. There’s only 24 hours each day, 365 days in a year, and I have a job (albeit freelance, but that just means I have even less free time in the long run). Besides, for a small-time blog like this, I might as well talk about the stuff I like and that’s the end of it.
The Top 10 List
Not much of a game, not even remotely as scary as Frictional Games’ legendary Amnesia: The Dark Descent. However, it has great atmosphere, well-written story, and the philosophical questions it raises make for a compelling experience.
9. Ori and the Blind Forest
This ranks pretty high on the pretty scale, and it doesn’t play too badly either. It’s actually one of the better Metroidvania titles in recent years; it even adds a few innovations to the genre. It looks and feels good for the most part and does a lot of what Child of Light fell a bit short in.
8. Sunless Sea
Perhaps I can say this is the sailing version of Hammerwatch. Fairly similar premise of a role-playing game in a preset map with roguelike gameplay elements. It gets better with each playthrough as you learn more of its world and lore.
7. Pillars of Eternity
This, Divinity: Original Sin, and the Shadowrun Returns series put to rest the wrong notion that turn-based isometric RPGs are dead. As a spiritual successor of Black Isle Studios’ legacy, this game accomplishes most of what it had set out to do.
6. StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void
I’m a StarCraft player, so this was pretty much a shoe-in. However, the story still made me scratch my head (although a bit less than Heart of the Swarm) and ended in a bit of a fizzle. Despite that, multiplayer is faster and more furious, as if StarCraft isn’t already furious enough.
5. Shadowrun: Hong Kong
Just enough Hong Kong to set the tone, not too much to be cringeworthy. The story is also pretty good, so it’s a solid RPG all around set in a cyberpunk world. It’s definitely a combination I’m very much into.
The sleeper hit of the year. It’s cookie and quirky, yet also takes quite a bit to warm up. The soundtrack is also really good, adding a lot to the story and the overall experience. It also likes to play with your head, which is the mark of a well-designed game.
3. Invisible, Inc.
Stylish and stealthy; reminds me a bit of the Commandos series, although this is turn-based. As someone who now appreciates good stealth gameplay greatly, the challenge and in-game world make it a must-play for me.
2. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number
Perhaps it made less of an impact since the first game had the element of surprise and this game didn’t. Although its more of a story-driven experience compared to its more arcade-y predecessor, it’s pretty much just more Hotline Miami. More masks, more weapons, more blood. Awesome.
Honorable Mention: Cities Skylines
This is the ultimate proof that the city building simulator genre is not dead. EA can go DIAF because it killed Maxis and Paradox Interactive has usurped its throne. This game knows what it is, and it does what it’s meant to do very well. It’s an unabashed city building simulator in top form.
1. Fallout 4
Perhaps more divisive than Fallout 3 during launch, it does a lot of things either wrong or not good enough. It tries to do too many things all at once, with many gameplay elements ending up being half-assed. However, due to its modability, improved shooting mechanics, and other enhancements, it’s still a good game for those who are into what it stands for. (I certainly think so.)
Are you okay with it or do you think I’m a twat for not having The Witcher 3 and Metal Gear Solid V on my list? Please leave whatever reactions, questions, or suggestions you may have on the comment section below. You may also leave a message on either Facebook or Twitter.
Thank you for dropping by and have a very good 2016.