I’ve been pretty bad at updating this for the last couple of weeks, but I’ve had zero free time since about mid-December. Now that the Festive Hellfest has effectively ceased, I can get back to this.
As 2015 draws to a close, it’s time to sit and reflect on what a year it has been for video games. 2015 was the year of rocket powered cars playing football, a man dressed like a bat beating up bad guys (again) and endless countryside views plagued with horrendous monsters.
Here, I will list my top 5 games of the year but before we get started, I’d just like to say that this list is my list. It’s completely subjective. I’ve not played every game that came out this year, but I really love some of the ones I did play, and I’m going to write about them here.
Got a problem? Good. Let’s begin.
Early this year, Helldivers took me comepletely by surprise. Upon it’s release I decided to give it a go thanks to some buzz around the internet and that sweet, one-week-only PS Plus discount. What I got was my favourite online co-operative experience, ever. Helldivers doesn’t hold your hand, and each failure is entirely you and your team’s own fault. Everything is out to kill you and you have to stay on your toes at all times. Helldivers is a blend of punishing difficulty, hilarious moments, satisfying victories and constant replayability. That combination earns Helldivers it’s place on this list.
4. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is a walk through the countryside gone horribly wrong. The game begins with you overlooking an empty town, each one of it’s inhabitants gone, and it’s your job to figure out why. There’s no real gameplay in Rapture. All you can do is walk and watch events unfold. It’s an interactive story, and it’s done incredibly well. The mystery surrounding the story keeps you interested for the entire duration and the music punctuating the significant moments is stellar. The voice acting feels incredibly real and the setting and presentation is beautiful. There’s nothing to dislike about Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture.
3. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Step aside, Bethesda, there’s a new king in town. CD Projekt RED’s incredible The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is one of the biggest, most beautiful games I’ve ever seen. The only real flaw I can think of is that there is too much of it. I put at least 100 hours of my time into The Witcher and I think I’m only halfway through the main storyline. The thing keeping me from finishing it was the hundreds upon hundreds of sidequests that were just as well detailed and written as the main story quests. The Witcher‘s world is also something truly special. It feels endless, lived in and real. The Witcher 3 is an incredible accomplishment, and it’s a game I will happily keep chipping away it for (probably) the rest of my life.
2. Rocket League
The biggest surprise this year, for most, came from Rocket League. Released in July for free to PS Plus members, Rocket League came out of nowhere and stole all of our Summer away. Rocket powered cars playing football is an idea that doesn’t work on paper, but the execution was of the highest quality. Rocket League is simple and incredibly fun. It is, without a doubt, the best sports game this year.
1. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain disappointed me in a lot of ways. The story we were promised and the story we were given were completely different things. It felt unfinished. All of the game’s cutscenes were in pre-release trailers, and I had a pretty sour taste in my mouth when I realised that my favourite video game series of all time was finished without really finishing at all. As a Metal Gear Solid game, MGSV doesn’t cut it. However, MGSV done something no game in the series had done before. Up until MGSV, the Metal Gear games were story first, gameplay later. The focus was shifted dramatically for the fifth installment, and gameplay was at the forefront of the experience. Believe me when I tell you that for all of MGSV‘s narrative shortcomings, it’s gameplay more than makes up for all of it. The game never gets boring. I was constantly finding myself in new situations, even when I was 150 hours deep and no game has forced to me to experiment and improvise like MGSV has. Even after playing until I reached 100% I still wanted more. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is, without a doubt, my game of the year.