Ah yes, ’tis that time of year again wherein hundreds upon hundreds of gaming publishers release their “unique” list of what they believe were the years’ best video game releases. Though more often than not, it pretty much ends up being the same 5 games over and over again. Until of course, that one article pops up that tries to be “cool” and “edgy” and puts Kerbal Space Program as their best game of the year while Fallout 4 is not even on the “honourable mentions” list; which obviously causes the internet and it’s band of masturbating fanboys to explode and begin screaming at their laptops and take their fury to Reddit from, what Jimmy Kimmel would say, “their mom’s basement.” And as much as I’d love to be the writer of that article, I’m going to keep things neutral (for the most part).
So without further ado, here are Geekly NG (GNG)’s Top 5 Games of 2015.
5.) KERBAL SP…Just Kidding…FALLOUT 4
Love it or hate it (though if you do hate it, I’d stock up on some sharp utensils to defend yourself. I for one have filled my largest drawer with sporks) you can’t deny the impact that Fallout 4 has had on the gaming community. Bethesda have made a name for themselves to be one of the best developers of open world, sandbox RPG’s. Ever since the days of Morrowind, they have given players massive worlds to explore, that are alive and threatening.
Fallout 4 is no different, and fans of the franchise will be right at home when picking up this new entry. This game puts you in the heart of Boston and truly sets you free as you explore the large, nuke-ridden, post-apocalyptic setting with a retro-futuristic twist.
The enemies are diverse and truly feel threatening, the gunplay alongside it’s customization is great, the story has much more depth than previous entries, making you come across tough decisions when faced against multi-faceted enemies. And the ability to create your own settlement is an absolute joy. Though it may have it’s faults regarding visual fidelity and technical issues (though it wouldn’t be a Bethesda game without that, right?) Fallout 4 is easily one of the years’ best games.
4.) JUST “MAKE THINGS GO BOOM” CAUSE 3
Ever wondered what would happen if you put 2 booster C4 rockets on a cows a$$ while it’s tethered to an explosive barrel, which is also hooked up to a car that also has another 2 booster C4 rockets? No? Just me? Well, let me tell you, the end result is (insert expletive) hilarious. Just Cause 3 is a game that came out only a a couple weeks ago, and is a game that had most people looking the other way. And though it isn’t the most high-brow of games, and players of the previous titles shouldn’t expect a complete overhaul of the franchise with this entry, it is still easily some of the most fun I’ve had with a video game all year.
Great additions of gameplay features like the dual-thethers, booster C4 rockets, and wingsuit, make for some incredible and joyous feats of explosive experimentation.
Moreover, the fictional land of Medici is an absolute beauty to see both as you glide across it’s many beautiful provinces, and as you watch as it burns to the ground. This is a game that I will be going back to over and over again, just because it always finds ways to put a smile on my face.
3.) ROCKET LEAGUE
As a fan of football (not soccer, football, you use your “foot” to kick a “ball” Foot. Ball.) I rolled my eyes as I saw this game come up on my PSN. So I downloaded it with the mindset to make fun of it. What ended up happening was me jumping, screaming, and laughing with my girlfriend as we spent most of our night playing this gem.
Rocket League is a simple idea, executed to perfection. It’s a game that many people wouldn’t consider to put on their “Top 5” list, simply because it doesn’t exude that same tone when you think of a video game in 2015.
But what many forget is that video games are supposed to be “fun” above everything else. And that’s one word that you can easily associate with Rocket League above all else. It has brilliant mechanics, simple and colourful visuals, and is simply a joy to play.
I’m sure many of the writers here at GNG can agree with me that this game has been the one that has made us go, “just one more round.”
2.) THE WITCHER 3: WILD HUNT
Go to prison. No, seriously, go to prison. Because that is the only way you’ll be able to appreciate the incredible breadth of CD Projekt Red’s masterpiece, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Even after putting in close to 100 hours, I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of this game.
The density of this beautiful world these developers have created is close to intimidating. From an impeccable cast of characters, each with story and depth, to an expansive main narrative that’s coupled with dozens and dozens of side quests, that feel as if they could be individual games themselves; to an array of upgradable weapons and spells, to Gwent (f*%king Gwent), and diverse gameplay, The Witcher 3 does not have a dull moment.
It’s a game that sucks you in and gives you, quite literally, an endless amount of hours to play and explore. It was very tough to have to choose between this game and our number one pick, but regardless of it’s final position on this list, this game is easily one of, if not the, finest achievements in video games this year.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are some HONOURABLE MENTIONS:
Rise of The Tomb Raider – It’s unfortunate that Lara Croft didn’t receive as much focus or robust sales numbers (though, selling the same week as Fallout 4 and Star Wars, you kinda had to expect it) as many other games this year, because it truly deserved it. From gorgeous graphics, a compelling story, to great gameplay, this is a game that really deserved more recognition as it’s one of the finest releases of 2015.
Bloodborne – One of my personal favourites of the year, Bloodborne is a game that resonates the term “perfect gameplay.” The game plays beautifully, and looks great while doing it. Though it had me banging my head against a wall numerous times, no game has riveted me with so many different emotions than this one.
Dying Light – Though the whole zombie apocalypse theme has been reused to an unhealthy extent of late, Dying Light took a different spin on it, giving the player an extremely intuitive traversal mechanic much like Mirrors Edge and really focused on the gameplay, which made this game come together quite nicely, and easily deserves a shout out on any GOTY discussion.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails in The Sky SC – What’s any top ten list without a good JRPG? Though it seems the days of the Golden Age of JRPG’s like Chrono Trigger are long behind us, the Trails series gives us a glimpse of hope as it is definitely one of the better installments in recent years. SC has been a long awaited title for fans of the original, as it left it’s characters on a cliffhanger, and though not perfect, the compelling narrative and intuitive battle system make it one of the best releases of 2015.
Super Mario Maker – You get to create your own Mario levels, share them online for others to play, and play an endless amount of levels created by others…need I say more?
Kerbal Space Program – Yes, really. For those of you with a Steam account, you’ll understand why this game is on this list. More or less a rocket simulator, KSP puts you at the helm of a rocket at liftoff, where your objective is simple: Fly to space, and do a single revolution around the Earth. But don’t be fooled, it’s much harder than it sounds. Another gem that has put smiles and laughs into many gamers. A game where you can easily make your entire rocket crash in hilarious ways, just for the hell of it. And having Jebidiah on board is just icing on the cake.
So here we go, our final game on the list,
GNG’s Game of The Year 2015 is…
1.) METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN
Yes, our lord Hideo Kojima’s (supposedly) final entry into his legendary series, Metal Gear Solid, takes our number one spot. Though it was a very tough choice between this and The Witcher 3, there are a couple things that give the edge to MGSV. Where The Witcher 3 excels is easily it’s narrative and richness/density of it’s world. But the one area where MGSV excels over The Witcher 3 is definitely it’s gameplay. And though it may be a matter of preference, we give the crown to MGSV for that reason.
Phantom Pain plays flawlessly. Everything simply works. From the gunplay, to tactical takedowns, to movement, to enemy AI intellect, to the near endless ways you can tackle an outpost and/or enemy, is simply astounding and is easily the deepest in terms of gameplay that we’ve seen from the series. Couple that with great graphics, a buttery smooth framerate, and a good dose of classic Kojima ridiculousness, and you have yourself a solid package.
People may complain about the narrative, but I tend to disagree. Sure this game doesn’t bludgeon you with 45 minute cutscenes, as is what’s expected from a Metal Gear Game, but if you take the time to listen to the cassette tapes, listen to enemy conversations, and simply keep your eyes and ears open for the entirety of the game, you’ll know what’s going on, and be interested in it as well. And if you’re a series veteran like myself and have a good understanding of Big Boss’ story, then you’ll appreciate and be even more involved with what’s going on.
But again, this is not a game that requires you to be fully invested in it’s narrative. It’s a game where you can completely check out and focus only on the gameplay and still be satisfied, because the gameplay is that good.
This is yet another game where you can simply get lost in the world and play for countless hours without even touching the main missions. You can go around hunting for wild bears, find weird and hilarious ways to confuse and take down enemies, go on a fulton spree and fulton everything in your sight from helpless sheep to enemy vehicles, command your horse to take a large sh#t on the road so that when an enemy car comes along, it’ll skid on the doodie and crash, go on top of a hill, get in your box, and slide down to see how far you can go.
The opportunities to have fun in this game are endless, and that’s what I love about it. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain does so many things right, and is a brilliant final entry to one of gaming’s finest legacies, and is GNG’s Game of The Year.