Top Five Games of the Year
Well here we are: the last week of December. The past few weeks, I’ve been writing game list articles because who doesn’t do that at the end of each year. And with this week, we have reached the big one. Game of the year. Never before has an honor so meaningless evoked so much Internet hate than the Game of the Year award. Well take a break from raging over how so-and-so picked Fallout 4/Witcher 3/ MGSV as their personal GOTY over the way more brilliant Fallout 4/Witcher 3/ MGSV. Take a break from all that, relax, and scratch your head over my picks. Starting with:
5. Resident Evil HD Remaster (Or REmake)
I was way too young to play the original Resident Evils when they came out, so imagine my excitement and intrigue when I finally got the chance to experience this storied franchise in the form of a remaster of a remake. It’s interesting that a year full of so many big, open world games you might also find room for a claustrophobic, cheesy survival horror game. But after countless hours sailing the Caribbean or stalking the streets of Chicago and hacking into people’s phones (I’m behind, okay?) it’s nice to play a tight, puzzle focused game. Of course, in this game if you get the puzzle wrong crows pluck your eyes out. Good times all around!
4. Disney Infinity 3.0
I really don’t get what the “.0” is for. That said, I have conflicted feelings about these games. For one, having to buy plastic crap to access content already on the disc is nonsense and we shouldn’t stand for it. On the other hand, buying plastic crap is part of the fun. There’s something magical about buying your favorite characters, placing them on the platform, and watching them appear on screen. And the game itself is great too. Want some kid friendly Diablo? This game has you covered. Kart racing? Sure why not. There’s so much to do and experiment with, and this year has been made even better with Star Wars.
One thing that really does irk me though is that the original Disney Infinity shipped with three characters and playsets (the structured, developer created part of the game). 2.0 came with three characters but only one playset. And 3.0 has two characters and one playset. I see what you’re doing, Disney. I see what you are doing and I don’t like it.
3. Telltale’s Game of Thrones
Well despite the last episode being a technical failure of epic proportions with the constant freezes and sound cut outs as well as leaving a lot of things unsolved, Game of Thrones is great. Throughout the season, there were some really jaw dropping, crazy moments that both freaked me out and made me really excited to see what was going to happen next. And in the spirit of Game of Thrones, important characters die. Quite a lot actually. And despite being Game of Thrones, so you know pretty much everyone is going to die at some point, some of these deaths really caught me off guard and were genuinely upsetting.
I’m also the kind of person who plays these kind of games only once and then pretends my in game choices actually made a difference. (They didn’t.) The illusion of choice is strong with this one. Bring on season 2!
2. Lego Jurassic World
If you read my article about relaxing games, you’ll know I really like Lego games. They are cute and funny: repetitive, recycled gameplay and all. (To answer the question you didn’t ask, yes I am very excited for Lego Marvel’s Avengers.) Jurassic World has all the cuteness you’ve come to expect from the series, but this time it has dinosaurs. Recreation of terrifying movie scenes with Legos is hilarious and produced some really memorable levels. Lego + dinosaurs = awesome.
I wouldn't say this is my favorite Lego title, but it definitely ranks high for the series. Jurassic Park is a great franchise to mix with Legos and I was hoping they would make this game for years. And I'm very pleased this game doesn't disappoint.
Because no list is complete without some honorable mentions sandwiched in between picks two and one.
- Hearthstone Black Rock Mountain adventure
- Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel (Note: I only just started playing this)
1. Tales of Zestiria
I first got into the Tales series a couple years ago, and I was very excited about this one. While I was expecting it to be good, I didn't think it would be this good. Zestiria fixed some of the things that irked me about the previous games while refining an already great combat system and set everything in a world I genuinely enjoyed running around in.
I only have a few minor grievances with this game (back tracking bleh), but none distracted from the overall quality. I thought the ending was one of the most impactful and breath catching uses of player control I've seen in a long time and serves as a great example of how effective video games can be as a storytelling medium.
Top everything off with a great, well-paced story and hilarious bantering between lovable characters and you have my absolute favorite game of the year.
Can you tell I haven’t played many new games this year? Because I didn’t. I literally played these eight games and nothing else. However, I’m confident Tales of Zestiria would rank high on my list regardless of how many new games I played in 2015. It’s just that good. And Lego Jurassic World. Lego dinosaurs man. You can’t go wrong with Lego dinosaurs.
Happy New Year!