Videogames. Let's talk about them. More specifically, the videogames that happened this year. I truly wish I had time to play more of them, but such is the conundrum of having no time for videogames because videogames. But, I did manage to still play an okay amount of titles this year, and of those I put together a list of my personal top ten favorites.
I really slaved over this list, and even still changed a couple things around once again while writing this, but I think this list is the final version. Let's do this.
10. Halo 4
It really felt like Halo, and then a lot of times it didn't. As a closet Halo fanatic and known Bungie superfan, there's a lot of things that bothered me about Halo 4. I also thought it was pretty crazy how deep 343 went into the canon (which was a good thing). To make this short, it was a quality title, and a bold debut from the team at 343. Whoop whoop, videogames.
9. Persona 4 Arena
Fucking look at Teddie. Look at that motherfucker. Holy shit.
8. Retro City Rampage
You know, you see this avatar everyday in a serious manner from your editor with him asking you do to things and whatnot. Then this game comes along and changes all that. Amazing.
7. Rayman Jungle Run
Have you played this? Okay, then you know why it's on this list.
This game is perfect. And no I'm not biased because Adventure Time is my favorite thing ever. Ever.
5. Uncharted: Golden Abyss
I pop this game in all the time, and I really can't believe this is running on the Vita. This could have launched on the PS3 and no one would have batted an eye. Maybe it won't sell you the system, but if you own the handheld why in the hell have you not picked up Golden Abyss?
Also: VITA HAS NO GAAAAAAAAAAEMZ
4. Sleeping Dogs
Never in a million years did I think a sandbox game would make it into my top-ten. Sure, I play them all and enjoy them quite a bit. But Sleeping Dogs is different in how it captured the atmosphere of a city and presented it to you. That, mixed with the always fun martial arts combat, interesting plot, and stellar voice acting make this easily one of the best titles of the year.
3. Hotline Miami
Wow, Hotline Miami. I absolutely cannot remember the last time I bought a game and beat it that very day all the way through, because I simply could not stop playing. This game just has a way to suck you in, and then make you think and think about your time with it well after you've finished it. Not just the replayable score-based gameplay that could play out in hundreds of ways, but also just the very nature of the narrative and how it fucks with everything you thought about videogames and why you play them. And that soundtrack, man. Holy willies.
2. Sound Shapes
This was a tough one for me. See, I loved Sound Shapes so much that if my #1 pick didn't happen, this would have been it. Easily. It mixes music and conventional gameplay mechanics in a way that's never been done before, all through a beautiful art-style. It's basically a music sequencer you can take anywhere, and then creatively spread out the song you've crafted through a platforming level that fits the tone of that track. I've actually seen videos of people who recorded whole sets of themselves making/playing music, and not even actually playing the game. How awesome is that?
1. The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead came out of nowhere and blindsided us with characters that we fell in love with, and made us deeply care what they were doing and what was going to happen to them. Staying true to the source material, you just always knew what was going to happen in the end, and what was going to happen to each character. But you didn't want it to. You pulled for these characters, and even when things looked bleak (when didn't they?), you always thought it couldn't get worse. But it does. And what a hell of a ride it was to follow the story through all five episodes throughout the year.
I'm not going to talk your ear off on why it is you should be playing this game. If you follow any videogame outlet, you know why this is the best title of the year, bar none. It's nothing else.
I also thought I'd throw in my list of honorable mentions (or a list of games that I loved and wished I played more of, but couldn't justify putting them on the list because it didn't feel right or I simply just hadn't played enough of them).
In no particular order:
Kid Icarus: Uprising
Lumines: Electronic Symphony
Mass Effect 3
Max Payne 3
New Super Mario Bros. U
Persona 4 Golden
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
Tekken Tag Tournament 2
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy
XCOM: Enemy Unknown