2015 is at its end. It’s time for us all to look back at our year, see all the things we’ve accomplished, realize that it wasn’t much, and then argue about what video game was the best. So here I am, chiming in with my own opinions that people most likely won’t agree with. These are games that originally released in the US in 2015, so no HD remasters. I also had to have played a fair amount of the game to form an opinion on, so sorry, no Undertale on this one (I’ll get around to playing it sometime soon, I swear). So let’s get down to my top five games of 2015.
#5. Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward (PC/PS4)
Heavensward is the first expansion for Final Fantasy XIV that continues where A Realm Reborn left off, taking players to the previously gated off land of Ishgard. The story covers the politics of Ishgard, as well as their war with the dragons that has raged for one thousand years. While introducing new lands, it also introduced the Dark Knight, Astrologian, and Machinist jobs, all new for the Tank, Healer, and DPS roles. Heavensward added quite a bit of content, and I enjoyed all of it, and am currently excited to see what else comes with future content patches.
#4. Batman: Arkham Knight (PS4)
I’ve been a big fan of Rocksteady’s Arkham series since the beginning, with them being my favorite superhero games to date. Arkham Knight is no exception. The combat is extremely fluid and overall fun. The story was great, although kind of easy to see where it was going if you know enough about Batman. I even enjoyed the parts with the Batmobile that everyone seemed to hate (except for the part with the Arkham Knight and his giant drill thing fuck that part). I even went through and completed all 243 of the Riddler’s challenges. That’s how much I enjoyed it.
#3. Super Mario Maker (Wii U)
Super Mario Maker is an extremely charming game. From the moment I started placing blocks and the game sung along to the stage’s music, I knew I was in for a wonderful time. Super Mario Maker’s toolset is extremely simple to use, yet it’s so robust in what you can do with it. Not only that, but Nintendo has been working on delivering updates to the game fairly regularly, adding new tools and features to it. Looking at how good Super Mario Maker is, I’m curious what could be in store for a follow up from Nintendo.
#2. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PS4)
I wanted this game to be number one on my list. I spent a ton of time in just my first week playing side mission after side mission, building up my Mother Base, recruiting new soldiers, and just having fun. The only reason I didn’t make The Phantom Pain number one is because of its story. I don’t think the game’s story is bad by any means, but comparing it to the previous Metal Gear Solid games, it just didn’t have very many memorable moments. The story truly took the backseat compared to the gameplay, and overall, that’s not a bad thing. The Phantom Pain is one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve ever had with a video game, and definitely one of the most polished. If it just had more to the story, which it looks like it would have if development was given more time, this game could have easily been my favorite game of all time.
There’s one thing Splatoon has that many other shooters these day don’t: Personality. Splatoon takes a genre that’s overplayed and turns it upside down. Instead of going for the perfect shot against an enemy, you’re doing more good shooting the ground. It’s extremely colorful. The music is amazing. The single player takes the core mechanics of the game, and uses them in a way to make the game feel more like a platformer than a shooter. And on top of all that, they release free content on a regular basis. Everything about this game is great, and I love every bit of it, which is why I’ve named it my Game of the Year for 2015.
I also have a few honorable mentions for the few that didn’t quite make the cut. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a pretty fun game that, while I haven’t spent too much time with, I’ve spent enough to see how engaging it is. I didn’t touch Rocket League much until about a month ago, and I’m regretting that I didn’t try it sooner because of how dang fun it is. And last, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate was my first step into the series, and it instantly made me a fan.
That’s it for my top five games of the year. If you don’t agree with me, tough nuggets, but feel free to form your own opinion in a comment or even a blog post giving your own pick. And I promise I’ll play Undertale soon. Eventually.