Best Games of 2015… So Far

2015 is already banging on the doorstep of the holiday season, which means in the coming weeks and months outlets will begin discussing their Game of the Year nominees and awards. That being the case I thought it would be a good time to examine my personal top games of the year. The only games that will be considered for this top-10 list will be those that I have played myself, which means some critically-acclaimed games such as The Witcher 3 will be absent from the list.

There are of course games still coming this year that could break into this list (Fallout 4, Star Wars: Battlefront, Halo 5: Guardians and Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 to name a few) so an update will be posted when the year is finally complete.

10. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
The Chinese Room has created an artistic tale of the end of days here utilizing a passive mode of story-telling story that encourages exploration and will bring different experiences to all who complete it. Some reviewers seemed to become very invested in the characters’ stories that are encountered here, which unfortunately was not the case with me. That being said, this game is still good for an interesting experience over the course of a few hours.

9. #IDARB
This indie sports game has a very interesting Twitter origin you should read about. #IDARB would have ranked even higher on this list had I never played the number 5 game on this list. It is a very fun, very clever, game that you will enjoy as a party game or online with friends. Its single player games vs. the CPU are the one area that did not resonate with me. In that way this game definitely invokes feelings similar to Super Smash Bros.

8. Resident Evil: Revelations 2
After greatly enjoying the console port of Resident Evil: Revelations in 2013, I was very excited for the follow-up. The setting, character design and story did not peak my interest as much as its predecessor’s though, unfortunately. The gameplay is still there which earns this game its spot on the list. The inclusion of fan-favorite Barry Burton does not hurt its cause at the end of the day either.

7. Mortal Kombat X
The first Mortal Kombat to make its way to the next generation was a good one. What surprised me was the enjoyment I had with its single-player campaign. It told an interesting and new story that tied-in well with previous games while introducing some fresh characters. There are a few characters absent from the game and some others behind a paywall which is an area I hope games start to work away from, though I will not hold my breath for that.

6. The Order: 1886
One of the best looking games I have seen on a console. The alternate history version of London used in this game is very pretty and interesting. The game has some Uncharted-esque shootouts you run into in-between bits where the game feels like it wants you to just enjoy the scenery and dialogue. A sequel seems inevitable and it will be interesting to see if Ready at Dawn can focus a bit more on the gameplay now that they have established this world.

5. Rocket League
One of the most fun multiplayer games you will ever play. I have a background in sports, but for those who don’t this game will provide a entertaining introduction to them for you. It is hard to believe this game was provided free with a Playstation Plus subscription, when I would have been happy to pay for it. Here is hoping that they continue to support and add on to this game in the future. One of the upper-hands this game has on traditional sports games is their fanbases get more and more fragmented across each year’s release, while Rocket League fans at least for the near future will just have this one game to dedicate time into. This should keep servers busy and online matches easy to find for years to come.

4. Batman: Arkham Knight
Rocksteady’s apparent finale to their Arkahm series was easily my most-anticipated game of 2015. Its story and combat did not disappoint those who have been along for the ride since 2009’s Batman: Arkham Asylum. However, their controversial use of the batmobile prevents this game from reaching the high point to which it could have ascended. While the batmobile can be very fun to cruise through Gotham City in, the game’s requirement for you to utilize it time and time again to complete the main story can be frustrating.

3. Life is Strange
Though the game has not yet concluded with Episode 5, the first four episodes of Dontnod’s Life is Strange have hit home with me. The games brings the nostalgia of being back in high school while also touching on very unfamiliar territory through mechanics I have never seen in games before. Some may criticize the dialogue and voice acting choices made, but those who enjoy the game may come to accept it as part of its charm. Based on the placement I have given it here, you can probably guess which side of the issue I fall on.

2. Until Dawn
Supermassive Games has something so different and fun here that I could not put it any lower on this list. As someone who has been intrigued by horror movies most of my life, the 80’s horror movie feel this brings with it gave me a chance to be a part of a genre I have enjoyed for so long. Borrowing elements from Quantic Dream games such as Heavy Rain fits this game incredibly well and has me looking forward to a second unique playthrough in the future. I will keep my fingers crossed that this universe is revisited sooner than later by Supermassive.

1. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Though this incarnation of Metal Gear Solid may be unrecognizable to those who have not played Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, the minute-to-minute gameplay in MGSV is as addictive as any console game in memory. As someone who has not played many RPGs, dumping 70+ hours (so far) into a single-player experience is something new to me. It is hard not to appreciate the kind of monetary value that brings with it compared to some other $60 experiences that may only give you 10 or less hours of playtime. The Xbox One digital version I played was not without some slowdown issues and glitches, but it was never enough to knock it from the number one spot on this list. This game is now in contention for my personal favorite game alongside title’s like Red Dead Redemption, The Last of Us and Portal 2.

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