- The Jackbox Party Pack/You Don’t Know Jack
This is damn near the perfect party game. I’m lumping You Don’t Know Jack in here too, because it was part of the Jackbox Party Pack, and also the older YDKJ games are so good. The humour of these games like YDKJ is pretty wacky, and a joy to listen to while you get schooled by buddies. But that’s also discounting the other games in the pack like Fibbage. Fibbage is a lot of fun to play, even with two players. It’s almost like skilled Cards Against Humanity.
With CAH, the main aim is to be hilarious in the most brutal, disgusting, friendship ruining way. With Fibbage, you need to be funny AND keep it within the realms of possibility. The joy of watching your friends crease in laughter, while they select your HILARIOUS fake answer as the true one is way better than getting the gross out laughs, IMO.
You also have 3 other games thrown in there, but to be honest I haven’t played them because both Fibbage and YDKJ are pretty damn amazing.
- Ni no Kuni: The Wrath of the White Witch
This game is beautiful. It’s a playable Studio Ghibli film. Of course it is, the animated cutscenes were developed by Studio Ghibli themselves, and the actual gameplay was created to replicate the Ghibli style. This coupled with the typical JRPG style, is a combo that’s hard to argue with. It’s a magical combination that quite frankly should have happened sooner. Yet, I’m so glad that they didn’t waste it on something else.
So far, I haven’t gotten very far into the story as I’m doing the grinding thing, so I can be well prepared. But it’s a game that is a feast for the eyes, accompanied with a pretty sweet story to boot. Highly recommended.
- Dragon Age: Inquisition
This took a bit to get in to. I loved Origins, and despite my initial misgivings about Dragon Age 2, I loved that too. But Inquisition seemed a bit strange. It could be the fact that it was more open world style, with fewer trips to a map screen. It could also have something to do with the fact that I played it on my Xbox One, rather than my PC this time. Whatever it is, isn’t easy to put my finger on.
But once I got stuck in, it gave me a reason to stick with it. It felt like what Mass Effect 3 should have been. I got a lot of enjoyment seeing how the actions of the previous protagonists reflected in this title. The one that sticks out in my mind is the return of Dagna. In Origins, she appeared in Orzammar as a young dwarf, who was intrigued by magic. Her father disapproved, so I ended up helping her join the Circle of Magi. She comes back with a wealth of knowledge that was a great aid to the Inquisition. So good.
One of the reasons it ranks so high is because of nostalgia. Seeing Morrigan again was amazing, even if I knew Flemeth would be around the corner to be a pain in the ass. Varric returning was also welcome. But the most unexpected part for me was seeing the protagonist from Dragon Age 2 make his return too. I still felt very protective of him, because I became so accustomed to him being *my* character. Just like if the Grey Warden of Origins return, I’d be protective of him too.
Finally, being able to whip the ass of Corypheus (Who I wasn’t actually aware of because I didn’t get to play the DLC of DA:2) and his great big dragon was pretty amazing too. Can’t say Bioware don’t do immense end boss battles.
- Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
My love/hate relationship with Metal Gear Solid ended with this title. As I have mentioned countless times, I’ve never been the most patient gamer in the world. Of course, it’s strange that Metal Gear Solid is one of my favourite franchises. The final iteration has removed most of the things I had hated in the series. Most of which are to do with the fact that I’m now able to complete missions in nearly any way I choose. Even if I usually just stick with a silenced sniper rifle.
The team at KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS (You know, the guys who actually put this game together. Suck it, Konami.) put a lot of thought into what could be considered the most trivial things. Stuff like falling supply crates dealing damage, which I put to great use in my wars against Quiet and the female Skull Unit. Even if donkey crap doesn’t have a shadow.
There are two downsides to this game. One being the Forward Operating Base mini-game. Every time I boot up the game now, I have to decline the terms and conditions so I can avoid this god awful hindrance. The second thing is the elephant in the room… Konami and Kojima’s relationship. Things evidently went to hell in 2015 for both sides. Leaving several missions (and a proper end to the story) as an extra on the collectors edition DVD.
The gameplay makes up for it, though. Plus fulton’ing everything I can is so much fun. I leapt with joy when I fulton’d my first bear. My heart sang when I fulton’d tiny puppy Diamond Dog. *wipes a MANLY tear from my eye*
- Tales from the Borderlands
One of my favourite genres is the Point N’ Click Adventure game. I’ve loved them since I was a child, with Monkey Island, Broken Sword and The Longest Journey entertaining me for years. Telltale have had a stranglehold on my love of point n’ clickers since they turn up very rarely these days. The Walking Dead, Back to the Future and The Wolf Among Us have been pretty brilliant. So when I heard the Telltale got the rights to do a Borderlands game, I was ecstatic.
Telltale did NOT disappoint! Set after the events of Borderlands 2, they could have gone the easy route of utilizing established characters like Claptrap, Mad Moxxi and Tiny Tina(!!) but they opted to use lesser used characters like Zer0, Scooter and… Uhm. Handsome Jack.
The series made good use of the Borderlands art style (since every Telltale game seems to use the same art style anyway) and the sense of humour to make an outstanding episode series that fiercely rivalled my other choice Life is Strange for a place on the list. (For the record, Life is Strange would have been lower on the list.
Those were my top ten games I’ve played in 2015. Each one of them I highly recommend. Here’s to 2016 and more great moments in gaming!