2015 was a weird year for gaming and I. I really had very little I enjoyed from this year during the first half of the year and ended up getting most of my gaming and much of my top ten finished towards the end of the year. Four of my top five didn’t even come out until November. It’s crazy to think what 2016 will bring for gaming and I, but I’m excited to see what opportunities the world of gaming will bring!
10. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
This is a party game for when you’ve got friends over or available. It really only takes owning one copy and you’re set, as the rest of the players utilize a web browser to use the “bomb manual”. It’s an interesting take on cooperative gameplay and one that I thoroughly enjoyed as it took teamwork, communication, and effort to achieve victory – something that’s been missing in a lot of games lately. What makes the game such a dynamic experience is the fact that you can play the game entirely from your browser if you don’t own it and it’s still a blast (the only pun of the article – don’t worry). Even better is to play with friends in the same room as the timer counts down and their screams of terror at their demise echo in your ears.
I really wanted to enjoy Splatoon more than a ninth spot. I liked it, I enjoyed playing with friends and trying to beat the other team, but the balance is so off for me that it makes it almost impossible to play for too long without getting frustrated! Some players are just too good and they are fully aware you’re not up to scratch. It’s a shame because I really wanted to enjoy this fresh IP by Nintendo, but it fell flat for me in a lot of ways. Still, when playing with friends, it’s a blast and the bright colors keep me entertained. I barely scratched the surface of this game and many game modes have been left untouched, so perhaps there’s still a chance to enjoy the game.
8. Darkest Dungeon
In the vein of a game like Dark Souls, Darkest Dungeon pits your hired help against an army of darkness. Though your warriors start off weak and inefficient, they can grow to be powerful forces of destruction…only to quickly be massacred in a difficult dungeon crawl. Darkest Dungeon is an unforgiving, brutal, and oftentimes terrifying experience that’s quite unlike anything else in my gaming memory. It’s been an Early Access game all year, but has been developed and refined almost monthly to make an even more polished title. It’s fun, strategic, and worth every penny and stress thanks to these boss battles.
7. Dying Light
Originally a GotY contender, this early release had me diving off rooftops and ziplining across the apocalypse to avoid some of the most nightmarish experiences in a game I’ve ever felt. There’s no thrill quite like realizing the sun is setting in-game and knowing you’re too far to reach a safehouse in time, only to desperately sprint and flee from the hunting zombie hoards. It was a great title throughout its run, even with a flop ending that simply didn’t deliver from the build-up to it. It’s a fun game and worth the enjoyment, but the replay value isn’t there and you can only do so much in the world. But boy if it doesn’t give you an enjoyable ride.
6. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The first time I’ve had the privilege to enjoy a Witcher game and it quickly became all I played for a month or two. The world of this series is fantastical and large with unique creatures and places to discover, from the hauntingly grim Hanged Man’s Tree to the gorgeous coasts of Skellige. It also hosts a fantastic cast of characters unique and hilarious – the drinking scene with Eskel and Lambart is one of my favorites in gaming history – along with one of the best female leads in recent gaming, Ciri, make this game one for the ages. Can’t wait to see what they do next.