PSNStores 2015 Game of the Year Awards: Collin’s Top 5 Games of 2015
The year that was 2015 was a year of surprises for me. Four out of the five games on my list were games that really weren’t on my radar. Some I knew I’d enjoy, but some I didn’t think I would even play. Each of the games on my list also represent a different genre. Most of the games on the list are from genres that I don’t normally enjoy. This new year may be the year that pushes me try to games from genres such as RPG’s or Tower Defense games. As I stated last year, adventure games are on the rise, and this year was no different. There was a specific adventure game that took the PSNStores staff by storm, and it ranks high on the following list.
5. The Castle Game
As perhaps my biggest surprise, The Castle Game is a tower defense game that allows you to place various defenses on an open grid. There can be many ways to complete a level. Building all of your defenses to protect the Keep, or making enemies pass through traps you have set up are all options. Special abilities that the player can control makes you feel like you are helping your cause, instead of just starting a new wave and waiting and watching for it to be over. Challenging bosses enter and destroy everything you have built for the past 30 mins. Most times when I felt like I was going to beat a boss easily, I was sorely mistaken as everything I built was destroyed in minutes.
4. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
I’ll admit, I’ve never been too much of a fan of fantasy type games or even RPG’s for that matter. Games such as Mass Effect and even Skyrim never grabbed me. This changed with The Witcher 3. Perhaps it was the characters that grabbed me, or maybe the sure scope of the world that CD Projekt Red had created. I personally have never seen a world so large with so much to do in my years of gaming. There is even a collectible card game built into the experience. Hearts of Stone, the first Witcher 3 expansion on its own is worth playing, with its own story, characters and unique scenarios.
3. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
After last year’s Ground Zeroes, everyone was waiting for the full Metal Gear Solid V experience with The Phantom Pain. Metal Gear games to date haven’t given players as much freedom in terms of gameplay, but when playing Metal Gear Solid V, it felt like I was playing a totally different game. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The story may leave a little left to be desired, but what was on the disc is a complete enough game with so much polish that it might push me to complete every side mission and upgrade every weapon. Building your Mother Base and going out in the field to extract the best talent for each job can be addicting. This in turn leads to new weapon and buddy upgrades. Also D-Dog gets my vote for dog of the year.
2. Rocket League
Without a doubt, the game I’ve sunk the most time in this year, is Rocket League. The game wasn’t on my radar to begin with, and if it weren’t for PlayStation Plus, I might not have experienced this gem. The premise is simple, drive a car around an arena and hit a giant soccer ball into the opposing goal while trying to protect your own. It seems like something that would lose its novelty fast, but with fair and balanced gameplay and a game that is easy to learn, but very difficult to master, Rocket League brings back multiplayer where everyone is on an equal playing field. In addition, everything you unlock and pay for is cosmetic. Rocket League has only been out for 6 months or so, and the amount of new items and maps that have been added extend the life of the game. It seems like developer Psyonix isn’t slowing down with new updates to Rocket League going into 2016.
1. Life is Strange
I’ve been a fan and enjoyed adventure games for some time, but Life is Strange is my favorite adventure game to date. It’s not just one of the best adventure games, but one of my favorite games of all time. Every year a game comes along and completely captivates me. One year it’s games like The Unfinished Swan, and the next it’s BioShock Infinite. These are games that keep me up at night, and Life is Strange did this multiple times throughout its five episode structure. The puzzles are unique with Max’s ability to rewind time, and her struggle with how to use her ability drives some major elements of the story. Throughout most episodes, I thought I knew how the episode was going to play out, but was constantly surprised and blown away with what happened next. I almost didn’t want the story to conclude, as I knew my time in Arcadia Bay would come to end in the final episode. Two of the lasting memories I will have about Life is Strange are the constant surprises, and the exceptional soundtrack.