GOTY Lineup Time!

As we all know, 2015 is coming to a close and with that said, the time is upon us to determine our top picks for video games of the year. As difficult as that sounds, I managed to search my feelings and knew it to be true that these ten titles needed to be my top picks. So without more pandering on, find not only my GOTY pick but also the other nine titles I believe deserves recognition for 2015.

        

GOTY Pick for 2015: Bloodborne!!!

Choosing a game to be my GOTY is never easy. Not when I played over 30 titles this year alone. I take this decision seriously and never make such a big choice without being certain first. That said, Bloodborne provided me with such a wonderful experience that no other game this year could top in my opinion. Bloodborne was my entry to the Souls games, so to speak, even though its title doesn’t contain the word “souls”. My interest was caught when I noticed the gothic Victorian style look and environments, not to forget the stylish Trick Weapons. Regardless of the game’s insane difficulty, I spent well over 40+ hours battling grueling enemies and learning the lore behind every cryptic spoken word.

By the time this article goes live, I’ll have already started on my third playthrough of the game and for me, that’s quite rare nowadays since I have so many games to catch up on and cover. Honestly? I consider Bloodborne to be a must own for people with PS4’s. The feelings I would get after beating a boss that took me through 30 deaths to achieve felt better than any other gaming experience to me this year. Having my blood, sweat and patience pay off felt like a release from high blood pressure. Bloodborne earned such high praise from me.

 

2. Life Is Strange

As a close runner up to Bloodborne, Life Is Strange hit me in the feels practically every episode because of how much I could relate to the situations. The game itself doesn’t offer much in the way of gameplay but rather, focuses on the complications of each choice players should or must make. The protagonist, Max Caulfield, starts out as the average shy teenager in a school where social constructs run rampant. I’ve been through the crazy drama minefield that is high school, so I know a bit about what Life Is Strange illustrates. I also really appreciated the realness behind Max and her best friend, Chloe’s complex relationship– often showing that friends aren’t always on the same page. Also, the finale’s big decision to choose was one of the hardest, yet logical choices I’ve had to make in a video game. For a moment, Commander Shepard’s face flashed in my mind and I knew what needed to be done. I think anyone who enjoys a good supernatural, down-to-Earth plot will appreciate the tell Life Is Strange weaves.

 

3. Rocket League

During a time where I needed an online multiplayer experience, Rocket League delivered and then some! Had someone told me I would lose sleep over a soccer game where you play with cars, I probably might have laughed hysterical at them before waving them off. Little did I know that I would soon lose sleep as I proclaimed “Just one more game!” Honestly, this game is such nonsense fun and even if I would lost a close match, whatever hilarious/epic maneuvers me or my teammates would make quickly washed over the soreness of losing. For the people who enjoy party styled multiplayer games, Rocket League is definitely a great purchase to make.

 

4. Until Dawn

2015 lacked a decent horror game for me to latch onto. Practically any horror title which launched this year seemed uninteresting and I could live without. Of course, I had a particular game to look forward to and it is called Until Dawn. The trailer I saw around August of last year gave me high hopes for what the game could potentially be. Turns out, my hopes were met and what I encountered was a game where I had to pause at safe moments to catch my breath. The biggest draw for me was the “Butterfly Effect”, where my choices altered what would occur throughout the playthrough– Until Dawn has quite a bit of replay value because of this mechanic. The game is also quite beautiful when fear doesn’t distract you from noticing. Playing in the dark was also a blast and definitely filled the void for a great horror title.

 

5. Persona Dancing All Night

Ah Persona 4… one of the few games where I would buy a rhythm based game spinoff and enjoy every moment of it. Honestly, I’m not much of a music junkie but the music in Persona 4 Golden blew me away to the point where I needed to download the soundtrack. As for Dancing All Night, the songs previously in P4G were brought back but this time, remixed for players to enjoy a whole new experience. Disappointed with these remixes I was not! Grooving to the beat with my headphones on amplified my experience as well. Plus, the story itself had heart and could easily be played by people just wanting to enjoy the music. Even now, I occasionally go back to the game and enjoy myself on the Midnight Stage.

 

6. Batman: Arkham Knight

Playing through Arkham Knight was a blast and while it wasn’t quite the finale I had hoped for, there’s no denying Bats’ potential last Arkham game had all the things which made the games fun in the first place. People complained about the Batmobile but I enjoyed how powerful I felt controlling it. Batman himself has a powerful vibe about him but being in control of a high speed tank makes him even more of a threat. We, as the fans, have been asking to use the Batmobile since Arkham Asylum and the keys were handed to us here. Combat felt more fluid and the city of Gotham was expansive with plenty of things to do. The story’s main villain, Scarecrow, stole the show away from other villains especially the Arkham Knight– who was a letdown I have to admit. I managed to obtain a 100% completion rate, something I rarely do but since it became a tradition for me to 100% the Arkham games on my first playthrough, I had to see Bats off in a proper manner.

 

7. Star Wars Battlefront

I’ll admit, having the Star Wars name attached probably drove many folks to purchasing this game. As for myself, I’m merely renting it at the moment for good reason. Nevertheless, the amount of fun I’m having with Battlefront is off the charts good. As a arcade style shooter, Battlefront fulfills the childhood desire I had to take part in a Star Wars battle. Whether I’m on the ground, laying siege to a rebel base or high above the skies inside an X-Wing, Battlefront keeps the good times coming. It’s easy to pick up, introducing a causal multiplayer experience to a genre where causal play is rare. Controlling iconic figures like Luke Skywalker, Boba Fett, Princess Leia and Darth Vader makes a person feel important on the battlefield. While the game isn’t perfect, Battlefront did make me feel like I was in a Star Wars firefight and that’s what counts.

 

8. Tales of Zestiria

The thing I love most about Tales of games is the combat systems. Tales of Zestiria met my expectations on what the combat should feel like. Combat for RPGs and JRPGs is crucial because battles happen so often and if the combat system is bad, I wouldn’t want to stick around for hours as I suffer. I really enjoyed the combat as well as the characters themselves and while the plot was pretty dull, everything else about Zestiria kept me coming back. I also found the smooth transition when encountering enemies or exiting cutscenes to be a swell addition. Lack of load screens makes everyone happier. I’ve been a fan of this series since Tales of Symphonia and I can tell people right now; I’ll continue to be a fan if the series keeps on the correct path.

 

9. Disgaea 5

The Disgaea franchise is about as niche as it gets and I’m glad to be a part of this particular group. SRPGs never used to be my thing until recently when I played Fire Emblem: Awakening. From there, I thought to expand my horizon in this genre by covering Disgaea 4. What I found was a game that literally forced me to grind for days upon days, just so I could beat a rather tough stage. Disgaea 5 basically mirrors its predecessor while adding a massive pile of new features to the lineup. As I was told by some of the hardcore fans of the franchise, Disgaea is a game where practice makes perfect sums up the experience perfectly. I’m currently 80+ hours into the game and have not yet beaten the main story yet, which normally would take about roughly 20-30 hours to complete. I was also really impressed with the game’s soundtrack and how the music actually spurred me on to play for hours.

 

10. Transformer Devastation

Last but certainly not least, I believe Transformers Devastation deserves a spot on my list. For years, I’ve written off Transformers games as mediocre and unworthy of my time. This all changed when Platinum Games developed this game and my first thoughts were: “This reminds me of Ultimate Spider-Man for the original Xbox.” The cel-shaded graphics were enough to draw me in but it was the action that hooked me. Platinum Games is known for making some truly fun action titles and Transformers Devastation has joined the ranks. Not only is it fun to smash Decepticons into tiny pieces but the game pays homage to the 80’s Transformers cartoon. For all of the Transformers fans wanting a game to own, this is the one.

 

Honorable Mentions:

Galak-Z

Mad Max

Yakuza 5

 

Dishonorable Mentions:

Afro Samurai 2

Dengeki Bunko: Fight Climax

Metal Gear Solid V

Battlefield Hardline

Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment

And well there you have it folks! I wanted to include so many other games but I either didn’t get a chance to play them or didn’t play enough for me to add on my list. Coming up with this list was hard work and hopefully, I inspire people to at least give these games a look over. With that said, I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and a great New Years!

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About the Author

Marcus Lawrence

"They call me "The Man Who Games" but really, my name is Marcus Lawrence and I've been in the freelance field for about 3+ years now. Game reviews, game industry news, opinion pieces and more are under my belt; I strive to gain even more knowledge than the previous day. Ever since I was a kid, I loved gaming and all sorts of other nerdy activities. It was when I saw Adam Sessler on Extended Play years ago, that I knew my calling was the gaming industry. Find me @G33K_Marcus and let's G33k out!

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