The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Heroes of the Storm
It feels like ages ago when Blizzard announced they’ll be getting in on the MOBA frenzy. In 2015, they officially launched Heroes of the Storm, their unique take on the genre. Eschewing traditional gameplay details such as currency and equipment, Heroes instead focuses on teamwork, map objectives, and simplicity. Blizzard crafted an experience designed to ease players into the true complexities of the genre. Whereas other MOBAs require advanced research and studying, Heroes of the Storm allows plenty of room for the player to learn through example.
Plus, come on, it’s fun for these familiar characters to bash heads against each other.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
The “other” game to launch on November 10th, 2015, Rise of the Tomb Raider may be suffering due to its ill-informed release date and Xbox exclusivity. It may not have the power to stand toe-to-toe with the “big boys” of the holiday line-up, but there’s no denying that it deserves a part of the spotlight. Rise of the Tomb Raider takes everything that made the 2013 reboot successful and improves on it. Plus, let’s face it, those visuals are absolutely gorgeous.
Remember the hype over the release of 2013’s SimCity? Man, those were the days. Thankfully, we have Cities: Skylines, the game SimCity should have been. While it lacks the accessibility of the once fabled Maxis franchise, Cities: Skylines offers more than enough depth and challenge to keep players occupied for hours upon hours. Plus, its affordable price point made it an attractive impulse pick-up for even the most jaded simulation fans. Just make sure you have enough time to spare should you get drawn into playing. Unless, of course, you enjoy going into work on very little sleep.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
What a long, strange, trip it’s been. Remember when The Phantom Pain debuted at the Video Game Awards? Nobody knew what it was other than completely out there. Of course now we know the truth: it’s the latest installment in the Metal Gear Solid franchise. What a long, strange, trip that was totally worth it. Phantom Pain brought the series to the open world, bringing along the traditional stealth gameplay we all know and love. The result is an experience unlike any other, unrivaled in both storytelling and gameplay.
A lot of you like Fallout 4. That’s cool, it’s a great game. There were quite a few other titles released this year that were equally great. Let’s take a look at some of my favorite games from this past year not named Fallout 4.
The PlayStation 4 exclusive came out way back in March of this year, but chances are if you played it you remember it quite well. Take everything you love about the Souls franchise, add in an Eastern European aesthetic and a Gothic vibe, you have Bloodborne. A true beauty to behold in terms of visuals, gameplay, and difficulty, it was a true system seller, having sold over 2 million copies as of September, and left players with haunting memories they will never forget.
Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D
While it might not have the same critical acclaim of Orcarina of Time, Majora’s Mask still a beloved title in the Legend of Zelda franchise. The long awaited classic finally made its way to the Nintendo 3DS, allowing a new generation of gamers the chance to save Clock Town. The familiar gameplay, memorable characters, and unique twist all come together to help bring the forgotten classic into the new generation.
At least I hope its not forgotten; this game has one very vocal backing.
While the internet went from talking about Witcher 3 to Fallout 4, you can’t forget about Rocket League. Launching as a free game in the PlayStation Plus Instant Game Collection, Rocket League’s high octane, over-the-top, and insanely addictive gameplay helped power a word of mouth campaign that has taken the game to unforeseen heights. Without a doubt, this is your sleeper hit of the year and it’s about playing a game of soccer with rocket cars. God damn, though, if it isn’t fun.