Now that the year“s coming to a close, I think it“s safe to say that 2015 was fairly generous to gamers. With the likes of Fallout 4 and The Witcher 3 headlining the launch schedule, there were more than enough meaty releases for players to sink their teeth into.
Unfortunately, college life kept me from playing all the great stuff that hit the market, so this list will be a bit abbreviated. Even so, a few titles stood out more than the rest from the crop that I had the chance to experience. Here are my top picks for the best games of 2015.
The name should tell you all that you need to know about Broforce. It“s a Contra-style side-scrolling shooter with more movie character parodies than you can shake a stick it. Broforce is bloody, explosive, and stupidly fun. If Mr. Torgue were a videogame, he“d probably look a lot like Broforce. Even if this doesn“t convince you to go out and buy it right away, there“s a free Expendabros game on Steam that should give you a decent idea of what to expect from the main release. Hint: expect copious amounts of gratuitous fun!
If you“re the sadist in your group of friends that likes to turn friendly fire on, Helldivers is the perfect game for you. It combines the frantic pace and isometric combat of Magicka with the guns and gore of Starship Troopers. Bringing democracy to aliens and cyborgs never looked so goodâ€¦..and played so well. If you need reinforcements or equipment, entering a series of button prompts will drop a crate of goodies. Just don“t stand beneath it or you“ll end up as a puddle of goo.
6. Mad Max
Mad Max is a genuine guilty pleasure. By most accounts, it“s a bog-standard open world action game, with the main hook implemented in the form of car combat. While that“s true, something about the dusty dunes and ashes of fallen civilizations really engrossed me in the experience. Whether I was upgrading Max“s car, the Magnum Opus, or pummeling bandits into a bloody pulp, Mad Max felt like a rewarding experience. It“s certainly not for everyone, especially if you“ve tired of franchises like Rocksteady“s Batman. If, however, you enjoy plowing through waves of raiders in a militarized junker, Mad Max serves up a generous helping of everything you crave.
5. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Honestly, Metal Gear Solid V is something of a polarizing experience for me. On the one hand, I love the attention to detail and the freeform combat on offer. On the other hand, the narrative is relatively uninteresting and the writing leaves much to be desired. All that said, the gameplay and mechanics are engaging enough to overcome MGSV“s flaws, providing an action-packed send-off for Kojima and co. It also doesn“t hurt that the Fox Engine produces some gorgeous environments and combat sequences. MGSV, in many respects, is more than the sum of its parts.
Post-apocalyptic wastelands are starting to become a dime-a-dozen in games. Bethesda“s offering, however, stands above the crowd. Fallout 4 is an artistic achievement, with a sprawling, irradiated Boston at your beck and call. New to the series is the ability to build settlements, where players can recruit allies and harvest resources. It adds a significant dimension to the gameplay, should you choose to use it. Exploration and combat have been made more fluid, while the dialogue and writing remain as witty and sharp as previous entries. Though the game lacks New Vegas“ humor and the dialogue tree is horribly simplified, Fallout 4 is still one of the richest, most exciting releases of the year.
3. NHL 16
It“s not secret that I“m relatively obsessed with hockey. I“m a fan of hockey analytics, the Winnipeg Jets, and the moment-to-moment action that characterizes the sport. EA“s NHL 15, however, left me wanting. It was devoid of numerous online modes and the team authenticity was lacking. Enter NHL 16, a major step forward for the franchise. NHL 16 incorporates all of the missing online modes, while adding helpful training systems and authentic arena atmosphere. It helps to personalize the experience and makes the game a strong addition to any hockey nut“s collection.
2. Rocket League
If you haven“t been addicted to the wiles of Rocket League“s charm, you“re missing out on one of the best multiplayer party games ever made. Rocket League combines cars, rocket boosters, and soccer into a gloriously chaotic amalgamation. Teams of 3 or so players square off with the simple objective of smacking a gigantic metal ball into the opposing net. All the action and style that occurs between the start and finish, however, is what makes Rocket League so darn good. It“s an accessible game, but one that requires dedication and skill to master. It“s â€œthe beautiful gameâ€ as it was always meant to be.
1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
CD Projekt Red“s franchise swan song is, unequivocally, one of the most ambitious action-RPGs ever crafted. The Witcher 3 is a beautiful, dark, gothic fantasy adventure and a fitting conclusion to the tumultuous saga of Geralt. If you haven“t played any of the previous games, the third entry offers quite a bit of expository lore and conversations to fill in the narrative gaps. If you“ve been following the series since its introduction, you“re in for a genuine treat.