It’s time for my annual best of ____ post where I talk about all my favorite entertainment products I watched over the last year. There were a ton of great things to come out in 2015, so I’m going to split them into three separate posts:
- The Best TV Shows of 2015
- The Best Movies of 2015
- The Best Music I Discovered in 2015
- The Best Games of 2015 (you’re already here)
I won’t rank them with numbers, but I will point out a “Top Pick” for each category that you can consider #1. I’ll also do my best to describe everything in a way that I can narrow down who would likely enjoy each one. But I’ll also be as brief as possible to avoid spoiling anything. Enjoy!
Axiom Verge makes no effort to disguise that they are a Metroid / Castlevania inspired game, and they definitely live up to that genre. It is challenging, free-roaming, and fun with an interesting and bizarre story backing it up.
This is the best Fallout game yet. It is probably the least buggy Bethesda game I’ve ever played as well. While that doesn’t say much, it still makes the experience much more enjoyable. If you haven’t played this game yet and are a fan of Bethesda’s first person role-playing adventures, I’d be very surprised. But to the one person this applies to, get on it.
Super Mario Maker
When I was in college, I studied Game Design. We spent a few courses working in level editors to learn level design principles, and those were some of the most fun classes I have ever taken. A few years later, I started seeing game building software like RPG Maker come out. Every time I’d buy one, I’d end up being disappointed that the UI wasn’t intuitive or easy to use. It would generally be easier to code something from scratch than use the early versions of these apps. This is not the case for Super Mario Maker.
Super Mario Maker has managed to make level editing accessible and easy. And on a console, no less. This game has blown up and caused a ton of people to buy a Wii U. I don’t even make levels that often in it, but playing all the levels other people post is a blast.
Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward
Final Fantasy XIV is the best MMORPG ever created. At least since A Realm Reborn rebooted it. It gets rid of a ton of the unnecessary padding that other games pack into them. I mean, an MMORPG that’s 100% filler-free is just an RPG, so it still has some. But if you’re in the market for that experience, Final Fantasy XIV is the most well-built, beautiful, and well-written of the bunch.
Heavensward has only added more to do, and a whole new story arc that’s been great so far. I keep leaving and coming back whenever I have the hankering for an MMO, and I’ve been enjoying it whenever that happens.
Soma is an excellent story telling game. In the same vein as BioShock games, Soma tells an incredible sci-fi story through a first person point of view. It’s not super long, but the decisions you make throughout this game will keep you thinking long after the game ends.
Ori and the Blind Forest
Ori and the Blind Forest is an excellent platformer that has beautiful artwork and sound. If you enjoy challenging puzzles and skill-intensive platforming, this is a must-play. If you’re a Super Metroid fan, check it out after you play Axiom Verge.
TOP PICK: Undertale
I played this game through twice, but it still offers even more for anyone wanting to see everything. The story is incredible, and it drives the game more than any other factor. The 8-bit graphics are obviously heavily stylized, but very well done. It draws inspiration from the great RPGs of my youth, especially the Earthbound series.
I won’t say anything else about it, but you should play this game. No matter who you are, you should play it. Undertale is the gold standard that RPGs should be held to today. It wins a landslide victory as the best game of 2015.
If you want to see what the game is all about, but don’t want to actually play it, I recommend watching the Completionist’s Review of Undertale. If you’d like to watch a full Let’s Play of it, check out the Steam Train Undertale playlist on the Game Grumps Channel. I really recommend playing it yourself, but I know how it is sometimes.