2015's GOTY and 9 Not-GOTY's

2015 has been one of my favorite years in gaming.

Besides all the games released, this came about due some changes I've made in regards to games in general. Like the majority of people who play games, I've acquired quite the backlog over the years from the multitude of bundles that have popped up, Steam sales, and the massive surge of indie games. According to Steam, I have 482 games and I've only placed ~110 of them in a Beaten/Finished category. That's not even counting all the games I have on other stores and physical console games. Due to those numbers making me sick to my gaming stomach, I started to try and reach a state of being "finished" with around 2-3 games before I allow myself to buy 1 new game. My playing and buying habits have changed for the better because of that. It lead me to lower the amount of games I play/have installed at a time. I would have 30+ games installed and flip flop between them all, never finishing any. Now, I've become more focused on the games I actually want to play and really nailed down what I look for in games. The indie game that's cheap and interests me just enough that I would buy it without a thought? Sorry game but you're going on a Steam wishlist or Word doc instead of becoming an impulse purchase. Some bundle that has 1-2 games I would play but 4-7 games I probably won't touch? The savings would be nice but I rather put all my money towards the developers of those 1-2 games.

This year has seen some major changes from me and I could go on for a while but let's get down to business.

Game Platforms I Own:

  • PC
  • 3DS
  • Wii U
  • Xbox One
  • iPhone (Rarely buy mobile games since I have few instances of where it would be used)

The 24 Second Shot Clocks:

  • Tales from the Borderlands/Game of Thrones: I got them bundled during a Humble sale but never got around to playing them (Along with TWD Season 2 and Wolf Among Us but that's 2014).
  • Life is Strange: Only own the first episode and waiting for a bigger discount on Episodes 2-5
  • Batman: Arkham Knight: Between waiting for PC patches and with other games coming out, I never got back to it. Played around 8 hours.
  • Invisible Inc.: I should really play more of this but Witcher 3 came out around the same time so it got lost in time.
  • Ori and the Blind Forest: I've only played around a hour so far, but I really dig the aesthetic. It's an extremely beautiful game that I wish I got more time in.

The "4th and Inches":

  • Metal Gear Solid V: I couldn't bring myself to finish it. While the gameplay was top notch for the most part, it couldn't carry me through the rest of everything else in the game. I put in close to 70 hours before I stopped playing but thinking back on it, I only really enjoyed the first 20 or so hours. It this list was purely based on gameplay, it would have made it but I enjoyed MGSV less than at least 10 other games.
  • Mad Max: A game that I pre-ordered and blasted through in a week. I didn't mind the slower melee combat and the car combat was a blast. If a couple things were improved or different, this would have definitely made the list.
  • Transformers Devastation: Bayonetta 2 is my 2014 GOTY and this is another fine character action game from Platinum but there was just enough missing that I couldn't place it on the list.
  • Crypt of the Necrodancer: It's a rad game and a fresh breath in the rogue-lite (like?) genre but I stopped playing fairly quickly.
  • Downwell: It's a really cool game and I've been getting a couple runs in every night but I don't know how much more it'll do for me.
  • Undertale: As I was playing Undertale, I got why everyone was head over heels about it but it just wasn't doing it for me for the most part.

I have a tie at number 5 because they filled similar roles for me. Games 7-10 and everything in 4th and Inches was swapped around so many times. There were so many games that came out this year that I enjoyed and so many games I missed but would have enjoyed that the above lists could be a lot longer. I'll try to keep my thoughts below short and sweet and here's to another great year in 2016!

List items

  • #10

    The game I never saw coming. Since most people are probably not familiar with it, Stella Glow is a strategy game in the vein of Final Fantasy Tactics or Fire Emblem where you move your characters around a gridded map and battle in a turn base fashion.

    Initially, I was turned away from even trying the demo because the game seemed to contain harem and dating sim elements that I usually stay away from. After playing the demo though, it scratched a SRPG itch well enough that I decided to take a chance. The harem and dating sim elements weren't even close to as bad as they could have been. The story, which is FULL ON ANIME, goes some interesting places. I didn't hate all the characters like I expected to and ended up liking more than I hated. THE MUSIC IS REALLY, REALLY GOOD.

    While there are plenty of faults to find in this game if you pick it apart and other games , the game came out at the right time of the year for me and completely captured me in its world for the 3 weeks I was playing it. I'm sad to see that this is the developer's last game.

  • #9

    I don't have much to say about MH4U. You either hate or love the Monster Hunter series and this is one of the best for people new to the series to get into.

  • #8

    I had no interest in this game initially but the amount of praise lured me in. I got some of the best parkour in gaming, crafting some cool weapons, and to bash in some zombie heads. Nights were absolutely terriying and I want nothing to do with them ever again. The story was mediocre but everything surrounding it was a joy to play.

  • #7

    A game that came out late in the year but snuck it's way just in time.

    A great, assorted cast of characters with a minimal story but the feeling of ricocheting a shot off the walls and into the back of an enemy never got old. The mission objectives and enemy types end up varied enough that I never got bored of them. It took me around 15 hours to beat and have most of my team at max level. It's a game I recommend to anyone who would want a 2D "X-Com" game.

  • #5

    Nintendo made an online shooter and it was good!?!?!?

    I've always been a Nintendo guy but I had some major doubts in the lead up to Splatoon's release. Nintendo is not known for being "current" with the video game times when it comes to online and account related things. My worries were washed away after that first beta weekend. The motion controls weren't bad at all, matches felt just about the right length, the music was quirky, and it had that Nintendo feel of just being fun to play. Add in a surprisingly decent singleplay (That last boss battle was so good) and Nintendo delivered a good online shooter in 2015. Who knew that could happen?

  • #5

    I drive a car and score goals by running into a ball. That car has boosters and can fly in the air. Also, I can put on a whirly hat, that's pretty cool.

  • #4

    The only game on this list I haven't finished but everything I like about this game won't be affected by the story. Giant mechs, a massive world to explore, a different enough combat system from Xenoblade Chronicles, and some great moments with the Affinity Missions. I wish the main story was a lot better but I expected very little from it by what people who played the Japanese versions had been saying.

    Tatsu/Lin is the worst but Skells are the best and I can see myself putting close to 200 hours into this game.

  • #3

    I really, really liked the first game and this gave me more of it with some improvements. The tombs are a lot better, the game is absolutely gorgeous, and you could actually be stealthy at times. I ended up 100%'ing the game and I don't regret not waiting for the PC version.

    Also, Jonah is a bro.

  • #2

    Easily my GOTY in most other years but this year is not one of those years.

    A well crafted fantasy world with some of the best quests in a RPG. The combat system worked well enough this time around, although combat in the Witcher games has never been a strong suit. Gwent was pretty cool. The overall story was great but I thought everything after the battle at Kaer Morhen was extremely weak and the villains were comically bad. That didn't detract enough from my overall experience with the game and it was a great closure to Geralt's story.

  • #1

    Hands down, my Game of the Year.

    People talk about how they drew Mario levels on pieces of paper when Super Mario Bros. came out and dreamt of making levels themselves. I can't say that was me but SMM tugs on some other nostalgia for me. It brings me back to the days of playing with Lincoln Logs or Legos, which basically defined what I wanted to do when I grew up. Building a level in SMM gives me those feelings again when I'm moving the cursor around to place some blocks or enemies. If the act of building a level wasn't so intuitive or easy to do, SMM wouldn't work at all but Nintendo nailed about 95% of it. The act of sharing levels is still not perfect and there are some things I would still like added in but there is basically everything you would want from a game called Super Mario Maker.

    I am so happy that this game is a thing and look forward to all the levels people make over the years.

    P.S. Dan Ryckert is a monster and must be stopped.