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Top 10 Games Played in 2015

List items

  • Boy did I get deep into Ark. By the time I stopped playing it it had become my second most-played game on Steam at 451 hours, after Skyrim. The timing may have been right in that I was playing during a period in which I had no other games on my radar, and playing on a community PvE server certainly helped extend the longevity. The loop of the game was simple enough with steady progression to keep me interested, and with building and taming mechanics to keep me invested once I had established a base of my own. This was probably the most enjoyable multiplayer experience I have ever had.

  • Any excuse to play through a Dark Souls game again. I held off from getting the Dark Souls 2 DLC as it came out, then when this version was announced I simply waited for it. It was well worth it, since the changes to enemy placement and aggressiveness throughout the entire base game changed it enough to feel like a fresh experience even before I got to the DLCs. Once I got to the DLC areas it was back to that old comforting experience of exploring areas for the first time and seeing what fresh horrors of enemy types are around the corner. It even had a boss fight that rivaled Dark Souls 1's Artorias for being my favorite in the series.

  • The most exciting thing in the Fallout 4 announcement and what I was looking forward to the most in the runup to release was the settlement building mechanics. In that regard Fallout 4 met my expectations and then some, and that aspect of the game has been my favorite and also has been what has kept me invested even now. The story and characters are nothing special, with some annoying changes to preexisting factions, characters that do nonsensical things, and enough choice to make it unsatisfying when other choices that seem like plausible solutions to problems aren't even presented as an option. The world remains as interesting to explore as ever, however, and this game has improved the gameplay loop dramatically over previous entries in the series. I felt invested in the setting and my contributions to it so much more than I ever have been. If this is a representation of the next step in Bethesda's continuing goal of making incredibly dense worlds for players to feel a part of then i'm optimistic about the future.

  • I do not like Geralt of Rivia. Everything about him screams author insert, the super badass dude who is awesome at fighting and knows magic and gets to bang all the hot ladies he wants. His portrayal in The Witcher 1 was basically nothing more than this, and while I hated the combat in The Witcher 2 to the point where I gave up 45 minutes in he seemed to be the same.

    Now though, I suppose it would be more accurate to say I used to not like Geralt of Rivia. Against all odds and all my expectations, The Witcher 3 turned him into someone I actually enjoyed controlling and seeing how he would react to things. How regaining his memories created a conflict between an old relationship that may be too late to salvage and a new one he gained in the meantime. How he wants to be a good father. That there is enough nuance in the voice acting and facial modeling to give him subtle emotion changes during quests and dialogue so he's not just a monotone plank of wood.

    I stopped playing the game around what I think is 2/3 of the way through since I got tired of the combat and I didn't care about the world or exploration at all, but this game deserves this spot on my list just for the incredible feat it managed in getting me to care about its protagonist.

  • It's an open world puzzle game reminiscent of Portal set in gorgeous locations with plenty of hidden secrets tons of lore and a lot of character. It melted my brain a couple of times, but the way it slowly drip-fed mechanics kept the progression manageable and consistently fresh and interesting until the end of the game.

  • I got to play as a kickass lady Saiyan traveling through time and helping out the Z Fighters in all their major battles throughout the show. There was nothing about this game that I was not going to love, purely based on nothing but nostalgia. That it played well was a bonus, though by the end it became pretty easy to cheese most encounters with Super Saiyan + Energy Blasts. That's entirely in line with the series itself though, so there's another point in favor for consistency.

  • This game had been on my "games to play if I ever get a PS3" list for a long time, so when it came out for PC I was pretty happy. The gameplay was mostly enjoyable, though the way that some missions handle difficulty was annoying, as was nothing except completion time mattering as far as ranking was concerned. The characters were likable for the most part with a few exceptions, and while the story was nothing special it was enough to keep me somewhat interested until the end. Boy is there a lot of Anime Nonsense though. I have no interest in continuing with the series in any fashion, but i'm glad I got to play it finally.

  • Space exploration is my jam. This is a pretty standard adventure game but everything about the setting, story, and aesthetics combined to a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

  • Dang this is a charming game. Everything about the world is just happy and colorful, the main character being the most so. The movement is simple and enjoyable, and the satisfaction of getting up to another level of progression is well managed. The main goal might be reachable in a short time, but there's enough collectibles and exploration beyond that, and the enjoyment I got in simply getting around was enough to keep me interested.

  • I quite like what Amplitude is doing with their Endless setting. The shared lore is a lot of fun and it's cool to see what shared themes will show up in the various games. Mechanically this is a different "roguelike" than other ones, with the careful resource management and what is essentially a squad of characters to develop. Later difficulties became too frustrating for me to continue playing over and over again, but for the time I did spend with it it was a mostly enjoyable experience.