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GOTY 2015

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  • A MOBA experience for sane people. HOTS hits all the required notes, with great fast paced game play saturated with the great style and polish Blizzard is known for. For me the best experiences of the year were frantic team-fights with friends and the nail-biting comebacks HOTS seems to get just right.

  • I've loved Wurm Online for many years but the subscription model didn't fit the game well in my eyes. Countless hours lost to chopping lumber and building shacks in the wilderness of Wurm Unlimited reminded me why I love this style of plodding crafting game.

  • This is my first monster hunter, and something about the gameplay loop is perfect to fire up for a few minutes or a few hours. Craft items, eat a meal, kill monsters, make armor from their skin, and start all over became a nightly routine for me for months. The story is a bit weak, but I came to the series for excellent monster combat and MH4U delivers. After hundreds of hours I feel as though I could jump back in and have a whole new experience just by swapping weapons. With deep and engaging combat like this, having it on a portable system is just icing on the cake.

  • I wanted Sim City 4 to be great, and that sting of disappointment lasted until this summer with Cities Skylines. Paradox takes the classic city builder formula and updates it for modern systems, and a smooth, polished experience is the result. This is everything a city builder should be, and Steam Workshop integration keeps me coming back for more.

  • I'll admit I'm not very good at Kerbal Space Program. In career mode I can land on the Mun, and that's about the extent of it. However the hours spent making silly, completely absurd rocket designs with my daughter earn this game a spot on my top 5.

  • I needed another Fallout, but I don't know if I was ready for another Fallout. I was only able to put a couple dozen hours into FO4, and was left with a slight disappointment at the overall world design. Settled areas seemed too close together and densely packed, while at the same time NPCs talked as if a few hundred yards were dozens of miles of separation. I'll be coming back to Fallout 4 sometime early next year, and I'm looking forward to the mod community digging in and making some great new content.

  • After tons of hours, I'm still not quite sure if Fire Emblem is for me, but I know I enjoyed the combat system. Throughout the early part of this year I came back to Fire Emblem Awakening many times, and would get hooked for weeks at a time. I constantly ask myself, can I make the girls kiss? Do I care?