A few years ago, I did my own "Games of the Year" list, where I talked about not the games that were released in that year, but those that I myself played that year. A friend of mine suggested doing the same thing in an email thread that we share with some other gaming buddies, and so a few of us shared our experiences from 2015.
But for those of you who aren't on that email thread, I figure I spent the time writing up everything, so I might as well share it. Here's my list for 2015. Also, you can see on the sidebar that I'm trying to keep track of the games I play this year, in the hopes that I maybe do this kind of post again at the end of 2016.
Honorable Mention: Rock Band 4
The newest iteration of the
Rock Band franchise was...fine? I haven't gone through the whole
campaign, but after advertising it as a "Rock Band RPG," it strikes me
as being pretty similar to Rock Band 2; hardly a role-playing game. If
you're interested, I wrote about what I thought a true Rock Band RPG
could be like on my blog.
10. World of Warcraft
here's the thing about World of Warcraft. Before Warlords of Draenor
turned it into a glorified smartphone game, it was already a glorified
smartphone game for me. I'm not good enough to raid or PvP, and outside
of that, it's just gold-farming. I don't dislike gold-farming per se,
but as I play it more, I'm realizing that it's less of engagement and
more of a habit. I'm thinking 2016 won't have WoW on its list.
9. Heroes of the Storm
we were considering sheer volume of time, Heroes would rate higher on
this list. I played pretty often with Chip and Nick, the quicker matches
being less of a commitment than games like CS:GO or League of Legends.
The lack of items and summoner abilities takes a layer of complexity off
the game, but it does have some unique heroes like Cho'Gall, Murky, and
The Lost Vikings. Heroes is good for at least an occasional diversion.
8. Card Hunter
I had only played the first 5 or 6 levels of Card Hunter by the time I
wrote this up, it'd be higher on the list. It's a fun card-based game
that functions like D&D. The problem is that the game kind of
over-complicates itself over time. While you start out with a weak
15-card deck, as your characters advance in level, the deck gets
stronger, but also bigger. Anybody who's played any Magic knows that the
smaller the deck, the happier you are. Still, it's fun enough that I'll
keep it installed at least.
7. Creeper World 3: Arc Eternal
were, apparently, two previous Creeper World games, but I never played
them. This was an impulse purchase for I want to say like $0.79 during
one of the Steam sales. It's not an overly complex game, but it does
offer a new take on tower defense style games. I enjoyed playing it as
much as I did, and I could see myself getting back into it.
Unconventional tower defense games are almost as much fun as...
6. Defender's Quest: Valley of the Forgotten
tower defense games. Defender's Quest was another game I purchased
during a Steam sale over the years. I began playing it before last year,
but I jumped back into it when I had a stretch of regular Twitch
streaming a little while back. It's a bit of a grind, but my kind of
grind. I haven't finished the "new game+" yet, and it's an easy game to
stream, so I expect to play it some in 2016 as well.
5. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
was a stretch there in 2015 when CS:GO was my game of choice. Missions
were an interesting addition, and it swayed my focus on a day-to-day
basis. As always, I watched for interesting investments, though the time
of quick profits has passed. I haven't played it in a while, but it was
a huge part of my year, and I'd be surprised if I didn't get back to it
at some point this year as well.
4. Magic: The Gathering - The Deckbuilding
here's the thing about Magic. I didn't play a ton of matches of Magic.
But "playing Magic" means different things for different people. For me,
deckbuilding is far and away my favorite part of the game. I bought
some sealed content and spent time all throughout the year building and
rebuilding decks. I love trying to figure out the interplay between the
various cards, and talking about it with other people or reading about
it. Magic was definitely a big part of my gaming 2015.
3. Dead Rising 2: Off the Record
remember playing a demo of the original Dead Rising and running out to
buy a used copy at GameStop the same day. I played the shit out of it,
and I continue to play the shit out of Dead Rising games. I didn't buy
Dead Rising 2: Off the Record right away, because it's basically a
remake of the original Dead Rising 2 with different cutscenes. Still, it
was a lot of fun.
2. NHL '16
I'm always a fan of NHL
games. I actually played a fair amount of NHL '13 this year as well, but
it seemed silly to include two hockey games. NHL '16 was part of the
bundle I got when I bought my Xbox One, because I knew I'd play it. I
haven't tried Franchise Mode (or whatever it's called these days), but
the Be A Pro, Hockey Ultimate Team, and just exhibition games are all
crisp and fun. Hockey is great.
1. Dungeons & Dragons
is the best game ever. I've always liked cooperative games with a lot
of freedom, and no game satisfies that hunger like D&D. It's a fun
game to play with friends, it's a great environment for humor and
creativity, and it still incorporates battle-based challenges. It takes
more time to set up a game than other games, and requires coordination
with your group in order to make things happen, but with Tabletop
Simulator and now (the superior) Roll20, it's a great time to play
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