2015 was one of the strongest years in gaming that I can remember. There were a ton of surprises, AAA games that lived up to the hype, and older games that were revitalized.
I sat down and tried to compile a list of my favorite games of the year, and in previous years, I always felt confident that those were my ten favorite games of that year, but this year was different. I felt bad for leaving certain games off my top ten, but there was simply no room. I guess that’s a good problem to have…?
When considering which game I enjoyed the most, a ton of factors came into play, and those factors would change the results. Which game gave me a story that I’m still thinking about? Well, this game did. Which game had the most memorable moment that I’ll always remember? Well, that goes to this other game. Which game had the most fun gameplay that I keep wanting to return to? Well, that’s this game. So on, so on.
I tried to narrow it down as much as I could. Two.
Two games that combine everything I loved about gaming in 2015 into two masterpieces. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, and Bloodborne.
Before we dive into that, check out some of the highlights from my year in gaming, as captured by my PS4.
METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN
Metal Gear Solid is my favorite franchise, not just in gaming, but in any type of media, ever. So it’s no surprise that the swan song of the series was my favorite game this year.
The Phantom Pain is the best Metal Gear game and it feels like series creator Hideo Kojima was finally able to accomplish what he set out to do nearly 30 years ago.
The gameplay is the smoothest I have ever played. It’s remarkable how easy it is to transition your plans and ideas into the game. It doesn’t handcuff you or hinder you in any way.
Metal Gear has gotten bad slack in the past for being heavily story driven, and taking control away from the player too much. The Phantom Pain is the antithesis of the typical Metal Gear game.
There are few moments of story where gameplay is stripped from you, which made the story moments feel important, and heavy.
And they were, as The Phantom Pain did things and went places that I have never seen a mainstream video game go. There were moments in that game that left me dumbfounded and others that left me flat out disturbed.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is an achievement in gaming. It transcends the barrier between game and gamer and gave me feelings a video game has never done before.
I was nervous about Bloodborne. I had tried From Software’s previous titles, and could never get attached to them.
From Software is known for making some of the most difficult and unforgiving video games. That’s always turned me off to them.
I’m not into gaming for the difficulty or frustration.
Then I realized why people play these games… It’s rewarding.
When I finally figured out Bloodborne, I reached a certain boss who I was hung up on for two days. I had to take a break from the game for a week, and when I returned I was finally able to defeat the boss. The satisfaction I felt defeating that boss is what gaming is all about.
I’m *probably* never going to kill a giant deformed wolf monster in real life, but doing it in Bloodborne felt satisfactory enough.
My favorite thing about Bloodborne was the world, the creatures, and the lore.
Everything is very Lovecraftian, and the creatures are disgustingly fun to look at.
The story of the game revolves around the moon, which is just about always in sight and creates for beautiful landmarks, juxtaposed by a giant tentacle Elder God crawling on a building.
Bloodborne had the best style of any game I played this year, and the interesting world left me thirsty to learn more.
Maybe one day I’ll dive more into the other games that made this year so great, but for now, these are the two I felt like I took the most from.
Here’s my entire Top 10 of 2015. The rankings aren’t very strict, any of these games could by my number one on a certain day. They’re all great and all deserved to be checked out.
1.) Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
3.) Shovel Knight
4.) Super Mario Maker
5.) Xenoblade Chronicles X
6.) Project CARS
7.) Rocket League
8.) Batman: Arkham Knight
9.) Until Dawn
10.) Her Story