2015 was an incredible year in gaming, with new and old franchises getting their day in the sun. Some of them were disappointing, but we're here to remember those that were rose above the rest to make 2015 what it was. Last time, we killed both the living and the dead, raided some tombs, and splatted the world together. Now we're looking at the final five games that stood above the rest. Let's begin...
I have something to admit, I didn't like Fallout 3 nor New Vegas. I found the stories in those games boring, the combat unexciting, and the worlds to be dull and uninteresting. However, I decided to still give Fallout 4 a chance and ended up falling for it.
The combat was vastly improved, the world and characters more interesting, and the plot was more engaging. Despite some minor technical issues and some difficulty spikes, I found Fallout 4 to be the definitive Fallout experience and a great game.
Like Fallout , I was never a fan of the previous game in this franchise, The Witcher 2. (Note, I don't own a PC and never played the original.)
Despite that, I found The Witcher 3 to be exceptional in many ways. While the game's story took a bit to get going, once it did it became an adventure like no other. With improved combat, a more accessible menu and crafting system, and one of the best worlds in gaming, The Witcher 3 is an adventure like no other.
In 2005, my cousin brought over her brother's Xbox and we played Halo 2 split screen. That was my first ever experience with Halo, and I have loved this franchise for over 10 years. I'll admit that I was a bit Halo-ed out after Halo 4 and did not play the series for some time. But, I think I needed that 3 year break, because after Halo 5 I just want to keep playing this iconic series for years to come.
Halo 5 has it all, Intense and fast paced combat running at 60fps, addictive multiplayer in the form of Warzone, and the best campaign level design in the series. The story, despite it's sometimes melodramatic moments, felt far more interesting than most entries in the series. Sure, 343 Industries has made a few mistakes with this one; the inclusion of microtransactions is a puzzling design. But, in all, Halo hasn't felt this good in years.
It's easy to say that Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is the best gameplay in series history despite the behind the scenes trouble with Konami and creator Hideo Kojima. But what isn't easy to do is to pin down what exactly makes MGS V an outstanding game in a single paragraph. I'll try anyway.
Refining not just a generation of MGS gameplay, but transcending the sand-box genera, Metal Gear Solid V has done what few games have been able to do; create a world where emergent game design is king. Every second feels important and every minute something is changing, making you discover and refine your abilities as a player. Top that with one of the most bold and vigorous stories in Metal Gear Solid history, and you can see why this has been getting so many perfect scores from other outlets.
I'll admit to some unfair bias for this title. Batman is my favorite super hero. My favorite film is The Dark Knight, and my collection of Batman GN is second to none. Even so, Arkham Knight is still the quintessential Batman experience, and represents Rocksteady's firm grasp of the definitive Batman game creators.
Arkham Knight tells a far more mature story than it's predecessors. With it's signature combat, and it's numerous tweaks and adjustments it creates the ultimate Gotham City, all without a hitch. This is easily the best looking, best playing, best game of 2015. Oh, and the Batman Mobile is fun. There, I said it.