Top Games of 2015

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10. Just Cause 3

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Just_Cause_3_cover_artAnother massive open world game of complete destruction and shenanigans is Just Cause 3. Actually Just Cause 3 is currently the game with the largest open world map in any RPG and to be honest the amount of destruction and creativity and the amount of different things you can actually do in this game is almost endless. Yet it seems the biggest issue with this game is that the story itself doesn’t really hold most people enough to keep them constantly playing.

The story continues on from Just Cause 2 six years afterwards where Rico Rodriguez returns back to his home and finds that it is now being run by a dictator and helps and joins the militia rebellion to overthrow the ruler.  Most people tend to get just as far in the story so they can unlock better gadgets and gear along the way but the real appeal to the game is the massive open world and endless amount of fun they can have or create in that world. Just Cause 3 does have the largest open world map compared to any open world RPG even The Witcher 3. Similar to Grand Theft Auto V you are able to do almost anything in Just Cause 3 just making sure that you can evade the police or anyone else who comes after you.

The graphics and gameplay keep up to par very well compared to other next-generation console and PC games which is part of the appeal as well. With being able to do anything it’s an endless amount of fun with friends or just messing around in the world but unfortunately lacking a well developed story.


9. Rainbow Six: Siege

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317347-tom-clancy-s-rainbow-six-siege-art-of-siege-edition-windows-otherTom Clancy’s newest competitive tactical FPS continuing from their last Rainbow Six Vegas 2 released in 2008 also receiving great ratings amongst sites like IGN, Steam, and Metacritic. Rainbow Six: Siege is a multiplayer online game that also has a campaign mode that, much like the other games, is very similar to the multiplayer gameplay where the objective is to plant or locate and disarm an explosive against an enemy team avoiding various tactical traps and blockades in your way.

The main appeal and general appeal to the game is the well developed gameplay on multiplayer and realistic style. Rainbow Six:Siege is not only reviving the Rainbow Six series but also challenging other multiplayer FPS games like Battlefront, Call of Duty, and Battlefield. To break away from the simplistic mechanical game style like the common copy and paste shooters are.

 


8. Bloodborne

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BB_KyeArt_A_257295_1_1402364557Developed by FromSoftware and directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki and is an unofficial continuation of the  Dark Souls franchise. Bloodborne is not officially a Dark Souls game but being directed by the same director and most people referred to Bloodborne as the next in line until the official announcement of Dark Souls 3 to soon be released later this year. Bloodborne is an action role-playing game and is only available on the Playstation 4 now with only Demon’s Souls and Bloodborne being the only FromSoftware games that are exclusively for Sony.

The game takes place in a Victorian age England world that is overrun with creatures and morphed monsters infested by a virus that it’s you job to discover what it could be. The Souls series is well known for a complicated story, beautiful cinematics and imagery, and hardcore gameplay. Bloodborne is fast paced action with every movement counting and you can’t let your guard down for a second because anything can and will attack you and kill you within seconds in this game.

Due to it’s extreme level of difficulty in the series most new players tend to shy away from it but if you are willing to push yourself to new challenges and embrace this dark twisted world of creatures and exploration you will not regret it.


7. Rocket League

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Rocket League
which is developed by Psyonix is a soccer game with a giant ball and rocket powered super cars and is simply an enjoyable game with friends. Rocket League almost came out of nowhere as there was very little coverage or announcement for the game but once it released for Windows and Playstation 4 on July 7, 2015 it quickly grew to one of the most popular games on the market.

The center point of the game is to just have fun as it encourages you to play with friends with ranked games only counting in team game modes. You can team with up to 4 players and have ranked or unranked matches against players on PC and Playstation.

Physics is a problem for many game developers but for a game about super rocket cars playing soccer with a giant ball it’s really difficult and Psyonix does it well. Rocket  League brings back the experience of playing with friends online just for fun.

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6. Splatoon

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91YvuxmBD+L._SY550_Making an unexpected splash onto the top 10 list is Splatoon; another Wii U exclusive installment that took the console community by storm. Developed by Nintendo, Splatoon is a 4v4 third-person shooter where team’s of squid humanoid players with opposing ink colors are placed in an arena and battle against each other.

There are multiple different game modes for the game, but the main one is Turf War, where the objective is to vandalize as much of the map with your team’s ink color as fast as possible before the enemy team can do the same. Splatoon is mainly known as a multiplayer game, but it does have a single player. The story itself is lackluster, but the maps and missions they give you have a nostalgic feel to Mario players and specifically Nintendo’s top hit Mario Galaxy for the Wii.

Unique features about Splatoon are the different types of playstyles you can change from as with each game you level up and get new gear and different types of weapons you can unlock. Splatoon’s popularity has grown tremendously over it’s time especially in the United States as most of the general players are actually based out of Asian countries like Japan and China.  Nintendo has very rarely gone out of the realm of their “Ol faithfuls” like the Mario, Pokemon, or Smash Bros series when it comes to development for new games but with Splatoon they show aren’t afraid to show us that they still got it and is still a competitor when it comes to exclusives as well.


5. Fallout 4

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Fallout_4_cover_artA staple to the role-playing game Bethesda delivers its next step in their evolution with Fallout 4. Leading up to the release of this game a majority of the community of players were hyping the game up counting down the days until launch like a kid waiting for Christmas. The game has been long awaited since the last Fallout game in 2010 and people wanted to know what Bethesda would do with the next generation console power.

While they did change the game a bit evolving the genre further more but the plot is basically the same continuing from Fallout 3 and you are on the search for you child that was taken traversing the wasteland of Boston in the process. The gameplay is where major changes have been blatantly made. They enhanced their first-person shooting which some argue makes the game less of an RPG but more of an exploration FPS game. They did improve the graphical quality of the game but not to a point that it will push your next gen console or high end PC.

They added a fortress type of mechanic where you can build up a wall and fort near what used to be your own neighborhood allowing people in your base and building your own wasteland army of sorts. Overall looking at the game it’s worth hundreds of hours of fun like most Fallout games are but yet it just seems like there could’ve been some improvements that would have been nice to see.


4. Undertale

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undertaleshitIndie games have been on a sort of decline and usually brushed under the rug now with games coming out with next-generation graphics and larger worlds than ever but with Undertale this 8-bit RPG adventure is the diamond in the rough the indie genre has been waiting for. Created and designed almost completely by Toby Fox Undertale started on kickstarter with a goal of $5,000 and quickly raised over $51,000 by over 2,000 supporters.

Undertale is an 8-bit adventure and for some that may turn them away from this game but it shouldn’t because this isn’t a game anyone should miss out on. Undertale’s main driving force is its story and character decision impacting the story. In this game no one has to die, seriously. The player’s actions have direct influence over what path they go down, who they meet, how the story will progress, and whether you make friends or foes. The story is about the player controlling a child in this underground world of monsters traversing the land discovering new friends and the history of the world you are now in.

Undertale’s story plot and character individuality with its NPC characters is some of the best in a long time and brings back a retro gaming feel to games like Final Fantasy VII and Pokemon. Undertale is a fountain of youth of sorts for the indie gaming community and has inspired most upcoming indie creators to really create a developed story and to challenge themselves.


3. Super Mario Maker

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Super_Mario_Maker_ArtworkLongevity in video games is hard to maintain, but Mario and co. have been with us for thirty years now. Over the years, no game in the franchise has produced such an endless stream of content like Super Mario Maker. One of the Wii U’s top exclusives this year Super Mario Maker is a fun, creative, nostalgic, toy shop of ideas waiting to come out.

The tools Nintendo has put at players’ disposal allow for a level of customization no other game-making game has ever mustered. You are able to create and build your own levels using characters and obstacles from a variety of games in Mario’s venerable history. There is an assortment of tools enabling a near-limitless supply of ideas to come to life.

The game brings an alternative, creative view to the classic platformer series, a fun throwback to childhood memories thrown in an enjoyable and family friendly environment that envelops the player in an endless amount of creativity. The game really leads to a certain respect of the evolution of Mario and the amount of changes the franchise has gone through. Nothing before or since has left so much to the imagination of its players, or come so close to capturing the magic of a franchise.


2. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

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Witcher_3_cover_artReleased in early May, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt brings life to the open world fantasy RPG genre, pushing the limits of what is actually possible in a virtual fantasy world. The third and final outing in the series from CD Projekt Red, The Witcher 3 finishes the story of monster hunter Geralt of Rivia as he sets out on a personal mission of intrigue and revenge.

The game’s story is broken up by fantastic segments of Geralt in action; traversing the world, fighting hideous monsters and meeting some truly unforgettable faces along the way. The size of this game’s open world isn’t to be taken lightly, boasting a map 3.5 times larger than Skyrim, and 1.5 times larger than Grand Theft Auto V. Graphically, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt pushes the bounds on all systems, including some high end gaming PCs, using the graphical powerhouse of the REDengine 3. Through its gorgeous visuals, CD Projekt RED brings a world of fantasy to extremely close to life detail.

Fantasy RPGs may be a fairly saturated genre, but those looking for a story-driven game with astounding visuals, impeccable design and an open world filled to the brim with content, The Witcher 3 is not to be missed.


1. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

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metalgearposterThere is a solid case to be made for every Metal Gear Solid game to be the best in the series. MGS1 took stealth action to its absolute extreme on primitive Playstation hardware. Sons of Liberty, its 2001 followup, took visionary auteur Hideo Kojima’s unforgettable brand of storytelling to its most over-the-top, weaving a complicated tale of genetics, meme theory, nuclear war and shadowy government conspiracies that video games as a medium have never seen before or since. Snake Eater traded the near-future sci-fi elements of the first two titles for Cold War espionage and a James Bond-esque web of intrigue and betrayal. Guns of the Patriots brought the unbridled weirdness of Kojima to its natural endpoint, capping off the monumental storyline started way back in 1987. All that was left was to tell the rest of the story, and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain does just that.

The Phantom Pain is the first Metal Gear game to focus more on its gameplay than Kojima’s outlandish storytelling, and it manages to finally deliver on the promise of “tactical espionage action” that Kojima Productions has fine-tuned for decades. The unparalleled freedom of player choice in how to tackle each of TPP’s sublimely-crafted missions is something hitherto unseen in an action game. The game allows for everything from stealthy infiltration to an all-out guns-blazing assault, with a multitude of options for how to accomplish each. The controls and core mechanics of The Phantom Pain are equipped to suit the needs and playstyles of virtually anyone. Not to mention, it’s all wrapped up in a gorgeous presentation of visuals and physics from Kojima’s own Fox Engine, making it one of the most breathtakingly beautiful games ever put out.

Where The Phantom Pain suffers most is its minimal method of story representation, shying away from the lengthy cutscenes and exposition-spouting of Metal Gear past. For fans of Metal Gear’s decades-spanning story, there might not be enough to satisfy, but as far as the Metal Gear series goes, no game boasts such perfect gameplay.

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