I was very happy to be asked to put together my top 10 games of 2015; as anyone who listens to NintendPals knows, we love lists. So I spent a good day and a bit deciding on my top 10. In the end I made 3 top 5s; one for Wii U, one for 3DS and one for PS4 and then put together my final list from there. I’m sure you’ll hear those top 5s at some point on the show but for now here are my overall Top 10 Games of 2015…
10. Box Boy – 3DS
Box Boy comes from the developers of the Kirby series and is a 3DS eShop exclusive. To look at, it seems very basic and uninspiring due to its black and white pallet and basic graphics, but once you boot it up you find that it’s one of the best puzzle-platformers released in recent memory. The basic idea of every level is to get your player, Box Boy, to the end of the level, by navigating various environmental puzzles and hazards. Sounds basic but is wildly addictive. Add to that the many unlockable costumes and extra levels and for just a few pounds, this is a game that kept me hooked for hours and hours this year.
I credit Splatoon as the game that finally got me into online multiplayer. Before this I’ve only ever had a passing interest one of the biggest aspects of modern gaming. Nintendo did something really special with this though and for me that was show how fun playing online competitive games could be. Splatoon got a lot of criticism for having no way of communicating, but for people like me it simply meant that it was a safe environment to play in without fear of having a tirade of abuse thrown at me by some preteen bully. The fact that Nintendo are still supporting this game with FREE updates so long after launch is a testament to their commitment to making this a working genre on Nintendo consoles and has kept people coming back consistently over 2015.
I know this may seem like a cheat entry into my list. DLC doesn’t count as a full game. However, with each DLC that was released for Mario Kart 8, the game felt revitalised, especially with the additional free 200cc mode that launched alongside this pack. For me, this extended the life of MK8 and I still play it regularly now well over a year and a half since its original release.
Anyone who listen to mine and Nick’s podcast, NintendPals, will know that we’re both big wrestling fans and obviously I make a point of playing the new WWE game every year. So I was pleasantly surprised after the disappointment of 2K15 to find that WWE 2K16 is a massive step in the right direction. Weirdly, no major changes were made to the overall game, just many little tweaks that have made for a much more enjoyable experience both in and out of the ring. Things like no loading between wrestlers entrances help the immersion of the game and the improved career and showcase modes are great to see too. WWE 2K16 is a game I will play until next year’s 2K17 comes out, I know I’ll dive into it every few weeks for a few matches or to tweak my Universe and I’ll be excited to see what changes in the next entry when it comes out too.
I missed this game when it came out on other platforms. I knew of it and was interested as I enjoy rogue likes very much, but I just never found the time to get it. So, when it appeared on the 3DS eShop recently, I knew it was time to dive in. I very quickly became totally addicted to the game and over a short period played it to death, eventually beating the game for the first time. Since then I haven’t been back to it much because that initial challenge was so thrilling to beat. I know I will return to the basements of Isaac’s house eventually though and I’ll be hooked all over again.
I never thought I’d put a free to play game on a ‘Games of the Year’ list. But Pokemon Shuffle is a special game and to be perfectly clear, I’ve never spent a penny on it, despite putting loads and loads of time into it. It’s a great game to come back to again and again. I usually play it when I’m at a loose end and need to kill a few minutes or when I’m watching TV and want to occupy my hands. The concept is really basic and familiar – match 3 of the same block to make them disappear – but the game does enough with it to make it fun and interesting without ever becoming confusing. Easily my favourite puzzle game of this year.
I’ll be honest, when I first heard the concept for Guitar Hero Live I hated it and I was dead set against buying it. However, during the Black Friday weekend I stumbled across a copy of the game with a guitar for only £45 so I figured I could buy it, try it out and then sell it for profit if I hated it like I assumed I would. I was wrong though… GHL is a great reboot for the series, the changes to the guitar (you now have two rows of three buttons instead of five buttons in one row), and the new TV mode where you play along with streaming music channels is awesome and has now become one of mine and my wife’s regular gaming activities.
This is probably the game on my list that most people will think shouldn’t be there. It got an a massive amount of negative press when it came out, mainly for being one dimensional and short. Both of these are accurate descriptions but it doesn’t mean it’s a bad game. For people like me who have a full time job, a wife and 2 year old son, a massive 100+ hour game is not always a good thing. The idea of a 6 hour story, accompanied by solid shooting and graphics, is a very attractive one and I enjoyed the heck out of my time with The Order: 1886.
One of my most anticipated games of 2015 before its eventual release and boy did it deliver. A literal never ending supply of Mario levels. Not all of them are great and finding the good ones can be really tough too but this game has so much charm and it’s so easy to make something cool that its kept me coming back pretty constantly since it launched. Nintendo are supporting it too which is good to see, we’ve already had one update that addressed a lot of niggles like checkpoints and with the forthcoming app finding levels should get a whole lot easier too. I’d be very surprised if I’m not still revisiting this game well into the middle of next year.
I never ever thought that a Call of Duty game would end up on a game of the year list of mine, let alone at number one, but CODBLOPS3 has very quickly become my go to game since it came from Amazon on its launch day. I’ve had a fleeting interest in COD games over the last few years, due to the co-op aspects that allow me to play splitscreen with my wife, but this one really topped the lot. There is so much to do in couch co-op on this title, including the campaign mode, which hasn’t been a feature in COD games since World at War, which was at the start of the last console generation. Mainly we play the Zombies mode and are steadily becoming masters at it but I’ve also dipped into online multiplayer on my own and have been pleasantly surprised by how much fun I find it, and I can hold my own too! I know that I will still playing this until late next year as it’s easy to dive into, it will have new content in the form of DLC but above all it’s one of the best games to play as a couple.