With the year at an end, it’s time to look back at the Top Ten gaming experiences I had this year. These are games that I feel deserve a slot based upon what I played. They count down from ten to one.
10. Battlefield 1
No doubt the return to the past, and in this case WWI, a hardly touched upon war, makes for some memorable, if not terrifying experiences. Bullets whizz past your head, explosions are everywhere, and someone is undoubtedly going to snipe you from across the desert. I had so much fun with Battlefield 1 it is the first campaign I finished in a military shooter since the original Call of Duty years ago. The vignettes were just the right way to approach such a complicated war. They also functioned as a nice series of mini-games for the too busy gamer such as myself.
9. Let it Die
A late-comer to the party, this Free to play game took me by surprise with it’s Dark Souls inspired gameplay. From the Grasshopper Manufacture studios, Let it Die’s quirky, dark, bizarre world shows why Grasshopper knows eclectic worlds better than anyone else publishing games out there. I was hooked the moment the game showed me its meta approach and reminded me I was just a dude playing a video game.
8. Titanfall 2
I cannot get enough of the multiplayer, and although I am still working on the campaign, there is something fun, if not dumb about the whole thing that I cannot stop thinking about picking it back up again. I loved being able to soar around a level while shooting at enemies below.
7. Watch Dogs 2
So maybe my Mr. Robot Obsession drives this one up the list a bit, but who doesn’t love being able to hack everyone and everything in sight? The best part of Watch Dogs 2 is the way it lets you play with the world without being too serious about itself. Want to hack a car so you can surf on top of it while it drives down the hills of San Francisco? Want to take selfie while a woman smashes her ex-boyfriend’s car with a baseball bat in the background? I did.
There’s something about this little indie follow up by the same studio that brought you Limbo that I cannot explain. I went through several emotions during this game, that, unlike any other game out there, I am I got to experience. 1. This is cool. 2. This reminds me of Limbo. 3. These puzzles are easy. 4. What the hell am I doing here? 5. Ok, this got weird. 6. Ok, when is this weirdness going to end? 7. Wait, that’s the end? 8. Wow, I need to talk to the internet about this one. Definitely worth your time.
5. Dishonored 2
I loved the first Dishonored. In fact, I played through it multiple times, earned the platinum, and went back for more. Knowing I now had two protagonists in the city of Dunwall and Karnaca meant twice as much fun, with twice as many powers. There’s something about the way Dishonored 2 lets the player have control over their game that earns it a top five spot in this year’s list.
4. Uncharted 4
No one makes a narrative like Naughty Dog. Wrapping up Nathan Drake’s last adventure this year felt fitting. Sure, there was familiar territory, familiar characters, and some new gameplay mechanics mixed in, but what makes Uncharted stand out is forgetting that you’re playing Uncharted as a video game in the first place.
Did I mention Doom was once the standard, along with Wolfenstein, for 1st person shooters? This year’s Doom was pure bliss. Blast after blast, rune challenge after rune challenge, the gameplay loop became addictive, fun, and over the top ridiculous. Oh, and the soundtrack, the heavy, industrial metal pulsing through your veins as you destroy a room full of imps? Too much fun.
The biggest surprise of the year. I never would have thought this little game that sees you going from boss battle to boss battle would be so intriguing. The storyline is great, the fights are challenging, fun, and doable (if you don’t mind dying and split second timing), and most of all, the soundtrack. Those synthetic, electric beats will keep your heart pacing as you dodge your way around every arena.
- Dark Souls 3
One of the most punishing series to come along in awhile found itself blending together the successes of the first Dark Souls with some of the fast paced combat of Bloodborne. The result: another great entry into the Souls franchise, a fitting game to send the series off on, and one of the best games this year.