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Danreb’s Top 10 Games of 2015

GOTY_Danreb Victorio

My name is Danreb Victorio.  After more than 11 months of gaming, I post here with only one goal: to tell you about 2015’s best games.  I’ve played many games during this year’s crusade, but there were ten I believe were better than anything else.  They were something else.

If you read my feature last year, I was ranting about 2014 being a down year for gaming.  With 2015 coming to a close, I’m happy to report that we had a strong year.

B8 of the 10 games I’ve chosen were games that I reviewed myself.  I had a few bad eggs here and there, but for the most part, I liked almost every game I got assigned, making the decisions even harder.

During this time, I also have sort of a newfound love for indie titles.  They’ve always been games that I’ve appreciated, but as we continue to move forward, it wouldn’t be strange to expect a lot more indie-developed games in the GOTY discussion.  And now, with mobile continuing to grow and all the interesting rumors we’re hearing about the NX, it’s hard to think of a better time to get into game development.

Independent studios really have a better understanding of what we as gamers want from our games, so it’s not surprising to see the big three help pave the way for these talented studios to succeed.  They’re the easiest people in the industry to work with.  It’s even easier to talk to them than it is to other journalists.

If you have a game idea, do it.  Make it.  A lot of you love games and can say for yourself what’s good or bad, and with the advent of games like Super Mario Maker, I highly encourage you all to get involved now.  I hardly consider myself creative, but I want to help.

Small sites like us are always down to help you out too, whether or not your game ends up being the next big thing.

That’s enough small talk for now.  On to my list, shall we?

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10. Yoshi’s Woolly World – Wii U

“I debated taking this off the list for a certain narrative driven title, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. The Yoshi games are often neglected by Nintendo fans because of its lack of immediate challenge, but Yoshi’s Woolly World does away with that stigma by rewarding players that go the extra mile with levels that even Super Mario Maker aficionados would be impressed by.  It’s also just a joy to look at.”

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9. Game of Thrones – Multiplatform

“Moreso than Telltale’s The Walking Dead games, Telltale’s Game of Thrones is really the definitive nod to the popular television series. Playing as various members of House Forrester, the painful decisions to be made in the game both give a solid backstory to what’s happening in the seven kingdoms and a real role in the series’ trademark political hardship.”

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8. Until Dawn – PS4

“Okay, the narrative and quicktime-based games end here I promise! Before last week, this game would’ve made my list solely based on how cool it was that I could control the results of a bad horror movie. Until Dawn is one of those games where it’s hard to really replicate a previous playthrough, and it’s one of the few games where it’s as enjoyable and excruciating to watch as it is to play.”

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7. Ori and the Blind Forest – Xbox One, PC

“We have a lot of love for Metroidvania style games, but Ori and the Blind Forest is one that hardly looks or feels like one, and the storybook style narrative here is much stronger than any similar game before it. The world is large and vast with characters as interesting as they look, leaving a lot to like in this indie masterpiece.”

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6. Super Mario Maker – Wii U

“I don’t think I’m a very creative person, and because of that, I did not think I’d like Super Mario Maker as much as I did. Aside from the fact that the game is the easiest-to-use tool to create your own levels, it’s also a community of gaming memorabilia inside a community of Super Mario lovers. There are so many levels you can play created by both current and aspiring developers with nods to other great games you wouldn’t even think of. Super Mario Maker is just amazing on so many levels.”

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5. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC – PC, PSP

“Call this the saving grace of 2014. I didn’t play the first Trails until the middle of 2015, but if I played it when it came out on Steam last year, I would’ve put it in my Top 10 of 2014 easily. But as great as FC was, Trails in the Sky SC really takes the bread for what I hope will eventually become a more popular mainstream JRPG, because it’s one of the best JRPG’s I’ve ever played in any generation.”

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4. Splatoon – Wii U

“I’m just not all that great with first or third person shooters, which is why I hardly play them, but I played the living hell out of Splatoon. The game literally destroys all conventions of the genre, making aspects and strategies such as camping, re-loading, and retreating all mapped to the same weapon. Damn you Nintendo for doing this again with a game I thought I wouldn’t like.”

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3. Axiom Verge – PS4, PC

Super Metroid will forever go down as one of the greatest games of all-time. Few games have its scope, variety, and creativity. But here’s the thing — Axiom Verge is just as good, if not better. In the end, it only exists because Super Metroid exists, but I’m glad it does.”

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2. Rise of the Tomb Raider – Xbox One

Rise of the Tomb Raider is to 2013’s Tomb Raider as Uncharted 2: Among Thieves was to Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. As great as Tomb Raider was, Rise of the Tomb Raider takes things to a whole different level with fantastic level design, even more puzzling tombs, and a Last of Us-like crafting system all culminating in what’s definitely now a respectable revision to the series.”

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1. Galak-Z: The Dimensional – PS4, PC

“I hate Galak-Z: The Dimensional so much that I’m making it my Game of the Year.  Yep, you heard that right. This game has caused me so much pain and despair that I want to kick its ass, but I always end up with my ass getting kicked. You win, Galak-Z.”


And there you have it.  Unlike last year, I didn’t have to resort to naming narrative-driven DLC as my Game of the Year.

There were also quite a few other games that I’ve played that could’ve been on my list for one reason or another.  Here are my honorable mentions with a short blurb for each.

  • Xenoblade Chronicles X – I’m not far enough in this game to warrant saying it’s one of the best this year, but it’s just as expansive and deep as its predecessor.  Totally Monolith.
  • Undertale – I’m also not far enough into this game to warrant a spot, but it’s funny.
  • Life is Strange – I’m gonna be honest here.  This was originally at my tenth spot, but the ending really ruined what was otherwise a one-of-a-kind experience.

As I’ve stated to the staff over and over during the process, there’s no wrong selection.  You like what you like, and after you see Chris’ Top 10 tomorrow, you’ll see that everybody’s favorite game this year was different.  This will make our overall Game of the Year even harder to calculate, but in the end, I know it’ll be the right selection for our publication.

 

Top Picks From Other Editors

Keep it locked here tomorrow for Chris’ top games of 2015.

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