2015 turned out to be a pretty good year for video games. As we approach the end of the year, it's natural to reflect back on all the games we played over the past 12 calendar months. This week, we are going to do just that. Here's a list of our coverage:
Monday - The Disappointing Games of 2015
Tuesday - The Games We Wish We Played
Wednesday - The Surprises of 2015
Thursday - Our Favorite Games of 2015
Everyone has a list of games that they wish they had time to play. Our staff is no different. Below we talk about the games that came out this year that our staff wished they had played.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain - Dressing up D-Dog, cringing at Quiet rolling around in puddles, Fulton’ing sheep to my oil rig base, cardboard box tobogganing down Afghani hillsides. These are all things I wish I would've made time for. And Kojima’s Konami swan song is all the more bittersweet after Konami lawyers banned him from accepting an award for, to be honest, the only Metal Gear game that’s interested me since the first Metal Gear Solid.
Cities: Skylines - Back in the day, nobody did SimCity like SimCity. Until SimCity dropped the ball, then Cities: Skylines picked up that ball and ran with it. Once I wrap my hands around a new gaming-capable PC (mine is eight years old), this’ll be one of the first games I add to my Steam library. Nothing else zens me out like a good ol’ city builder.
Sunless Sea- Vaguely looks like Below, if Below was a top-down nautical tale of loneliness, lunacy, and let’s eat our shipmates. The dark waters and deep leviathans create narrative whirlpools that I want to take for a Lovecraftian spin. Ahoy, mateys. Here there be dragons.
Batman: Arkham Knight - Don't ask me why I never got around to playing this title, because it simply comes down to "having other games to play" and forgetting that this one was out there. I've heard nothing but great things with Arkham Knight, and, at some point, I will certainly pick it up when the queue of games dies down in my household.
Halo 5: Guardians - I used to be a huge Halo fan. Somewhere along the way, I lost track of this franchise and got sucked into other games. While I heard the story may not have been the most riveting, the multiplayer, apparently, is outstanding. The problem I have with getting this game is that I feel like I'm already playing Halo in the form of Destiny: The Taken King.
Super Mario Maker - I do not own a Wii U, yet constantly hearing about how fun the latest game in the vast universe of Mario is makes me want to run out and get one. Platformers are fun, and Mario IS platforming. Maybe some day I'll get that last console of this generation, but there's so much to enjoy on Xbox One and PS4 that I may never get around to it unless a great deal comes to me.
Metal Gear Solid V: the Phantom Pain - I feel like I missed out on Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. When I heard that Konami essentially bought positive reviews from all the major news outlets by sending them to a review "bootcamp," I was skeptical; when the game’s flaws and issues were reported by actual gamers a few weeks later, I decided to pass. Still it looks like a good time, if only for the hilarious bugs and unintentional comedy you can get up to as Venom Snake. Now that the truth is out and I know MGS V isn’t a suitable substitute for the Second Coming, I’d still like to give it a try. I’ll probably buy it on sale.
SOMA - I've heard mixed things about this one; basically that the gameplay isn't fresh enough or that Frictional is just retreading the same ground they established in Amnesia. I guess I'm one of those gamers who doesn't care if a follow-up or sequel is similar. One of the reasons I like BioShock 2 a lot more than the first game. Ironic, then, that SOMA also happens under the sea, but without the distracting Atlas Shrugged twaddle. Horror games are only half about gameplay; the other half is a slowly dawning realization of something unspeakable. That SOMA does this just like Amnesia is a mark of quality in my eyes, and that it focuses on cyberpunk themes like the true nature of identity and loss of the mind...well, I'm really disappointed in myself for not playing SOMA yet. I plan on picking it up soon.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - This game has been sitting on my shelf, staring at me for months, and I feel incredibly guilty every time I see it. CD Projekt RED's RPG is undoubtedly in the running for 2015's game of the year. I have yet to hear a single person say a bad thing about the epic adventure, but I have yet to dive into the experience myself. Does this make me a bad person?
Life Is Strange - I fell for Life Is Strange from the first trailer that I saw. I picked it up as soon as it launched. However, I have yet to make time to dive into the game. Travis and Randy have been singing its praises for months and I assure them that their words aren’t falling on deaf ears. I will make my way to this world very, very soon.
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate - The Assassin’s Creed series lost me a few years ago. I lost all interest in the series. That is until I saw the Victorian London setting of Syndicate. This year I was all ready to dive back into the war between the Templars and the Assassins, but have yet to make the time to do so. Syndicate is sitting on my shelf with these other games until I can make the time.
Fallout 4 - It's funny. I was really hyped about this but lost interest when the game came out because I realized that I wouldn't have any time at all to play it. I'll probably hold off until it comes down in price, or wait for the inevitable game of the Year version.
Splatoon - So while I did check out Splatoon during the first global test fire event, I haven’t played the full game yet, and that’s mostly just due to time. I have quite a few other games I’d like to finish up, as opposed to starting another game and just adding to my backlog. However, everything I keep hearing makes me want to pick it up more.
Xenoblade Chronicles X - There are probably a few game I’d have liked to play this year, and this is definitely one of them. I have never played any Xenoblade games, and the reason for me missing this one, too, is a lack of time. Having a few Wii U games unfinished, I’d rather get a couple of those cleared up before beginning another big game and likely just leaving it on the back burner when another game that I’d want to play comes out. Still, from what I’ve seen, it looks amazing and I’m looking forward to playing it sometime in the near future.
Xenoblade Chronicles X - I actually own this game. It's just sitting there waiting to be played. But I've been so busy with other games that it has just fallen into my pile of shame. Hopefully I can find time to check it out over the holidays. I was a big fan of Xenoblade Chronicles when it was released for the Wii, so this next step in the series is definitely on my to-do list.
Undertale - This is another game that I've got sitting in my backlog. The hype and hyperbole for this game hasn't dropped off yet, so I'm excited to see if it lives up to it. Combing Earthbound mechanics with a charming story and bullet-hell shooter mechanics with Shin Megami Tensei demon conversing? Why am I not playing this right now?
Xenoblade Chronicles X - I've watched countless hours of this game on Twitch. From what I've seen, I would like a lot of the gameplay experience. However, without owning a Wii U, I probably won't be playing this game for quite awhile, unless it launches on a different platform. The huge, open world and mech aspects in particular were what caught my attention.
Bloodborne - I don't like really difficult games, yet I can't help but appreciate the art direction of Bloodborne. I would love to experience the game's world, along with building up a character. But I just can't overcome my easy frustration with dying repeatedly in video games. For Bloodborne, I'll continue to watch other people play it on Twitch.
Life Is Strange - I don't know how, but it completely flew under my radar, so much so that I actually had to Google it before making this write up because I didn't really even know what it was. Needless to say, after hearing the rest of the staff hype it up so much, I'll be playing it very soon.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain - I missed the Metal Gear glory days. I have since played Metal Gear Solid 1 and 2—and I enjoyed them. But that's really as far as my interest ever went. I wasn't chomping at the bit to play it, but I've heard good things, particularly that it's a good entry for people who haven't played much of the franchise.
Bloodborne - Dark Souls is my favorite game of all time, and I quite like Dark Souls II as well. The sad, simple truth with this one is that I just don't have a PlayStation 4.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Everyone loves this game, and I love what I've seen of the artwork. The Witcher series has always been highly regarded. I really need to sit down and play through all three. So much love for the third one and it's been sitting on my gaming shelf all this time.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - I bought this game on Black Friday. As soon as I wrap up Fallout 4, I'll be diving into this world. I nearly pulled the trigger on getting the game so many times. Fortunately or unfortunately, I was able to be realistic about the time I had available to really immerse myself—so January can't come soon enough to do just that.
SOMA - Always been a big fan of the genre, and SOMA is one that is driven by story so much more intimately than many others. From what I've heard, this game really hits that sweet spot. I've stayed away from a lot of media about the game, purely because I'm terrified of wandering into a spoiler, but I've got my eye firmly on this one.
Just Cause 3 - I loved Red Faction: Guerrilla, and Just Cause 3 seems like the spiritual successor to that game. Everything I've seen about the game screams fun and insane physics which would be a nice palette clenser from every other game I've played this year.
Tomb Raider: Rise of the Tomb Raider - Everyone I trust in the game industry has raved about how awesome this game is. The game looks gorgeous and I'm hoping to get around to it sometime in 2016.
What games are on your backlist? Share them in the comments!