Well we’re getting down to that time of the year again when everyone comes out with their end of the year list. Obviously such a list is very subjective to everyone’s personal opinions, so instead of boring you with just a list I came up with I reached out to fellow gamers and readers and asked them to let me know what game they loved this year and why.
Of course next week I’ll be giving you my top five games of the year but for now here are some of our readers’ favorite games of the year.
Witcher 3 (PC)
From Fawad Ariasaif
One of the key reasons I loved playing the Witcher 3 is because of the dynamic open world environment and challenging gameplay. Many titles tout that they have an open world game but very few can deliver the experience like developer CDProjekt has. One of the first things that caught my eye within the environment was the swaying of all the foliage within the world. Things like this may seem insignificant but for a player to be fully immersed into the world it goes a long way. The structure of the open world also plays a big role in my positive experience playing Witcher 3, its vast world has mountains, deserts, caverns, luscious greenery, cities, dark swamps and many other elements that will at times have you watching with awe. Often times I would waste several hours just roaming around the world on either horseback or on foot. Anytime you play a game and water several hours exploring without doing anything is an epic accomplishment.
Halo 5 Guardians (Xbox One)
By Stephanie Persico
Straight from the beginning of Halo 5 Guardians, you start with an opening scene of Locke’s team falling, tumbling, and leaping down a snowy mountain side all the while taking down the Covenant. It’s the best introduction 343 Industries could’ve given us for the Halo 5 campaign.
I felt the story was different and liked how Cortana was the antagonist. She’s the perfect villain because she knows all of Master Chief’s weaknesses and could be the ONLY formidable foe that Master Chief could ever face.
Warzone and Breakout are fantastic. Warzone is the multiplayer mode where you are able to play as any character and bring in any weapon or vehicle; this alone made me excited about the game. I like the ability to do whatever you want from playing against other players or doing missions within Warzone. Breakout is also great, it doesn’t allow players to respawn until the next round so players have to play more strategically and be more aware of their surroundings before screaming across the map.
Yes there are flaws in the game but I will always be an avid Halo and Master Chief fan. There is just something about the story and the characters that will always bring me back.
Destiny (Xbox One)
Destiny came out in September of 2014. My friend Mel kept bugging me to get it for Xbox One. This went on for about 6 months. But I would always ignore him. Finally I gave in, in March of 2015. I was like it can’t be that bad, it was made by Bungie.
At first I was a skeptical about the game. I just came off of Shadow of Mordor the game. Destiny’s graphic which is good but not as good of Shadow of Mordor’s. After a while of playing the game, I feel in love with the gunplay, it felt so much similar to Halo 2.
I also liked the fact that each one of your characters has a super. A super is a overly dramatic power you acquire slowly and also increases faster as you kill more enemies.
Destiny also allows you to have very different weapons that each can have a specific perk that can help your gunplay. For me I like fast reload on weapons. The perk for fast reload is either “spray and play” or “outlaw”. The combinations of guns with perks are endless.
Destiny has a story mode. Once you finish the story mode you have strikes. Strikes are mini story modes with a boss encounter at the end. Real fun to play but can get repetitive.
Destiny also has raids. These are epic adventures on a grand scale. They require at least 6 people and team work to complete. Communicating and being social is very important in Destiny. The raids can only be completed by teamwork. I love doing Raids, best part of Destiny. Raids are also the fastest way to reach the end game light level.
Either you’ll love Destiny and get hooked like a crack head or you’ll hate cause you’re lazy and don’t like to put in the hard work. Personally at the moment this is the only game I play 24-7. Give it a try. This game is so much fun.
Star Wars: Battlefront (PlayStation 4)
My choice for game of the year is Star Wars: Battlefront, a game I’m enjoying immensely on my PlayStation 4. If you haven’t had a chance to play this game yet, you must put this on the top of your gaming ‘to do’ list. The first thing that hits you when you start playing are the crystal clear graphics and perfect sounds. You can tell the developers spend a lot of time and care on the aesthetics portion of the game and certainly didn’t go unnoticed. This is quite possibly the best looking movie-based video game ever created. The way the snow glistens on Hoth is perfect. My personal favorite aspect of the sounds of the game are the iconic music that play at certain points of the matches, such as when you get a chance to play as a hero or when you are close to victory. You feel as though you are taken away from your living room and actually in a battle a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
There are a wide range of game modes to choose from. If you’re not online, you can battle against wave after wave of Stormtroopers, similar to Horde on Gears of War or Zombies in Call of Duty. You can also play as a hero (good or evil) and face off against waves of enemies, but you must collect tokens as you defeat them to win. When you move to online there are wide range of small (6v6), medium (8v8 or 10v10) and large (20v20) battles to choose from.
My favorite small team battle is Drop Zone, My favorite large team battle is Walker Assault.
I’ve heard a lot of people complain about the game not having a Campaign Mode, or not having enough modes to play. Personally I don’t feel this takes away from the game. With me being a full time teacher and coach of two varsity high school sports, I don’t have time for a long campaign anyway. I can come home, get on, have a lot of fun for a couple of hours then go to bed. If you’re the type that just stays in their room and doesn’t get out much, then I could see you having a gripe with the content. But if you have a life, you won’t find anything wrong with this game. And I think that’s what the developers had in mind when they made the game anyway. A fast paced game that immerses you in everything Star Wars, and that’s exactly what you get in Star Wars: Battlefront.
Super Mario Maker (Nintendo Wii U)
To pick one game was extremely tough for me because I played a ton of absolutely fun and awesome games this year (many mentioned above) but the one game I probably had the most fun with this year was Super Mario Maker.
Nintendo catches a lot shit from time to time, but if there is one thing they do extremely well is make games. I’ve almost never have played a first party Nintendo game and didn’t have fun and Super Mario Maker is no exception.
Something that I haven’t done in a long time was buy a game and play it all night. With Super Mario Maker, I got home that afternoon, cracked it open and the next thing I knew it was 3:00 AM. I just had an absolute blast making levels as well as playing other user creator levels. Also what was great was making levels and handing the game pad over to my son and seeing him play them, and one thing I’m highly proud of is a level I created that had a clear percentage of less then ten percent, my seven year old son beat in two tries. He is THE WIZARD!
This game is fun, imaginative, and next to Mincecraft, probably has the most replay value of any game out there. The game allows you to switch between Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, and New Super Mario Bros. for you design, and an added bonus is that while using the original Super Mario Bros. you can use your Amiibos to create costumes for Mario to use with Super Mushrooms.