Last year was both a great year for games and bad year for games. There were many wonderful games that were released last year, so much so that it was difficult to put this list together. But as with every year, I haven’t played every game or been able to give the ones I own the time they deserve. But for the games from last year that I did play, here are my absolute favorites:
When I play shooters, I don’t typically spend a lot of time playing the multiplayer. But when I saw Titanfall, I knew that it was going to be the exception to the rule. For some reason, Titanfall just checks all the right boxes for me. I never get tired of playing, and I think that has a lot to do with the small chunks I can play it in. I can sit and play a three hour session, or I can take a fifteen minute break from whatever I am doing at home and play a few matches. Those small breaks really make a difference for me, and it keeps me playing a game that came out in March of last year. Titanfall is a shooter that I can’t stop playing and I don’t think I will any time soon.
Dark Souls 2
I have a love/hate relationship with the Dark Souls franchise, and I think that is probably the norm with many people who play those games. Dark Souls 2 is a great action/RPG with very fluid mechanics and a wonderful combat system. While I do love a great story in games, I am much more attracted to fun gameplay. In my experience, a story will end, but fun games are always fun. While death in Dark Souls 2 can sometimes be frustrating, the combat itself makes the game worth playing to me; from every lesser foe, to giant boss fights, to PVP battles, Dark Souls 2 was one the most fun games I’ve played this year.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War
Valiant Hearts: The Great War is a wonderful 2D action/puzzle solving game from Ubisoft that is set during World War I. It’s a very interesting way to tell a story during a time that is rarely portrayed in games. The game tells a story of the events surrounding four characters, and it jumps from character to character as the story dictates. The story truly evoked a roller coaster of emotion from me, especially when the ending comes around. Valiant hearts gives us an interesting take on telling a story during World War I that I enjoyed and doesn’t require shooting people. If you love a great story that is mixed with a little bit of history then you will love this game.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor
I first became aware of this game over the summer after E3. I had heard something about the game, so I looked it up on YouTube. What I found was an eight minute video of the game and its nemesis system, after seeing that video, I knew I had to play it. This is another game where the story was nothing to write home about, but the mechanics were spectacular. As I played, it became very obvious that the combat was very well polished, and the nemesis system made this game incredibly addictive. The game almost has an inverse level of difficulty to it as I found many fights to be difficult to manage at first, but then they progressively became easier as I got stronger and gained more skills. The game rewards you for getting better at it and for progressing through it. Such smooth and fun game mechanics serve to make it one of my favorite games from last year.
Dragon Age Inquisition
I have to admit it, I am a shameless BioWare fanboy. I jumped on board the BioWare train way back when they released Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and I haven’t looked back since. So this will come as no surprise to anyone that I absolutely love Dragon Age Inquisition. The combat takes a little getting used to, especially when using a mouse and keyboard, as the game definitely seems like it was built for a controller, but by no means is it difficult to get the hang of. The world is massive to say the least and the story is a masterpiece by BioWare standards. I am incredibly relieved that they brought back different races for my playable character, and the nods to the previous games really make me feel like they are connected and part of the same world. There have been quite a few RPGs released over the past year, and in my opinion Dragon Age Inquisition is the best one.