GamesBeat already picked its games of the year, but now it’s my turn.
I like to think I have pretty varied tastes. I’m down for anything from hardcore Japanese role-playing games to mindless shooters. And this year, I got to play a lot games. A lot of them were good, and the 10 below were my favorites from 2015.
10. Star Wars: Battlefront
Star Wars: Battlefront is far from a perfect game. It lacks content , and the balancing can feel like a mess. Still, I always have a great time when I’m playing it with my friends, and it’s one of the prettiest games I’ve seen on consoles. Plus, it has that whole Star Wars thing going for it.
9. Rocket League
Rocket League sounds like it should be nothing more than a novelty, but this simple idea — RC cars playing soccer — never gets old. It uses familiar concepts from sports and driving games, but it manages to feel like something completely different.
8. Fallout 4
Fallout 4 gave me exactly what I wanted: another postapocalyptic world to explore and discover. Its improvements to the series’ combat made fighting in the wasteland more enjoyable than it was in its predecessors. However, the actual role-playing aspect seemed to take a step back, as I felt like I was playing a specific character in this world rather than a projection of myself.
7. Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider was a great blend of other games. It took the third-person shooting and climbing from Uncharted and combined it with the open-world resource hunting and crafting of Far Cry. Of course, so did its predecessor, but Rise of the Tomb Raider stands out as the better game thanks its more interesting (and less depressing) story.
6. Super Mario Maker
This is the new standard for level-creation tools. Super Mario Maker can have anyone making their own stages in minutes, and you can create some truly inventive and crazy levels if you put in the time. It’s also great fun to just go online and check out platforming masterpieces from across the world.
5. Destiny: The Taken King
I thought I was done with Destiny, but The Taken King really redeemed this troubled online shooter. Missions felt more exciting, characters actually acted like … well, characters (instead of deadpan exposition machines), and leveling up was no longer a convoluted mess. I’m now excited for Destiny’s future.
I thought Splatoon would be a cute little experiment from Nintendo, but it ended up being one of my favorite games of the year. The multiplayer mode gives us a needed (and colorful) alternative to the team deathmatch variants that plague the industry, while the single-player campaign was surprisingly fully featured and engaging.
3. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
While its story didn’t really go anywhere, The Phantom Pain was an incredibly impressive game. It’s vast options for weapons, equipment, and support buddies allowed for the largest amount of creativity I’ve seen in an open-world game, and it managed to always look fantastic even when the screen became littered with enemies and explosions.
2. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
I hadn’t really played this series before, but I’m thankful I jumped in for The Wild Hunt. This took the open-world RPG to new heights, and I don’t think any other single-player game can match it in terms of content. And it’s not just bland, storyless content, a problem I had with Dragon Age: Inquisition from last year. Every side-mission feels just as important as the main quest.
1. Ori and the Blind Forest
I love games like Super Metroid and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night that give me large 2D world to explore and adventure across, and Ori and the Blind Forest belongs in the same company as those classics. First off, it’s the prettiest 2D game I’ve ever seen. Seriously, just look at that art. It’s colorful and gorgeous, and it looks like a beautiful, animated masterpiece in motion.
The game itself, however, plays just as beautifully. The platforming is precise, and Ori’s arsenal of maneuvers allow him to zip, climb, and jump across the forest like an acrobat. More than any other game from this fantastic year, Ori is one I plan to play again and again.