So… if it weren’t for my top 10 anime of 2015, the last post I made before this one would be my annual end of year games list thing. That means I haven’t posted anything here for an entire year. I would say “that won’t happen again!”, but I can’t exactly guarantee that. So, I dunno, “whoops”, I guess. But anyway, it’s the end of the year, that means it’s time for the now fourth annual Top 10 List of Games What I Think Were Alright This Year Or Whatever. As always, these are in no particular order, and the game simply needs to have had a release in calendar year 2015 to be eligible. Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy VII and Ultra Street Fighter IV all had releases this year, but for your sakes, they’re not on this list.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

I’ll say it: MGSV wasn’t the grand finale it was apparently supposed to be. It didn’t tie everything together nicely, it didn’t answer all the outstanding questions. MGSV is, however, simply one of the greatest open world action games ever made. Similar to Ground Zeroes, it doesn’t have as much of what I want out of a Metal Gear game as the earlier instalments. It does have a decent amount of the crazy anime bullshit we’ve come to love from Metal Gear, but not quite enough, nor often enough. But that’s okay, because the actual game part of this game is by far and away the best that Metal Gear has ever been. Even with the fact the story is clearly unfinished, even with all the crazy politics surrounding Konami and Kojima, it’s still one hell of a game.

It's a Metal Gear game, that's for sure.

It’s a Metal Gear game, that’s for sure.


I was never into the Souls games before playing Bloodborne (and don’t get me wrong, Bloodborne is a Souls game, in everything but name), but man did it suck me in. The combat is quick, deliberate, punishing, yet immensely satisfying. The world design is incredible. The environmental storytelling is a breath of fresh air when compared to games that are very upfront and “tell, don’t show” with their stories. Hell, even telling you the actual genre is technically a spoiler (it’s not gothic horror, like the boxart/trailers would have you believe). I originally planned on writing a big post about the game earlier this year that never panned out. Although I’m not too likely to go back and sink a lot of time into the older games, Bloodborne told me exactly what these games are, and I respect them greatly.




Whether or not visual novels are technically “games” is a topic for another day. Regardless, the English version of Steins;Gate had its console release (PS3, Vita) earlier this year. If you’re into anime at all, the name will likely be familiar. It is after all one of the most popular anime among westerners and often recommended for people wanting to get into anime (and a recommendation I mostly endorse). The anime, however, is an adaptation of a visual novel that originally released on the Xbox 360 in Japan in 2009 before being ported to every other major console and eventually finding an English release on PC and Sony consoles within the last year or so. The plot is thus: an idiot and his mates accidentally turn a microwave into a machine that can send text messages into the past. Then a time-travel story happens. Incredible art, music, characters, plot, everything. I will likely write more on it in future. Based on the name of the genre (visual novel) you can imagine what it actually consists of if you haven’t played one before, but it’s well worth the ride.

The art is great. Those eyes.

The art is great. Those eyes.

Fallout 4

At the time of writing (a couple of weeks before this post is live), I’m still making my way through the main quest of Bethesda’s latest post-nuclear RPG. It’s about what you’d expect from a game with the title “Fallout 4“. Obviously, being six years since Fallout 3 , there have been many changes and tweaks, for better or for worse. The game looks nice – the lighting is fantastic and makes exploring the wasteland at dawn or sundown as enjoyable as it always has been in these games. Your character is now voiced, which unfortunately means it’s now more difficult to create a character that truly feels like your own. There’s nothing wrong with a game that wants to tell its own story, but Bethesda RPGs have always felt more about the story being yours and having it play out how you want it to, a feeling which is severely diminished in this latest game. There are other changes, like the gross simplification of the dialogue system, the combination of skills and perks, the removal of karma, that are better suited to discussing in a separate, more detailed post. But the core of the game is still the same: wondering around, discovering new places, people and monsters, and exploring, talking to and killing them. And in that aspect, it’s as good as it’s ever been. If you’ve an itch to return to the wasteland, it scratches that itch well enough.

Baller as fuck.

Baller as fuck.

Halo 5: Guardians

I’m still slogging my way through Halo 5‘s campaign. I say “slog” because I mostly don’t have a fuck to give about Spartan Locke and his buddies (even if one of his buddies happens to be Nathan Fillion). If you’d rather be playing as Master Chief (you know, the Halo guy) and following the part of the story that actually matters, have fun, because that accounts for like, maybe 20% of the game. Apparently the ending is also a Halo 2-esque cliffhanger. But the single player campaign isn’t why this game is on this list. Halo 5‘s multiplayer is the best it’s been in a long while. New movement options that make the flow of the game feel zippy and modern, without taking away what makes it feel like Halo. Equal weapon starts, and none of that random power-weapon drop bullshit. It’s what Halo 4 should’ve been.

Oh, and it has card packs. PACKS. Those who know me will know how much I liked Mass Effect 3‘s multiplayer. The packs were a big part of that. I can’t help myself. Send help.

pls help

pls help


You’re a dude with gun boots who jumps down a well. Tight difficulty, tight controls, tight design.

My boots are lazers.

My boots are lasers.

Destiny: The Taken King

Destiny was a game I mentioned last year as being “the most disappointing game I couldn’t stop playing”. Bungie’s latest is not a bad game. It has the excellent gun-play you’d expect from the studio that made Halo, and nothing about the way the game plays is bad. But the original release had some major, unforgivable flaws. Bungie had created this big, interesting universe, but the storytelling and plot was absolutely abysmal and not what you’d expect from the studio that made Halo. The loot and player progression was largely uninteresting, and there was a major lack of content, which for a game meant to emulate an MMO-like experience is a major setback. But then this year, The Taken King came out, the game’s big expansion. They’ve made strides over the past year to improve the progression, but more importantly, it’s starting to look like a game you’d expect from the studio that made Halo. The first 20 minutes of The Taken King has more personality and better writing than the entirety of the base game.

Just a stag. Nothing to see here.

Just a stag, chillin’. Nothing to see here.

Rocket League

Imagine playing indoor 3-a-side football, only instead of running about kicking a football, you’re driving about in rocket-powered cars ramming into a 20 foot ball. Deceptively simple, but hard to master and with a tonne of depth, Rocket League is easily one of, if not the best, multiplayer game of 2015.

Also, it has hats. You can put hats on your car.



The Witcher III: Wild Hunt

I need to get back to The Witcher III at some point. I’ve put in maybe 30 or so hours into it and it barely feels like I’ve even scratched the surface. I own and have played the previous 2 Witcher games, but found them to be largely impenetrable and didn’t have the patience to get properly stuck into them. In The Witcher, you play as Geralt, the titular witcher. Witchers are monster-hunters who have undergone some sort of mutation to make them better-monster hunters. What this gives them other than white hair and cat-eyes I’m not sure. The Witcher III does a fantastic job of having you play as an actual character, as opposed to a mostly blank slate for the player to self-insert into like a lot of western-made RPGs. As someone who generally doesn’t self-insert into video game characters, this pleases me. Give me a well-written, fleshed out character any day of the week. In fact, the entire game is incredibly well written, with one particular side-arc involving a character called the “Bloody Baron” being perhaps this year’s shining example of good video game writing.

Also there’s boobs.

The Witcher III's world is fun to explore.

Metaphor: The bridge is the more accessible third game, crossing the impenetrable previous games… or something.

Persona 4: Dancing All Night

Dancing All Night marks the continuation of fantastically titled Persona 4 spin-offs, following last year’s Persona 4: The Ultimax Ultra Suplex Hold, which was unfortunately nerfed somewhat to just Persona 4 Arena: Ultimax outside of Japan. Dancing All Night is… well, it’s a rhythm game, with a bunch of Persona 4 music remixes. That’s pretty much all I needed to know to be sold on this game. That’s all it needed to be, but it even has a full-blown story mode. Similar to the previous Arena games, the story is basically a visual novel with the occasional fights (or dances, as is the case this time) spread throughout. The fact the game gives a justifiable, in-universe explanation as to why the Persona 4 crew have to defeat shadows by dancing is somewhat commendable. I’m not totally done with it yet, but the story even seems to be a much more solid offering than that of the fighting games, and will hopefully be a stellar send-off for Persona 4. Please, Atlus. I love Persona 4. A lot. But you don’t need any more spin-offs. Lets just get to Persona 5 already. My only real gripe with the game is that some of my favourite songs from Persona 4 seem to be conspicuously missing (boss battle themes, mostly), but the selection that is there is decent, and the rhythm gameplay is simple, yet solid and enjoyable.

This entire game condensed into one line of dialogue.

This entire game condensed into one line of dialogue.

Even though 2015 was a pretty great year for games, I actually struggled to put this list together. I even considered condensing it down to a top 5. I just didn’t play all that many of this year’s games, partly out of laziness, partly out of not wanting to shell out £40+ per AAA game (and then not picking it up cheaper later) and partly because I spent a lot of time this year watching anime and playing Street Fighter. So many well received games came out this year that the over-abundance of choice can be overwhelming and you end up not playing anything.

In regards to this blog itself, I’m planning on updating the look of the site sometime in the new year. I’ve a design I’ve been slowly tinkering away at here and there which I will hopefully be done with in the not too distant future. Once I’m completely happy with the way it looks, I just need to convince myself of going through the boring process of making it into a WordPress theme.

2015 was a pretty dope year overall for games, many of which I will likely be playing at some point in the future. Games like Undertale, Tales from the Borderlands, Axiom Verge, Until Dawn, Her Story, Life is Strange, SOMA, Ori and the Blind Forest, Grow Home, Invisible Inc. and plenty of others I’m failing to even think of. That’s not to mention the ones from this year I have played but need to get back to.

Welcome, one and all, to the now third annual installant of Those Games What Released This Year That I Think Were Alright. It’s been a slow year here on, with a whopping TWO previous posts in 2014. I had plenty of posts I was planning on putting up this year, but I kind of got lazy and they fell through. Mostly because I was probably too busy playing Street Fighter. Enough of that though, apologising about lack of posts is pretty much a trope round these parts at this point, so on to talking about games from this year that I liked.

You should know the format by now; these games are in no particular order, and being released in 2014 is the only requirement needed to be eligible.

Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster

I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll mention it again: Final Fantasy X is my favourite game of all time. Is it objectively the greatest game ever made? Of course not, but it’s my favourite. It had probably the greatest impact on my taste in video games that I can think of, and I immensely enjoy all the time that I spend with it. So to be able to play a game that is now almost 15 years old at this point on a somewhat modern console, with somewhat modern looking graphics, is an utmost pleasure. Me being me, I’ll probably also end up double-dipping when it comes to PS4 next year.

Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire

I’ve always been a total sucker for the mainline Pokemon games. Ever since the original Blue and Red versions, I’ve always invested a fair amount of time into every major Pokemon release since then. The original Gen III games were probably around the time a lot of people started to write them off, citing “badly designed pokémon” or whatever (even though they often gloss over some of the terrible Gen I designs with their rose glasses). I’ve a particular fondness for each generation of Pokémon, and Ruby and Sapphire were no different. Being able to adventure through Hoenn again, with all that water and all those trumpets, only this time in 3D and with all the gameplay up-grades you’d expect, has been a treat.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call

Do you like Final Fantasy music? Do you like rhythm games? Then there is almost nothing to not like about Theatrhythm. Curtain Call improves on the first game mostly by just having a metric fucktonne of music, as well as a whole bunch more characters available to build your party with. There’s also a whole new quest system, which is enjoyable to play and provides a little more meat than some of the content of the first game. There’s also a new multiplayer mode, which is… eh, not great, but can be a fun distraction. But the main draw has always been the simple, but fun rhythm gameplay and the swaths of Uematsu-san and company’s music spanning two decades.

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

Considering I paid the extravagant amount of £0 for Isaac (well, minus my PS+ sub fee of course), the money-per-hour ratio of this game is probably the highest on the list. If you played the original Isaac, you’ll know what to expect here. It’s basically the same game built again from scratch, so it’s no longer a flash game, which is good. Very good. Content wise, I believe it contains everything from BoI plus the Wrath of Lamb expansion, as well as some other new content sprinkled throughout. I never got very heavily into the original, but I’ve played enough of Rebirth to cause my PS4’s left thumbstick to start falling apart. Also, Azazel is hella OP.

Ultra Street Fighter IV

For a brief second, I considered making this entire post just “Street Fighter is rad, peeeeace” and leave it at that. Definitely wins the award for most amount of time I’ve spent with a game this year. This latest version of Street Fighter IV, as well as introducing five “new” characters (four from Street Fighter X Tekken and one literal Cammy clone) also introduces a few new system mechanics to help move the game away from the very set-play heavy state the previous version was. It’s still very much Street Fighter IV and I love me some Street Fighter IV.

The Wolf Among Us

While I feel that the story took somewhat of a dive towards the end, and an episodic format is probably not the best for a murder mystery story, I found myself nevertheless enjoying The Wolf Among Us immensely. As someone who wasn’t familiar with Fables going in, I found the premise incredibly interesting, and the game itself is just… stylish. Killer soundtrack and 80s-inspired neon visuals, the game is a treat for the senses.

Persona 4 Arena: Ultimax

Thankfully, the wait here in Europe this time around for the next Persona 4 Arena game wasn’t quite as painful as it was last time. Ultimax is basically the… well, ultimate version of P4A. The story I felt was a lot weaker this time around compared to the last game, but from a pure gameplay side, there’s a lot to like. An expanded roster, now featuring pretty much every conceivable character from Persona 3 and 4 that makes sense, “shadow” versions of every character who play differently and have different tools, and a whole host of incremental improvements, including a very cool and robust lobby system for online play. I’ll never get into it quite the way I did Street Fighter, because fundamental things about the way anime fighting games play don’t jive well with me, but Ultimax is a great fighter worth checking out if you’re into the genre, or simply just a Persona fan.

The Last of Us: Left Behind

I could put The Last of Us Remastered on here, since that game is still as incredible as it was when it first came out, but I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’m going to put Left Behind, the story DLC that released earlier this year. There was a lot to love about The Last of Us, and Ellie is at, or close to, the top of that list. So to get the chance to learn a lot more about her backstory is something I just couldn’t pass up. The story aspects of Left Behind are top-notch as you’d expect, but so is the gameplay. They use a lot of the game’s combat mechanics in interesting and novel, non-combat scenarios and it also features the only combat encounters in the entirety of The Last of Us that feature both human and infected enemies, something that should’ve been present in the original game. If you enjoyed The Last of Us, you owe it to yourself to play the Left Behind.


Remember Titanfall? Released way back in, what, March? Man, that game didn’t set the world on fire quite like a lot of people expected it to, but it was still a pretty solid first outing from Respawn. It definitely has some key flaws, but it’s the sort of thing that makes you excited for what could be in Titanfall 2. Plus, the core gameplay is a blast. It’s interesting to see games like Halo 5 and this year’s Call of Duty already seemingly taking influence from the way Titanfall does movement and mobility.


Threes! is a mobile game, and mobile games are generally not something I give much of a fuck about. It’s a number game, where you have cards on a grid, and have to move them in 4 directions to combine identical cards, similar to, but not as insane as something like 2048. It also has a great style, with fantastic music, silly voiceovers, and a nice clean aesthetic. There’s even a snappable Xbox One version now, which is cool. It deserves a spot here solely based on the amount of time I spent with it this year. Mobile games tend to have a very “flavour of the week” thing going on, where big games come and go really quickly, but Threes! had a constant presence on my phone throughout the majority of the year.

Honourable Mentions and Games That Would’ve Been on this List had I Played (More of) Them

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is probably the best CoD game in years, and the only one since MW3 that I’ve bothered to finish the campaign of. Halo: The Master Chief Collection is a collection of 4 games, each great in their own right, but isn’t on the list because… well, that game was, and still is, broken as fuck. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes gets me real excited for The Phantom Pain, but as a standalone product, there just isn’t enough of what I want out of a Metal Gear game. Destiny is the worst game that I spent the most amount of time playing. I could probably write an entire post about everything that game did wrong, yet for some reason, for a good chunk of time, I couldn’t stop playing it. Fantasy Life is an adorable RPG for the 3DS by the Professor Layton people, that seems like it has a bunch of stuff to do in it, but I simply haven’t been able to put that much time into it yet. Lethal League is an awesome take on the fighting game genre that I definitely need to play more of. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor and Wolfenstein: The New Order are the two big standout non-Wii U games this year, that are the kind of games I enjoy, but I simply haven’t played.

There are also a multitude of indie games this year that either passed me by, or that I simply didn’t manage to play. This year was also probably the best year yet for the Wii U, with games like Bayonetta 2, Mario Kart 8, and Super Smash Bros. putting up a strong argument that, maybe, I should think about getting a Wii U at some point soon.

Looking back, 2014 has been a somewhat lackluster year. The new consoles are out, and have been for over a year now, but are stuggling to make a strong footing with games convincing you to throw down the money for them. Most of the big games for them have been either remasters and rereleases of old games, or big marquee titles that were mostly broken messes at launch.

But tomorrow is 2015, and if Back to the Future taught us anything, it’s that we’re all going to be flying about on hoverboards and flying cars, and that sounds way cooler than any of this video game shit.