My Top 20 Games for 2014 & 2015

The golden face of the top video games for 2014 & 2015.
The golden face of the top video games for 2014 & 2015.

I said recently I would go into more detail for My Top Twenty Games for 2014 & 2015 which I mentioned in my post for The Best Games of 2014 & 2015 and Other Awards. Well I have finally finished it. Like always to qualify I must have played the game in the last 24 months (2014 & 2015) but the game doesn’t have to been released in 2014 or 2015.

Special Mentions:

These games I enjoyed playing and are very good but I didn’t feel especially strongly about compared to the others on the list.

Destiny, D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die, Black Mirror, Nuclear Throne, and Europa Universalis IV.

Rising Storm/Red Orchestra 2 Multiplayer (PC)

A mostly authentic World War II FPS with some debatable issues.
A mostly authentic World War II FPS with some debatable issues.

Red Orchestra 2 and Rising Storm is still two of the best first person shooters and World War II games on the PC. It’s focus on realism and team work means it’s the closest you can get to being in WWII yourself. However the problem with the way the game is structured means all that potential is wasted. This is because the game like many other FPS games has a levelling system which relies on experience points to progress in. You could completely ignore the levelling system but certain weapons and items are locked behind this system and therefore any team work is going to be compromised with selfish Rambo type players focusing on achievements and levelling.

The bottom line is that I enjoy playing Red Orchestra 2 and Rising Storm but the way you gain experience means you could play for hundred of hours and not progress at all. If I am playing a more supportive role, for example doing covering fire and suppressing and not killing the enemy then I will likely not get anything for my time played. Of course this all depends whether you care about levelling systems but it be nice to get something to show for all my time played, even games like Battlefield reward players for playing a more supportive role. In other words don’t make a realistic game if the actually gameplay mechanics turns out to be the same as Call of Duty.

No one seems to have learned anything from Team Fortress 2’s score system except the use of hats.

World of Warcraft (PC)

World of Warcraft is still the best MMORPG out there.
World of Warcraft is still the best MMORPG out there.

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Dreanor focused around Dreanor an earlier version of Outland and raised the existing level cap from 90 to 100, introduced upgradeable garrisons as well as upgraded character models. It had server problems on release which lasted more than a week but they improved their server technology and gave people extra free time so it all ended well in the end but I wasn’t very impressed at the time.

Like always with games such as World of Warcraft, if you aren’t a fan of the genre or Warcraft, Warlords of Dreanor won’t change that but for people who are already invested or are willing to jump in you will have an enjoyable time with well made visual, sound and gameplay design but if you are like me you will probably end up playing too much around the release of an expansion (most played game during the year) so would have to take about a year or more break from it.

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Dreanor was a critical and commercial success which helped World of Warcraft to have over 10 million subscribers once again but has declined since then.

World of Warcraft remains the best MMORPG (look at the state of games like Elder Scrolls Online and WildStar) for people who like playing with others and for the more solo focused player. It also offers the most content and the most value for money. Sure it cost about £10 a month to play but the game is always being added to and you don’t have to play 12 months a year. You can pay and play when you want and when you do return the world is waiting for you with its warm welcoming embrace. It also has the best seasonal events in a video game.

My Top 20 Games for 2014 & 2015

20) Payday 2 (PC)

Quickly moving from classic co-op game to an obscure joke.
Quickly moving from classic co-op game to an obscure joke.

Payday 2 is a game that not many people give enough credit to. When played with others it’s co-op offers some of the best moments in gaming. It can even played solo or with random people but expect those ways to not always be very successful. It is similar to Left 4 Dead that if requires players to work together to defeat normal enemies and various special enemies while also completing objectives.

I have played a lot of Payday 2 but have not played it much recently. If I did this list last year it would have been number one but after several changes made to the game by Overkill Software it is harder to recommend. This is because the addition of Swat Vans and Captain Winters (a testudo formation master) have made the game near impossible on the Overkill difficulty now when playing with out a full team (arguably for the better). They have also both ruined the pacing of certain heists. The major problem however is the amount of DLC released mostly doesn’t add anything to the game. The only worthwhile DLC is its heists because this adds more levels and replay value to the game while most of all the extra weapons and characters don’t. There is other things which are debatable bad such its recent addition of pay-to-open safes and new item drop system.

Overall Payday 2 is a good game that has been stretched to it limits and now comes of more of a cash cow for Overkill Software rather than a fun co-op game (Goat DLC is next). A lot of these problems could be solved by allowing its community to create its own content such as heists but this isn’t likely to happen.

For me and many others the game is quickly becoming forgotten.

19) Total War: Rome II – Emperor Edition (PC)

A better strategy game than people give it credit for.
A better strategy game than people give it credit for.

People seem to despise Total War: Rome II but since it’s been released it has been greatly improved by the developers and like always this isn’t taken into account community mods. I bought this game with most of the DLC for about £8 and it’s been well worth the money and it helps that I like Romans and the time period. It’s hard to say if it’s worth its full price but PC games are so often on sale that a games value in terms of money is basically irrelevant now a days.

The tactical combat in Total War: Rome II looks, sounds and plays great like always and the strategically world map is more in-depth compared to Rome: Total War but it’s still very limited when compared to games like Crusader Kings II or Europa Univasalis IV. This isn’t completely a problem because combat is so rewarding but it be wise for The Creative Assembly to give more attention to it in the future.

Rome: Total War and Medieval War II: Total War are still fun (they are fun games) to play today so if you enjoy those you will enjoy Total War: Rome II. Also with the existence of Total War: Rome II you no longer need to play Rome: Total War.

18) XCOM: Enemy Unknown (PC)

Still a fun, sometimes hard game but could of been a lot better.
Still a fun, sometimes hard game but could have been a lot better.

UFO: Enemy Unknown was and still is a classic turn based strategy game to play. It’s gameplay mechanics and ideas were largely forgotten however until XCOM: Enemy Unknown came out.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown is basically a slimmed down and more linear remake of UFO: Enemy Unknown which is good and bad. The game is more easier to understand for newer players while still offering some of the depth as the original. Whether it’s because the game was more console focused or because of costs, the game doesn’t feature many of the features that makes the original so great and rely more on a linear story than the games originally do what you want approach. It is still good but could have been so much better if it was more like UFO: Enemy Unknown. The game is also quite easy even on the harder difficulties and with all game modifiers on with less soldier deaths than I would expect but maybe I have just got better at the genre since UFO: Enemy Unknown.

There is an expansion which makes the game harder and adds new units and maps and add some of the features missing from the UFO: Enemy Unknown is welcome addition but is treated and launched as a standalone game (just have a toggle in-game) which I find odd and annoying and still doesn’t offer the same experience as UFO: Enemy Unknown.

Whether it’s great or could have been better, it has at least exposed more people to the genre and is always the game people refer to when another game does similar mechanics which can only be a good thing.

X-COM 2 is coming out soon but I am not to sure about it, hopefully it has more depth like UFO: Enemy Unknown had but from what I have seen is trying completely different gameplay and story structure than the previous games which could be great but until then I guess there is always UFO: Enemy Unknown to go back to.

17) Max Payne 3 (Xbox 360)

Max still has the moves to kill a lot of people even if not very gracefully.
Max still has the moves to kill a lot of people even if not very gracefully.

Despite now being developed solely by Rockstar games, Max Payne 3 still feels a lot like the old Max Payne games while also feeling a lot like Grand Theft Auto. It is a good game but it’s multiplayer is dead while not particularly important but you can say that is half the game missing. I would have preferred they made a bigger single player game rather than include multiplayer.

Max Payne 3 doesn’t include the iconic story board cutscenes and instead uses full motion cutscenes which are mostly good but don’t have the same impact as the old story board moments. It’s visuals and sound design is good but be prepared hear enemies says “Filho da puta” a lot. They say a one or two others but that phrase is used so much in the game. However as a person of Portuguese descent I find the use of Portuguese in a big budget game refreshing. The game continues the story of Max well but it is basically a game version of the film Man on Fire (2004).

The main highlight of Max Payne 3 for me is all the ties into the previous two games and the way Max Payne himself moves. Max Payne isn’t as athletic now a days which can lead to some humorous moments of colliding into walls and cupboards but it all moves and fells authentic. Another good thing about Max Payne 3 is how you can only carry about two weapons (a main weapon and a sidearm) which adds to more realistic gameplay experience. All the gameplay is seamless with cutscenes too so you always feel connected to the action happening on-screen.

Overall Max Payne 3 is good if not as memorable as Max Payne 1 or makes you care about the characters as Max Payne 2: Fall of Max Payne. The second game is still probably the best one to play today.

16) Frozen Synapse (PC)

A stylistic and tactical game about shooting red people.
A stylistic and tactical game about shooting red people.

This game has great music and art design. It is very reminiscent of the Rainbow 6 planning phase, it is what Rainbow 6 would be if you played the whole game from that menu. It has tons of replay value with so many ways to play and random generation. It even has good asynchronous multiplayer, you can play as many multiplayer games at the same time as you want.

Overall Frozen Synapse is an excellent but very punishing game that can easily be played for short or long sessions.

15) Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition (PC)

This game makes you feel like you are a medieval warrior... fighting monsters.
This game makes you feel like you are a medieval warrior… fighting monsters.

This version of Dark Souls is probably the best game in the franchise while Demon Souls, Dark Souls 2 and BloodBorne (kind of related) are good in their own way. Dark Souls nails and delivers what you expect from this type of game. A hard and non apologetic game of knowing when to fight and when to run away.

The game is very tactical and can be punishing, it can also be a grind in some spots but the sound, visuals, and gameplay make the game rewarding to play even if you die a lot. The combat is pretty simple if you think about it but conversely is also one of the most deep at the same time. It’s an unusually mix that is refreshing compared to a lot of other third person games. The game also feels like your on an adventure and the risk of being invaded by other players or fake ones makes the game feel tense at times.

If you are playing it on PC then I would highly recommend using a controller and using the DSfix mod and you should be good to go. There are plenty of other mods but they are the main requirements really.

Everyone should play a Souls game at some point and Dark Souls is the best one to start on.

14) Grand Theft Auto V (Xbox 360 and PC)

The characters in Grand Theft Auto V are still interesting characters.
The characters in Grand Theft Auto V are still interesting characters.

I completed this game 100% on Xbox 360 and played for ages Online so when it was finally released on PC and I got the game I was pretty burned out on it. The PC version is superior in all areas to the console versions and allows you to transfer your online character over which is all good.

The Grand Theft Auto V story mode is good like always for a Grand Theft Auto game but it defiantly isn’t as memorable as Grand Theft Auto: Vice City’s (cinematic) or even Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (gang culture). You play as three different characters; Michael (Anthony Soprano), Trevor (Jack Nicholson in The Shining), and Franklin. Franklin is the weakest character but is probably the most you can relate to as he’s basically a blank slate while Trevor is a maniac and Michael has serious (understandable) problems. The story mode is worth playing through completely at least once. Just a note the controversial moments in the game are really silly when compared to films or viewed as an adult but some people might have problems with it. The game is definitely for over 18 year olds. I still haven’t played through the story on the PC version again though.

The main problems with Grand Theft Auto V isn’t its single player story mode but it’s Online mode. This mode is still a long way from being great and has seemed to have taken all resources from the possibility of new single player content (so far). Online offers mostly enough modes to be ok but isn’t what you want Grand Theft Auto Online to be, in others words like the single players experience but with other people. It comes close with its heists mode but these require four well oiled people with headsets and therefore are useless to solo or pairs. It also has some of the most annoying amount of loads between all activities which means all flow is lost in Online mode.

Grand Theft Auto Online doesn’t really over much variety either, you can basically do all the same boring activities as in single player with a few new additions such as robbing the occasional security truck, delivering certain cars, collecting loot crates and that’s about it (They have added new open world modes since then but these aren’t very good). The meat of the multiplayer is in its various non-open world modes but these all end up in three categories: first being races with various vehicles, the second is team and death match type encounters and thirdly is the co-op type missions that have players doing NPC missions. The NPC missions end up being the most fun but can’t be realistically made by players with the mission editor and their isn’t many official ones. Heists have finally been included but they once again fall into the co-op mission section and can’t once again be made by players and their isn’t enough.

The mission editor was supposed to be a big selling point for Grand Theft Auto Online but only allows players to make basic racing maps and team deathmatch ones. They aren’t complex enough to allow the invention of new unique modes or single player type missions which a game like Little Big Planet can do easily.

Grand Theft Auto Online also suffers from pay-to-win mechanics as in-game money can be bought for real life money which ruins the game for everyone who doesn’t spend extra money on the game. You can buy real money and do up your car and be basically invincible to everything which basically says it all. The cheating in the PC version of the game is also a big problem which means playing with random people online can get your characters ruined or worse.

People praise Rockstar games for releasing free updates which is good but all the new vehicles included are so expensive that you will need real money to ever own one for yourself in the open world portion which defeats the purpose of free DLC. I refuse to spend more money on the game as I have bought it twice and paying for the ability to play online is already over priced on consoles. Therefore I would rather they charged people for the DLC which would probably make them cheaper in the long run if you want to own the various vehicles and weapons.

Overall Grand Theft Auto V (Online) is fun but always feels like a wasted opportunity, this isn’t saying fun can’t be had just exploring and messing around in its open world but other Grand Theft Auto games already offer sandbox chaos whether you are playing their single or multiplayer modes.

13) Card Hunter (PC)

It blends strategy and tactics with a lot of gameplay available for free.
It blends strategy and tactics with a lot of gameplay available for free.

Card Hunter is a mix of the collectible card aspects of Magic the Gathering with the role-playing concepts of Dungeons & Dragons. You equip items on your heroes which in turn modify the cards you have in your deck, even with no items equipped you will have default walk and attack cards. The fun of the games comes from the strategy in your choice of cards and how you position your heroes on the table top board.

The game has a story with progression that takes you through the life’s of Gary, he’s older brother Melvin and Karen, the Manchu pizza delivery woman. It’s an interesting story that doesn’t particularly take it self to serious and plays on Dungeons & Dragons stereotypes to good effect. There is also a competitive multiplayer and co-op modes which are all pretty engaging, and worth trying if you get deep into the game.

Card Hunter is a free-to-play game with microtransactions and a membership program. You can get far in the game without paying any money but if you want to play the newer adventures you will need to pay cash which is translated as pizza in the game. It is mostly a fair business model.

The sounds and music in the game is pretty forgettable but the game has an authentic look to it with heroes represented as cardboard stands and around the table you see stuff like dice and rule books.

I would recommend people with an interest in card games and RPGs to check it out.

12) The Blackwell Legacy (PC)

A traditional adventure game but with some unique gameplay mechanics.
A traditional adventure game but with some unique gameplay mechanics.

The Blackwell Legacy is a typically adventure game in terms of mechanics but it stands out from the rest by having three major selling points: One the story is interesting and engaging, secondary the art style and sound design is well done, and three the characters in the game are likeable and believable.

The Blackwell Legacy is the first game in a four-part saga of interesting and intriguing adventure games. This first game is apparently not the best in the series but if that is the case then the others games must be amazing.

11) Sunless Sea (PC)

Well written, with a soothing soundtrack and subtle atmospheric gameplay.
Well written, with a soothing soundtrack and subtle atmospheric gameplay.

If you have played the free-to-play browser game called Fallen London then you will be pretty familiar with the universe of Sunless Sea but if you haven’t then it’s essentially this; The bazaar is controlled by several masters. The monarch of London, Her Enduring Majesty the Traitor Empress, sold the city to the bazaar to spare the life of her husband Albert, Prince Consort in 1861. The entire city was then taken a mile beneath the surface by a swarm of bats, where it has remained for nearly thirty years. In other words it’s an alternative reality Victorian London and it’s a neat setting.

While Fallen London is a choose your own adventure type game, Sunless Sea is a rogue-like sea-faring game. You still make choices and decisions but now you are a Unterzee steamship captain with a choice of ambitions. If you complete your ambition you “win” but it is pretty hard to do. You also can amass wealth by discovering new locations, trading goods across the Unterzee, and completing “storylet” quests. Character death is permanent, but subsequent characters can inherit some of their goods.

However islands shift around after a character’s death, which changes the Unterzee layout. The writing and atmosphere in the game is memorable but the game suffers from one major flaw of not being a good rogue-like. When I think of a good rogue-like I think of something like Nuclear Throne or Sword of the Stars: The Pit, which can last a few minutes or hours but in Sunless Sea you can be playing for hours and then suddenly die and essentially have to start the whole game again. It’s still a rogue-like but a very long drawn out one which means after you die you might not feel like starting again. This could arguably make deaths have a bigger impact and create higher tense moments and lower calm moments, or you could just say the game doesn’t care about your time.

Despite this I still recommend people try it out. The submarine DLC should be added soon too which will add a whole new dimension to the game. Also the original soundtrack is probably the best in recent years and seamlessly changes the atmosphere of the game. When your hear the Wolfstack Lights track you know you are safe home, for now.

10) Company of Heroes 2 (PC)

Still a well made and deep World War II strategy game.
Still a great World War II strategy game.

Company of Heroes 2 is one of the best WWII strategy games in years. While games like the Sudden Strike franchise and the Close Combat franchise were enjoyable and still are, they really showed their age when Company of Heroes first game came out. Company of Heroes was heavily inspired by Runic Entertainments’ own Dawn of War franchise (also excellent) and games like Faces of War.

Everyone knew Company of Heroes 2 would likely be Russian focused after the company refused to make any Russian expansions for Company of Heroes even thought the British and the German Panzer Elite factions were added later. Company of Heroes 2 came out seven years after Company of Heroes and was mostly well received but got some criticism for its Russian story. The story was average at best and is basically only there to justify the different combat encounters all the way to the capture of Berlin.

The game was initially focused on the Russians with a Russian only campaigning with no German equivalent (a shame). It was later expanded upon with a USA campaign (Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault) and a USA and German faction expansion (Company of Heroes 2: The Western and Eastern Front Armies) and finally a British faction (Company of Heroes 2: The British Forces). While not essential the expansions make the game a more rounded experience but seems more of a cash grab than actual meaningful content. If you don’t play multi-player there is arguably less content that in the original Company of Heroes.

Overall the game is probably the best WWII strategy game and improves on the first Company of Heroes in some important areas but it is more of a step back or half sequel than a true one. With the lack of different faction campaigns being a big hole in the experience. The multiplayer is still fun as always but the DLC and pricing model Runic Entertainment have adopted in recent years is a concern for future games. At the moment they are splitting their paid game into two different markets, a free-to-play and a paid one. I would recommend most people play Company of Heroes and it’s expansions first though, it’s a better and less expensive game when you compare the two (not counting sales).

The Order 227 mechanic in the game is pretty terrible with one soviet officer with a pistol at your base running around chasing your retreating squads like a comedy sketch. That sort of sums up the Russian campaign.

9) Crusader Kings II (PC)

Crusader Kings II is still the king for making stories.
Crusader Kings II is still the king for making stories.

Crusader Kings II is a great game if you like stories, emergent gameplay, the medieval period, strategy games, and people management. In concept the game is simple; you play as one important person who you use to interact with others via clicking on buttons but in reality it is more complex. The game isn’t really as hard as people make it out to be but it does require you go through some tutorials or even watching some gameplay videos but the best way to learn is just to play the game.

Crusader Kings II is like a lot of Paradox Interactive games in that it has a lot of DLC but like always they are often on sale and most are just cosmetic. The key ones are the ten main expansions that range from allowing you play a Muslim character to controlling a merchant republic. Most of these are well done and add a lot to the game.

Overall Crusader Kings II is an enjoyable and engaging game that anyone interested in history, stories or strategy games should play.

8) Pac-Man CE DX+ (Xbox 360)

Pac-Man shows that some old games can be made better.
Pac-Man CE DX+ shows that old games can be made better.

Pac-Man CE DX+ is probably the best arcade game since the original Pac-Man. It is like the original Pac-Man but with changing boards, styles and music. It’s basically a remix of the original game but well done.

It’s a game you can play now and again and you will always have a great time. It also has integrated leaderboards that make increasing your rank fun. This alone shows how great Pac-Man CE DX+ is as that a game has made leaderboards matter again.

A well made game, play it.

7) Valiant Hearts: The Great War (Xbox One)

An important game that shows educational games can be good and fun.
An important game that shows educational games can be good and fun.

It is hard to think of many World War I games, let alone good ones. There is so many World War II ones but the first World War has been largely ignored in gaming. It is probably because Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler make better Star Wars type enemies and games than Kaiser Wilhelm II and the German Empire. Also thanks to Germany’s doggedness and the Soviets mentality the death toll was way larger in World War II which means the second World War seems more important.

In Valiant Hearts: The Great War you play as four different characters; the Frenchman Emile, his German son-in-law Karl, American soldier Freddie, and Belgian nurse Anna, also you get help from a German army dog; Walt a Doberman Pinscher. The main antagonist in the game is Baron Von Dorf who is basically the German general Erich Ludendorff.

The game is a puzzle game with adventure elements that normally requires you to clear an objective in order to progress by solving puzzles with certain items. However there are combat segments where you have to survive under heavy gunfire or stealth sections. There are also rhythmic car chases that are based around a piece of music which are jolly.

The game features collectables that give a lot of information on World War I and are worth collecting because of this. Each section of the game has related real life history behind it such as how trench warfare was fought. The game makes learning about World War I interesting and could be used as a way to teach people what it would have been like in World War I even if not completely accurate because of story and gameplay reasons.

It is a pretty short game but it’s well made and fun. It is also probably the most important game in recent years.

6) Battle Brothers (PC)

Mixes many genres but plays very well for an Early Access game.
Mixes many genres but plays very well for an Early Access game.

Battle Brothers is a mix between the UFO: Enemy Unknown, Mount & Blade, and a few other games. It’s a turn based strategy RPG in which you lead a mercenary company in a medieval fantasy world. You are free to decide where to go, who to hire, who to fight, what missions to do, and how to train and equip your soldiers in a randomly generated open world. The game takes place on a strategic world map and a tactical combat mode when in battle.

If you like any of the games mentioned then you will likely enjoy playing Battle Brothers. It’s a Steam Early Access game done correctly, with frequent updates and correct input taken from the community.

The game can be hard at the start where your mercenaries can die or leave you permanently but Battle Brothers has a very promising future.

5) Diablo III (PC)

A hack and slash game that has got better with age and patches.
A hack and slash game that has got better with age and patches.

Diablo III initially launched like many online only games these days in a mess but after a while it got better. The major problems with Diablo III were it’s always online requirement, its real money auction house, lack of end game content, and mod support all stopped me playing the game past the demo when it first game out. While it was fun I was playing Torchlight II at the time and that seemed to provide more than Diablo III seemed to offer.

Two years later Diablo III: Reaper of Souls the first expansion to Diablo III came out and it promised to change everything, which it did. While the requirement to be always online was still there and the lack of mod support was present, it had via a previous patch got rid of the real money auction house, added better loot drops and more replay value with its new Adventure Mode. It also added a new act (Act 5), new character class, ten more levels (60 to 70) and loads of other improvements. This all convinced me to buy Diablo III and the expansion and it was worth the money.

The game at its core was still similar to Diablo III but all the little changes made it a lot more fun and offered more content in which creating new characters and playing in Hardcore mode actually felt worth while. You could also play it in single player and have a lot of fun and playing with others is also worth it. This is because the loot is instanced (unique for each player) and EXP is boosted and shared.

I am hoping more expansions get added to Diablo III because while it has a lot going for it you can get through it quite quickly. It be good to have more expansions as no mod support stops the game growing. Torchlight II has mod support and some good mods and content which as made that game better and bigger. However the Seasons mode and regular patches have done a lot to encourage people to carry on playing Diablo III after the main story.

Overall if you don’t like hack and slash games I am not sure Diablo III and it’s expansion Reaper of Souls will change your mind but if you do decide to play it then Diablo III is currently the best game in its genre. The always online requirement is still a big issue though.

4) Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (Xbox 360)

Black Flag merges pirates, exploration and history into the best 'Creed' game.
Black Flag merges pirates, exploration and history into the best ‘Creed’ game.

Black Flag offers some of the things I love; exploration, pirates, and ship combat. It is fun in all these areas and offers tons of content. It’s online mode like all the Assassin Creed games is interesting in concept but isn’t in practice and quickly dead.

This game is I believe the first one that changes how the story plays out in a meaningful way. Instead of playing as Desmond Miles, you play as an anonymous employee of Abstergo Interactive and allows you to see the world from a different perspective. It’s interesting but is still the worse part of the Assassin’s Creed games. I play these games for their historical setting, such as the Crusades in the Assassin’s Creed, the Renaissance in Brotherhood and the golden age of piracy in Black Flag and all the futuristic, cyber story ruins the immersion.

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag offers a lot to do and see but suffers from having arguably too much pointless collectables and crafting present in many modern open world games. The game has great atmosphere, sound, visuals, and enjoying gameplay though.

Highlight of this game is the seamless transition between the different gameplay aspects. You can go from sailing to swimming and to combat easily and it all feels natural.

3) Fallout 4 (Xbox One)

More of the same but that doesn't always have to be a bad thing.
More of the same but that doesn’t always have to be a bad thing.

You could say I bought an Xbox One for this game, while I could play it on PC I decided to finally get a current generation console to play Fallout 4 and also my Xbox 360 games. I completed the previous games in the franchise (Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas) on Xbox 360 so I didn’t feel bad getting it on Xbox One. Backwards compatibility made getting an Xbox One an obvious choice compared to the PlayStation 4 (Playing PlayStation 2 games isn’t the same as playing PlayStation 3 ones when you have a PlayStation 2 but not a PlayStation 3).

Anyway Fallout 4 has taken one step forward with its playable characters who speak but several steps back in all other aspects. Settlement building and the new crafting mechanics are fun though.

Fallout 4 is very familiar to Fallout 3, almost so that it’s like Fallout: New Vegas never came out. New Vegas introduced new features such as a survival mode which was great and felt like how Fallout should be played. Fallout 4 doest have it and instead has a hard mode which only really impact is that healing items only heal over time and that enemies are harder. Fallout 4 also gets rid of the holster mechanic from old games which isn’t a big deal but seems odd not to include as now it feels odd when you use weapons, as they seem to magically appear in your hands. Finally Fallout 4 has changed how power armour works, before it was like any other armour but very strong but now its a separate kit that you can get in and out off. It’s probably a better change but now means it’s worthless if you want to see what you are doing while playing and doesn’t take into account your choice of HUD colour (I use white and black). I have like a hundred fusion cores and about seventeen power armour suits at my home base.

There is a lot wrong with Fallout 4 if you are a fan of all the old Fallout games and even the newer ones, like I am. However even with these problems I mentioned and loads more, it is still a very enjoyable open world game. Whether it’s down to the story, RPG aspects or freedom to explore you are guaranteed to have fun and it still offers a gaming experience only the Elder Scrolls games come close to.

2) Syberia (PC)

Syberia still looks, sounds and plays good today.
Syberia still looks, sounds and plays good today.

Syberia is part of the Syberia franchise (Syberia 3 is coming out sometime soon) and is an adventure game which comes from a time (2002) when adventure games were still relevant if mostly going out of fashion. It’s game design is unique in that it’s from the Belgian comic artist Benoît Sokal. He’s design really makes a difference to the game and helps it stand the test of time.

The main character is called Kate Walker who is a lawyer. At the start she seems an unlikely adventure character but over the course of the game you she her grow in confidence and independence which is an interesting story arc to go with the main story. The main story itself is about a mysterious island called Syberia where it is said that woolly mammoths and the like still exists, it’s a unique and interesting tale.

Syberia is a superb adventure game while about two of its puzzles are near impossible to figure out, the game still looks, plays, and sounds fine today.

1) Dishonored (Xbox 360)

One of the best stealth, world settings and first person games in years.
One of the best stealth, world settings and first person games in years.

Similar to Fallen London and Sunless Sea; Dishonored is set in a Victorian/industrial revolution inspired city. It takes place in the plague-ridden industrial city of Dunwall. You play as Corvo Attano, bodyguard to the Empress of the Isles. He is framed for her murder and forced to become an assassin, seeking revenge on those who conspired against him. Corvo is aided in his quest by a resistance group called the Loyalists and the mysterious Outsider.

Dishonored has a great setting, sound and visual design with and excellent voice acting. The game is played in a first person perspective which adds a lot to the experience when you are sneaking around and even when in combat. Once you get a grasp of the gameplay mechanics you will be performing some great manoeuvres like jumping from roofs onto guards and manipulating the environment to your benefit such as possessing fish and even rats to get to new areas and to use shortcuts.

The game can be played all in stealth or loud and offers choices, consequences and alternative endings depending on these decisions and the amount of chaos caused. It makes the game have a lot of replay value which is welcomed a lot.

While the new Thief game was pretty average, Dishonored shows how a modern stealth game can be made while still having choices and tense and fun gameplay.

It is my number one game because of several reasons: Great design, production values, setting, memorable gameplay, and a story with a twist I didn’t completely see coming. Everyone should play it and hopefully Dishonored 2 will be even greater.


This list took a very long time to put together but I am glad I finally got it done and I had fun doing it.

Also read: The Best Video Games for 2014 & 2015 and Other Awards for more overall game awards.

I will go over The Best Video Games for 2016 and Other Awards and My Top Ten Games for 2016 later in the year or early next year.