I’m unlike my esteemed colleague in many ways. Firstly, he’s pretty (damn straight – G). Secondly, his GOTY list would have been about sixty long if I’d let him. Thirdly, I only do games released on PC. Sorry console fans, but Gary’s your man for that. All said and done, I’m only including games on this list that I’ve actually played. What follows is the best games I’ve played this year in my humble opinion. In no particular order because again, unlike Gary, I’m not going to put myself through that kind of mental torture.
Obviously this was going to make my list. I’ve been replaying Fallout 3 and F:NV since they came out, and as soon as Bethesda dropped the mic and announced Fallout 4, I was chomping at the bit for this game to come out. Aside from it being the best executed AAA game release in recent history, Fallout 4 is exactly what I wanted. It’s not perfect by any means, and I certainly have my problems with it, but holy crap is it fun. Check out Gary’s review here.
Pillars of Eternity
This one took me by surprise. One of the few crowd-sourcing success stories, Obsidian’s Pillars of Eternity is a highly complex tactical cRPG. Highly rich in story, lore and unforgiving difficulty, PoE along with 2014’s Wasteland 2 proved that there was still a market for this kind of game. Definitely not one for those who dislike reading but read you will if you want any kind of clue as to what the hell is happening. I’m not finished with it yet, and don’t intend to be for a very long time, mainly because I’ve got plans for next Christmas.
I think I’ve covered most of what I wanted to say in our review earlier this year, but here’s the cliff notes; about as close to Firefly: The Game I’ve seen in a while, Rebel Galaxy is an extremely fun space-sim focussing on combat and it fucking rocks. Go play it. Now.
Life is Strange
The final chapter of Life is Strange from Square Enix came out in October, and with it a satisfying conclusion to the episodic time-manipulation story. By all accounts. I haven’t finished it yet. But the progress I have made has given me a strong enough opinion of the game to include it in this here list. Life is Strange is the game that lets you see the immediate consequences of your choices, but don’t let that fool you into thinking you’ve made the correct one. The story unravels in a surprisingly deep, emotionally-impactful way and if you’re not on the edge of your seat by the end of episode one, you’ve got no soul (just wait ’til the end of episode 3 – holy crap – G).
Sword Coast Legends
Another game we reviewed earlier this year, SCL is the game that intended to bring Dungeons & Dragons from the tabletop to your computer screen in the most authentic way possible. With the inclusion of Dungeon Master mode, players could now torture their friends online as well as on the table. Whereas it may not have launched particularly smoothly, the developers later released an absurdly large amount of free content, a huge patch and, more impressively, a road map for further free updates. They listened to the fans, we asked and we shall receive. That is how you launch a game.
Grim Fandango Remastered
Although released without much fanfare, the remastered edition of much-loved classic Grim Fandango was a treat. Originally released during a period of transition for technology at the time it was notoriously difficult to get working; this has been a long time coming. For those who’ve played before, now you can experience all the fun again. For those who haven’t, what’re you waiting for?
I loved this Lovecraftian exploration semi-roguelike game. Dark and brutal yet funny and engrossing, Sunless Sea sees you living the lives of sea captains exploring the eponymous subterranean water mass. Eloquently written, definitely one to pick up if you’re in between titles.