It is July. We are officially half way through 2015. So, I have put together a list of my 5 favorite games of 2015 so far.
Ori is a gorgeous 2D, side scrolling, platformer built exclusively for the Xbox One/PC. Even before you grab the controller, the game is breathtaking. Then, you start playing. This is classic, Super Metroid-esque, map exploration. It’s tight and fast and plays flawless. The game starts at a decent pace, but get very hard very fast. And it’s all tied together with a Pixar quality story, complete with gut wrenching opening. This is a game that all Xbox One fans should own.
One of the things that is getting lost more and more as games progress is couch co-op. Some of my best game memories come from sitting on the couch with my friends lapping each other in Mario Kart or winning a 4 way match for the title in Wrestlemania. #IDARB is probably the most fun I’ve had with a game like that (that’s not Mario Kart) in years. It’s fast paced and anything can happen. It’s like pure adrenaline and maybe the most fun I’ve had playing a game this year so far.
Anyone who knows me or follows what we do here on GeekFamilyMedia knows that we are all huge LEGO fans. We love the toys, we love the shows, we love the games. And LEGO Jurassic World is no difference. You get to play through all three original films and the recently released Jurassic World. Probably the one biggest addition to this game over prior LEGO games, is the ability to play as the Dinosaurs. That might not sound like much, but there is something special around running around as everyone’s favorite T-Rex! I can see my self spending a dozen more hours just having fun with the kids running around destroying everything.
There might not be a parallel in gaming to what Rocksteady has done with Batman. They have taken one of the most iconic characters in the world and transformed him into a video game icon. Prior to Arkham Asylum, there had been a few decent Batman games but they were few and far between. And Knight is the culmination of what they have been working on since 2009. The game looks amazing. It plays just as good as you want it to. And, regardless of what critics say, the Batmobile is awesome. When the dust settles, I feel sure this will finish in the top 5 of the year.
Truth Nugget, my first draft of this blog had Splatoon and Batman switched. But the more I thought about it, I had to move Splatoon up to number one. Everything about this game is great and everything about this game is Nintendo. It’s a 4v4 Competitive, online shooter. All those words, I hate! I don’t like playing online. I don’t like multiplayer. And while I enjoy a few shooters, they are far from my favorite genre. But Splatoon….what a jewel. This game breathes character from the moment that you turn it on. It’s colorful and funny. It’s accessible and it plays tight. But at the end of the day, I just can’t stop smiling when I play. And that folks, is the reason I still love video games. I’m not sure any other game releasing this year will have that same effect!
So, that’s my list to cover Jan-Jun of 2015 so far. However, there are a few games I want to give a shout out to.
Majora’s Mask is one of my favorite Zelda games just because it was so different. It’s also one that I haven’t went back and replayed until now. It holds up and looks so much better on the 3DS. I left it off of the list primarily because it was a remake, but should be on people’s radar, especially if you’ve never played it.
OlliOlli was actually released last year on Sony platforms. The reason I mention it here is because I didn’t play it last year. I downloaded this on my 3DS a few months ago and I love it. First off, I’m a sucker for any Pixel Art game, so I love the look. But what makes OlliOlli so great is the simplified controls. I found myself at first not having a clue what I was doing…and crashing a lot. Then, as I figured it out, I remember thinking there isn’t any depth here, it’s just a simple runner. THEN, I learned how to play. You can pull off some super fun tricks and rack up tons of points. This is a game that I’ve come back to over and over this year.
Again, didn’t make the list because it was originally released in 2013 on the Nintendo 3DS. It then released last year on Wii U and Playstation systems. And this year, it’s come to Xbox One. I love SteamWorld, so if you haven’t played it before now and you own any of the mentioned platforms, check it out! It’s kind of like DigDug meets Metroid mashed as a Steampunk Western.
Shovel Knight was one of my favorite games of last year. It was originally released in 2014 on WiiU and Nintendo 3DS. So again, I don’t list it in the top 5. But earlier this year it came to PS4 (with Kratos) and Xbox One (with Battletoads). The game is half Mega Man, half Duck Tales, with a hint of Super Mario Bros. 3. It’s amazing. Just buy it!