Hello all!  As this year comes to a close, I wanted to take a few minutes to share the games I appreciated the most this year.  These games are the ones that I have enjoyed the most and are not exclusively indie games.  

1. Super Mario 3D World – Wii U

This game is so FUN.  It completely brought me back to my N64 days.  There are new things on every single level and each one is more fun than the last.  I got my Wii U specifically for this game and did NOT regret it at all.  

2.  Don’t Starve – PC

I am always a fan of stylized games so when I first saw the art of the game I knew I’d love it.  You play as Wilson, a loveable survivalist trying to get by in spooky environments where almost everything wants to eat you.  To survive, you need to make fires at night, gather food, and eventually build shelters to protect yourself against the beasties.  The goal is to simply help Wilson (or any of the unlockable characters) get to the next day and to unlock new ways to survive.  Don’t Starve Together is now in Beta and is exactly what it sounds like, Don’t Starve with friends!  Klei Entertainment is consistently doing updates and are very active on Steam so definitely worth checking out!

3.  Dragon Age: Inquisition – PS4

I have never played any of the Dragon Ages, but this game looked so cool that I decided to give it a shot.  The experience was a little bit like diving into the 6th Harry Potter book before even knowing who Voldemort is.  It took me a few hours of game play to really get into the world but once I did, I was totally invested.  The character development, the plot, the game play, the fighting, is all completely awesome.   I got the game when it first came out, so there was definitely some glitchiness.  In particular an audio glitch during battles where the music was on but the sound effects were off.  The game was definitely worth getting into despite my lack of knowledge of the series.

4. Kirby Triple Deluxe – 3DS

I have always been a huge Kirby fan; the music, the copy abilities, the tiny pink ball, what’s not to love?  Kirby Triple Deluxe is one of the most enjoyable Kirby games I have played in a long time.  The music is classic Kirby with some new enemies and fun new environments.  The only drawback of this game is that it is not terribly difficult.   Kirby has so many overpowered abilities to choose from that the levels, though interesting, do not present much of a challenge.  That being said, the lack of difficulty didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the game because there are still extra tasks, like collecting sun stones and finding new collectible key chains.

5.  Super Smash Bros – 3DS

I have been playing Super Smash since my first days of gaming so it was no shock that I love this one too.  I have the game on my 3DS and was worried that the small size of the screen might take away from my ability to destroy my friends but no worries there.  You get used to the small screen quickly and the game is good about zooming in and out according to your location.  That being said, I did just get a Wii U.  I am planning on getting the game on it as well for the sake of comparison and because I’m all about those amiibo Figures. 

6.  South Park: The Stick of Truth – PS3

This game was awesome; the game play was so good and really surprised me.  For anyone who doesn’t know, it’s an RPG where you play as the new kid to South Park.  Your goal is to make friends with everyone in town by trying to find the Stick of Truth.  If you haven’t already, the Black Friday episode of South Park (season 17, episode 7) is definitely worth watching before picking this up.  If you are a fan of the series at all, you will definitely enjoy this.  There are tons of hilarious side quests and references to almost every episode.  

7.  The Walking Dead Season 2 – PS3

These games are amazing, the decision making mechanics makes you care so much for these characters and each time you are forced to make a critical choice it is heart wrenching.  The story takes so many twists and turns and just when you think you’ve figured out what will happen there’s even more surprises.  Great story telling and amazing characters.

8.  Pokémon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby – 3DS

Even though this game is a remake from the 2002 GameBoy Advanced version, all the updates make it feel like a totally new game.  It was a great mix of nostalgia while peppering in new features.  One of my favorite new features was that the DexNav alerts you to Pokémon with special moves or abilities.  They will pop their heads out of the grass, or water, or sand, and you can sneak over to them to battle and hopefully catch them.  

9.  Transistor – PC

Another super stylized game that I happily dove into.  The sound track of this game might be the best part although the voice acting and plot are definitely up there.  The fighting is also really fun and is very easy to develop your own strategy with the different mechanics that are available.  As Mike said in his New Year’s post, the story will leave you with a need for discussion.

10.  Monument Valley – iOS

Great art and even better puzzles.  Your goal is to guide Ida along paths to help her reach the doorway at the end.  The environments are more about perspective than anything else which makes for interesting game play.  

What were your favorite games this year?