This year has come out with many fantastic titles, and some remakes of a few greats, but here are the games that stuck with me up to this point in the year.
#7 – Far Cry Primal
Ubisoft Montreal takes Far Cry back to the stone-age in the newest iteration of the series. The game plays much like the Far Cry you know and love, but instead of machine guns you are armed with spears, axes, clubs, and bows. Oh and you can tame wild animals to fight for you such as wolves or sabretooth tigers. And you can ride a Wooly Mammoth. The overall flow of a Far Cry game remains the same: you capture zones, find collectables, and expand your territory – even some of the map seems to have been directly cut/paste from the previous far cry game, but there is a larger focus on survival. Everything in the world is out to kill you, and you must forage and hunt to live. It was a surprisingly fun game that came out at the perfect time early in the year. The story is pretty weak, but the game is just so much fun that I didn’t mind skipping cut-scenes to get back into the game.
#6 – Firewatch
Firewatch is the first game from newly formed studio of Campo Santo. It’s a first person, story driven game about a man who volunteers for Firewatch in 1989 to help clear his mind, and escape his problems back home. It’s an emotionally compelling story centered around mysterious events taking place in the forest you are tasked with watching over. While exploring the wooded area of Wyoming’s Shoshone National Forest you'll get to know your fellow Firewatcher Delilah via walkie-talkie. She's in a different tower than your quite a ways away, but through constant communication you grow to know her more and the character you play as also. The game crafts a mystery while developing the characters involved in such an intimate and natural way. I don't foresee this falling off of my final list at the end of the year.
#5 – Dark Souls III
UGH. I have a love/hate relationship with From Software’s game. The game is so difficult- I could cry just thinking about it, but there are very few games that are as satisfying to play. It beats you up over and over again, but the highs are so good that you'll quickly make a sadist of yourself. It’s drug-like. You’ll hate yourself for playing, you'll keep dying - “why do I even play this game?” you might think (or scream), but then you beat the boss, find a secret level, or a new weapon and you’re hooked all over again. Plus the game is just gorgeous. The gothic, demented world is like a living nightmare, and the story, though not told to you directly, is extremely deep. There is a history to this fucked up nightmare land that is extremely well thought out and unique.
#4 – The Witness
The Dark Souls of puzzle games! The Witness is a beautifully elaborate first-person puzzle game in the same vein as the Myst series. You start off on a colorful Island with different kinds of landscapes, and are free to roam wherever you please. The Island is devoid of any other life - only statues, buildings, and panels that display line puzzles remain. These line puzzles start off simple, but get more and more complicated by introducing new symbols and colors that each have their own defined rules on how to interact with them. It’s like learning a new language honestly. It’s frustrating, but when you figure it out it’s extremely satisfying. I haven’t played a game that made me physically map out the puzzles with a pen and paper in.. well, a long time if ever. And that’s exactly what I did. I had dreams of line puzzles! It became an obsession. Go check this one out only if you are a fan of puzzle games. You’ll love it.
#3 – Ratchet & Clank
A brilliantly done remake of the original, and honestly one of the best looking games on PS4 right now. It’s almost like playing a Pixar movie. The funny thing is that the game was released to coincide with the movie, but the animation is WAY better than the movie. It’s a great action-platformer for people of all ages. Fans of the original will adore this remake, and it’s a perfect chance for newcomers to jump on board. Seriously such a great experience. It's the game that's based on the movie that's based on the game!
#2 – Inside
There’s not much new to say about Inside that I haven’t already said in my Review, but for those of you who don’t want to read the review: Go Play This Now. I can’t get into the details of this gritty dystopia because the less you know the more you’ll enjoy it. You play a boy on the run in a grim oppressed world. You hide and flee from mysterious men in white masks. This puzzle-platformer will perplex you and invoke awe. The animations are extremely well done, and the story that is hidden in the world you traverse is one of the greatest in recent memory. Check it out.
#1 – Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
This is my Game of the Year as of now. It is, hands down, the best looking game out right now. Everything looks fucking brilliant. The guys at Naughty Dog took such delicate care of every little detail, and thought everything through. The story ties up nicely and is a fantastic end for Nathan Drake. The game doesn’t do a whole lot different. It’s not changing the way we play games, or even really introducing much new to video games, but it is a masterpiece of pulp fiction. I may be a tad biased declaring this my number one, but, after having experienced the first three games, Uncharted 4 is the perfect ending for everyone’s favorite thief.
I'd also like to do a couple honorable mentions to Enter the Gungeon, Stardew Valley, and Overwatch. They're great games that almost made the list :) Have any games that I may have missed? disagree with my list? let me know in the comments!