(Honorable Mention) Freedom Planet – A really good Sonic-style 2D platformer that’s now on the Wii U, in fact it’s the best ‘Sonic’ game I’ve played in years. The variation between the characters really makes it worth playing through more than once. If I had a criticism it’s that the game is quite uneven in difficulty – the stages are straightforward but the boss fights quickly become extremely brutal, with the last few taking dozens and dozens of attempts.
5: Life is Strange – This is easily the best of the Telltale-style games I’ve played (even if it wasn’t actually made by Telltale) and certainly felt more like an actual adventure game than the likes of The Walking Dead with some genuinely clever (and logical) puzzles in the mix. Ultimately Life is Strange totally nailed what it was going for; I never expected I’d want to play as an angsty teenage girl dealing with time-travel powers yet this had a really powerful story which completely drew me.
4: Yoshi’s Woolly World – Not the greatest 2D platformer ever but this had solid gameplay with a high focus on finding secrets and it just oozed charm with a beautiful art-style and some great music. I very almost put this in my number 3 slot…
3: Rise of the Tomb Raider – A much better game than I was expecting it to be. This hasn’t transformed the series back to being a pure platformer/puzzle-solver (along the lines of Tomb Raider Anniversary or Underworld) but took some significant steps in that direction. ‘Rise’ also sported a much improved plot over it’s 2013 predecessor and the highlights were some really excellent ‘challenge tombs’. I’m well and truly back on-board with the series!
2: Shantae & The Pirate’s Curse – This is just a great ‘metroidvania’ style game with awesome 2D gameplay which looks beautiful and has its own quirky humor to it.
1: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Easily my GOTY (and half the internet seems to feel the same way) – The Witcher 3 has an amazing open world and with fun and layered gameplay and the best side-quests I’ve ever encountered. On top of that the game boasts a great story and some of the best characters I’ve experienced in years… maybe even ever… As a fan of the books (and previous games) the Witcher 3 was an amazing culmination of this epic series and actually got me choked-up at least once which is pretty rare for a game (or any story to be honest).
Major props to CD Projekt, they created a masterpiece with this.