Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time of the year again where any games journalist who wants to make their name in the industry needs to show how much they played in the year. With that in mind, here are some of the games that I played this year which I really enjoyed, and you should definitely check out too.
Sidenote: these aren’t going to be in any particular order, they’re all just games that I enjoyed playing this year. And, also, I can’t play every game that came out this year, but I had a bloody good crack at it. So, I don’t care if you think that Arkham Knight was the best game released this year, I didn’t play it, so for all I know, the game was just a JPEG of Batman giving the Joker a big kiss on the mouth.
With that in mind, here we go.
Paparazzi (Pringo Dingo Games)
Paparazzi is a simple, frantic and intensely fun game of cat and mouse. One player plays as the celebrity, whereas the other plays the paparazzi trying to snap pictures of the celebrity. It’s an incredibly simple premise, executed so well, the fun of this game lasts for hours. With only a handful of maps to play through, the fun with this game never seems to stop. It’s less than 2 quid, and for that, there’s simply nothing to complain about.
Her Story (Sam Barlow)
Have you ever wanted to be a detective trying to get to the bottom of a murder? Well, this game is the closest you will ever come to it. With only a simple 90s computer style interface and a database of interrogation clips, it is up to you to understand who murdered the mystery individual Simon. The genius of this game comes from how limited the interface is, as the game masterfully nudges you along a path that you don’t even realise that you’re going down. Every time you find a new clip that reveals a new player in the murder case, you never know whether or not it’s going to be a red herring or crucial to the case. The feeling is exhilarating, and not something I’ve ever experienced in any game prior to this.
80 Days (Inkle Studios)
An incredibly fun journey around the world, in a vivid and incredibly well realised world. You can play it on your PC or your tablet, there’s no excuse not to play this game. For more info, check out the full review here.
The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth (Edmund Macmillan)
A terrifying but mechanically sophisticated shoot ’em up, where you descend through your mother’s basement in order to avoid her evangelical hallucinations, telling her to kill you. Now, combine that premise with a cutesy aesthetic, where your weapons are tears and the enemies are the gross amalgamations of limbs, and you get a fantastic game. A slight disclaimer here though, the game is absolutely terrifying and weird and creepy, so play it at your own peril.
Broforce (Free Lives Games/ Devolver Digital)
An addictive, fun and manic game where you play as parodies of action heroes and take out the evil terrorists to save the world. It’s incredible fun and with so many levels, a level editor and a Hardcore mode, this game will keep you coming back for more and more. You can see my full review here.
Star Wars: Battlefront (DICE/ EA)
Ha, you thought I’d end the list by being all pretentious and cool by saying how the best games of the year are all indy titles and that mainstream video games are a load of crap. The new Battlefront game has been criticised for being a bit too shallow, not providing enough content and not being quite as good as the previous instalment in the series. However, with the new game modes, especially Walker Assault, and the endless customisation of weapons and the abilities you can equip yourselves with, the fun comes from customising your own experience, rather than expecting the game to give it to you. With that mindset, you will be able to sink endless hours into the game, and never stops being fun, which made it one of my favourites of the year.
That’s the list! Hope you all had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Games had a good year this year, so here’s hoping the next is just as good.