On the lead up to Game Informer’s Game of the Year awards of 2015, we’ve invited a number of the video game industry’s influential figures to share their favorite games of the year.
One of the creators of Shovel Knight, Sean Velasco of Yacht Club Games, has been hard at work this year on the fantastic (and free) Plague Knight DLC for the NES-inspired game. That said, he still found time to play a lot of games in 2015, even if they weren’t all released this year. Velasco took time out of his busy schedule to share his Top 10 Games of 2015 with us.
Here’s Velasco with his picks for the year in no particular order:
Super Smash Bros. (Wii U)
I’ve never played a Smash Bros. game until this one. I only picked it up because of Mega Man, but after a solid year of playing and improving I still feel like I’ve only scratched the surface. The competition online is fast and fierce and it’s also enormously fun to play in a party setting. See you in For Glory 1v1!
Polished, creative, and varied, this is my favorite Blizzard game. I love the character designs, the special abilities, and the teamwork required to win. Can’t wait to play the hell out of this in 2016.
Splatoon (Wii U)
This is why I love Nintendo. Another brilliant and bizarre IP that tosses out established genre rules. I especially love the creative mobility and game modes. The post-release support has also been very generous.
Minecraft has been a mainstay for me since 2011. This year, the Yacht Club played on a server with several magic and tech mods. It’s always exhilarating to put yourself in danger just to get those last ingredients you need to finish crafting your factory.
The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes (3DS)
Four Swords Adventures on the Gamecube is one of my favorites, and this game streamlines and improves on it in every way. The communication by use of cute Toon Link icons is surprisingly effective. The experience is especially good with all three players in the same room. Cheer cheer cheer cheer cheer!
Ah, Spelunky. After beating King Yama for the first time in 2014, my goal for 2015 was to earn the trophy for an 8 minute speed run. After hundred of runs, I did it! And during my training, I fell in love with this perfectly-designed platformer all over again.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PC)
Despite lacking in story and polish, this game finally makes good on the stealth concepts of scouting and infiltration. While open worlds usually bore me, I actually finished this game- too bad Konami didn’t!
Darkest Dungeon (PC)
This game actually feels like a desperate trip into an impenetrable labyrinth. You never feel prepared, you always escape by the skin of your teeth, and you bear the scars of your adventure. The voice acting reminds me of the Haunted Mansion and it’s so good I could listen to it forever.
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (3DS)
Solid cooperative gameplay, streamlining, and a lot of polish made hunting more monsters worth it, even after I sunk many hours into its 3DS predecessor. The New 3DS’ analog nub is also great for camera control!
I began playing this on iPhone but deleted it after experiencing frustrations with the touch control. However, on a PC with a real controller, this game became a subtle and addictive arcade experience. You get that sublime “in the zone” feel when you are really doing well.
Sad Trombone Mention: Rare Replay (XBOne)
This lovingly-presented collection would be an easy recommendation if not for the poor emulation of the Xbox 360 games. While I loved seeing Snake Rattle ‘n’ Roll again, my heart broke when I booted up Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts, only to experience a stuttering mess. Such a shame… the non-360 games run great!