Game Of The Year: Grand Theft Auto V
Likely sitting atop many other GOTY lists, Grand Theft Auto V is unquestionably one of the most ambitious games of this generation. The sheer size of the world and the attention to the tiniest of details within it is astounding, and with the limitless things you can do, see and attempt, the replay value of this game is unmatched.
The story is fun and intense at the same time, with relatable characters who grab your attention and hold it throughout. The driving, once a disaster in GTA IV, has been greatly improved, and the number of vehicles has increased to a point where you’re never bored with the selection. The world breathes with life at every turn, and the insane amount of collectibles, easter eggs and hidden secrets make it a joy to traverse either alone or with friends.
Honorable Mention: The Last of Us
One of the most hyped games of the year delivered on a big scale. From the first heart wrenching scene to the last, this game gave us some of the best storytelling we’ve seen this year. Joel and Ellie were voiced and acted brilliantly, and quickly became characters that we could really get attached to.
Naughty Dog bravely ventured into the exceedingly well-worn genre of apocalyptic survival, and delivered an immerse and satisfying experience that places TLoU in the upper echelon of games that defined this generation. If only the new DLC would come sooner!
Honorable Mention: Ni No Kuni
As a fan of traditional JRPG’s, my hopes were high for Ni No Kuni, which came highly praised from many fans of the genre. Expertly crafted by Level-5, it not only surpassed my lofty expectations, but - after 55+ hours adventuring through Motorville and the ‘Other World’ – easily became one of my games of the year. While the story – while great – still left a little to be desired, this game is all about the presentation. The world is beautifully drawn, and the voice work is incredible (Drippy is one of the best characters I’ve seen in a long time.)
It’s paced well, and the combat system, a combination of Pokemon and the Tales series, works well. NNK is a well made game from a studio that really knows what they’re doing, and with rumors of a sequel, it could become one of my favourite franchises.
Honorable Mention: Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Black Flag is perhaps the most fun iteration of Assassin’s Creed franchise so far. The visuals are stunning, the combat is intense and satisfying, and the world is massive. It gives us exactly what we’ve come to expect from the franchise, but with the bump in graphics from the next-gen hardware.
The standout feature here though is the time spent at sea – with your crew singing various pirate shanty’s while you navigate storms, wage war on strongholds and pillage and plunder enemy ships, you really feel like you’re a pirate sailing the high seas in search of adventure. Definitely a must-buy for any PS4 owner, especially with the limited selection of games available at launch.