Another year is coming to an end, and with it a great assortment of new games added to the collection. This year was a lot more memorable than the previous years, mainly because I was actually able to play a lot of the new games that came out! Just check out my Top Ten Games of 2015 and see what I mean! 2015 Was also the year I really got to enjoy my PS4! I’m looking forward to what the next year has in store for Sony’s home console. And who could forget the Wii U! Haters gonna hate, but I still love that system, and this year saw several great titles added to Nintendo’s black box. The 3DS is still going strong, and the next game I’m most excited for in 2016 happens to be for the 3DS (Fire Emblem: Fates!!). I never mentioned it before (or at least I can’t recall if I have), but this year also happened to be the year I surpassed 2,000 games in the collection! Yay for game collecting but boo for my aching wallet! Just like last year, instead of doing a complete rundown of all the games of 2015, here are the top ten best games I found last year!
Getting good deals of games is just as exciting as finding a game you really want in your collection. This is the case with Maximum Racing: Sprint Cars. Before seeing it on the shelf at GameStop, I didn’t know it even existed, let alone was part of a somewhat hard to find series of shovelware Wii racing titles. Thankfully a quick bit of research brought me to the conclusion this game was too good a deal to pass up. For some reason I always find these games to be the most fun to have in my collection: They’re ones I’d actually like to try out, and ones I can point to another collector and say, “Yeah, but do you have this in your collection?” It doesn’t matter the game sucks, it just needs to be complete and a good deal to be a winner!
Like I said when I wrote the Roundup on this one, I never thought I’d even see this game. LOL is a multiplayer only DS game that features some rather lame minigmaes to
torture play with your friends. The boxart is phenomenal. It’s quirky enough to earn a spot on my list, but the real reason it stands out among the other way freakin’ better games this year is because I really just didn’t expect it. We were at PAX Prime, it was at a random used games booth, the price was awesome ($3!), and it’s just a fun addition to have. Unlike many other games I pick up, this one I know I won’t play because no one in their right mind will want to play it, but more importantly no one else I know actually has it to play with. I don’t even care if it has download play, it’s just not happening.
My personal top game of 2015 and one of the best games I picked up all year! Splatoon does so much right it is just bonkers. First off, it’s a totally new IP for Nintendo, and on a new console that desperately needs new content. Second, it was supported (and still is as of this writing) by frequent FREE content updates bringing new weapons, stages, and game modes to the table. If that wasn’t enough, it also has one of the greatest video game soundtracks I’ve ever heard (Yes… I’ve EVER heard), and features superb animation and style at every corner! I’ve only been doing these top ten pickup lists for two years now, but this is the first time (and possibly only?) I’ve included a full price game. It wasn’t a deal in any sense of the word, but it was just so impactful on the year that it has to be here. Seriously… if you own a Wii U you need to play Splatoon.
Touch the Dead has to be on this list for the sheer amount of time I’ve spent trying to track it down. It has to have been on my DS want list for over 5 years now, and I mean 5 years: I would peruse through eBay auctions, used game racks, and even hit up the GameStop website to see if a store was selling it nearby. It’s not even supposed to be that good of a game! But I had to have it. And for just a couple bucks I couldn’t really go wrong. It’s a unique concept for the DS system, and it’s a genre the portable market doesn’t see too often. Props to the game for having sweet cover art!
Excitement! Intrigue! Wonder! Skepticism! These were all emotions I felt when I saw the spine of this game on the shelf at Goodwill. For those of you that don’t know, Thrill Kill was never actually released. It was near completion (it might have even been 100% complete) but was never published. It was a fighting game in the vein of Mortal Kombat and featured greusome killing moves, tons of blood and gore, and according to the preview interviews and gameplay sessions, somewhat solid gameplay. But like I said, it was never released! So how is it here? Well, it was a bootleg. A really well done bootleg. Opening the case I found a generic Memorex CD with the words “Thrill Kill” scrawled on it in Sharpie. Still though, that jewel case, artwork, and that excellent touch of detail on the spine make it a wonderful fake piece to have in the collection! I happily paid $4 for a fake bit of gaming history!
The trilogy is now complete with the Xbox version of Soul Calibur II. Way back in 2002 when this game came out I was just getting into fighting games big time. Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike was in my regular routine of training, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 was easy peasy (at least I thought it was), and I picked up Soul Calibur II on PS2 as my new venture. Hot damn was that game awesome. Running around as Voldo, doing stuff you couldn’t even dream of doing in Street Fighter, and just marveling at how gorgeous the game was will be with me for years and years. Couple that with a lot of success at small, local tournaments for the game and the memories are even better. Sadly though, the Xbox version was seen as the inferior version of the game for a few reasons, not the least of which being the Xbox’s horrible controller. More importantly though, the console exclusive Spawn was often banned from tournaments, meaning it was never played competitively! Anyway, I’m excited to have one of the only games on the original Xbox I actually wanted in the collection!
Yay Animal Crossing! Amongst my friend group, Animal Crossing has been a way of life every new release. Somehow I managed to play every game in the series from it’s inception on the GameCube up to the most recent New Leaf, Happy Home Designer, and yes, even amiibo Festival, but I was never able to play City Folk! And that’s a shame, because I hear City Folk is actually a great entry in the series. Despite this, even since playing Wild World on the DS, I think the proper home for the entire series is on handheld consoles, not home consoles. And despite this, I still think a Wii U version would be so amazing! I was happy to find this game at Goodwill for just $6, which is an absolute steal considering the resale value of this game is near $20-$25. Now my friends can be happy I have a complete Animal Crossing collection! Now to track down all those damn amiibo Cards…
As if typing to kill zombies wasn’t enough, now you can play pinball to take out the undead! I really have to give it to Sega for creating a franchise and then doing anything and everything they want with it. Pinball of the Dead is a retelling of sorts of The House of the Dead II, which is kind of bonkers when it was just about zombies being killed by guns. The absurdity of this game is what I love about video gaming. It doesn’t have to make sense to be fun, it just has to work. And what could be more fun than killing zombies with giant metal pinballs? The reason this one’s on the list is because it just looks gorgeous on the shelf: that cardboard GBA box, the nostalgic feeling, and the knowledge that at any moment I could pop this into the GBA SP and enjoy it on the go is great!
What could be better than getting a game that’s usually $20 for just $5? Well, when the game is actually supposed to be a decent RPG, that’s what! I don’t think there’s anything particularly special about the gameplay: it’s your standard turn based RPG fair with some other gameplay elements thrown in. Hell, I don’t even think the storyline or characters are all too memorable. So I think the reason it’s so sought after is just it’s scarcity: I haven’t seen the game anywhere else besides this one GameStop, and I was happy it wasn’t a ton of money either! I’m hoping it’ll be a gem later on down the road, but until then this diamond in the rough sits pretty on this list.
These three games easily top the list for one reason and one reason alone: They remind me of how fun game collecting can be. At this one GameStop location I was able to track down these games (Along with a handful of others) that I absolutely couldn’t believe were available and for the price. Point Blank DS completes the Point Blank series for me, Metal Slug 7 is (or at least was, at the time) a DS exclusive new entry in the series, and Contra 4 is (again, at least it was) a brand new entry in the acclaimed series. Sure, they aren’t complete, but hot damn if that day didn’t get me all giddy like a kid on Christmas morning! Sometimes I pride my game collection on the quality of the games included, sometimes on the quantity, sometimes on the deals I got for the games, sometimes because there’s a complete series included, and sometimes because they’re just awesome games. Every now and then some games are all of these, and here are three of them!
Happy New Year,