It’s been one heck of a year for video games? We’ve had the announcements of the upcoming next-generation video game consoles, Google Stadia was announced, released, and forgotten, and we’ve had a whole ton of amazing games to get through.
I set myself an objective for the past year: play and complete more video games. It sounds simple, but anyone with a game backlog like mine will tell you that it isn’t. I even had to resort to getting organised to try and beat the ridiculous game backlog that I’ve accrued and…haven’t done too badly, really.
Here is the list of games I’ve got through in the past year. Note, not all games have been completed, but I’ve spent enough time with them to include them in this list:
- Elder Scrolls Online; I’ve poured dozens of hours into ESO since picking it up for less than £15, providing exceptional value for money. I managed to rope a few of my friends in for some dungeons, but it was the solo main story that I enjoyed the most. Well worth checking out for fans of Elder Scrolls games.
- Final Fantasy XIV; played for about 22 days, despite having a 60-day subscription. Being an adult gamer is hard! I loved Final Fantasy XIV – it was a welcome break from Elder Scrolls Online – but can’t justify paying the subscription fee when a similar fee could get me access to numerous of subscription services offering dozens of games. I’m unlikely to return.
- This War of Mine; despite having owned this on the PC for years, it wasn’t until I picked up the mobile version of This War of Mine on holiday that I actually completed it. It is a depressing game, but one that will stick with you for all of the right reasons. I’m looking forward to playing the Little One’s expansion when I’m next on the road.
- Little Big Planet; played with my daughter – and, we completed it! It’s the first game I’ve finished with my little girl. Seeing her get into video games has been a joy.
- Little Big Planet 2; another game that I’ve played and completed with my daughter. We’ve had a blast gaming this year!
- Little Big Planet 3; we’ve started playing this gem.
- The Escapists; another mobile game that helped me through a few relaxed evenings. I’m not sure whether I’d have loved this as much on the PC, but had a lot of fun with it on my phone.
- No Man’s Sky; played in VR with my friends. I’m nowhere near having completed this but enjoyed my time with it so far. I’m not huge on resource-collecting games, but being able to do it with a VR headset and my buddies makes it much more tolerable. It helps that No Man’s Sky is gorgeous and space travel is so much fun.
- Toy Box Turbo; played with my daughter. Unlikely to return to.
- Lego Movie Video Game; played with my daughter. We’ll definitely return to this in the coming months and years.
- Kirby Super Star Ultra; yet another game I’ve played with my daughter. Until this, I’d never played a Kirby game before. It was a fun experience, helping my daughter through a few of the trickier sections, and I’m looking forward to returning to it in the future.
- Aircar; completed, if that is possible. This VR experience gave me the experience I’d been looking for in VR.
- WWE 2K16; after feeling the urge to get back into wrestling games, I fired up WWE 2K16 (a game I’d bought and played for a grand total of 32 minutes) and…played it for another 42 minutes before giving up forever.
- Divinity: Original Sin 2; a game I picked up to play with my friends but just couldn’t get into. It’s a shame, as in theory, this is a game that was made for me. I found it to be a bit too heavy for where my head was at at the time, but I’m likely to return to this with them in the next year.
- Alex Kidd in Miracle World; I remember playing this game to death on my Master System 2 so jumped at the chance to take a trip down memory lane on PS Now. It’s just as hard as I remember…I’ll complete it one day…probably.
- Disco Elysium; nearly completed. Disco Elysium is my game of the year. The writing is exceptional (spelling and grammatical errors aside) and the plot is refreshing. I’m already thinking about things I’d do differently during my next playthrough.
- Home; completed. Home is an enjoyable yet flawed title that doesn’t outstay its welcome thanks to its short duration. Worth checking out if you have a few hours to spare.
- Kind Words; I’ve spent 5 hours responding to stranger’s concerns and worries, and intend to invest hundreds more. Kind Words is the game to play when you’re feeling low; it puts your worries into perspectives and serves as a strong reminder that we’re all humans who are going through stuff.
- Never Alone; completed. Never Alone’s setting is refreshing and delivers an enjoyable story within a reasonable about of time. The game takes place over eight chapters, which makes it short enough that an adult gamer can actually complete it, but long enough that it feels satisfying. I played it solo, but the experience would likely be even better with a player two sitting beside you.
- Disney Universe; played with my daughter. We’d made some great progress before her PS3 broke – but we’re now working through the Ultimate edition on PS Now and loving it.
- The Last of Us; completed. And, wow. I picked up PS Now and immediately dived into this blockbuster title, and it’s undoubtedly one of the best gaming experiences I’ve had this decade. If you haven’t played it yet, do.
- The Last of Us: Left Behind; completed. While not as strong as the main Last of Us story, it helps to flesh out Ellie’s backstory and told a tale that is still infinitely better than 9/10 of games being released today.
- God of War (2018); completed. This was a slow burn for me – the first few hours felt like I was running around smashing stuff for no real reason, but as the story developed, I found myself getting engrossed in the plot and the characters. The setting is also refreshingly different and the gameplay feels unlike anything else I’ve played this year. Tim White’s article “Video Games As Art: God Of War Reminds Us What Games Can (And Should) Be” was spot on.
- Uncharted 4; played through the opening 4 chapters in this adventure and thoroughly loved it. I’ve accepted that I don’t have the time to complete it before it leaves PS Now, but now fully understand why so many gamers love the Uncharted franchise. I’ll definitely be dipping into other entries in the series.
…and I’m sure I’ve missed a few, too! It’s been a great year for me as an adult gamer; I’ve managed to find extra time to game alongside my other responsibilities and I’ve enjoyed (almost) every moment!. I hope you’ve all had a good one, too.
Here’s to another great year gaming in 2020.