A game that was just the right intersection of fun and frustration that it really stuck out in my mind this year. Despite being one of the games that probably pissed me off more than anything else.
9. One Finger Death Punch
Another game with a two-input control scheme and a stereotypical asian narrator, though it's fun for completely different reasons. It tailors itself to how well you're doing, so the difficulty is somewhat adaptive. It's a lot of fun tearing your way through legions of stick men and what else can you ask for?
8. Strike Suit Zero
Okay I admit it, I'm a sucker for robots and space combat simulation games. This is a game that didn't get a whole lot of attention this year but I had a lot of fun with it. It could have used some tweaking though. The controls aren't always particularly friendly and it's not particularly varied or challenging.
7. Dust: An Elysian Tail
No I don't care that this game has been out for a year. Or that I still haven't finished it on either of the two platforms it was given to me on. It's a fun little 2D action/RPG thing with great combat, an interesting story, and tons of Metroid-esque exploration to be had.
6. Divinity: Dragon Commander
This game is a weird hybrid of real-time strategy, turn-based strategy and RPG. With the added benefit of being able to turn into a dragon and turn the tides of a RTS encounter. These three mechanics are not particularly deep or groundbreaking in their own right, but the way the game blends them together makes for a pretty unique experience. There's numerous different ways to play this game, and all of them are valid. My biggest gripe is that the controls in dragon-mode make it a nightmare to manage your units, so you'd better be sure you're gonna win if you do that.
5. The Stanley Parable
A souped up HD remake of an source-engine mod from a few years ago, The Stanley Parable is the funniest game I've played all year. It's quirky sense of humor is reinforced by the wonderful narrator, the desolate office setting, and the surprisingly large number of weird details and endings packed into a game that can be finished in less than an hour.
4. Shadowrun Returns
The descriptor "tactical RPG with a cyberpunk setting" pushes most of my buttons in a good way, and this game has the added bonus of user-created content that will probably keep its value alive for years. The included story is pretty typical of how Shadowrun games usually go, everything goes tits-up within minutes and the next thing you know you're dealing with cult conspiracies and organ-harvesting schemes. My biggest gripe is that NPC Deckers are nigh-useless and are going to be the sticking point that ruins your good time.
3. Saints Row IV
The humor is juvenile, the controls aren't always the best, and the story is often trying far too hard. But you know what? It totally works. It's a sandbox style game with the added bonus that the sandbox is actually fun to move around in, and all of the side content (save for a few shitty missions) is fun to do. I've lost hours just chasing those stupid glowing balls all over the map so I could make my super-powers even more ridiculous. I call it mission accomplished.
2. Gone Home
When I started playing this game, I swore it was gonna be some kind of horror game. The atmosphere is really oppressive, and all of the random noises that the house makes as you're walking around looking for stuff made me sure that something was gonna jump out at me. Nothing ever does. Instead it's a game where you sift through your family's crap and slowly reveal a story about your younger sister's relationship with a girl she meets at her new school. It's a bitter-sweet story that danced on my heart strings harder than a game has since Mass Effect 3.
1. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Alright enough of the sappy crap from that last entry. I had more fun with this game than anything else this year, and that's why it's at the top. It's fast paced, visceral action game that puts you in Raiden's shoes as he rips through legions of enemy soldiers and a lot of really unique boss fights while trying to stop a scheme to kick off another world war. It's over-the-top, satisfying and challenging enough to make it worth the effort.