Top 5 Multiplayer Experiences of 2015

2015 saw a great deal of games being released, a lot of which were exceedingly popular multiplayer games. Included in this list are my...
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    This year has been a surprising year for video games. While many games flew under my radar and I really need to seek them out and give them their fair shake, I did get the opportunity to play a few dozen or so multiplayer games.

    Some of those multiplayer games got thrown into the proverbial garbage bin soon after trying them out, due to technical flaws, poor game design, and utterly unacceptable wait times to get into a game. Thankfully, others were shining examples of what makes the game industry great. Below are my top five multiplayer games this year. Please note that I do have a bias towards first-person shooters since it’s my most played genre of game, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate and enjoy many other types of multiplayer games.


    5. Path of Exile (Played on PC)

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    Path of Exile is a free-to-play game that unfortunately has flown under the radar for far too long. While it didn’t technically release this year, it did have several major updates this year that significantly improved gameplay, character choice, and the overall longevity of the title. Path of Exile is most often compared to the Diablo franchise, and that’s because it’s pretty much a carbon-copy of its style of gameplay, but it offers a whole lot more customization of characters, including a seriously dauntingly large skill tree that players can spend months trying to flesh out optimally.

    However, what really makes Path of Exile great is how easy it is to play with friends. First off, it’s free, and the in-game purchases are really unnecessary to the point where I’ve put in dozens of hours into the game without even feeling compelled to spend money. This is great for players looking to get a top-notch gaming experience on a budget, so it’s hard not to recommend this game to absolutely anybody…even if they aren’t fans of the genre.


    4. Rocket League (Played on PC)

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    I’m sure it isn’t a surprise that one of the most popular, most played multiplayer games this year would turn up on my list. However, I like Rocket League for different reasons than most. First off, I am a soccer/football fan, but I never really got into the FIFA games since they take so much dedication and time to understand properly, and the player base in my limited experience isn’t the most welcoming. This just isn’t true in Rocket League. You can jump into a game, boost toward the ball, and have a blast for a few hours completely alone. I just put on some music on Spotify, plug in my Xbox One controller to my PC, and enjoy skidding up and down the pitch at lightning speed.

    I’m nowhere near the best player, but I like that it doesn’t matter. I can play in casual games all I want, and even if I make a dumb mistake and some jerk triggers the “what a save!” noise, I can just laugh it off and get ready for the next one. It’s hard to condense down into words what makes Rocket League so fun; I think it’s one of those games you just have to experience. It’s not for everyone, just like most twists of sports games (anyone remember NFL BLITZ?), but for me, it was a very enjoyable experience that I really need to revisit with more friends.


    3. Call of Duty: Black Ops III (Played on Xbox One)

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    Another top dog in earnings this year, Black Ops III is a refreshing change for the aging franchise. In terms of sheer gaming amusement per dollar, it’s hard to argue with Black Ops III as being the best option to come out this year. Not only do you get access to a largely revamped for the better traditional multiplayer experience, you also get access to a fully fleshed out zombies mode with more intricacies than ever before. In fact, I’d go out on a limb and say that they could have released the zombies part of the game as a standalone DLC for $30 and many people would have happily paid for it. To top it all off, there is even a Mirror’s Edge style parkour mode, which, while not for everyone, does offer yet another way to play online and compete with friends to get the best times.

    However, just talking about its value for money isn’t doing Black Ops III enough justice. Developer Treyarch took some big risks this year with their multiplayer, and overall I feel they’ve succeeded. The maps are largely enjoyable, going back to the traditional three lane design that veterans of the series like myself are glad to see return. The guns are also quite well-balanced, and even the occasionally over-tuned gun (after any given patch) is hardly oppressive like they were back in the days of Black Ops I or Modern Warfare 2. Overall, it’s the game I’ve spent the most amount of time on this year, just due to my sheer number of friends and family who are fans of the series, and also because this time around I don’t find it getting stale nearly as easily as some of the other games in the franchise.


    2. Warhammer- End of Times: Vermintide (Played on PC)

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    That’s one hell of a confusing title, and for people like me who are unfamiliar with the Warhammer lore and stable of video games, it probably doesn’t mean much. Here’s what you really need to know about this game distilled into one word: Rat-men. To be more specific, the whole game is about fighting a huge number of rat men who are out to kill you and your companions. The game plays a lot like the Left 4 Dead franchise, where each person has a few special skills that help their teammates, but the main draw for me is the game’s difficulty. I never really felt challenged while playing Left 4 Dead, and as a result I was too quick to judge Vermintide. After just one level I was already getting destroyed by legions of rat men.

    Not only is the game’s difficulty one way it kept me hooked, it also has a fantastically detailed loot drop system for completing levels. You can gain more dice by picking up tomes (in game items that replace your health potion slot), as well as several other hidden items throughout each level, which then give you the opportunity to roll more dice and heighten the change you get some solid loot that helps your character progress.

    If I had to highlight one thing that made me put this game in the #2 slot though, it’d have to be the comradery of working with friends to solve a difficult challenge like the ones presented in each level of Vermintide. That’s not to say that the satisfaction comes from the difficulty alone and the need to work with your teammates, rather, the straight up, no holds barred amount of fun that comes with hacking and slashing your way through seemingly endless piles of rat men with your buddies.


    1. Rainbow Six: Siege (Played on Xbox One)

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    Without a doubt, the game that surprised me the most, and provided me the most amount of heart wrenchingly stressful fun this year was Rainbow Six: Siege. To put it frankly, I don’t expect much from Ubisoft these days. They’ve let me down too many times recently, but they were able to wave a hot dog in front of this dog’s face with the perfect franchise this time: Rainbow Six. I’ve been a Rainbow fan since its PC exclusive days, which is to say, a really long time. I remember playing Rainbox Six 3 at my cousin’s house since they had three computers and could host a LAN. It was a blast, and while Siege doesn’t really bring back that nostalgia, it offers up so much more: A game that is both challenging and rewarding.

    Too often I play single player games that are hard just for the sake of being hard. Enemies with a ton of health, and with better aim than the dude who shot Achilles. In Siege, however, things are a bit different since it’s a multiplayer only game. It pits 5 “operators”, five on offense, five on defense, against one another. Each side and each operator has their own set of weapons and a special ability to which only they have access. Think of it almost like a blending of a MOBA with a first-person shooter. The amount of tactics involved is in my opinion unparalleled on console. It has been rightfully compared to Counter Strike: Global Offensive in terms of difficulty, learning curve, and the necessity for team coordination and tactics.

    The reason it get my personal top spot though, isn’t for any of those reasons. It’s because I’ve had so much fun learning how not to suck at the game alongside my friends. Getting to know the callouts, learning what walls can be broken down, and placing a perfect trap for the enemy to walk into is just so rewarding! I think my top gaming moment of the year, including single player games, has been clutching a round when I am down 1v3 or worse in Siege. There is really nothing like it.


    Well, that’s my list! Everything here was subjective, and I know the community will probably have differing opinions. If there are games you feel I’ve omitted that should’ve been included, or have a suggestion for me to play, please feel free to comment down below. I always read every reply.

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Comments

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  1. Big Foot
    Funny to read some of these comments and how butt hurt halo fans are, sorry guys halo 3 was the last good halo title and i dont see it coming back anytime soon lol

    For the author i would like to say thank you for this article, been looking for some new games and definatly wanna try rocket league and siege
    1. OctaVariuM
      You are most welcome! Siege is great, but the server issues are definitely dampening the experience for a lot of people (myself included lately). Rocket League is also a ton of fun to just hop in, relax, and enjoy a few rounds.
  2. Plopawert
    I really enjoyed Rocket League. Fresh gameplay, and overall a great time as long as you have friends to play it with.

    I didn't even know about the Warhammer title. I might have to check it out.
  3. Dead
    I definitely feel Halo 5 should be over black ops 3. Regardless of the opinions on the changes in Halo 5, at least it took risks and has lots of new additions and modes. Call of Duty hasn't changed at all, again.

    I understand it's your opinion an you're welcome to it of course, I'm just leaving mine.
      baby arab 92, Jeeper and XeClutch like this.
  4. 3xTiNcT
    I can't wait for Rocket League on Xbox One.
    1. Jeeper
      Get a PC
  5. coolbunnymodz
    I'm gonna have to check out Rainbow, I've heard it's been a revelation since it's come out.
  6. Kabal
    Rocket league was awesome glad it's on this list never played path of exile warhammer was also pretty good and of course call of duty is going to be on this list but rainbow six siege imo was bad I mean the gameplay was good but the servers are bad and I couldn't play the beta half the time because the servers were down but anyway good article.
  7. TheItalianLad
    This list is not accurate at all. Not sure why Halo 5 isn't there or any of the other massive titles as well.

    Although Path Of Exile is an amazing game. I used to play it a year ago and that is what got me into the mmorpg genre. The Ability customization you can do for your character is just endless. As you can see in the image. Building your guy is so fun, I only got to level 35 but I had heaps of fun. Would recommend you guys pick it up. Its free.
    1. denz
      If you would've scrolled another 2 rotations, you would've seen that:

      "It's a personal opinion thing. For me, Halo was riddled with issues that made it a serious annoyance for fans of the series. From ADS being incorporated into all of the guns, to the removal of the dead zoneless stick design, to the total lack of originality in arena map design. I liked Warzone a lot, but I can't say my overall experience with Halo 5 multiplayer was anything but average."
    2. coolbunnymodz
      Unfortunately, Halo 5 is right on par with Halo ODST.
  8. XeClutch
    To say that Rainbow Six and Black Ops III did better than Halo 5 is not only inaccurate, it's shameful.
      Jeeper, Deadpool and Z61 like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. XeClutch
      If this article was actually meant to be opinion based and not trying to pass it off as fact it should have been titled "My Top 5.." and on top of that shouldn't be on the home page.

      As for 343i "proving" that they "can't handle" the franchise I disagree. Me and plenty of other fans like the way they're going with Halo. Since this comment has a limit to how many characters I can put on it you can PM me and I'll give you a complete list of what 343i has done for Halo compared to Bungie.
    3. Feyfolken
      "Below are my top five multiplayer games this year." Every single site that does these types of articles always imply that it's the author's opinion. The title doesn't need to contain it because it's generally known that it's the author's opinion. Even though the title doesn't have it, the whole second paragraph serves as a message to the reader that it is an opinion based on all of the games that were played by the author.
    4. coolbunnymodz
      How can you refer to Halo 5 as being a great game when in reality I think I'd rather play Halo ODST instead.
  9. denz
    Did you play CSGO?
    1. OctaVariuM
      I did, but since it wasn't released this year, and the whole revolver mess up thing happened, I had to leave it off. If it had made some really positive strides this year, I might have been able to see it squeaking in over Path of Exile, but I also didn't want too many shooters on the list.
    2. denz
      I see.
  10. televisedfool
    Rocket league was definitely the highlight of the year for me in that aspect of being a surprise hit.

    BO3, I never doubted Treyarch, they are regarded as the best developer of the three by many for a reason. :biggrin:


    Siege was just a disappointment. Not as much content as I would have liked and all the server issues and matchmaking issues during beta and even now, after launch really killed it for me and set itself to sit on the shelf until there's either more content or the game becomes more stable.