This year was REALLY tough for me to choose #2-#7. The wild card in the whole system was Trails in the Sky SC. I only played a couple of hours of this game before Xenoblade X was released, then I never came back to it. I feel like I should reserve the right to bump this game all the way up to #2 once I get around to playing/finishing it in 2016. Overall, I feel like this year wasn't the strongest compared to previous. I did not purchase many new AAA releases this year outside of Splatoon and Xenoblade X, (Mario Maker was gifted). Trails in the Sky SC was a value purchase at $30 and Steamworld Heist was a steal at $17. Plague of Shadows was FREE, and I think Shovel Knight remained one of my most played games in all of 2015 on my 3DS, before and after the DLC. Majora's Mask was my second 3D Zelda title, I finished Wind Waker HD this year and Ocarina of Time 3D after MM3D. Out of those three, I'd probably rank it third, but still a great title - I traded it in after finishing it. Box Boy and Stretchmo really stood out on the eShop, both for great prices ($4 and $10).
1. Xenoblade Chronicles X
; My favorite memory of this game is playing it over Christmas break. Staying up late and waking up early, I did a lot of this game on the GamePad. It was a great experience from start to (almost) finish. It's the game that made me want to buy a WiiU, didn't disappoint. (only a little bit, the story isn't as good as XC)
I played this game with my family all summer. It got us through many summer days, kept us up late with my wife and I taking turns, and it was literally the first thing we unpacked when moving into a new house and played a few rounds before unpacking anything else. This game holds a special place because of the love it received from every member of the house - I personally loved the single player more than the multiplayer.
3. Steamworld Heist;
This was the only game that I played when I took a break from playing XCX. This game is an amazing 2D XCom game, and one of the most fun turn based strategy games I've played. I really enjoyed the third area of the game, as it was the most like XCom. Not the most played game on my 3DS, but it was my favorite.
4. Super Mario Maker; My wife making amazing levels!
I was not that high on this game until the update that added the Bookmarks and checkpoints. I think I'll continue playing this well into 2016. I'm not super big on the creating of the levels, but I really enjoyed playing everything.
5. Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows;
I can't believe how many hours I've put into Shovel Knight, I think I currently have around 60! And this is a game that can be beat in under 2 hours! The new update was awesome, and Plague Knight felt like an entirely new character. The new Amiibo mode and challenge levels were all superb and I look forward to having Shovel Knight on my GOTY 2016 next year with more updates. It's the perfect game that gives you MORE game FOR FREE! It's nuts.
6. Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3DS
This game will always be remembered as the game that I played on nights while rocking my newborn baby to sleep. This was my second 3D Zelda title, I played after Wind Waker HD. I thought it was really WEIRD. But it was a nice change from the traditional formula of Wind Waker/Ocarina. I didn't do every side quest, I went the more efficient route, and I enjoyed everything that I did. The dungeons were definitely the best part of the game!
7. Trails in the Sky Second Chapter;
Ahhh... the game that came out on a few weeks before Xenoblade X. Sorry Trails. I reserve the right to skyrocket this game up to the #2 spot after I play it in 2016. The FC was one of my favorite JRPGs of all time, so I only expect that from SC. From what I played up to so far (Ch.1 boss) I have really enjoyed. Looking forward to diving into this game after X.
8. Box Boy;
What a great fun eShop game. And one of the best value purchases on the entire eShop, you get A LOT of levels for the $5.
9. Pokemon Shuffle
; This game brought my wife and I through a very hard time in our lives, after our daughter was born she had to be hospitalized for about a month. My wife played this game as much as she could while in the hospital with her, and I even purchased her gems to continue playing. All in all it was my third most played game of the year on the 3DS, mostly my wife, but I enjoyed what I played of it too.
I bought the full DLC packs, and I have enjoyed what I played. As is the case, this game quickly got buried by other games and I never really dove into it very deeply, but I had fun with what I've played and look forward to doing more of it in 2016.
LTTP GOTY 15
: Punchout!! Wii
Previous year's top games
Shovel Knight, DKC Tropical Freeze, Theatrhym Final Fantasy Curtain Call
: Ace Attorney Dual Destines, Animal Crossing New Leaf, Fire Emblem Awakening
Xenoblade Chronicles, Kid Icarus Uprising, Virtue's Last Reward
Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, Dissidia Final Fantasy Duoceidem, Trails in the Sky FC
Super Street Fighter 4, Super Meat Boy, Super Mario Galaxy 2