It’s my annual tradition in December to write up a list of my favorite media that I consumed throughout the year, that was released that year (here’s my 2014 edition). This is a HIGHLY subjective list, and is made up of stuff that I liked the most out of the stuff I got to experience. As the title says, it’s not a “best of” list, it’s the stuff that tickled me the most, that excited me the most, that gave me joy, so basically, the stuff that rocked my world this year. Each category is made up of a top 5 that I list alphabetically, and then I include honorable mentions, to round things out. I do this every year as an exercise to reflect on the things that I took in throughout the year (which I try to log regularly here), and by sharing it, it can act as a recommendation sheet of things I’d tell anyone that they should check out.
Also, I do often update the list up until January, as I’ll often have forgotten to include something, or to add stuff that I’ll be experiencing over the coming weeks.
I usually have a separate category for mobile games, but I found that over the past year I’ve rarely been playing games that way. It’s not to say that there aren’t some great games that came out on mobile (like Lara Croft GO, which I’ve included below), but I didn’t end up playing enough of them to warrant a separate list.
- Destiny: The Taken King (PS4)
- Mario Kart 8 (DLC Pack 2) (Wii U)
- Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PS4)
- Splatoon (Wii U)
- Xenoblade Chronicles X (Wii U)
Honorable Mentions: Broken Age (Mac), Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture (PS4), Galak-Z: The Dimensional (PS4), Grim Fandango Remastered (PS4/Vita), Her Story (Mac), Journey (PS4), Lara Croft GO (iOS), N++ (PS4), Super Mario Maker (Wii U), The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D (3DS), Undertale (Mac)
As I continue to move away from watching things on a weekly basis (with a few exceptions), instead preferring to wait for a full season to be done, you’ll probably find my choices to be light on things that launched in the fall.
- Game of Thrones
- Mad Men
- Master of None
- Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
- Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp
Honorable Mentions: Ash vs. Evil Dead,
Better Call Saul, Louie, Marvel’s Daredevil, Saturday Night Live, Sense8, Shameless, Star Wars Rebels, The Comeback Kid (John Mulaney stand-up special)
Let’s face it, there’s a very good chance that The Force Awakens will join this list. Or maybe it won’t. (Edit: It has.) Also, I’m noticing that I didn’t watch a lot of new movies this year (I watched a lot of movies, but not really stuff that was released this year). And I keep wanting to watch Ex Machina, which I think I’ll really like. (Edit: I did.)
- Ex Machina
- Mad Max: Fury Road
- The Assassin
- The Force Awakens
Honorable Mentions: Chappie, Hotel Transylvania 2, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Martian, Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection
I had a really hard time coming up with a favorite 5 in this category – my only clear favorite albums this year were California Nights and Ibeyi. I did love a ton of great records this year though, and I could easily have added more to my “Honorable Mentions” list, but tried to keep it relatively short.
- California Nights (Best Coast)
- Ego Death (The Internet)
- Ibeyi (Ibeyi)
- I Want to Grow Up (Colleen Green)
- No Cities to Love (Sleater-Kinney)
Honorable Mentions: Acorn Man (Wild Billy Childish & CTMF), Art Angels (Grimes), Before the World Was Big (Girlpool), Brace the Wave (Lou Barlow), Currents (Tame Impala), Depression Cherry (Beach House), Eurydice (Moonsocket), Every Open Eye (Chvrches), In Color (Jamie XX), Magnifique (Ratatat), Slowtown Now! (Holly Golightly), Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit (Courtney Barnett), Teens of Style (Car Seat Headrest), Thank Your Lucky Stars (Beach House), Time to Go Home (Chastity Belt), V (Wavves)
As I say every year, I tend to read serialized stuff throughout the year, and then catch up on great graphics novels at the end of the year and beyond (for example, I haven’t read Adrian Tomine’s Killing and Dying yet, which I’m sure I’ll love), but here’s what I can say are most of my favorite things I was reading this year.
- Billy Bat
- Drawn & Quarterly: Twenty-Five Years of Contemporary Cartooning, Comics, and Graphic Novels
- Southern Bastards
- The Multiversity
Honorable Mentions: Avengers/New Avengers (written by Jonathan Hickman), Doctor Strange, Head Lopper, James Bond, Star Wars comics (Star Wars, Darth Vader, Lando, Kanan), Stray Bullets: Sunshine and Roses, Sunny, The Goddamned, The Legacy of Luther Strode, Vision, Zero