Some news that is both big and questionable.
Nintendo has taken a lot of steps recently to improve their standing among independent developers. Through dev support and outreach and events such as the Humble Nindie Bundle, Damon Baker's team has made great strides. Nowhere is that clearer than in the Nindies @ Home program, which brought E3 demos of games to the home for the first time in several years, and Runbow - 13AMGames's frantic nine player platformer - was one of the headliners.
There aren't many games that do what Runbow does - nine player support with online is virtually unheard of - but they managed to pull it off with style. The bouncy soundtrack made headlines, as well as the indie developers coming together for additional characters. Between what Runbow did and what it represents, it's worthy of a place as one of the newsmakers of the year.
#9: Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past
In an era where even Pokémon games release simultaneously worldwide, three years for a localization is almost into vaporware territory. Many fans of Dragon Quest had almost given up hope for the localization of the "lost Dragon Quest", especially since the far more popular 8th game was about to re-release on the 3DS as well. But Yuji Horii lit the fuse in France by slipping out that both of the remakes would come West, and it stole the show in November's Nintendo Direct.
After three years, it'll be nice to play a localization with that extra bit of care the original PlayStation version never received, and with a lot of the fluff of that 100+ hour title removed. There's a great game under the surface, and the West will finally have the opportunity to see it next year.
#8: Minecraft: Wii U Edition
Nintendo has always had a strong appeal among the youth market, but in recent years that torch has passed to Minecraft. It's a legitimate phenomenon, and was always a glaring omission from the Nintendo lineup. We thought the dream was dead when Microsoft acquired the property for US$2.5bn... but it finally happened. Minecraft finally came to the Wii U.
It was more expensive than other versions, but with some DLC included, and its release came so late in the year other things fell ahead of it - but the promise of Nintendo skins in the new year could leave to some creative re imaginings of Nintendo properties. But the sheer fact that we can say Microsoft Studios is publishing a Wii U title in 2015 has to get on the list somewhere.
#7: Metroid Prime: Federation Force
At E3 2015, Nintendo showed off a new Metroid title. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
The reaction to Metroid Prime: Federation Force's reveal at E3 was taken by some as a summation of the E3 show in general - highly disappointing spinoffs for all - and the Metroid fanbase was especially up in arms as they certainly didn't expect the next Metroid game to be a multiplayer hunting game. These two factors contributed to a sea of negative comments and dislikes on the Youtube videos.
2015 was a year of negative reactions; Fatal Frame, Devil's Third, and even the hiatus of Nintendo Directs between E3 and November all contributed to a super heated sea of negativity. But Federation Force caught more of it than anyone, which is why it's in the top 10 this year and will hopefully live up to the 2016 Game of the Year title we've given it. Next Level Games is under immense pressure, but we have faith they'll deliver.
#6: Fire Emblem Fates
Fire Emblem has been in the news since the first minute of the first Nintendo Direct of the year, with its reveal leading off the Direct in all territories. It continued to make news with its format of three different stories, and it managed to reverse Nintendo's course a year after the controversy over Tomodachi Life not offering same-sex relationships. They even managed to beat prominent Western nations in this regard.
But what put Fates over the top was its special edition famously crashing websites when it went up, and its amiibo continuing to be as rare as unicorns. The addition of Corrin to Smash has cemented Fire Emblem as one of Nintendo's major franchises - it has as many representatives as Pokémon does - which really hammers home the incredible turnaround Fire Emblem has had in Nintendo's eyes since before Awakening.