Every year, we have expectations. And while many of these expectations are met (and others fall well shy), there are other things that come out of the blue.

To me, it's these surprises that helps keep the industry interesting. I mean, as great as a game like Metal Gear V: The Phantom Pain is, nobody was surprised that it was great. I suppose the only way you'd be surprised is if you were never an MGS fan and MGSV was the first title that really hooked you. And that leads me to my picks, 'cuz one of them is similar to the situation I just outlined.

Let's start with a game I was convinced I would find just utterly dumb and perhaps even reprehensibly stupid. Sorry, but whenever I hear the words "teen horror," I immediately feel brain cells struggling for survival. And yet…

3. Until Dawn

Admittedly, I read all the comments from Sony and developer Supermassive Games about how it'd be a mistake to assume Until Dawn was just another brainless, cornball teen horror adventure. Thing is, I just didn't believe them. But after about an hour of playing, I started to realize that Supermassive had created something decidedly special, and while it did smack of some stupidity (hey, teenagers are stupid by definition; we were all stupid when we were teenagers), it was exceedingly well done. And the Butterfly Effect was very involving and because you could actually see the impact your decisions had, it made the entire experience that much less…vague. More tangible, I guess. And when eight different characters have their virtual lives in your hands, that's a pretty unique feeling. Very compelling, the whole way 'round and I enjoyed myself thoroughly.