Good riddance 2014, nobody liked you. Broken games, delayed blockbusters, rampant misogyny, Ubisoft – it was a bleak year made bleaker when compared to the many bountiful years before it. It's over now, and the industry can turn over a new leaf.
All corners of the video game industry can learn lessons from the mistakes of 2014, but those lessons are well known and would be a waste of these here column inches. I'm going to talk positively about the year to come, as I have tried to do in two of my previous articles about the year ahead.
In mid-December I listed some of the exciting new games set for release which aren't sequels, reboots or remakes, and ten days later I listed eight reasons to be optimistic about 2015, including games, new tech, better console line-ups and better equality.
Here however, I want to talk about the games exciting me, and that I can't wait to play this year - because everyone loves a list, right?
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Metal Gear Solid 2 was one of the first games I owned on the PlayStation 2, and it remains one of my fondest gaming memories. I didn't fall head over heels in love with the game but it did leave an impression, and set me up for MGS 3, which is one of my favourite games - ever.
I have mixed feelings about MGS4, but no matter your stance on the quality of Hideo Kojima's stealth action franchise, there's no denying it is one of gaming's most unique and exciting series. The Phantom Pain, with its new large open mission areas brings with it a modern and entirely fitting twist on the formula.
The Phantom Pain will be silly, controversial and probably bloated with plot, but it will be one of the biggest "event games" of the year, and one I want to be be discussing with everyone when it's released.
Rainbow Six: Siege (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
If 2014 served as any evidence, online multiplayer first person shooters now require double jump and exo-skeletons, and I sense I'll grow tired of it before long. Siege started life as Rainbow Six: Patriots, but that more modern take gave way to the new game, which now has an old school flavour.
Siege will focus on short, frantic, but still tactical hostage situations between two online teams given time to set up defences and plan their method of attack. What follows is a simple one-life game of deathmatch, and it looks like great fun.
The game's success will depend on the calibre of player you find online, and whether they're willing to play ball or go rogue and destroy as much of the house as possible (because the game also has impressive destructible environments, lending it an engrossing action movie aesthetic).
It could be a multiplayer favourite, and let's hope the single player is a worthy addition... whenever they decide to show it off.
The Legend of Zelda (Wii U)
A new Zelda I am entirely ready for, and one that seems poised to be the biggest shake up for the fantasy franchise since Ocarina of Time. All we really know is that it's set in an enormous open world with more open gameplay to match.
3DS hit A Link Between Worlds and its non-linear approach could also be an indication of the Wii U title's direction.
This is the only indie game on this list, not because I have anything against smaller budget titles, but because of the way I am as a gamer. I don't often get actively excited for something indie like last year's Monument Valley, Nidhogg or TowerFall: Ascension, but when I'm surprised by them they leave a lasting impression. Each of those three games made my final game of the year list.
Rime however has been on my radar for some time, and piqued my interests not because it offers anything new, but because it is reminiscent of some of my favourite games. Immediately it strikes as Ico meets Windwaker, and that just sounds like a great prospect, particularly in the absence of any Team Ico magic.
Not that I don't want Rime to do anything new, nor think it's incapable. To me it just looks like exactly the kind of game I'm craving.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
An obvious choice, but the scale on offer and the sheer visual quality of CD Projekt RED's titan of a role playing game just entices like few other blockbusters next year. It could be this fledging generation's overdue Oblivion moment – an RPG showing off what these new consoles are capable of.
With five months until release and with no members of the press having played it however, might there be cause for concern?
Star Wars: Battlefront (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
Ten years ago Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith was released, and so was Star Wars: Battlefront 2. One delighted Star Wars fans, and the other was Revenge of the Sith.
Talk of Battlefront 3 has persisted in the years to follow, but slowly became myth, then vapourware, until EA acquired the license and set DICE to work.
The Battlefield developers are a perfect match for the vehicular and non-vehicular warfare game set on expansive missions, a match that made so much sense EA saw fit to announce the game as production was only getting started.
It has been presumed that EA will target a release to coincide with Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens at the end of 2015.