Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Set prior to the events in The Lord of the Rings, in Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor players enter Tolkien's universe and take control of Talion, a slain Black Ranger resurrected and possessed by a vengeful spirit. While Talion is out to destroy those who murdered his family, the spirit guides players toward its own agenda. Along the way, players track down seemingly endless weapon modifiers, collectibles and mini-challenges, but these extracurricular activities never grow old as they're all wrapped up in the combat and the game's Nemesis system. The combat system borrows from the Arkham series that had Batman building attack combos to unlock special moves granted from a progressive skill tree. It was great fun in Arkham and it's a blast in Middle Earth as Talion's hit radius, targeting and timed attacks are all slightly more forgiving. This allows players to have a little more fun setting up combos and finishing off enemies in cool, creative ways. The enemies themselves are innovative, with the Nemesis system promoting and strengthening select Uruks—think mini-bosses—based on encounters with Talion and other Uruks. Players will largely move about the map tracking and killing the mini-bosses, keeping travel through the open world fluid and natural. A recipient of numerous game of the year awards, Middle Earth is one fighting game to rule them all.