Destiny The Taken King PS4 PlayStation 4 Game of the Year

Destiny: The Taken King is in many ways what Destiny should have been when it first came out. It's not hard to imagine Bungie getting buried under an avalanche of feedback, as every gamer and their dog had their say about what they thought was right and wrong about the game it had created. It's a testament that not only did Bungie cut through all that noise, but it also delivered a follow up that would not only meet the needs of the faithful who'd stuck with it through the darker times, but could also bring in both lapsed players and newcomers alike.

First off, the inclusion of a coherent and interesting story that took advantage of the fascinating Destiny lore did absolute wonders. Taking you on a tour of the solar system to stop the onslaught of Oryx and his Taken army, at the behest of characters who – surprisingly for Destiny – actually had some character, made it well worth seeing through to its conclusion. What was even better was that when you were done, there were still hours and hours of content to dig into, with not only a new raid and more Crucible maps to enjoy, but also a raft of side-quests and mysteries to uncover.

"Bungie delivered an absolutely tremendous update and smashed the tide of negative opinion"

It was these mysteries that turned out to be The Taken King's secret weapon, and post-release it felt like every other week a new one was being discovered. Whether it was unique exotic weapons – like Black Spindle – hidden within a Daily Heroic Story Mission, or chests no one knew how to open on Oryx's Dreadnaught, these cryptic events and discoveries provided yet another reason for you to keep coming back time and time again.

Another area that improved leaps and bounds over vanilla Destiny was in the encounter design, with some great set pieces to be found in the Taken King. This time these weren't just limited to the raids, and could be found across all sorts of missions, with the 'Shield Brothers' and 'Sunless Cell' Strikes – which saw you facing off against two angry Cabal champions, or battling the Hive in complete darkness – being particularly memorable examples.

The winning part of the formula that made The Taken King just so addictive, though, was the revamp it gave to the whole progression and reward system. Increasing the opportunities to get better loot, while also making it so that your character level wasn't linked to your gear, felt like massive changes, and when thrown into the mix with a multitude of other little tweaks the results were really noticeable. So, whether you're spending time running Strikes for loot or taking down Oryx with five friends, it all feels satisfyingly worthwhile.

The Taken King represents the fulfilment of Destiny's, well... destiny, and is the point it actually became the game it feels like it was originally meant to be. To achieve this Bungie delivered an absolutely tremendous update to its shooter and smashed the tide of negative opinion, which in the process caused an awful lot of gamers to reassess their own views on Destiny for the better.

Do you think that Destiny: The Taken King represented exotic loot, or was it more scrap from a studio that's long past its best? Go all Guardians of the Galaxy in the comments section below.