The 10 best games of 2015

The ten best games of 2015

It’s been a big year for games as PS4 and Xbox One both started showing their true colours when it comes to triple A titles. And big is the key word with huge open world behemoths coming out at regular intervals throughout the year that just asked you to leave your job and life far behind.

But what stood out? Which games weren’t just biggest but also the best? This is our definitive collection of the superior games of the year. And no, this isn’t necessarily in numbered order so feel free to rearrange as you see fit.

Fallout 4

Best games of 2015

Platform: PC / Xbox One / PS4

Who knew the apocalypse could be this good? Even if you’ve spent thirty or forty hours in Fallout 4’s Wasteland, chances are you’ll still feel like you haven’t seen anything yet. This is a game so overwhelmingly immersive that spotting a kirby grip in real life will immediately send you thinking about how useful that would be for that hidden safe you just discovered.

The Commonwealth is staggeringly huge and give the sheer amount of collectibles for crafting, weapons to mod, relationships to forge, settlements to defend and game to play Fallout 4 is an incredible achievement that we just can’t put down.

Game of 2015? It’s so big it might just be 2016’s too.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Best games of 2015

Platform: PC / Xbox One / PS4

Still addicted to Gwent? You’re not alone. CD Projekt Red’s action RPG took the world by storm this year with its staggeringly huge open world and seemingly endless activities. Plus, Geralt’s sword swinging, magic packed quest is also beautiful enough to have you constantly reaching for the screenshot button.

CD Projekt Red even threw in an incredible 16 free DLC packs post release which makes us want to hug the studio even more. It makes 2015’s pile of shame a daunting task but that’s exactly how it should be.

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain

Best games of 2015

Platform: PC / Xbox One / PS4 / PS3 / Xbox 360

Oh what’s that you say? Just Hideo Kojima’s final Metal Gear game? After a convoluted development process and the drama of Kojima’s name actually disappearing from the box art at one point, The Phantom Pain is a multilayered extravaganza of stealth.

While it’s divided Metal Gear fans, there’s no denying the sheer richness of the world with its ever-changing and often brutally challenging missions. Add in soundtracking the whole thing with your own 80s hits, taking D-Dog along for the ride and building your own zoo by attaching Fulton balloons to animals and there will never be another game like MGS 5.

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate

Best games of 2015

Platform: PC / Xbox One / PS4

Criminally good fun, this slice of Templar stabbing action has double the hidden blades with twin Assassins Jacob and Evie Frye. A genuinely entertaining story means that the beautiful recreation of Victorian London isn’t the only star of the show as the pair take over the city with their gang, The Rooks.

Plus, if you thought the AC franchise needed to be more like GTA, good news, you can hijack vehicles and cause chaos in police chases across good old London town. Add in the rope launcher for Batman-style rooftop getaways and Syndicate is the most fun the series has had in years.

Batman: Arkham Knight

Best games of 2015

Platform: PC (nominally…) / Xbox One / PS4 / Mac

Rocksteady’s finale to its Arkham trilogy delivers all of Gotham instead of just the tantalising chunks of both Asylum and City and as such is a Batfan’s dream. The Dark Knight’s home city is an incredible and beautiful open world, best taken in from the skies as you grapple and soar effortlessly from skyscraper to skyscraper.

While the Batmobile is a sticking point for many, given Rocksteady’s insistence on using its tank like abilities, there is so much to enjoy in the seamless bone crunching combat and a rollicking narrative.

Until Dawn

Best games of 2015

Platform: PS4

A surprise highlight of 2015, the Hayden Panettiere starring Until Dawn is every schlocky 90s horror you’ve ever loved. Because nothing will happen on a snowy mountain with no phone reception on the year’s anniversary of their friends going missing, a group of teenagers get together in a cabin. It’s not spoiling anything to say that they won’t all be alive in the morning.

The joy of Until Dawn – other than it’s brilliantly awful horror teen speak – is the Butterfly effect. Decisions made early in the game can truly affect the future and how many teens are sliced and diced is entirely up to you. Beautiful graphics and genuine tension make this a horror that’s not to be missed.

Bloodborne

Best games of 2015

Platform: PS4

Want your games punishing, gruelling but utterly compelling? FromSoftware’s twisted gothic actioner ticks all of those gory boxes with a flourish. This PS4 exclusive is both a dream and a nightmare depending on how you look at it. Demon and Dark Souls director Hidetaka Miyazaki has crafted a beautiful and deadly world that you just can’t help but want to explore.

Disturbing enemies await at every turn in the twisted realm of Yharnam but nothing ever feels as though it’s cheating. You die? You learn and do it again but this time get it right. Welcome to terrifying gaming zen.

The Rise Of The Tomb Raider

Best games of 2015

Platform: Xbox One

We’ll try to stay neutral on the fact that one of the games of the year has sent fans into fury over a PlayStation icon becoming a temporary Xbox One exclusive. However, Ms Croft’s latest is a staggeringly beautiful and deadly adventure for the explorer as she takes the next steps to becoming the ultimate raider of all things tomb shaped.

Stealth, puzzling, platforming and shooting are all juggled effortlessly as Lara hunts down an ancient maguffin which is predictably on someone else’s Christmas list. Add in more tombs to pilfer through and plenty of gory death possibilities and this will be predictably another game of the year in 2016 when it releases on PC and PS4.

Life Is Strange

Best games of 2015

Platform: PC / Xbox One / PS4 / PS3 / Xbox 360

This isn’t the only episodic highlight of the year, with Telltale’s Tales From The Borderlands shining through as a brilliant example of the genre, but Dontnod Entertainment’s teenage time turner is a cut above the rest. Passionate photography student Max discovers that she has the power to rewind time and… that’s all we’re saying to avoid spoilers.

Life Is Strange takes a whole host of hard hitting teenage issues head on with panache and while the script isn’t always quite Whedon enough, there’s so much to admire here. Plus, time bending adds a ludicrous extra level of paranoia to every single choice you make.

Star Wars: Battlefront

Best games of 2015

Platform: PC / PS4 / Xbox One

The Force is strong in this one. Exceptionally so. DICE’s slavish recreation of the Star Wars universe is so rich that you’ll find yourself totally distracted by Ewoks on Endor when you really should be focussing on hunting down Storm Troopers.

Stunning visuals and sound effects fully immerse you in a galaxy far, far away and there’s nothing like taking down an AT-ATs with your Rebel friends. The shooting isn’t the most advanced, with a focus on everyone being able to pick up and play, but when it comes to a true Star Wars experience, nothing feels quite like this.

 

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