Game of the Year 2015

December 28, 2015
GamingMadman

2015 was a spectacular gaming year. We really saw developers release games this year that were truly next-gen, offering gamers a fresh way to play, amazing graphics, and great stories to be part of.

However, it's time for us to take a look back at the games that really stand out as the year comes to a close. With the winner at the bottom, you will find some of the staff's picks for Game of the Year below. In the comments below, let us know what your favorite game of 2015 was!

Game of the Year: Life is Strange

While this year was packed with AAA releases and amazing gameplay, Life is Strange really affected me. For me personally, the game is a change of pace, I usually love the reality action FPS but Telltale has won me over by offering very in-depth stories. Life is Strange is a game that places you at the center of the action, every decision you make affects the result, every interaction you have influenced the storyline that made me feel very invested in the game and the characters themselves.

The story seems very normal from the outside, yet it is anything but. A lot of feelings are offered by the story. I have experienced happiness, sadness, heartbreak several times, and I can admit that I cried out for the finale with my eyes. Not just that, there is a huge surprise in the plot twist in the game. The reason I give this Game of the Year title is that it made me feel like there was no other game.

When I sat in my living room, I felt as if I was part of the game. The gameplay may not be action, adventure, or whatever it is you usually play, but I strongly suggest that you take some time to play through Life is Strange, it will make you enjoy storytelling.

There were a few other titles worth mentioning. Destiny is a great title that really brought my friends closer to me. The game itself lacked a campaign, but players were given a lot to work through by the online multiplayer, the raids, the quests, and missions.

Rocket League is another game worth noting. As a small soccer-based race car game that swept the gaming landscape by storm, this title came from nowhere. It quickly became one of my favorites, offering fast-paced action, some friendly competition, and really putting my abilities to the test.

Verdict: I don't have the abilities of the Rocket League, but it's fun anyway. Call of Duty: Black Ops III is also a game with which I have had a great deal of fun. First of all, I was unbelievably surprised by the game's storyline.

It's been a couple of years since we got a story that is really good, worth playing, and really delivered to Black Ops III. The multiplayer is also redesigned, offering specialists that fit various styles of play. There have been so many nice games this year that my list could go on. I'm very excited about our game lineup for 2016!

The Year's Game: Rocket League

This may be one of the only cases where I am completely in love with a game for myself that I have yet to pick up and play. I can't help but tune in and watch whenever I see Rocket League being played by one of my favorite streamers on Twitch. In general, I'm not one for sports games, but seeing tricked out cars fly through the air trying to hit an oversized ball fills my stomach with laughter. As soon as I can, I plan on grabbing both the PC and Xbox One versions of the game.

My runner-up is a game that surprised me completely, so much so that it was difficult to choose between it and a few other titles. While Just Cause 3, Fallout 4, and Zombie Army Trilogy are always enjoyable, the game that stood out most for me was Tales from The Borderlands, and Dying Light is a bundle of juicy fun.

I absolutely loved Troy Baker as Rhys and, throughout the season, flip flopping between the main characters made the story all the more interesting. When the choices made throughout affect who is with you in the final fight in the nearly Power Rangers like fight involving Gortys and the vault monster, it all comes to a perfect head. Telltale Bravo Games.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Game of the Year

What isn't there to love about the game? The characters, the world, the quests, the story, the craftsmanship, the monsters ... it's all awesome. I was totally hooked from the moment I loaded this game on to my PC.

The tale draws you in, as not many can. All that time, I was dying to know what had happened to Ciri. Not only is the story good, but all the characters have these rich and deep backstories with different quests that you can flesh out.

And with the quests ... Wow. The side quests, witcher contracts and treasure hunts are better than the principal quests of most games. How deep these side stories and other non-mandatory things are in this game is ridiculous. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an incredible game that should be experienced by all gamers.

In terms of quality games, this year was pretty special. The other games that hooked me were numerous. Batman: Arkham Knight, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and Bloodborne, Fallout 4, Rise of the Tomb Raider. Within another year, any of these titles could have won my GOTY vote. The world of Fallout 4 is top-notch and every time I fire up the game, I get lost for hours on end just exploring it.

Another great entry into the rebooted series is Rise of the Tomb Raider and I've always been a sucker for those types of games. Batman: Knight of Arkham ... I mean, who doesn't love being Batman? Sure, on the PC, it has major problems, but the version put out by Rocksteady (console version) was very good.

MGS 5 may well have the most polished gameplay ever. The story was lacking, but it didn't really matter to me when the gameplay was so good. And Bloodborne, finally. Finally, I let myself be sucked into a game called From Software, and man, I enjoyed it a lot more than I ever thought I would.

Editor / Streamer managing

Fallout 4, Game of the Year

This was a very difficult decision to make for me. There were a lot of quality games that I would like to put into this title that came out this year. However, the recent release of Fallout 4 makes Fallout 4 my Game of the Year and the number of hours that have kept me interested in this game. Bethesda knows how to make a great action RPG and this one takes the cake, eats it, saves some to share with friends for later, and somehow she still has half a cake to eat on her own.

I apologize if that analogy does not make sense. Fallout 4's vastness keeps a player exploring for hours on end, even if you're not doing the main storyline, you can get lost in the factions, build a clubhouse, collect rare collectibles, and galore side missions. For at least an hour to begin with, the character customization alone kept me busy. The main line of the story is interesting and fascinating and has its own twists and turns. There is just so much to do in this game overall that it keeps my attention, which is difficult to do. These are just some of the reasons my Game of the Year is Fallout 4.

Some Very Close Honorable Mentions: Batman: Arkham Knight-Batman was a great game that finished the series in a fairly decent way. The ending was not what I had hoped for, and not even halfway through, I guessed the ending. I had a 100 percent blast — the Riddler trophies and side tales. The whole DLC that came out was also a lot of fun. It was amazing to sneak, fly, and drive around a huge Gotham city on its own. The details that went into the city felt as though the comics were coming alive.

A really awesome, beautifully made game with a ton of stuff to explore. The Witcher 3 The fighting system is amazing and includes so much that it keeps you on your toes. It wasn't a hack & slash, I loved it, and you really needed to pay attention. Some of my nightmares come true with the details that the monsters receive. With the battles, even if you had to do them multiple times, my attention was 100 percent.

Halo 5: Guardians-Clearly all my games were single players in the running for GotY, but with Halo 5 it's multiplayer that stands here alone. In terms of storyline and plot, the story mode needed a lot of work. But that's not why Halo 5 should be played. Multiplayer games are handled fantastically and it is the multiplayer that individuals come to play, like most FPSs. Warzone, the new model, is a lot of fun. With their Arena and Slayer, 343 Industries really stepped it up. I can play for hours with my friends and that makes it a definite Honorable Mention.

Streamer / Review and Writer for Editorials

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Game of the Year

This was a tough gaming year for me. In 2015, there were so many incredible games released, and I just couldn't get as many as I had hoped. However, late this year, I picked up The Witcher 3, and fell in love.

The tale is complicated; the world expansive; and to fill it, it has some very colorful characters and monsters. Not since Skyrim did I feel so in awe of the world that I found myself passing through it. Combat is the thing that sets it apart from the other open-world games.

It feels fluid, yet it has a complexity and difficulty that makes it rewarding to defeat an enemy. It requires your full attention to beat a monster or take down some bandits and leaves you on the edge of your seat. I've really never felt this kind of gameplay before. Every award it has been given deserves this game.

Mentions of Honour:

Rocket League: I chose this game and just fell in love with it. It is easy and enjoyable. The satisfaction that I got from scoring my very first goal is difficult to describe. Good for 20 minutes or a few hours of playing. You need to pick this one up if you haven't.
Rainbow 6 Siege: While I haven't had the chance to play this game, I want to try it out with every bit of gameplay I've seen. It seems irresistible the intensity of waiting for someone to break in so you can fend them off. I can't wait for my copy to be received.

Game of the Year-Light Dying

For gaming, this was a very strong year. Gamers weren't left wanting at all from the very beginning of the year, all the way through the very strong holiday finish. In several games, I had an absolute blast with friends, and to me, that is what contributes primarily to the Game of the Year.

Of all of them, Dying Light was what really surprised me. I really haven't heard much about it, and I'm not a big fan of zombies. But, it was played by one of my good friends and he said it was great. So I looked it up, and so did a few friends of mine.

Man, I'm glad I did it. I had never really played a game quite like that before. It had an adventure, co-op, and a little bit of RPG, all while tying in an a-typical location to a pretty darn good story. It was pretty fun to have the distinct architecture to run around in, seeing the combination of old-style with a train depot and even slums, there was no shortage of interesting places. What kept me interested in the whole story was the development of it as a brand new IP. But, what really made it happen to me was the incredibly well-made cooperative play. It was a great experience to get to know the vast world with my friends and to find great new weapons. Game of the Year for me, definitely.

Undertale, Game of the Year

Yes, burn me at the stake and label me an unhappy hipster, because Undertale was the best he could do to impress me this year. Here, I'm not trying to be snooty. I loved Metal Gear Solid V: Fallout 4 and Phantom Pain. You have to understand, the game in which I invested the most time is my personal choice as the game of the year.

Undertale has different styles of playing that I haven't done for years in my gaming career. A whole game dedicated to either leveling up and killing baddies based on a fighting sequence of the bullet-hell style or playing the entire game never once leveling up and actually applying brainpower to setting up puzzles and ultimately taking the pacifist path.

The game was my favorite in many ways, along with the quirky and outright hilarious characters, and a jazzy soundtrack to follow you every step of the way. YES, it brought me back to the moments of my childhood playing Earthbound, and people were rolling their eyes at this for some reason.

The game was different, so much so that the gameplay was affected even by turning the game off and re-loading it due to a bad decision. In gaming that even comes close, the only case of fourth-wall-breaking I could think of is in the older Metal Gear games where Psycho Mantis reads your memory card to you. Terrific experience hands down.

Gamer / Reviewer of YouTube / Nintendo Fanboy

Game of the Year - Pier Solar and the Great Architects (Sega Dreamcast)

Yup, you read that right: it's 2015 and my favorite Sega Dreamcast game is 2015.

Allow me to explain first. While there were some decent releases in 2015, a lot of them were either genres that I didn't care about or were just fine in the overall gaming spectrum. A lot of shooters came out, but if I wanted to, I could not care less. And I loved all the Hyperdimension Neptunia games that came out this year, because I'm a huge fan of JRPGs, especially the series, but they're just handheld games, and I don't play a handheld system that's enough to take my GotY into account.

I was so underwhelmed this year, in fact, to be perfectly honest, that I had to go google a list of 2015 game releases just to see what games came out. And I couldn't remember any of the great games that stood out for a whole year. There were a few overwhelming disappointments, but nothing too great. * cough * Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5*cough * Rock Band 4*cough * (Pardon me, I 'm going to get over a cold.)

But then I remembered a little gem of an indie title I got from Watermelon Team, a lesser-known development studio. The game is Pier Solar and the Great Architects, and over the past five years it has been released for a myriad of platforms, including Sega Genesis, Ouya, Wii U, PS Vita, Xbox One, Linux, OSX, and Sega Dreamcast just this year.

I not only love RPGs, but I'm also a huge fan of retro gaming and this game hits the spot perfectly. You play through the story of the three best friends who must go on a complicated quest in typical JRPG fashion to find the one magical item in all existence that can save the sick father of the hero.

The game plays back in the golden days of gaming just like an old RPG and brings to mind games with its beautiful art style and graphics such as Chrono Trigger or Secret of Mana. Pier Solar also relies on a classic turn-based battle system and random encounters to provide you with monster fights, while new games like to try and alter battle systems as much as possible and constantly create a unique experience.

Think back to the days of Dragon Warrior or Final Fantasy (the original). When it first launched on the Genesis, the game was widely praised and sold out both times it was produced, the second time in just 12 days. Technically, it is the largest game for the Genesis ever produced and maintains that wonderful retro look and feel for every other platform on which you play it. So if you like RPGs, gorgeous music and graphics, retro games, or fun, this is the one game I really felt delivered this year.

Or, I guess, you know, Splatoon was all right, too.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Game of the Year

It couldn't have been any more perfect timing when the game came out than in May. I couldn't get up to change the disk after my spine surgery and being in bed for 2 weeks, most games I have to take a break from, but CD Projekt RED certainly crafted an experience that kept my attention going.

Not just the graphics and the gameplay, but everything is changed by the story and the decisions you make, even the smallest things that you may not think have an outcome can definitely affect it.

I applaud the team for creating one of the best game worlds that I've enjoyed playing. This game didn't leave my disk drive for a month, and I'm one of those people who had to do it all, and it took a long time for sure, and I still feel like I didn't get it all.

In addition to the epic sadness, I think one of the greatest moments this game brought me was the outcome of the "The Baron" story. This game definitely shows how every action has consequences and what I loved about it, the outcome was very gray, like the Game of Thrones HBO series. I also loved how you didn't hold hands in this game, you have to master the battle, the oils, crafting, learning your enemies because these enemies are smart and they're not easy to kill and if you don't know what's going on, a one-foot soldier can take you down.

I also loved how after the game there was a trickle of DLC content that came out and it was all free, which demonstrates the dedication the team put into this game and this year they definitely earned the title of the year's game. Yes, I agree, Fallout 4 was awesome, Batman Arkham Knight was pretty badass, but The Witcher created a world that excelled far beyond anything I've ever played, and I thank CD Projekt Red for allowing me to experience such an incredible game.

Game of the Year: Light of Til Morning

It surprised me to no end, in a year full of incredibly memorable games, both in the indie scene and in the AAA market, that my favorite game of 2015 was actually an iOS game. This is not to discredit the platform by any means, as any game on any device can be great in the right hands, but it's just surprising that we now like to brush off mobile gaming as nothing more than a casual non-gaming playground, with the occasional grandeur sprinkled in to keep us interested (Infinity Blade, Downwell).

While the App Store and Google Play are definitely inundated with knock-offs and cheaply made titles that are sold for a buck, you're bound to find one or two games that give console (or at least handheld) gaming a run for its cash if you actually spend time looking. Light of Til Morning is one of those games.

It's the kind of game I'll remember for years to come, with a dynamic, well-written story, amazing gameplay, and a world you can easily get lost in, and it's my favorite game of 2015 without a doubt.

Gamer Assault Weekly Game Of The Year Pick:

The Witcher 3: Hunt for the Wild

There were so many great games that came out in 2015, but it looks like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was selected as Game of the Year by GAW employees.

It was a great pick with its excellent combat system, beautiful graphics, and tantalizing storyline (and great side quests). Congratulations to all the matches listed as Honorable Mentions and GOTYs. What was your Game of the Year pick? Comment Underneath! Happy New Year to all!

 

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