So, 2015 has been a interesting year in the world of video games; we saw the Playstation 4 starting to take dominance over the Xbox One, Microsoft however had a strong year with its own IPs out doing Sony in that Department.
Nintendo had a good start to the year however speculation was rife across the internet about them getting ready to release another console codenamed NX that would rival the PS4 and Xbox One.
It was the indie scene that was taking a grip of the industry with more and more top quality and unique games being released.
Below are the ten games that I thought were the cream of the crop of 2015.
10. Life Is Strange
A very strange release from Square Enix, this game centered around time travel and the consequence about if you miss use it.
Controlling Maxine Caulfield you had to deal with life in school while also helping out friends with their problems and also the impending end of your home town thanks to a destructive hurricane on the horizon.
The game focused mainly on the moral consequences of life and showed that you can inject not only reality but heart into a game; you care about every option you pick as your decision could change everything for better or worse.
Split into five parts, it kept you interested throughout, oh and also brought a tear to this hard-hearted person’s eye. And THAT’S saying something!
9. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain
Trying to even describe the plot of a Metal Gear game is a task in itself as Hideo Kojima is famous for making the most convoluted and down right strange plots and this entry is no exception.
Despite the Problems that not only the game went through but also the departure of its creator and the downfall of its studio, the game turned out to be one of the best Metal Gear experiences ever created.
The biggest plus of the game was its ultimate freedom; gone were the over-ripe two-hour cut scenes and instead we got the chance of controlling our main character with the ultimate control that we needed, tension was always top of the list and with you being able to take on any challenge, quest and task in your own way, the game turned out to be a fitting swan song for studio and creator.
8. Super Mario Maker
Nintendo are at their best when they are being creative and Super Mario Maker is one of their most interesting games of the last few years.
Instead of you controlling Mario in a attempt to rescue the princess for the millionth time, you had full control of creating the levels yourself, giving you the freedom to make whatever your strange little mind could conceive.
Taking all that is loved from the early Mario games up until new Super Mario Bros, creating your own Mario levels was a joy; the intuitive controls made it easier than counting to ten and dropping in perilous pitfalls was always fun and very easy to do, the hardest part though was coming up with new creations.
It’s a pity that not many people played the game with it being near the end of the life cycle already for the WiiU.
7. Batman: Arkham Knight
It hasn’t been all plain sailing for the Dark Knight when it comes to video games; that was true until Rocksteady studios got hold of the IP and gave him the game that he deserved in the form of Arkham Asylum – however the quality of the Batman games started to get worse with each one thereafter, that was until Rocksteady decided to take one final bow with Arkham Knight and what a way to go out.
Despite some boring side missions and the overuse of the Batmobile, Arkham Knight turned out to be a polished and suprisingly indepth game with a lot of layers to the Gotham Guardian.
We saw plenty of emotion being brought to the forefront, however it wasn’t in a cheesy way and it was coupled with extremely impressive set pieces thanks to the insanity of the Scarecrow (brilliantly voiced by John Noble) and some fantastic graphics to add to the depth of Gotham.
Even though the game has an ending that is lacking, Rocksteady should take a bow for finally giving what all Batman fans needed: a game series that any superhero would be proud of.
6. Dying Light
Back in 2011 Techland showed off one of the most impressive games of the year at E3 in the form of Dead Island, however when the game was released it not only didn’t live up to the hype but it failed on most of the promises they made.
Fast forward to 2015 and Dying Light was about to come out and the skeptics amongst us thought Techland would do the same as they did back in 2011, this time however they finally delivered on the promise of an open world, tense action zombie game.
The game managed to meld together the brilliant action set pieces that we were promised four years ago with the tension that was missing from all of their other games.
Oh, and one other thing they got spot on was the ability of fixing together a few standard weapons to make something that would slice through any enemy like a knife through butter.
Like Super Mario Maker, Nintendo are at their best when they are trying something new and different and Splatoon is the most unique games they have released in the last few years.
Taking the tried and tested genre of the team shooter and injecting it with color, vibrancy and just down right fun, they manage to create something that wasn’t only special in the genre but also something that you would gladly go back to again and again.
Instead of making things very serious, they started of with the basic concept of fun and went from there; the biggest plus for the game was that each match only lasted four minutes and they just flew by as each match was always frenetic in the best kind of way.
4. The Witcher 3
Open world games are all over the place at the moment, creating something that not only feels different from what we have seen before but also melding it together with the freedom that is needed in this type of game is really hard to do. The Witcher 3, thankfully, managed to do this and almost managed to become the best game of the year.
Taking control of Geralt for the last time, fans were eager to find out what happens in his overall story and were hoping for an ending to match the series… and that’s what we got.
Being able to take on any mission any way you wanted was the biggest draw as it would have harmed the game if we were forced down just one route; not only was the game open in its mission structure but the whole world felt alive from the tiny little villages down to the swamp lands and Forrest; there was always something new and interesting to explore and this kind of freedom made you want to play more and discover what the world truly had to offer.
3. Rocket League
Who would have thought that melding together football and car combat would work? Well, not only did it work, it turned out to be one of the most entertaining games released this year.
Instead of bogging the game down with complex controls or by adding numerous power ups, the developers went with a simple approach: team up with a maximum of three players and try to get the ball in the other team’s goal. Simple but very, very addicitve.
Each match only lasted five minutes and you get more enjoyment out of those handful of minutes than is respectable.
When a simple idea is done right it can turn out to be something that you go back to again and again and Rocket Leagues is definitely one of those games.
2. Fallout 4
Waiting five years for a sequel is a long time to wait, especially in a series that has a huge fan base, however, if you are a fan of Bethesda you are used to this as you know you are going to get something special and thankfully that’s what Fallout 4 turned out to be.
Like Witcher 3, Fallout 4 gave you the ultimate freedom to explore the wasteland, attempting any task and challenge in the way that you felt comfortable with; you were never told that this is the mission you had to do or forced to follow a route that the developers had created.
Yes, the game looked like it hadn’t evolved that much since the last one, but that didn’t bother me at all; I was just happy that they kept the core principals intact and built upon them in a positive way.
The usual problems did crop up, like glitches not only in the world but with some quests, areas that would crash your game and graphics that aren’t on par with most next generation games, but that didn’t stop it from being what it set out to be: engaging and just down right awesome.
1. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
The word unique is lacking from the world of video games most of the time and each year we get the same first person shooter experience or racing game that barely builds upon the genre, so when something different manages to climb above all that then you should take note.
Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture one of the best experiences I have ever had in this form of entertainment.
The game was a very straight-forward one; you had to discover what happened to this small town when the rapture occurred, however it attempted this is a very different way. You came across these waving forms of light that would tell you the story about what happened to them leading up to their end in a very emotional and thoughtful way.
Everything about this game worked: the beautifully created world, the interesting characters each with their own story and some of the best music I have ever heard in a game.
If a videogame can make someone like me tear up in the way that only film usually can then it has managed to do something special. No, this is not a game for everyone, but I implore you to at least give it a try as it is the most unique, brilliant game I have played on this generation of consoles.