2015 is coming to a close and it’s been another great year for videogames; we’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve celebrated improvements in diversity, we’ve cursed bugs and glitches. Because it’s close to Christmas and 2016 with all of its new titles is looming, we’ve decided to look back fondly over 2015 and our favourite games we played this year.
13) Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is a narrative driven and atmospheric game that delivers gorgeous visuals and a memorable playing experience. Set in a small town in Shropshire where everyone has vanished, you explore the town from a first-person perspective trying to find out where they’ve gone. It’s not a game that makes you frightened outright, but it manages to instil a pervasive feeling of dread that drives you forward, desperate to get to the heart of the mystery.
12) Grim Fandango Remastered
I was unbelievably happy to be able to get the chance to play the classic Grim Fandango on my Playstation, and although the original game was released in 1998, any game that can bring this much joy after multiple playthroughs absolutely deserves to be on this list. Grim Fandango remastered keeps the unique and inspired spirit of the original game as well as its infuriatingly lateral puzzles, but improves its graphics and updates its soundtrack to make it even better. There are still some bugs and glitches that I wish they hadn’t kept from the original, but as long as you save your game often they shouldn’t pose too much of a problem.
11) Broken Sword: The Serpent’s Curse
Broken Sword made its way back to consoles this year with the fifth game in the series which thankfully improved on the console controls of the third instalment. Not only that, The Serpent’s Curse went back to the 2D richly colourful backgrounds that were so loved in the first two games. After so long away, and an incredibly disappointing fourth game, The Serpent’s Curse felt like a real return to form for the Broken Sword series and playing through it is one of my fondest gaming memories from this year.
10) The Beginner’s Guide
One that you shouldn’t look too much into before you play, The Beginner’s Guide is a game that makes you think about games. An experience that can, and probably should, be enjoyed in one sitting, The Beginner’s Guide takes players on a journey through an unusual and atmospheric world that shouldn’t be missed.
9) Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
I was extremely relieved to be able to say that the latest installment in the Assassin’s Creed series improved upon its predecessor, Unity. This was actually largely thanks to the addition of female assassin Evie Frye. As female protagonists go, the level-headed and super-stealthy Evie is one of our all-time favourites. The Victorian London of Syndicate is a pleasure to explore and I can’t pretend I wasn’t excited by the addition of the rope launcher which made getting from place to place so easy, the fast travel option could have easily been abandoned. If you want to hear more thoughts on Assassin’s Creed Syndicate you can read the full review here.
8) Rocket League
Sometimes I can’t believe that Rocket League only came out halfway through this year, it’s become such an ingrained part of my gaming life. I just feel like it was always there. It’s basically football with cars, but the almost perfect physics engine, the genuinely good DLC, and the excellent car controls all work together to make Rocket League a small but perfectly formed game that more than holds its own next to some of the larger, narrative-heavy console titles this year.
7) Super Mario Maker
Super Mario Maker is one of those games that won’t appeal to everyone. For those who have the inclination to sit for hours creating and building, though, it’s a dream come true. Mario Maker gives players a way to interact with Mario’s world like never before, allowing them to create levels and customise them with an abundance of tools. The game never makes you feel limited in your creations which is undoubtedly a massive factor in its charm and success.
6) Fallout 4
One of the first things I said in our review of Fallout 4 was just how big this game is. I’m still playing it and enjoying and for that reason alone it deserves to be here. Fallout 4 is a game that doesn’t really surpass your expectations if you’ve played the series before but you’ll absolutely become invested in its post-apocalyptic world and have massive amounts of fun creating your story within it.
5) Life is Strange
One I loved playing and reviewing, Life is Strange is an excellent game. It absolutely has its flaws but it more than makes up for them with its well-rounded characters, deep choice system, and willingness to tackle difficult and emotional issues in its narrative.
Bloodborne is one of those games that made me say “fucking hell” more than once in each play, and each time with a different intonation, whether it was fear, excitement, or amazement. That’s an achievement. The world of Yharnam is one of gothic beauty, populated by some of the most frightening monsters I’ve seen in gaming lately and boasting its own interesting lore. Bloodborne is no easy ride and its precise combat system takes practice to become even passably proficient, but my God is it worth the effort.
3) Her Story
It can be hard to get a detective game right, but Her Story manages it with aplomb. The game puts you at a police terminal and gives you access to timestamped videoclips. All you have to do is watch these clips, which are all from police interviews with one woman, and figure out what the hell is going on. The game has some fantastic acting and it’s serious fun when you know you’re heading in the right direction. Grab a notepad and pen and sit yourself down for a few wonderful hours with this game, you won’t be disappointed.
Undertale has courted a bit of controversy lately, but we don’t care because we also think it’s great. A game that has an original premise, a fantastic soundtrack, visuals that will take you back to some of the earliest RPGs you played, and dialogue that won’t fail to make you laugh. How could you not love Undertale?
1) The Witcher 3
There’s a reason this game has been so loved across best game lists and at the Game Awards; it’s just fantastic. The Witcher 3 is a game that sucks you in and doesn’t let go, and really, you don’t want it to. The world is gorgeous and intricate but still massive, and the quests are well-written and a joy to play. The Witcher 3 is a creation that CD Projekt Red can and should be proud of because as far as open world games go, this is one of the best.
Now, let’s all get excited for 2016!