As with almost any these days, 2015 was a year dominated by highly anticipated sequels. From the long-in-development epics to the console stalwarts, this year featured high profile titles from a wide variety of genres.
But, when it comes to picking the best games of the year, the fight boils down to a select few – the games that stuck with players longer than others. Picking which games are worth honoring is easy, but picking just 10 is a tall task. Not to mention having to order them.
Nevertheless, the Game Rant team was able to come together and decide which games from 2015 deserve recognition among all others. And so, without further ado, here are Game Rant’s choices for the top 10 games of 2015!
10. Ori and the Blind Forest
What we said: “From basic double jumping challenges to Portal-inspired vortexes that require gravity-defying leaps to survive, Ori offers plenty of beauty and challenge for 2D platforming fans. The story plays out subtly throughout the adventure and adds that something special to make the game more than just a pretty platforming journey. The game may not feel long enough to experienced platform players who can rush through the challenges, but at $19.99 we’re confident players will get their money’s worth.”
Why you should play it: Plain and simple, Ori and the Blind Forest was the must-play platformer released in 2015. It’s gorgeous visuals, tight controls, and moving story all coalesce into an experience that sticks with players long after they’ve finished it. The game may look unassuming, but it’s well worth checking out.
Available on: PC and Xbox One.
9. Super Mario Maker
What we said: “Super Mario Maker stands on its own because of its easy to use creation tools. Sharing a self-made level is a blast, and watching criticism and kudos pour in from other players is genuinely satisfying thanks to moderation from the Big N. there’s always going to be a new level to play, a new puzzle to solve, and a new world to conquer for as long as Nintendo keeps the servers on.”
Why you should play it: Super Mario Maker has the potential to be an endless experience, due in large part to the player-created levels. Yes, Nintendo has put forth the framework, but gamers have already shown what a little creativity can do in this world. Any who identify as a Nintendo fan owe it to themselves to buy this game.
Available on: Wii U.
8. Rainbow Six Siege
What we said: “Rainbow Six Siege has reliable servers, intense gameplay, interesting maps, and superb graphics. It seems likely that a year from now – once the game’s extensive post-launch DLC plan has been implemented – that Rainbow Six Siege could be one of the industry’s premiere FPS titles because of these strengths.”
Why you should play it: While most first person shooters these days offer a fast-paced experience where running and gunning is key, Rainbow Six Siege reverts back to the tactical roots of PC gaming. It’s obviously not going to be for everyone, but those who can find a solid squad and enjoy a coordinated effort while find the game wholly rewarding.
Available on: PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
7. Rocket League
What we said: “Rocket League‘s concept of “soccer with cars” is boiled down to be as simple as possible, so virtually anyone can pick up a controller and immediately be comfortable with the game. Everything is streamlined, designed so players are able to get to the action as fast as possible. The only time one really spends in menus in Rocket League is when customizing vehicles or deciding if they should bring the Back to the Future Delorean into the next match or not.”
Why you should play it: It seems strange to call a game where monster trucks play soccer the best multiplayer game of the year, and yet here we are. The simple concept combined with nuanced mechanics like aerial shots, well timed boosts, and flips makes for a competitive experience unlike any other. Sometimes it’s the simplest of games that become the most popular, and that was the case with Rocket League.
Available on: PC and PS4.
6. Rise of the Tomb Raider
What we said: “Rise of the Tomb Raider is a game that people will play, love, and be done with, and that’s okay. It’s said to take dedicated completionists over 30 hours of playing to gather all of the hidden treasures, survival caches, golden coins, and weapon parts, which makes for a solid bang for consumers’ hard-earned bucks”
Why you should play it: An improvement over the 2013 reboot in nearly every way, Rise of the Tomb Raider offers satisfying combat, a decent story, and an expansive world to explore. It truly captures what it is like to be a tomb raider, and makes a strong play to reclaim the action adventure mantle stolen by Uncharted.
Available on: Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
5. Tales from the Borderlands
What we said: “As it stands, Tales is a no-brainer for Borderlands fans seeking another story set within that universe, and those just as fond of the fiction as the fighting. For Telltale fans, it’s a chance to see the developers tackle a lighter setting, and prove there’s no source material they can’t recapture.”
Why you should play it: Tales from the Borderlands proves that Telltale can tackle any property, even one already tied to another popular video game franchise, and put their own stamp on it. Admittedly, the story doesn’t fully come together until the end, but those who stick with Tales will find it rewarding and arguably the best Telltale Games has ever created.
Available on: Mobile, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
What we said: “This is a game for the Dark Souls crowd: those who love the challenge that the games present but were perhaps hoping for a new setting and some slight gameplay tweaks. In that regard, From Software has delivered in spades. Bloodborne is addictive, thrilling, and punishing in a good way, but more importantly it’s a game that’s hard to shake.”
Why you should play it: Some may dismiss Bloodborne as “casual Dark Souls” but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. With an engaging setting and varied combat, From Software’s latest offers the punishing boss battles and hidden secrets that will urge everyone to move forward. Where Dark Souls was a difficult game that turned many off, Bloodborne pushes them to do better.
Available on: PS4.
3. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain
What we said: “The game is a triumph in more ways than one, and while it’s not without flaws, it’s safe to say that Hideo Kojima and company have successfully adapted the core of Metal Gear Solid for an open world. It’s sad that Hideo Kojima is moving on from Metal Gear, but Metal Gear Solid 5 brings the story full circle in a very satisfying way, and is a legitimate contender for Game of the Year. Whatever Kojima works on next, it has a lot to live up to.”
Why you should play it: Forget all of the behind the scenes fighting between Konami and Kojima, Metal Gear Solid 5 is worth playing because the stealth mechanics and gunplay are second to none. Each mission presents players will a blank slate and gives them the freedom to complete their objectives in numerous ways. Yes, the story is still out-there, and it doesn’t really tie into the established mythos very well, but there’s enough of Kojima’s imagination on display to make it worth talking about.
Available on: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
2. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
What we said: “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt doesn’t deserve a perfect score – there are just too many technical problems – but that doesn’t take away from what CD Projekt Red has accomplished. The Witcher 3 is messy, highly emotional, and incredibly addictive. Barring any huge surprises this fall, The Witcher 3 should be a shoo-in for the game of the year – it’s not just one of 2015’s best games, but for many players, it’s the only one they’ll need.”
Why you should play it: By now everyone can guess what number 1 is, but The Witcher 3 could have easily taken the top spot and no one would have complained. CD Projekt Red’s ambitious RPG is deep in every sense of the word, from the combat to the storytelling to the open world. Yes, deep also means it requires some dedication on the part of the player, but those who do take the leap may never be heard from again.
Available on: PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
1. Fallout 4
What we said: “Fallout 4 delivers on its promise to keep players busy in the wasteland for as long as they want to spend there. The insane amount, and variety, of content available in this game is going to make it an experience that players don’t want to walk away from for at least the next year. The graphics may hold it back from being the game that defines this console generation, but the unforgettable narrative and open-world experience are more than enough to make up for the slightly dated aesthetic.”
Why you should play it: Well before it was even released, Fallout 4 was a game of the year contender, and nothing has changed now that the game is out. Some may criticize specific elements of the game (its same-yness, bugs, story faults), but few can argue that Bethesda has outdone itself once again. Like any of Bethesda’s previous games, Fallout 4 offers a world for players to get lost in and because so many of our writers did that’s why it’s Game Rant’s game of the year.
Available on: PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
- Halo 5: The story may not be what 343 Industries marketed, but Halo 5: Guardians is still a solid jumping off point for a new console generation’s worth of games. The mechanics are tighter, the multiplayer has a lot more variety, and the co-op is solid.
- Splatoon: At first blush, the thought of a multiplayer shooter from Nintendo sounds iffy, but Splatoon proves once again never to underestimate first party releases. With unique gunplay, a cool art style, and unique modes, Splatoon is a great multiplayer FPS title. No qualifications necessary.
- Dying Light: Essentially Dead Island with parkour, Dying Light offers first person melee combat in a zombie-infested slum. Players start off rather underpowered, but eventually they become efficient killing machines.
What were your 10 favorite games of 2015? What do you think of Game Rant’s list? Let us know in the comments below!