2015 was an interesting year for gaming; with brand new sequels to originally critically acclaimed games Metal Gear Solid 4 and Fallout 3; a new major IP from Nintendo in the form of Splatoon, and an E3 that tried to show that 2016 may very well overshadow all of this, giving us reasons to be excited going into the new year. With the Game Awards just airing at the end of last week, and 2015 entering its final month, I decided to get my team together in order to give you The Mancunion‘s choice: our games of the year for 2015. Enjoy.
Undertale – Josh Goldie [Games Editor]
Undertale is a unique game for me, both in how the game is played and how I came about it. I am so used to knowing about a game, its mechanics and ideas before I jump into it, but with Undertale, I knew nothing. Everyone was just talking about it out of nowhere, saying nothing but praise. It was not until a good friend of mine began to join in with this praise that I decided to go out on a limb and buy the game on Steam. I have no regrets. This game deserves all the praise that it gets. Not only is the story amazing and the writing tight, but the gameplay is something I had never seen before in an RPG. This game easily earns my GOTY and I recommend everyone to go into it as blind as possible. Just remember that in this game, no one has to die.
Yoshi’s Wolly World
Rocket League – Deven Kara
My GOTY has got to be Rocket League. I have played a fair few games this year—mainly console—but the only one that stood out was Rocket League. Psyonix really hit a niche genre with this, and that may be part of the reason as to why it was so popular. Also great is the fact that it has an even playing field for all since there is no tuning on the cars, so games are played through skill or pure fluke. It is constantly evolving, by its way of adding new things; new cars are available to buy, but maps are for free. Good move, Psyonix. Rocket League takes everything home in my opinion.
Grow Home (console port)
Destiny: The Taken King
Rocket League – Connor McBride
Rocket Car Football. Three words have never sounded so attractive. Thanks to great online play, Rocket League suits itself equally well to single players online or local multiplayer battles with your friends. The recent addition of a ‘mutations’ mode—variations on the standard such as low gravity, or replacing the ball with a cube—ramps up the opportunity for carnage and chaos tenfold. Easy to learn, hard to master—this game will have you hooked well into the small hours of the morning on deadline day.
Crypt of the Necrodancer
Bloodborne – Stephen Lewis
After my recent article, it should come as no surprise that Bloodborne takes my top spot for best game of 2015. Having sunk the most hours into this incredible world and now being taken back there with the Old Hunters expansion, I am constantly reminded of how great the gameplay and atmosphere is. Whilst games such as the Witcher 3 and Metal Gear Sold 5 gave a lot more in terms of either a direct story narrative or mission variety; and Halo 5 being the most fun I’ve had with online multiplayer in quite some time—none of these beat the Victorian-esque streets and lovecraftian world of Yharnam.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Halo 5: Guardians
Fallout 4 – Robert Parris
A late contender for game of the year, but a respectable achievement nonetheless, Fallout 4 never ceases to amaze me. The world handed to the player in this iteration is admittedly leaner, yet incredibly tight, and every feature from Fallout 3 and New Vegas have been reinvigorated. Gunfights have been ramped up to 11, and remain uncompromisingly violent and satisfying affairs throughout. With an abundance of worthwhile content, and with the modding scene just beginning to scratch the surface of this RPG’s potential, this is a game that could very well last you the rest of your degree.
Hotline Miami 2
Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain
Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows – Andrew Dixon
Over this past year, games have moved from strength to strength. With titles flying at us such as Fallout 4, Metal Gear Solid 5, The Witcher 3 and other seemingly endless, beautiful and brilliantly made games. However, for this year, after ploughing my mind about what has been the best experience I’ve had, my game of the year is Yacht Club’s Shovel Knight; Plague of Shadows.
Plague of Shadows, whilst attached to Shovel Knight, offers an incredible new story, mechanics and difficulty to an already brilliant game—for no price at all. At first, Plague Knight appears janky and uncontrollable, but by manipulating the way I attack enemies by combining bomb components, I ended up flying through levels—leaving such devastation behind me that the big boss could only dream of doing. An absolute gem in an era ruled by season passes and microtransactions, Plague of Shadows for me (as well as the original Shovel Knight), is a game that every gamer should experience.
Metal Gear Solid V; The Phantom Pain
Tales of Zestiria
Mortal Kombat X – Jasmin Tiyur
Does anything really need to be said? It’s Mortal Kombat in next gen HD. Fatalities that make you want to cry, Scorpion being fine as hell (video game crushes are normal, I swear), and basically witnessing your childhood transcend into adulthood epicness—it just proves that you’re never too old to be a gamer. (Because you probably should be at least 16+ unless you want to be scarred for life!)
Bloodborne: The Old Hunters DLC
Disney Infinity 3.0
Subterfuge – Saboor Qureshi
No other game this year has taken over a week of my life quite so much as this one. Despite only being a mobile app (Android/iOS), this game alone caused massive disagreements and paranoia amongst my group of close friends. Certain people I knew had gotten so into the game that I would have had trouble speaking to them in real life, because their eyes were constantly glued to their phones in eager anticipation of the next submarine strike. All of these things would not be possible if the game didn’t have such an elegant design—one sculpted perfectly for the modern day.
Life is Strange