2015 was a fantastic year for games, and quite a few excellent titles made it onto this list. These are the 5 games that stood out to me the most in order from Great to my pick for Game of the Year. There are however quite a few titles that I’m sure as just as great that came out this year and if you want to hear about the top 5 games I wish I played as well as some other Twinstiq contributor’s most memorable games of the year, check out our holiday special podcast here! Without further ado, let’s take a look at my Top 5 Games of 2015.
#5 - Pillars of Eternity
This one would be closer to Game of The Year had Divinity Original Sin not came out last year. But even with that Game in mind Pillars of Eternity stands tall as one of the best Fantasy RPGs you can play. The writing is incredible and the developers were able to capture the classic feeling of Baldur's Gate or Planescape Torment without being both too complicated or too modern. It strikes a great balance between respecting the genre it is paying homage to while also being accessible to those not familiar with CRPGs. If you are ok with spending most of your time in a game reading well written text, this is a game you can not miss.
#4 - Rocket League
If you are looking for a Football game that captures the feeling of playing football better than most football games, look no further than Rocket League. Even though this game is basically a reskin of Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket Powered Battle Cars, the core game is just so good I can not help but include it on this list. And unlike games like FIFA where you are controlling a whole team and have no sense of comradery, Rocket League forces you to recognize patterns that you and your team mates build by what positions you take on the field. And instead of simply hitting a button to kick a ball, you need to calculate positions, consider angles and hit the ball to follow through with solid execution according to a plan. This all adds up to some of the best moments of simple "Play" you can engage in, while also feeling fairly similar to actually playing football on a field with friends. So hop in your battle car and start punching some balls! This is a game everyone needs to give a shot. (Pun heavily intended.)
#3 - Mad Max
While certainly not a game for everyone, I loved the whole blasted thing front to back. The characters in Mad Max were just what they needed to be, well written and performed with enough background left open to keep us guessing, the car combat was incredible constantly keeping the focus on your car. With just enough RPG elements to make each upgrade to said car feel impactful and affect your ability on the road. This game surpassed all my expectations by, firstly, not only not completely sucking like I figured it would, but also provided a far more entertaining game loop and story than another certain game that came out this year *cough* Fallout is less of an RPG than this *cough*. If you don’t care for games with a focus on car combat or open ended stories that purposefully don’t fill in all the gaps, this won’t be for you. But if you’re a big Mad Max fan or love it when developers cover even the tiniest little environmental details, you need to pick up this game. If you want more insight into whether or not this game is for you, check out my Past Due Review.
#2 - Invisible Inc.
Stealth Games are one of my favorite genres in this industry. Combine it with another one of my favorite genres in a way that makes it neither of them, and You’ve got a very complicated game that makes me rethink how I play both genres anywhere else. I never looked at stealth games as being a strategy game before playing Invisible Inc. but that is clearly something they have always been. Not only did Klei recognize this relationship, but they created a game entirely around it, without being afraid of clearly being a game that is only going to appeal to a rather specific and niche market. If you love Strategy Games this is a very good one that will challenge the way you normally play them and you will have a great time even if you do not normally like stealth games. The same can’t be said the other way around though, if you like Stealth games but not strategy games I can see this being a bit of a stretch since you do play in a turn based top down few. But if you have always been curious about the genre and want familiar stealth elements to help you on your path, then Invisible Inc. is game you can not miss. There is nothing like it, and I love it for being exactly what it needs to be.
#1 - The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
It is my factual opinion that Witcher 3 coming out this year is unfair to every other incredible game that came out in 2015. While there are a sea of great games from this year you could swim in, none of them even hold a candle to the Magnum Opus that is The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
There is too much good to be said about this game, from the great support from the developers, the varied and unique sidequests, and some of the best characters I've seen brought to life in any medium. But if there was one thing I want all open world games to start actually doing that this game does in flying colors, is to have endings to the game that are determined by your actions throughout the playthrough. What I mean is instead of having 3 or 4 buttons you push at the end of the game, Witcher 3 has multiple combinations of end game scenarios that you will not be able to change in the last 5 hours of play. Instead these endings are brought about by how you chose to play the game over a period of at least 60 hours. And no the endings aren’t just copies of other endings or just swapped with different characters in different places, these are major World Changing states that you the player are directly responsible for, but for combinations of things you may have done 40 hours ago.
I can only think of one other game I have ever played in my 24 years on this earth that does anything similar, though not so eloquently as the Witcher does. That would be True Crime: New York City, and I am dead serious. It is the only other game where you get a different ending based on your playstyle and choices throughout the game, and not just in the last 5 or 6 hours of the game. I will most likely be the only person in history to compare the near flawless Witcher 3 in anyway to the nearly un-playable True Crime sequel, but I do wish that element from what I consider to be one of the best games in the last 10 years will find it’s way into more open world RPGs of the future. And I’m sure CDProjekt RED will again hit another home run when we get to play Cyberpunk 2077. But whatever the future may hold, I know i will most likely return to the World of the Witcher in this game once or twice a year, putting it up there with one of the most repayable games in my collection, and always feeling right at home from moment to moment. whether it be when the game slows down to let me listen carefully to Pricilla's Song, say goodbye to an old friend at a ball, go on a drunken adventure with some friends, or just shed tears during the final showdown. Trust me, this is a game that is not excusable to pass up.