I went into 2015 with the longest list of anticipated games I can remember. With so many games delayed from 2014 and the prospect of new entries in some of my favorite series, 2015 had the potential to be one of the best years for gaming. Along with new entries in respected franchises like Metal Gear and Fallout, there was a surprising amount of top shelf indie games like Undertale and Everybody's Gone to the Rapture released as well. Even with games like Uncharted 4 and Persona 5 being delayed until next year, I can confidently say that 2015 will be remembered as one of gaming's strongest.
Favorite game released before 2015 played in 2015: Skies of Arcadia
This epic RPG about sky pirates has earned a reputation both for being among the best in its genre and being hard to find. Earlier this year I bought a used copy for Gamecube and was immediately drawn in by the world of airships and magic. I'm happy to say it has stood the test of time and lives up to its reputation as one of the best console RPGs ever made!
5. Everybody's Gone to the Rapture
One of two PS4 exclusives to make the list, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture is a surreal tour of the last moments between life and death. Venturing into the deserted village of Yaughton, a mysterious light beckoning onward, I was immediately pulled into this gorgeous apocalyptic tale. Walking through the empty streets and houses, taking in the breathtaking view of the countryside, and the ethereal, calming soundtrack that plays throughout was one of my favorite gaming experiences of 2015, even if I concede it's probably not for everybody.
4. Fallout 4
Definitely the most anticipated game this year, Fallout 4 provides a worthy successor to the series. A lot has changed between Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, and it is clear that Bethesda worked tirelessly to make this the best game they could. The new settlement feature is insanely deep, allowing players who are willing to invest dozens of hours into it to build just about anything they can think of, from huge, animated lit-up billboards to multi-story houses. The story and choices that Fallout is known for is still here, but better than ever.
As someone who did not play any of From Software's previous "Souls" games, I was nervous jumping into this one. After dying in the same starting zone for hours, I finally defeated the first boss and felt an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. From there the game only got harder, but the skills I learned in those early hours helped me overcome one obstacle after another, eventually felling the final boss. Bloodborne is one of the most rewarding gaming experiences I've ever had, and is one of the very best games on the PS4.
2. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
The final chapter in my favorite gaming series is somewhat of a bittersweet experience. On the one hand, the open world stealth action gameplay is better than ever, with intuitive controls that make every encounter a joy to play through, no matter how you choose to approach it. Like Xenogears, it is a credit to the game that it is so good despite being unfinished, as Hideo Kojima was unable to complete the game he wanted. The game that is here though, is definitely one of the best ever made, combining flawless stealth gameplay with some of the best graphics to ever grace a game.
1.The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
I imagine my choice for game of the year will be echoed by many others this holiday season. When The Witcher III launched in May it was a sprawling action rpg with a great story and great gameplay. Today it is still that, but CD Projekt Red has worked tirelessly to improve the game the entire year round. This is what sets them apart from other developers. With the timely patches, free DLC, and excellent expansion in Hearts of Stone,The Witcher III easily takes the top spot this year. I look forward to the next expansion, and if their track record continues the way it has been, expect Cyberpunk 2077 to be even better.
Honorable Mention: Daganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls, The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC, Life is Strange, Tales of the Borderlands, Undertale