2015 has been the best year for gaming since the launch of the current generation titles. This year our shiny new consoles finally started to get some legs under them and showed games a glimpse of their true power. There are so many great games to chose from but these are my top 5 games of the year.
Favorite Game Released Before 2015, Played in 2015: Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
Growing up, I spent years playing and collecting Yu-Gi-Oh cards. I still remember the first tournament I went to at our local card shop. With that said, I'm still disappointed it took me this long to play Hearthstone. I started playing way back in March, and I still play almost daily. Blizzard also continues to support the game with tons of content. I appreciate how accessible the game is to newcomers, but even more importantly to me, is the depth of the CCG if you stick around to unlock better cards. When compared to other CCG's, Hearthstone is still in its early stages so the future is surely bright for this charming card game.
5. Until Dawn
Until Dawn is a game that completely took me by surprise. When I purchased it in August, I planned on just playing it a few times until the fall games started to release. Little did I know, developer Supermassive Games had crafted one of the best games of 2015. Until Dawn tells the cliche story of some young adults trapped in a secluded place while being hunted by a killer. It's not the story itself that makes Until Dawn so great, instead it's how the story interacts with the players in the form of choices. The game does a superb job of giving weight to every choice. This leads to some pretty gory moments and plenty of different endings. Depending on choices you make in the game, main characters can die which completely changes the narrative.
The Souls games are some of my favorite RPG's of recent years. So of course Bloodborne was a game I had on my radar as soon as it was announced. As expected, From Software lived up to their reputation by delivering us another brutally difficult game. Bloodborne may not be as deep from a RPG perspective as From Software's previous games, but Bloodborne excels in it's fast, fluid combat system, and dark, gothic setting. If your looking for a challenging game that doesn't hold your hand, you'd be hard pressed to find a better game this year.
3. Rise of the Tomb Raider
Lara Croft's latest adventure is easily my favorite. Rise of the Tomb Raider capitalized on just about everything that made it's predecessor such a great game. Crystal Dynamics told a more focused plot this time around with more interesting characters and a some of the best cinematic scenes of 2015. The game is also a visual treat. Lara scales icy mountains, explores destroyed villages, and of course raids treacherous tombs and every area you visit looks stunning. Rise of the Tomb Raider is one of the best action adventure games I've played in a while.
2. Ori and the Blind Forest
Ori and the Blind Forest is and absolutely stellar title. This gorgeous 2d open world game tells the emotional story of a white gaurdian spirit named Ori as he tries to bring life back to a dead forest. The art style in this game is impeccable and I don't say that lightly. Ori and the Blind Forest is aesthetically one of the best games in recent history. I was also surprised by how challenging it was. The Metroidvania style gameplay also shines in a variety of different ways. If you own a Xbox One or a PC this is a game that needs to be played.
1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt isn't just my top game of 2015, it is one of best games I've every played in my life. CD Project Red first two entries were already amongst the best in the genre but Wild Hunt cemented the franchise as one of the best in history. Geralt's final adventure couldn't have been better. The open world is massive and a joy to explore but the story is what really shined in the game to me. Every character stood out in their own way and each quest is exceptionally written. No game is perfect, but Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt is as close to perfect as any game could reasonably be and easily 2015's best game.
Honorable Mentions: Fallout 4, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, The Beginner's Guide, Dying Light.
Writer for Darkstation since 2014. I've been playing games my whole life and starting writing about them in 2010. Outside of gaming I enjoy anime and watching my Philadelphia Eagles let me down every Sunday. Follow me on Twitter @jsparis09