Editor-in-Chief and A&E Editor
The year of 2015 was an amazing one for gamers. Many well-known series had new installments, which ended up owning up to the franchise’s name. Such was the case with Assassin's Creed Syndicate and Rise of the Tomb Raider. However, players who decided to stray from the more popular chains were not disappointed. Selections like Dying Light and Harvest Moon: Story of Seasons were well-received by the gaming community. But there were some games which surpassed expectations. Here are the top ten video games of 2015.
10. Mortal Kombat X Possibly the most well-known fighting game, many believe Mortal Kombat X, winner of the Game Award for Best Fighting Game, to be the best installment of the series. With eight new characters and even additions to the returning ones, this game offers more variety than those which precede it. The visuals and details are better. The story mode is also more elaborate and focuses more on the characters’ relationships with one another. The one other downside, possibly an upside for some, is the intense, and arguably over the top, violence. The Fatalities are insanely gory. However, those are the staples of the franchise.
9. Forza Motorsport 6 This Forza game is definitely a step up from the fifth one. It includes more cars, which are all remastered and customizable, and loads of different venues. The atmosphere is well done, and the control players have over their vehicle is greatened, leading to an enjoyable racing experience. With new online and offline gaming features, Forza 6 is nearly perfect for those who enjoy racing games.
8. Super Mario Maker This is not the usual Super Mario Brothers most people are used to. Played on the Nintendo Wii U, this video game allows players to build their own levels and implement the obstacles they desire to include. It is similar to the Little Big Planet series in that users are able to play the levels created by others around the world. While there are other games with better tools for more complex building, this one provides an online community and an easy way to build using the Wii U Gamepad.
7. Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 For those who love video games with loads of suspense and plenty of jumpscares, FNAF3 was probably one of their favorite games of 2015. Taking place thirty years after the closing of Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, when the disturbing events of what has occurred have been nearly forgotten, the terrifying possessed animatronics come to life again as fans of the legend work to unearth all they can about the past murders committed in the old pizza shop. It is not the most satisfying plot, but the game is not really about the storyline; it is about immersing oneself in a game which can get sort of creepy. It is more detailed than the first two FNAF games, adding in new characters, components to the setting, and mechanics to the gameplay. It can be a quick game for those who do not feel like making their way to the end, and it can be pretty stressful. But for those in the mood for a simple and eerie game, FNAF3 sure lives up to the hype.
6. Halo 5: Guardians Most series, whether it be movies, video games, or books, tend to get worse as they go on; Halo is an exception. Many Halo lovers were hesitant about this addition. Most agree that the plot feels underdeveloped, and it definitely added large changes to the storyline. Yet the developers made the right call bringing in the new multiplayer mode, which includes an improved campaign structure where two teams, made up of eight playable characters, pursue each other across the different worlds. This game may not have been perfect, but with increased combat options and a larger, more elaborate universe, it was definitely one of the best games of the year.
5. Until Dawn When people discuss this game they usually follow up by saying something about “The Butterfly Effect.” This gameplay feature ensures the player will have to make decisions which influence their gaming experience and the ending they ultimately reach. There is some controversy as to if the developer, Supermassive Games, was accurate in advertising that the game has “hundreds of endings.” Some argue it has 265; others simply say it has thousands of endings. Even if the number of endings is debatable, one thing they can all agree is the quality of this survival horror game where the player is in control of eight friends who become trapped on a vacation gone wrong. The user must make life or death decisions, each of which impact the story the characters experience. Those who play it love the characters and the frightening, realistic atmosphere of the game. The jump scares are pretty intense, so that is something to keep in mind before picking up the controller.
4. Call of Duty: Black Ops III This is the game series which comes to most people’s minds when they hear the words “video game.” But those who actually go to play often find themselves pleasantly surprised with the quality, with Call of Duty: Black Ops III, even more so. With considerably less bugs and a longer main story than Black Ops II, this game raises questions as it propels the player into the future. New combat skills and weapons awaited gamers who cannot get enough of this first person shooter series. While many were not entirely pleased with the character development, everyone was satisfied with the improvements to the multiplayer modes. Players now have the ability to choose a Specialist to play as truly play how they want with the increased amount of unlockable weapons and gear.
3. Bloodborne This is the game many are calling the one and only must have game for the Playstation Four, and it is not exactly hard to see why. Bloodborne’s new offensive combat system is one audiences cannot get enough of. This game might not be the best choice for a beginner, but for the more seasoned gamer who enjoy darker selections, this could be the one. Players will appreciate the skillfully designed world and likely grow fond of the ominous and diseased Victorian setting. The game presents an engaging story with a great deal of depth for those who are up for a challenge.
2. Fallout 4 One word: graphics. Actually, there are a whole lot of other words to describe this game, and fortunately, they are mostly positive (there are bugs in the game, but none of which inhibit game play). First of all, the visuals are beautiful. Right at the game’s beginning there are insanely detailed character design options. Not only is there the option to choose from the many placements of different scars, blemishes, burns, etc., but the user also has the ability to select the prevalence. Soon after the character is done, the world is unveiled to the player, and it is extensive. The player will be given many options in this role-playing game (RPG). There are numerous choices to be made, from dialogue and actions to companions and organizations, one has a great amount of freedom in who they want their character to be. The amount of missions seems infinite, and what can be built and how the world can be customized feels that way as well. With a riveting and impactful storyline, this is a game RPG lovers will surely want to invest in.
1. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Here it is, the game which will lead its user to play for twelve or more hours straight. Alright, that may have been a slight exaggeration, but this is undoubtedly a game everyone struggles to put down. Having won the Game Award for Best Score/Soundtrack and the Game Award for Best Action/Adventure, this action-adventure stealth game, designed by Hideo Kojima, may just be the best of the series. Its open world may be intimidating to some, and it is a stealth game, which may cause some to shy away. Still, gamers of all different styles found themselves loving Phantom Pain. It provides hours of entertainment full of creative solutions to missions, a great storyline, and well developed characters. Kojima did take some creative measures and many will agree the feel of this game is different from others in the franchise. However, nearly everyone can agree it is a fun game, perfect for all the varying types of gamers.
With a great deal of variety, everyone could find a game to enjoy. This was a successful year for video game developers, but with some highly anticipated games about to be released, 2016 may just surpass it.