GameTechie’s Best Games of 2015 Awards
If you’re looking for the most definitive list of the best games of 2015, look no further!
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his has been one hell of a year! For the last few years, there is that one game, that by years end you can look at and say “Yeah, that was absolutely the game of the year!” Instead we had a year that handed out high quality content left and right. Sure, it wasn’t all rainbows and cupcakes.
We also had MASSIVE disappointments as well. I noticed that in its lifecycle, GameTechie has never had a Game of the Year award. Don’t worry, because with the powers vested in me, we change this today! Let’s do this!
Worst Game of the Year – Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5
Wow. I wanted to give this award to a game that failed to deliver, but had high hopes. Something along the lines of The Order: 1886 or Battlefield: Hardline. Problem is, this game is bad. Like, real bad.
The worst thing about Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 is that for a brief, yet fleeting, moment you might actually thing you’ll relive the glory days of grinding, ollie-ing and manualing your way around creative maps. However, once you hit the first quarter pipe ramp and realize that there’s some real weird game physics thing going on that continually keeps you perpendicular to the ground, those hopes are brutally dashed. You don’t get an actual award for this one, Activision. Instead, I put as much effort into this award as you did and Googled a poop emoji for you. Congrats.
Best Nintendo Game of the Year – Splatoon
I want to give this to any other game because the fan-base to Splatoon can be a little annoying. However, in all fairness, Splatoon was a game that both my 7-year old son and I could both effectively play at successful levels.
What a marvelous thing when you talk about just about any game, but really is impressive when you are talking about a shooter as well. Nintendo rolls out its first new IP in ages and it turns out to be a complete hit. Man, you’d think they’d do it more often. Either way, Splatoon’s ease of play is based around the fact that the game forces you to learn how to use weapons effectively as you slowly unlock them throughout the game. Outside of that, the fact that everyone isn’t simply gunning for each other gives kids an opportunity to be viable team members as well, as long as they know the way the game works. Too bad my 2-year old murdered my copy.
Best Xbox One Game of the Year – Rise of the Tomb Raider
The Tomb Raider reboot was everything you wanted in an action adventure game. It had a great crafting system, a great degree of difficulty, awesome story and lots of stuff to do that was off the beaten path.
Somehow, Rise of the Tomb Raider manages to further improve on this concept by making much more of the game’s crafting system mandatory so that Lara can survive her perilous sophomore adventure, while dealing with some very real issues of almost dying in the last game. Lara in the initial Tomb Raider felt real, but in Rise of the Tomb Raider, she goes on to show depth that you don’t see very often in the video game world. Also helps that the game’s story is badass and the scenery is breathtaking more often than not. If you have a chance, take a moment to read the Dark Horse comics Tomb Raider series as well, it actually fills in a lot of the blanks you have have at the start of the game.
Best PlayStation Game of the Year – Bloodborne
I really have conflicting feelings about Bloodborne. I come from an era where games were hard, but if you had a bit of composure and good hand-eye coordination it wasn’t unthinkable that you could still technically beat a game on your first try.
Bloodborne follows From Software’s traditional approach of being balls-hard and throwing in a surprise “ah-ha death” in every so often to keep players on their toes. On the other side of the coin, Bloodborne handles better than any of the other games that From Software has made so far and features awesome mechanics, like transforming weapons, to make the game feel so much more different than any of its spiritual predecessors. It’s easily the best PlayStation 4 game that hit the market last year. I respect it for what it is, but I really do hate the whole trial by fire setup.
Best Indie of the Year – Undertale
If you know me at all, you knew this one was coming from a mile away. Let’s be fair though, stepping off the hype-train for a second, there’s a lot that Undertale offers that makes it simple and fantastic.
The initial graphics of the game call back to Nintendo’s Mother, initially so do the battles as well. Undertale slyly mixes bullet-hell game mechanics into its battles though, and also gives you the option to finish ever battle in the game without killing a single enemy. In fact, the game offers 3 separate playthrough options in the form of the pacifist, neutral and genocide routes. The first way has you play the protagonist and you save the day. The second has you escape, crushing the monsters hopes and dream in your wake. The final mode has you play through as the antagonist of the story, while all the boss characters try to stop you. All in all, it’s almost 3 different stories told with loveable characters and emotional storytelling. Undertale is everything an indie game should be.
[button type=”primary” text=”Read our full review here!” url=”http://knowtechie.com/review/review-undertale-definitely-not-bad-time/” open_new_tab=”true”]
Best Family Game of 2015 – LEGO Dimensions
We decided to forgo the traditional categories this year as we felt it would cheapen the idea of the Gametechie awards. We did, however, feel the need to add a quick category for family games because there are a lot of gamers out there that can’t simply dive into a game like Bloodborne or Rise of the Tomb Raider with the little ones watching.
Lego Dimensions perfectly encapsulates what a family game should be, first with the traditional LEGO game gameplay and secondly with the unique way the physical aspect of the game works. Most toys-to-life games are a simply a matter of running to the store and buying the character you need and throwing them on the play portal. LEGO Dimensions has you build (in and out of the game) the characters and accessories they use. Their position on the game portal (which is a solid 30 minute build at least) also plays a role in the game as well. I’ve had a considerable amount of fun sitting down with my son and playing the heck out of LEGO Dimensions, even though the new packs can be a little expensive.
Games of the Year 2015 – The Witcher 3 and Fallout 4
WHAT?! Two games of the year? Well, if you haven’t played these, then there’s probably good reason for the shock and confusion then. Every so often, there’s a game that is as good as The Witcher 3, you’d think that there would be an easy choice. However, Fallout 4 did such a great job of pulling you back into the first person RPG world that even fans of the last games were excited about it.
My point here is that both of these games are freaking fantastic. Neither are without fault, Fallout 4 has a really bad dialogue system and The Witcher 3’s ultra-fantasy environment really can wear on you after a bit. The flaws take a backseat to the mastery that the gameplay delivers on though. Both games feature an exceptional story, improved combat and unique and enjoyable characters. I have over 200 hours logged into both and haven’t officially beaten either game yet. Let’s focus on some high points of both games real quick.
The Witcher 3
If you are looking for a fantasy world to sink your teeth into with tons of fantastical monsters that need to be slain, The Witcher is your game. Hell, if you are looking to play a card game for a few hours, The Witcher can do that too. Thing is, The Witcher 3 isn’t a one trick pony. It breaks the current meta that most open-world AAA RPGs have gotten themselves into. You know, the one where you kill 5 wolves and bring their teeth to a NPC before you move onto the next fetch-quest.
Geralt’s journey feels organic at all times and while there are a few missions that do make you fetch items, they are few and far between and Geralt will reward usually the player with a good tongue lashing to the NPC as well. There aren’t many games out there that I’d actually like to see a movie or four made out of, but The Witcher does such a wonderful job that I’d watch them all. A beautiful game that really scratches almost every RPG itch you can have, you should really take the time to play it. There’s no excuse, it’s on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
War never changes. Fortunately for us Fallout games do, as they keep improving over each iteration of the title. Fallout 4 takes what the prior games has done and, for the most part, improves greatly upon them.
Fallout 4 allows you to play the game as you’d like, rushing through the story or slowly trudging along, taking in the sights and sounds of the Commonwealth (formerly the Boston area). I really enjoyed that almost every one of my companions also had their own storyline as well, usually bringing you to a point at the climax that would forever change their personality or effect them in some way.
Unlike the prior Fallouts, Fallout 4 doesn’t seem to waste a lot of space, and in almost any area, there’s a story to be told or an adventure to be had. I really can’t wait to see what they do for DLC in this game because everything in it so far has really been fantastic. Be sure to read our full review here!
There you have it! Our Best of 2015 awards come to an end, but with 2015 in the books, we now have 2016 to look forward to! Keep an eye open because we’ll be jumping into the games you’ll need to get your hands on in 2016 soon!