The year 2015, in relation to the massive gaming medium, was surprisingly spectacular; it of course had its fair share of disappointments, which will receive an elaborated post within the coming weeks, but managed to preserve a steady pace and exude a profound sense of unrivalled quality, possibly delivering one of the greatest years in gaming. Not only were we given a copious amount of phenomenally crafted additions to well-established franchises, but 2015 also introduced us to some new, breath-taking IP’s which acted as a palette cleanser to the ubiquitous sequel-itis. These nuanced experiences and pivotal continuations have undoubtedly left a significant imprint onto the colossal medium of gaming; the versatile and accessible nature of these next ten titles have undoubtedly captured the essence of their corresponding genres, catering to every, individual need beautifully. There will undoubtedly be a few omissions from this list, certain titles that you would’ve expected to see; one small little game called Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will sadly not make this list. Its omission is in no way a representation of a negative opinion towards it, I simply have no opinion to evoke as I haven’t played it; I haven’t played a single Metal Gear Solid entry in my entire life. I’m sure The Phantom Pain is every bit as amazing as everyone unanimously claims it to be, but before I rectify its absence, I wish to complete every prior entry in the series and experience its masterful nature appropriately. If you don’t see one of your 2015 favourites on this list, it can mean one of two things: I either didn’t get the opportunity to play the game or I just didn’t enjoy it as much as you did. So without further ado, here are my top 10 games of 2015!
A brave new world
150 hours. That is in no way shape or form an example of hyperbole, it’s the factual length of my first expedition into the exquisitely detailed and rancorous world of The Witcher. Now 150 hours of gameplay is no small feat and is extremely impressive to say the least, but every single hour would be meaningless if the moment to moment gameplay was incapable of warranting the gargantuan experience; in a similar manner to any open-world game, the vast world created is meaningless if the world itself is a lifeless shell. The genre needs to have core gameplay and objectives that are meaningful and rewarding in their own right, and a world that can breathe and be as amiable and vulnerable as the people who inhabit said world. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a remarkable experience that not only meets all these expectations, but surpasses them exponentially, in a manner very few open world games are able to achieve. The large expansive world of The Witcher 3 may be its greatest star yet as the world itself is dynamic, volatile, and exceptionally gorgeous. The world is quite literally your sandbox and you’re free to hunt, race, liberate, fight, gamble, craft, and explore to your heart’s content. Each task carries significant weight and never emits that monotonous aura which has plagued the sandbox genre for years. Meaningful gameplay, paired with an exceptional, engaging world is a delicious combo that is seldom crafted successfully, yet CD Projekt RED have nearly done this, creating one of the most optimal open world experiences to date. Unfortunately its extremely poor exposition, repetitive and shallow combat, and copious amount of graphical disruptions hold The Witcher 3 from being the perfect masterpiece it easily could’ve been. Despite its discrepancies, however, The Witcher 3 proves to be an engaging form of entertainment that severs the line between player freedom and exploration and merges them together into one solid foundation. The Witcher 3 is one of the most expansive games I’ve ever played; regardless of my current state of progression, there was always something engaging to do, a banal moment in time simply never existed. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is one of the best games I’ve played this year, no questions asked, and is the best choice if you wish to get the most bang for your buck.