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 stone cold killer
I’m honestly at a loss with words from Until Dawn, a title that was admittedly on my radar but exceeded my expectations entirely. For the next few minutes, I shall sing its well-deserved praise as I feel many will overlook this underrated title; it’s not the greatest game ever made, undoubtedly lacking innovative qualities in the gameplay department and will be a polarizing topic in the discussion on what constitutes as a game, but when perceived with the right intentions and understanding its true nature and intent, Until Dawn is an amazing title that successfully achieves what it set off to do, it’s engaging, thrilling, intuitive, and most importantly, it’s scary. Until Dawn is a successful homage to the tried and true formula of the stereotypical slasher film genre, mirroring the likes of the iconic Scream series, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and the recent classic, Cabin in the Woods. Every single trope, stereotype, plot twist and staple that are affiliated with the genre is present and developer Supermassive Games flaunt each idiosyncrasy with the utmost confidence which in return shows that game is, in and of itself, aware of these idiosyncrasies and further enhances its success. Until Dawn impressively weaves player choice into the overarching narrative with a unique “Butterfly Effect” system which will have small or, what would seem to be, insignificant decisions affecting certain outcomes of the story and determining the fate of corresponding characters. All 8 main characters can be killed or saved based on the vast number of decisions you make throughout your experience, and unlike many other games with similar intentions, Until Dawn’s decisions bare significant weight as the results are extraordinarily haunting and can shift relationships and interactions into multiple directions. Yes the story and characters can be one-dimensional and predictable at times, but this campy nature is part of Until Dawn’s identity and instead of desperately trying to justify it, Supermassive Games just owns it, not second guessing their intent for one second. Until Dawn is not a game for everybody though, at its core, it’s an interactive horror flick merging with the ideologies of a “choose your own adventure book”, the only instances of gameplay are the interactions which create those decisions. If you strongly detest the interactive gaming experience, then this title won’t change your mind, but if you’re a little more open-minded to its intent, then Until Dawn might surprise you. Although it may be too presumptuous of a statement, Until Dawn is the Heavy Rain of this generation and collects all the best parts from its inspirations, creating a wonderful experience.