If you sat through my list of the most disappointing games of 2015, you might think that I was a pagan with a burning hatred for digital entertainment. Even though I do like to regularly host open bonfires of copies of Ride to Hell: Retribution, I can’t imagine a day when I don’t pick up a controller and lose myself in another digital life.
2015 has been one of the best years in gaming history, there’s no denying that. AAA games have, by and large, delivered on their promise, making end of the year lists like these really congested. Compared to the slim pickings of last year, where Shadow of Mordor and Dragon Age dominated the roost, we have been treated to a veritable buffet of wallet-battering releases.
With that being said, I have put myself in the unenviable situation of picking just ten games from the last year as the best. If you disagree with my choices for the best games of 2015, let me know, but don’t threaten to kick me in the face or anything, you lunatics.
10. Rise of the Tomb Raider
Whoever decided to restrict the new Tomb Raider to one platform and to release it during the same period as the monolithic Fallout 4 really ought to go see a priest to forgive them for their sins. By expanding and improving on the original reboot of Tomb Raider, Crystal Dynamics have crafted one of 2015’s best, but sadly least played games.
There isn’t a great deal of innovation between Rise of the Tomb Raider and its predecessor, just a nice added polish with graphics that can border on the astounding. It also came with the option for more, you know, tomb raiding, making it into the perfect bridge between the older generation of Lara Croft adventures and the new. Don’t be surprised to see it on best of 2016 lists when it’s released on other platforms next year.
Where the hell did Undertale come from? Its popularity is an odd one as it isn’t breaking into the mainstream, but fans of it are waging war in its defense over on Gamefaqs for best game of all-time. It’s not quite at that level, though a spot on the top 10 games of 2015 is surely warranted.
Mixing humour and a genuine sense of heart and warmth, Undertale is a captivating RPG that has you gripped from the get-go. Grown men have been overwhelmed by the emotion of the game as it paints a picture of friendship and a sense of pacifism – you don’t have to kill anyone during your playthrough if you don’t want to. If you haven’t played Undertale, add it to your downloads as soon as you can.
8. Life is Strange
If the story of a teenager with mental powers in a Donnie Darko-inspired world sounds a bit too farfetched for you, you might be doing videogames right. An episodic, narrative-driven release from Square Enix, Life is Strange has taken many by surprise this year.
Captivating across all its episodes, Life is Strange tweaks the well-worn mechanics of similar “interactive storytelling” games to create something that’s fresh, emotional, and deserving of all the praise it gets. If it wasn’t for that damn sequence in the junkyard with bottles though, it might have been much higher. I cannot forgive that.
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