Wednesday 7 December 2016

Top Games of 2015 - Part 1

Paul Mallon

Published 30/12/2015 | 09:39

The Witcher 3
The Witcher 3

We're counting down our top games of 2015 with the first part of our list - these are titles you simply cannot miss

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The year of 2015 is coming to a close, and quite naturally that means its time to count down the best of the year, including our favourite games. This time we're posting our individual picks, with Daniel up first.

I can’t claim to have played every major game this year but I encountered a fair number and my final five are certainly informed by my favouring of stories over massively multiplayer mayhem. If you’re looking for a tale or two, these are well worth your time. And are, of course, merely my personal opinion.

5. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate I’m a big fan of the many and varied treats which the Assassin’s Creed games offer up every year and Syndicate went one better by including a decent story and the best leads since Ezio. The digital recreation of 19th century London is stunning and the playground full of things to do and people to kill.

4. Tales from the Borderlands Telltale Games’ landed on the perfect franchise with Borderlands, really managing to capture the series’ bizarre humour and also telling a proper story in their own unique style. Wonderful writing, great action and zingy characters make this one I recommend you catch up on in the new year.

3. Rise of the Tomb Raider Lara’s staged a major return after her 2013 reboot in a game which could be accused of being almost a carbon copy. But when the original is so good that’s hardly an issue, and there are enough new tombs and tweaks, as well as plenty of bloodthirsty combat, to keep this entertaining. Terrible story though.

2. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture This indie title from The Chinese Room is about a small village in England in the 80s where the population has suddenly disappeared. You’ll wander the streets and catch fleeting glimpses of who they were – the complicated lives and multifarious relationships of people you’ll never meet. With gorgeous graphics and a slow pace, this was one of the most memorable gaming events of the year, thanks partly to the incredible score by Jessica Curry.

1. The Witcher 3 There was no doubt in my mind as to the game of the year, with CD Project RED’s epic RPG swallowing up more than a hundred hours of my life, and counting. It’s an utterly huge game but also one of the most intimate, personal and touching titles I’ve ever played, thanks to the fact that you mostly play a single character, the Witcher Geralt. He isn’t a composite creature you’ve cobbled together during the opening tutorial but a fully fleshed out person, with wants and needs, a history and a litany of flaws.

Geralt informs everything you do in the Witcher 3, and his interactions with other denizens of this incredible world take you on an adventure that will be utterly unique, towards an ending that’s genuinely emotional and earned, rather than forced melodrama. There’s more content on the way with DLC in 2016 but if you have any interest in grand adventures and glorious gameplay, it’s simply not to be missed.

Honourable mentions: Dying Light, Helldivers, Ori and the Blind Forest, Until Dawn, Mad Max, Fallout 4

- Daniel Anderson

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