2015 in review: The year's finest games on all platforms
2015 was a superb year for gaming, with every platform boasting a raft of must-haves.
Her Story (cert 18+)
An inspired slice of indie interactive fiction, Her Story wrings a tale of murder, mystery and tragedy from the mundane premise of a police interview. Anchored by a riveting performance from actress Viva Seifert, the grainy video clips hide a deep secret - if only you can discover it.
HONOURABLE MENTION: Undertale (12+) - Defiantly old-school RPG with a twist or 10.
Rise of the Tomb Raider (18+)
Lara Croft's resurgence hits a new peak of polish in her continuing evolution as a doughty explorer who takes no prisoners. Spectacular scenery complemented by a tight system of weapons and crafting make an entertaining playground for Lara's burgeoning skills.
HONOURABLE MENTION: Forza Motorsport 6 (7+) - Superlative racing sim now with puddles.
The Witcher 3 (18+)
Endowed with a sprawling open world liberally populated by interesting stories and a brooding, forceful lead in monster hunter Geralt, The Witcher 3 finally fulfils the potential of this medieval fantasy franchise. Battles with beasts and men hold no fear for Geralt but it's the details stuffed in every corner of the land that make it memorable.
HONOURABLE MENTION: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (18+) - Epic in scope, this is stealth at its most ambitious.
Super Mario Maker (7+)
Everyone who loves games has half a notion of making their own and SMM unleashes the inner Mario maker in us all. Build a personal homage to classic platform levels with pipes, bricks and coins or go nuts and create something from your wildest imagination and then share it with the online community.
HONOURABLE MENTION: Xenoblade Chronicles X (12+) Intimidatingly deep RPG with a striking taste for memorable landscapes and awesome dinosaurs.
Rocket League (3+)
Made by a tiny team on a modest budget, this digital download took PSN by storm, quickly becoming one of the most played games of the year. Who da thunk turbo-charged motors bashing into a football could be so much craic? Hilarious, high-speed and surprisingly skilful.
HONOURABLE MENTION: Bloodborne (18+) Hard as nails but compelling gothic brawler.
This War of Mine (18+)
A bleak survival sim set in a bombed-out city, TWoM asks many questions of the player's humanity. While scavenging for supplies to prolong your subsistence, do you steal from the poor, or protect the weak? Or is it every man for himself? Perhaps too realist and fun-free for some, TWoM carries a powerful message.
HONOURABLE MENTION: Lara Croft GO (7+) - The Tomb Raider credibly re-imagined for touchscreens.