Before we take a deep breath and prepare to jump head first into the new year I suggest we pause for just a few moments longer in 2015 so we can reminisce about some of its finest games. The gaming industry was kind enough to bless us with a number of excellent titles this year and even though there were some pretty bad ones as well, the holiday spirit demands that we allow those to gracefully fade away into obscurity and focus solely on the good games. With that mind and after careful consideration, we went ahead and compiled a list containing 10 of the best games to grace our machines in 2015. Since console games are better left to console experts, we decided to stick to what we know best and only included PC titles on this list, though they needn’t necessarily be exclusive to the platform.
Developer Avalanche studios really went all out with the third installment in the over-the-top action series that puts you into the shoes of the already infamous Rico Rodriguez. Just Cause 3 doesn’t even pretend to want to offer gamers an interesting storyline filled with memorable moments and well-developed characters, however, that doesn’t mean this isn’t a good game. On the contrary. Just Cause 3 is a really fun title that doesn’t take itself too seriously and grants you the pleasure of inflicting senseless carnage across its vast open-world just for the sake of it. If you’re ever looking to blow off some steam by slaughtering countless virtual people in absurd ways under the pretext of saving a made-up Mediterranean island make sure to check out Just Cause 3.
This game takes the classic Left 4 Dead co-op formula and adds a little twist to it by allowing a fifth player to take on the role of an evolving monster that’s out for blood. Don’t want to play as a monster? No problem. In Evolve, you can also play as a hunter and team up with three other players in an attempt to take down the beast. Despite the controversies sparked by the poor choices made by 2K Games when it comes to DLC, Evolve is still is a good game at its core and shouldn’t be overlooked by those who are looking for a fun co-op experience. I’m not saying it’s the perfect replacement for L4D, but the game is pretty good at what it does and still has a decent player base.
Even though some people have been playing it since March of 2014, the final launch version of Heroes of the Storm only came out in June of this year. It’s no secret that Blizzard was hoping to compete with games such as Dota 2 and League of Legends when it came up with this MOBA, however, things don’t always work out as planned. Heroes of the Storm still has a lot of work to do before it can catch up with the titles that inspired it, but there’s no denying that the game is already quite popular and continues to grow at a steady rate. The roster of iconic Blizzard characters really makes this game stand out from the crowd and will ensure that loyal Blizzard fans will continue to play it for years to come. The fact that it’s arguably the simplest MOBA out there doesn’t hurt either, as that makes it much more accessible to newcomers to the genre when compared to other, more complex games.
Now here’s a game that’s both educational and a lot of fun. Kerbal Space Program does a fantastic job at making you feel like an astronaut, scientist, and engineer, all at the same time. Just as its name suggests, the game tasks you with handling a fictional civilization’s space program from start to finish while also demanding that you pay close attention to what’s going on along the way. Kerbal Space Program features a trial and error approach to rocket building and it’s likely that the game will seem a bit difficult until you learn what’s what. Luckily, the good tutorial system and the smooth learning curve will help you transform the Kerbals into a space-faring species in no time and in the process also learn a bit about how real space programs work. Don’t take it too literally, though.
Looking to play as a teenage girl who has the power to rewind time? If so, Life is Strange will definitely be right up your alley. But even if that doesn’t sound all that appealing at first glance, don’t shy away from it because this episodic adventure developed by Dontnod Entertainment is truly one of the best games of 2015. Once you get past the whole teenage drama aspect of the game you’ll find yourself immersed into a very detailed world where things are more than they seem and where your choices shape the way the story plays out. Everything ranging from storytelling and voice acting to soundtrack and game mechanics is really top-notch, which makes Life is Strange a really good gaming experience.
A game that’s often not included in lists like this (for some reason), Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void is the final chapter in an epic saga that has been around for more than 17 years now. Starcraft 2 is virtually the only game in town when it comes to competitive RTS, but that doesn’t mean the game has nothing to offer to those who are just looking for a single player experience. In fact, Blizzard was careful to craft an interesting story that ties most loose ends left by previous installments and leaves us longing for more. Legacy of the Void may not be a crowning achievement when it comes to storytelling, but it does it pretty well nonetheless. Couple that with the engaging gameplay, new characters, units and mechanics and you’ve got yourself a prime example of how a good RTS should be like. Given that the genre is slowly dying these days, this is also one of the only examples, so be sure to check it out if you’re a fan of real-time strategy games.
By now I’m sure you know that everyone and their moms have been playing and streaming this game to death and there’s a very good reason for that. Rocket League is a fun and addicting game that makes no apologies for its ridiculous concept that mashes together soccer and racing cars in what might very well be one of the most absurd and original multiplayer titles in recent years. In fact, Rocket League wholeheartedly embraces this idea. With features like 4-player split screen and cross-platform support, it easy to see why this game became so popular in such a short amount of time. Forget spending a massive amount of hours learning how to play a complicated MOBA or wasting countless days grinding for the best loot in an MMORPG because if you want to have some real co-op fun with your friends all you have to do is play a good ole game of soccer…with rocket-propelled cars.
Many people are calling Fallout 4 game of the year while others are apparently a bit disappointed by the lack of innovation and rather unimpressive graphics. Whichever the case, it’s hard to deny that Fallout 4 is one of the biggest things to happen in gaming this year. Much like in previous Bethesda games, the main selling point here is the huge open-world that you can sink hundreds of hours into and still feel like there’s plenty more content to experience. And there is. Not only are there a countless amount of quests and exploration opportunities to keep you busy for a few months but Fallout 4 also benefits from one of the most impressive modding communities out there. Sure, the story isn’t one of the best, but you’ll probably soon forget about the main storyline anyway and start creating your own epic adventures as you wander the wastelands of Boston in search of factions to join, mutants to slay and equipment to hoard.
Even though it’s very unfortunate that this is (probably) Hideo Kojima’s last MGS title, at least we can all agree that the legendary director left on a high note and gave us earlier this year one of the best installments in the series to date. Yet another open-world game, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain almost single-handedly saved the stealth genre in 2015 and gave us plenty of memorable moments to boot. From finely crafted gameplay and mission design to a very solid base-management component, this game has a bit of something for everyone. Admittedly, the story could have been just a little bit better, but apart from that there’s really not much we can complain about when it comes to The Phantom Pain, especially since the game gives you the freedom to complete missions in a variety of ways and, therefore, in a way allowing you to create your own story.
Thanks to the hard work of the good folks over at CD Projekt Red, the already highly acclaimed Witcher series rose to legendary status in 2015, with many recommending the trilogy as a whole as a prime example of excellent storytelling in video games. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the logical conclusion to the trilogy and an improvement over previous titles in pretty much every way; and this is despite the fact that the first two installments were very good games in their own right. This time around we’re looking at a massive open-world filled with even more side quests and other points of interest that can easily take over 200 hours of your time if you choose the completionist route. As for the main storyline, it’s very well put together as CD Projekt continues to delve into the mature and dark themes that made the series popular in the first place. In addition, there’s also plenty of humor spread around in order to prevent things from getting too depressing. There were plenty of good release in 2015, but if I could recommend just one I’d definitely have to go with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt any day of the week.
- GTA 5 – not on the list because it was already around for 2 years by the time Rockstar came to their senses and decided to finally release it on PC.
- Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide – one of the hidden gems of 2015 that missed our list just by a hair.
- Rainbow Six Siege
- Pillars of Eternity
- Dying Light