Gaming’s 2015 has been a big one, with the rivalry between Sony and Microsoft seeing more exclusives than ever, while PC gamers have continued to watch from above, with Nintendo on the sidelines (as per usual).
The big triple A titles hit us left and right – especially towards the end of the year.
Here at Techly, we thought we’d put up a vote between our gaming writers and writers who game, and figure out the best, the worst, the prettiest, and more, for the year that was.
- Game of the Year
- Worst Game of the Year
- Best Graphics of 2015
- Studio/Developer/Publisher of the Year
- Indie Title of the Year
- Most Anticipated of 2016
After tallying the votes*, we’ve got the results!
Techly’s Game of the Year 2015
Nominees: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Fallout 4, Bloodborne, Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void, Splatoon, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, Batman: Arkham Knight, Rocket League.
Winner: Fallout 4
One particular game stood head and shoulders above the rest, with Fallout 4 receiving two first-place and two second-place votes.
The long-awaited Bethesda title launched in November, and between the Settlement building system, the accompanying Pip-Boy application for smartphones, and the simple-to-use, hard-to-master gameplay mechanics, gamers embraced the game almost instantly.
With a hauntingly beautiful landscape, memorable characters (except you Mama Murphy, you jet addict), and a plethora of mods available on the PC version, this is our 2015 Game of the Year.
You can check our our full review of Fallout 4 for the Xbox One here.
Runner(s)-up: a tie! Bloodborne and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Bloodborne and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain came close, and both are deserving of their high rankings.
Developed by FromSoftware, the team behind the Dark Souls series, Bloodborne has been hailed as a masterpiece, with amazingly detailed environments and character models, challenging gameplay, solid story and an immersive soundtrack.
Our review at the time, from Tyler, said: “Bloodborne is one of the most frustrating, rage-inducing, BS games you’ll ever play. But that doesn’t stop it from also being one of the most enjoyable experiences available to the PS4 to date.”
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain marks the final Hideo Kojima game in partnership with Konami. With an open-system in regards to completing objectives and amazing storytelling, Metal Gear Solid V was widely regarded as the greatest game in the series.
The Worst Game of 2015
Nominees: Tony Hawks Pro Skater 5, Godzilla, Coast Guard, Evolve, Alone in the Dark: Illumination
(Note: Tyler was lucky enough not to play any of these games, so he did not vote.)
Winner: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5
I love the Birdman, I really do, but this didn’t help the franchise out at all. This game could be removed from the franchise, with the only result being an increase in its overall quality.
Boring environments, the SLAM system, technical faults: if you were looking for the nostalgic feel of the THPS series, THPS HD (X360, PS3, PC) is what you’re looking for. Avoid THPS5 at all costs. Please.
Godzilla was created as an attempt to cash in on the 2014 movie featuring Bryan Cranston. The Playstation 3 effort was released last year, and an apt description of this year’s PS4 game would be “a Playstation 4 release, ported from a Playstation 3 game, with the graphics engine of a Playstation 2”.
There’s no reason a game should look this bad; it shouldn’t have passed quality inspection at the Bandai Namco publishing office.
Nominees: Until Dawn, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, The Witcher 3, Halo 5, Project Cars
Winner: Project Cars
Graphics – the eye-candy of the video game industry.
With new technology, new consoles and new graphics cards comes titles that push tech to their limits, and Project Cars successfully pushed the furthest in 2015.
The realism of the driving simulator made damage on the cars more than just cosmetic. Developers Slightly Mad realised the graphics potential of damaged cars and applied it to the game. Even the go-karts in the first campaign races looked incredible.
Project Cars stunned us with its photorealism, and that’s why it got three out of four first-place votes.
Runner-up: The Witcher 3
The Witcher 3 is not only being a visually stunning game, but finishes off the trifecta with good gameplay and a great story to boot.
Created by Polish developers CD Projekt, the game was broadly embraced after it was reported that they had redirected their marketing funds to the development and polishing of this game. Free DLC didn’t hurt either.
2016’s Most Anticipated Game
Nominees: The Division, Uncharted 4, Quantum Break, Detroit: Become Human, Final Fantasy XV, No Man’s Sky, Dark Souls 3, Mafia 3, Persona 5
Winner: No Man’s Sky
What better way to hit the end of the year than by getting hyped for 2016?
It was a close race, but we’re most pumped for No Man’s Sky.
Based on what we’ve seen, the seemingly infinite possibilities this game brings is exciting. Plus it has an offline mode (ahem, EA).
This indie title by Hello Games is being marketed as a first-person survival adventure, with over 18 quintillion planets and what looks like a bit of PvP and PvE featuring spaceships.
Runner-up: Detroit: Become Human
Quantic Dream’s resume includes story-driven titles such as Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls, so we’re excited to see what story they come up with for Detroit: Become Human.
Studio/Developer/Publisher of the Year
Nominees: Ubisoft, Rockstar/2k, Nintendo, Devolver Digital, Bethesda Softworks
Winner: Bethesda Softworks
We decided to include groups that released multiple high-scoring titles in 2015 (in case you were wondering who Devolver Digital is, they released multiple games in 2015 that received 80 per cent rankings on various sites).
With Fallout 4 voted our Game of the Year, and Wolfenstein: The Old Blood a contender for the title, it’s no surprise we went with Bethesda Softworks as our Developers of the Year.
With its solid line-up, and the addictive Fallout Shelter, Bethesda was a unanimous pick.
Nintendo are the quiet achievers of the publishing world.
While they’re not the most aesthetically pleasing, or high-budget games, Nintendo published some of the unsung titles of the year, including Xenoblade Chronicles X, Splatoon, Super Mario Maker, Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D and Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes.
Indie Title of the Year
Nominees: Undertale, Her Story, The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth, Kerbal Space Program, Hacknet, Soma, Rocket League
Winner: Rocket League
Indie titles were some of the biggest hits of 2015, with all of our nominees pulling in “overwhelmingly positive” reviews on Steam, as well as high praise from other gaming score aggregate sites.
With a spot in our Game of the Year shortlist (almost taking out second just quietly), Rocket League was the overwhelming vote for the Indie Title of the Year.
It was honestly tough to choose between all of the games here, but the simplicity of Rocket League put it above the rest.
With great replayability, almost little to no commitment when playing games online, and the simple premise of ‘football with cars’, Rocket League executes perfectly.
And there’s nothing like pulling off Saviour saves with a roaring crowd in the background, or teammates missing the ball when it lands.
Runner(s)-up: another tie! The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth and Undertale
The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth is listed as an expansion for The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, but it’s so good that it could be its own title. With a huge list of added features to an already amazing game, and some hidden clues hinting at future releases, gamers embraced developer Nicalis for continuing the game without dropping quality.
One of the most popular games on Steam, you may have already seen a bunch of YouTube Let’s Plays for Undertale. On the surface is a standard RPG, but with incredible story, and an interesting ‘non combat’ mechanic, it’s a must-have for your Steam library.
And there you have it! Agree? Disagree? Let us know below!
It’s been a fun year in gaming, and it was great having you along for the ride. We’ll see you in 2016!
*The voting was based on a points system: After initial nominations were agreed, we ranked each game individually. The higher the rank, the more points. For example, eight nominated games would be ranked 1 to 8, with first place getting eight points, second getting seven points and so forth. (It’s not as complicated as it sounds.)