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Game of the Year Awards 2015

Showcasing the best games from the past year

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Introduction  |  Gameplay Awards  |  Special Awards  |  Genre Awards  |  GOTY

Best PC Exclusive
Best PC Game 2015 Cities Skylineswinner badge Cities: Skylines

"While Cities: Skylines may lack the extensive variety of assets and polish that an EA game may provide, it hopes to make it up by a notably lower selling price point, and more importantly modding support. Steam Workshop is directly integrated into the game's main menus, letting you download the latest and greatest creations from other fans. And those creations are pretty darn good, because the terrain and asset editor that comes with the game is just as robust as the in-game city building tools. It's well optimized and runs without issue, partly thanks to not overly demanding visuals. The new title from Colossal Order may not be a revolution for the city building genre, but it's a well-designed sandbox experience that's priced right." - Alex V

Honorable Mentions: Undertale, Her Story, StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void

 

Best PlayStation 4 Exclusive
Best PS4 game 2015 bloodbornewinner badge Bloodborne

"You'll find that the game finally "clicks". In that moment, you will be consumed by the atmosphere, the addicting gameplay, and the endless cycle of frustration, joy, and tense combat. Experienced Souls players will find Bloodborne to be something new, with a much more aggressive play style and a fresh start for the franchise. Newcomers that love the equivalent of "don't get hit" challenge modes in other action games will also be off to a strong start here. If you're completely new or only tried the Souls games briefly, Bloodborne brings enough new elements to the table to warrant a look. If you get through the first few hours and get a sudden urge to push onwards (that's the big decision point for recommending the game), you might just get it. You'll understand why some gamers love this franchise, and why you should join their ranks." - Alex V

Honorable Mentions: Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, Until Dawn, Tearaway Unfolded

 

Best Xbox One Exclusive
Best Xbox One Exclusive 2015 Forza Motorsport 6winner badge Forza Motorsport 6

"Forza Motorsport 6 marks the full, overwhelmingly impressive debut for the racing franchise on the Xbox One. From the huge amount of offline racing, to the extensive roster of cars and tracks, to the well organized multiplayer. There's not much that FM6 gets wrong, with immersive night/rain conditions, featuring 24 cars on the track, a great sense of speed, and it does it all at an unwavering 1080p and 60fps. From an overabundance of content to great gameplay, the bar has once again been set for simulation racing on consoles." - Alex V

Honorable Mentions: Rise of the Tomb Raider, Halo 5: Guardians, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition

 

Best Wii U Exclusive
Best Wii U Exclusive 2015 Super Mario Makerwinner badge Super Mario Maker

"Whether you’re an old school Mario fan seeking some nostalgia, a creative type wishing to flex his or her artistic muscle, or just a gamer who enjoys a solid platformer, Super Mario Maker more than delivers. It offers a smorgasbord of features and endless streams of user-created content (much of which is quite good), and provides a new spin on an old series, while still adhering to the classic style that made the original Mario series such a phenomenon. This game does the franchise proud, and only adds to its legend." - Stephen LaGioia

Honorable Mentions: Splatoon, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

 

Best Downloadable Game
Best Downloadable Game 2015 Tales from the Borderlandswinner badge Tales from the Borderlands

"Don’t let the little things steer you away from Tales from the Borderlands. Narratively, you’re looking at Telltale at their best. This series is so wonderfully creative, so devilishly funny, and so impossibly charming, if you’re ever going to play a Telltale game, make it this one. Not only is this series crafted with the narrative confidences only Telltale can deliver, it’s the most fun I’ve ever had playing a Telltale game." - Josh Hinke

Honorable Mentions: Game of Thrones: Season 1, SOMA, Rocket League

 

Best DLC / Expansion
Best DLC / Expansion 2015 Hearts of Stone (The Witcher 3)winner badge Hearts of Stone (The Witcher 3)

"The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone is a stellar expansion that builds on the strengths of the base game while mitigating its weaknesses. Some of the best boss fights in all of the Witcher 3 and difficulty that is perfectly tuned to high level post-story Geralts serve as a baseline for a tale that is every bit as good as the best narrative threads in the series. Memorable and unique new characters like Gaunter O’Dimm and Olgierd von Everec alongside some more familiar faces are woven into some very interesting situations for Geralt, culminating in an experience that any Witcher fan would be remiss to skip over." - Tim Reid

Honorable Mentions: Legacy of the Void (StarCraft 2), The Taken King (Destiny), The Old Hunters (Bloodborne)

 

Best Game No-one Played
Best Game no-one played 2015 SOMAwinner badge SOMA

"Frictional Games have outdone themselves by producing a substantial and intriguing adventure that has all the horror trappings we have come to expect from the talented studio. This is their best looking and most atmospheric game yet, with tense interiors and isolating ocean walks. The variety of creatures and locations is quite surprising and progression is steady thanks to good horror pacing and increasing unease. The tension is complemented by an intriguing story and a large cast of voiced characters. Interactivity within the world is basic and logical, but it still proves valuable and keeps the player firmly grounded in the world. SOMA is one of the finest horror-adventure games thanks to its thick atmosphere, healthy variety, tidal pacing and riveting narrative." - Ben Thomas

Honorable Mentions: Tearaway Unfolded, Resident Evil: Revelations 2, Gravity Ghost

 

Best New IP
Best New IP 2015 Ori and the Blind Forestwinner badge Ori and the Blind Forest

"In a world where games are constantly building on one another, it's little more than a footnote, but that's not the world where Ori seeks to have an effect. While those games may move us forward little by little, it's the existence of games like this one that remind us why we move forward at all. It won't be remembered for making any great contributions to gaming, but it might just be remembered in some minds, in a decade or so's time, as that one game that turned one lazy Sunday into a beautiful, extraordinary, occasionally keyboard-snappingly difficult adventure. That's just as important, right?" - David Will

Honorable Mentions: Life is Strange, Bloodborne, Splatoon

 

Most Improved Sequel
Most Improved Sequel 2015 The Witcher 3: Wild Huntwinner badge The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

"Though a standout RPG for its time, the first Witcher had some of these trappings, with a rather lengthy play time that came about as a result of a lot of drawn-out fetch-quests and collectathons. The sequel did away with these ‘filler’ quests almost entirely, and as a result was significantly shorter. Now after many years of development, CD Projekt Red have done the seemingly impossible: they have created a game that is much larger than both previous entries in terms of both length and geographical size, and despite this, somehow manages to steer clear of any obvious padding or filler. The Witcher 3 has a mind-boggling amount of high quality content in terms of both the main story, seemingly endless hand-crafted side quests, and also in terms of organic exploration of the game’s vast and vivacious world." - Tim Reid

Honorable Mentions: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Resident Evil: Revelations 2

 

Most Surprisingly Good Game
Most Surprisingly Good Game 2015 Rocket Leaguewinner badge Rocket League

"If you and some friends are looking for something fun and light-weight to mess around with this summer while waiting for fall releases, Rocket League should prove a worthy candidate. Playing with random strangers or with AI provides a significantly less enjoyable experience as it is the camaraderie and “oh man, did you see that!” moments that elevate the game above its simple premise. Rocket League represents a simple idea well executed, forgoing variables like powerups and dramatically different vehicles or maps in favour of balance and tight mechanics." - Tim Reid

Honorable Mentions: Rainbow Six Siege, Dying Light, DiRT Rally

 

Most Disappointing Game
Most Disappointing game 2015 Star Wars: Battlefront Star Wars: Battlefront

"It is easy to love Star Wars: Battlefront because of its authenticity to the universe, but it is easier to fault it for its mistakes. The large modes are compromised by dubious map structure and truly awful spawn points. It becomes a test of stamina just to keep playing them. With a limited number of maps, and a bland collection of solo missions, there are some questions about value. Star Wars: Battlefront is like a young Jedi that failed to complete his training and turned to the Dark Side because an inhospitable planet broke his resolve. The Star Wars movies taught us there is a way back from the Dark Side — it just might take a few sequels." - Ben Thomas

Dishonorable Mentions: Evolve, Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, Mario Party 10

 

Worst Sequel
Worst Sequel 2015 Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number

"Only highlighted by its incredible style and often intriguing storylines, Hotline Miami 2 is riddled with poor design choices, gameplay issues and various bugs and glitches. It's much longer than the first game with a series of story threads that vary in quality from poignant to pointless. This is a very flawed game mechanically, especially when compared to its much tighter predecessor (boss fights aside)." - Tim Reid

Dishonorable Mentions: Need for Speed (2015), Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power, Mario Party 10

 

Even more award winners on the next page!

 

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