Game of the Year Awards 2015

As the year draws to a close it is always a great idea to reminisce about all the games of the previous year before they disappear in the ether of yesteryear. 2015 was a year of great highs and embarrassing lows. With GamerGate slowly becoming a distant memory and every game under the sun pushing for Esports based competition 2015 was an interesting year indeed. So what were our favourite games this? You’ll need to read on to find out.

Game of the Year:

GOTY LisSLife is Strange

There was a time in which fans feared Dontnod may have had to pack it in after the less than stellar sales of Remember Me. Fortunately the French developers had a loads more stories to tell and came roaring in to 2015 with their next title; Life is Strange. Life is Strange was a brilliant and touching experience that gripped you from the offset with a tale of unknown powers clashing with the consequences of your actions. Even the quirky dialogue was something lose yourself in as gentle guitar arpeggios serenaded you in to a soft and hazy state as you made some of the most difficult choices in games in recent memory.

Best Console Exclusive:

GOTY BloodborneBloodborne

From Software always wrangle a spot on a list every year, their addictive and trying games always sink their hooks deep. Even without the DLC the thought of returning to Old Yharnam still lingers with those who picked up the title in early 2015. Exploring Old Yharnam and everything Bloodborne had to offer was an unparalleled experience that I won’t be forgetting any time soon. In fact Bloodborne remains unrivalled amongst the platform exclusives and remains a game of infinite possibilities and builds that will drag you back, kicking and screaming, under the red moon.

Best Soundtrack:

GOTY THPS5 2Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5

In spite of being a total mess Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 managed to stir more than a mix of anger and disappointment within me, for the first time in years I wanted to pursue new music and expand my tastes. Being familiar with Cloud Nothings and a few other bands on the OST I settled in to the rhythm so quickly it was unbelievable. Although THPS 5 may be gathering dust at the back of the shelf the soundtrack has not only managed to stick with me, but changed a few of my playlists forever.

Best Arcade Game:

GOTY Quest of DungeonsQuest of Dungeons

Roguelikes have become a staple of indie developers and Steam sales alike, but Quest of Dungeons had a certain spark about it. Released some time ago on the PC and mobile devices, Quest of Dungeons finally arrived on the Xbox marketplace and we instantly fell in love with it. Conquering the randomly generated dungeons and frequently debating who was the most broken character became the hot topic between our writers. For a game that could be easily completed in a few hours we invested days’ worth of time just immersing ourselves with possibilities of better loot and achievements. And to think it was all made by one dude!

Best DLC:

GOTY Destiny TTKDestiny The Taken King

For us here at ReadersGambit this award goes pretty much uncontested. We had long escaped the repetitive nature of Destiny, but there was unfinished business. Worlds to explore. So we crawled back, like drug starved addicts begging for another fix we trailed the galaxy completing new missions and looting whatever we could find. Destiny’s latest DLC completely refurbished the game from the ground up and provided the experience many had dreamed of since the lukewarm response of previous years. In the space of a few weeks our playtimes had nearly quadrupled since we had “finished” with Destiny all those months ago. So once again we found ourselves hoarding strange coins and dealing with the darkness. If there is one piece of content deserving of the award it would need to be The Taken King.

Best Remaster:

GOTY DMC DefinitiveDmC: Definitive Edition

For me DmC was always a game with promise riddled with some uninspiring mechanics and frustrating design choices to a point that I skipped the DLC and had completely forgot about the game as a whole. Until the definitive edition, that was. With arguably the best pricing on a remastered game with bells and whistles DmC tempted me back with the promise of a revised combat system and a few more tweaks to the combat. They even slightly edited parts of the story from obnoxious obscenity to a more in your face attitude. So once again I found myself optimising my combos and making sure I had sharpened both my skills and blade enough to tackle the bloody palace as both Dante and Vergil. It wasn’t just a remaster for me, but a resurrection of a presumably dead game.

Biggest Con:

GOTY Star Wars Season PassStar Wars Battlefront Season Pass

2015 has not been short on total rip-offs, but there is nothing worse than a season pass that costs the exact same amount as the game and is announced prior to release. It’s not unlike Star Wars to make the most of the intellectual property in every possible way, but when stung with a game that was just a little empty the season pass to bring the skeletal structure up to an acceptable bulk was a step to far.

Worst Game:

GOTY THPS5 Bugs Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5

The only game to make a second appearance is Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5. In one fell swoop Activision uprooted some wonderful childhood memories and buried them deep enough to leave an entire audience desperately regretting the idea of ever getting a new Tony Hawk’s game ever again. There are promises to fix issues and to continue to support the title until the end of the year, in fact some are now available for those foolish enough to pick this up from the bargain bucket on Black Friday. But for me the damage was done and my childhood memories were taken out back like Ol’ Yeller and made sure they never came back.

There are also a few games that didn’t quite make the list but still deserve a shout out, so here they are. Guitar Hero Live narrowly misses creating out on making an appearance after reviving a once dead genre. Ori and the Blind Forest fell just short of taking Quest of Dungeons place for arcade game of the year. Until Dawn just couldn’t stand up to the threaded cane of Bloodborne. And Transformers Devastation gets an honourable mention for the amazingly fun non-stop action it brought to us by way of Platinum magic.

So there you have it, another month will be dropping off the calendar and we shall start to look forward to a new year and a load of new experiences. So make sure to check back for our list of titles that we can’t wait for in 2016.

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