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Best of 2015

A year of great moments, via anything from powerhouse productions by large-scale developers, to one or two creators looking to innovate and explore the form. Rarely were these moments surrounded by truly 'complete' packages, with bugs a-plenty from the big guys and mussed executions from the kids, but hey, nothing's perfect - and by golly, they were worth the price of admission anyway.

Games That Could Be Here But Aren't Because I Haven't Played Them:

MGSV, Life Is Strange

Games That Aren't Here Because I Totally Did Play Them And They Deserve Nothing From Me:


List items

  • 10/10 - Daring and passionate, maybe one of the most well-written examinations of games as a form in the last decade. By the way, thanks for proudly displaying all my deepest anxieties, Davey.

  • 9/10 - (Episodes 4 and 5) TellTale reaches new heights, with lovable characters, fantastic directing, and some breathtakingly dumb (wonderful) set-pieces. In any other year, Until Dawn's innovations and polish would have it utterly dominate the Choice Adventure realm. That just speaks to the sheer bombastic brilliance of Tales' storytelling, and the return-to-form it represents for TellTale.

  • 8/10 - Repetitive Contracts be damned, this game gave me everything I'd wanted from the almost-decade-old series. Except make Triss a likable character. That's Sisyphusian levels of impossible.

  • 8/10 - Very promising! A newcomer takes a shot in TellTale's Moral Adventure Monopoly and in the end does most things better than the old champ ever could. Despite the old nag of surprising linearity considering its "YOUR CHOICES MATTER" marketing push, Until Dawn is still shockingly good for a first attempt, featuring fantastic performances, great characters, tense moral conundrums and some of the most nail-biting action set-pieces of recent memory. Fuck off, Emily. You're great, Until Dawn.

  • 8/10 - As it turns out, I still really love Souls games, and with Bloodborne they managed to bring me back to the state I felt sorely missing from Dark Souls 2; of true mystery, wonder, and dread.

  • 7/10 - More than just some spooks and scares, SOMA's true strength comes from the worrying truth behind its dystopian premise. Fantastic attention to detail, and an avoidance of horror-game-cliche, elevate this to the heights of Black Plague and Overture.

  • 7/10 - I feel like I could list a thousand things Fallout 4 does wrong, especially when it's compared to the sublime New Vegas. On the other hand, there's like a thousand things the game does right... as it turns out, the great strength of Bethesda is they simply throw a lot of THINGS out there. And while I feel I could pull out each individual part and shred it to pieces, as a whole I just have to stand in awe. Then, I dive in for another dozen hours.

  • 7/10 - Occasionally swaps profundity for cheap shots, but still one of my favourite pieces of game-industry satire. Whoop-de-doo, it's also the best Pokemon game in years. Just play it, you'll see what I mean.

  • 7/10 - In all honesty, for Cities: Skylines to stand out as a city-building sim it had to hit the mark of... borderline competence. Delightfully, the team went above and beyond that, and instead we got an excellent use of any sim-fan's time.

  • 7/10 - A wonderfully-written Visual Novel, brisk in pace with neat decision-design. Along with the highly original premise, and the art after my own heart, I can't help but put this game in my top ten. Good luck on your next thing, Date Nighto!


    6/10 - Depending on how the climax is interpreted, Her Story's story is either hokey or outright insulting. But god damn, it's such an interesting way to merge mechanics with plot, and it makes me truly excited to see where our understanding of narrative is heading.


    6/10 - (Episodes 5 and 6) This bag is mixed-as-fuck. Luckily, among it are some of the most exhilarating dilemmas I've ever seen from TellTale. And, against all odds considering their "Kill literally everyone" M.O., I still managed to grow super fond of a few characters. It's not enough that this series can hang in the Top Ten, but it's worth giving at least a little kudos.