Gaming saw a bumper year in 2015, with some of the best titles we’ve ever seen arriving on the market. And there were a few real stinkers but we’re going to be a bit more positive with this little compilation.
You’ll notice that there’s a common theme through our picks – they all involve an open world in one way or another and we have it on good authority that there’s more of the same slated for 2016. But we’re not supposed to be talking about that yet. So, in no particular order, here are Stuff‘s top five games for 2015.
This isn’t really a fair entry but we’re going to include it anyway. Destiny, Activition and Bungie’s very ambitious online shooter/RPG thing, has been around for a while. But the Taken King expansion turned Destiny, which has many players who have clocked several hundred hours at least, into the game that it should have been at launch. There are reasons to pay attention to the story now (even the old stuff), there’s a massive amount to do, additional classes to explore and then there’s the actual Taken King content to experience. If you weren’t already spending too much time playing, that’s probably changed since The Taken King released.
A remaster as one of the best games Stuff saw in 2015? Well… yes. But that’s because not enough people played Xenoblade Chronicles when it was a Wii game so we were hoping to convince you to give up a significant portion of your life to the 3DS version. The tweaked and newly 3D-ified Xenoblade title is an absolute dream on Nintendo’s handheld, putting a lavish and extended adventure in your pocket. The deep combat and inventory systems pay off if you take the time to learn them and the storyline, even with the smaller side-quests, will keep your attention on the teeny-weeny screen in front of you. For long enough for your legs to fall asleep.
This game… this game is going to be used to measure other role-playing games for a long time to come. The open-world ones in particular. There’s still space for turn-based and party-based RPGs but when it comes to building a world, populating it and then sending players out to explore, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has set the bar so high that other games can’t even see it any more. If there’s another Dragon Age, they’re going to have to up their game considerably. The Witcher 3 is still upping the ante, with one story DLC released and another on the way. This tale’s not over yet.
Putting on Bruce Wayne’s cape and cowl to become the Batman has never felt so real. The lengthy, detailed, and gripping modification of the Knightfall stories (from which Arkham Knight borrows a few elements) translates into the biggest and perhaps best Batman outing to date. Unless you were playing the game in PC, in which case – our condolences. Those on consoles, though, got to experience new combat, challenges, gadgets and the Bat-tank and its speed/destruction transformations. The Batmobile almost made Arkham Knight worth it on its own.
How patient are you? Do you yell in traffic? Have you ever thrown anything out of frustration? Then Bloodborne probably isn’t for you. For those who can take the challenge and the constant death-after-death needed to figure out what you’re doing in this mysterious city, Bloodborne is a masterpiece of action, tactics and understated storytelling. But you’re going to have to persevere to see any of it. Most importantly, you’re going to have to do that without sticking a controller through your TV screen. That’s an actual hazard here but refraining from damaging your tech will reward you in ways you wouldn’t expect.