The best games of 2015
2015 was a year of returning to our most beloved franchises, like Batman, The Witcher and Metal Gear Solid.
A lot epic franchises got to throw their hat back in the ring in 2015, but some sleeper hits like Rocket League managed to steal hours upon hours of our time even with such fierce competition.
Stop living in the past. Check out our top games of 2016.
1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Looking for the gift the keeps on giving? Not only does The Witcher 3 has over 160 hours worth of content straight out of the box, but there's also over 20 hours of DLC available with more on the way. Though this is the third entry to The Witcher series, it's not 100% necessary to have played the first two instalments as the game does a stellar job of catching you up on the events preceding. You play as philanderous witcher (contracted monster hunter) Geralt of Rivia in his quest to save his adopted daughter, Ciri, from pursuing evils.
2. Tales from the Borderlands
This point-and-click adventure from the Telltale Games (creators of the BAFTA award-winning adaptation of The Walking Dead) is like Disney Pixar for adults. There is all the confronting gore and over-the-top action sequences you would expect from a Borderlands title, but just under the surface there's magnetic and adorable characters, laugh-out-loud humour and a lot of heart. It also features the most lovable robots in any video game. Better yet, it's all accompanied by a stellar soundtrack featuring the likes of James Blake and First Aid Kit.
- Available on: PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC, Mac, iOS and Android
- Buy it from: Steam | Xbox Store | PlayStation Store
- Parental Warning: Tales From the Borderlands is rated M17+ by the ESRB. It features cartoon violence, gore and some naughty words.
3. Shovel Knight
Shovel Knight is one of the most notable Kickstarter success stories in gaming. It's retro 8-bit graphics, simple, but its compelling gameplay and catchy chiptune soundtrack lured backers but the final product was nothing short of amazing. You play the silent Shovel Knight in his quest to restore his land and save his captured ally, Shield Knight, from The Enchantress and The Order of No Quarter. Keep an eye out for cameos like Kratos (God of War) in the PS4 version and the Battletoads in the Xbox One version. Though Shovel Knight was first released in 2014, its PS4 and Xbox One versions finally released this year.
4. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Metal Gear Solid is the game that sold many of us on the potential of cinematic storytelling in gaming. 17 years later and we have the fifth addition to the series and stealth-genre pioneer, Hideo Kojima's final outing for the franchise. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is a vastly different game from the 1998 classic. The core stealth elements are still there, but instead of linear, blood-spattered hallways, you'll be exploring a sandbox environment in the arid dunes of Afghanistan and the lush jungles in Africa. Oh, and in case you were wondering, the story is still batsh*t crazy, but we wouldn't have it any other way.
5. Rocket League
Buyer beware: Do you have a full-time job? A family, or pets? Then avert your eyes. Nothing to see here. Oh, you don't? Ok. Let's talk. Rocket League exploded in popularity back in July when it launched and subsequently added to the roster of free games available to PS Plus users. Our quality of life hasn't been the same since. Conceptually, Rocket League is devilishly simple. It's a 3v3 soccer match except that in the place of bipedal people with no tolerance for pain, we have rocket-powered cars capable of wreaking havoc on the field. Matches generally last about five minutes each, but even in such short bursts, you will notice the hours slipping through your hands like sand.
- Available on: PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC
- Buy it from: Steam | PlayStation Store
6. Batman: Arkham Knight
You don't know power until you've piloted the Batmobile in Arkham Knight. In the third instalment to Rocksteady's blindingly awesome Arkham series (not including the prequel Arkham Origins), Rocksteady improve upon every aspect that made Asylum and City some of the best games of their respective years. Arkham Knight kicks off sometime after the events of Arkham City. The Joker is dead and Gotham City is experiencing an uncharacteristic (and unnerving) period of peace and quiet. The Bats has managed to distract himself with another cause in the meantime, but on Halloween night, multiple threats converge and push Bruce Wayne and his bat family to their absolute limits.
7. The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes
Tri Force Heroes was an unexpected darling and bright light amidst a sea of disappointment at Nintendo's E3 presentation this year. Some were skeptical about this title – at the time it seemed like a cheap diversion from the absence of The Legend of Zelda: Wii U. However, as more footage surfaced, the hype for this handheld multiplayer slowly gained momentum. Now Tri Force Heroes is out in the wild and we can confirm it's a truly worthy title of its namesake's legacy. You and two friends cooperate (locally or online) to solve a series of puzzles that draw on the universe's roster of locales, gear and irritating antagonists. The best part is, you only need one copy to play across three 3DS consoles, thanks Nintendo's Download Play.
Last Christmas, Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. instigated some serious sibling rivalry and rekindled our love for couch multiplayer games – so what's causing an uproar in our living room this year? Splatoon, of course. Splatoon may not have the iconic likeness of Mario, Luigi and the rest of the crew to drive sales, but what it does have is moreish morsels of multiplayer madness and more nautical puns than anyone one person can handle. Splatoon is the best non-violent, family-friendly multiplayer "shooter" we've ever got our hands on. You and your team of adorable human-squid hybrids must compete against another team to paint every surface in sight with blue or orange ink.
- Available on: Wii U
- Buy it from: OzGameShop
9. LEGO Dimensions
Games have the potential to unite or divide families. LEGO Dimensions does a bit of both. With this year's title, LEGO realised the potential of their bottomless cup of licences and have created a universe where The Simpsons, The Hobbitses, Marty McFly, Batman, Doctor Who and many more iconic characters coexist. Not only is LEGO Dimensions sure to please fans from any age bracket, but it has one of the most thrilling and accessible multiplayer modes available, so it makes for perfect Christmas day gaming. Beware, the temptation to antagonise your allies and steal their precious bricks is strong. Better yet, it's available on just about every console out there.
- Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U
- Buy it from: OzGamesShop
10. Halo 5: Guardians
The latest entry to the legendary Halo series received mixed reviews upon release. We're still not completely sold on the single player campaign, but it's becoming increasingly obvious that Halo 5's true strength lies in its massive online multiplayer mode. Unfortunately, 343 cut Halo's treasured split screen multiplayer for Guardians but if you've got a sturdy internet connection and a thirst for red vs blue rivalry, there's plenty of fun to be had here.
- Available on: Xbox One
- Buy it from: Microsoft
- Read More: Check out our massive interview with Halo developer 343 Industries here.