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Your Game of the Year 2015

ChickenGodChickenGod Overdosing Heavenly BlissModerators
edited January 2016 in Miscellaneous Gaming
Hey everyone! This is the place where you, the forum goer, can let us know which games you thought were the most outstanding (and no so great!) this year. Honor your favorite title with your own personal GOTY Award, tell us why, and even shame your not-so-favorites.

This 2015 had quite a few interesting releases. From Fallout 4, Xenoblade X, and other numerous games on the RPG front, to Halo 5, Super Mario Maker, Just Cause 3, and others outside the genre, 2015 had a lot to live up to. So, what stood out to you over this past year? Last year's thread didn't get too many replies, but it looked like South Park: The Stick of Truth and Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc were some of the few that got more than one mention. As always, this is is all in good fun and a very unofficial thread to talk about your opinions on 2015's releases in gaming. Without further ado, here is a template we have used before for your copying and pasting pleasure:

GOTY: Pretty self explanatory. Any game in any genre that came out this year is eligible, and if something came out late December last year that can count just avoid any questionable situations.

GOTY Runner-Up: The second/third best game you played this year. This is for everyone who loved too many games to list only one.

Anti GOTY: The worst game you played this year. Doesn't necessarily have to be a bad game either.

Anti GOTY Runner-Up: The second/third worst games this year. For those of us who want to dishonor even more games for being crappy!

Anything Else: Want to add your own category? Go right ahead! Some examples used by others range from "GOTY that didn't come out this year" to "Most Surprising/Disappointing". These can make for a more interesting read.


  • 7thCircle7thCircle Proofer of the Realm RPGamer Staff
    edited January 2016
    EDIT: Oops, had a late 2014 release in here at first. It's gone now.

    GOTY: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt The best setting, writing, characters, and story of any RPG I've played in years. It had a nice variety of things to do and good incentives driving the open world exploration, and some very memorable moments. CD Projekt RED still brings too many interface gaffs and technical issues for me to go further than that with the praise, and the Witcher-sense mechanic was abused past the point of being interesting.

    GOTY Runner-Up: Tales from the Borderlands Loved everything about it. I can't say if Telltale is just getting better and better at what it was already great at, or if it should have been making comedy games all along, but this was hilarious, fun, and interesting from start to finish.

    Anti GOTY: Magicka 2 I don't know if playing this couch co-op with my brother made it better or worse, but at least I had company when we were guessing spell combinations, accidentally blowing up each other and ourselves, and generally feeling like we had little idea if we were playing it right or not. Some random online peeps joined our game right as we were ready to give up, and sped things up tremendously to the point that we ended up finishing it.

    Demo/Early Access GOTY: Darkest Dungeon After the internet assured me it was playable in EA, I picked it up and subsequently played it for weeks without completing all the content available. It's the 2nd best RPG I played in 2015 even in its incomplete state. Later patches have made it easier, but I thought the difficulty was spot on when I played it in September and October. I'm looking forward to getting back into it when it's done.

    More than the Sum of Its Parts GOTY: Stella Glow Not great, not original, not particularly noteworthy other than some of the writing and character development, but the package comes together in a way that engaged and warmed me while I played it. Charm, vibrancy, good combat speed, and a lack of gameplay flaws make this a much better game than it could have been. I think I'll remember it for a long time too, and I don't know why.
    The lesson here is that dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions.
  • JamesGoblinJamesGoblin Full Members
    GOTY: Elder Scrolls Online - as a rule, underappreciated among MMO players due to ES cults and (very much connected to that) heavily over-dramatized "problematic" launch like two years ago. In spite of all that, the game slowly and silently evolved and recently won couple important GOTYs and was a runner up on some other MMO sites.

    Runner up - Splatoon <3

    Honorable Mentions: Fallout 4.

    GOTY (Single players) - Ori and the Blind Forest - I believe it's early (in 2015) launch hurt it's positions in all kinds of year-end polls (people tend to remember recent things much better).

    Honorable Mentions - Pathologic relaunch
    (this is remaster of 2006 Pathologic, not to be confused with the sequel, scheduled for November 2016 release).
  • redwing42redwing42 Just Monika Full Members
    Disclaimer: I did not play many new releases in 2015. There are several games that I expect I will enjoy a lot, but I just didn't get to them.

    GOTY: Sunless Sea - I've talked about this one in the past, but the setting of this game absolutely captivated me. The sense of dread is palpable, especially when exploring the unknown with little to protect yourself.

    Runner up: Ori & the Blind Forest - Surprisingly difficult at times, this was an absolutely gorgeous game that played silky smooth throughout. Plus, my daughter liked watching me play this one.

    My daughter's favorite game to watch in 2015: Guacamelee: STCE - As much as my 8 year old daughter liked watching Ori, I think Guacamelee may have edged it out. Plus it is more fun to say. She does really enjoy playing Disney Infinity 3.0, and I'll admit that it is well put together.
  • smacdsmacd Full Members
    edited April 2018
  • ArckadiusArckadius Dark Knight CanadaFull Members
    GOTY: Rocket League - This game just keeps on giving, and it's funny I don't like sports or cars but put them together and it's my most played game of the year.

    GOTY Runner-Up: Super Mario Maker - I love Mario games.

    Anti GOTY: Star Wars Battlefront - So much money for so little.

    Anti GOTY Runner-Up: Oreshika Bloodlines - I don't think it was a bad game, just couldn't get into it.

    Other games I loved this year:
    Splatoon, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Batman: Arkham Knight, Yoshi's Wooly World, Dragonball Xenoverse.
  • daveyddaveyd Turn-based lifeform PAFull Members
    edited January 2016
    GOTY: Age of Decadence An incredible game and has almost everything I look for an RPG; an engaging story, choices with consequences, a deep character building system, satisfying turn-based tactical combat (which is usually avoidable!), multiple ways to complete quests, etc. I haven't even completed a playthrough yet, but have started a game with every class (which matters a lot in AoD) and the developer is still updating and improving the game.

    GOTY Runner-Up(s): Shadowrun: Hong Kong Fraggin' awesome story, great characters / setting, and the new cyberware is totally wiz. The way missions change based on which team members you bring along is amazing; wish more party RPGs did this. Your companions are actually more than walking stat sheets!

    Where the game fell short: I did not care for the new twitch based mini-games in the "improved" Matrix which allow characters with low Decking skill to excel if the player has quick reflexes. Some of the conversations are needlessly wordy; I love having lots of dialogue in RPGs, but some NPCs just went on and on... Also, the combat in most missions is far too easy, even on the highest difficulty setting.

    Legends of Eisenwald A solid Strategy / RPG hybrid with a deceptively simple combat system. My main gripe was that you build up this great army in each chapter, only to see most of your units ripped away from you at the beginning of the next... Which means you'll have to again recruit peasants and level them up, which makes for a very grindy game. Only other issue was that some of the "legends" are told in a very, very long-winded way... Which makes for extremely tedious reading in the taverns when you're trying to gather info for quests.

    Honorable Mentions: Celestian Tales: Old North- A great take on the JRPG genre. Game was rather short and left me wanting more, but I look forward to the upcoming (prequel) DLC, and part 2 of the trilogy.

    Anti GOTY: Serpent in the Staglands; I really wanted to like this game, but the combat really killed it for me. I am not a fan of Real-time with pause combat in general, but this is one of the worst implementations I've ever seen. The pathfinding is bad, the AI is bad, your tactical options are very limited (most warrior skills are passive)... So combat (which is unfortunately usually not avoidable) becomes a tedious clickfest, where the only strategy is to trick the stupid AI. Spells take so long to cast that they're seldom worth it (with the exception of the heal spell). It's a real shame, because the non-combat portions of the game seemed really really great (you can polymorph into a cat!), but too much filler combat.

    Anti GOTY Runner-Up: Pillars of Eternity Another CRPG that could have been great, but I found myself unable to enjoy the RTwP combat; which fluctuates between mind-numbingly tedious and blood-curdlingly frustrating. While this is actually one of the better implementations of RTwP combat, I still find it awful... And in a such a combat heavy game, it's hard to look past it.

    Game with the most untapped potential: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Overall I enjoyed my time with TW3 (actually I still need to finish the expansion) Even though I'm not much of an action RPG fan, the twitch based combat in TW3 was decent and I usually wasn't constantly rolling like in TW2. The main story was great, many of the side quests were great...

    But I think the "open world" aspect was really to TW3's detriment. Even with fast travel and a horse, so much of my time was spent traveling. And there was an incredible amount of filler content; aimlessly exploring the world was seldom rewarding... Full of generic monster hordes, uninteresting treasure, and trash encounters. Even the monster contracts got repetitive after awhile; the first griffin was great fun, but by the third I was clearly just doing it for the exp.

    2015 Game that I will probably love but didn't get a chance to play: Underrail Quite possibly the Fallout 3 I always wanted.

    Hard West: haven't had a chance to dive into this one yet, but I expect I will enjoy the X-com style combat.

    2015 I have absolutely no desire to ever play: Fallout 4 As a huge fan of Fallout 1 & 2, and someone who hated FO3 and dislikes Bethesda games in general, I'm probably better off not wasting any time or money on this.

    Games that will probably finally be released in 2016 that I'm really looking forward to:

    Torment: Tides of Numenara, Liege, Prisonscape, Graywalkers: Purgatory, Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements, The Mandate, Age of Grit, Demon's Age, Seven, & X:com2
    Currently playing (on PC): Hard West, Eisenwald: Blood of November, Dungeon Rats, Wasteland 2, Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire

  • Joshua CarpenterJoshua Carpenter RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    GOTY: Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC - 4+ years of buildup waiting to finish Estelle's story and it actually lived up to my expectations. It's not a perfect game, but Falcom does suck a good job of creating an interesting world with a compelling story I am able to get past any of the flaws.

    GOTY Runner-Up: Yakuza 5 - While other open world games focus on getting ever bigger, the Yakuza series hones in on expertly recreating small slices of Japanese cities. I think the effect of this combined with interesting storytelling is why I'm so hooked on the series.

    Honorable Mentions: Xenoblade Chronicles 3D (for giving me the excuse to play an excellent game), Steins;Gate (a great Sci-fi visual novel with a story I wasn't able to put down), Atelier Shallie (for bringing more alchemy into my RPG playing ways), and Trails of Cold Steel (I keep liking it more the further I get into the game).

    Anti GOTY: I didn't play anything that bad this year; the biggest dissappointment was probably Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls. Didn't dislike it, but it wasn't as much fun as I was hoping it would be.

    Notable 2015 Backlog Additions:
    Xenoblade Chronicles X and Summon Night 5. Just too many games released in December to play them all.
  • ChickenGodChickenGod Overdosing Heavenly Bliss Moderators
    edited January 2016
    Looking back on 2015, I think I have my winners in place. Although my expectations for this year were super high, I earnestly believe 2015 turned out to be a below average year in gaming. Many of my most anticipated titles did not live up my lofty expectations. Non RPGs such as MGS5 and Super Mario Maker were decent, but ultimately didn't standout as smash hits. Other games got pushed back, and worse still were the fact that most of my favorites this year were released so late that I hardly had a chance to try them. It is great to see everyone here having a wide range of titles they adored this year, though. Here's looking forward to carrying some of the best 2015 into 2016 for what we can only hope is one of the best years yet.

    GOTY: The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel - As it stands now, even though I'm only a little over half way through, Cold Steel has been the standout experience of 2015. It hits all the notes perfectly, from voice acting, soundtrack, lively environments, brisk gameplay, and an interesting, well told story. You name it, Cold Steel has it. The sheer amount of time I've spent talking to NPCs and watching the characters and world evolve is something that no other series has been able to engage me with.

    GOTY Runner-up: Monster Hunter 4 - Its hard to put into words just how much fun Monster Hunter 4 has been on the multiplayer frontier this year. This MH3 follow up of sorts added climbing, several new weapons, and its own version of an end game that just propelled it in the eyes of many of my friends into being the next big multiplayer hang out spot. The sheer customization and skill based combat keeps you coming back for more, and MHX looks poised to follow up on the success found here.

    Anti GOTY: Operation Abyss - Its with a heavy heart that I have to put two Vita games as the worst games I've played this year, but what can I do. Although the premise and character art looked promising, this game is a very bare-bones dungeon crawler that was, in almost every way, a complete downgrade from Demon Gaze. There was nothing compelling in this title, especially when it came to class customization. Though its not what I'd call a terrible game, its up there with the most boring and sleep-inducing I've played in quite some time.

    Anti GOTY Runner-up: Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines - Here's another game with a a very intriguing concept that completely fell flat on its face. The idea of creating a lineal family of characters with amazingly designed gods and goddesses based around feudal japan looked incredible. Sadly, the lack of player input involved in creating your own family of fighters is sorely lacking to the point that you feel like the developers didn't want you to have fun. Losing characters permanently and having strict time limits in an aimless dungeon crawler do not mix, at all. I tried my hardest to enjoy this game, I really did, but at the end of the day I realized that I was annoyed or downright angry 90% of the time it was turned on.

    Most Surprising: Lost Dimension - Lost Dimension is a SRPG that came out of nowhere. The game didn't look all that interesting visually, nor did the combat system or the idea of losing characters permanently. Somehow, though, the game managed to have quite a complex system of character customization, on top of a battle system that was more enjoyable to play than watch. The traitor system was well done too, as there is no way to cheese the results. The player just has to accept what they are given, and in that way, theres a sense of freedom to be found.

    Most Disappointing: Final Fantasy 14: Heavensward - Given my history many know this is the game I played most this year. I've talked endlessly about the negative effects this expansion has had on both my experience and the raiding community on my sever in general. The lack of interesting end game content and sheer rehashing of content and ideas was a far cry from the promises and rumors this loftly expansion seemed to promise. It wasn't all bad, but a series of free patches that I had missed while being gone for over half a year were leagues ahead of this expansion. The number of friends who quit the game or changed servers were immense, but so too were the people I had to force myself to meet in order to continue on the good crusade. Finishing Alexander Savage was a great joy, but the work that had to be put into doing so was a heavy task. Heavensward was a journey of both good and bad, where most of the bad was the trials presented by the game, while the good came from this amazing community who held their ground and said we will not be defeated.

    What is wrong with me and why haven't I played these yet: Xenoblade X and Trails SC - Usually I'm always on top of the things I want to play, but these came out late enough in the year and I just couldn't find the time. Trails SC easily could have taken one of my top two spots, but I can't justify that having only played like an hour of it. Xenoblade X from my perspective sounds like a solid 8/10, but not quite on the same level as the original. Maybe in a few months I'll find out just where they stand.
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