Looking back on the year with the best games of 2015…
It took a couple years for the Playstation 4 and Xbox One to hit their stride, but 2015 was the year that next gen gaming delivered. Yes, there were still a lot of remasters of older games, but virtually every month of 2015 also saw the release of an amazing new game made exclusively for next-gen consoles. Even the struggling Nintendo Wii U saw a couple of great exclusive games this year. Of course not every great release could be included in such a short list, but this is our take on the best games of 2015.
#10 – Halo 5: Guardians
Halo 5’s campaign was admittedly kind of a dud, despite the big promises of Microsoft’s marketing machine. Still, there were some memorable moments between Master Chief and Locke, and the twist involving Cortana was kind of cool. Gripes about single-player aside, at least 343 Industries absolutely nailed the multiplayer. The new maps channel the frenetic gameplay that has always made Halo fun, and new additions to the controls like the Spartan Charge and the Ground Pound add quite a bit of strategy that will keep us playing well into 2016.
#9 – Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
Monster Hunter games have always been pretty niche outside of Japan, but with Monster Hunter 4, Capcom made a real attempt to make the gameplay faster and more accessible to a wider audience. The result is not just the best game in the series, but the best original game released on a handheld this year, even if it is still a little heavy on griding. It also looks absolutely gorgeous on the aging 3DS hardware.
#8 – Destiny: The Taken King
Destiny launched last year with a lot of problems (incomprehensible story, ridiculous grinding, not enough content) and it still has quite a few issues that Bungie needs to address (where’s the matchmaking for Raids?), but The Taken King addresses so many of the criticisms in the original release that it feels more like a really good sequel than an expansion. At the very least, it’s the addictive, full-featured game that Destiny should have been at release. Think of it as Bungie’s apology for everything you didn’t like about Destiny when it first came out. It may not be enough to woo back everyone who grew tired of the grind in Destiny 1.0, but if you give The Taken King a chance, you’ll find a great shooter to keep you occupied for dozens of hours.
#7 – Batman: Arkham Knight
Rocksteady’s follow-up to the two fantastic Arkham games released on the previous generation of consoles doesn’t quite exceed the developer’s previous efforts. There are way too many Batmobile missions that all feel alike, and the reveal of the Arkham Knight’s identity is anticlimactic to say the least, but Arkham Knight will still make you feel like Batman as you sneak around and take out thugs in the largest and most detailed version of Arkham City yet. And with numerous side missions, new game plus mode, and a season pass full of extra characters and skins, there’s a lot to see in this version of Arkham.
#6 – Dying Light
Yes, Dying Light is roughly the one-billionth zombie game to come out in the past few years, and the first few hours are pretty clunky, but if you can get past that, you’ll find one of the most fun and customizable first-person adventure games around. Fight your way through hundreds of zombies with a flaming, electrified sword, or just creep around at night avoiding powered-up zombies to steal supply drops. The campaign, which you can play through alone or with three friends, takes roughly 20 hours to complete, and after that there’s at least another 20 hours of side content to play through. Then The Following expansion coming in early 2016 will add vehicles and even more content. It’s definitely not the first zombie game, but it may be the last one you ever need.