My favourite games of 2015

It’s been a good year for games. It’s been an exhausting year for games. Keeping up with everything you want to play – everything you’re supposed to play – has become impossible. There are many games I would like to have played but didn’t; many games I spent a short amount of time with that I’d like to get to know better – including (but not limited to) The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Invisible Inc., Undertale, Rock Band 4 and Soma. Regardless, here are the 15 games I enjoyed most in 2015.

  1. Grayout (iOS)

grayout

A very late entrant, but a deserving one. Terrific, absorbing prequel to the excellent Blackbar.

  1. Code Name STEAM (3DS)

steam

Widely misunderstood, but I loved this unorthodox and characterful strategy game.

  1. Sunset (PC)

sunset

Similarly maligned, Tale of Tales’ commercial swansong was a moody, stylish treat.

  1. A Good Snowman is Hard to Build (iOS)

a good snowman

Alan Hazelden does Sokoban with snowmen (and hugs). Satisfying, smartly designed and oddly touching.

  1. Box Boy (3DS)

box boy

HAL’s elegant puzzler starts with a simple idea and keeps building. Clever; charming.

  1. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (3DS)

mh4u

Until X arrives, the best Monster Hunter to date. As rich and complex as ever, yet friendlier to novice hunters.

  1. PES 2016 (PlayStation 4)

pes

Would have been higher but for its online woes. An outstandingly nuanced, fluid and exciting simulation.

  1. Until Dawn (PlayStation 4)

until dawn

Deceptively smart horror game blessed with superb direction and strong writing.

  1. Guitar Hero Live (PlayStation 4)

gh live

An unpretentious delight that captures the empowering thrill of performance better than any other rhythm game.

  1. Super Mario Maker (Wii U)

mario maker

The world’s best game-maker gives us the keys to the kingdom, with inconsistent but thrillingly unpredictable results.

  1. Yakuza 5 (PlayStation 3)

yakuza 5

Sprawling, vibrant crime saga that finds the poignancy in flawed people trying to make a new life for themselves.

  1. Affordable Space Adventures (Wii U)

asa

Ludicrously unsung action-adventure with some of the smartest design all year, and possibly the best ever use of Miiverse.

  1. Life is Strange (Xbox One)

lis

Captures the messy sensations of adolescence with remarkable clarity. Not without flaws, but affectingly goes where few games dare.

  1. Her Story (PC)

her story

Outstanding, thought-provoking FMV detective game which made listening the year’s most exciting new game mechanic.

  1. Splatoon (Wii U)

splatoon

Wonderfully energetic and inventive shooter, delivered in truly unorthodox fashion. 200+ hours of fun makes it my Game of the Year.