Top 10 Video Games of 2015

It’s that time of year again, the gamer team at Nerd Reactor has come together to form our collaborative list of the Top 10 Games of 2015. The method we use is one that minimizes external pressures and influences. Essentially all of our games team staff privately procures their individual Top 10 lists and submit them to the list organizer. There is very little debate and everyone’s list is kept secret from one another. Once all the lists are collected we assign a point value for each ranking; for example, first place is worth 10 points, second place is worth 8 and so forth. We lovingly refer to our method as the Mario Kart Method. In the event of a tie, there were lists submitted by members of the Videogame BANG Podcast that we used to break ties. This is the same method we used in 2013, 2014, and it has once again served us well in 2015. Enough with the introduction, let’s get to the list!

10. Rocket League

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Number 10 on our list was tied with Bloodborne at about 20 points each, but when mixed with the tie breaker points from the external list, Rocket league took the lead by a healthy margin. Rocket League is proof that you don’t need groundbreaking graphics, or millions of dollars worth of advertising to find success in the gaming world. This game spread like wildfire this year due to its simplicity and ridiculous amount of fun. Psyonix developed and published the game on their own as a sequel to the 2008 game: Supersonic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars. It’s always a beautiful thing when we can see an indie title on lists of top 10 games of the year, which is fitting for the game since Rocket League also won Best Independent Game and Best Sports/Racing Game at The Game Awards 2015.

9. NBA 2k16

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Coming in at number nine on the list we have NBA 2k16 from 2k Sports and Take-Two Interactive. This year’s entry to the 2k NBA franchise decided to focus more energy on the MyCareer mode and it seemingly paid off. Spike Lee was deeply involved in the game as the director, writer, and co-producer of the story mode. The Spike Lee Joint was only one aspect of the games success, others included improved physics, the largest soundtrack to date in a 2k game and full body scanning players instead of just faces like in previous versions. I was skeptical at first when I saw that 2k16 made the list of best games in 2015, but honestly 2K games proved this year that in sports games “Story is Everything”.

8. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

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Monster Hunter ranks at number 8 on the list and is the sole handheld exclusive we have this year. Handheld games have been pretty quiet, especially when compared to 2013 when we had Fire Emblem, Pokemon X and Y, and Zelda: Link Between Worlds grab spots in the top spots. Considering the decline in handheld popularity in the lists, we have seen this year makes Monster Hunter’s popularity even more impressive. It was nominated for best mobile/handheld game and controversially lost to Lara Croft Go, but nonetheless, the team here at NR still has love for you, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate!

7. Rise of the Tomb Raider

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Rise of the Tomb Raider is a game that was born into controversy when Crystal Dynamics announced that the game would launch as an Xbox exclusive. Due to the success of the 2013 version of Tomb Raider, gamers didn’t take the news very well that it was going to be an exclusive. Camilla Luddington, who voice acts and motion captures as Lara Croft, along with an amazing dev team, has totally overhauled the aura of the leading character. Lara Croft has been transformed from an over sexualized one-dimensional character into one that is based more in reality. She is more complex and more relatable for gamers, both female and male alike. Rise of the Tomb Raider is another instant classic that if you haven’t played yet, needs to be on your Christmas list this year.

6. Life is Strange

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Another game that is great to see on our list is Life is Strange from Dontnod Games. Life is Strange is an episodic, graphic adventure that you can compare to Telltales interactive storybook style of games. Where Telltale games formula of interactive storytelling has seemed to get stagnant and more dependent on licensing agreements than innovative gameplay, Life is Strange incorporated a time- traveling mechanic to the game and more focus on more interesting puzzle solving. The game earned Ashly Burch a nomination for Best Performance and actually won the Games for Impact award at The Game Awards 2015.

5. Halo 5: Guardians

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Master Chief made his return to games this year in epic fashion and with a seemingly unlimited advertising budget. Halo 5 was advertised on just about every major website, sporting event, and television show you could think of and luckily launched much smoother than 343’s last release the Halo Master Chief Collection, which was crippled with bugs and matchmaking issues. While compared to Halo 4 the online multiplayer was vastly improved, the campaign overall left most fans with a serious case of “Meh…”. One major problem with the game that left even the most hardcore Halo fans feeling upset and likely ended up hindering Halo 5 from climbing higher in the Top 10 rankings was the removal of split screen campaign and multiplayer. They claimed that it was in exchange for higher FPS performance, but unfortunately 343 chose poorly.

4. Batman: Arkham Knight

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Thanks to Batman Arkham Knight, the franchise’s open-world games are officially back on track since the mediocre Batman Arkham Origins disappointment of 2013. Arkham Knight brought an amazing story to the table, some reworked and improved controls as well as the one thing we have wanted from the beginning… A driveable and fully functional Batmobile. Truth be told while the gameplay and story were both improved from Origins, one of the most exciting parts of the game was the return of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill as Batman and the Joker. Despite the Batmobile pre- order mishap, the game was a recipe for success and incredibly well executed.

3. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

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Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is Hideo Kojima’s final swan song for the franchise and is an absolute blast. Players get to play as Big Boss as he sneaks, shoots and CQCs his way to building Mother Base. The linear maps are gone as you’ll get to explore a big open world, from the deserts of the Middle East to the jungles of Africa. The cutscenes are kept to a minimal with the gameplay taking the spotlight. The open world, third-person sneaking and action mechanics, and new features like the Fulton Recovery System help make this the ultimate Metal Gear game and why it’s one of the best stealth/action games around.

2. Witcher 3

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Written by Joey Ferris

Some say that quality matters more than quantity. Regardless, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has both. It is the finest example of what an open-world game should be. A seemingly endless amount of unique sidequests accompany an epic story that will leave players awestruck. Not only that, but the developers at CD Projekt RED love their fans SO much that they’ve decided to give away 16 DLC packs free for all players! If that’s not awesome enough, you should see what comes with the Standard Edition (Hint: A lot!). If you haven’t played any of the first two games but want to jump into this one, go for it!

1. Fallout 4

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I was honestly surprised when the counting was completed, the dust settled, and Fallout 4 was the game sitting on the top of the mountain in Nerd Reactor’s Top 10 Video Games in 2015. The hype surrounding Fallout 4 was unlike any other game we saw in 2015 and the game lived up to the incredible amount of pressure. While there were a few aspects of the game that Bethesda changed that left many of us feeling salty, there were exponentially more positive things to say about Fallout 4 than negative. While Witcher 3 and Metal Gear V may have been more critically acclaimed, Fallout 4 was able to out muscle the competition by virtue and leverage of its namesake. Perfectly pitched at E3, exquisitely marketed in the games advertising, and ultimately a near flawless execution in release… Nerd Reactor’s collective ‘Final Reaction’ for video games in 2015 is that Fallout 4 is undeniably the game of the year.

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Cory Vincent
Cory Vincent 434 posts

Forged in the crucible of awkwardness and self loathing, Cory somehow manages to get himself out of bed each day and make it a priority to spend life killing Beef and going H.A.M.

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