2015 was a spectacular year for gaming. This year we really saw developers release games that were truly next gen, offering gamers a new way to play, stunning graphics, and great stories to become part of. However, as the year comes to a close it’s time for us to take a look back at the games that really stood out. You will find some of Staff’s picks for Game of the Year below with the winner at the bottom. Let us know what your favorite game of 2015 was in the comments below! Vanessa – CEO Game of the Year – Life is Strange While this year was packed full of AAA releases and amazing gameplay, I was really affected by Life is Strange. The game is a change of pace for me personally, I generally love the fact action FPS but Telltale has won me over by offering very in-depth stories. Life is Strange is a game that puts you in the center of the action, every decision you make affects the outcome, every interaction you have affects the storyline which made me feel very invested in the game and the characters themselves. From the outside the story seems very normal, however it is anything but. The story offers a lot of emotions. There were several times when I experienced happiness, sadness, heartbreak, and I can admit I cried my eyes out for the finale. Not just that, the plot twist in the game is a huge surprise. The reason I give this title Game of the Year is because it made me feel like no other game has, I felt as though I was part of the game while I sat in my living room. The gameplay may not be action, adventure, or whatever it is that you normally play but I highly suggest you take some time to play through Life is Strange, it will make you appreciate storytelling. There were several other titles that are worth the mention. Destiny is a great title that really brought me closer to my friends. The game itself lacked a campaign, but the online multiplayer, the raids, the quests and missions gave players a lot to work through. Another game worth noting is Rocket League. This title came out of nowhere as a small soccer based race car game that swept the gaming landscape by storm. It quickly turned into one of my favorites that offered the fast pace action, some friendly competition and really put my skills to the test. Verdict: I have no Rocket League skills but it’s fun nontheless. Call of Duty: Black Ops III is also a game I’ve had a lot of fun with. First of all, I was incredibly surprised by the storyline for the game. It has been a few years since we got a story that is really good, and worth playing and Black Ops III really delivered. The multiplayer is also redesigned offering specialists that fit different play styles. There were so many good games this year my list can go on. I am very excited for our 2016 lineup of games! Allen Saunders- Editorials/Reviews Writer/Staff Writer Game of the Year- Rocket League This may be one of the only instances where I am completely in love with a game I have yet to pick up and play for myself. Any time I see Rocket League being played on Twitch by one of my favorite streamers I can’t help but tune in and watch. I’m not one for sports games in general but seeing tricked out cars fly through the air attempting to hit an oversized ball fills my belly with laughter. I plan to grab both the PC and Xbox One versions of the game as soon as I can. My runner up is a game that took me completely by surprise, so much so that it was hard to choose between it and several other titles. While Just Cause 3, Fallout 4, and Zombie Army Trilogy are existantually enjoyable, and Dying Light is a bundle of juicey fun the game that stood out most for me was Tales from The Borderlands. I absoluteley loved Troy Baker as Rhys and flip flopping between the main characters throughout the season made the story all the more interesting. It all comes to a perfect head when the choices made throughout affect whom is with you on the final fight in the almost Power Rangers like fight involving Gortys and the vault monster. Bravo Telltale Games. Kyle Kelly – Staff Writer/Reviews Writer Game of the Year – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt What’s not to love about this game? The characters, the world, the quests, the story, the crafting, the monsters… It’s all fantastic. From the moment I loaded this game up on my PC I was completely hooked. The story draws you in like not many can. The whole time I was dying to know what happened Ciri. Not only is the story good, but all of the characters have these rich and deep backstories that you can flesh out with different quests. And the quests… Wow. The side quests, witcher contracts and treasure hunts are better than most games’ main quests. It’s ridiculous how deep these side stories and other non-mandatory things are in this game. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an incredible game that all gamers should experience. This year was pretty special in terms of quality games. There were numerous other games that hooked me. Fallout 4, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Batman: Arkham Knight, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and Bloodborne. Any of these titles could have won my GOTY vote in another year. The world of Fallout 4 is top-notch and I get lost for hours on end just exploring each time I fire up the game. Rise of the Tomb Raider is another great entry into the rebooted series and I’ve always been a sucker for those types of games. Batman: Arkham Knight… I mean, who doesn’t love being Batman? Sure, it has major issues on the PC, but the version that Rocksteady put out (console version), was very good. MGS 5 has quite possibly the most polished gameplay ever. The story was lacking, but when the gameplay was that good, it didn’t really matter to me. And finally, Bloodborne. I finally let myself get sucked into a From Software game, and man, I enjoyed it a whole lot more than I ever thought I would. John D. – Managing Editor/Streamer Game of the Year – Fallout 4 This was a very hard decision for me to make. There were a lot of quality games that came out this year that I would have like to put in this title. However, the recent release of Fallout 4 and the amount of hours that have kept me interested in this game, makes Fallout 4 my Game of the Year. Bethesda knows how to make a great action RPG and this one is takes the cake, eats it, saves some for later to share with friends and some how still has half a cake to consume on it’s own. If that analogy doesn’t make sense I apologize. The vastness of Fallout 4 keeps a player exploring for hours on end, even if you aren’t doing the main story line you can get lost in the factions, building a clubhouse, picking up rare collectibles, and side missions galore. The character customization alone kept me busy for a least an hour to start. the main story line is interesting and intriguing and has its own twists and turns. Over all there is just so much to do in this game it keeps my attention which is hard to do. These are just some of the reasons Fallout 4 is my Game of the Year. Some Very Close Honorable Mentions: Batman: Arkham Knight – Batman was a fantastic game that ended the series in a pretty decent way. The ending wasn’t what I had hoped and guessed the ending not even half way through. I had a blast 100%-ing the Riddler trophies and side stories. All the DLC that came out was a lot of fun too. Sneaking, flying, and driving around a huge Gotham City was amazing on its own. The detail that went into the city felt like the comics come alive. The Witcher 3 – A really fantastic, beautifully made game with a ton of things to explore. The combat system is incredible and involves so much that it keeps you on your toes. I loved that it wasn’t a hack & slash and you really needed to pay attention. The detail that the monsters get made some of my nightmares come true. With the fights, even if you have to do them multiple times, had my 100% attention. Halo 5: Guardians – Clearly all my games that were in the running for GotY were single players, however, with Halo 5 it’s the multiplayer that stands alone here. The story mode needed a lot of work in terms of storyline and plot. But that’s not why you should play Halo 5. The multiplayer games are fantastically handled and like most FPSs it is the Multiplayer that people come to play. The new mode, Warzone, is a lot of fun. 343 Industries really stepped it up with their Arena and Slayer . My friends and I can play for hours and that makes it a definite Honorable Mention. Adam C. – Streamer/Review and Editorials Writer Game of the Year – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt This was a tough year of gaming for me. There were so many amazing games released in 2015, and I just could not get to as many as I had hoped. However, I picked up The Witcher 3 late this year, and fell in love. The story is complex; the world expansive; and it has some very colorful characters and monsters to fill it. Not since Skyrim have I felt so in awe of the world I found myself traversing. The thing that sets it apart from the other open world games is the combat. It feels fluid, but has a complexity and difficulty that makes defeating an enemy rewarding. Beating a monster or taking down some bandits requires your full attention, and leaves you on the edge of your seat. I’ve truly never felt gameplay like this before. This game deserves every award it has been given. Honorable Mentions: Rocket League: I picked this game up and simply fell in love. It’s simple, and enjoyable. It’s hard to describe the satisfaction I got from scoring my very first goal. Good to play for 20 minutes or a few hours. If you haven’t you need to pick this one up. Rainbow 6 Siege: While I haven’t had the chance to play this game yet every bit of game play I’ve seen makes me want to try it out. The intensity of waiting for someone to break in so you can fend them off seems irresistible. I cannot wait to get my copy. Bobby C – Review and Editorials Writer Game of the Year – Dying Light This was a very strong year for gaming. From the very beginning of the year, all the way through the very strong Holiday finish, gamers were not left wanting at all. I had an absolute blast with friends in several games, and to me that is what contributes primarily to Game of the Year. Of them all, what I was really surprised with was Dying Light. I didn’t really hear much about it, and I’m not a huge zombies fan. But, one of my good friends played it and said it was great. So I looked it up and so did a a few of my friends. Man, am I glad I did. I truly had never played a game quite like it. It had adventure, co-op, and a bit of RPG, all while tying into a pretty darn good story told in an a-typical location. Having different architecture to run around in was pretty fun, seeing the mix of old style with a train depot and even slums, there was no shortage of interesting locations. The innovation of it as a brand new IP was what kept me interested in the whole story. But, what really clinched it for me was the incredibly well done co-operative play. Getting to experience the expansive world with my friends and find great new weapons made a great experience. Definitely Game of the Year for me. Jordan C. -Staff Writer/Youtube Wizard Game of the Year – Undertale Yes, burn me at the stake and label me the dissatisfied hipster, for Undertale was the best this year could do to impress me. I’m not trying to be snooty here. I loved Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and Fallout 4. You have to understand, my personal choice as game of the year is the game that I invested the most time in. Undertale has differing play styles that I haven’t already done for years in my gaming career. An entire game devoted to either leveling up and killing baddies based on a bullet-hell style combat sequence or play the entirety of the game never leveling up once and actually applying brain power to configuring puzzles and ultimately taking the pacifist route. That, coupled with the quirky and outright hilarious characters, and a jazzing soundtrack to follow you every step of the way, the game was my favorite in many aspects. YES it did bring me back to the moments of my childhood playing Earthbound and for some reason people roll their eyes at this. The game was different, so much so that even turning the game off and re-loading it due to a bad decision affected the gameplay. The only case of fourth-wall breaking I could think of in gaming that even comes close is in the older Metal Gear games where Psycho Mantis reads you your memory card. Awesome experience hands down. Dean M – Awkward Gamer/YouTube Reviewer/Nintendo Fanboy Game of the Year – Pier Solar and the Great Architects (Sega Dreamcast) Yup, you read that right: the year is 2015 and my favorite game was for the Sega Dreamcast. Allow me first to explain. While 2015 had some decent releases, a lot of them were either genres I didn’t care about or were just ok in the overall spectrum of gaming. A lot of shooters came out, but I couldn’t care less if I wanted to. And I loved all the Hyperdimension Neptunia games that came out this year, as I am a huge fan of JRPGs, that series in particular, but they’re just handheld games and I don’t play any handheld system enough to consider anything on it my GotY. In fact, to be perfectly honest, I was so underwhelmed this year that I had to go google a list of 2015 game releases just to see what games came out. A whole year and I couldn’t remember any great games that stood out. There were a few overwhelming disappointments *cough*Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5*cough*Rock Band 4*cough* but nothing too great. (Pardon me, I’m getting over a cold.) But then I remembered a little gem of an indie title I got from a lesser-known dev studio called Watermelon Team. The game is Pier Solar and the Great Architects and it has actually been released over the past five years for a myriad of platforms including Sega Genesis, Ouya, Wii U, PS Vita, Xbox One, Linux, OSX, and just this year – Sega Dreamcast. Not only do I love RPGs but I also am a huge fan of retro gaming and this game perfectly hit the spot. You play through the story of three best friends who, in typical JRPG fashion, must go on a complicated quest to find the one magical item in all of existence that can save the hero’s sick father. The game plays just like an old RPG back in the golden days of gaming and brings to mind games like Chrono Trigger or Secret of Mana with it’s beautiful art style and graphics. Also, whereas new games like to try and alter battle systems as much as possible and constantly create a unique experience, Pier Solar relies on a classic turn-based battle system and random encounters to provide you with monster fights. Think back to the days of Dragon Warrior or Final Fantasy (the original one.) The game was widely praised when it initially launched on the Genesis and has sold out both times it has been produced, the second time in just 12 days. It is technically the biggest game ever produced for the Genesis and maintains that wonderful retro look and feel for every other platform you play it on. So if you like RPGs, beautiful music and graphics, retro games, or fun – this is the one game this year that I felt really delivered. Or, you know, Splatoon was ok too, I guess. Orlando V-Web Master Game of the Year – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt When the game came out, it couldn’t have been more perfect timing than in May. After having my spine surgery and being in bed for 2 weeks I couldn’t get up to change the disk, most games I have to take a break from but CD Projekt RED definitely crafted an experience that kept my attention going. Not just the graphics and the gameplay, but the story and the decisions you make change everything, even the smallest things that you might not think have an outcome can definitely have a effect on it. I applaud the team for building one of the best game worlds I have had the pleasure of playing. This game didn’t leave my disk drive for a month, and I am one of those people that has to complete everything and it sure took a long long time and I still feel like I didn’t get everything. I think one of the greatest moments this game brought me besides the epic sadness was the outcome of the story of “The Baron” this game definitely shows how every action has consequences and what I loved about it, is the outcome was very gray kind of like the HBO series Game of Thrones. I also loved how this game didn’t hand hold you, you have to master the combat, the oils, crafting, learning your enemies because these enemies are smart and they aren’t easy to kill and one foot soldier can take you down if you are not aware of whats going on. I also did love how there was a trickle of DLC content that came out after the game and it was all free which shows the dedication that the team put into this game and they definitely earned that game of the year title this year. Yes I agree, Fallout 4 was awesome, Batman Arkham Knight was pretty badass but The Witcher built a world that excelled far beyond anything I ever played and for that I thank CD Projekt Red for allowing me to experience such an amazing game. Travis M, Reviews Writer/Editor Game of the Year – Til Morning’s Light In a year full of incredibly memorable games, both in the indie scene and in the AAA market, it surprised me to no end that my favorite game of 2015 was in fact an iOS game. That’s not to discredit the platform by any means, as any game on any device is capable of being great in the right hands, but it’s just surprising that nowadays we like to brush off mobile gaming as nothing more than a casual playground for non-gamers, with the occasional greatness sprinkled in to keep us interested (Infinity Blade, Downwell). While the App Store and Google Play are certainly inundated with knock-offs and cheaply made titles that are sold for a buck, if you actually spend time looking, you’re bound to find one or two games that give console (or at least handheld) gaming a run for its money. Til Morning’s Light is one of those games. With a dynamic, well written story, amazing gameplay and a world that you can easily get lost in, it’s the kind of game I’ll remember for years to come, and without a doubt is my favorite game of 2015. Gamer Assault Weekly Staff’s Game Of The Year Pick: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt There were so many great games that came out in 2015 but it looks like GAW staff picked The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt as Game of the Year. With it’s great combat system, beautiful graphics, and tantalizing storyline (and great side quests) it was a great pick. Congratulations to all the games listed as GOTYs and Honorable Mentions. What was your pick for Game of the year? Comment Below! Happy New Year Everyone!