The TrueTrophies Staff Game of the Year 2015

By Rebecca Smith, 1 year ago
Now that your favourite games of 2015 have been revealed, the staff here at TrueTrophies decided to put their heads together to come up with their own Game of the Year list. While our discussion was fairly civilised, it soon became obvious that we're a team with many different tastes and preferences... either that or we're just really indecisive. Despite this, we still managed to put together our top three games of 2015.

In third place, we have your Best Action-Adventure Game -- Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. In case you missed our reasons for giving this one a go, here they are again:

Hideo Kojima's last ever game in the Metal Gear Solid series, a franchise that he created nearly 30 years ago, was an overwhelming success. The Phantom Pain is the kind of game that actually feels as if every seemingly insignificant gameplay detail actually has a real purpose. Every mission, side-op and minute spent assigning staff back at Mother Base makes a real difference to what can or cannot be achieved out on the field. At its core, it is still a stealth-action game, but it never ties you down to just being stealthy. Every mission can be approached in a multitude of different ways and it's left up to the player how to progress. The more manageable approach to storytelling may not seem true to the Metal Gear Solid series to date, but it fits in well with the game's more flexible approach, which lets people attack the game head on or play in smaller bites without needing to worry that at any moment they may have to set aside an hour purely to watch a surprise cut-scene.
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Next is a game that took a lot of people by surprise, grabbing second in the community Adventure genre vote and second in the staff overall vote: Everybody's Gone to the Rapture.

If we were to make a spectacle out of gameplay, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture would be a gorgeous and sublime example. While the scenery can sometimes be repetitive and the gameplay is minimalist at best, the lighting, music, and vistas are beautiful. The story of a village that up and vanishes serves as a backdrop for powerful vignettes that explore who we are and what we cling to when fear and desperation sets in. Everybody's Gone to the Rapture is a compelling experience, even if not always a fun one.
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In first place is a game that became a massive hit after being offered as part of the PS+ Instant Game Collection. Feast your eyes on Rocket League, the game that stormed the Sports community vote and took first place overall in the Staff vote. This was because it received a few votes, and not because munchmagic1986 threatened to bring TT to its knees by leaving in a huff and not doing anything for a week.

When Rocket League came to PS+ as a free game, it seems few expected it would grow to become the monster hit that it has become. I know I thought I was disinterested. Five minutes into playing I realized I was so very wrong. It is addictive in a way unrivaled by most games that have come into my life. It is easier to pick up than a true sports simulation. It uses controls fun for anyone but makes itself capable of mastering by true Rocket League goal artists. It is everything I never knew I wanted from a game and is far and away my pick for Game of the Year 2015.
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Of course, just picking three games was incredibly difficult. As such, here are a few more titles that we thought deserved some recognition. None of the following titles won their genre category in the community vote, but this doesn't mean that they deserve to be completely ignored.

Assassin's Creed Syndicate
After 2014's Assassin's Creed Unity and its unfortunate technical issues, Ubisoft had a much steeper challenge ahead of them with Syndicate. While it hasn't lived up to the high bar set by Black Flag for most, it has been an enjoyable jaunt through Victorian London. Twin sibling protagonists Evie and Jacob Frye are a large part of that, bringing both personality and personal stakes to a franchise that's been spotty in the past. Perhaps more important than this title's individual success is that it feels like it could be a turning point in terms of quality and thoughtfulness for the series going forward.Bastion
By focusing on story, fun, and art style rather than pure graphics, Supergiant has made a game that has thus far aged very well. All of these components work together so that every step feels like walking through a children's story book, not as the small allegory that an adult would see, but rather in the grand rememberings of a child's imagination. While it's still too early to call Bastion a classic, even in a new generation of consoles this game sets a high bar and serves as an example for other games to follow, and that is certainly a good start to a legacy.Batman: Arkham Knight
With the finale of the Arkham series, so far as we know, developer Rocksteady upped the ante in a big way. Rebuilding Gotham from the ground up was certainly no small task, but the result is a beautiful city designed for full use of the Batmobile and filled with baddies to beat down. Unfortunately, Rocksteady failed to achieve the level of fidelity with the Batmobile that it did with the combat and predator scenarios of games, leaving many fans of the series underwhelmed. In the end, the result is still a Batman: Arkham game, and there are certainly worse things than that.Bloodborne
For people who have their finger on the pulse of the industry, the Dark Souls franchise is no stranger. Bloodborne, the latest from developer FromSoftware, is potentially a new high point for an already well regarded series, bringing new speed and flexibility to the familiar gameplay, and an engrossingly disgusting Lovecraftian world to boot. The result is an incredibly atmospheric world with quicker, more accessible gameplay, and that terribly rewarding difficulty that fans know and love. While it might not be everyone's cup of tea, it is a great exclusive addition to the PlayStation 4's library.Dragon Ball XenoVerse
Dragon Ball XenoVerse is a must have for DBZ fans everywhere and a good game that other players could pick up and enjoy too. While frustrating at times, this title is one of the best in the franchise that has been released in years. The game contains simple but complex controls, a solid twist on a classic story, and great multiplayer activity that will keep avid players fighting for hours on end. This take on Dragon Ball's history is refreshing and different from the past few games; for a true fan of the franchise, this game hits the nostalgic factor while also bringing a new, fresh take.Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number
The original Hotline Miami was a surprise hit when it first came out. Every level dripped with neon 80's atmosphere and lots of blood. The gameplay combined precise planning that felt almost like a puzzle with a fast paced execution that required a minor feat of twitch reflexes. Hotline Miami 2 cranked this up in almost every way, maintaining many of the themes of excess that the previous game's story hinged upon while making the game even faster. It may have suffered from a few minor bugs that weren't present in the original, but developer Dennaton Games still delivered a sequel that was superior to an already stellar game.Just Cause 3
Avalanche has fully embraced that this series excels as a crazy action blockbuster. While a better story would be nice, it's still a goofy-bad story that serves to tie the beautiful Mediterranean island nation of Medici to Rico's explosive deposition of a dictator. Just Cause 3 isn't nearly the leap forward that the second was from the first, and some unfortunate technical hiccups hinder the game's pace, but the freedom granted by the new wingsuit and a full awareness of what their fan base enjoys makes for a spectacular and fun game that sets a standard for its particular brand of cathartic mayhem.One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 is a must buy for fans of the series and is certainly something to consider for players not familiar with it. It presents One Piece's story with beautiful graphics and stellar voice work from the Japanese voice cast, but there is no English voice acting. The gameplay is easy to understand and is difficult on higher difficulties, but it still feels like the higher difficulties aren't much of a challenge thanks to the addition of the Kizuna Rush feature. The maps are crafted extremely well with care taken into making it feel fresh in every different area. The Trophies are time-consuming but feel like they're naturally earned by playing through the different game modes, making players not worry about them. All of these aspects put together make this iteration of the Pirate Warriors series the King of them all.Shovel Knight
Despite aping a lot of classic 2D sidescrollers, Shovel Knight is unquestionably a modern game. The art and sound design evokes memories of those classics while being just outside the reach of what those games were capable. Similarly, gameplay was predicated on mechanics from a bygone era while carrying a fluidity and complexity that wasn't possible, creating a distinct experience all its own. Shovel Knight is both a great homage and a quality game in its own right, providing a nostalgia fix for older gamers and a great entry point into 2D for newer gamers.The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The quality and quantity of the content in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is beyond compare and without peer. It is now the gold standard to which all other RPGs will be held. With hundreds of hours of rich, detailed story, a plethora of side quests, incredible aesthetic design, deep combat systems, and unprecedented sense of place and character, it checks off all of the boxes for excellence in the genre. Those plaudits come at a price, though, as the game can be a technical grab bag of minor (and major) bugs and glitches. While there is little doubt that CD Projekt RED will be giving the game consistent patch and DLC support to smooth out the majority of these marks, you can only buff out the dents in the horrific control scheme so much. Fortunately, these technical gripes and moments of mechanical frustration are easy to overlook when examining the experience as a whole. This is a game that should not be missed by RPG fans, should be tried by curious gamers, and will be looked back upon as one of the best ever. Consider it a must play and say goodbye to your life.Until Dawn
Until Dawn was, in so many ways, exactly what I didn't think it would be. Introducing a cliche horror scenario with seemingly brainless characters, I went in planning to take the game for what it wanted to be, a run-of-the-mill slasher in game form. The big reveal, however, is that the game does much more than that. Characters who seemed unredeemable become dynamic and the story unfolds in ways few see coming. The game that Sony seemed to want to forget was unforgettable for its stunning visuals, suspenseful gameplay, and more twists than a Shyamalan movie marathon.Wolfenstein: The Old Blood
Like Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon before it, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood sets a new standard for standalone downloadable content. At $19.99 (or your regional equivalent), it represents one of the best values in current games. Between the 8-10 hour campaign full of fantastic moments and scenarios, the challenge maps, and the nightmare levels, there's a lot to love for the money. While the massive file size may cause some internet connections to cry, it is well worth the space on your console's hard drive. New Order was one of the underground hits of 2014, and The Old Blood has taken that torch and ran with it. Get psyched and consider it a must play.Now that you've seen our results, make sure that you check out the results of the community vote as well. Which of these games will you be checking out, if you haven't done so already?
Rebecca Smith
Written by Rebecca Smith
Rebecca is the Newshound Manager at TrueGaming Network. She has been contributing articles since 2010, especially those that involve intimidatingly long lists. When not writing news, she works in an independent game shop so that she can spend all day talking about games too. She'll occasionally go outside.