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The best video games of 2015

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It's been a busy year for new games. From big-budget blockbusters to indie darlings, 2015 has been filled with excellent new releases to play, and to celebrate we've rounded up all of our favorites right here.

  • Chris Plante

    Dec 24, 2015

    Chris Plante

    Why Just Cause 3 is my game of the year

    Few games have the capacity to disappoint like Just Cause 3, my game of the year.

    A tropical playset, its pieces read like the prop list from a 1990s action film: rocket launchers, remote mines, military-grade helicopters, the latter of which the hero sometimes hangs from, upside down, unloading two Uzis into enemies below. This is a safe space for testing absurd cause and effects. What would happen if I dropped a speedboat on the side of a snow-covered mountain slope, and tried to ride it back to sea level? Just Cause 3 will let you find out!

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  • Sam Byford

    Dec 23, 2015

    Sam Byford

    Why Splatoon is my game of the year

    Splatoon is an atypical game for Nintendo. It's a third-person shooter. It's heavily focused on online play. It doesn't have any traditional Nintendo characters — in fact, it's the first time in well over a decade that Nintendo has started from scratch for a major new game.

    But at the same time, Splatoon feels like it could only have been made by Nintendo. It's a shooter that swaps colorful ink for bullets, and most of the time you're not even firing at people. The online system is ultra-simple, with little regard for hardcore gaming convention. And while Mario and co. are nowhere to be found, Splatoon's bizarre world and vibrant aesthetic feel like a '90s cartoon-inspired take on Nintendo's library.

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  • Jamieson Cox

    Dec 22, 2015

    Jamieson Cox

    Why The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is my game of the year

    A man in armor faces a huge antlered monster.

    I dove back into the world of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt a few nights ago, my first time spent with the game since plowing through its first expansion pack in October. I don’t have many quests or treasure hunts left to complete, so I decided to explore the few corners of the map I hadn’t yet plumbed. The sea surrounding the Skellige Isles is studded with nameless islets and booty-filled shipwrecks, many of which are guarded by shrieking harpies and ugly drowners; I wanted to sniff around for new gear. I rode Roach, my stupid but faithful horse, to a fishing village near an Ard Skellig cape, hopped in a tiny boat, and started sailing south. It was sunset, and the choppy water was cast in soft pink light. It felt like I was the only person on the planet.

    A second later, I heard a roar off to my right somewhere. I slowed the ship down and started looking around. Were pirates inbound? Were monsters going to board my ship, clawing at its wood until they were dispatched by a well-placed crossbow bolt? I turned to look at the ship’s front, where a giant whale’s tail was rising above the water a few dozen feet in front of me. It slapped the water, and the creature kept gliding forward. I’d never seen one before.

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  • Adi Robertson

    Dec 21, 2015

    Adi Robertson

    Why Bloodborne is my game of the year

    I never got through more than an hour of Dark Souls, the beloved and famously difficult predecessor to Bloodborne. Among other things, I was intimidated by what felt like dozens of initial choices and mechanics, all in a world that felt strangely empty. I just didn’t get it. So I started Bloodborne in hopes that I could experience some of the magic that other people seemed to see in Dark Souls.

    It delivered.

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  • Dec 19, 2015

    Verge Staff

    The 10 best video games of 2015

    You can tell 2015 was a great year for new video games by the titles that didn’t make this list. It was a year that saw inventive new mobile games like Prune and Alto’s Adventure, and much-anticipated blockbusters like Star Wars Battlefront and Metal Gear Solid V. There were even plenty of wonderful surprises like Until Dawn, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, and Cibele. Those games aren’t on this list — which was voted on by various members of The Verge's staff — but the titles we did choose show the breadth of what games can be. Whether its massive open worlds, playful multiplayer experiences, or small, personal stories, the medium can cover a lot of ground. These are the 10 best games from the past 12 months.

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