Every year has good games, but only one can be the best of the year. So, what have I chosen as my game of the year?
Following its release in March of this year, Colossal Order’s Cities: Skyline proved to be the SimCity that never was. Boasting careful attention to detail, more robust and complex systems than SimCity, and even expanding the possibilities for one’s cities, this game surely feels like the best game of 2015. Of course, many other great titles released later in the year, but none seemed to be as captivating as this.
Published by Paradox Interactive, Cities: Skyline allows players to forge their own cities from the ground up and gives them multiple tools to do so. With a selection of locations, the player must design their city and grow to unlock more options, infrastructure, and land. Instead of relying on always-online DRM, the game allows players to build their cities in singleplayer. While the manner of the game does not allow for multiplayer, the single player experience is enough to win over strategy-minded gamers and others alike. The game is made with both fans of Paradox Interactive’s typical slew of complicated strategy games and new arrivals to the game alike, with a much simpler learning curve than other titles like Europa Universalis IV or Crusader Kings II. If you enjoy city-building strategy games, Cities: Skyline is certainly worth the $30 price tag.
The game did have some close contenders, of course. Right behind Cities: Skyline is the first runner-up, CD PROJEKT’s The Witcher 3. A close second to Game of the Year, The Witcher 3 was one of the best role-playing games to hit the shelves in 2015. Centered around the adventures of Geralt of Rivia, players will swiftly find themselves in love with the May 2015 game based on Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski’s fantasy series of the same name. With an astounding combat system focused on swordplay and magic, and a map 30 times larger than that of its previous title, The Witcher 2, this game is truly a masterpiece and is just as deserving of Game of the Year as its main contender.
The second runner-up for 2015’s Game of the Year is Toby Fox’s Undertale. With an incredible story and unique gameplay, Undertale comes quite close to being Game of the Year, but just not quite. Nevertheless, Undertale is a real gem for both the indie crowd and fans of story-driven games. Rather than utilize a linear storyline, this game has several potential endings, significantly increasing its replayability. Most playthroughs require the player to abandon conflict entirely, instead focusing in befriending NPCs. This form of gameplay runs tantamount to the more common theme of fighting found in most games, thus bringing a fresh perspective and method of gameplay. However, there is a playthrough for those who would prefer to slaughter all they meet, which affects all other potential endings.
2015 has been an amazing year for video games, and hopefully, 2016 will be even better.