This year - 2015 - has been one of the finest years for games ever. The new console really hit their strides, and we saw some superb games really start to leverage the power that they offered. At the same time, the independent developers really started to break out and produce games that are creative and artistic, but every bit as refined as the finest of the AAA-titles.
Every year we run a series of awards, celebrating the finest games that we've seen across each platform, and a number of key categories (art, narrative, sound, and so forth). Each day we'll unveil the winner, as well as the key runner's up, one category per day.
What were your favourite games of the year in each category? Be sure to let us know in the comments!
Microsoft's Xbox One has had a challenging year, with the PlayStation 4 solidifying its hold over the market, both in terms of sales, and the breadth of content appearing on the platform. Nevertheless, there were some excellent games, both indie and blockbuster, that did land on the console this year.
Ori and the Blind Forest
One of the most beautiful platformers ever created, Ori and the Blind Forest is a clever little puzzle platformer inspired by films such as The Lion Kind and The Iron Giant. It also has a strong sense of spirituality and serenity, making it a deeply absorbing experience beyond its gorgeous visuals. Produced with Microsoft's support, we would like to see many more of this kind from the publisher.
Beyond Eyes is a beautiful, important game. It might seem odd to create a game about being blind, given that the medium is a visual one by its very nature, but in taking some of what we take for granted when we play a game from us, we get to understand, in just a small way, what it's like for blind people in the real world.
Life is Strange
Without a doubt one of the finest narrative games ever created, Life is Strange is a breathtakingly intense teenage narrative, wrapped within some time-bending fantasy tropes. The two come together to leave us with a game filled with moral challenge and consequence, but also a deeply personal coming of age story, that is told with a deftness and maturity that left us all with great hope for the development of games as a storytelling device.