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!
And this is it! The final award category - the overall best game of 2015. Given the quality of games this year, it was incredibly difficult picking just one winner, but we opted to go with a game that we feel wrapped together unique and interesting features on every level. We were looking for an interesting narrative, a strong sense of creativity behind the audio and visual elements, and, of course, for it to be an interesting game.
Everybody's Gone to the Rapture
There are those that find "walking simulators" to be dull. That's okay, because not every game is going to mean the same thing to every person. For those of us that do enjoy the more gentle pace of a "walking simulator," Everybody's Gone to the Rapture is, perhaps, the finest example ever. A brilliant script combines with the strongest visual design we've yet seen in a game, as well as an open world to explore that is interesting from start through to finish.
Project Zero: Maiden Of Black Water
Hearkening back to the older style of horror game, Project Zero was a breath of fresh air at a time where the genre is slowly - but surely - slipping into action-heavy affairs. With a methodical pacing, backed by an incredible art style and one of the most interesting horror narratives you'll come across, Maiden of Black Water was most definitely a reason to keep that Wii U around this year. Nintendo's console might have struggled to get the quantity of games that its rivals enjoyed, but when they are games like this one, it's difficult to complain.
Life Is Strange
For an approach to adventure games that was really pioneered by Telltale Games, it's amazing that the work of that studio was so completely upstaged by Dontnod's first attempt at it. Life is Strange is everything that you want to see in an adventure game; a fascinating narrative that is impossible to put down, gorgeous art style and a spectacular soundtrack. It has been incredibly frustrating, through the year, devouring a new episode of Life Is Strange in a evening sitting, only to have to wait a month or more for the next chapter. With a complete edition limited box set on the way in January, those of you who haven't experienced it yet should really take advantage, because if you miss out on Life Is Strange, you're missing out on one of the most important games released in years.