Skip to main content

The Best Games of 2015

Another year has come and gone, but at least it's left some great games in its wake. In 2015, we got to explore a post-nuclear wasteland, cross swords with fantastical beasts, participate in futuristic firefights, play full-contact soccer with cars and even make our own levels for one of gaming's most iconic heroes. Tom's Guide put the year's best games head to head, to see which ones came out on top. If you want to discover what made 2015 an excellent year for gamers of all stripes, look no further.

10. Mortal Kombat X (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Mortal Kombat X is a fantastic fighting game that also happens to be a good video game, which is a rarity in the genre. This brawler's gorgeously grotesque visuals and compelling story mode are enough to lure you in, while its plethora of challenges and unlockables will keep you knocking your friends' heads off for hours on end. With a deep combat system and the option to choose among three variations of any character, MKX is easily the best-playing Mortal Kombat ever made, and one you'll likely see bringing the hype at tournaments for years to come.

— Mike Andronico (@MikeAndronico)

MORE: Mortal Kombat X Review: Bloody Fantastic

9. StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void (PC)

Blizzard's third and final expansion not only delivers a fitting finale for your favorite StarCraft heroes — including Marshal Jim Raynor, Kerrigan, the Queen of Blades and the Dark Templar Zeratul — but it also gives the multiplayer scene the shot in the arm it needs. There are new units for every race, new co-op modes to make gaming with a friend easier and a new campaign with more than 20 missions of epic real-time-strategy action. Even though it's one of the last torchbearers of a shrinking genre, Legacy of the Void cements StarCraft II's spot at the top.

—Sam Rutherford (@samrutherford)

MORE: StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void Review

8. Rocket League (PC, PS4)

Rocket League can be summed up in two words: car soccer. But that's a little dismissive, because it's so much more than that. Rocket League is a fast-paced, wall-driving air ballet that, despite the constant high-flying antics, is simple to play while also offering a ton of depth. You can battle solo, or partner with up to three other people to battle it out, using an ever-growing number of cars, and across a wide variety of arenas. And it costs just $20. One of the best multiplayer games of the year is easy to play and affordable? Yes, please.

— Sam Rutherford (@samrutherford)

7. Metal Gear Solid V (PS4, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC)

Hideo Kojima, creator of the seminal Zone of the Enders, is back, and now he's given gamers even more morally ambiguous dudes with hip measurements Scarlett O'Hara would covet. The first game in the Metal Gear series to be genuinely open-world, Metal Gear Solid V is detailed, engaging and well-acted, with missions that let you sneak up on or blow up enemies in just about any way you can think of. We've come a long way from Solid Snake hiding in a 32-bit cardboard box.

— Alex Cranz (@alexhcranz)

MORE: Metal Gear Solid V: Everything You Need to Know

6. Halo 5 (Xbox One)

It doesn't always run at a full 1080p, but the Xbox One's best exclusive of the year is still gorgeous. While other shooters were busy discovering wall running and the double jump, Halo 5 took a more measured approach to developing the FPS genre and added only a few small, but immensely gratifying new moves. You might not be as spry as players in Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, but you do get to fly into the air and then smash yourself down onto opponents with impunity. Playing like a cyborg linebacker has never felt so satisfying.

— Alex Cranz (@alexhcranz)

MORE: Halo 5: Guardian Review: Combat Evolved

5. Fallout 4 (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)

Welcome back to Wastelands. After five long years, Bethesda gave fans what they'd been waiting for: another chance to emerge from the vault and remake the irradiated wastes in their images. As in previous iterations, Fallout 4 gives you a massive world to explore, with so many nooks and crannies that it would make an English muffin jealous. This time, you'll also be tasked with creating settlements and searching for your son, who was kidnapped during a 200-year cryo-sleep. War never changes, but Fallout 4 did, just enough to make you want to spend an hour or 100 in the wastes.

— Sherri L. Smith (@misssmith11)

MORE: Fallout 4 Review: The Apocalypse is Awesome

4. Bloodborne (PS4)

The hunt has begun, but are you the predator or the prey? In Bloodborne, FromSoftware's latest ultra-difficult action/RPG, the answer is both. A dark game with an eerie setting and a minimalist story, Bloodborne combines Gothic architecture, Victorian dress and Lovecraftian horror as you create a hunter and guide him or her through unending night in the weird city of Yharnam. Not only is Bloodborne a feast for the eyes and ears, but it also has fiendishly difficult and clever gameplay, forcing you to consider every stroke of your cane-sword and every shot fired from your blunderbuss.

— Marshall Honorof(@marshallhonorof)

MORE: Bloodborne Review— The Most Dangerous Game

3. Ori and the Blind Forest (Xbox One)

This is the most beautiful Metroidvania you'll ever see. From first glance, Ori and the Blind Forest captivates you with its hand-painted artwork and its myriad of subtle animations. Despite the undeniable cuteness of the protagonist, the game is a complex mix of puzzle-solving and twitch reflexes that's not to be trifled with. But the center of the game lies in the story, which uses few words, but still manages to convey the fear, hurt and conflict of an orphan faced with the impossible task of bringing light back into the world.

— Sherri L. Smith (@misssmith11)

2. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

The latest game in The Witcher series might just be the best. Based on Andrzej Sapkowski's bestselling novels, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt follows the continuing adventures of Geralt of Rivia. Picking up where the previous game left off, Geralt must do battle with a fantasy realm's fiercest monsters and most devious villains as he seeks his lost love, Yennefer, and navigates his way through a catastrophic international war. In addition to a truly enormous map and tons of quests, The Witcher 3 features a deep, fast-paced battle system and plenty of ways to customize Geralt to fit your play style.

— Marshall Honorof (@marshallhonorof)

1. Super Mario Maker (Wii U)

Even in a year filled with huge open-world adventures and incredible multiplayer experiences, few games kept me as obsessively hooked as Super Mario Maker. This fresh take on Nintendo's flagship franchise makes building your own courses feel easy and intuitive, while doing an equally excellent job of bringing you a steady stream of new creations from players around the world. Mario Maker's rabid community has made the game a legitimate cultural phenomenon, with thousands of Twitch viewers tuning in to watch their favorite players conquer the bevy of creative — and often hilariously sadistic — levels that other gamers have made. The ever-evolving Super Mario Maker can be any type of Mario game you want it to be, and that sense of endless possibility makes it our pick for the best overall game of 2015.

— Mike Andronico (@MikeAndronico)