Home Gaming These were 2015’s best games, according to people who make games

These were 2015’s best games, according to people who make games

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Just when you thought you were safe from video game awards, comes another batch; this time the Game Developer’s Choice ones. What makes these ones a bit different, and always worth keeping an eye on is that these awards are tallied and awarded by those who make video games – and are likely to be the games that will influence the industry over the next year.

The awards will take place on March 16, at the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco. It’ll run alongside the Independent Games Festival awards.

The nominees for Game of the year aren’t entirely surprising. More interesting are the games that are up for the awards in innovation. Take a look at the nominees, along with honourable mentions.

Game of the Year

  • Fallout 4 (Bethesda Game Studios / Bethesda Softworks)
  • The Witcher 3 (CD Projekt RED / CD Projekt)
  • Metal Gear Solid V (Kojima Productions / Konami)
  • Bloodborne (FromSoftware / Sony Computer Entertainment)
  • Rocket League (Psyonix)

Honorable Mentions: Her Story (Sam Barlow), Super Mario Maker (Nintendo EAD Group No. 4 / Nintendo), Undertale(Toby Fox), Splatoon (Nintendo EAD Group No. 2 / Nintendo), Life is Strange (Dontnod Entertainment / Square Enix)

Innovation Award

  • Her Story (Sam Barlow)
  • Super Mario Maker (Nintendo EAD Group No. 4 / Nintendo)
  • Undertale (Toby Fox)
  • Splatoon (Nintendo EAD Group No. 2 / Nintendo)
  • The Beginner’s Guide (Everything Unlimited Ltd.)

Honorable Mentions: Rocket League (Psyonix), Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (Steel Crate Games) Cibele (Star Maid Games), Life is Strange (Dontnod Entertainment / Square Enix), Metal Gear Solid V (Kojima Productions / Konami)

Best Debut

  • Studio Wildcard (ARK: Survival Evolved)
  • Toby Fox (Undertale)
  • Moon Studios (Ori and the Blind Forest)
  • Moppin (Downwell)
  • Steel Crate Games (Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes)

Honorable Mentions: Asteroid Base (Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime), Question (The Magic Circle), Thomas Happ (Axiom Verge), Dinosaur Polo Club (Mini Metro), MidBoss (Read Only Memories)

Best Design

  • Rocket League (Psyonix)
  • Metal Gear Solid V (Kojima Productions / Konami)
  • Bloodborne (FromSoftware / Sony Computer Entertainment)
  • Fallout 4 (Bethesda Game Studios/ Bethesda Softworks)
  • Splatoon (Nintendo EAD Group No. 2 / Nintendo)

Honorable Mentions: Her Story (Sam Barlow), Super Mario Maker (Nintendo EAD Group No. 4 / Nintendo), Undertale(Toby Fox), The Witcher 3 (CD Projekt RED / CD Projekt), Ori and the Blind Forest (Moon Studios / Microsoft Studios)

Best Handheld/Mobile Game

  • Lara Croft: GO (Square Enix Montréal / Square Enix)
  • Fallout Shelter (Bethesda Game Studios / Bethesda Softworks)
  • Downwell (Moppin / Devolver Digital)
  • Her Story (Sam Barlow)
  • AlphaBear (Spry Fox)

Honorable Mentions: Prune (Joel McDonald), The Room Three (Fireproof Games), Subterfuge (Ron Carmel and Noel Llopis),Pac-Man 256 (Hipster Whale and 3 Sprockets / BANDAI NAMCO), Sage Solitaire (Zach Gage), SteamWorld Heist (Image and Form), You Must Build a Boat (EightyEight Games)

Best Visual Art

  • Ori and the Blind Forest (Moon Studios / Microsoft Studios)
  • The Witcher 3 (CD Projekt RED / CD Projekt)
  • Star Wars Battlefront (DICE / Electronic Arts)
  • Bloodborne (FromSoftware / Sony Computer Entertainment)
  • Splatoon (Nintendo EAD Group No. 2 / Nintendo)

Honorable Mentions: Metal Gear Solid V (Kojima Productions / Konami), Rise of the Tomb Raider (Crystal Dynamics / Square Enix), Batman: Arkham Knight (Rocksteady Studios / Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment), The Order: 1886 (Ready at Dawn / Sony Computer Entertainment), Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture (The Chinese Room / Sony Computer Entertainment), Fallout 4 (Bethesda Game Studios / Bethesda Softworks)

Best Narrative

  • Her Story (Sam Barlow)
  • The Witcher 3 (CD Projekt RED / CD Projekt)
  • Life is Strange (Dontnod Entertainment / Square Enix)
  • Undertale (Toby Fox)
  • The Beginner’s Guide (Everything Unlimited Ltd.)

Honorable Mentions: Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture (The Chinese Room / Sony Computer Entertainment), Fallout 4(Bethesda Game Studios / Bethesda Softworks), Until Dawn (Supermassive Games / Sony Computer Entertainment), Cibele (Star Maid Games), Soma (Frictional Games)

Best Audio

  • Star Wars Battlefront (DICE / Electronic Arts)
  • Ori and the Blind Forest (Moon Studios / Microsoft Studios)
  • Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture (The Chinese Room / Sony Computer Entertainment)
  • Metal Gear Solid V (Kojima Productions / Konami)
  • Crypt of the NecroDancer (Brace Yourself Games)

Honorable Mentions: Fallout 4 (Bethesda Game Studios / Bethesda Softworks), The Witcher 3 (CD Projekt RED / CD Projekt),Life is Strange (Dontnod Entertainment / Square Enix), SOMA (Frictional Games), Bloodborne (FromSoftware / Sony Computer Entertainment), Splatoon (Nintendo EAD Group No. 2 / Nintendo)

Best Technology

  • Metal Gear Solid V (Kojima Productions / Konami)
  • The Witcher 3 (CD Projekt RED / CD Projekt)
  • Star Wars Battlefront (DICE / Electronic Arts)
  • Fallout 4 (Bethesda Game Studios / Bethesda Softworks)
  • Just Cause 3 (Avalanche Studios / Square Enix)

Honorable Mentions: Rise of the Tomb Raider (Crystal Dynamics / Square Enix), Batman: Arkham Knight (Rocksteady Studios / Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment), Splatoon (Nintendo EAD Group No. 2 / Nintendo), Super Mario Maker(Nintendo EAD Group No. 4 / Nintendo), Halo 5: Guardians (343 Industries / Microsoft Studios)

Last Updated: January 11, 2016

No Comments

  1. Pieter Kruger

    January 11, 2016 at 15:37

    Sorry but just nominating Star Wars Battlefront for anything nullifies everything else!

    Reply

    • Umar

      January 11, 2016 at 15:39

      the tech in that game is outstanding

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn

        January 11, 2016 at 15:43

        Art and sound as well. But that alone does not a good game make :/

        Reply

      • HairyEwok

        January 11, 2016 at 16:19

        Well yeah duh, they’re using light sabers and laser guns after all.

        Reply

        • Spathi

          January 11, 2016 at 16:41

          That’s so bad, it’s actually good!

          Reply

  2. Lardus-For the Emperor!

    January 11, 2016 at 15:37

    Wow…only game mentioned that I played was Fallout Shelter!

    Reply

    • miaau

      January 11, 2016 at 15:43

      Fallout 4 is worth it, massively so. I normally play the Fallout games when the GOTY is out, so I play once with all expansions. Somehow I get the falling, I will gladly replay Fallout 4 in a year and a halfs time, with all expansions. Fallout 3 and New Vegas, I doubt would have had the strength to replay them for the DLC, if I did not start with them.

      Reply

      • Original Heretic

        January 11, 2016 at 15:54

        I jammed New Vegas twice, then I was done.

        Fallout 3 was better for me. I jammed it twice before any DLC, then about another 5 times as GOTY. Needless to say, at that time, I had to life and no responsibilities.

        Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      January 11, 2016 at 15:44

      Played all five GOTY games. My wallet nearly died

      Reply

      • Lardus-For the Emperor!

        January 11, 2016 at 15:54

        I did the whole “not getting any new console games until I upgrade my console” thing last year. PC games – well, my last upgrade was in 2007 so was very limited what I could get outside of Steam. So because I didn’t upgrade console or PC I was kinda left with only a few games to play. HotS, Diablo 3, Civ, Galactic Civs 3…and now with the rand tumbling, I wonder if I will ever again upgrade 🙁

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          January 11, 2016 at 15:57

          Looks bleak for console games, not sure if retailers have a plan but there’ not a lot of people that can afford more than R1000 for a single game

          Reply

          • Mistake Not...

            January 11, 2016 at 15:58

            Well people pay R800 for Battlefront and that’s only half a game

          • Hammersteyn

            January 11, 2016 at 16:01

          • Mistake Not...

            January 11, 2016 at 16:02

            Poor Boba

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            January 11, 2016 at 16:08

            Spice Worm!

          • miaau

            January 11, 2016 at 16:10

            the spice must flow….

          • Hammersteyn

            January 11, 2016 at 16:11

            LOL!

          • HairyEwok

            January 11, 2016 at 16:19

            Get in the Snorlax Pit

          • Lardus-For the Emperor!

            January 11, 2016 at 16:01

            I might just upgrade my PC for a modest 16K and hope it lasts another 8 years at least…’coz XCom 2 deserves better graphics than my current ancient rig! Hy was nog saam Noag op die Ark!

          • Hammersteyn

            January 11, 2016 at 16:02

            LOL luckily there was just two of every animal, so rendering it all shouldn’t be an issue

        • miaau

          January 11, 2016 at 16:04

          You played GalCiv 3? Been avoiding it. Learning curve and all that. Is it worth it?

          Reply

          • Lardus-For the Emperor!

            January 11, 2016 at 16:07

            It is OK. My PC could only handle medium map sizes. Got it day one with “day 1 purchase blues” settling in after a few hours, but mostly because of the limitations of my PC. Learning curve isn’t bad. If you have a decent PC, and with all the fixes and optimizations that have been done, getting it on a Steam Sale is probably worth it. Haven’t played it in months though (2015/11/07 last) – you can only crush the peace loving fleshies so many times 🙂

          • miaau

            January 11, 2016 at 16:10

            Yeah, GalCiv 2 got like that. Well made game, on the whole, but just sort of, got boring. Or, on the hardest level, not fun at all.

          • Lardus-For the Emperor!

            January 11, 2016 at 16:14

            Never played GalCiv 1 or 2, but I really wanted something like the old Masters of Orion 2. Think the most boring part is the space battles – no control over anything there. Yes, I think that was my biggest “boredom” gripe with the game, the space battles. And upgrading ships? What a mission! So perhaps wait until there is an expansion, or perhaps Gal Civ 4…or a very good deal on Steam Sale.

          • Lardus-For the Emperor!

            January 11, 2016 at 16:28

            Apparently a list of 4X games coming in 2016 (http://forums.galciv3.com/474109):

            Stellaris
            Master of Orion
            Endless Space 2
            Civilization VI
            Stars in Shadow
            Polaris Sector
            Lord of Rigel
            Oriental Empires
            Predestination
            M.O.R.E.
            Imperia (5X)
            So, there are options this year if you like that type of game. Especially excited seeing Master of Orion again!

          • miaau

            January 11, 2016 at 16:36

            Endless Space 2 looks very interesting, they learnt a lot when they made Endless Legend and I think it will be well applied to Endless Space 2.

            Civ Vi. Nah. Civ V all the way. right. Right? No, will probably buy it.

            Yeah, but what does Master of Orion mean? Time will tell………

          • Lardus-For the Emperor!

            January 11, 2016 at 16:46

            I kinda enjoy Civ Beyond Earth. Last Civ game before that was Civ 2. Master of Orion…yeah reboot/remake. http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/07/01/e3-2015-master-of-orion-returns-to-reclaim-its-4x-crown

            Already listed on Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/298050/

  3. Mistake Not...

    January 11, 2016 at 15:38

    So no best soundtrack? They’re just gonna chuck it in with the very ambiguous audio category?

    Reply

  4. Umar

    January 11, 2016 at 15:39

    Undertale really is an amazing game

    Reply

    • Mistake Not...

      January 11, 2016 at 15:41

      At what point is that fact evident? I’ve been playing it for a while but I don’t quite get why everybody says it is.

      Reply

      • miaau

        January 11, 2016 at 15:49

        Yeah, I get like that sometimes. Do something, and then am sure I must be missing something, cause all these people think it is great, so I must be missing something. Right?

        Galaxy bloody Quest.

        Reply

        • Mistake Not...

          January 11, 2016 at 15:58

          Exactly. Am I playing this game correctly? XD

          Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      January 11, 2016 at 15:43

      Want it badly!

      Reply

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      January 11, 2016 at 15:47

      You should check out LISA. Only spent a short while playing it before my PC died, but damn that game is seriously bleak.

      http://store.steampowered.com/app/335670/

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn

        January 11, 2016 at 15:52

        I’d play bleak games to if I played on PC

        Reply

        • VampyreSquirrel

          January 11, 2016 at 15:59

          Lol your face is bleak 😛

          Reply

          • Hammersteyn

            January 11, 2016 at 16:02

            True, but my point stands

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          January 11, 2016 at 15:59

          Pffft. I’ve seen you on PC. You probably switch yourself to offline mode before playing. ;P

          Reply

          • Hammersteyn

            January 11, 2016 at 16:02

            XD

      • Spathi

        January 11, 2016 at 16:39

        Yeah it’s good, the setting is great and the absolute dread you feel while playing is immense, but the gameplay just didn’t do it for me, or not enough to keep me wanting to play.

        Reply

  5. miaau

    January 11, 2016 at 15:40

    I continue to be surprised by Fallout 4. I think it is extremely well put together, with FUN as the core mechanic.

    I honestly think that it, in some ways is superior to Witcher 3. Story, Witcher 3 hands down, no problem. W3 had some truly awesome moments of exploration, that truly begot wonder. Somehow, though, Fallout 4 just seems to pull that off more and I am enjoying it more. Make no mistake, please, I loved W3, and this is sort of like comparing two sunrises to find the best one. Small things, for me, pushed Fallout 4 to the top.

    AND, been playing to pretty much every chance I got when wife and kid were sleeping over the December break AND still looking forward to playing tonight. W3 needed two breaks for me to continue. Too many question marks in Witcher 3.

    Reply

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      January 11, 2016 at 15:41

      Hope you’ve got the 1st W3 expansion, it’s also really good.

      Reply

      • miaau

        January 11, 2016 at 15:45

        not yet. Waiting for 2nd one, then I will restart W3 from scratch, say at the end of this year, if 2nd major one out then. If I replay, it must be worth my while.

        Considering replay of Dragon Age Inquisition a bit later on this year, buy all the DLC and then resist the massive temptation not to play ANOTHER mage.

        Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      January 11, 2016 at 15:42

      Fallout 4 was so good. gonna have to trade it for The Division but it was worth every minute I played it

      Reply

      • Original Heretic

        January 11, 2016 at 15:58

        BLASPHEMER!!!!!!! Trading in Fallout 4?!? There are special places for people like you!

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          January 11, 2016 at 15:58

          Yeah, the poor house

          Reply

          • Original Heretic

            January 11, 2016 at 16:01

            Hey I know that place. I know it well. I wish I wasn’t there myself. Gaming or eating…or feeding my 1 year old son. These are constant debates. The wife doesn’t like it when gaming usually wins.

          • Hammersteyn

            January 11, 2016 at 16:03

            Kids are a massive step in life. Heck, I’ll need to find a wife first.

          • miaau

            January 11, 2016 at 16:04

            yeah, that is why I game when they sleep, for the most part.

    • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

      January 11, 2016 at 15:57

      Really? I found it the exact opposite way though… Fallout 4 wasn’t that good for me, crowbarring settlements into the game seriously broke it for me as for TW3, Geralt isn’t necessarily a hero, he’s just good at his job and what made it even better was when you realise how infinitely inferior he is compared to Ciri, but anyway, from all the 2015 games, TW3 stood out most for me…

      Reply

      • Mistake Not...

        January 11, 2016 at 16:00

        HEY!! You don’t diss Ciri.
        I hope they make a standalone game for her, though, somehow.

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          January 11, 2016 at 16:05

          I bet she stars in the next Witcher game what with Geralt retiring to the countryside with Yennefer

          Reply

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            January 11, 2016 at 16:06

            I wouldn’t be surprised to see her make a cameo in Cyberpunk 2077.

          • Hammersteyn

            January 11, 2016 at 16:06

            O_o would be awesome

          • miaau

            January 11, 2016 at 16:06

            good call

          • Mistake Not...

            January 11, 2016 at 16:06

            Spoiler: I got the crappy ending where he ends up alone hunting monsters for the rest of his days. So sad

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            January 11, 2016 at 18:20

            Hehe…

        • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

          January 11, 2016 at 18:19

          I’m not dissing ciri though, she’s awesomely overpowering once you get deeper into the game, but Geralt is still awesome, a standalone ciri game would be insane!

          Reply

      • miaau

        January 11, 2016 at 16:02

        Ah, but Geralt. I sort of resent that Ciri is more powerful, to be honest. Geralt is, from W1, sort of the hero for me and he must be able to cope with it all, no real stress. Of course, he uses his friends to help in places, that is just smart, but Geralt must be the complete problem solver.

        Say, 95% Fallout 4 (My settlements are total messes, by the way, just sort of keeping the big ones going, planted lots of food, water stuff , put beds everywhere I could, some machine guns, took a few minutes, then ignored them. Ungrateful sods.

        And 90% W3, so still very close for me.

        Reply

        • Mistake Not...

          January 11, 2016 at 16:03

          General, another settlement needs our help. I’ll mark it on your map.

          Reply

          • miaau

            January 11, 2016 at 16:17

            Ah yes, that got me down. big time. Ploughed (heh, Geralt) through that and it does stop. Also, stopped doing those missions.

        • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

          January 11, 2016 at 18:35

          The biggest issue I had was that by the third time I had to fetch the same piece of tech for the BoS I lost it, completely, right there and then I decided to stuff some of the side missions and focus more on the story… Still took a while…

          Reply

  6. Hammersteyn

    January 11, 2016 at 15:41

    Only two honorable mentions for ROTR? I guess people who make game doesn’t own XBOX Ones

    Reply

    • VampyreSquirrel

      January 11, 2016 at 15:55

      Who can own a PC (That you develop, and play decent games on) AND an Xbox One?

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn

        January 11, 2016 at 15:56

        Cliffy B?

        Reply

        • VampyreSquirrel

          January 11, 2016 at 16:11

          lol, he probably owns all the consoles going back to an original Atari or something.

          Reply

  7. Alien Emperor Trevor

    January 11, 2016 at 15:42

    There’s a few games there that I need to get. MGSV, Ori, Life is Strange.

    Reply

  8. Generic ZA

    January 11, 2016 at 15:51

    Still wonder how these discussions go when the game developers have to stay impartial, like you can’t just nominate your own game without looking like a ponce, have to add a few others into the mix … must make for interesting eavesdropping.

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      January 11, 2016 at 15:52

      I wouldn’t nominate Battlefront even if I made it

      Reply

  9. Kaihaku

    January 11, 2016 at 18:15

    I’m not sure how Fallout 4 made the game of the year list. Would have rather seen one of the honorable mentions replace it, specifically Undertale or Splatoon.

    Reply

  10. GooseZA

    January 12, 2016 at 12:32

    ORI!!!!

    Reply

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