Niche Gamer’s Favorite Games of 2015 – The Witcher 3 is Our 2015 GOTY

the witcher 3 11-13-15-1

It’s the end of 2015 as we know it – and we’ve corralled the Niche Gamer staff together and had everyone write a short blurb of their favorite game of the entire year – our game of the year, if you will. The games which received votes are as follows:

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – 3 Votes
  • Undertale – 2 Votes
  • Bloodborne – 1 Vote
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – 1 Vote
  • Pillars of Eternity – 1 Vote

This means CD Projekt RED’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is officially the Niche Gamer 2015 game of the year!

In case you’re wondering what each of our staff had to say for their picks, you can find all of that juicy writing below:


  • Brandon Orselli

I’ll be honest – I played about half of the original Witcher and I never got around to playing its sequel – however, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt really blew me away. It was the kind of game I just couldn’t go on media blackout for (which I do for lots of stuff I play just for enjoyment), despite wanting to wait for the finished product and see it firsthand with my own eyes. It’s a testament to the modern RPG, and it’s done right, and it has lots of things I love in western fiction. It’s got everything, monster slaying, beautiful women, a good story, and a womanizing, brooding, badass protagonist. I can’t recommend it enough.

  • Alexis Nascimento-Lajoie

Having not played any of the other entries in the series, I was going in this game with a completely blank slate, having only heard passing things about the series up until this point. I was weary if it would be hard to follow jumping into The Witcher 3, but not only was the story easy to comprehend for newcomers, but it was by far the most engaging game I’ve played this year. The Witcher 3 has probably the highest quality I’ve seen in terms of quest structure and stories. From the main quest to simple Witcher contracts, each one feels fleshed out and realised with nice little stories attached to each one, making many of them incredibly memorable. Geralt as a protagonist was also refreshing, as he’s simply a player in a much grander story, with the only goal to live a life away from politics and war.  I plan on going back to this game sometime in the future, as I’ve only scracthed the surface of what it had to offer. The Witcher 3 was the most enjoyable and surprising game this year, and it’s only gotten me excited for what else CD Projeckt have in store for us.

  • Maciej Miszczyk

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – I may be biased in favor of this game because it comes from my country but regardless of where you come from, Witcher 3 is a great game. It’s a modern action-RPG not unlike the ones made by Bioware but it easily beats them at their own game. It’s a great looking game (from both aesthetic and technical standpoints) with a big but well designed world you can navigate without using the in-game map, memorable characters and choices that have actual (often difficult to foresee) impact on the story while avoiding the obvious black and white morality. It’s not the deepest or most non-linear RPG out there but within its subgenre, it’s an instant classic.’

  • Cody Gulley

I would have to argue that my favorite game this year is Undertale.  I found a great appreciation for the work Toby Fox has put in to this game. I found the cast engaging and I loved the fact that the enemies you face actually show up as NPC throughout the game. The gameplay was a challenge for me due to my inexperience with bullet hell type games, but it gave me a newfound respect for that genre of game which I’m very thankful for. The story was engaging enough to choke me up from time to time and the humor often had me laughing. The best part about the game for me however was the soundtrack even a month after I’ve played it I still come back to it. Toby Fox put a phenomenal amount of work into this game and for a 1 man team it rightfully won the GOTY for me at least. I look forward to his next game.

  • Cody Long

Undertale is my game of the year. Awesome characters, great gameplay, and one of the best soundtracks in recent memory. I can’t remember the last time a game made me smile as much as Undertale, I had a big stupid grin on my face the entire 5-6 hours. Can’t recommend it enough.

  • Carl Batchelor

Pillars of Eternity had a lot of competition, sure, but for as large as The Witcher 3 was, and for as addictive as Dungeon Travelers turned out to be, nothing combined every aspect of the modern RPG together the way Pillars of Eternity did. The branching quests, the choice and consequence, the satisfyingly crunchy (if not sometimes broken) combat…even the graphics were some of the best I’ve seen in an isometric game. Is it perfect? Certainly not, but what Obsidian has done is create a rich and original world that they can build on in much the same way other companies have done with their own. This was Obsidian’s very best work, no doubt. There were doubts about the writing after Avellone left, but after seeing the quality of the two new expansion NPCs, I think they’ll do just fine.

  • Claude Smith

While I’m disappointed by its missing content, and unhappy with how the creative staff who made it were treated,  I think that Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain would be my pick for game of the year. The mechanics, controls, cutscenes, and music are all fantastic, and it’s a good swan song for a series I’ve been playing for almost thirty years.

  • Chris Gregoria

I’ve always enjoyed From Software’s games, and Bloodborne still hits that magic mark. I’m always impressed with the world building, and Bloodborne’s Gothic Victorian-esque setting was nothing short of amazing. The locales and art direction was incredible, and the story – when you dig into a bit – was really well put together too. And, of course, the gameplay delivered on all fronts.


What did you think of our picks? We promise that next year, we’ll give fans the ability to poll/vote for their top games (a feature we’ll roll out with our upcoming redesign).

What is your 2015 game of the year? Sound off in the comments below!

About

The staff at Niche Gamer are crazy passionate about the same games that we cover and play every day. Please feel free to contact us any time!

  • ρяøxч

    Wow, not a single one of you had Her Story as GOTY? How am I supposed to take Niche Gamer seriously? :^)

  • Alexis Nascimento-Lajoie

    Don’t worry I’m applying for Polygon as we speak. surely this will help my credibility

  • Heavily Augmented

    A great finale to the end the year. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2016 for Niche Gamer and video games in general!

  • Para-Medic

    Glory to NG in 2015! You guys were amazing! Glory for 2016 and beyond!

    Happy New Years everyone, stay safe, good health and fortune to all in the new year! :3

    On topic: My vote goes to MGS V, (I played PC Ver.) It was extremely well optimized thanks to Fox engine and despite all the bullshit (story wise), I still put 160ish hours into it. XD

  • deadeye

    I actually bought Witcher 3 recently knowing absolutely nothing about it or it’s predecessors. I feel like I maybe should have looked up something, because I’m really muddling my way through. I’m also refusing to look at any guides. I heard choices and consequences is actually a thing here, so I want everything to be raw.

    Also bought Bloodborne recently. In contrast to Witcher 3, I pretty much know everything about it. Still amazing though.

    I figure I ought to play at least some of the big 2015 titles.

  • sanic

    My game of the year is yakuza 5, for 2012 and 2015.

  • sanic

    Pretty sure it’s spelt porygon and you need to win 3000 tokens at the team rocket casino to get it.

  • Fear Me I Am Free

    Let’s hope the new year is filled with good games that don’t get butchered to hell by censorship or are hamfisted political preachy messes.

  • Tubsiwub

    I guess I’m boring when I say I loved Fallout 4…

  • I’d say that just means you have low standards. :p

  • deadeye

    What killed Fallout 4 is the dialogue choice bullshit and how it felt like you had almost no control over what your character said. Also releasing in the same year as a bunch of superb RPGs. Bloodborne, Witcher 3, Pillars of Eternity, Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition, Pillars of Eternity, Undertale.

    Standing next to what are likely some of the best RPGs in years, even something decent will look awful.

    Then you have to compare it to the previous Fallout games. It honestly doesn’t feel like a proper sequel to Fallout 3. It just feels like another spin-off with a slightly better engine. I would say it’s mostly better than 3, but just pales in comparison to NV.

  • Master Bating

    Go play the predecessors to tje GOTY you goddamned casuals.

  • Siveon

    Well, if it’s meh ranging on bad, then it is a proper sequel to Fallout 3 :P

  • snugdarkly

    Why would anything good ever happen?

  • deadeye

    I was gonna disagree with you, then I remembered F3’s story was about water filtration.

    Yeah, okay.

  • Siveon

    Technically, so was Fallout 1. But it was a lot more cooler.

    [Middle-Aged Guy Intensifies]

  • LMAO. The new year is off to an amazing start. Holy shit.

  • Para-Medic

    I dunno about Steam yet, but on handhelds, the new year starts off with FF Explorers and FE: Fates for me.

    Fates is gonna get rekt by NOA. (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

  • scemar

    Good year for RPG’s huh?

  • Go D. Usopp

    Bloodborne > Xenoblade X > the rest of this year’s mediocrity

  • Dammage

    Play the first Witcher! The story is my favorite in the series, though I have yet to beat Witcher 3

  • Carl_Ed

    Well, Porygon’s name is Polygon in the original Japanese version. Maybe that’s why there was a moral outrage over a two second animated strobe?

  • Antoinant

    Yakuza Zero is pretty good too as a 2015 release.

  • Stilzkin

    I highly recommend the first two games, even if the first is a bit clunky. Also the books, if you’re into reading.

  • Stilzkin

    Based Chris, Bloodborne is my GOTY as well

  • Softclocks

    Disappointing year tbh

  • Momiji

    Great year, when I discovered nichegamer and kept coming back for more. Keep it up! :)

  • MusouTensei

    Havn’t played any of them nor do I plan to, my Top 5 are
    #5 Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson (3DS)
    #4 Omega Quintet (PS4)
    #3 Fallout 4 (XB1)
    #2 Xenoblade Chronicles X (Wii U)
    #1 Tales of Zestiria (PS4)

    Happy New Year and keep going strong in 2016 Nichegamer.

  • djluke_1993

    What no love for Tokyo Twilight? That was one of the better games this year.

  • KefkaFollower

    Nice list friend. And diverse console-wise.
    I’m curious.
    How many consoles you have in “active duty” ?

    P.S.: Happy new year.

  • KefkaFollower

    If you want to know more the plot of about previous to games why don’t you check:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiqMr0OvQog

    and

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSftIRQzYCM

    There are other “retrospectives” out there. I think these are the best ones.

  • MusouTensei

    Technically I can hook up all my consoles (almost everything by Nintendo, Sega, Sony and MS from NES till today) in 10 minutes max, but in actual “active duty” are Wii U, PS4, XB1, Vita and 3DSXL, with Wii, PS3 and 360, PSP and DS, pretty much on standby and ready to be played in a minute.

  • Mr0303

    A respectable choice. 2015 was a good year for games and 2016 looks to be better. Happy New Year Niche Gamer! I’ll be following your output with interest.

  • Dammage

    I’ve not played many new games this year yet, been working on that backlog but I’ll give this a go.
    1. Bloodborne
    2. Nekopara Vol. 1

    Shit I really didn’t play much this year

  • Carl B.

    I liked Her Story better when it was called Night Trap and it had Dana Plato in a towel running around a mansion getting chased by monsters.

  • Carl B.

    Beat both Witcher 1 and 2 when they came out. Still treasure them. I still consider TW1 to be the best of the series.

  • PenguinPlayer

    I bought all 3 Witchers in the Steam Winter Sale and finished the first one yesterday. Downloading the second one right now on my shitty internet and hoping it is as good as the first one.

    Also no Yakuza 5 votes means this site is trash and I am never coming back here until you build a shrine to Kiryu-sama.

  • Arbitrary

    Holy shit; you have bad taste.

    This is the kind of thing that makes it very difficult for me to take you seriously as reviewers.

  • djghost1133

    “i don’t like you because your opinion is wrong.”

  • REAPER

    A title well earned for The Witcher 3! All hail the Patriarchy!

    Though I still wish CDPR would get around to fixing most of the bugs in the game soon. Its still a great game though.

  • TsukuyomiMagi99

    A badass shrine priestess like yourself is always welcome :D

  • Kamille Bidan

    I liked fallout 4 when it came out. Then Bethesda “patched” the game.

  • Etherblaze

    Yakuza 5 and Trails of Cold Steel for me. ToCS might be edging out on top because I’m on my second consecutive playthrough right now. Can’t wait for ToCS 2.

  • alterku

    According to this list, Undertale was almost their GOTY. Undertale was their #2. I just don’t get it.

  • Cody Long

    Arbitrary? Sounds pretty accurate. ;)