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!