Game of the Year 2015 Countdown: #10 - #6

This is it--we've finally made it into the top 10 games of 2015. What games made the list from 10 to 6?

After hours of debates and much gnashing of teeth, our global team of GameSpot editors has finally come up with this: the best video games of 2015, in ranked order. Our list of the best 25 games of the year has been informed by the wide array of tastes, experiences, and preferences of dozens of GameSpot editors around the world. It's a varied and eclectic list, spanning everything from the year's biggest AAA releases, to smaller, personal gameplay experiences, and everything else in between. We'll be counting down to number one over the next few days, so keep it locked to GameSpot as we unveil our choices. For today, check out our picks for 10 to 6.

10. Kerbal Space Program

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When we think about space flight in video games, we think about dogfighting in starfighters, micromanaging our ship’s crew, and sending probes out to mine for minerals. What we don’t think about is the creation of those spacefaring vehicles, and the never-ending list of complex considerations needed not only to build them but to actually get them into outer space.

Kerbal Space Program challenges us to overcome these problems. Using a highly accurate simulation of real-world physics and orbital mechanics, you have to think about ship design, structural integrity, rocket propulsion, fuel storage, orbital maneuvering, re-entering the atmosphere, landing on celestial bodies, and everything in between. Kerbal successfully motivates you to learn the fundamentals of real-world science in order to achieve self-made goals. It charges you with determination when you fail, and fills you with an unfathomable joy when you succeed. Kerbal is an empowering game that pulls no punches.

9. Tales from the Borderlands: A Telltale Games Series

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Whether or not you care about the Borderlands universe, Tales from the Borderlands is an utter delight. Tales' story is a narrative triumph that takes you through a game world rich with unusual characters. Instead of the powerful Vault Hunters featured in the Borderlands shooter series, you step into the shoes of little guys with big secrets, ordinary joes who do their damndest just to survive. The series is reverential but not beholden to its source material, allowing it to explore somewhat off-brand themes like friendship, family, and what we do when our heroes disappoint us. Filled with epic, cataclysmic moments, truly hilarious dialogue, and dirty humor, Tales from the Borderlands is this year's must-play episodic series.

8. Rise of the Tomb Raider

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Lara Croft's latest adventure accomplishes everything it needs to: it molds the iconic character into a nuanced personality. It expands its world to encourage exploration and immersion. It features fluid, compelling combat. And it hones its pacing to an almost seamless state, trimming the fat and pushing us through its remote environments at a breakneck pace.

Rise of the Tomb Raider also tells a compelling story of moral grays, building a growing sense of unease as we approach the climax. There are no cutscenes too long and no characters too contrived, and as you make your way through well-designed combat scenarios and platforming puzzles, it all swells to one of the most gripping climaxes of the year. Rise of the Tomb Raider is exceptional for how it builds on the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot, though it's spectacular in its own right as well.

7. Ori and the Blind Forest

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Ori and the Blind Forest is an exquisitely calibrated platform game, demonstrating masterful timing and tempo in its mechanics. Players zigzag up vertical corridors, vault across wooden beams, and spring over beds of thorns with Mario-grade control. The rules of its world strike an immaculate balance between simplicity and freedom, with players given enough incentive to make daring leaps of faith, but also enough limitation to breeze through its world without unnecessary complication. It presents a superbly arced challenge, complete with tense, epic scenarios that demand near-perfect awareness and timing. But at the same time, it never overcomplicates to the point of becoming a hassle.

While Ori and the Blind Forest mimics ideas from its ancestors with accuracy, it also elevates itself beyond mere tribute band status, introducing a series of advanced jump mechanics that are so satisfying and fluid that you can only hope Nintendo is paying attention. Oh, and you may have noticed, it looks alright, too. Its world is set in an enchanting, fantastical forest where every stretch of woodland and fauna has been painstakingly hand-drawn.

6. Fallout 4

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Many games attempt to explore what life might be like in a post-apocalyptic world, but few dive as deep as the Fallout games. Set 200 years after a nuclear war, Fallout 4 examines life in an irradiated version of Boston, where Fenway Park has become a shanty town, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has long-since deviated from being a respected source of education. Some may look at Fallout 4 and say it's just Fallout 3 with a fresh coat of paint, but that surface-level evaluation ignores the nuanced storytelling that sets Fallout 4 apart from other wasteland-based games.

As you explore Boston in search of your son, you grow not only as a warrior and survivalist, but also as a prominent figure in a society that's hanging by a thread. You navigate different social circles, search for meaning in a world gone mad, and meet fascinating people along the way. Some are objectively good, but it's not always easy to tell who will inevitably betray you and who you should trust. Everyone has their motivations, including you, and the manner in which Fallout 4 forces you to confront your position on various thorny issues after easing you into its topsy-turvy world makes it one of the most engrossing experiences of 2015.

Come back tomorrow as we unveil the final five games in our Game of the Year countdown.

To see what ranked 25-21, check out our feature here. To see the 20-16 list, click here. To see the 15-11 list, click here.

Game of the Year 2015 Countdown: #10 - #6

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Avatar image for blaise0fgl0ry
Blaise0fGl0ry

This list is a prime example on how to offend no one, while satisfying no one, which in turn offends me. The entire format they are using sucks.

Instead of doing what makes sense, comparing games by platform and/or genre they have decided to throw a bunch of very different games into a mess of a top 25 list. A list in which the parameters used for ranking completly baffle me. Seriously how did they decide what goes where? Somebody help me out here! Apparently quality and review scores weren't factored in, not that Gamespot's scores depict fair portrayals anyways.

Seriously what were they thinking?

Avatar image for DETfaninATL
DETfaninATL

I think we all know what 3 of the top 5 are : Bloodborne, Witcher 3, Metal Gear 5 but the other two I bet are going to surprise some folks. People are going to crap themselves if / when Arkham Knight shows up in the top 5, but IMHO, it belongs there. Just sayin'.....

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Kyelo

@DETfaninATL: Arkham Knight will not because it is no different to the other 2 before it, it's technically good but brings little new to the table and isn't as well received as 1 and 2. Add in the fact it's been lampooned on PC and it's a no go.

The other 2 will most likely be Rocket League and Mario Maker.

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blinkyb

Guessing they'll pick

5. Mario Maker

4. Bloodbourne

3. Rocket League

2. MGS V

1. Witcher 3

Avatar image for ladyblue
LadyBlue

I hope MGS5 wins it. Best MGS game to date, & the best game of the year. Wouldn't be disappointed if Witcher 3, or Bloodborne got the nod though.

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Solid_Answers12

@ladyblue: Best MGS? Don't make me laugh.

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Lizard_King89

@Solid_Answers12: Don't understand the hate MGSV gets. Yes it's repetitive and the story doesn't make much sense but I think you can say the same for all metal gear games, It's a fantastic open world stealth game.

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Solid_Answers12

@Lizard_King89: "you can say the same for all metal gear games"

Sure, but MGSV's "story" was non-existent in the first place, play any MGS game then jump on to MGSV then you will definitely know and feel the difference, MGSV was not a complete game nor did it have a complete story, because of konami and also kojima's incompetence for spending too much on a game, which is admirable, but still should be criticized.

It had the best gameplay in an MGS game, that I agree with, but it was not the best overall MGS game, that is wrong on so many levels.

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Lizard_King89

@Solid_Answers12: Oh I agree with you there about the story being non existent and it wasn't the best MG ever but what we did end up with was really good

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Tiwill44

@ladyblue: pink comic sans? teach us your magic font tricks, senpai

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Zenopants

@Tiwill44: I think you'll appreciate this:

http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/im-comic-sans-asshole

Avatar image for kyelo
Kyelo

@Tiwill44: No, no kill it with fire! :p

Avatar image for ahpuck
ahpuck

I can't believe how popular Borderlands is, played 2 hours of the first one and I was done with it. I played the Borderlands 2 demo for about one hour and I was done with it. I must be in the minority.

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ThePunisherBR

I believe TOP 5 will be 5-Pillars of Eternity, 4- Super Mario Maker, 3- Bloodbourne, 2- Metal Gear Solid V, 1- The Witcher 3.

It was a big surprise to me that Batman Arkham Knight did not make the TOP 25, althought in my opinion it is better than some of the titles such as Project Cars, Evolve and Just Cause 3. Another surprise was the absence of Rocket League, which didn't even make it to the Top 25.

Avatar image for Schwah
Schwah

@ThePunisherBR: Good list, and probably pretty darn close to what's in store. But have you seen some of the GS team gushing over Rocket League? I wouldn't be at all surprised to it see it squeezed into top 5 list since it was conspicuously absent from the rest of the lists. And maybe it does deserve a spot, though it would still be a shame to see one of the top 5 you listed bumped off the top 25 list entirely, and let's be honest... it would probably be Pillars.

No worries either way, its just a subjective list after all and I think GS has done a pretty good job at presenting their personal slice of the gaming cake with all the many layers that gaming had to offer this year. It seems like a very well rounded list rather a straight up "best games."

Avatar image for kyelo
Kyelo

@ThePunisherBR: Arkham Knight wasn't there because it is pretty much identical to the previous editions, decent but 'meh'. Rocket League will be in the top 5.

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ZmanBarzel

@ThePunisherBR: There is a VERY good chance that Rocket League will land in the Top 5, most likely bumping Pillars of Eternity.

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ahpuck

@zmanbarzel: Or Super Mario Maker.

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tainted0ne

Fallout 4 was my favorite game of the year but to be honest I believe number 6 on this list is more than fair. I played The Witcher 3 and it was a good game not as fun but just much more solid. I just had a hard time empathizing with the main characters and forming a connection I guess.

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razecah12

@tainted0ne: fallout 4 is garbage next to the witcher 3

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tainted0ne

@razecah12: Your comment is garbage along with your opinion.

Avatar image for ahpuck
ahpuck

@tainted0ne: That's exactly how I felt about Witcher 3. It was a solid game, but something was missing. At times, playing it felt like a shore.

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EazyEd420

Where is Forza 6

Avatar image for kyelo
Kyelo

@eazyed420: Where it belongs, it hasn't progressed since 4. Pretty graphics can't save it.

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robbiejones

My top 3 are Bloodborne, Ass creed syndicate, and rainbow 6.

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Grbonjic

Fallout 4 didn't make into the final 3 ?? Hmmmm .....

I'm glad that Ori made this far.

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Metalnoid

Fallout 4 GOTY

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Tofreaku2

call of duty black ops 3 to be in the top 6

Avatar image for blaise0fgl0ry
Blaise0fGl0ry

Haha this countdown is a joke. I would say Gamespot has lost all credibility and reason, but that already happened a long ways back.

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02050muh

MGS5 doesn't deserve top 5 because of it's piece of shit story and incomplete utter mess. just said it from the get go!!

Avatar image for giedrius1001
giedrius1001

audience of gamespot readers is starting to annoy me, everybody swearing cause their favorite title was listed some where below of other titles, seriously? Its gamespot opinion so leave it to them, if you have different one go and vote in game of the year section, jesus. Ok now talking about gamespot job of presenting this year best of gamespot where is good and bad thing considering my OPINION. its a big thumbs up for returning video recaps of this years best games, saves time for reading and its more appealing to watch gameplay of nominators than just read about them. Bad thing is the selection of nominees quantity and categories is little bit of short, i remember best job was done back in 2008 BOGS, when was so many categories and so many extensive list of nominees to chose from what it look like gamespot staff put your all hurts and dedication to it, i wish for next year make it bigger and more extensive as back in old good days :)

Avatar image for blaise0fgl0ry
Blaise0fGl0ry

@giedrius1001: Not trying to be disrespectful, but if they didn't want people to express their opinions they shouldn't have a comment section. Im pretty sure thats what it is for. I agree that some people could benefit from a lesson in expressing their opinions properly though.

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velcroboy

@blaise0fgl0ry: Opinions are one thing. But @giedrius1001: is right, the amount of trolls and angry basement dwellers on here is reaching Youtube levels.

Avatar image for blaise0fgl0ry
Blaise0fGl0ry

@velcroboy: Believe me I noticed, I have had some humorous encounters with their ilk. I find that a firm argument backed by a little bit of knowledge is sufficient to put them in their place.

However; Sometimes people are attacked for simply expressing a strong opinion and are wrongly accused. So you can see how the line has become blurred for me over the years.

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velcroboy

@blaise0fgl0ry: Indeed, if they didn't want opinions, they wouldn't have the comment section. Opine away, I say.

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PrickPear

W3, Ori, Tomb Raider, and Bloodborne were well made games. Mario Maker bummed me out that you could not build using slopes.