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Top 5 PC Games of 2015

The Best PC Games of 2015

Desktop doyens.

The enduring appeal of the PC has always come from its diversity. It's the home of immensely intricate RTSes, along with cutthroat and complex MOBAs that amass millions of combatants each month. It's the platform to find merciless and twitchy FPSes, time-sinking management simulators, life-absorbing digital card games, virtual reality experiments, extravagant blockbusters, and of course leagues of original, abstract, unconventional curios.

While the PC is the spiritual home of more daring and distinct games (standout 2015 entrants include The Beginner's Guide and Undertale), it also offered an embarrassment of riches in terms of traditional AAA titles. Every entrant in our top five has also been developed for consoles, but they are nevertheless the most ambitious, expansive, and rewarding games you’ll play this year.

We could hardly compile a list of 2015's best PC games without mentioning The Witcher 3, a title which sets a new benchmark for fantasy action-RPGs. Vastness and longevity are not always desirable qualities in their own right, but in this case the story of supernatural contract killer Geralt of Rivia spans more than 100 hours and so much of it will linger in the memory. Your journey across the immense Northern Kingdoms involves genuinely interesting characters, memorable locations, major plot decisions that fall on your shoulders, and awe-inspiring monsters to free from the earth. It's the attention to detail, the sharp writing, the vivid characters, and the epic heroics that makes every hour enjoyable.

GameSpot's Witcher 3 review described this open-world RPG as one of the greatest games of all time.
GameSpot's Witcher 3 review described this open-world RPG as one of the greatest games of all time.

It would be foolish not to mention Rocket League as well; it’s clearly the best multiplayer game released this year. This is a soccer title with a perverse, ingenious twist: the footballers have been replaced by cars. Your shiny blocks of metal and carbon fiber lack the extremities required for nuanced ball control, yet can go from 0-60 in a couple of seconds. The result is a masterfully berserk depiction of the beautiful game, with players tumbling across stadiums, boosting their thrusters skyward, flipping and twisting their rollcages with a bloodthirsty desire to collide with a giant beach ball. While this chaotic spin on soccer seems like an awful idea on paper, in practice it's an inelegant masterpiece, eliciting an explosion of emotions in players.

The Metal Gear series is one with PlayStation and the MSX consoles at its roots, but Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain represents a change in direction at Konami, being the first in the series to launch day-and-date alongside the console editions. It also happens to be the greatest stealth game of all time, replacing the series' room-by-room level structure with a vast stretch of Afghan desert. The freedom in your approach to each mission adds a dazzling degree of strategy and planning, something that had a natural limit in previous games. The AI, which has always been excellent throughout the series, now has the freedom to be truly spectacular, with enemies reacting and adapting to signs of your presence. It's by no means perfect (the story’s final stretch being particularly divisive) but this is an extraordinary achievement nonetheless.

Rocket League is one of the year's best surprises, launching with little fanfare yet now regarded as a standout multiplayer game of its age.
Rocket League is one of the year's best surprises, launching with little fanfare yet now regarded as a standout multiplayer game of its age.

Fallout 4 represents another remarkable achievement in a year packed with acclaimed, high profile games. Even for a Bethesda title, the degree of freedom offered to the player here is outstanding. A whole library of side-quests can be discovered and pursued at your convenience, while your instruments of death in its bleak world can be crafted and modified to your heart’s content. Dig deeper and you’ll discover further options to strengthen amour, mix your own alchemy of potions, and pick out your favourites from an extensive menu of imaginative ability perks. Then there’s options to build entire structures, optionally with their own electrical circuits and horticultural ecosystems, from the materials you have scavenged along the way. Fallout 4 is fundamentally an archaic game, thrusting you into its world with little guidance or the slickened mollycoddling of modern AAA games. What it offers instead is a promise that every moment of curiosity, and every creative thought you conjure in its world, will be handsomely rewarded.

The fifth entrant in our list is Kerbal Space Program, a compulsive simulation of an Apollo mission. It strikes a wonderful balance, educating players on the intricacies of putting a man on the moon while offering satisfying trial-and-error gameplay. The semi-real physics model is complex, but still simplified compared to what NASA gets up to. It's not quite rocket science, but when weeks of iterating finally carry your adorable Kerbal into the depths of space, you’ll certainly feel like a genius. "Edutainment" is too dirty a word for the joy it provides, but when you realise you didn’t include enough oxygen for the trip back, you’ll have learned an important lesson.

The Best PC Games of 2015

324 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
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Avatar image for IndySandbagTrik
IndySandbagTrik

Agree with TW3 winning, it's truly amazing.

But....no Pillars of Eternity, I'm like... dumbfounded.

Avatar image for deactivated-5ae060efb3bf6

Nothing from Matrix games for the Wargamer.

Avatar image for lalord
lalord

based on the best game nominees I reckon it was a shity year for us, pc gamers...

Avatar image for CalamityKait
CalamityKait

As much as I like The Witcher III, the PC games that I was most satisfied with this year were Her Story, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing Final Cut, Pillars of Eternity, and Wasteland 2.

Avatar image for bdiddytampa
bdiddytampa

@CalamityKait: Wasteland 2 was last year, but probably like me, it still took up a lot of your 2015 gaming time no matter when it was released lol ;-)

Avatar image for CalamityKait
CalamityKait

@bdiddytampa: I got the Director's Cut during the Steam Summer Sale, so it's a 2015 game for me.

Avatar image for wexorian
wexorian

@CalamityKait: Well can't have enough Jrpg,rpgs :D

Avatar image for RogerioFM
RogerioFM

How can Fallout 4 even be there?

Avatar image for jamesgoblin
JamesGoblin

I had a very strange and disturbing dream last night, some would call it a nightmare: game of the year here was won by MMORPG!

I woke up in a cold sweat and ran to my PC - thanks god, GOTY will be, again, won by Witcher, FO4 or something like that. Ah, those silly dreams!

Avatar image for LordCrash88
LordCrash88

No Pillars of Eternity for best PC game?

That's ridiculous. I won't vote here for multiplatform titles that don't give a shit about PC.

Avatar image for Zloth2
Zloth2

@LordCrash88: This award is for the best GAME, not for the best hammer to beat console gamers over the head with.

Avatar image for deactivated-5c79c3cfce222

Not really the people's choice if you don't get to actually choose. Oh well, I guess Kerbal's the closest one to the game I would've voted for.

Avatar image for MigGui
MigGui

kerbal and rocket league are underrated in this poll. big names and big budgets aren't enough to make better games, but certainly are enough to influence in these polls...

Avatar image for Sicron1417
Sicron1417

@MigGui: They have big names because of how fantastic they are. The Witcher 3 is easily one of the best games I've ever played. It's not because of its budget or name. It's because the humble studio CD Projekt Red made an incredible game that they poured every bit of their effort into. Please don't slander games because they don't have as many votes as you want. Being nominated is a compliment in itself.

Avatar image for MigGui
MigGui

@Sicron1417: but I never said the witcher 3 is not the best game of the year. it is, hands down. and it isn't even that big a name, projekt red is not as famous as bethesda. fallout 4, on the other hand, is quite underwhelming and actually has worse metascore and user reviews average than both rocket league and kerbal space program, but has twice the votes in this poll than the sum of these two.

Avatar image for Mini_Bob968
Mini_Bob968

Pillars of Eternity really should have been an option...

Avatar image for Lotus69
Lotus69

@Mini_Bob968

Agreed

:

Avatar image for arkhenon
arkhenon

I would have liked some strategy games and Pillars of Eternity there as well, but damn that victory with the avalanche there... Nearly 4 times the votes given compared to the sum of the rest, and 5 times the closest contender? Now that's what I call winning.

However, how Fallout 4 has 2nd place and MGS 5 3rd baffles me. Anyway, see you folks in the top 25 awards.

Avatar image for coltsmor
coltsmor

I would rather vote for Undertale.

Story, gameplay, music, characters, it was good in every sense.

Avatar image for kozzy1234
kozzy1234

No Pillars Of Eternity??? Wow.

Witcher 3 was the GOTY for me, but Pillars of Eternity is right behind imo.

Gamespot didn't do a very good job with the nominations this year (No Halo5? No Forza6? No Pillars Of Eternity?)

Avatar image for azaiarnyi
azaiarnyi

No Starcraft 2 legacy of The Void?

Avatar image for Cryio
Cryio

@azaiarnyi: For all intents and purposes it would only be the 3rd time we play the SC2 formula from 2010.

All the games from the list were new experiences.

Avatar image for Linuxas
Linuxas

For me best is MGSV, cause i like stealthy games and more action to games, but wondering why not are GTA5 on the list?

Avatar image for arkhenon
arkhenon

@Linuxas: It was in "Best Reissue". It actually won that category.

Avatar image for Linuxas
Linuxas

@arkhenon: i mean nominated in to be Best PC game of the year that GTA5 not reissue, yea saw it won that, but why not PC game of the year, is it really better Kerbal Space Program and Rocket League in that list than GTA5. To me not :-/

Avatar image for igorphoenix
igorphoenix

@Linuxas: it's the game from 2013. GTA V is a great port/HD re-release, but it's still an old game (I've completed it first on release, than on PS4 when that came out and PC was my third playthrough, I've enjoyed it a lot, but still).

Avatar image for dead_god86
dead_god86

@Linuxas: GTA5 only came out on PC this year, came out in 2013 on last gen consoles, so I guess it doesn't really count, but I'd say it counts in a conversation for when talking about all the great games that came out this year, but not here.

Avatar image for deactivated-578f2053b4a13

Batman Arkham Knight should have won. : p haha.

Avatar image for pyro1245
pyro1245

@glitcher3: ...making a new Gamespot account just to call people kids and virgins makes you more immature than most kids.

Avatar image for slayerprk
slayerprk

@glitcher3: None of these games can even compare with the Witcher 3 bro. And saying this game is for kids is the most wrong thing I've ever heard about this game.

Avatar image for glitcher3
Glitcher3

@slayerprk: Metal Gear Solid V is a far better game than this soap-opera. Knight Geralt saved the world and princess and even we could see sex two polygon characters. This game conclusively for casual kids and virgins :)

Avatar image for unholyshouts
UnholyShouts

@glitcher3: *Cough* Silent character *Cough*

Avatar image for ksbwings
ksbwings

Half of the games are repeated in other platforms. So, why do you even make Best game of 2015?

Everyone is voting for witcher 3, regardless it is a good game.

I suggest that all lists must be different from other platforms.

Come on, at least, split the perfect game into different/single platform.

Avatar image for Cryio
Cryio

@ksbwings: Because it's the best game launched on all platforms, that's why.

Avatar image for ksbwings
ksbwings

@Cryio: I know that, but at least give the other developer to raise to the top on other platform. Not one develper dominates all/most platforms. that isn't fair to the other developrs.

Avatar image for far-outdude
far-outdude

@ksbwings: It says best PC games.

Avatar image for tim1935
tim1935

This list is weird

Avatar image for the_master_race
the_master_race

all comments are saying one thing : Where the **** is Pillars of Eternity ?

Avatar image for laetsa89
laetsa89

@the_master_race: in avarage in every way crpg category?

Avatar image for IndySandbagTrik
IndySandbagTrik

@laetsa89: Surely you jest......

Avatar image for sartmhg
sartmhg

No SOMA no vote

Avatar image for regulas
regulas

The Wicher being third person only makes it a console game for me and in fact I'm going to pick it up for my PS4. Fallout 4 on the other hand is already installed on my gaming rig.

Avatar image for laetsa89
laetsa89

@regulas: wow does tham mean witcher 1 is now console game... or wait it was pc only release... witcher 2 was pc only on release as well... my brain hurt.. or your logic is super flawed<

Avatar image for RCT4ShouldExist
RCT4ShouldExist

@regulas: LOL or maybe just plug in that PS4 controller...

Avatar image for SumerianDaemon
SumerianDaemon

I voted for Fallout because im a desperate fanboy when it comes to this series.Im just in love with the wasteland.

But having also played the Witcher 3 i think its objectively the best game here and it absolutely deserves to win GOTY.

Avatar image for ViciousWayz
ViciousWayz

As much as I enjoy Witcher 3.... Fallout 4 is by far the game I have the most fun with this year and there haven't even been expansions or the GECK released yet.