The GameSpot Staff's Favorite Games of 2015

Our personal lists.

Now that the best 25 games of the year have finally been revealed, it's time to showcase the staff's personal favorites from this year's roster of amazing games. Compared to the site's 25 list, the GameSpot staff's individual picks are very different in terms of ranked order. With each list showcasing the varying and eclectic tastes of each member in our staff, you'll instantly understand why the debates for this year's Game of the Year debates were so heated. Check out what each of us had to say about this year's best games and what we played the most!

If you missed the site's official ranked top 25 list of the best games in 2015, you can find them here.

Peter Brown, Senior Reviews Editor

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  1. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
  2. Super Mario Maker
  3. Fallout 4
  4. Xenoblade Chronicles X
  5. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  6. Splatoon
  7. Bloodborne
  8. Axiom Verge
  9. Rocket League
  10. Her Story

2015 was an excellent year for games, and thus, a great year for me! Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was the biggest highlight, and my favorite of the year's open-world juggernauts. Without a doubt, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Fallout 4 had the most interesting worlds, but The Phantom Pain's complex and near-flawless mechanics set new standards for stealth games--and action games at large. I was pleasantly surprised by smaller games, too; Her Story caught me off-guard and stuck with me long after I ended my in-game investigation, and Rocket League's controlled chaos continues to be a blast, without fail. That, and Super Mario Maker, will stick with me well into the new year.

Mike Mahardy, Editor

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  1. Bloodborne
  2. Rise of the Tomb Raider
  3. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  4. Rocket League
  5. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
  6. Ori and the Blind Forest
  7. Fallout 4
  8. Her Story
  9. Halo 5: Guardians
  10. Axiom Verge

2015 was a year of massive open-world games, but many of my favorite experiences arose from more focused experiences: the precise platforming of Ori and The Blind Forest, the thrill of an epic save in Rocket League, or the narrative suspense of Her Story. It was one of the best years for games in a while, and I'll continue playing many of 2015's releases far into the coming months.

Scott Butterworth, Editor

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  1. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
  2. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  3. Fallout 4
  4. Bloodborne
  5. Tales from the Borderlands
  6. Rocket League
  7. Ori and the Blind Forest
  8. Her Story
  9. Dying Light
  10. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege

It took me about 30 seconds to assemble my top six. It took another 30 minutes to fill in the four remaining slots. Because I found it so difficult to round out my top 10, I’ve decided to cheat. So here are a bunch of brilliant, original games from smaller teams that deserve a little love and attention despite being overshadowed by some of the year’s bigger experiences: Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, Titan Souls, Life is Strange, Pillars of Eternity, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, and Sunset. I may be a dirty cheater, but at least I care about the little guys, right?

Alexa Ray Corriea, Editor

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  1. Tales From the Borderlands
  2. Everybody's Gone to the Rapture
  3. Rise of the Tomb Raider
  4. Cibele
  5. Assassin's Creed Syndicate
  6. Until Dawn
  7. Lara Croft Go
  8. Volume
  9. Ori and the Blind Forest
  10. Bloodborne

I went into 2015 looking for unique narrative experiences; I've always been drawn to games by their characters, and typically a great story paired with an intriguing mechanic or two will keep me occupied for days. Between wannabe Vault Hunters, a girl looking for love on the internet, a badass lady assassin, and a maturing Lara Croft, I got my fill. And games like Bloodborne and Ori and the Blind Forest hooked me for the way they played; I couldn't put them down because I enjoyed the challenge, but that narrative layer on top of it all made me love those games even more.

Matt Espineli, Associate Editor

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  1. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
  2. Bloodborne
  3. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  4. Undertale
  5. SteamWorld Heist
  6. Super Mario Maker
  7. Her Story
  8. Rocket League
  9. Splatoon
  10. The Beginner's Guide

2015 surprised me with its overall quantity of fantastic games. MGS V redefined my expectations of stealth games forever; Bloodborne's gothic world converted me into a "Souls" fan; and Undertale enchanted me with its humor and wit. With so many well-crafted and worthwhile experiences, it's safe to say that 2015 was one of the best years in gaming I've experienced in a long time.

Justin Haywald, Senior Editor

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  1. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask HD
  2. Super Mario Maker
  3. Kerbal Space Program
  4. Splatoon
  5. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
  6. Bloodborne
  7. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  8. Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows DLC
  9. Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward
  10. Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire

The best Zelda in the franchise is even better in HD, and I really have to put the re-release of my favorite Zelda game of all time at the top of this list. Otherwise, with my number two and three picks, this was an amazing year for creativity. As much as as I love exploring the open worlds and going on grand adventures, as the bottom half of my list shows, I really feel like I'm learning something with games like Mario Maker and Kerbal; Mario Maker let me live vicariously as a videogame designer Kerbal made me feel like a rocket scientist, and both made me feel like a genius. Taking complicated systems, getting you to learn them, and making you feel accomplished--that's a hallmark of masterful design.

Rob Crossley, Editor

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  1. Undertale
  2. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
  3. Rocket League
  4. Ori and the Blind Forest
  5. Fallout 4
  6. Her Story
  7. The Beginner's Guide
  8. Hearthstone: Blackrock Mountain
  9. Halo 5: Guardians
  10. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is a dramatic reinvention of a three-decade formula, a scintillating open-world adventure, and the greatest stealth game ever made. Yet it's still not game of the year; for me that accolade belongs to Undertale, a wonderfully imaginative adventure with a joyful soul at its core. It's easily one of the funniest and most daring games I've played in years. Rocket League and Ori are the other two games I would consider essential. The rest were great.

Eddie Makuch, News Editor

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  1. Star Wars Battlefront
  2. Halo 5: Guardians
  3. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  4. Rocket League
  5. Fallout 4
  6. Guitar Hero Live
  7. Ori and the Blind Forest
  8. Battlefield Hardline
  9. Until Dawn
  10. Hitman Go

The games I chose as my favorites represent those that grabbed--and kept--my attention better than all others, for various reasons. I enjoyed big-name games from juggernaut franchises as much as I did smaller titles from indie studios. This year I played more games from different genres than possibly ever before--and I enjoyed lots of them. Here's to a great 2015!

Edmond Tran, Editor/Senior Producer

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  1. Cities: Skylines
  2. Her Story
  3. Heroes of the Storm
  4. Rocket League
  5. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
  6. Hacknet
  7. Bloodborne
  8. Fallout 4
  9. Splatoon
  10. Elite: Dangerous

I spent way too much time playing PC games this year. I interfaced with and explored narrative worlds in awesomely unique ways (Her Story, Hacknet), got excellent titles in some of my favorite 90's PC game genres (Cities: Skylines, Elite: Dangerous, Fallout), and got into a super-good MOBA I actually had time to play (Heroes of the Storm). I had a great time on my consoles, too. I played games that constantly got me yelling with elation (Rocket League), gripping my controller with insane levels of tension (MGS V, Bloodborne), and some that just made me super happy to just be there, playing a fun-as-hell video game (Splatoon). Man, what a great year.

Tamoor Hussain, News Editor

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  1. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
  2. Bloodborne
  3. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  4. Rocket League
  5. Ori and the Blind Forest
  6. Fallout 4
  7. Invisible, Inc.
  8. The Beginner's Guide
  9. Her Story
  10. Batman: Arkham Knight

I've been surprised at the variety of games that made it into my final list of favorite games of 2015. It's an eclectic mix of big-budget blockbusters, interesting indies experiences, and innovative little curios. It's been a good year.

Zorine Te, Associate Editor

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  1. Need for Speed
  2. Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines
  3. Resident Evil Revelations 2
  4. Until Dawn
  5. Bloodborne
  6. StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void
  7. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege
  8. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD
  9. Heroes of the Storm
  10. Fallout 4

For me, this year of gaming was defined in moments. The moment I was finally able to live out my dream of becoming an infamous underground street racer in Need For Speed. The moment I watched my first clan member pass away in Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines. The moment a zombie burst through the roof when I was playing Resident Evil Revelations 2 with my younger sister. The anxiety experienced in Until Dawn. The awe I felt in Bloodborne. The sense of duty that emerged in StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void. The tension of Rainbow Six Siege. The nostalgia of being a teenager again in Final Fantasy Type-0 HD. The simple fun of rediscovering a MOBA in Heroes of the Storm. And the stark beauty of the Wasteland in Fallout 4. 2015 was a great year for moments.

Danny O'Dwyer, Host/Producer

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  1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  2. Rocket League
  3. Fallout 4
  4. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
  5. Project CARS
  6. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number
  7. Bloodborne
  8. Just Cause 3
  9. Cities: Skylines
  10. Super Mario Maker

As a fan of single-player open-world games, 2015 was a bounty of riches. As much as I loved Fallout 4 and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was in a league of its own in terms of storytelling, world building, and player choice. Rocket League grabbed second place by being hands down the best multiplayer experience I've had in years. Project CARS rounded out my top five by being the best racing game I've ever played. The rest of the list contains a bunch of fantastic experiences that represent a wonderfully well-rounded year of games across the spectrum of platforms.

Lucy James, Video Producer

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  1. Assassin's Creed Syndicate
  2. Dying Light
  3. Until Dawn
  4. Batman: Arkham Knight
  5. Persona 4: Dancing All Night
  6. Rise of the Tomb Raider
  7. Rocket League
  8. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  9. Everybody's Gone to the Rapture
  10. Destiny: The Taken King

2015 has been a truly fantastic year: it restored my faith in Assassin's Creed, made me pick up my Vita again, and inspired me to try something a little different (given that I don't enjoy football or cars, pouring a buttload of hours into Rocket League was unexpected). My only complaint is that I didn't have time to finish everything (sorry Metal Gear Solid V). Roll on 2016!

Chris Watters, Host/Producer

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  1. Rocket League
  2. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  3. Her Story
  4. Evolve
  5. Ori and the Blind Forest
  6. Bloodborne
  7. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege
  8. Sunless Sea
  9. Fallout 4
  10. Splatoon

Golly, there were some special games this year! There were intriguing innovations in the shooter genre (one of my favorites), and my favorite open world ever created (Dziękuję, Poland!). And then there was Rocket League, superlative in so many ways, and still my go-to game night after night after night.

Erick Tay, Producer

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  1. Bloodborne
  2. Destiny: The Taken King
  3. Rocket League
  4. Dying Light
  5. Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void
  6. Ori and the Blind Forest
  7. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
  8. Fallout 4
  9. Heroes of the Storm
  10. Mortal Kombat X

2015 was a great year for games, and held many firsts for me in certain game genres. Bloodborne tops it all for me; being a Dark Souls virgin, this fast-paced action-oriented RPG took me by surprise and accounted for 150+ hours of painful but satisfying gameplay. Special shout-outs to two games that were not on my radar coming into the year: Rocket League and Ori and the Blind Forest.

Mary Kish, Senior Producer

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  1. Rocket League
  2. Until Dawn
  3. Ori and the Blind Forest
  4. Rise of the Tomb Raider
  5. SOMA
  6. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  7. Bloodborne
  8. Downwell
  9. Poly Bridge
  10. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

This past year was filled with a range of immersive experiences, from games that could be finished in a mere few hours to games that would consume your soul for months on end. I found myself drawn to games that sucked me in quickly and more or less completed in less than 15 hours, like Until Dawn, Ori and the Blind Forest, and the incredible Rise of the Tomb Raider. However, there was no escaping the wide world of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and the simple bridge simulator antics of Polybridge. This year I was an engineer, a hunter, a soccer player, a weird murderer, and more. Make no mistake, I wouldn't take back any of my beloved hours for the world.

Jess McDonell, Host/Producer

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  1. Fallout 4
  2. Tales from the Borderlands
  3. Dreamfall Chapters
  4. SOMA
  5. Until Dawn
  6. Life Is Strange
  7. Her Story
  8. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
  9. Lost Constellation
  10. The Beginner’s Guide

For me, this year was full of surprises. There were games that I never in a thousand years could have imagined would exist, let alone that I'd enjoy. There was the strange and painful narrative of The Beginner's Guide, exploring the final moments of Everybody's Gone To The Rapture, and the unique non-linear storytelling of Her Story--not to mention the absolutely hilarious Tales from the Borderlands, and the insightful and dangerous reflection on the human condition that came from SOMA. Then there's Fallout 4, the first game in the Fallout series that I've come to enjoy and sink dozens of hours into just to spend a little more time with its fascinating characters. So many of this year's games offered something wonderfully unexpected, which is what I have always loved about this clever medium.