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Top 5 Games of 2015

Updated on January 9, 2017

Update Janruary 9, 2017

We now know that No Man's Sky and Uncharted 4 were released in 2016, however at the time of writing this article, 2015 were the planned release windows for those games.

2015 looks to be the year that current gen consoles hit their stride. The reason that I feel that 2014 suffered in its offerings is that there were too many games that were cross generation, which hindered developers' ability to fully optimize their games for current gen.. This year, however, sees more current gen exclusives (PS4, Xbox One) and gaming will likely be better for it.

I chose only five games that I'm most anticipating this year, because while there are more that are on my radar, I feel for a game to make a top list, my curiosity or hype for them has to be overwhelming. So moving swiftly on, here are the five games that I'm most psyched for in 2015.

Number 5. No Mans Sky


When No Man's Sky was first announced, I thought it was interesting, but not much more. As time went on and I've seen more it, my anticipation for the game has grown. For those who don't know, No Man's Sky sees you flying around in a spaceship, exploring planets and galaxies. You can land on any planet you find to gather resources which will help you purchase items and ships1. The kicker? Everything you encounter is procedurally generated meaning that no two players will experience the same thing.

How it Could be Great

This game will allow players to channel their inner captain Kirk and explore uncharted territories. If the developers are able to deliver on even half of this games' potential and premise, then I see no way in which this game will turn out bad. That being said...

How it Could Disappoint

Remember how I mentioned that the game will allow you to collect resources to upgrade your ship? That's the only thing that has been mentioned in terms of a task to complete. If collecting resources is a grind for the sake of a grind, then exploring will become old very quickly. It doesn't necessarily need a traditional story campaign, but what it does need to do is make the players' actions feel worthwhile, otherwise one randomly generated planet will start blurring into the next.

Number 4. Batman: Arkham Knight


It's a good year when this only takes the fourth spot on the list. The fourth main entry and return of Rocksteady to the franchise, Arkham Knight was a big crowd-pleaser at 2014's E3. Said to be five times the size of Arkham City, and the introduction of the Batmobile to the series2, there's plenty to be excited about.

How it Could be Great

Rocksteady knows what they're doing. The series took a slight dip with Arkham Origins when it delivered a "just okay" sequel, but that was a different developer. On top of Rocksteady returning, they're also claiming that this is the last game in the series which means that they have less of an incentive to merely cash in on the brand name. Any developer worth their salt would want to end on a high note which, if the E3 footage is anything to go by, Arkham Knight will be.

How it Could Disappoint

One of the reasons the game is so much bigger than its predecessors is "so the player will have room to drive the Batmobile".2 If this is truly the reason for the size change then this carries a danger because a core part of the experience is being changed to implement a feature, awesome as that feature may be. One of the great things about the first Arkham game is that it is such a tight experience. No area felt wasted. Arkham Knight should prove whether or not Rocksteady's decision to go bigger with each iteration was the right one.

Number 3. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End


As a huge Uncharted fan, it sort of pains me to put this game so relatively low on the list. That is no fault of the game, and more to do with the red letter year 2015 looks to be. Uncharted 4 had a small CG trailer at E3 2014, but only recently did we get any gameplay footage. Nolan North as Nathan Drake is back and while little is known about the games plot, some of the voice actors' statements hint that this will be the final game in the series.3

How it Could be Great

Honestly, just provide more of what was shown in that gameplay footage. The Uncharted series has toyed with open ended-ness in the past, but never to the degree of this fourth iteration. The level design showed off in the video that I embeded above shows Nathan Drake using the environment to his advantage in a plethora of ways. More impressively is the fact that these mini set-pieces look like something out of a cutscene, but seem to happen dynamically through gameplay. Hopefully this sort of level design is the rule of the game and not the exception.

How it Could Disappoint

Uncharted 3 seemed to disappoint a lot of fans, and while I enjoyed it well enough, I'm in agreement with most that Uncharted 2 is the high mark for the series. With huge expectations placed on the game, compounded with the fact that it's Naughty Dog's first foray into next gen excluding the Last of Us remaster, it could easily leave fans feeling high and dry if the game is anything less than superb.

Number 2. Just Cause 3


Just Cause 2 was probably my most played sandbox game of last gen. The insane things you could do in the game were limitless. Want to surf a speed boat that ramps over a house? Go right ahead. Want to jump out of a plane in midair and then grapple onto a helicopter below? Sure, why not. It's this sort of ludicrous action that has me pumped for Just Cause 3.

How it Could be Great

This game will be great as long as it does what Just Cause does best, which is provide ample amounts of carnage. With the developers adding a wingsuit to use in addition to the grappling hook/parachute combo, it seems that they know exactly what direction the game should be going.4 One of the developers talks in the video above about how the destruction in the game is far more, well...destructive. You'll be able to blow up a bridge and watch it crumble or destroy entire buildings if you want. Nothing currently stated about the game raises any red flags.

How it Could Disappoint

The keyword in the paragraph above is "currently". A few months ago, some Just Cause 3 images leaked that seemed to imply microtransactions.5
While a co-founder of Avalanche has shot down the idea that it has microtransactions, emphasizing that that image was from a time when they were exploring "different business models", you can't help, but feel a little nervous that they were ever considered.6 Just Cause 3 is about a complete lack of restriction and microtransactions are the antithesis of that spirit. If any of that old model crept its way into the game, it would be a huge letdown.

Number 1. Star Wars: Battlefront


This is it. If nothing else in all of 2015 is good, except this game, the year would still be worthwhile. Set to drop in during the holiday season to coincide with the release of The Force Awakens, the Star Wars hysteria is going be ridiculous come December7. Only time will tell whether the hype will be justified.

How it Could be Great

The decision for the long gestating third battlefront to be handed off to Dice was the right one. They are kings of huge scale warfare through the eyes of a single soldier. Battlefront itself was inspired by Battlefield as EA Vice President Patrick Söderlund stated when talking about Dice's acquisition of the property8. They'd have to really drop the ball to screw this up. That being said however...

How it Could Disappoint

There are a few ways that I foresee this game being a disappointment. For one, it's the most asked for and anticipated game on this list by far. The dev's, knowing the sort of demand this game has, may find the creative process to be a stifling one. If they second guess their every decision because they want to make a worthy sequel, what we may end up with is a watered down product that pleases no one.
The other way that I see this game being a disappointment is because it will be hard to satisfy hardcore battlefront fans and modern shooter fans alike. I feel that a lot of the mechanics of the Battlefront games don't hold up and could use some polishing. If Dice makes Battlefront more like Battlefield, it will be a smoother experience, but one that's sure to upset the most loyal of Battlefront fans.

Wrap Up

That is my list of the top 5 games of 2015. Let me know what your most anticipated game is.

What is your most anticipated game?

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    • Only Caleb profile imageAUTHOR

      Only Caleb 

      4 years ago

      Thank you for the feedback. I'm excited to see if No Man's Sky delivers on the promise it has.

    • Molly Layton profile image

      Molly Layton 

      4 years ago from Alberta

      Great game choices, Caleb! I hadn't even heard of No Man's Sky before reading this. The games all look great.


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