DualShockers' Game of the Year Awards 2015

Yesterday we kicked 2015 out of the door and today we welcomed 2016 in our lives. Before we fully abandon the past year, it’s time to look back and reminisce on the best games of 2015.

In an environment in which negativity and cynical, jaded views are often way too visible, we’d like to paying homage and express our thanks to the many developers that worked hard to provide us with much needed fuel for our hobby. That’s why, after a year of hiatus, we decided to bring back DualShockers’ Game of the Year Awards.

Before I leave you with the awards themselves, let me share a word on the voting process. There was no nomination stage. Every writer and editor at DualShockers was asked to freely express three preferences in order for each category. The first was assigned three points, the second two and the third one.

Only games released  with at least one platform in the west in 2015 were eligible, and major expansions were also included in the vote for all categories.

After the votes were collected, the total of points for each title was used to determine its position in the ranking. In case of a tie, the game that was voted as first preference the most won. If the tie persisted after that stage, then both games are honored in the same position.

Admittedly, it’s not a perfect process, but a perfect way to express the preferences of several people with a very wide range of tastes doesn’t exist, and we felt that this was the best way. Awards will be presented without comment, as we’ll leave the games themselves speak, and the motivation behind each decision vary from writer to writer.

Remember that we’re all simply gamers, which means that it’s perfectly ok to disagree with our tastes. Our Game of the Year awards are just one example of many, and they aren’t necessarily better or more valid than your own personal ranking.

What matters the most, is that we’re paying homage to many men and women that worked extremely hard for years to bring us the games that we loved, and there’s no right or wrong in that.

Best PS4 Game

Winner: Bloodborne 

Runner up: Until Dawn

Best Xbox One Game

Winner: Rise of the Tomb Raider

Runner up: Halo 5: Guardians

Best PC Game

Winner: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Runner up: Undertale

Best Wii U Game

Winner: Xenoblade Chronicles X

Runner up: Splatoon

Best 3DS Game

Winner: The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D

Runner up: Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

Best PS Vita Game

Winner: Persona 4: Dancing all Night

Runner up: Sword Art Online: Lost Song

Best Mobile Game

Winner: Lara Croft GO

Runner up: Transistor

Best First Party Game

Winner: Bloodborne

Runner up: Halo 5: Guardians

Best Shooter

Winner: Halo 5: Guardians

Runner up: Splatoon 

Best Adventure/Action Adventure

Winner: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Runner up: Batman: Arkham Knight

Best RPG

Winner: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Runner up: Fallout 4

Best MMO

Winner: Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward

Runner up: Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic – Knights of the Fallen Empire

Best Sports Game

Winner: Rocket League

Runner up: FIFA 16

Best Platformer

Winner: Ori and the Blind Forest

Runner up: Super Mario Maker

Best Puzzle Game

Winner: The Talos Principle

Runner up: You Must Build a Boat

Best Fighting Game

Winner: Mortal Kombat X

Runner up (tied): Dragonball Xenoverse Dead or Alive 5: Last Round

Best Racing Game

Winner: Forza Motorsport 6

Runner up: Project CARS

Best Music/Rhythm Game

Winner: Persona 4 Dancing All Night

Runner up: Guitar Hero Live

Best Indie Game

Winner: Rocket League

Runner up: Ori and the Blind Forest

Best Graphics

Winner: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Runner up: Bloodborne

Best Story/Writing

Winner: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Runner up: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Best Character

Winner: Geralt – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Runner up: Ciri – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Best Music/Audio

Winner: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Runner up: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Best DLC/Expansion

Winner: Destiny: The Taken King

Runner up: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Hearts of Stone

Biggest Shocker (Best Surprise/Announcement)

Winner: Final Fantasy 7 Remake

Runner up: Hideo Kojima’s breakup with Konami and formation of Kojima Productions

Most Anticipated Game for 2016

Winner: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End 

Runner up: Horizon: Zero Dawn

And now, the moment you were all waiting for. Ok… I guess the picture at the top kind of spoiled it, but here goes…

Game of the Year

Winner: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt 

Runner up: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

So there you have it. Our game of the year is The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. There are many reasons why it’s there, but mostly, it demonstrated that it’s possible to create an open world RPG with an absolutely fantastic story and characters with deep emotions and progression, without sacrificing either narrative or freedom.

Again, our list is by no means more valid or relevant than your own, so feel free to express your preferences in the comments for everyone to see and discuss, as we enter a new year that will hopefully be even better than 2015.

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Giuseppe Nelva

Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.

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