January 21, 2015 by Paul Curtin
With Microsoft’s and Sony’s new next-gen (now current-gen) systems slightly disappointing in their first year on the market, 2015 is shaping up to be a very promising year for gamers expecting big things from triple-A games. Pending any delays into 2016 (and there will be delays), 2015’s Game of the Year is going to come right down to the wire with a megaton of new heavy-hitters scheduled for release towards the very end of the calendar year.
Having so many new games and highly anticipated sequels planned for 2015, we couldn’t possibly list them all — so feel free to add your own nominees in the comments below. These are the top 15 games that have us most excited to play in 2015.
Starting the year out in a big way, 2K and the team behind the Left 4 Dead franchise are looking to recreate the amazing multiplayer experience from their last highly competitive and addictive zombie-slaying title by replacing one team of four zombies with one giant monster in Evolve. We got our hands on the game at E3 over the summer and see big things in the future for this brand new IP.
After enraging gamers throughout 2014, 2015 is going to be a make-or-break year for Ubisoft. The developer has been losing trust from gamers with each of its new releases that fail to live up to the hype of “gameplay” trailers that tease better visuals at higher framerates. Ubisoft once again stole the show at E3 with stunning new looks at The Division and Rainbow 6: Siege (the best multiplayer game at E3), but after the downgrade Watch Dogs received, it’s hard to get too excited for anything coming up next from Ubisoft.
The same can be said about No Man’s Sky, a game that just seems too good to be true. With every trailer we see, the game looks better and better, but with how much is being promised and with so much still unknown, it’s going to be very interesting to see if No Man Sky can live up to its already ridiculous levels of hype – if it can, it could be the game-changer the industry so desperately needs right now.
Speaking of desperate, after dropping the price of the Xbox One down and up and then back down again, Microsoft is once again looking to Master Chief to help sell their struggling system. We’ve already seen 343 Industries prove themselves with Halo 4, so there’s no question that Halo’s first release on next-gen is going to be one of the biggest selling games of the year. Remedy’s first triple-A release in five years, Quantum Break, could also be a system-seller if it turns out as good as the developers previous Xbox title, Alan Wake.
Along with heroes like Solid Snake and Batman making their return, the biggest showdown of the year will likely be between two other adventurous heroes making their first appearances on current-gen. After The Last of Us unanimously won Game of the Year in 2013 and Crystal Dynamics infuriated gamers in 2014 by announcing that Rise of the Tomb Raider would be an Xbox One exclusive. Uncharted 4’s first look at E3 left those watching with their jaws on the floor, refusing to believe what they had just witnessed was actually in-game on the PS4. But after Sony revealed gameplay at the first ever PlayStation Experience a month later, doubters were left with no question that it’s going to be the real deal. Uncharted 4 could very well be 2015’s Game of the Year.
Like Uncharted, Sony also has a lot riding on their other exclusive new IPs, Bloodborne and The Order: 1886. The follow up to the Dark Souls series has fans excited for a faster-paced take on the franchise from its original creators, From Software. While the Gears of War-style Victorian Era cover shooter has been getting mixed reactions from gamers after releasing stunning visuals, generic combat footage, and subpar fps stats that the developers are claiming are purely for cinematic effect. Set to start 2015 off with a bang, these two games could be PlayStation’s first big hits of 2015 or some of the year’s biggest bombs.
Having an extra year of development time for their “next-gen” system, Nintendo was able to steal 2014 as Mario Kart 8 brought home the gold. In 2015, Nintendo looks to win its second Game of the Year award in a row with The Legend of Zelda’s big comeback that is sure to please fans of the struggling system that’s mounting a comeback of its own.
The biggest surprise of 2014 had to be P.T. being randomly released on the PlayStation Network. With no information and an unknown developer, P.T. was marketed brilliantly and blew away 2014’s other triple-A horror games, The Evil Within and Alien: Isolation. Once the final puzzle was solved it was revealed that P.T. was actually a “Playable Teaser” for Silent Hills from Guillermo Del Toro and Hideo Kojima. With P.T. not actually being gameplay from Silent Hills, it’s still uncertain how Silent Hills will turn out in 2016, but without question gamers are dying to see more of the final product.
In one of the other biggest surprises of the year, Blizzard announced Overwatch, their first new IP in 17 years that will be the FPS remains of their now-canceled World of Warcraft successor, Project Titan. Blizzard won MediaStinger’s Best Remaster and Best Downloadable Game in 2014, and Overwatch looks special enough to net them a few more awards in 2015… but knowing Blizzard, fans shouldn’t put too much stock in a 2015 release as the developer is known for taking their sweet time and not releasing games until they’re ready.
Rising developer CDProjektRed is also becoming known for its “when it’s ready” release date policy. The team was predicted to win 2014’s Game of the Year with The Witcher 3, but sticking to their quality control standards the team decided to delay the game into 2015 and then again even later into 2015. CDPR’s latest is now set for a May 2015 release, and from everything the developers have shown so far, it looks to have the best chance of actually being released in 2015. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is 2015’s Most Anticipated Game.