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G4 Canada's 2015 Game of the Year Awards

Jan 29, 2016

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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As we flip calendars and move into another new and exciting year, we at G4 are looking back at 2015 and the year that was. From shooters to platformers to RPGS, here are our picks for the best and a bit of the worst of 2015.

Game of the Year 2015Game of the Year

John Powell: Fallout 4

Although it certainly had it flaws, Fallout 4 was the game that drew me in like no other and the one I return to the most often this year.

Honourable Mentions: Halo 5: Guardians, Mortal Kombat X, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Bloodborne, Ori and the Blind Forest, Super Mario Maker.

Alex Cattani: Bloodborne

Hidetaka Miyazaki’s Bloodborne drew me in with its dark aesthetic but made me stay with its outstanding moment-to-moment gameplay. Bloodborne’s combat is amongst some of the most finely tuned and enjoyable I’ve experienced in the last couple of years. The unique “Trick Weapons” enable multiple play styles and are varied enough to warrant experimentation. Furthermore, the horrific Lovecraftian inspired enemy design across the game’s gloomy Victorian settings results in a twisted beauty seldom seen in games. 

Honourable Mentions: Rocket League, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Fallout 4.

Best Adventure Game

John Powell: Until Dawn

Game of the Year 2015The creepy oftentimes horrific story is what propelled the entire experience. Mirroring the cinematic horror experience, Until Dawn pulled you in and never let go.

Honourable Mentions: Game of Thrones: Sons of Winter, Life Is Strange, King's Quest and Her Story.

Alex Cattani: Life is Strange

Life is Strange grabbed me in ways I didn’t expect it to. 

Honourable Mentions: Fallout 4, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Until Dawn. 

Best Shooter

John Powell: Halo 5: Guardians

Game of the Year 2015Everything a Halo fan could have asked for and more, we just hope they push the boundaries a little more with the next sequel and really rocket the series into fresh territory.

Honourable Mentions: Star Wars: Battlefront, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Evolve, Splatoon.

Alex Cattani: Splatoon 

Who says shooters have to be rife with military jargon and aiming down sights to be a blast? Nintendo’s unique team shooter, Splatoon, proves that you don’t need guns and grenades to have a grand ol’ time. 

Honourable Mentions: Star Wars: Battlefront, Halo 5: Guardians, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. 

Best Story

John Powell: Fallout 4

Game of the Year 2015Juggling a number of plotlines all at once, Fallout 4 definitely had the most comprehensive and compelling story. 

Honourable Mentions: Her Story, King's Quest, Until Dawn, Life is Strange, Bloodborne.

Alex Cattani: Life is Strange

This tale of friendship, isolation, and responsibility resonated with me immensely. My attachment to the cast grew deeper and deeper, as each subsequent episode was released, and every major narrative decision left me feeling emotionally drained. Episodic adventure games are much more frequent nowadays than they were a couple of years ago, and with the influx of these titles, the genre has grown a bit stale for me. Life is Strange demonstrates how to keep the formula fresh and unique. 

Honourable Mentions: Fallout 4, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Until Dawn. 

Best Racing Game

John Powell: Forza Motorsport 6

You couldn’t ask for a more comprehensive racing package. Forza has something for every racing fan.

Honourable Mentions: Need for Speed, Screamride and Project CARS.

Best Sports Game

John Powell: Rocket League

It may be a different kind of sports game but it won the hearts of many gamers by offering something new and different.

Honourable Mentions: MLB 15: The Show, Madden NFL 16, NBA 2K16 and Pro Evolution Soccer 16.

Alex Cattani: Rocket League 

What was it about Psyonix’s latest offering that enraptured most of the gaming industry overnight? Was it the easy to play nature of the title? Or was it the fact that it was free on PS Plus for the month of July? Most likely both factors contributed to Rocket League’s unanticipated success.  

Honourable Mentions: Blood Bowl 2, FIFA 16.

Best Action Game

John Powell: Bloodborne

A thrilling and enthralling adventure.

Honourable Mentions: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Just Cause 3, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Mad Max, Dying Light.

Alex Cattani: Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. 

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain is a master class in game design. From its interconnected open worlds to its meticulously crafted mechanics, Hideo Kojima’s magnum opus delivers in spades. While some long-time fans may gripe at its more subdued narrative, I found the prequel story to be intimate and satisfying. 

Honourable Mentions: Rise of the Tomb Raider, Just Cause 3.

Best Role-Playing Game

John Powell: Fallout 4

Bethesda sets the standard once again.

Honourable Mentions: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Xenoblade Chronicles X.

Alex Cattani: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3 had me staggered from the get go, and nearly fifty hours later, I still feel like I’m just scratching just the surface of this monolithic iceberg. The sheer amount of things to do in Geralt’s latest outing is nothing short of astonishing. Couple the densely populated game world with brilliant writing, impressive graphics (especially for a game of this scope) and it’s quite clear that CD Projekt Red has propelled Open World gaming to new heights in their latest release. 

Honourable Mentions: Fallout 4, Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines.

Game of the Year 2015Best Puzzle – Rhythm Game

John Powell: Guitar Hero Live

"Guitar Hero Live is not some knock-off cover band or some fleeting comeback. It is a fully reinvigorated experience. I never would have thought it possible after all the countless iterations but FreeStyleGames has surpassed my expectations revising the Guitar Hero franchise for the better even though I am not a fan of the present in-game credit system.”

Honourable Mentions: Rock Band 4, Super Mario Maker, Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist, Box Boy!, Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros Editions.

Best Fighting Game

John Powell: Mortal Kombat X

With all the clever and ingenious downloadable content, new characters, Mortal Kombat keep itself relevant throughout the entire year.

Honourable Mentions: BlazBlue: Chronophantasma Extend

Best Platformer

Game of the Year 2015John Powell: Super Mario Maker

"Super Mario Maker may not make anyone into the next Hideo Kojima, Tim Sweeney, Roberta Williams or Shigeru Miyamoto but it might give them a new-found appreciation for the art that is game design and development."

Honourable Mentions: Yoshi's Woolly World, Skylanders: SuperChargers, Ori and the Blind Forest.

Alex Cattani: Super Mario Maker

What’s better than unlimited Mario? Not much! As the title suggests, Super Mario Maker gives fans the opportunity to create their very own Mario levels and share them amongst a community of likeminded makers. The life of this type of game relies solely upon the community. And, if the four months after its release are any indication, then Mario Maker has a bright future ahead of it.

Honourable Mentions: Grow Home, Ori and the Blind Forest. 

Most Underrated Game

John Powell: Until Dawn

“Like any great horror movie, it is the calculated storytelling and the ominous setting. Supermassive Games certainly did their homework in making Until Dawn a heart-felt bloody valentine to the horror and slasher film genre.”

Honourable Mentions: Call of Duty: Black Ops III.

Alex Cattani: Rebel Galaxy 

Rebel Galaxy takes the best parts of Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag’s naval combat, sets it in space, and builds upon it in several meaningful ways. With a bounty of side missions to take part in, as well as a wealth of customizable options for your vessel, Rebel Galaxy surprised and delighted me throughout the roughly twenty hours I put into it. Its story may be puddle deep, but with gameplay this unexpectedly great, that’s hardly a problem. 

Honourable Mentions: Emily Is Away, Titan Souls. 

Best Kids Game

Game of the Year 2015John Powell: Skylanders: SuperChargers

“SuperChargers is a familiar but polished interpretation of the Nintendo classic that takes the Skylanders series into a new and exciting direction.”

Honourable Mentions: Yoshi's Woolly World, Transformers: Devastation, Super Mario Maker, Tearaway Unfolded, Disney Infinity 3.0, Splatoon.

Best Multiplayer

John Powell: Call of Duty: Black Ops III

With so many additions and the Call of Duty multiplayer experience continues to rival the campaign in more ways than one.

Honourable Mentions: Halo 5: Guardians, Splatoon, Evolve, Rocket League, Star Wars: Battlefront.

Alex Cattani: Rocket League 

Rocket League’s fast and frantic gameplay is greatly enhanced with a couple of friends by your side. Whether it be pre-set text prompts or passionate yells of fury over the headset, communication with your team helps considerably, and makes playing this already amazing game even better.   

Honourable Mentions: Star Wars: Battlefront, Splatoon. 

Best DLC

Game of the Year 2015John Powell: Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, Mortal Kombat X: Predator Kombat Pack DLC (Tie)

Old Blood? More bullets, blood and brains. What more could you ask for? Mortal Kombat X? Throughout the entire year the developers have released all sorts of themed updated and characters making Mortal Kombat X the game that just keeps on giving. Such great value and dedication to the community is fantastic.

Honourable Mentions: The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone, Destiny: The Taken King, every Mortal Kombat X add-on. 

Alex Cattani: Mortal Kombat X: Predator Kombat Pack DLC

Jason Voorhees and the Predator make for perfect additions to Mortal Kombat’s already deadly roster due to their gruesome habits and vicious fighting styles. And if these two iconic horror stars weren’t enough to satisfy the bloodlust of fans, the famous Xenomorph, as well as LeatherFace himself, will be joining the crew in 2016. 

Worst Game of 2014

John Powell: Everybody's Gone to the Rapture

Game of the Year 2015“If you are looking for something to challenge you, something to stir your imagination, something to connect with on a personal or emotional level, you won't find it here. 'Rapture' is as empty experience as Shropshire itself, unless of course, your idea of a good time is a prolonged leisurely strolls and opening lots and lots of doors and gates, for hours and hours.”

Dishonourable Mentions: Godzilla: The Game, WWE 2K16, Dead Or Alive 5: Last Round.

Alex Cattani: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 6

It would be dishonest to say that Tony Hawks: Pro Skater 6 is the first entry in the long running skateboarding series to let us down. So why is it worthy of this award you ask? The answer is simple. The “Pro Skater” name is synonymous with quality, revolutionary gameplay and ripping punk rock soundtracks. Tony Hawks: Pro Skater 3 is not only hailed as one of the best action sports titles to ever be released, but also one of the greatest games of all time. It truly pains me to see the Tony Hawk name fail to live up to its former glory release after release but if the critically panned sixth entry in the Pro Skater series is any indication, it may be time for the birdman to shelve the virtual skateboard for good. 

Dishonourable Mentions: Alone in the dark: Illumination, Raven’s Cry.

Console Awards

Xbox One

Game of the Year: 

John Powell: Fallout 4

Honourable Mentions: Star Wars: Battlefront, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Halo 5: Guardians, Forza Motorsport 6, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

Alex Cattani: Fallout 4 

Best Exclusive:

John Powell: Halo 5: Guardians

Honourable Mentions: Forza Motorsport 6, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, Ori and the Blind Forest.

Alex Cattani: Ori and the Blind Forest  

PlayStation 4

Game of the Year: 

John Powell: Fallout 4

Honourable Mentions: Star Wars: Battlefront, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Bloodborne, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Rocket League.

Alex Cattani: Bloodborne   

Best Exclusive:

John Powell: Until Dawn 

Honourable Mentions: Bloodborne, Tearaway Unfolded.

Game of the Year 2015Alex Cattani: Bloodborne   

Nintendo Wii U

Game of the Year: 

John Powell: Super Mario Maker

Honourable Mentions: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Splatoon, Super Mario Maker, Xenoblade Chronicles X.

Alex Cattani: Super Mario Maker   

Best Exclusive:

John Powell: Super Mario Maker

Honourable Mentions: Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, Splatoon, Super Mario Maker, Yoshi’s Woolly World and Xenoblade Chronicles X.

Alex Cattani: Super Mario Maker   

Nintendo 3DS

Game of the Year: 

John Powell: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D

Honourable Mentions: The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes. Yo-Kai Watch, Box Boy!.

Best Exclusive:

John Powell: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D

Honourable Mentions: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D, Stretchmo, Puzzle & Dragons Z + Super Mario Bros. Edition
The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes.

PC

Game of the Year: 

John Powell: Fallout 4

Honourable Mentions: Her Story, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Star Wars: Battlefront, Call of Duty: Black Ops III.

Alex Cattani: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt   

Best Exclusive:

Alex Cattani: Pillars of Eternity

 
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About G4 in Canada
G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.