With the 2015 Game of the Year
vote now open, we thought we'd try to help with your decision making by sharing the highest scoring games from this year's official site reviews.
Over the past 12 months we have reviewed over 100 games
(by far our best year yet), and a whopping 20 of them have received a score of 4.5 or 5 out of 5!
Here are the first ten, in order of review:Hand of FateHand of Fate
is a shining example of what ID@Xbox can bring to the console. The game's ability to provide the same gameplay over and over again, while still making every encounter feel fresh and challenging, is what makes the experience completely addictive. I was so sucked into the game that I literally got off my couch and sat cross-legged in front of the TV so that I could concentrate more. For those who thrash through the game's Story mode, the never-ending Endless mode provides an extra challenge to see just how far you can go. I have a distinct feeling that this game will remain installed on many consoles for a long time.Click here for the full review.White Night
The survival horror genre has struggled to find a place in recent years, but titles such as The Evil Within
have attempted to breathe new life into it. With White Night
, OSome Studio has managed to invigorate the genre by taking us back to the methodical and tense gameplay that kept us on edge so many times in the past. When playing the game for subsequent playthroughs, you will undeniably blaze through it, but hasn't that always been the case with survival horror games? The art style is beautifully unique, the gameplay is simple yet highly enjoyable and the soundtrack is superb. The reason you'll want to stay inside this mansion, though, is because of the history behind it. A compelling story is waiting to be unearthed and the more you learn, the deeper you'll want to go. The ID@Xbox lineup continues to get stronger and its latest addition is unquestionably worth checking out.Click here for the full review.Ori and the Blind ForestOri and the Blind Forest
is arguably the best game of 2015 so far. Visually it is gorgeous and has a beautiful soundtrack to complement it. The lack of load times helps the flow of the game, and the platforming gameplay is fluent and precise all the way through. Difficulty spikes bring a challenging edge, and the escape sections are some of the most hectic portions of any platformer game. Ultimately, I cannot recommend this game enough, it is a must play.Click here for the full review.Oddworld: New 'n' TastyOddworld New 'n' Tasty
tells a story of a world that contains a great amount of injustice, from the persecution of defenceless creatures to the tyranny of people who hold far too much power. It's a story that is just as relevant now as it was sixteen years ago. However, the title is also an ode to gaming from a forgotten era, when campaigns took a while to complete and violence wasn't the main objective. With a lick of HD paint and tweaks to gameplay to accommodate modern gamers, this title has found its place amidst the new generation of consoles and there is absolutely no reason why this type of game couldn't reclaim its crown. Long live Oddworld
.Click here for the full review.State of Decay: Year One Survival Edition
State of Decay proved to be a massive hit when it released on Xbox LIVE Arcade and may very well follow up that success on the Xbox One. The mixture of resource gathering and base building provides for a deep zombie survival experience and the micromanagement is made easy by a streamlined menu system. With the inclusion of the two DLCs there is a lot here to keep players busy for awhile.Click here for the full review.Shovel Knight
It can be challenging, frustrating and cause unwanted headaches, but despite all that you'll keep wanting to come back for more. Not everyone will be drawn in by an 8-bit, side-scrolling death fest in this day and age of gaming that seems overwhelmed by retro aesthetic titles, however, Shovel Knight
rightly deserves a place among modern games. The amazing soundtrack and rewarding gameplay will spur you on right to the end, and even then you'll probably want to go back for another round of smacking things in the face with a shovel. The inspiration from 8-bit games of the past has caused a great feeling of nostalgia for many, and Shovel Knight
is well worth the money and trip down memory lane if you prefer to be challenged on a regular basis. The game is proof that, although 8-bit side-scrollers look old, they certainly aren't outdated.Click here for the full review.Wolfenstein: The Old Blood
Like Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon
before it, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood
sets a new standard for standalone, downloadable content. At $19.99 (or your regional equivalent), it represents one of the best values in current games. Between the 8-10 hour campaign full of fantastic moments and scenarios, the challenge maps, and the nightmare levels there's a lot to love for the money. While the massive file size (over 37 GB!) may cause some internet connections to cry, it is well worth the space in your Xbox One's hard drive. The New Order
was one of the underground hits of 2014, and The Old Blood
has taken that torch and ran with it. Get psyched and consider it a must play.Click here for the full review.The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The quality and quantity of the content in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
are beyond compare and without peer. It is now the gold standard to which all other RPGs will be held. With hundreds of hours of rich, detailed story, a plethora of side quests, incredible aesthetic design, deep combat systems, and unprecedented sense of place and character, it checks off all of the boxes for excellence in the genre. Those plaudits come at a price, though, as the game can be a technical grab bag of minor (and major) bugs and glitches. While there is little doubt that CD Projekt RED will be giving the game consistent patch and DLC support to smooth out the majority of these marks, you can only buff out the dents in the horrific control scheme so much. Fortunately, these technical gripes and moments of mechanical frustration are easy to overlook when examining the experience as a whole. This is a game that should not be missed by RPG fans, should be tried by curious gamers, and will be looked back upon as one of the best ever. Consider it a must play and say goodbye to your summer.Click here for the full review.SteamWorld DigSteamworld Dig
is refreshing against many other ID@Xbox games because it feels like a fully realized concept with a well defined beginning, middle, and end (well, and cliffhanger if we’re being technical). While the slow trek to get upgrades may occasionally feel frustrating, they are, in actuality, extremely well-paced, it just may be difficult to get that sense until having the benefit of looking back on the experience as a whole. The game’s only really major drawback is that it doesn’t do much in the way of boss fights - new areas are just unlocked via progress, which is fine, but a big battle before entering the different areas would have given the game just a little more. It’s a compliment to the developers, however, that the inclusion of more boss monsters is not a ‘need’, but rather a ‘want’ that would only serve to improve an already enjoyable experience. When all is said and done, in the great landscape of all the games available on Xbox One, SteamWorld Dig
is a jewel that will make you feel your efforts to discover it was well worth your time. SteamWorld Dig
is worth every bit of its $9.99 asking price.Click here for the full review.Batman: Arkham KnightBatman Arkham Knight
is a magnificent and fitting end to the Arkham
series of games in every possible way. The city of Gotham is a huge, spectacular playground for you to explore, the story sucks you in despite it’s inevitable outcome, and the combat and stealth elements that brought Arkham Asylum
to everyone’s attention have never been better.
The game does have its faults; a couple of times it completely froze after navigating to the dashboard, framerate drops occur occasionally, and the Batmobile whilst brilliant for navigating the city is overused and repetitive in tank battles, but that can easily be forgiven when the rest of the experience is as good as it is. For anyone who likes Batman, the previous releases in the franchise, or open world games in general, Arkham Knight
is an absolute must play, and offers a genuine reason for gamers who haven't yet made the jump to the new generation of consoles to seriously consider making the switch.Click here for the full review.
We'll be posting Part Two of our Games of the Year Roundup shortly, so keep checking back to find it!
In the mean time, you can cast your votes for your Game of the Year here