The Lessons We Learned From Popular 2015 Video Games

Gamers are a blessed bunch. Each year, countless titles on numerous platforms release to help us have fun and escape from reality for a while. Of course, only a few end up being the best-selling games that everyone ends up talking about. Whether we like it or not, these games tend to have the most influence when it comes to where the industry is headed next.

That is why a year ago we talked about some things we learned from the top selling video games of 2014. Now we’ve taken a look at top titles of 2015 to see how the industry has grown as well as areas in need of serious improvement.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt—Worlds Are Only Getting Bigger And Better

In 1998 a little game called The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was released. While its gameplay and graphics (at the time) were impressive, it was the world that captivated us. Never before had we entered a place expansive enough to explore for hours on end, hoping to run into yet another secret around every corner. And while Ocarina of Time is still a game everyone should play, its world is nothing compared to the landscapes and settings of today’s adventure games.

Witcher 3 world

The winner of numerous awards, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt blew us away last year with one of the most stunning video game worlds we’ve ever encountered. You could potentially spend hundreds of hours visiting every area of the game. Thanks to advancements in technology, we’re now adventuring through places that aren’t just big but also filled with more detail than ever before.

Batman: Arkham Knight—PC Gamers & Broken Versions Of AAA Titles

Rocksteady has made a name for itself with the Arkham series, which is why Batman: Arkham Knight was one of the most anticipated titles of 2015. Although it didn’t feel as big a leap forward as Arkham City was, it was still praised for its fantastic combat, excellent storytelling, and memorable level design. But while PS4 and Xbox One players smoothly sped through Gotham in the Batmobile, PC gamers were being bombarded by a ridiculous number of technical issues.

Arkham Knight

The winner of numerous awards, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt blew us away last year with one of the most stunning video game worlds we’ve ever encountered. You could potentially spend hundreds of hours visiting every area of the game. Thanks to advancements in technology, we’re now adventuring through places that aren’t just big but also filled with more detail than ever before.

Star Wars Battlefront / Halo 5—We Like Multi AND Single Player

There are a number of ways Star Wars Battlefront and Halo 5: Guardian are alike. They’re shooters, were highly-anticipated titles, employ similar sci-fi elements, etc. Both games, especially Halo 5, even provided some of the best multiplayer experiences of the year. Unfortunately, these two great games also made the same mistake of releasing with a lackluster single-player experience.

Halo 5 screenshot

To be fair, Halo 5’s campaign was OK. The problem is that the story was hyped up to result in an epic showdown between two Spartan teams led by arguably the best of the best—Master Chief and Spartan Locke. Instead we got a convoluted narrative that required reading the tie-in books to understand. As for Battlefront, we got a few decent game modes and no single-player campaign whatsoever. Gamers have made it clear that while we love multiplayer, there will always be a desire for an awesome story-driven campaign as well.

Super Mario Maker—Gamers Really Like Making Things

If there’s one thing Mojang’s game showed us, it’s that players enjoy using their own creativity to build things from time to time. Minecraft is just that—a game that skips the storylines and next-gen graphics and instead lets people go wild with their imagination. Such is the demand for this game that it has even arrived on a console that was said would never support Minecraft.

Super Mario Maker screenshot

We’re of course talking about the Wii U, which had a pretty poor year in 2015 but still managed to land a few hit titles. One of them was Super Mario Maker, a Nintendo title that had a bigger reception than any of us could have imagined. For weeks it was impossible to visit a gaming news site that wasn’t talking about making and playing courses. While it would be great to see other similar Nintendo titles release, other game developers should also realize that gamers are always up for modes where they can build their own levels, worlds, etc.

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