Cubed3 Staff Game Awards 2015

By Az Elias 11.01.2016 7

After much deliberation and internal conflict, members of the Cubed3 staff have submitted their picks for the best games of 2015 in a number of categories, as well as what they are most looking forward to picking up next year. After collecting all votes, these are the final results of the Cubed3 Game Awards, along with select quotes for the games the staff chose.

Best Game of the Year


Xenoblade Chronicles X


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"It exceeds what can reasonably be expected of a video game several times over. Its impossibly large landscapes are brimming with imaginative art design and truly fantastical creatures. Whatever near-magic combination of tech and talent went into making the environments should now be considered one of Nintendo's most precious resources; one that I hope will be used for a long time to come."
- Thomas, Reviewer

"It's the perfect mixture of single-player RPGs and MMORPGs, of WRPGs and JRPGs. RPG lovers of all kinds will find something enjoyable here. JRPG fans will love the story, while WRPG players have a wonderful and large overworld to explore, which will never leave them bored."
- André, Reviewer

Read: Xenoblade Chronicles X review

  • 2nd Place
    Splatoon
  • 3rd Place
    Bloodborne
  • 4th Place
    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Life is Strange
"I have never been so emotionally invested in a video game like I have with Life is Strange. Slip-ups with the final episode don't detract from what is a hella incredible journey."
- Az, Senior Editor

Fallout 4
"After waiting seven years to explore another Bethesda-created wasteland, Fallout 4 isn't perfect, but it is more Fallout, which is all it needed to be."
- David, Editor

Splatoon
"Splatoon is a true return to form for Nintendo. After a dearth of substantial new IPs lasting several years, it finally delivered with one of the most addictive games of the year. Simple, inventive, and, above all, fun, this is the Big N doing what it does best."
- Lex, Editor

Undertale
"Undertale really, truly, is an amazing experience. It hits all the notes perfectly, even if they sometimes come out in a tune I don't entirely understand. It just works so well, from everything on the surface, down to the most simple of game mechanics. Everything about Undertale works together to create what is, for me, not only 2015's best game, but easily one of the most magical games of all time."
- Brandon, Editor

Bloodborne
"Bloodborne was the game that stole four months of my life, offering me 100+ hours of the most teeth-grinding, sweaty-palmed, but enjoyable, gameplay of this year. Running two to three hunters deep while in multiplayer and bashing heads on bosses until the grind paid off were some of my favourite experiences."
- Tommy, Reviewer

Best PlayStation 4 Game


Bloodborne


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"Always relishing a challenge, Bloodborne hit all the right bullet points for me: a dark gothic setting steeped in intriguing lore; tight, interlocking level design akin to a Swiss watch in its intricacy; and hideous foul enemies at every turn, topped off with the immense sense of satisfaction that can only be gained after toppling one of the many merciless bosses. I am secretly proud of the fact that I managed to obtain the Platinum for this beast after spending way more time than is healthy in the Chalice Dungeons. Praise the moon!"
- Gareth, Reviewer

Read: Bloodborne review

  • 2nd Place
    Life is Strange
  • 3rd Place
    Disgaea 5:
    Alliance of Vengeance
  • 4th Place
    Metal Gear Solid V:
    The Phantom Pain

Life is Strange
"Far from perfect, but Life is Strange is one of few titles that goes beyond being a simple game and becomes more of a life experience."
- David, Reviewer

Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance
"Disgaea 5 hits a home run for the series, bringing the best elements across the multiple Disgaea titles. With a well-rounded cast and extremely polished gameplay, this is some of the best work from Nippon Ichi."
- Brandon, Editor

Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance
"A great SRPG with focus on deep gameplay. Gamers have been waiting, and they were given what they were promised."
- André, Reviewer

Mortal Kombat X
"MKX delivered more blood, guts and gore, and even found new ways to make stomachs churn. The story is written in a clever way to ensure that most of the new characters had ample screen time to detail their reasons for doing what they do. While there is a stronger focus on the new characters, some old favourites return to create that balance between two generations. Plus, Goro is playable for the very first time."
- Josh, Reviewer

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
"Kojima's masterpiece really is a tour de force. Despite a few story issues, the gameplay, visuals and audio design are amazing."
- Sandy, Reviewer

Dragon Ball: Xenoverse
"Heaven to a newly-realised Dragon Ball Z fan, Xenoverse incorporates a robust, yet authentic, fighting system with an MMO-like overlay and a satisfying rate of game progression."
- Shane, Reviewer

Best Wii U Game


Xenoblade Chronicles X


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"Not quite the emotional powerhouse its predecessor was in the story department, but a solid and feature-rich RPG any fan can sink countless hours into."
- David, Editor

"A solid follow-up to the Wii RPG that broke conventional genre staples, XCX takes a different approach, but is more than a worthy sequel. It carves its own space with a robust and fun fighting system, constant rewards and experience for even slight exploration, and a dynamic story that can be taken at a leisurely pace."
- Shane, Reviewer

Read: Xenoblade Chronicles X review

  • 2nd Place
    Super Mario Maker
  • 3rd Place
    Splatoon
  • 4th Place
    Project Zero:
    Maiden of Black Water

Splatoon
"Splatoon was a breakout hit for Nintendo this year, a new title that really struck a chord with fans. With jump-in-and-go action, a huge variety of weapons, and an ever-changing map selection, there's plenty to keep the gameplay from getting stale. Whether a dedicated player, or someone just looking for a single casual match, Splatoon offers a great experience for players of all playstyles and skill levels."
- Brandon, Editor

Project Zero: Maiden of Black Water
"Mount Mikami's dark atmosphere and endless ghosts lead to a fantastic adventure full of scares that really looks amazing, and has some of the best GamePad integration available on Wii U."
- Sandy, Reviewer

Splatoon
"Nintendo is often labelled as relying too much on the old guard characters to sell its consoles, which is why it's so exciting to see such a fantastic breakthrough, new IP. Splatoon has exploded in popularity, and rightly so; the superb design, wonderful style and addictive gameplay make for a spectacular new property."
- Drew, Reviewer

Super Mario Maker
"Between the sheer volume of potential, intuitive design, and the simple joy found when playing those courses made by people who understand the game, Super Mario Maker is wonderful."
- Ian, Reviewer

Best Xbox One Game


Rare Replay


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"Rare Replay is the best compilation of classic games of all time."
- Albert, Reviewer

Read: Rare Replay review

  • 2nd Place
    Rise of the Tomb Raider
  • 3rd Place
    Halo 5: Guardians
  • 4th Place
    Ori and the Blind Forest

Ori and the Blind Forest
"A masterpiece of game, level, visual, and audio design. The player uses perfectly tuned controls to navigate a stunningly realised Metroidvania world, in between heart-stopping playable set-pieces and touching story moments. Throw in a surprisingly satisfying challenge level, and it's an easy Game of the Year winner."
- Jordan, Editor

Rise of the Tomb Raider
"More of the same as Tomb Raider, but with just enough tweaks that it is fun all over again."
- Sandy, Reviewer

Best PC Game


The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt


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"The Witcher 3 might not be perfect, but its magnificently dark, beautiful, and gargantuan world provides rich and mature stories to experience, and combat sequences that feel as cool as they look. Even better, in an era of gaming where open-world means "tons of boring content" and RPG means "choices are available, but never really matter," this fantastic GOTY contestant shows that there are exceptions for this rule."
- Ofisil, Editor

Read: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt review

  • 2nd Place
    Undertale
  • 3rd Place
    The Binding of Isaac:
    Afterbirth
  • 4th Place
    Her Story

Undertale
"Over the last few years it's become apparent that small indie studios are able to square up against the big boys, and nowhere is that more apparent than with this game. Triple-A RPGs like Mass Effect and Fallout can try, but Undertale is unmatched in its emotional effect on players, as well as its catchy soundtrack and intuitive battle style that truly shakes up traditional gaming values."
- Lex, Editor

Her Story
"This short experience captivated its audience with a mystery shrouded by point of view. Leaving players with no real sense of closure, Her Story surpassed expectations set by its presentation as a "desktop sim" and brought the game to life by encouraging conversation over outcomes and theories."
- Tommy, Reviewer

Higurashi When They Cry: Chapter 1 - Onikakushi
"One of the greatest visual novel series of all time gets a facelift in this wonderful remake of Chapter 1 in the Higurashi saga, which wonderfully combines sound and graphics to create brilliant atmosphere."
- André, Reviewer

Age of Empires II HD: The African Kingdoms
"Breathing new life into a dead franchise means so much more than any other title could provide. This game is a hopeful bright light for the future."
- Ian, Reviewer

Prison Architect
"Addictive and well thought out, this game out-tycoons most tycoon games."
- Sandy, Reviewer

Grand Theft Auto V
"We all know where we stand when it comes to Grand Theft Auto, as the formula with its special spices has never changed since day one. It's fun, brutal and capable of delivering hours upon hours of comedic entertainment even when the game has been beat several times. That being said, this particular title had something special about it, with its new style of interactive gameplay involving three new, completely deranged characters, which somehow came together like a fire triangle."
- Tom, Reviewer

Best PS Vita Game


Steins;Gate


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"Never before has a visual novel been so interesting. Intense atmosphere, deep characters, a mind-bending and complex story, and excellent presentation. Everything from time travel theory and Japanese pop culture is explained in great detail and really helps keep people invested right to the end and onwards through other playthroughs."
- Sandy, Reviewer

"Filled with hard choices and characters that evoke real connections with their audience, Steins;Gate is a deeply psychological and original time-travelling tale that any visual novels aficionado needs to experience."
- Drew, Reviewer

Read: Steins;Gate review

  • 2nd Place
    Danganronpa
    Another Episode:
    Ultra Despair Girls
  • 3rd Place
    La-Mulana EX
  • 4th Place
    Shovel Knight

Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls
"This arcade shooter twist on the visual novel format retains the essence of Danganronpa, with loveable characters, cheeky innuendos and contrasting colourful design making up a story that is essential to the series' plot."
- Az, Senior Editor

Amnesia: Memories
"One of the greatest otome games to reach the market, offering much more than what its surface proposes. Underneath the cute love stories of "girl meets boy," there are much darker things going on..."
- André, Reviewer

Best Nintendo 3DS Game


The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D


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"Bringing the most controversial of the Zelda series into a new perspective, MM3D provided a lush example of the New Nintendo 3DS's face-tracking tech, all the while making effective improvements behind the scenes."
- Shane, Reviewer

"Majora's Mask is still a wonderful game. It's easy to see why some are so fanatical. Beautiful and well made, it's a joy to play."
- Ian, Reviewer

Read: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D review

  • 2nd Place
    Monster Hunter 4
    Ultimate
  • 3rd Place
    Mario & Luigi:
    Paper Jam Bros.
  • 4th Place
    Xenoblade
    Chronicles 3D

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
"A main-series Monster Hunter on handheld seemed like a stretch, but MH4U immediately makes clear that it's a full-fledged title in the series - and one of the best to date."
- David, Editor

BOXBOY!
"Nintendo managed to combine the best facets of both mainstream and indie gaming for this April release, proving it to be a worthy companion to the Kirby franchise. It may start off simple, but don't be fooled; this is one of the most entrancingly devious puzzlers on the console. Sequel, please!"
- Lex, Editor

Story of Seasons
"Story of Seasons, or the latest in Japan's Bokujo Monogatari series, doesn't bring much new to the farm table. While not a huge diversion from the franchise, it does bring a wealth of excellent mechanics, charming visuals, and loveable characters. Picking up Story of Seasons felt like coming home."
- Brandon, Editor

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
"With more monsters and zones to bash out, combined with stellar free DLC, fans of this series won't get bored."
- André, Reviewer

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
"Hundreds of hours later, this is still a great game with loads of things to do!"
- Sandy, Reviewer

Best Mobile Game


Fallout Shelter


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"It's not big, complex, or even very original, but it's addictive and fun, and makes do without annoying ads and microtransactions that otherwise plague the mobile games industry."
- David, Editor

"Dressed up with that Vault Boy art style that Fallout has trained everyone to hold so dearly, it's difficult to deny the charm of this quirky little mobile game."
- Tommy, Reviewer

Read: Fallout Shelter review

  • 2nd Place
    Final Fantasy
    Record Keeper
  • 3rd Place
    Blackwell Deception
  • 4th Place
    Star Wars:
    Knights of the
    Old Republic

Blackwell Deception
"The best of the Blackwell bunch, Deception's script is as sharp as ever - if not a tad wittier than before - with brilliant voice work to convey the emotive narrative."
Adam, Operations Director

Steven Universe: Attack the Light
"While not particularly long, Attack the Light was an absolute treat. It completely captures the spirit of the show, and delivers it in a bundle reminiscent of the older Paper Mario games. Charming visuals and simple gameplay make this definitely worth its small price tag."
- Brandon, Editor

Final Fantasy Record Keeper
"DeNA and Square Enix really nailed the perfect balance in free-to-play titles with this nostalgia trip, offering just enough to keep players hooked, while still giving them a reason to pay for more."
- André, Reviewer

PewDiePie: Legend of the Brofist
"Although his channel is now boring, PewDiePie's game is great fun and features cameos from many gaming YouTubers."
- Sandy, Reviewer

Best Indie Game


Rocket League


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"Forget everything you know or thought about football, because Rocket League transforms it into one of the most addictive multiplayer games in years, and is accessible and appealing enough that even anyone that hates the real life sport will fall in love with this when they pick up the controller."
- Az, Senior Editor

"Rocket League is a no-brainer. Some of the best fun of the year comes in the form of a radio-controlled car soccer mash-up, springing to life in local multiplayer, but with online options crammed in for good measure."
-Tom, Reviewer

Read: Rocket League review

  • 2nd Place
    Undertale
  • 3rd Place
    The Binding of Isaac:
    Afterbirth
  • 4th Place
    Hotline Miami 2:
    Wrong Number

Undertale
"Undertale is a rare find. In an era where the RPG genre moves more toward spectacle, Undertale brings charm through its narrative, characters, engaging gameplay, and stunning soundtrack. Undertale may be a love letter to a bygone era, but it's one everyone should be reading."
- Brandon, Editor

Circa Infinity
"The best obscure game I've played...and I've played a fair number of obscure games. An infectious soundtrack pushes players through dozens of immaculately designed levels of circular platforming. It's deceptively simple, sharply controlled, and utterly addictive."
- Jordan, Editor

Undertale
"In a year dominated by big blockbuster sequels, it's refreshing to get the chance to play something that's fuelled by pure creativity alone and introduces an entirely new experience. Undertale meshes engaging gameplay, a great story, and a memorable soundtrack to make an unforgettable game."
- Renan, Reviewer

Primal Carnage: Extinction
"The prehistoric age of video games may be light at the moment, but Circle 5 Studios' latest title seems to be pulled straight out of Jurassic Park. Bodies will break, while dinosaurs face extinction. This is humans versus dinosaurs!"
- Josh, Reviewer

Runbow
"A showcase for many other indie developers, with the usage of cameo characters like Shovel Knight and Scram Kitty, backed with a fun and simple gameplay premise, and support for nearly every Wii U controller option there is, Runbow packs one heck of a multi-coloured punch."
- Shane, Reviewer

Best Visual Design


Yoshi's Woolly World


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"Nintendo games have certainly been hit and miss with visual direction in recent years, with some truly striking visuals in some games and rehashed scenery in others. Yoshi's Woolly World by Good Feel stands out due to liquid smooth animation and an overworld that's literally been knitted together with an adorable art style, and this weaves neatly into the gameplay design. Captivating, bright and varied throughout, it has an aesthetic that's well deserving of this award."
- Jorge, Managing Director

Read: Yoshi's Woolly World review

  • 2nd Place
    Splatoon
  • 3rd Place
    Resident Evil
    HD Remaster
  • 4th Place
    Ori and the Blind Forest

Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today
"The chronically dark, hard-edged 2D visuals, give off an almost deathly ambience, with traumatically atmospheric locales that ensure those playing are truly thankful this is far from reality."
- Adam, Operations Director

Splatoon
"From the realistic paint effects to the magnificent characters and the quirky weapons and outfits, Nintendo proves once again that a game need not be a graphics powerhouse to completely steal the show."
- David, Editor

Ori and the Blind Forest
"Ori and the Blind Forest may very well be the most gorgeous 2D game in existence. Its superb animation and organic setting are a big part of what makes the game so enjoyable."
- Jordan, Editor

FAST Racing Neo
"Housed within an unbelievable file size of half a gigabyte, Shin'en has crafted a respectful speed racer to Nintendo and Sony's own futuristic franchises. Challenging, packed with content and worthy of its namesake with blistering velocity on later difficulties, this is a quality showcase for the humble Wii U."
- Shane, Reviewer

Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward
"While it may not be the most powerful game, the sheer artistic design makes it an outright beauty to behold through and through."
- Ian, Reviewer

Satellite Reign
"The oppressive nature of Satellite Reign's cyberpunk future is brought to life with smart use of weather effects, filters and overlays. See the circuits of the world with hacking, or slow down time with stimulates. This game juggles effect coolness with clarity, superbly maximising atmosphere, while never getting in the way of the gameplay."
- Thomas, Reviewer

The Rivers of Alice
"The wonderful surreal, seemingly hand-drawn, landscapes have a great ability to mesmerise players into the magical world this game takes place in on a level few other titles have ever succeeded with."
- André, Reviewer

Resident Evil HD Remaster
"Looking amazing upon its original release, the newly polished version is truly fantastic, bringing the once exclusive title to all new platforms."
- Sandy, Reviewer

Star Wars Battlefront
"Dice has gone to great lengths to create an incredible looking piece of fan service with such an exceptional attention to detail it actually feels like you're part of the movies. From visiting the locations used in the films to actually scanning all the props and weaponry, it's fair to say it was a real labour of love that's paid off handsomely, with a clean, crisp visual style true to the source material that runs at a buttery smooth 60fps. Endor looks particularly lush and verdant."
- Gareth, Reviewer

Best Audio


Undertale


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"With a score that ranges from exciting and fast paced to deeply emotional, Undertale's soundtrack tells its story in a way I've seen few games, let alone indie titles, manage. While the soundtrack may not have one single defining genre, every track fits in its own way, giving each moment a unique feel."
- Brandon, Editor

Read: Undertale review

  • 2nd Place
    Star Wars Battlefront
  • 3rd Place
    Ori and the Blind Forest
  • 4th Place
    FAST Racing Neo

FAST Racing Neo
"The beauty of FAST Racing Neo is that not only is the sheer pace of the races simply exhilarating, it comes with a trance-filled soundtrack with heavy beats that up the adrenaline levels even higher than they already are. Not a tune out of place, the musical maestros at Shin'en have delivered a score worthy of its own CD release."
- Adam, Operations Director

Batman: Arkham Knight
"The game is flawed in a few areas, but sound is not one of them. From the effects of rain and punches to the quality of NPCs and the always-welcome talents of Mark Hamill, Kevin Conroy, Jonathan Banks, and Troy Baker, Arkham Knight is audio at its finest."
- David, Editor

Ori and the Blind Forest
"On top of everything else, Ori and the Blind Forest has a lovely symphonic soundtrack that's adept at both grandiose melodies and subdued ambience. It also features wonderfully atmospheric sound effects and expressive character voices."
- Jordan, Editor

Kyn
"An exciting cinematic score that, at times, evokes, but never copies, more famous works by Williams or Zimmer. The music complements the game perfectly, but also works well on its own."
- Thomas, Reviewer

Star Wars Battlefront
"A game boasting sound design that's nearly 40 years old might not sound like the obvious candidate for this category, but it's precisely this reason as to why Battlefront is deserving of the honour. As an exercise in nostalgia, it effortlessly transports fans of the film back to an age of innocent youth when all that mattered was Star Wars, and a lot of this is down to the phenomenal audio work by Dice. The iconic musical score provides the perfect soundtrack for taking on the Imperial Empire/Rebel scum and is best enjoyed loud while dressed as a Wookie."
- Gareth, Reviewer

G-sejou no Maou: The Devil on G String
"Just as the title suggests, this is a game where classical music plays a big part. Wonderful reconstructions of classical pieces are offered throughout, delivering a musical game experience beyond the ordinary."
- André, Reviewer

Final Fantasy X HD Remaster
"Final Fantasy titles have been a reliable source for great soundtracks and this year's PS4 remaster of the PS2 classic showed why with its remixed score, filled with fantastic themes that manage to improve on the already superb tunes. The less said about the English voice acting the better, though..."
- Drew, Reviewer

Best Storytelling


Undertale


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"One of the most ambitious game narratives ever crafted, Undertale's story succeeds at everything it tries. It offers more laughs, heartfelt moments, and unexpected shocks than most dedicated comedies, dramas, and horrors...and that's not even considering the biting postmodern subtext."
- Jordan, Editor

"Undertale has characters that range from quirky to downright terrifying, and over the course of just over eight hours, I fell in love with all of them. The story itself is heart-warming, hilarious, and tragic all at once, and it's definitely the game that'll have the most lasting impact for me this year."
- Brandon, Editor

Read: Undertale review

  • 2nd Place
    Life is Strange
  • 3rd Place
    Tales from the
    Borderlands
  • 4th Place
    Technobabylon

Life is Strange
"You will cry. More than once."
- Az, Senior Editor

Life is Strange
"The ending has fans divided, but, on the whole, Life is Strange presented an amazing story full of well-crafted moments as large as a hurricane or as small as two friends holding hands across a set of railroad tracks, and anyone who played this game will hold it dear forever."
- David, Editor

Higurashi When They Cry: Chapter 1 - Onikakushi
"A psychological horror at its finest, offering many deep problems for the characters and having one of the most iconic, hilarious and, at times, creepy casts of any game ever."
- André, Reviewer

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth3: V Generation
"It's the story we, as gamers, have crafted over our lifetime. Sure, it may be fan servicey, but this is also the story of us…told by anime-esque girls."
- Ian, Reviewer

Best Multiplayer


Splatoon


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"Not only is this an exemplary pick-up-and-play title, but it is one that shows Nintendo can and must trust its young, up-and-coming developers. You play as a half human, half squid kid, with an array of guns that splatter ink in all directions, which you then swim through! Squids! Two words: only Nintendo."
- Mike, Reviewer

"Not so much for local buddy play, but when taken online, Splatoon is a force to be reckoned with. There are many modes to choose from, with rotating levels and constant content updates to keep things fresh."
- Shane, Reviewer

Read: Splatoon review

  • 2nd Place
    Rocket League
  • 3rd Place
    Monster Hunter 4
    Ultimate
  • 4th Place
    FAST Racing Neo

Destiny: The Taken King
"From zero-gravity maps to a secret Halloween event, the new raid to the random encounter-focused Court of Oryx, The Taken King improved on Destiny in a lot of ways, and multiplayer is no exception."
- David, Editor

Rocket League
"It is football, but with cars. FIFA wishes it could produce the edge-of-your-seat thrill created when boosting into another vehicle with such force they explode, or back-flipping off a wall directly into the oversized ball to score the dodgiest goal in gaming history. Rocket League encapsulates the "one more go" effect that's the hallmark of a fantastic multiplayer game."
- Lex, Editor

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
"The king of co-op is here to stay! Nothing beats collecting four friends and bashing out on the enormous monsters found in MH4U, with nothing but gear and each other to rely on."
- André, Reviewer

Rocket League
"Rocket League is pure unadulterated fun. Its simplicity and intuitive controls make it a game that's easy to pick up, but difficult to master, and perfect for playing in short bursts, which, more often than not, turn into far lengthier sessions. The fact that up to four players can play split-screen locally means that not only can a bunch of mates get together and play a fierce game of 2 vs. 2, but there's also the option to go online as a team of four and take on the world."
- Gareth, Reviewer

Heroes of the Storm
"Everything about this game is lovingly crafted and detailed. With a fresh take on the MOBA genre and simply being fun, there was little doubt as to its success."
- Ian, Reviewer

Resident Evil Revelations 2
"Raid mode is compelling multiplayer fun and keeps the game going long after its fantastic story ends."
- Sandy, Reviewer

Call of Duty: Black Ops III
"I sank nearly two days into this right after it launched with friends, and can see me playing it for months to come. Incredibly addictive multiplayer and a fantastic return to the series after the crap that was Ghosts/Advanced Warfare."
- Leigh, Reviewer

Most Wanted 2016 Game


The Legend of Zelda (Wii U)


Image for Cubed3 Staff Game Awards 2015

"2016 has a lot of great-looking games lined up, but only Zelda can give us 12 seconds of footage a year and still break the hype-o-meter."
- David, Editor

"The expectations surrounding this are far, far beyond fever pitch. The wait, whilst agonising, surely will be worth it. Every one of those 12 seconds in the latest stunning (but oh-so-cruel!) teaser reaffirms my feeling that this is going to be an extremely special game."
- Mike, Reviewer

  • 2nd Place
    Final Fantasy XV
  • 3rd Place
    Uncharted 4:
    A Thief's End
  • 4th Place
    Persona 5

Mass Effect: Andromeda
"The Mass Effect universe is one I have been obsessively immersed into for years, not least because of the remarkable attention to detail that has gone into its lore. With new alien species to meet and the return of the Mako to traverse planets, I'm excited to see how BioWare evolves this expansive sci-fi series in the Andromeda Galaxy."
- Az, Senior Editor

The Witness
"Seven years in the making, the sophomore effort from the creator of landmark indie title Braid is finally arriving next year, and will be my first day-one purchase in years."
- Jordan, Editor

Persona 5
"I'm chomping at the bit for Atlus' next troubled-teen JRPG smash hit. With everything we've seen so far, I have insanely high expectations for this title, and nothing I've seen gives me the impression that it won't deliver. I've got my vacation time ready, Atlus, whenever you are ready."
- Brandon, Editor

Yooka-Laylee
"Just as we were about ready to give up on pleading for Banjo-Threeie, here it is (with a slightly different lick of paint, of course). There isn't much else to be said - owing perhaps to the limited amount of gameplay we've actually been shown - but one can only hope this will lead to a resurgence in 3D platformers in which the gaming scene has been so sorely lacking recently."
- Lex, Editor

Little Devil Inside
"Crowdfunded indie title Little Devil Inside promises 3D action-adventure RPG gameplay, but the real draw for me is the game world - it just looks fantastic! There are definite Zelda influences, as well as a bit of XCOM and System Shock. June 2016 can't come soon enough!"
- Jamie, Editor

Final Fantasy XV
"While some recent FF titles haven't received much love from fans upon release, there's just something about the franchise that generates goose bumps. Built on a new engine, the next chapter in the near 30-year saga looks to be one of the best yet."
- Josh, Reviewer

Persona 5
"After the amazing fourth game in the series, the fifth is a shoe-in for this award, and the news of a PlayStation 4 version has only exacerbated the desire. With luck, Europe won't be kept waiting too much longer this time around."
- Shane, Reviewer

Dark Souls III
"I'm currently chipping a long, arduous path through Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin and taking my punishment for doing so like a man. With some good timing and a lot of needless deaths on my part, I'm "hoping" to be through with it in time for the third chapter. With rumours circulating that it could be final game in the series, I'm expecting something pretty special. Praise the sun!"
- Gareth, Reviewer

Ladykiller in a Bind
"The latest visual novel by Christine Love about a girl who, while cross-dressing as her brother, gets into a really naughty mess. If Love keeps up her wonderful writing style focusing on the emotions of the characters, VN fans might be in for a real treat early next year."
- André, Reviewer

Total War: Warhammer
"Total War! Warhammer! Total Warhammer! It would be hard to make this not an amazing game!"
- Ian, Reviewer

What do you think of the team's picks? Share your own favourite games of 2015, as well as what you're most looking forward to playing in 2016, in the comments section below.

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Lots of really great games last year. Was so much better than 2014, in my opinion.

Life is Strange, Super Mario Maker, Splatoon and Undertale were my very favourites. I forgot about Yoshi's Wolly World, that was a nice game, but it never really left me with a lasting impact. I enjoyed the visuals and music mostly. I spent so many hours on GTA V Online, too. That was a lot of fun. I'd say that was my top multiplayer game of the year.

A mention for Ori an the Blind Forest, too. That game is superb and really lovingly crafted. I wasn't able to beat it because I found it too challenging. So I never got to see it all, but from what I did play, it was fantastic.

Games I'm currently most looking forward too are The Legend of Zelda U, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Unravel, Yooka-Laylee and The Walking Dead: Michonne.

( Edited 12.01.2016 11:53 by Marzy )

Guest 12.01.2016#2

I agree with most of the choices but two things stand out. 1. You can tell its been a slow year when maiden of blackwater makes it into the top 5. I don't mind a repetitive game as long as the ending is satisfying but it wasn't. For a horror game its also not very scary. Mainly due to a lack of variety and what seemed like infinite health. The other thing is the 3ds category being dominated by remakes. Handing best 3ds game to majoras mask is a bit like titanic picking up this years oscar for best film. Was codename steam released this year?

It's so tough trying to pick some of the best games of the year, especially when so many great games come out towards the end of the year. For instance, I missed out on voting for Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam Bros. purely because I'd not had enough time to sink my teeth into it properly.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

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Yeah, that's why I never understand why the Game Awards and other sites' awards are done before the year is over. Always makes sense to do it in January to give at least a chance to play some of the late-year games. It's like the Goal of the Season, Player of the Year, etc awards in football - why are they done before the season is over?

The other thing is the 3ds category being dominated by remakes. Handing best 3ds game to majoras mask is a bit like titanic picking up this years oscar for best film. Was codename steam released this year?

I dunno, I think this depends on personal stances. We decided we would allow for remakes and remasters to be up for nominations, although it was almost a given that a remaster wouldn't win anything in our awards. A remake like MM3D is a different kettle of fish in that it's such an old game that came with a host of improvements/differences over its original version that it seems fair it won our best 3DS game award - overwhelmingly, I might add. Will we disallow remakes/remasters in future editions? Always possible, but I think it's clear from the results that - aside from 3DS - remakes/remasters being eligible didn't impact on original games winning in any way, anyway.

As for Code Name STEAM, yep, it came out in 2015. Only one person on the team nominated it, though. I didn't think it looked that appealing, personally.


Can't say I put much time into many new games in 2015, sadly, but Life is Strange was all I needed to play. I think it's had a bigger impact on me than The Last of Us, and that's really saying something. Loved MM3D, and I also played Undertale and Her Story just a few weeks ago, and Rocket League is utterly fantastic. Haven't put as much time as I'd have liked into Mario Maker.

For 2016, the obvious one is Zelda, but as a mad Mass Effect fan, I cannot wait for Andromeda. Honestly, I think it'll delay into next year, which is why I was hesitant to mention it (and why I don't see the point in Most Wanted articles now, since shit always gets delayed into the following year or further), but I am so ready for this game whenever it comes. I'm not ecstatic over FF15, but apart from the demo, I haven't paid too much attention to it, since I don't see the point in spoiling myself, so hopefully it proves to be a great game and surprises me. There is some really good stuff coming this year, so I'm expecting to spend a lot more cash. If Zelda, FF15 and Mass Effect really do release around each other, that's me sorted until Shenmue 3.

I can't really remember many 3DS games from last year. I think I only bought two physical games; Majora's Mask 3D and Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer. The best game I played though was Japanese Rail Simulator: Journey to Kyoto. It was £1 in the Xmas eShop sale and was well worth it.

It was such a nice and relaxing experience and cool to travel through a rail line in Japan. It was one of the first times I continually used 3D, as well. It added to the experience for me.

I agree. Picking which game to vote for on a list like this is EXTREMELY difficult... Especially considering how great a year 2015 has been and 2016 shapes up to be. There has been great games of all tastes released and I can see no gamer coming out of 2015 disappointed... As a VN fan it has also been an especially wonderful year as many older great titles have been released over here translated to English and 2016 looks to become even better! Smilie

The difference between illusion and reality is vague to the one who suffers from the former and questionable for the one suffering form the later.

I gotta say, I wish I had started Xenoblade earlier. It's really become a massive time sink, and I really wish I had more time with it.

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