by Byte Editorial Board

It’s the end of 2015, which means it’s time to select the best games of the year. To celebrate, members of Byte’s editorial board picked their favorite games to highlight. The games below are the favorites of Nick Dowell (@ncdowell), Byte’s Editor-in-Chief.

5. Bloodborne

“Fear the Old Blood. By the gods, fear it…”

Bloodborne is a game by From Software. That should say it all.

Games by From (from From?) are known for their brutal gameplay in a world shrouded by mystery. The plot you experience is entirely dependent on how much you want to explore and how much time you’re willing to spend reading item descriptions. Normally, that’s frustrating, but with Bloodborne it works extremely well. Navigating the mystery of Yharnam and the hunt is thrilling.

As with any From game, though, the real star is the combat. And if you thought combat in Dark Souls was fun, you need to play Bloodborne. The combat is quick and requires you to constantly get in the faces of all your enemies. The new Rally feature encourages you to respond quickly to damage and keeps you on your toes.

4. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

“Kaz, I’m already a villain.”

Source: N4G

Source: N4G

The Metal Gear franchise has always been a golden goose. Each game is great in every possible way, which clearly comes from the love that Hideo Kojima and his team put into every part of it. Even the tiniest details mattered, like the ability to fulton basically everything or make your horse poop on command. The stealth works extremely well, probably the best I’ve seen from a game. The story and world are just amazing and work to create a successful spiritual close to the franchise (sure Konami will make more Metal Gear games, but without Kojima it’ll be either garbage or a pachinko machine).

Though the best part is obviously D-Dog. Look how cute he is. I probably spent more of my time playing at my base just watching him be super cute. Then he grew up to become a cool helper friend on missions. Honestly just play The Phantom Pain to play with D-Dog.

3. Until Dawn

“Boom. Butterfly effect.”

Source: PS Nation

Source: PS Nation

Since I can remember, I’ve been a huge fan of campy, teen slasher films. They’re fun with little scares that just make the whole viewing experience a great time. So naturally, when I heard a game was being developed that would let you simulate one of these movies, I built up tons of internal hype. Luckily for me, expectations were not only met, but exceeded.

Until Dawn has everything going for it. The story is extremely easy to get invested in, and the characters (especially Sam and her magic towel) are fun to watch either develop or get killed. The best part of the game, though, is the focus on the Butterfly Effect. Being able to make choices that can make huge impacts on the end of the story is very nerve-wracking, but also worth it in the end. It’s a nice departure from Telltale games where the choices exist but almost feel meaningless. With Until Dawn, every choice matters.

2. Fallout 4

“The thing about happiness is that you only know you had it when it’s gone.”

Of course Fallout 4 is on this list. Even the worst Bethesda games are still amazing games. But Fallout 4 is not a bad Bethesda game. It’s definitely one of the best the developer has made, and it’s exciting for several reasons.

There is a ton to love about Fallout 4. There are the obvious things to expect from a Bethesda game, like the visuals and the worldbuilding, but the small things set this game apart from the rest. The ability to develop relationships with your companions is very rewarding and the new VATS system provides an additional layer of difficulty that the series has always needed.

Probably the most exciting part, though, is the knowledge that with Fallout 4 being out, we can expect a new Elder Scrolls game sometime in the near future.

1. Undertale

“Don’t kill, and don’t be killed. That’s the best you can strive for.”

Undertale was a game that nobody expected. In a year of huge AAA releases, it released as a small gust of wind. But as people found it and reviews started coming out, it turned from that small breeze to a complete tornado of excellence.

Everything about Undertale is something to love. The combat is extremely fun and the story is unbelievably rewarding. Where the game really shines, though, is in its characters. Each new person you meet adds more and more enjoyment to an already loving game. Then you get to go on dates with all of them and it’s just a really good time.

Do yourself a favor and take a look at Undertale. Everything about it is so meticulously made and it shows. Combining the world, characters, gameplay, and the music (Oh hot dang, the music) makes for an amazing experience that will stick with you, regardless of what choices you make.

 

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