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Readers’ Choice Best Of 2015 Awards

by Jeff Cork on Jan 06, 2016 at 11:30 AM

Looking at the games of the previous year is an annual tradition at Game Informer, culminating in our official best of the year awards. You can see the results from our most recent issue here. While readers can’t pop into our office and join our meetings – it’s too perilous and ugly for most people to endure – we open the floor in the form of an online poll. There, people can say what their favorite games of the year were in a variety of categories, and compare the results with our official picks. Today, we’re sharing the results of our most recent poll.

More than 4,000 people participated in the poll, and, like last year, many of the results aligned with ours. At the same time, there were plenty of instances where we parted in significant ways. Here are the results for all the categories.

Best PlayStation Exclusive: Bloodborne
Bloodborne was the overwhelming favorite for best PlayStation exclusive, both with Game Informer’s staff and our readers. More than half of readers polled picked From Software’s punishing gothic-horror game (55.58 percent, to be exact), with the runner-up, Until Dawn, grabbing a comparatively paltry 18.06 percent of the vote.

Best Xbox Exclusive: Rise of the Tomb Raider
Lara Croft’s latest adventure may only be a timed exclusive, but that was enough to earn her the top prize on the Xbox platform on both of our lists. She grabbed slightly over half of the vote – 50.50 percent – over Halo 5 (29.14 percent) and Rare Replay (12.65 percent).

Best Wii U Exclusive: Super Mario Maker
The appeal of creating and sharing your own Super Mario Bros. levels is strong, and Game Informer’s readers and staff agreed that it was the best Wii U exclusive. At the same time, it was far from a Bloodborne-style drubbing. Mario grabbed 38.86 of the votes, but Splatoon and Xenoblade Chronicles X were a close second and third, with 24.14 and 20.23 percent of votes. A few (55) hilarious trolls popped from under their bridges and said that Devil’s Third was their pick for the best Wii U exclusive of 2015. Get outta here!

Best PC Exclusive: Undertale
Who likes Undertale? Apparently, we all do. The charming RPG took the top PC prize in the magazine and among our readers. How many votes did it get? We thought you’d never ask. It scored 23.74 of the things, ahead of StarCraft II: Legacy of the Fallen (12.95 percent) and Pillars of Eternity (11.69 percent).

Best Handheld Exclusive: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D
Finally the harmonious outlook between Game Informer’s staff and readers broke, with the results of the best handheld exclusive category. About time! We picked Capcom’s Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, but you guys put it in second place with 16.72 percent of the vote. The winner? How about The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D, with 34.11 percent? Xenoblade Chronicles X was a galaxy away in third place, with 9.71 percent. 

Best Mobile Exclusive: Fallout Shelter
Who are you people? Clearly, the best mobile exclusive of 2015 was The Room Three. Apparently, you guys didn’t get the message. Instead, 48.35 percent of you all picked Bethesda’s Fallout Shelter, ahead of Star Wars Uprising (9.99 percent). The Room Three? Only 9.34 of you maniacs voted for it.

Best Action: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
You were so close, guys! Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was a great game – on that we can all agree. Is it first-place great? 22.48 percent of you thought so. Bloodborne, the clear winner? Somehow it only earned 18.82 percent of the vote, a near tie with third place Batman: Arkham Knight’s 18.42 percent. Fourteen votes separated those two games, so don’t believe people who say your vote doesn’t count. Amazingly, three people thought Skylanders: Superchargers was the best action game of 2015. All right then.

Best Adventure Game: Until Dawn
Yet another category tore us apart. We loved Life is Strange, but you guys apparently prefer your teen angst with a few gallons of gore. Until Dawn took your top prize, with 34.65 percent of the vote. That’s more than twice what second and third place Tales from the Borderlands (16.49 percent) and Life is Strange (14.65 percent) earned combined.

Best Cooperative Multiplayer: Destiny: The Taken King
Finally, something we can agree on again. Was Destiny: The Taken King the best cooperative multiplayer game of 2015? According to GI and the majority of you guys (18.07 percent), it was. It was a real squeaker though, with Bloodborne (8.62 percent), Halo 5 (7.27 percent) falling close behind. A single vote (!!!) made all the difference in the race for fourth place, between Splatoon and Call of Duty: Black Ops III (7.27 and 7.24, respectively). Star Wars Battlefront was nine votes behind that. 

Best Competitive Multiplayer: Call of Duty: Black Ops III
We liked Heroes of the Storm, but CoD was the clear winner among our readers. Black Ops III got 15.01 percent of the vote, just ahead of Rocket League (14.45 percent), and Halo 5 (11.68 percent). Heroes of the Storm was way down on the list, earning 2.44 percent.

Best Fighting: Mortal Kombat X
There were only three games in the category this year, and Mortal Kombat X smacked its way into all of our hearts. We know, because we saw the X-ray replay of our chest cavities being penetrated. Netherrealm’s game scored a whopping 84.88 percent of votes, ahead of Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden’s 8.77 percent, and WWE 2K16’s 6.35 percent.

Best Racing: Forza Motorsport 6
We thought Dirt Rally was the year’s best racing game, but it only earned third place among our readers. Forza Motorsport 6 took the win, with 38.99 percent of poll participants giving it the pole position (that’s a racing term, right?) Need for Speed rubber-banded behind at 22.88 percent of the vote.

Best Role-Playing: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
It seems that we can all agree on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’s quality, even if Geralt’s ponytail is divisive. CDProjekt’s game was a clear favorite among our readers, earning 45.01 percent of the vote. Fallout 4 was a close second at 36.33 percent. Undertale’s 6.08 percent third place showed that, while the game may have been top dog in terms of PC exclusives, it wasn’t enough to break double digits.

Best Platforming: Super Mario Maker
Super Mario Maker grabbed 64.21 of the votes. Yoshi’s Woolly World grabbed second at 11.62 percent. The lesson? Don’t go against Mario.

Best Puzzle: Lara Croft Go
Lara Croft’s grid-based puzzler Lara Croft Go scored 27.93 of the vote and the best puzzle prize. The Talos Principle’s 22.73 percent was close, but it only nabbed the game second. You Must Build a Boat earned 17.06 percent. As for our pick, Boxboy? It earned a measly 6.33 percent. C’mon guys! It’s gross to look at, but it’s fun! Sheesh!

Best MMO: Star Wars: The Old Republic – Knights of the Fallen Empire
This was not a year to butt heads with Star Wars. We loved Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward, but you guys were all about the new Star Wars: The Old Republic’s expansion. Oddly enough, it’s largely single-player stuff. We’re not going to argue with 35.40 percent of you, even though the 29.09 percent of you Heavensward backers are probably more attuned with the spirit of the best MMO award. We’ll blame it on the dark side or BB-8 or some other Star Wars stuff.

Best MOBA: Heroes of the Storm
There were only a pair of candidates for best new MOBA of 2015, and you guys made the right call. Heroes of the Storm stormed the voting, with 86.70 percent of readers selecting it over Strife.

Best Rhythm/Music: Rock Band 4
New Rock Band and Guitar Hero entries came out in 2015, which is no small victory in and of itself. Still, readers preferred Harmonix’s game, with 42.78 percent picking it over Guitar Hero Live’s 23.41 percent. Persona 4: Dancing All Night got at least 16.25 of you to shake your tails.

Best Shooter: Destiny: The Taken King
Once again, categories dominated by shooters proved to be contentious. While we all agreed that Destiny: The Taken King was king of the shooters in 2015, it was a close field. The Taken King took 18.84 percent of the votes, just ahead of Call of Duty: Black Ops III’s 16.48 percent, and Halo 5’s 15.78 percent.

Best Simulation: Cities: Skyline
You liked Cities: Skyline to the tune of 44.38 percent, and so did we. It beat out Kerbal Space Program’s 36.57 percent and Prison Architect’s 19.05.

Best Sports: Rocket League
Is car soccer a sport? Close enough! Rocket League was our pick for best sports game of 2015, and you all were on the same team. The game took 44.48 percent of the votes, ahead of FIFA 16’s 11.86, and NBA 2K16’s 11.04.

Best Strategy: StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void
We’re simpatico when it comes to sims, agreeing that StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void was the best the genre had to offer this year. Its 25.27 share of the vote was enough to edge it past fellow Blizzard game Hearthstone (21.57 percent) and Civilization: Beyond Earth – Rising Tide’s 20.03 percent.

Best Remaster: Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection
We thought The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D was the best remaster of the year, for the way that it streamlined the core game and rebuild world locations and UI elements to make it better for players. You guys liked the Uncharted bundle, presumably because of the half-tuck or whatever. Naughty Dog’s game earned 20.45 percent of your votes, compared to Majora’s Mask’s 12.52 percent, and Rare Replay’s 10.17 percent.

2015 Game of the Year: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
There were a lot of great games in 2015, but it was hard to argue against The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The game’s richly designed world, amazing storytelling, and abundance of content earned it the top slot in the magazine and among our readers. It earned 25.49 percent of the vote, putting it about Fallout 4’s 17.44 percent and Bloodborne’s 8.95 percent.

Just for fun, here are a few more… creative selections that our readers picked for the best game of 2015:

  • Rocket League – 132 votes
  • Splatoon – 51 votes
  • Ori and the Blind Forest – 27 votes
  • Mario Party 10 – 2 votes
  • Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 – 2 votes
  • NHL 16 – 1 vote
  • Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival – 0 votes

Agree with the picks? Disagree? It's not our fault either way! Take your fellow readers to task in the comments below, and share your own picks if they blew it!