The Edge Awards
The best games, visuals, studios, publishers and more from 12 months in videogames
We may not quite remember it as the year the current console generation’s gloves came off – there were, once again, too many delays and troubled launches for that. But 2015 was certainly a year of barriers coming down. Indie studios were becoming ever more ambitious, spending the year taking on the big boys in terms of visuals and scope – and, inevitably, incurring a few delays of their own. 2014’s green shoots of recovery in Japan blossomed in 2015, with its studios behind some of the year’s very best work, and an announcement slate that suggests the nation’s shift to mobile and handhelds was not as permanent as many believed. Moribund genres sparked back into life, with space sims, rhythm action and even the humble FMV game raking in both plaudits and sales revenues. And the decades-old reliance on the busy holiday season appears to be coming to an end: not one of our top five games of the year hit shelves in its final three months.
And yet 2015 was not exactly a classic. After some uncomfortably public teething troubles in 2014 as studios got to grips with the ins and outs of new console hardware, 2015’s goal seemed to be to ship on time and in reasonably stable shape, aiming not for perfect scores but simply to avoid a kicking. Job done – for the most part, anyway. In the following pages we celebrate those that dared to aim a little higher across what was, by and large, a year in which too much of the videogame industry chose to play it safe.