It’s that time of the year again! The dust has settled on the year that was, we’ve had time to think, discuss, and debate our favorite games of the past 12 months, and now we’re ready to share with you what we think are the top 10 games of 2015. But before we get to that, we’d just like to take a moment to reflect on what an amazing year we had in gaming. There are so many games that didn’t make this list that we can wholeheartedly recommend to players of all types and tastes. Games like Batman: Arkham Knight, the definitive entry in Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham series. Games like SteamWorld Heist, Image & Form’s side-scrolling take on the XCOM games that could be one of the greatest 3DS games of all time. Or Atlus and SEGA’s Yakuza 5, the most polished entry in the series yet, on the PS3. And if you’re a fan of rally racing sims, you won’t want to miss DiRT Rally. And don’t even get us started on the amazing creative playground that was Super Mario Maker.

We could go on and on and on, but you probably want us to get on with it. What we’re trying to say is, if there’s something you think is missing from this list, we want to know about it—and chances are, we probably love it just as much as you do. Life kept us from being able to publish our individual editors’ end of year lists this time around, but rest assured, each game was considered fairly and from multiple points of view to come to these rankings. And with that, we present to you Invisible Gamer’s Top 10 Games of 2015.

10. Ori and the Blind Forest

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“The coming-of-age story has long been a staple of our medium. Chrono Trigger, Zelda, and even Pokémon place you in control of a young hero who must overcome overwhelming obstacles, all while learning what it means to grow up. But Ori and the Blind Forest, the first game from Moon Studios, brings with it perhaps the most important virtue a young adult can learn: empathy. Paired with a gorgeous hand-drawn art style and an orchestral score evocative of classic Disney films, Ori’s tale tackles loss, friendship, and the relationship between a parent and child better than any game in recent memory, and it does it with almost no dialogue. It’s just a bonus that the game happens to be a fantastic puzzle-platformer, too.” – Gabe Gurwin

9. Halo 5

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343 streamlined the narrative structure of 2012’s Halo 4, which certainly made things easier to follow, but also led to levels that felt repetitive and strangely restrictive. For the studio’s follow-up, the storytelling style remains largely unchanged, but the campaign missions vary in both objective and location. I’m slightly concerned with how ridiculously crazy the story is going to get in the game’s sequel, as it risks discarding some of the great mainstays of the series, but I’m completely confident in 343’s ability to make a kick-ass campaign. The multiplayer team also learned from past mistakes, particularly last year’s beta test, and delivered the best competitive Halo game since 2, blending together contemporary genre conventions with classic Halo firefights.” – Gabe Gurwin

8. Fallout 4

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Though Fallout 4’s post-apocalyptic Boston is a bleak place, it is far from bland. Excellent art design and great use of sound and color go a long way to make the Boston wasteland a place you want to stick around in. Every area has its own story if you do a bit of digging around, and it’s always worth it just to uncover some sense of the world before the bombs fell. Improved shooting mechanics, deep player and weapon customization, and better dialogue options make Fallout 4 the best Fallout game yet.” – Jonah Ort

7. Fallout Shelter

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Fallout Shelter: From the moment this game first came to Android, Fallout Shelter has been one of my mobile game staples. For a resource-managment game, I felt the need to check in on my Vault, but I generally never felt overwhelmed by what I found when I returned. There is always work to be done in the Vault, but it was enough that I could still walk away when I needed to. Fallout Shelter is freemium done right, with paid elements that always felt like nice perks, rather than the keys to getting ahead.” – Amy Elyse Brighter

6. Bloodborne

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Bloodborne is the most confident game I’ve ever played. So sure of its unique mix of classic horror tropes with Lovecraftian creatures and even more sure of the player’s ability to fill in the gaps of its cryptic story, it’s hard not to get lost in this world. Of course, fantastic From Software combat and beautiful Victorian environments only help to make it my personal favorite game of 2015. Its difficulty is brutal, and occasionally ramps up too quickly for a few bosses, but the feeling of finally seeing “PREY SLAUGHTERED” is well worth it.” – Gabe Gurwin

5. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

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Where more and more games are going open-world, cramming more content inside than I could possibly ever witness, I’ve started to steer away from them. It’s not that these games don’t look fun, it’s that so many games are just filled with things to do. “Things to do.” The Witcher 3 is one of the best games of 2015 because around every corner and within every town I didn’t just find things to do. I found people that needed help. I found people that needed to pay. I found animals and monsters that were a part of this world, not just for me to slay. I could go on and on about all the things I love about this game, but when I get right down to it, The Witcher is special because every detail of that world feels alive.” – Austin Clark

4. Undertale

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didn’t get into Undertale until the very tail end of 2015. My first reaction to it was to text Austin “when does Undertake get good?” For my first 15-20 minutes with the game, I kept thinking “okay, cool, so it’s an homage to Earthbound and Mother 3. How nice. The music is nice. This is nice.” But not too long after I sent that message, I realized that Undertale was more than just a “nice” little RPG Maker project, but rather something truly special—not for what it paid tribute to, but for the way it subverted the basic tenets of Japanese role playing games. See, no enemy in Undertale is just an enemy: each one is a character, with thoughts, feelings, motivations… and purpose. Some are more fleshed out than others, of course, but by the time you’ve played through the game—and you’ll want to do that at least twice to see the true ending—I guarantee you’ll have a different perspective on all those random battles that have historically stood as markers between story beats in JRPGs. You’ve no doubt heard already that you can get through the entire game without killing a single enemy, and that’s certainly one of Undertale’s more unique aspects… but it goes so much deeper than that. If you haven’t already given the game a spin, there’s no better time than now.” – Michael Burns

3. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

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Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is a game that rarely tells the player “no.” Do you want to strap C4 to an unconscious enemy then detonate it after he awakes and does his rounds around a base? Do you want to customize a shotgun with a long-range scope just because? The game not only lets you experiment with unorthodox tactics; it encourages it through fine tuned controls and a huge open-world sandbox. The sheer variety of ways you can tackle a situation easily makes Metal Gear Solid V one of the best stealth games of all time.” – Jonah Ort

2. Life Is Strange

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Life Is Strange surprised me. No, I’m not talking about the way its plot devolved into… well, I don’t want to spoil anything, but it definitely devolved into something I wasn’t expecting by its final act. And I’m not talking about the very smart callbacks to sci-fi classics like Blade Runner and (especially) Twin Peaks that are peppered liberally throughout the story. No, what surprised me the most about Life Is Strange is just how truly it conveyed the experience of being a teenage girl. And, yeah, that probably sounds pretty disingenuous coming from an adult male, but I had some extra insight into the experience, as my wife played along with me for the entire length of the game. I would say her connection to Max and Chloe’s story is special, because ever since we moved away from our home state, it’s been a struggle for my wife and her own best friend to maintain that almost supernatural connection they shared for the first couple decades of their lives… I’d say that, but the truth is, there’s nothing unique about that situation. It’s something all girls struggle with as they grow up, and a natural part of life. So while the game might weave this huge time travel yarn about being an “everyday hero” instead of just paying lip service to the idea for the sake of appearances, in the end it really is all about being with the ones we love, and knowing that our time together is finite. And really, how many games can say that?” – Michael Burns

1. Splatoon

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Colorful, fun and delightfully upbeat, Splatoon is an absolute joy to play. I generally don’t gravitate towards shooters, but I found myself constantly coming back to my Inkling, trying to find my favorite weapons and optimal outfit bonuses. The game’s true star is its multiplayer, which greets you front and center from the beginning. Even on rough matches, I wanted to keep playing, and the quick, snappy rounds kept me from feeling fatigued. Nintendo has also supported the game with regular updates since it launched last summer, meaning that each time I come back, there are plenty of new weapons and levels to learn and enjoy, keeping Splatoon—in its own words—staying fresh throughout the entire year.” – Amy Elyse Brighter