The 10 Best Gaming Surprises of 2015

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2015 has nearly come to an end, but it will always be remembered as an impressive time for the gaming world. We saw some major new releases, some even bigger announcements for the future, and plenty of big news from within the games industry.

There are some things that happened to catch our eye, though, and we'd like to share with everyone - just in case you happened to miss an announcement or two.

These are the top ten surprises from the gaming world in 2015.

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Final Fantasy 7 Remake

Final Fantasy 7 was easily one of the best games in the entire franchise. Unfortunately, the title released way back in 1997, making it quite aged by today's standards. It is difficult for the younger generation to truly apreeciate what they were missing with this particular fantasy role-playing game.

Thankfully, the title is being remade. That should mean brand new graphics and mechanics to entice the young crowd, plus reinvigorate those who spent their school days playing the game instead of studying.

The Last Guardian

After years of being missing in action, The Last Guardian finally resurfaced at the 2015 E3 event. Despite some setbacks, such as Fumito Ueda leaving the project, and the numerous delays, the game is actually going to be released soon.

It is unclear whether or not the studio intends to launch on the PlayStation 4, although it would make more sense than the PlayStation 3.

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HoloLens

Virtual reality appears to be a very competitive market at the moment. Oculus, Sony, Valve, and now Starbreeze are all vying for the attention of the consumer with their headsets. Microsoft has finally shown off their version of virtual reality, and it is, honestly, rather impressive.

The HoloLens puts the game into the real world, instead of putting the player into the game. The presentation showed off some type of Minecraft being played in a living room, and it was the best thing we've seen this year.

South Park Sequel

Honestly, South Park: The Stick of Truth was one of the best role-playing games released in the past couple of years. It was beyond hilarious, had enough content to keep us interested for hours on end, and managed to recreate the television show's world flawlessly.

That is why the announcement of South Park: The Fractured But Whole was an impressive reveal. No one thought the original game would get a sequel, but here we go. This time the game appears to be set in a superhero-type world.

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Xbox One Backwards Compatibility

Backwards compatibility is one feature every new console owner has been dying to get their hands on. With so many gamers owning a wide collection of older titles, playing these on the new system would be a dream come true.

Microsoft finally made the leap by announcing the Xbox One would be going backwards compatible with Xbox 360 games. While not all games will be playable, it is definitely a start.

Players will simply insert their Xbox 360 games into the Xbox One and download the game to their system instead of playing off the disc itself.

Dishonored 2's Leading Lady

Dishonored was an achievement for the open-world stealth genre, so it makes sense that Bethesda would want a sequel to the highly-popular game. What we did not expect, however, was a leading lady to take the starring role this time around.

Emily Kaldwin will be the playable character this time, and we expect her presence to offer some new tactics and features in Dishonored 2.

The game industry is catching up when it comes to strong female characters, and Emily proves it.

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Ghost Recon: Wildlands

No one has seen or heard of a new Ghost Recon game in years, so when Ubisoft took the stage at E3 this past year, the announcement shocked the entire world.

This time around, the Ghost Recon franchise is going completely open-world and allowing the player to take on missions in any way they please. This type of freedom has become immensely popular in recent years, so it makes sense for the renowned franchise to follow the same path.

Until Dawn

Until Dawn was such an interesting surprise. We all knew the story-based horror game was coming exclusively to the PlayStation 4, but no one could have guessed it would be as good as it was. The title, which was almost a playable movie, basically revived the horror genre on consoles.

Until Dawn will have some new content coming out, and a sequel is already being discussed. We're excited to see what is in store for the title.

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Fallout 4 Announcement

We're talking about the initial announcement, not the final release. We all knew it was coming, as Bethesda was a couple years in late in most gamers' minds. But it still shocked the entire world and sent spasms through everyone's wallets as they were ripped from pockets to pay for the title ahead of time.

Fallout 4 has turned into a Game-of-the-Year since its release, and rightly so. But we will always remember the game's announcement so fondly.

Shenmue 3's Kickstarter Campaign

Shenmue has always been a major franchise on the PlayStation consoles, so it came as a bit of a surprise when it was announced this upcoming title would be hosting a Kickstarter campaign for funding.

Should the project reach full funding --  and it has -- then the game will release on PC and PlayStation 4. This third title will continue the story from 14+ years ago.

So, as you can see, 2015 was an impressive year for surprises within the gaming world. There was just so much going on, and so much to look forward to in the coming years.

In 2016, with the next E3 getting closer, we should be in for even more surprises. Plus, many of those listed here will be releasing or nearing release, which makes us even more excited.

Published Dec. 4th 2015

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Plasmid Addict. Zombie Survivalist. XCOM Operative. Vault Dweller. Writer. Editor.

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