Being addicted to games is only a bad thing if you let it get out of hand. As long as you shower, show up for work on time, and take care of your responsibilities, I say game on. So what if you spend every free moment of your time glued to a screen, working bleary-eyed toward some goal non-gamers just don’t understand (in which case you should incorporate these healthy practices into your gaming time). But seriously, if you’re looking to get your fix by pouring hours of your free time into a recent addictive game, we have you covered. Here are seven of the most addictive games of 2015.
1. Heroes of the Storm
You either play multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games or you don’t. And judging by the sky-high number of players of popular MOBAs like League of Legends and Dota 2, there’s a good chance that you do. Developer Activision Blizzard entered the MOBA space for the first time in 2015 with Heroes of the Storm, a game that acts as a great entry point for newcomers to the genre (AKA future addicts).
That’s because it uses relatively simple gameplay mechanics and shaves the average match down from 40 to about 20 minutes. That’s a good thing for players of this highly addictive game, because it leaves time for even more matches. A word to the wise: Don’t start playing HotS unless you want it to consume your life. You’ve been warned.
2. Halo 5: Guardians
Like most big first-person shooters, the Halo franchise has always gotten its longevity from the multiplayer side of the game. With Halo 5, developer 343 Studios hit on one of the most addictive multiplayer modes ever to grace the series.
While you can shoot it out in the standard deathmatch modes, the new Warzone mode offers a whole new experience you won’t want to stop playing. In it, two teams of 12 players start on opposite sides of the map. Each team tries to conquer a central base while also fighting off Covenant forces. If you like shooters and you have an Xbox One, this game deserves to be in your collection. Just make sure to clear your schedule before booting it up.
PlayStation 4 owners who took a trip to the dreary city of Yarnham in 2015 might not have returned yet. That’s because this disturbing game demands your full attention at all times, giving no quarter to players who slip up. Not only is this game incredibly demanding in terms of difficulty, but it’s also densely packed with secrets, environmental storytelling, and cryptic hints buried in the most unlikely of places.
Finding a narrative through-line in this dark, beautiful game is just as rewarding as it is time-consuming. As a result, many players keep playing, both because of the nearly perfect gameplay, as well as the game’s enduring mysteries.
Don’t let looks deceive you: Downwell only appears to be a small game. It’s a “roguelike,” which means each foray down the game’s monster-infested well has you start from scratch, with a basic weapon and no power-ups. Along the way you’ll find gear that will either help or hinder your progress. Figuring out what each piece of equipment is good for is half the fun of the game. The rest of the fun comes when you beat a mode and unlock a new one. It’s an easy game to pick up, but very hard to master, which has made players keep coming back for more.
5. Fallout 4
The development team behind Fallout 4 is known far and wide in the gaming community for creating enormously rich worlds that players can inhabit for hundreds of hours without running out of new things to do. And even if you do somehow complete all the missions in the game, you can start over, making different choices and bringing along different companions as you play.
With improved gunplay over the previous installments and an entirely new base-building mechanic, Fallout 4 has a lot to recommend it, regardless of whether you’ve ventured into the Wasteland in previous installments. Just make sure to come back into the real world from time to time.
6. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft for iOS and Android
This digital card game originally launched for PC in 2014, but it didn’t make its way to phones until 2015. And because players always have access to their phones, that’s when the game became impossible to stop playing. Hearthstone is the king of the addictive “just one more match” gameplay, thanks to its system of challenges and rewards that give players a stream of new cards they can use to endlessly tweak their decks. If you fall for this game, there’s a good chance you’ll fall hard. Try to keep the app off your homescreen so you have a chance to do something besides play Hearthstone all day.
7. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Like Fallout 4, the impossible-to-resist draw of The Witcher 3 lies in its vast open world and the jaw-dropping number of missions and side quests you can undertake if you have the time. Think of this game like a living, breathing fantasy world, not unlike Game of Thrones.
You play as a monster hunter who roams from town to town, taking mercenary jobs to track and kill whatever horrible beast is lurking nearby. You’ll encounter all kinds of monsters in this game, and many of the worst of them are humans who do monstrous things. It’s hard not to want to do everything in The Witcher 3. That’s how addictive it is.
8. You Must Build a Boat
This mobile and PC game might not look like much on the surface, but once you dive in, you won’t want to come up for air. That’s because, as the title clearly says, you must build a boat. To do that, you’ll have to go on quests to slay as many enemies as possible, gathering resources to build a larger boat and hire more crew members.
The actual game is based on matching tiles, not entirely unlike Candy Crush Saga or Bejeweled. But the style is appealingly retro, which meshes well with the typical gamer crowd. Download this game now — provided you don’t mind saying goodbye to many hours of your life.