The 10 Best Video Games of May 2015

Now that May has come and gone and video game outlets have had a chance to review all of the notable releases, it’s time to take stock and see just how good the month’s games were. To do so, let’s take a look at the Metacritic numbers, which average out reviews from all the trustworthy review sources on the web.

May was a fairly slow month with big releases, but it had a few, along with lots of smaller games releasing each week. Overall, May’s games were of a fairly high quality.

If you missed our previous monthly roundups, you can check out March here and April here. But let’s cut to the chase and start with number 10.

10. Splatoon

Platform: Wii U
Metacritic Score: 81

Leave it to Nintendo to turn the typically R-rated shooting genre into something the whole family can enjoy. In Splatoon you don’t shoot bullets at enemies; instead, you shoot ink. And instead of focusing on your kill count, the goal is to coat as much of the environment as possible in your team’s color of ink. Blasting your opponents is optional.

From The Escapist:

The game’s single player is surprisingly in-depth for a title that has been marketed as a multiplayer game, combining elements of platforming and shooting in a style of game that reminds me of Ratchet & Clank or Jak & Daxter.

9. Stretchmo

Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Metacritic Score: 82

Stretchmo is the third in a series of excellent and unique puzzle games, following Pushmo and Crashmo. All of these games present you with structures composed of blocks and ask you to pull the blocks to create a path to a goal. Each game has a different take on how you can manipulate the blocks. In Stretchmo, unsurprisingly, it’s all about stretching the blocks.

Stretchmo is a free game that starts you off with a handful of tutorial levels that show you how to play the game. Once you’re through with those, you have to pay to unlock the rest of the puzzles, which are available in four packs you can buy individually or in a bundle.

From Destructoid:

If you’ve never given Pushmo a fair shake before, trying out the free stages in Stretchmo is a great way to start. While I’d generally recommend going the full mile and buying the whole thing outright, you can also just spring for the Fortress of Fun for a few bucks and come out on top.

8. Invisible, Inc.

Platform: PC
Metacritic Score: 83

Your job in this turn-based tactical game is to infiltrate corporate compounds, complete a mission, and get out — preferably while avoiding a shootout. If you do the job really well, the enemies will never know you were there at all.

From Game Informer:

Invisible, Inc. rewards successive playthroughs by giving you access to new agents complete with a variety of different skills, as well as more specialized hacking programs that make it easier to work your way out of tough situations. Invisible, Inc. doesn’t always feel like it’s playing by the rules, but clever thinking and a good loadout empower you to fight from the shadows.

7. Rogue Legacy

Platform: Xbox One
Metacritic Score: 84

Rogue Legacy is an indie platformer with a goofy sense of humor. Much of the game is randomized, from the quirks of the main characters to the layout of the dungeon, meaning no two run-throughs are exactly the same.

The goal is to make your way through all four sections of the ever-changing dungeon and defeat the five bosses. The game is exceedingly difficult, but every time you die, you get to spend gold to increase your stats. The more you play, the more powerful your characters become. It’s a cool gimmick that earned the game high critical praise on other platforms.

From Gamestyle:

As a game where the developers have stated it was inspired by Dark Souls, it’s safe to say Rogue Legacy won’t be for everyone. It’s a game where you are continuously pummeled into the ground until you get better or give up. Those that persevere though will be greatly rewarded.

6. Technobabylon

Platform: PC
Metacritic Score: 84

This pixelated adventure game tosses players into a grimy cyber-punk future, where the city is controlled by an all-knowing AI that’s always watching everything you do. While you’d probably expect to be playing as the leader of a rebellion in a game with that kind of setup, here you spend much of your time playing as a police officer who works for the state.

From GameSpot:

I consistently enjoyed Technobabylon. The puzzles are always meaningful, and the story proves that you can teach the aging dog of cyberpunk some new tricks. At times, I found myself genuinely surprised by story developments; at others, I marveled that it kept me smiling through rough patches when another game might have had me switching it off and playing Skyrim out of spite. And when a game can explore issues of sexuality and government surveillance while giving you a plausible reason to use a fishing pole at a crime scene, that’s pretty all right.

5. Project CARS

Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC
Metacritic Score: 84

If you like your racing games to be as realistic as possible, Project CARS is the only game you’ll need to play for quite some time. It’s not a forgiving arcade-style game like Forza Horizon 2; instead, it aims to offer the most realistic physics, weather, and handling you’ll find in any racing game around.

That’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but this game totally nails the look, feel, and sound of a top-tier racer. And best of all, it’s not a platform exclusive like the other major racing series out there, from Gran Turismo to Forza. If you’ve been itching for a meaty racing game to dive into, look no further.

From IGN:

Deep and demanding but incredibly user-friendly, Project CARS looks great, sounds fantastic, and feels even better. The action is ferocious and tactical, the weather effects are awesome, and it’s brimming with content to explore. This is real racing done right.

4. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker

Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Metacritic Score: 84

The original Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 launched on Nintendo DS in 2012. This 3D update brings that whole game to the 3DS and doubles the amount of content while it’s at it. The basic idea of the game is that you explore dungeons, fight demons, capture them, fuse them together to create new demons, and use those to fight against other demons. It’s kind of like Pokémon meets Diablo.

If you’ve never played a Shin Megami Tensei game before, don’t worry. This is a stand-alone game that has been carefully calibrated to welcome newcomers to the fold. But it’s long. If you want to do everything in this game, plan to pour upwards of 100 hours into it. Casual players need not apply.

From Polygon:

Between its multiple interweaving systems, I expected something to get lost in Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker. But that didn’t happen. Against all odds, these competing mechanics come together and form something that feels complete — a game where a player-driven story supports a brain-taxing strategic component supporting tense, classic JRPG battles. That these systems can coexist at all is a surprise; that they can feel right together is a feat worth celebrating.

3. Galactic Civilizations III

Platform: PC
Metacritic Score: 85

Your goal in Galactic Civilizations III, as in all “4X” games, is to create an empire and expand it as widely as possible, through any means necessary. That could mean you use treaties to form alliances, but it could also mean that you arm up and invade in an all-out war.

From IGN:

Galactic Civilizations 3 doesn’t do much to change the established explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate grand strategy model aside from its ideological advancement tree, but its extensive customization, faction personality, and overall quality make it an excellent game. Its AI has a couple of notable blind spots and the space battles are a snore, but otherwise, it excels in passing itself off as a human-level opponent in both military strategy and diplomacy. That means it’s a 4X game capable of keeping me engaged for a whole lot of hours, and that’s not even counting time spent creating ships in its powerful editor.

2. Final Fantay X/X-2 HD Remaster

Platform: PlayStation 4
Metacritic Score: 85

Way back in 2001, when the Final Fantasy series leapt to the PlayStation 2 era, it blew our collective minds. From the graphics to the voice acting to the Blitzball, it was — and remains — a fantastic game.

Now Square Enix has given it a new coat of paint, bundled in the sequel, and released it across all current PlayStation systems. The result is a killer collection of top-notch RPG action. Whether you played the games when they were first released or not, this is a solid buy.

From IGN:

Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster is already great way to play these classic RPGs on the PS3 and Vita, and the even prettier PlayStation 4 version comes with the visual improvements you’d expect for the new-generation platform.

1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC
Metacritic Score: 93

The biggest game of the month by far, clocking in at around 150 hours if you do all of the side quests, is The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, a dark fantasy game that shares many traits with Game of Thrones. In this brutal Medieval world, you play as Geralt, a witcher who’s just as likely to help a peasant find his lost pet as he is to help overthrow an empire.

The main story has you trying to catch up with Ciri, a young woman on the run who’s like a daughter to you. That quest takes you all over the map and puts you in contact with many of the world’s well-realized inhabitants.

From our impressions:

Simply put, The Witcher 3 is better, more ambitious, and more engrossing than almost anything else out there. Prior to playing it, I would have thought myself greedy to hope for something this dense and intriguing, with such good characters, acting, and writing. But the stars aligned and developer CD Projekt Red has delivered a truly special game. Don’t miss it.

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