1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
With all the focus on Fallout 4, it was another role-playing game that delivered on the full potential of modern gaming. A massive scope, a pristine combat system, an emotionally gripping narrative, and a damaged, morally ambiguous hero, Wild Hunt takes its place among the elite. Where so many modern RPGs pad their 100-hour playtime with grinding side quests, the game makes every adventure feel meaningful. Every choice is important, every character recognizably human. It’s a fantasy that looks and feels real. Not only does Witcher 3 deliver more nuanced drama than any game this year, it delivers a deep, creature-tracking mechanic guaranteed to make you feel like a sword-wielding monster-hunter. What we talk about when we talk about “badass.”
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Christopher Monfette is a former editor for IGN and G4 who's not at all ashamed of clocking 100 hours on Fallout 4. Follow him into the Wasteland: @cwmonfette.