Best Xbox Games of 2015 – Phantom Dust, Below, Smite - Prima Games

Best Xbox Games of 2015 – Phantom Dust, Below, Smite

by Bryan Dawson

The Xbox One started out in second place behind Sony’s PlayStation 4. However, after a holiday price cut the gap closed considerably, and a lot of new Xbox owners are looking toward 2015 to see which games they should spend their hard-earned money on. That said, we went through the release list and came up with a few games you should definitely include in your 2015 video game spending budget.

Smite

What’s this? Smite is included in a “best games of 2015” list? That’s right, and we’ll tell you why. For a long while League of Legends was rumored to be coming to home consoles. While that could still happen at some point in the future, it won’t be anytime soon. While Smite isn’t League of Legends, it’s the next best thing that would be a good fit for consoles, and it’s coming to the Xbox One in 2015.

Smite basically combines the fun, team-based gameplay of League of Legends and other MOBA titles, but displays it from a third-person perspective instead of a top-down view. This makes it work much better on consoles and appeals to more casual players. It’s unfortunate that PC and Xbox One players won’t be able to play together (unlike other Xbox titles such as Final Fantasy XI), but as a free-to-play effort, it should appeal to a large number of Xbox One owners.

If you’ve never played Smite on PC, it’s a team-based game that allows three to five players per team. The teams start on opposite sides of a map and can use gold to purchase new abilities and upgrades for their character of choice. There are lanes that run from one side of the map to the other. In each lane players will find a Phoenix. To win the game you need to destroy the opposing team’s Phoenix and defeat a giant warrior known as a Titan.

Star Wars: Battlefront

We don’t know much about Star Wars: Battlefront, but let’s face it, we don’t really need to know much about it. The game is being developed by DICE, the same company that brought us the Battlefield series. It’s also running on the Frostbite  3 engine, just like Battlefield 4. With those two facts, we can assume that Battlefront is in good hands and will probably look similar to Battlefield 4, which is a good thing.

That knowledge aside, we also know the game is planned to release around the time of the new Star Wars film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We’ll all be in super Star Wars mode by the time the game hits in late 2015, which means a lot of people will overlook any minor issues it may have as their Star Wars fandom overpowers any logical argument about the minor issues in the game. So while we don’t know a lot, what we do know has us incredibly excited for what will likely be one of the best Star Wars first-person shooter games ever released. A bold statement perhaps, but these are bold times we live in.

Phantom Dust

When Microsoft announced Phantom Dust at E3 2014, many people wondered why the game that seemingly few people played was getting an Xbox One remake. The reason why most people never played the original Phantom Dust had nothing to do with the quality of the game. It was more about timing, given the fact that it released just before the crowded Holiday 2004 gaming season, and a mere year before the Xbox 360 hit. It also didn’t help that the game had a very limited domestic release from Majesco.

The reason why Phantom Dust is one of the best games expected to hit the Xbox One in 2015 is because it represents a type of game that you don’t see very often. It’s not just another FPS or generic third-person action game. The original was developed by the same creative team that brought you Panzer Dragoon. It involves humans who have psychic powers brought on by a mysterious dust that now covers the Earth.

The best way to describe Phantom Dust is that it’s a fighting game fused with a third-person action title, with elements from strategy-based and trading card games. The closest existing game is probably Power Stone. Various skills and abilities appear throughout an arena, and players pick them up and bind them to a specific button. Think of it like building a deck in a trading card game. Some abilities are offensive, others defensive and they all have varying amounts of usage. Some powerful skills can only be used once, while others can be used multiple times.

Below

Below is probably a game few people expected to see on a list such as this one. It will pick up where Dark Souls left off in terms of difficulty. Below is a Roguelike-like title, which means that it features randomly generated dungeons and once you die, that’s it. You don’t continue and you don’t respawn at the last save point. When you die, the game is over and you start from the beginning.

In addition to the randomly generated dungeons in Below, the music is exceptional and really creates an environment to immerse the player. The game is generally a top-down strategy adventure, but there are some segments that offer a side-scrolling perspective as well. It has an indie game feel like Braid, with the challenge of Dark Souls and a soundtrack to rival some of the best in the business.

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