Platforms PC, PS4
Developer Tom Happ
Publisher Tom Happ
Release Date March 31, 2015

Before I dive into telling you why Axiom Verge was the 4th best game released in 2015, I wanted to point out what an amazing achievement the game actually is. Axiom Verge was developed by one man. Tom Happ was the games sole developer, artist and composer. While we constantly attribute massive games to a single person (Hideo Kojima, Koji Igarashi, Shigeru Miyamoto, etc.), Axiom Verge was actually made be a single person. And it’s one of the best games of the year.

It’s hard to actually know where to start when talking about the virtues of Axiom Verge, because it gets so much right. It’s probably as close as we’re ever likely to get to another Super Metroid, though to draw comparisons to Nintendo’s classic franchise is highly reductive, and not at all fitting. Yes, Axiom Verge is inspired by Super Metroid, but it’s much more than merely an imitation of the 1994 SNES classic.

There’s no one thing that stands out in Axiom Verge, because almost everything in the game is excellent. The gameplay is phenomenal, with tight, responsive controls that make both the combat and the platforming a joy to play. Finding all of the secrets and hidden collectibles is a lot of fun, as you fully master all the new weapons and abilities that you unlock through the course of the game.

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Of course, being a game heavily inspired by Super Metroid, Axiom Verge is a Metroidvania, and one of the best we’ve had for years to boot. Beating bosses or finding your way to new, hard to reach areas often grants you something new, which you can take back and find even more awesome stuff. The more stuff you’ve got, the more options you have available, and Axiom Verge is truly a game of options.

The boss fights on their own are tough as nails, usually requiring a few runs before you figure out various attack patterns and the best way to approach them. But in a twist of genius, there isn’t just one solution to a boss fight, there are usually about half a dozen (probably more). I’ve seen YouTube videos of players doing things in a vastly different way to how I did them, and they all worked. The same thing applies to everything, not just boss fights, and it makes the game a true joy to play.

The soundtrack is absolutely fantastic as well.

Check out the Words About Games review for Axiom Verge.

The list so far:

1) ??????
2) ??????
3) ??????
4) Axiom Verge
5) Rise of the Tomb Raider
6) Ori and the Blind Forest
7) Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate
8) Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
9) Rocket League
10) Fallout 4
11) Mushroom 11
12) Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide
13) Tales of Zestiria
14) Super Mario Maker
15) Invisible, Inc.
16) Halo 5: Guardians
17) Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
18) Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
19) Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
20) Dying Light