The best localized games of 2015

Here they are: the ten best games to reach the West in 2015. There were many great titles this year, but we did our best to cull it down to the ten you just shouldn’t miss. Read on to find out Michibiku’s Game of the Year!

Lost Dimension

10. Lost Dimension

While it’s a bit rough around the edges, Lost Dimension meshed intra-squad intrigue with free-moving tactical battles in a way that’s half-Danganronpa and half-Sakura Wars. Equally solid on both PS3 and Vita, it gets you invested in its characters through necessity and makes it truly hurt when a favorite team member turns heel. – Graham

9. Yakuza 5

Yakuza 5 is one of those games in which it isn’t about the story. Not that the story isn’t great, but it’s more about the experience. Most of us will never get to Tokyo. We won’t see Japan. But with Yakuza 5, we kind of can. The gangster mentality and idol aspirations may be exaggerated, but the day to day activities make us feel like we’re really there and enjoying a slice of Japanese life. – Jenni

8. Yo-Kai Watch

I loved Yo-Kai Watch. There’s a sense of friendship and realism that Pokémon lacks. You are a child, with all of that youthful energy and innocence. You’re exploring Springdale, befriending fascinating, supernatural characters and wondering if maybe, just maybe, those hunger pangs are caused by Hungramps. What’s more, the ability to still EV and IV train and a healthy endgame add substance that more advanced players can enjoy. – Jenni

yokai watch

Honorable Mention: Picross E6

It may have been overshadowed by its Pokémon sibling, but E6 is the better game, and it’s cheaper to boot. It’s the best Picross game on the (Western) 3DS. – Graham

7. Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX

A game with Puyo Puyo and Reversi in it is good as it is, but Project Mirai DX also happens to be great at its primary focus: fun, friendly rhythm gameplay. What could’ve been a fanservice-heavy release for Miku fans is so much more, and I haven’t been able to play it without ending up with a big grin on my face. It’s just too pleasant. – Graham

6. Yoshi’s Woolly World

All Yoshi’s Woolly World really had to be was cute. It is a Yoshi game, after all. Its plush world filled with cuddly creatures was enough to please people. But it isn’t only about appearances. This Wii U exclusive has some extraordinary level design and ideas. It’s got a good heart to go with its pretty face. – Jenni

yoshis woolly world

Honorable Mention: The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC

Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC is an amazing game and XSEED Games deserves so much credit to bringing it to the PlayStation Portable and PC. Its only failing is that it relies too heavily on the first game, making it less accessible than the other games on our list. – Jenni

5. Code Name: S.T.E.A.M.

Half-XCOM, half-Valkyria Chronicles, Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. deserves far more attention than it got. There’s so much room for strategy in picking your party and loadout before each mission, and then the tactical layer appears and becomes a test of your wits and scouting. Hey, even the online multiplayer is pretty great. – Graham

4. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker

Sure, it’s a port, but it’s an enhanced one with great new content, and released on a system that’s a lot more accessible for many. There are so many demons, and not only can you fuse them, but you can assemble diverse squads and take on many varied foes. There’s just so much to get into here, and you won’t want to stop playing. – Graham

xenoblade chronicles X

Honorable Mention: Puzzle & Dragons Z

GungHo took its addictive mobile gameplay and converted it from a microtransaction-fest to a deep adventure. Well worth a look for puzzle fans. – Graham

3. Xenoblade Chronicles X

Xenoblade Chronicles X is astonishing in its depth. I spent ten hours planting probes on a foreign planet, relying on my own mapping skills rather than in-game waypoints, and loved every moment. I piloted a mech, but only after I earned the right to do so through responsible acts. I befriended party members and learned to love almost all of them. (Oh, Tatsu.) This is the first time a Nintendo console has received a game with such a grand scale, and the first time was a charm. – Jenni

2. Splatoon

Are you a kid now or a squid now? It’s a trick question. You are both at once, yet still separate entities. Each affords its own luxuries. The same applies to Splatoon. The online multiplayer is sublime. Yet, the solo adventures are equally enjoyable. The dual nature of the game ensures the player will have satisfying adventures no matter how they decide to play. – Jenni


Michibiku’s Game of the Year: Boxboy!

Boxboy! does so much with its stripped-down aesthetics and simple puzzle-platforming that it’s hard to believe it’s a small, cheap 3DS eShop download. HAL Laboratory recalls its time with Lolo here, infusing so much character and pleasant thinking into such a small space. Of course, that doesn’t mean Boxboy! is a small game; it’ll keep you occupied for hours. (Still, though, I recommend you savor it.) – Graham

Boxboy! only wants one thing from you. It wants you to be happy. It doesn’t overstay its welcome. It’s always showing you new mechanics. It’s keeping things simple, while still hiding a surprising amount of depth beneath its surface. It’s a joyful game and an example of how to perfectly present a downloadable, handheld title. – Jenni

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