Let’s hear it for the little guys.
The barrage of big-name PC game releases bordered on becoming overwhelming in 2015, with seemingly every established AAA series in existence—and more than a few budding big-budget blockbusters—launching new titles over the past 12 months. Grand Theft Auto V! Mad Max! Metal Gear Solid V! Fallout 4! Rainbow Six Siege! Just Cause 3! The list goes on and on, and even better, the vast majority of them were pretty damned great, too. (Well, except for the flaming dumpster fire known as Batman: Arkham Knight.)
But for all the glitz and glamour radiating off the AAA flood, none of PCWorld’s five favorite games of 2015 hailed from a major publisher. The shiniest jewels in PC gaming were all labors of love from smaller teams, and most of them were buoyed by crowdfunding backers to help the dreams become glorious reality. For all the whining you hear about Kickstarter and Early Access ruining modern gaming, they’re clearly doing something right.
Kick back, relax, click Play, and bask in the best PC gaming has to offer. For an even deeper dive into the greatest games of 2015, be sure to check out PCWorld’s 10 best PC games of 2015 feature, where gaming reporter Hayden Dingman and editor Brad Chacos offer personal opinions on twice as many titles. (Spoiler alert: A couple of AAA games snuck into the complete list.)