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Google's top 10 list of the most searched for video games of the past year has gone live courtesy of their trending list. It shows off the games that people were most interested in when it came to the world of interactive entertainment, and the number one entry will completely surprise you.
The thing is, the Google Trends list has a bunch of games you would expect to see on there, many of which aren't surprising at all. In fact, you could say that everything from the number two spot all the way to number 10 are the most likely and unsurprising games you could imagine. But the number one slot really knocked me out of my socks because before this article I'd never heard of the game... at all. So without further ado, here are the top 10 most searched for video games of 2015.
No. 10 Battlefield: HardlineI don't know if this really deserved to beat out Halo 5, but the waning presence of Chief and Cortana on the waning Xbox brand probably had a lot to do with EA's title edging out the Xbox One exclusive. However, there's a good explanation for this. First, Battlefield: Hardline is a multiplatform release, so PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 owners were searching it up in addition to Xbox and PC owners. Second, there was a lot of controversy over how cut-and-paste the game felt, according to the community. So multiplatform release plus the controversy helped this Battlefield title take the number 10 spot.
No. 9 BloodborneThis is an easy entry here. The thing about Bloodborne is that everyone was curious whether or not it would be the killer app for the PlayStation 4. Up until that time all the PlayStation 4 exclusives were sub-par, mediocre outings. This was also a game coming off the less-than-stellar reception of The Order 1886, which had some gorgeous graphics but little else to keep gamers entertained. Bloodborne's difficult gameplay, complex lore and action-RPG elements not only helped it build momentum towards its release, but helped it keep momentum post-release.
No. 8 NBA 2K16It's kind of sad that some games get popular based on how much other games are hated. 2K Games has their own 2K Sports division and it's flourished off the failures of the EA Sports franchises. It's sad, I know. The reality is that 2K Sports puts out decent sports titles each year but they usually gain just an extra edge of worthiness based on the lack of competition from the NBA Live series. This year's outing was mired in a bit of mixed feelings from gamers who felt as if 2K slogged through the technical aspects of the gameplay, creating that bittersweet dichotomy between gamers loving the graphics and presentation, but hating some of the gameplay elements.
No. 7 Madden NFL 16This is kind of an automatic entry at this point. While it would have seemed more likely that FIFA 16 would have been searched up and talked about more than Madden NFL 16 due to the addition of the female league, it was still Madden NFL 16 that managed a top spot on Google's most trendy list of the year. The reality is that some really, really slick marketing by EA Sports and the promise of improved gameplay (which is a promise made every year) held enough of gamers' attention to keep them talking about Madden NFL 16 all the way up to release. It was also one of the best selling bundle packs of the year for the Xbox One during its release window.
No. 6 Pokemon GOThe augmented reality game, Pokemon Go happened to be one of the most talked about games of the year and one of the most searched up items on Google for a couple of reasons. One, the game appeared to certify that Nintendo was going mobile. This created a lot of Nintendoom talk (but then again almost anything Nintendo does creates Nintendoom talk). Two, the concept of the game seems really cool, and a lot of fans are actually looking forward to getting their hands on the mobile title, so there's a lot of trendy interest there. And three, there are plenty of rumors that this could be a tie-in product with Nintendo's mysterious NX, which may or may not be a full fledged home console.
No. 5 Star Wars: BattlefrontIf this game didn't make the list for one reason or another someone at Google should be slapped. All year long this game was talked about from top to bottom, as being one of the best and worst games released this year. There have been so much back and forth chatter between hardcore gamers feeling as if the game was dumbed down too much to retain longevity in the replay factor and hardcore Star Wars fans who just wanted to play a game that looked and felt like it was actually taking place in the Star Wars universe. No matter which side of the debate you fall on, this game never seemed to stop trending.
No. 4 Call of Duty: Black Ops 3This game had an a-okay promotional lead-up to its release – a lot of people were obviously excited for it based on Treyarch's Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, but there were also a lot of questions and curiosity circling the game. The promise of four-player co-op, the re-implementation of split-screen campaign play, the addition of character customization in the story mode and a very promising zombie mode kept fans searching up Black Ops 3 all year long. The game's controversial, thought-provoking metaphysical story also generated a lot of search interest from gamers, even though it clearly divided some game critics.
No. 3 Mortal Kombat XThe most violent game ever made. That's one way to sum up NetherRealm Studios' Mortal Kombat X. The game is just a collage of the most violent and gruesome things one could witness within a video game. That's saying a lot given all the other horror and gore-fest games out there. But NetherRealm pushed it to the limit with the Fatalities in Mortal Kombat X, and it had everyone in gaming talking about it and even had Conan O'Brien and Marshawn Lynch becoming squeamish. The addition of horror icons like Jason Voorhees and the Predator just added to the search appeal, and the strong showings during top tier eSport events certified that the game would be here to stay in the fighting game community scene.
No. 2 Fallout 4How could Fallout 4 not make the list? This game seemed like it would be the number one pick even though it didn't show up until halfway through 2015 at this past year's E3 in June. Of course, the surprise bombshell from Bethesda that the game would have a holiday launch sent a shock wave of frenzy throughout the Fallout fandom communities and had a nonstop barrage of articles pouring out from niche, enthusiast and mainstream outlets alike for the game. Fallout 4 has gone on to sell millions of copies and has garnered high praise from critics and is now maintaining its captivation of the gaming audience with a steady flow of mods. It was obvious Fallout 4 would make one of the top spots as a trendy search topic on Google.
No. 1 Agar.ioI don't know what to say about this. I've never heard of this game before and I wasn't even sure what it is. Searching it up doesn't bring up any results for it as to why people might be looking it up. There's the home page and some app stores, but it's a baffling top entry. Obviously, this is a popular game in the mobile scene, so a lot of people are playing it on their devices. The YouTube scene also has a dedicated section for it and after watching some videos I still have no idea what this game is really about. This is probably the first time the top entry and most popular game of the year is something casual gamers will have to educate hardcore gamers about.