XBA’s Achievement Awards 2015 - The Best, Worst, Hardest & Easiest Achievements of the Year

XBA’s Achievement Awards 2015 - The Best, Worst, Hardest & Easiest Achievements of the Year

Written Tuesday, February 09, 2016 By Dan Webb
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Yesterday, Xbox Achievements turned 10. 10. Whole. Years. With the volatile nature of the internet and how quickly everything can change, that’s one hell of an achievement – well, it is in our eyes. So what better than celebrating than with 2015’s best achievements? Aside from awarding the world’s best segue award to us for that beautiful segue, there’s going to be a lot of worthy winners over the next five and a half thousand worlds, so get yourselves comfortable.

Before we break out the tuxedos and get sloshed on cheap champagne though, let’s talk a little bit about the changes, because like us, the achievement world is always changing. This year’s major and only change is a biggie: we’ve dropped the “digital-only” category and included them with all the other genre categories. Why? Because it makes sense, especially with Microsoft making all games 1,000 Gamerscore now and with the industry blurring that line between digital and retail with every passing day. It will ultimately mean that the winners of the easiest and hardest awards will become more diverse, and more importantly to you, give much more accurate results.

Anyway! On with the show! Ladies and gents, let us present to you the 10th annual achievement awards from the premiere and probably the oldest Xbox-site. Enjoy!

Easiest Individual Achievement of 2015

Turn on console. Boot up game. Get achievement. It may have been 10 years but these utterly pointless wastes of space still chuffin’ exist. Why? Well, we’re not honestly sure. It must be an inside joke that we’re not privy to. That, or a developer’s way to really entrap the inner completionist amongst us. “Oh damn, I’ve unlocked one, I guess that means I have to unlock them all rather than deleting them from my profile

In the running for this “most prestigious” of awards this year are three that bring the word achievement into disrepute – well, there’s more than three, but these are our picks. Rare Replay’s Battletoads, No Time To Explain and Teslapunk all have achievements for merely loading up the game (although in the case of Battletoads that at least involves clicking one or two more buttons). But in terms of effort to Gamerscore, there can only be one winner: No Time to Explain’s ‘Newbie’ achievement offers up 25G, easily beating Teslapunk’s OCD Trigger (1G) and Battletoads’ ‘Do You Have Battletoads?’ (15G). So “Congrats” to the dev team, you’re the “bestest.” Yes, that was sarcasm.

Winner: No Time To Explain's ‘Newbie’ Achievement


Easiest Action/Adventure 1,000 of 2015

This year, the Easiest Action/Adventure 1,000 category was actually a little bit harder than usual. Mainly due to technicalities. First up, as we mentioned, we folded digital-only into the main genre categories, because logic – and the fact they’re 1,000 Gamerscore now - dictated we do that. Secondly, we had to remove #IDARB from the action genre category it had inhabited on the site and moved it to sports. Because it’s totally a sports game.

After those two points had been established, we quickly moved onto two games, both digital-only. Both adventure-style games. First up, Whispering Willows, an adventure/puzzle game that can be maxed out with a guide in a paltry 50 minutes. Secondly, the super-easy Three Fourth’s Home, one that can be maxed out in under 2 hours, but required two playthroughs. Both are a breeze, but time decided this battle, with Whispering Willows reigning supreme, chalking up an impressive 20 Gamerscore a minute ratio. 20. That’s 2.5 times times quicker than last year’s quickest 1,000, Another World – which racked up an impressive 8.30 Gamerscore per minute.

Winner: Whispering Willows


Easiest Racing 1,000 of 2015

The whole “lump the digital-only in with the retail games” strategy has had an incredible effect across the board in the Easiest categories this year. Categories that were once fought out by the biggest of the biggest franchises, suddenly had a lot more competition. Especially in the Easiest Racing 1,000 category.

Rather than it just being the usual Forza, Need For Speed and the like, showing their beautiful shiny bonnets, there was suddenly a lot more diversity in this category, games like; Super Toy Cars, Project Cars and Riptide GP2. Despite this, it was still one of the biggies that ended up racing over the finish line quickest. Kinda. A free-at-launch, spin-off, standalone title used to promote a film, no less was the unquestionable winner. Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious, a game that takes a trivial 3-5 hours to complete, stand up and accept your award. Yes, video games can stand up and accept their awards, duh.

Winner: Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious


Easiest RPG 1,000 of 2015

“Fallout 4!” screamed the community! “Fallout 4!” screamed the staff! “Fallout 4!” screamed the internet. Everyone was united in their stance that something bizarre happened: a game was overlooked. It was overlooked not by the community at large, but by some of our staff’s biggest achievement hunters… one of whom had actually completed this particular game a whopping four times. Yes, Pants, we’re looking at you!

So, what is this mystery game, you ask? Well, chances are that by now you’ll have already looked at the image or the winner below – that’s cheating!! – and you’ll know that Final Fantasy Type-0 HD was this year’s winner. A Final Fantasy game winning our Easiest RPG 1,000 award, who’d have thought it? There’s no disputing it though. It’s easier than The Witcher 3, and shorter and less fiddly than Fallout 4’s 80 hour list. Clocking in at around the 20-hour mark and coming in at a 3/10 difficulty rating on our trademarked “Super Accurate” difficulty scale, Final Fantasy Type-0 HD was a clear winner this year… and a good game too!

Winner: Final Fantasy: Type-0 HD


Easiest Shooter 1,000 of 2015

As mentioned earlier, the removal of the divide between retail and digital-only titles had a big impact on the awards this year, especially in the Easiest categories. No other category in this awards demonstrates that as much as the Easiest Shooter 1,000 award.

In years gone by, Bethesda’s Wolfenstein The Old Blood would have surely taken home the award, with its easy, 15/20 hour list to complete and it not being too overly difficult. That was the kind of shooter that won this category in the past 9 years.

This year though, there was one resounding winner, taking only a fraction of that time to max out. While Blue Estate got a few nods from the community because of its time-to-complete stat being fairly low, it was still a game that required some skill. Bedlam did not. Bedlam only takes 4-6 hours. Bedlam is so easy that we could staple tarantulas to our eyelids and we’d still be able to get the full 1,000 Gamerscore with little to no effort whatsoever. Just as a disclaimer, please don’t try that at home, but if you do, don’t forget to email us the results.

Winner: Bedlam


Easiest Sports and Fitness 1,000 of 2015

This year we decided to lump #IDARB in with the sports games, despite the fact that it has sat in Action section of the site since launch. Asking why is a perfectly acceptable question, because theoretically it could be either. But it’s effectively football with hands. Or handball on ayahuasca. Does that make Rocket League a sports game in our eyes too? Absolutely!

We’re talking about #IDARB exclusively because it’s a shoo-in for the Easiest Sport and Fitness award. The only competition the game faced was from Rugby 15, a sports title with a very easy, five hour list. But it still can’t hold a candle to #IDARB’s list, which can be completed in mere minutes. It doesn’t even take an hour!

Winner: #IDARB


Easiest Overall 1000 of 2015

People often say to us: “Hey, achievement dudes, you think you’re so clever, but why do you have an Easiest Overall 1,000 award when it usually ends up being the same as one of the other categories?” Well, Stephen, 19, from Bognor Regis, it’s not always that way. Take 2012 for instance, when Easiest Overall was a game that hadn’t already won a category, that game being Toy Story Mania.

That, my friends, is why this category exists. For games that don’t sit in any of our major genres category, but the music games, puzzle games, simulation games, strategy games and so on, they need to be stood up and counted somewhere. This is where, although none of those genres usually sit on the easy side of the fence.

After all that bluster though, that clearly wasn’t the case this year… we just wanted to tell you a little story for a few minutes. Yes, this year’s Easiest Overall 1,000 was a repeat match up between Whispering Willows and Three Fourth’s Home; and we really didn’t expect any else when you think about how easy these lists actually are. As it did previously, logic dictates this winner and Whispering Willows takes home its second award.

Winner: Whispering Willows


Most Time-Consuming Achievement 0f 2015

Time consuming achievements are dicks. Okay, that’s not entirely true, there’s a lot to be said for achievements that require the patience of a saint. Let me clarify that opening sentence a little more. This year’s winner of the Most Time Consuming Achievement award is a dick. It is the Ron Jeremy of dicks.

We’re talking about the Pure Poker achievement for Pure Hold’em, which is to reach level 100. Doesn’t sound too bad, huh? It’s actually a nightmare, and might be one of the most time consuming achievements of all time. Come on XBA, stop dilly-dallying, what exactly do you mean by “time consuming”? Well, little Billy, we mean 10,000 hours consuming!

Okay, that calculation might be slightly off – we don’t know, no-one actually has it! – but that’s as best a guess that we have right now. We’re calling: no-one will ever unlock this achievement. Ever! If you do, let us know, we’ll write a tweet about you or something. “OH JOY! A WHOLE TWEET! COUNT ME IN! BRB!” If that was your reaction, you’re a nutter. A complete nutter!

Winner: Pure Hold 'Em's 'Pure Poker' Achievement

Hardest Individual Achievement

Going from the ludicrous to the almost as barmy, we’re moving swiftly onto the Hardest Individual Achievement of 2015. An achievement we reckon a tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny fraction of the world has. Yes, ladies and gents, it’s effectively another leaderboard achievement. We can hear the collective facepalm slaps across the world as you read that.

Let’s not beat around the bush here: this year’s winner is The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited’s Emperor achievement, which like many emperors of yesteryear, is an evil bastard. The achievement requires you to become Emperor of Tamriel, a position you achieve by a.) choosing the faction that is winning the war; b.) grinding a lot; c.) playing an ungodly amount of hours; d.) making sure your faction has control of Imperial City; e.) becoming the number one player in our faction; and f.) hoping your mate doesn’t beat you to it.

Let’s be under no illusion here, this achievement means becoming the best, most powerful player in an MMO populated by thousands and thousands. It’s basically a leaderboard achievement, the likes of which we hoped had died in the basement fire of 2009. Good luck, folks, you’re going to need it. Lots of it!

Winner: The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited's 'Emperor' Achievement


Hardest Action/Adventure Achievement of 2015

The Hardest Action/Adventure 1,000 award, or as we like to call it in XBA Towers, the “Holy fuck shit, Japan, how hard are your achievement lists these days!?” has been won by Japanese games and developers for 8 out of the 9 years we’ve been running these awards. Make that 9 out of 10, folks. 9 out of 10.

This year’s winner was a no brainer, beating out the likes of The Swindle, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth and Rare Replay – you know, because it was this year’s The Master Chief Collection, what with its 10,000 Gamerscore and what not. It was, of course, none other than the Mega Man Legacy Collection from Digital Eclipse.

Let’s be honest, Mega Man is a tough game as it is, and the achievements were always going to be tough, but we had no idea how tough. The “Gold x50” achievement alone is unbelievably difficult, requiring players to get 50 out of 54 gold medals on the speed run challenges. This essentially requires perfect runs at intense speeds in nigh on every speed run challenge. Something that, when you think about it, is completely insane. This one is for the highly skilled only.

Winner: Mega Man Legacy Collection


Hardest Racing 1,000 of 2015

The Hardest Racing category has been an odd duck over the years. It’s certainly one of the most diverse categories hat we’ve ever had, especially when you take into account the actual genre. It’s racing for chuff’s sake. That doesn’t show in the winners though, we’ve had cartoony arcade combat games win it (Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed), super hardcore sim racers win it (F1 2013), open-world arcade racers (The Crew) and of course, Microsoft’s flagship racing franchise (Forza Motorsport 4).

This year though, that diversity slipped away and a familiar name came to the forefront. The Forza Motorsport franchise has never been a particularly tricky 1,000 (despite winning it in 2011), it’s usually just time-consuming, which as demonstrated in 2011, can sometimes win it the award.

Forza Motorsport 6 though was time-consuming and had some tricky beasts within it too, which is almost unheard of. It was that much of a winner this year that pretty much everyone nominated it, and there were no disagreements amongst us. Thanks to the ‘Thru The Pack’ achievement, requiring you go from last to first in a 24-player online race and the ‘Real Deal,’ challenging you with winning a multiplayer race with no assists, and it’s 150-200 completion time, Forza Motorsport 6 was the real deal this year.

Winner: Forza Motorsport 6


Hardest RPG 1,000 of 2015

No surprises here for guessing what is this year’s Hardest RPG 1,000, especially considering what won this year’s Hardest Individual Achievement. I’m not even going to beat around the bush here, either. The Hardest RPG 1,000 of 2015 was The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited.

Regardless of what the rest of the list is like, TESO’s ‘Emperor’ achievement is all kinds of ridiculous. It’s a 10/10 difficulty-rated achievement list, for sure. In terms of how long… well, how long is a piece of string? This particular piece of string is over 300-hours long. That is one long-ass piece of string! That’s actually nothing more to be said here. Move along.

Winner: The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited


Hardest Shooter 1,000 of 2015

What do you get when you leave a Call of Duty developer to its own devices for three years? Simple, one of the hardest Call of Duty achievement lists, possibly ever.

That’s right, folks, if you ever asked yourself what Treyarch got up to in the extra year in their Call of Duty development cycle, the answer is creating one hell of a tough game, and naturally, a tricky achievement list. Thanks to the ‘No One Will Believe You’ achievement, for completing the game on the new and brutal realistic difficulty, and ‘Personal Decorator’ achievement, which requires you earn all the campaign decorations, this is easily the hardest shooter of 2015.

That Personal Decorator achievement, by the way, asks you to compete veteran and realistic levels without using a checkpoint (i.e. without dying). Fuck that! Congrats to anyone who has this, you are officially a CoD beast.

Winner: Call of Duty: Black Ops III


Hardest Sports & Fitness 1,000 of 2015

Prior to the Achievement Awards 2015, games developed by EA Canada have won the Hardest Sports and Fitness 1,000 category four times in the last five years. That’s one step further than Japan dominating the Hardest Action/Adventure category. But this is one developer. One developer. One developer completely ruining the will and desire to live of achievement hunting sports addicts. Make that five from six, the savages.

We’re not talking one sport here, we’re talking all the sports. Whether you’re talking football (2010 FIFA World Cup), ice hockey (NHL 14) or NFL (Madden 13), EA Canada have been fucking over gamers for years when it comes to achievements. Hey, do you remember those ludicrous Fight Night Champion leaderboard achievements? Yep, EA Canada.

This year’s winner, NHL 16 is no different, in fact, only a handful of people have the full 1,000 Gamerscore in it, with it being rated 8/10 difficulty from people in the know. People in the know, folks! Maybe they got so bored of creating the same achievement lists year in, year out, that they’re taking their frustration out on you. Sick burn! Sick! Burn!

Winner: NHL 16


Hardest Overall 1,000 of 2015

This year’s toss up for Hardest Overall 1,000 comes to a straight shootout between two other categories: Most Time Consuming and Hardest Individual Achievement, because, to be frank, nothing else matters this year when it comes to this.

On the one hand, you have one of the most time consuming achievements ever: Pure Poker’s Pure Hold’em achievement, an achievement that could set you back as many as 10,000 hours. On the other hand, you have one of the most brutal achievements in the history of achievements – and what is effectively an MMO leaderboard achievement. One that requires grind and luck.

Yes, it’s that time of the year once again where we debate difficulty vs. time, and once again, difficulty is king. That said, The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited and its ridiculous Emperor achievement isn’t the only toughie this year and while it ran amok in the Hardest RPG 1,000 category, space-exploration sim, Elite Dangerous, gave it a run for its money here too. A game that requires skill and patience. Unfortunately for Elite, TESO requires a metric fuckton of luck too. Something that shouldn’t have any home in the world of achievements and trophies.

Winner: The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited


Game With Most Glitched Achievements

Still, after 10 years of our delightful safe haven on the internet and in the wonderful world of achievements, we’re genuinely shocked that this category still exists. Flabbergasted, one could say. Utterly dumfounded. You get the point, right? Even after 10 years, glitched achievements exist, and we’re not just talking about glitched for one person here, we’re talking about almost everyone. We’re a little gutted that we couldn’t have axed this pesky category. Alas, we haven’t been allowed.

What we will say though is that it’s getting better, which is something to take away. Developers who discovered glitched achievements were quick to rectify their mistakes and developers who discovered that achievements could become missable patched them (*cough* The Witcher 3 *cough*).

It was a better year all round, and while last year’s winner, the actual Xbox One, still wasn’t perfect in 2015, it was better too. Much better. That means that only one other achievement could take home the booby prize of all booby prizes: Star Wars” Battlefront’s ‘Playing The Objective’ achievement is the resounding winner, with the developer acknowledging it, promising to fix it, patching it, and it still being an issue. That’s right, ladies and gents, this achievement is still holding some people back from getting 1,000 sweet, sweet Gamerscore from DICE’s impressive multiplayer shooter. Shame.

Winner: Star Wars: Battlefront


Worst Achievement Tile of 2015

Had we changed the order of the awards this year and decided to run the “Best Of” section before the “Worst Of” section, you’d hear us wax lyrical about the bigger achievement tiles opening the door to cooler game art – game art you can set as your Xbox One background too! While we will do that below, this is where we’re going to talk about laziness, absent-mindedness and missed opportunities, which sum up this year’s worst achievement tiles.

There’s developers using their cover art as tiles (what!?); there’s developers reusing horrible looking eggs (errrr, okay…); devs just being plain lazy (that’s you FIFA); some devs just not even bothering to use the full allocation of space (why Avalanche!? Why!?); and some just being horrible as always (you guessed it, we’re talking PES). All despicable uses of what are potential avenues for creativity. At the end of the day there can only be one winner: Rory McIlroy PGA Tour. Fuck you, Rory. Fuck you.

Winner: Rory McIlroy PGA Tour


Worst Publisher For Achievements in 2015

Last year we recall getting to this category and saying “Hey, EA, you’re not too bad. While the people hate you (still), we don’t… oh, what’s that? You actually deserve this award this year, okay.”

Unfortunately, the people have spoken once again (and when we say people, 100% of the nominations were for EA!), and while usually we try to look through the hate and judge this one objectively – after all, EA have only won this award on the odd occasion – we can’t argue with the community’s logic this year. The copy and paste lists, the glitched achievement in Battlefront, the ridiculously hard NHL 16 list, they were the straw that broke the camel’s back. Granted, the developer has stopped whoring out its Madden achievements to brands, which is a great thing, but there’s still work to be done.

You can’t help but feel sorry for EA though, surely even the best achievement designers would struggle to make sports lists interesting after the 10th time of asking. We’re not here to judge what’s fair and what isn’t, we’re here to judge awards, and EA, this one is yours again this year.

Winner: Electronic Arts


Worst Achievement List of 2015

Let’s get this on record first: the Forza Motorsport achievements are once again terrible. Terrible! We really wanted to throw this award at them once again, but you know what? They got better. Not much better, but there was improvement, for sure, and we like to award change. Instead, this year, we opted to slap the moniker “Worst Achievement List” on a decent game that failed to fully utilise its potential.

Ladies and gents, we are of course talking about none other than Just Cause 3, and while it wasn’t a terrible achievement list by any stretch of the imagination, taking into account what was actually available in that game and some of the really cool stuff you could find and do, it was a terrible waste.

We’re not just talking about all the hilarious and creative stuff you can do with the grapple and the tethers either, there is so much in that game that needed a nod in the achievement list. The Doge Easter Egg, the big head water pistol, and so on. Avalanche got their focus on their list completely wrong and instead of vying for Best Achievement List of the year – which they had the potential to – they’re taking home the Worst Achievement List of 2015 instead. Such a shame. It really is.

Winner: Just Cause 3


Best Achievement Tile of 2015

Phew! Right! Now that all that negativity is out of our system, it’s time for us to lavish praise on the the best of the best, and there is no finer place to start than the prettiest tiles of the year. This year was possibly one of the best ever as well. Seriously.

As we suggested earlier, the new large achievement tiles (that can be used as wallpaper on your Xbox) have opened the doors to what we can only describe as some stunning images. Halo 5: Guardians went down the powerful route; Wasteland 2 went down the humorous route; as did Fallout 4; while Rise of the Tomb Raider and Star Wars Battlefront went down the artsy route. To be honest, any of the nominees could have won it this year, but the people have spoken, and we agree. Halo 5: Guardians’ Lone Wolf achievement was a beaut! Congrats, devs, superb effort this year… well, most of you!

Winner: Halo 5: Guardians' 'Lone Wolf' Achievement



Best Publisher For Achievements in 2015

This year’s winner of the Best Publisher for Achievements award, where we reward a publisher for their collective slate of achievements, has had an erratic past, winning in both the Best and Worst categories in recent years. Since 2013, when they won the Worst Publisher, they’ve bounced back, winning Best Publisher in 2013 and 2014. We are, of course, talking about Microsoft Studios.

In 2015 Microsoft had some great games and great achievement lists, pretty much across the board. Whether you’re talking about Rare Replay’s list, which had some really interesting achievements, or Rise of the Tomb Raider, which was an excellent list, there’s real quality right across the board. Halo 5: Guardians had a thoughtful list that encouraged replayability; #IDARB had a fun and playful list; Ori and The Blind Forest had a really cool and challenging list; ODST was great for achievements and even their usual “letdown list” Forza Motorsport, was better this year than in years gone by. Considering that Microsoft Studios should be setting an example of how to do it, it’s refreshing to see them take achievements as seriously now as they’ve ever done.

Winner: Microsoft Studios


Best DLC For Achievements in 2015

In years gone-by this category has had some truly epic and memorable winners, and more often than not, the winner of this award tends to actually be the year’s best piece of DLC. When we say epic, folks, we mean EPIC! Red Dead Redemption’s Undead Nightmare, Mass Effect 3’s Citadel and Skyrim’s Dragonborn were all worthy winners in their respective years. Correlation much? This year is no different, with The Witcher 3’s Hearts of Stone taking home the prize.

While Assassin’s Creed Syndicate’s Jack The Ripper DLC and Destiny’s The Taken King were decent enough lists, Hearts of Stone’s list had it all. It had progression achievements, noteworthy achievements that saw you trying to reshape your character to be able to use seven potions simultaneously, achievements that pushed you towards the best armour, and more importantly, interesting and cool achievements like sliding down a mountain for over 10 seconds, killing 20 cows (why the hell not, eh?) and for deflecting arrows and killing enemy combatants. It was a really great list. A great list for a brilliant piece of DLC.

Winner: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Hearts of Stone


Most Original Achievement in 2015

We bloody love this category. It’s true, we bloody do. In fact, we say so every year, and in our eyes, this is what the Achievement Awards are all about. Sure, the Best Achievement List is the grand prize, but these sparkling moments of creativity can make games truly unforgettable. For instance, you’ll always remember that trip to the helicopter in Left 4 Dead 2 with Gnome Chompski in tow, and we’ll always remember looking like an idiot in Fable: Anniversary for last year’s “I Did This For A Cheevo,” probably more so when we got all 1,000Gs in Portal 2.

This year though, we faced a dilemma: did we a.) go for the super fun and interesting achievements, or did we b.) go for the truly original achievement… the achievement that no-one has really done before. For 2015, we decided to mix things up a little and go for the latter. It was a decent year for creativity on the whole though, with Rise of the Tomb Raider’s ‘Rotisserie’ achievement for shooting a chicken out the air with a fire and ‘Paying Respects’ achievement for attending a funeral in game, being two of the more interesting. As well as those, Star Wars Battlefront’s ‘Not Bad For a Little Furball’ was unique and interesting, as was King’s Quest frankly bizarre and completely optional ‘Purple Badger Don’t Care’ achievement which had you go out of your way to catch a badger, make him purple and then get him to eat bees. Nuts!

The winner this year though was #IDARB’s ‘Over The Air Achiever,’ which was truly innovative. The achievement in question did something that we’ve never seen before with its Twitch integration, and it’s exactly what the category calls for: originality. Kudos to Other Ocean, you clever sods, you.

Winner: #IDARB's 'Over the Air Achiever' Achievement


Best Achievement List of 2015

So there we have it, so far you’ve read us wax lyrical and brutally takedown the best, worst, easiest and hardest achievements of the year. But this is it: the pinnacle of the show. The part where we take the year’s best three achievement lists, analyse every aspect of them and then shower our praise on one special list. 2015 was a good year, and that much is apparent from these three doozies:

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - The Witcher 3’s achievement list was the perfect example of balance in 2015, offering a nicely weighted mix of achievements built around progression, challenges, exploration and creativity. Individually, there was nothing as notable as something like ‘Little Rocket Man,’ but as a whole, it was a genuinely brilliant list. It’s one of those lists where the more you look at it, the more you actually appreciate it as a whole. It’s a grower, not a shower.

Star Wars: Battlefront - There’s a tendency with multiplayer-only lists to really screw the pooch. If you look at lists in years gone-by, multiplayer-only lists tend to skew towards the grindy. Thankfully, Star Wars Battlefront for the most part failed to avoid that usual pitfall. Sure, there’s the level 50 achievement which is super grindy – a little too much – but aside from that, there’s nothing too bad. On the whole, DICE here created a super solid list with humour and originality. It’s just a shame about that pesky glitched achievement, which taints an otherwise great effort by DICE.

Rise of the Tomb Raider - Rise of the Tomb Raider was an interesting list for us. It was one of those lists that if you’d have asked us before we did our research, we’d have overlooked it. But when you take a proper good look you see it’s genuinely great. The problem is that there’s far too much emphasis on Score Attack mode, but if you look past that you’ll find some wonderfully creative ones like ‘Rotisserie’ and ‘Paying Respects’, as well as ‘Quiet Time’, which has you stop and take a moment and soak in the wonderful landscape. There’s so much more than that too, and in fact, we’re actually quite impressed.


There could only be one winner though – as always, it’s a bloody award show, that’s how these things work – and this year, for consistency, that winner is The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, because what it does, it nails perfectly. For starters, we couldn’t really give Best Achievement list to a game with a glitched achievement now, could we? So Star Wars was out. And unfortunately, Rise of the Tomb Raider put a tad too much emphasis on what could be deemed a tacked-on mode to unnecessarily improve the game’s longevity – yes, we went there. The Witcher 3 on the other hand did everything so chuffin’ well. If all game developers used The Witcher 3’s achievement list as a template, the achievement world would be in a much better place.

Winner: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt


Game With Most Potential For Achievements in 2016

Too often do we sit here and pick a winner – along with you, of course – for the Most Potential category, and truth be told, often are we let down. This year we decided to back a horse that will undoubtedly follow through and give us the list that we want. Nay, the list we deserve. Yes, people, we deserve good things.

While the community leaned towards The Division, Mass Effect: Andromeda and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, we decided to use our nous a little bit and agree with those of you in the community that nominated South Park: The Fractured But Whole. Why? Because of history. Not our history, although that does of course factor into it. We’re talking about the history of the South Park franchise. Not those other South Park games, the new ones, the ones made with Matt and Trey at the helm.

This time last year we sat here and praised Obsidian for their brilliant Stick of Truth achievement list, and had it not been for the brilliant Fable: Anniversary achievement list, it would probably have won. We know what you’re thinking, “But hey, it’s not Obsidian this time around, it’s Ubisoft San Francisco.” As far as we’re concerned, as long as Matt and Trey are involved, we’re confident that Ubisoft San Francisco will deliver. If not, we’ll riot in the streets.


Winner: South Park: The Fractured But Whole

Ladies and gents! That was it! Our 10th annual achievement awards. Thanks for sticking with us over 5,000+ words once again and more importantly, over the last 10 years. It was one hell of a ride. Of course, that ride isn’t over and for all intents and purposes, we’ve only just begun. We’ve seen a lot of changes in the achievement world over the last 10 years, and we get the feeling that’s not about to stop in the next 10. It’s going to be an adventure, so thanks for sticking with us and continuing to do so. Happy achievement hunting, folks!


User Comments

Forum Posts: 24345
Comment #1 by The Pants Party [STAFF]
Tuesday, February 09, 2016 @ 10:51:33 PM
I still can't believe I overlooked Type-0 when I did my nomination. I completed it four times in three different languages (US/EU/CN/JP), and RPG is MY genre. Mine! I own it. But I flubbed that one, haha. I'll go sit in the corner for a while.

I just started The Stick of Truth on Sunday (thank you, Backward Compatibility!), and I must say I'm now VERY excited for The Fractured But Whole. Absolutely hilarious game and achievements.

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Comment #2 by MrNatrakh
Tuesday, February 09, 2016 @ 11:37:09 PM
Great list and great read! And I agree: I can't wait for the new south park game and achievements :)

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Comment #3 by BiggD
Wednesday, February 10, 2016 @ 12:19:15 AM
Great list! I pretty much agree with all the winner here.

Can't believe Dan didn't get the connection of the "killing 20 cows" achievement in Witcher 3, which was a throwback to an exploit the game had during launch where you could kill cows over and over again in White Orchard to make bank ;)

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Comment #4 by NBA Kirkland
Wednesday, February 10, 2016 @ 01:24:17 AM
Good read. Thanks.
Your game with the most glitched achievements (SW Battlefront) has one partially glitched achievement. :-/
And then you also nominated it for best achievement list :-/

There are many games with several glitched achievements you could have chosen.

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Comment #5 by Floyd.
Wednesday, February 10, 2016 @ 02:46:55 AM
Fun read! Good going, Pants. Like, damn :p

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Comment #6 by HDresden
Wednesday, February 10, 2016 @ 07:17:19 AM
Nice list. I'm working on Rise of the Tomb Raider right now, not sure if I'll go for the 1000g until I put some time in score attack, which I only briefly tried.

While I agree 100% on the SP: The Fractured, but Whole, I think DOOM could be an enjoyable list as well. While I'm sure it will have some hair pulling stuff (nightmare run), ID/Bethesda could have a lot of fun with all kinds of kill & weapon related cheevos, not to mention easter egg ones.

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Comment #7 by Games 4 Ever
Wednesday, February 10, 2016 @ 11:44:04 AM
I got the Achievement "Shoot First" in Star Wars: Battlefront in the best possible way. I got it the first time trying "Hero Hunt", with Han Solo, right next to the Millennium Falcon, on Tatooine, epic.

OT: Great read, and once again, congratulations on turning 10!

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Comment #8 by Webb [STAFF]
Wednesday, February 10, 2016 @ 12:18:36 PM
@#3 - Oh man! I did not know this! That makes the achievement SO much better, ha! I just thought it was for killing 20 cows, which I personally liked anyway, heh!

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Comment #9 by CellFrame
Wednesday, February 10, 2016 @ 04:15:44 PM
Nice list, as always.

Seriously though, why is there no "Most Annoying Achievement" category?

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Comment #10 by Thatrandomguy8
Friday, February 12, 2016 @ 07:34:18 AM
Every year I always look forward to this as well as the games of the year awards. Always entertaining to read and well written.

Thanks for the read!

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Comment #11 by daniel 3166
Friday, February 12, 2016 @ 04:39:05 PM
Congrats for this impressive work!!!

Thanks for the list!

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Comment #12 by Cliff Drive
Sunday, February 14, 2016 @ 12:47:13 AM
That "Thru the Pack" achievement on Forza 6 is insane. From last to 1st in a 24 player online match? The only way to start last is to have a lower ranked car. So essentially you need to have the worst car in a game and go from last to first in 3-5 laps.....yaaaaa.

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Comment #13 by King of the End
Sunday, February 14, 2016 @ 01:33:46 AM
@ #3 & #8 : That is a good reference. But you guys are forgetting how CD Projekt Red patched this exploit. Hint, google Bovine Defense Force.

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Comment #14 by MAJIN BOOSH
Sunday, February 14, 2016 @ 05:55:12 AM
I fell off hard on gaming, most of the games on this list I didn't play. Rooting for you guys on the south park game though the stick of truth was awesome

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Comment #16 by Ingen Kommentar
Monday, February 15, 2016 @ 08:15:13 PM
I love this award stuff.. I have followed these awards for the last 6 years, and i allready looking forward for next year :) love it love it love it!
Keep up with the good work.

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Comment #17 by envint251
Tuesday, February 16, 2016 @ 02:56:27 PM
Could I make a suggestion? In your awards next year, could you refer back to your nomination for game with most potential and let us know how well it lived up to it, or not? I never remember from one year to the next and I think it could be cool to look back.
Cheers, and congrats on a great 'award show'!

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Comment #18 by TheGreatKoala
Wednesday, February 17, 2016 @ 01:16:06 PM
I always assumed developers were behind achievements, not publishers...

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Comment #19 by TheWitcher0270
Thursday, February 18, 2016 @ 06:49:21 AM
Great read! This for me is also a great guide for when I finally move to Xbox One and want to play some fun games with great or sometimes easy cheevos :D

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Comment #20 by Len lfc
Monday, February 22, 2016 @ 03:37:29 PM
Easiest overall 100G is Pneuma: Breath of Life, no arguments.

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Comment #21 by Len lfc
Monday, February 22, 2016 @ 03:38:32 PM

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Comment #22 by Webb [STAFF]
Tuesday, March 15, 2016 @ 02:23:06 PM
@#17 - It usually doesn't, heh. But next year, for sure, we will =)

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Comment #23 by Mister Dood
Sunday, April 17, 2016 @ 08:24:12 AM
Easiest: Pneuma, agreed! Most un-original also.

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Comment #24 by beverlyramos456
Sunday, April 17, 2016 @ 06:12:50 PM

My first job out of High School was at St Paul and over the next 5 years Iearned so very much. Seeing the hospital torn down tears a small piece of my heart out. The Daughters of Charity and the doctors and staff of St Paul Hospital will always be with me.
Please click the link below

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Comment #25 by mjc0961
Monday, May 09, 2016 @ 12:48:12 AM
"We know what you’re thinking, “But hey, it’s not Obsidian this time around, it’s Ubisoft San Francisco.” As far as we’re concerned, as long as Matt and Trey are involved, we’re confident that Ubisoft San Francisco will deliver. If not, we’ll riot in the streets."

Wait, what? I didn't know that. If it's Ubisoft, I'm confident that they'll screw it up. Screwing up is what Ubisoft does. God dammit Ubisoft :(

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Comment #26 by Erreoene
Sunday, July 10, 2016 @ 12:58:17 AM
hahah I got some of those mentioned games and won that "Lonely Wolf" achievement :P

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Comment #27 by Gemthetally
Thursday, September 15, 2016 @ 08:08:06 AM
Great read. I totally agree with the points on Tomb Raider- I'm playing it just now and don't know whether I'll bother going for 1000g. I did like some of the other achievements though.

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Comment #28 by Skaschaaf
Friday, November 11, 2016 @ 10:34:22 AM
fun to read! I start to care less and less about achievements.. only the true cool games i hunt for 1000 when they are fun to do. Such as dishonored where you need to complete the game 2 times in a total different way. Would not do it when there is no achievement involved..

Waiting for xbox to launch the rarity checker for achievements!!

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Comment #29 by raopferk
Friday, December 23, 2016 @ 05:33:15 PM
This is a great read and of my favorite columns of the year on this site. I can't wait to see what they have in store for the 2016 year in review as it relates to achievements! After 10+ years of achievements (and trophies), I'm still amazed at how developers continue to miss the boat as it relates to easy achievements, achievement tiles and impossible achievements...

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Comment #30 by Xpgamer11
Wednesday, January 11, 2017 @ 11:09:08 PM
Haven't played Whispering Willows quite more.

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Comment #31 by BipolarGlenn
Friday, January 20, 2017 @ 06:14:14 PM
Will there be one of these articles this year?

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Comment #32 by Webb [STAFF]
Saturday, February 04, 2017 @ 06:03:05 PM
Yes, Glenn. We'll be publishing it this coming week =)

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Comment #33 by drew493
Tuesday, October 31, 2017 @ 02:53:14 PM
Is this site updated anymore??

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Comment #34 by xArchangelx72
Sunday, June 17, 2018 @ 07:15:04 AM
It is now 2018 I don't think you guys are ever going to release another article like this..... Shame I really enjoyed these.

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