Share your 2016 GOTY lists.

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BeachThunder

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It's that time of year where we all get to submit our GOTY lists to Giant Bomb to be aggregated into one enormous list (BTW, you can find the form here, if you didn't know).

But let's make things personal. I wanna see your list. Yes, you. I want to see what you think are the best games that were released in 2016. Embed a list if you've already made one, or just write 'em out here.

My personal list:

GOTY 2016

1. The Witness
Despite being at the top of my list, I still have a bunch of issues with this game. Particularly some puzzles being frustrating rather than fun. Also, I thought the 'story'/logs/dialogue/etc... didn't add much to the experience. Having said that, some puzzles were fantastic, and I really enjoyed the environments. The game's definitely worth checking out if you love puzzle games.
2. Doom
A fun and well-made FPS - for the most part (there's one really horrible level that involves an excessive amount of platforming). The game also has some great extras - a whole bunch of puzzle levels within the SnapMap mode, photo mode, Arcade Mode, and earning the achievement for beating the first level on Ultra-Nightmare.
3. Zero Time Dilemma
A good end to the series, despite one part of the story just not making sense.
4. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
It's what you'd expect from a follow-up to Deus Ex: Human Revolution. I very much appreciated the way it made you feel like a maligned part of society - especially the disdain you received when boarding a train carriage reserved for 'naturals'.
5. XCOM 2
It got its hooks in me again. I couldn't help but get attached to several of my soldiers. I had a bunch of issues with the ending, from glitches to the story to just how long-winded the last mission is.
6. Firewatch
Voice acting that really sells the main characters. Also, lovely visual design. Turt Reynolds for character of the year.
7. Inside
I thought Limbo was ehhh. But this improves of that game many-fold. I'm glad I decided to give Inside a shot.
8. Dishonored 2
One really phenomenal level was balanced out by one really aggravating glitch that can make a pacifist playthrough impossible. Overall, a good follow-up to the original Dishonored.
9. Owlboy
First off, the pixel art in this game is absolutely peerless. The game has some really lovely things in it, but also some very unfun gameplay moments.
10. The Banner Saga 2
A nice continuation of the first game. Some good changes, some not-so-much. I look forward to playing the next installment.
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deactivated-5b85a38d6c493

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cikame

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#4  Edited By cikame

I don't want to say 2016 was a disappointment but i don't really remember any stand out games i played which came out this year, for each new game i played i tended to go back to older games and replayed my favorites to have those special experiences.

Most of everything was 'fine', to that end i can only really point out two games.

My number 1 is Human: Fall Flat, i love physics tech demos and there's just enough structure to its levels and puzzles to make the actions you can perform in that game feel very impressive, i do wish it was longer but i think there's more coming to it in the future and there's a little replayability to what's there already.

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Number 2 of 2 goes to Forza Horizon 3, i played it on PC and battling the issues surrounding that game to A. Get it installed, B. Get it running and C. Get it running well was ridiculous, but as soon as it was patched up and working i didn't stop until i'd completed every race possible in that game, it became my podcast game and it was so easy to spend hours searching for barn finds and 3 starring all the challenges, i look forward to carrying on in the snow expansion as i'm still up for a lot more of this game.

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After so many years of trying, i still have absolutely no idea how to insert images where i want them on this site.

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Dave_Tacitus

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#5  Edited By Dave_Tacitus

Here's mine:

GOTY 2016

GOTY 2016

1. Hitman
Two years in a row, an episodic game (last year it was Life is Strange) has been my GOTY.
2. Forza Horizon 3
After a shaky start on PC, I'm enjoying FH3 as much as I did Burnout Paradise on release.
3. Stardew Valley
A game I had to physically stop myself playing after 80 hours (after creating my own victory condition) because work was beginning to pile up.
4. Superhot
Gameplay AND style, you say?
5. Firewatch
The best 'one of those' I've ever played.
6. Sid Meier's Civilization VI
Civ VI is more than I could have hoped for and the only game on this list I can confidently see myself playing 5 years from now.
7. Darkest Dungeon
Early Access done right. The randomness is maybe a bit too much at times but I love the loop, I love the art, I love the feel.
8. Thumper
A game that makes me anxious while playing and relieved when I stop. Yep, it's THAT good!
9. Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen
PC version. I'm glad the PC port was so good as I'd given up on the original console editions because they performed so poorly.
10. Abzû
The perfect antidote to a level of Thumper.
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BabyChooChoo

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#6  Edited By BabyChooChoo

BabyChooChoo Presents BabyChooChoo's Top 10 Games of 2016 (Sponsored by BabyChooChoo)

1. Gravity Rush
Previously released on the Vita, Gravity Rush finally made the jump to consoles. Normally I wouldn't put remasters on my list, but this was my first time playing this game. And what a magical experience it was. What it may lack in detailed visuals and nuanced combat, Gravity Rush makes up for it with heart. Every step of the way, you're rooting for Kat. You want her to succeed. You want to protect the city. You want to discover what's really going on. In between all that though? there's just nothing else quite like shifting gravity, launching yourself into the clouds, clearing half the city in seconds, letting yourself go into a freefall, and stopping your descent right before you touch the ground. It may sound somewhat difficult, but well...it's not. And that's the point. It's a simple game in many regards, but it never stops being fun.
2. World of Final Fantasy
What seems like nothing more than a bunch of Final Fantasy fanservice, quickly evolves into a funny and heartwarming adventure...that just happens to include to some of your favorite Final Fantasy characters. The visuals are full of color and style. The music can hold it's own against even mainlines entries in the franchise. The combat, while simplistic, is right up my alley. Plenty of classic Final Fantasy creatures to choose from that, despite bringing back memories of all the times they tried to kill you in games past, you can't help but find adorable. Though I guess everything is kinda adorable in this game and that's a-okay.
3. Odin Sphere Leifthrasir
Remember that time that one remaster not only updated the visuals and framerate, but when back and added original content, updated the A.I., tweaked and added new difficulty options, overhauled major gameplay mechanics, brushed up the story, added new modes, and then gave you the original game for free a bonus? No? Well now you do because Odin Sphere Leifthrasir did all that. This right here is what all remasters should aspire to be.
4. Pokkén Tournament
This right here is what I had always hoped Pokemon Stadium would be. While it doesn't boast the full roster of murderous little critters, the few that are present are all great, unique choices. The combat is fast, flashy, and exactly what 7-year old me always dreamt about. Also, I didn't know what the hell a Gardevoir was before I played this. Now it's one of my favorite Pokemon.
5. 7th Dragon III Code: VFD
I can't even begin to describe what's going on this game. There are dragons and time travel. There's a plague spreading accross the planet. Turns out cat people used to in Atlantis. It's nuts. But gosh darn it, this is one solid rpg. The setting is unqiue. The locales are varied. The characters are all fun. The classes all feel distinct and, more importantly, useful. To top it all off, it has one of the best, most catchy soundtracks I've heard in quite some time.
6. Stardew Valley
I never thought a game would be able to capture the magic of old Harvest Moons for me. I was wrong. So very, very wrong. Someone help. I need an intervention! But do it after I harvest these crops. And after I finish making all this cheese. And after I finish planning out my distillery. And after I go explore the woods. And after I finish redecorating my house. And after I finish making friends with all the townsfolk. What I'm trying to say is that I don't need an intervention and can totally quit whenever I want. It just so happens I don't want to because I have shit I need to do first.
7. Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE
A group of Japanese pop idols band together to protect the populace from evil Mirages hellbent on stealing their performa. I could explain any of that to you, but I won't. This game is my kind of dumb. And although I found the music to be somewhat lacking, that didn't take away from the wonderful combat system, fun characters, and this game's amazing sense of ssssstyle.
8. Abzû
I bought it on a whim. Wasn't really sure what to expect. Cut to a few hours later and I'm desperately chasing after fish trying to find out what it is and if I can ride on it's back. Somewhere along the line, I swam with some blue whales (which literally had me gaping in awe) had made friends with a shark. I'm not really sure where I'm going with this, but the ocean seems like a cool place.
9. Pokémon Sun/Moon
It's good to be back. It's been 15+ years since I've last touched a Pokemon game and as much as things have changed, it's like I never stopped playing. Tried and true formula that's easy to get into and no less fun that when I was in elementary school.
10. Heart & Slash
I was never a huge fan of roguelikes, but this one immediately piqued my interest the moment I saw it. PS1-era visuals, tons of weapons, action-oriented gameplay, a bumpin' soundtrack, and so much more. This game was made for me and I love the developer for it.
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deactivated-5b6c667dde711

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I've been poor this year and haven't had the time/money to play a lot of releases, particularly the bigger budget AAA games (the Australian prices for them haven't helped). But 10 games I enjoyed my time with were

1. Stardew Valley
I've never played a Harvest Moon game before, but I've found myself addicted to other similar titles like Animal Crossing in the past so I'm not too surprised at the amount of time I've spent playing Stardew Valley. Amazing amount of content, it's easy to spend hours and hours in this game at a time.
2. The Witness
Before playing I remember interviews with Jon Blow where he said part of The Witness was capturing the feeling of epiphany, and I feel like he captured that pretty well. Specifically with a certain subset of the puzzles. It's so hard to talk about this game without spoiling it still but I'm really happy it exists.
3. Hyper Light Drifter
I loved the silent storytelling of this game; the world, the artstyle and colour palette, the music - it's just a really great little adventure game and a brilliant achievement for the dev team.
4. Inside
I think this game left me with less to think about than previous title Limbo, but the story beats and set pieces overall were a lot more interesting while I was playing the game. The last 30 minutes is amazing.
5. Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight
I wasn't initially too wrapped in Momodora 4 -- its Dark Souls influence is quite clear and it can be very punishing, but sometimes to an unfair extent. But I found myself coming back to the game on multiple occasions in spite of this, and it gradually won me over. I'm really impressed with how far the developer has come when looking back at the previous entries in the franchise.
6. Gonner
Gonner is like the Downwell of this year - an indie roguelike platformer with a really neat artstyle, great controls and superb soundtrack. The sound design in particular of this game is super inspiring to me personally.
7. Oxenfree
I really like the dialogue engine in this game and how naturally speech seems to flow compared to some other games of the genre. The gameplay isn't very taxing, but I enjoyed the story and thought there were a lot of cool ideas in the way it was presented.
8. Darkest Dungeon
I put a couple dozen hours into Darkest Dungeon and admittedly don't think I got too far, but I adore the bleak atmosphere it creates and the emergent moral choices you have to make when sending your party on expeditions: whether to keep all of your characters sane and healthy, or to use some to gather supplies before discarding them at no penalty.
9. Owlboy
Amazing pixel art, animation and music that really sets the bar for a lot of indie releases. Unfortunately I didn't find the gameplay as fun as I was hoping - here was a game that I really desperately wanted to like, but could never completely lose myself in.
10. Pokémon Go
I want to make myself clear when I say that I think Pokemon Go is a very poorly designed game. Yet, there was a period of a few weeks when this game launched in its buggy state where I could only smile when I walked around my home city and saw everyone stopping to catch monsters, including suited middle-age business men on their lunch breaks. It was a phenomenon I've never quite seen before and doubt will ever happen with a game again, but I'm glad to have been a part of it for its short lifespan.
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#8  Edited By viking_funeral

Not quite done, but here's the rough sketch. Positions are up for change.

  1. Doom
  2. Overwatch
  3. Stellaris
  4. Witcher 3: Blood & Wine
  5. Stardew Valley
  6. Civilization VI
  7. Tyranny
  8. Dark Souls III
  9. Total War: Warhammer
  10. Darkest Dungeon

Edit - Did a quick pass by and changed a few.

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Overwatch.

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#10  Edited By briarpack

I don't feel particularily strongly about anything released this year, which is probably why the number 1 and 2 games on this list are the ones that are freshest on my mind. I also haven't played Doom, Hitman, Steep or Watch Dogs 2 yet and haven't put too many hours into Dishonored 2.
Retroactive honorable mention to Rainbow Six Siege for being the second best game of last year and the best multiplayer shooter this year.
Here's the list.

The bestest, most accurate GOTY of 2016

10. Hyper Light Drifter
Styyyyle! Neat indie game, awesome aesthetic, decent gameplay, great music.

9. Stellaris
The first 4X game I've played and it was pretty good. I haven't played it since release so I don't know what the (possibly) improved midgame is like.

8. Mirror's Edge Catalyst
Better than the first one. Parkour is good, level design is aight, story I can take or leave.

7. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
I'm not a huge fan of Naughty Dog and I find the previous Uncharted games to be preeetty boring. I can still recognize the quality of the craftsmanship in all aspects of this game.

6. Titanfall 2
I've come to realize that this type of shooter just isn't for me, but damn it if the singleplayr isn't fun and that one level in the singleplayer is fantastic. I didn't play much of the multiplayer, it was fun but coming from Siege it just doesn't cut it for me.

5. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Human Revolution is one of my favorite games of all time. Mankind Divided expands on the gameplay, but the story is lacking and seemingly suffer from being the second part in a trilogy. But it's Deus Ex, so it's makes it this far.

4. Forza Horizon 3
The first Forza I've played and probably the best driving game I've played. I spent as much time in the decal editor as I did playing the actual game.

3. The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine
I just need to put this in here, don't I? The hits kept on coming and Blood and Wine sent The Witcher 3 off on a mothereffing high note if I've ever seen one.

2. Pokemon Sun and Moon
The last Pokemon game I've played on an actual handheld rather than an emulator was Ruby, so it's been a while since I've gotten the full experience. Hats off to Gamefreak for refreshing the franchise in a fantastic way. The lack of HMs and having the trials instead of gyms combined with the interesting setting and stellar design of the new Pokemon revived my love for this series.

1. Final Fantasy XV
FFXV has it's fair share of issues, namely the lackluster story and the entire second half of the game. But gosh darn it if I don't enjoy the gameplay, the open world and the boyband with all their silly banter. The way you cash in experience is satisfying as all hell, watching the numbers go up and min/maxing your crew scratches my brain in a great way. The combat is not quite DmC: Devil May Cry (the best of the Devil May Cry franchise) but it's close enough and even makes the hours of farming a random encouter boss for an item with a 5% drop rate fun.

E: Formatting. Preview function when?!

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#11  Edited By fram

My Top 10 Games Of 2016

1. Doom DOOM 2016 is the greatest FPS campaign I can remember. One of the best soundtracks of the year drives the brutally intense battles - a cacophony of gunfire, explosions, and glory kills. The moment Doomguy took that elevator ride to Mars and cocked his shotgun in time with the music, I knew that everything would be ok. More than ok, turns out. Fucking AWESOME.
2. Firewatch One of these days I'm going to replay Firewatch and see it as the all-time classic I know it to be. Thing is, on my first playthrough I wanted the paranoid thriller angle to pay off so bad that I couldn't ignore the tinge of disappointment I felt when the credits rolled. Like Henry, I went into this looking for an escape from reality, but Delilah laid it all out at the end and turned a mirror on me. Acknowledgement, frailty, responsibility - Firewatch is about all these things, I just wasn't ready to hear that.
3. The Witness This game, this goddamned game. It made a little nest for itself inside my head and refused to leave until I earned that damn platinum trophy. The days I spent throwing myself against the final puzzles and the optional sequence under the mountain were frustrating and exhilarating and I loved every second of them. This bastard of a game.
4. Inside I've not been more disquieted and horrified by anything else this year. The oppressive, atonal soundscape and beautifully bleak visual presentation kept me entranced throughout my single-sitting playthrough, and the ending left me shook.
5. Pocket Card Jockey I can't tell you why I played so many hours of this utterly perplexing mix of horse racing and solitaire, nor why I still get the itch to play it. Like right now. WHY IS THIS SO GOOD?
6. Thumper Thumper is where I go when I want to feel small and insignificant, to get pummeled against the sides of organic nightmare tunnels by a relentless percussive march. Each successive level breaks me, then slowly builds me back up over the course of several agonising minutes of breakneck rhythm violence. By the end I'm a mass of frayed nerves and shaking hands, and I want more.
7. Battlefield 1 This was THE online multiplayer game of the year for me. The setting was a calculated departure from the current grip of sci-fi military shooters, and it paid off big time. Squadding up with a few mates in multiplayer is endless fun, and as good as recent Battlefield has ever been. Bonus points for the surprising campaign, which handles its WW1 vignettes with care and clarity.
8. Virginia I felt a lot of things during Virginia's two short hours. Don't let the simple inputs fool you - this thing GOES PLACES. I'm not sure I was totally on board with just how far things went by the end, but the well-drawn characters and assured style pulled me through.
9. PinOut Maybe you haven't played the best mobile game released this year. That would be a shame. This is pinball, but it ain't your Gerstmann's pinball. What if at the top of your pinball table, another pinball table started? Then another? And another! And it all looked and sounded like Tron!!! Wait, maybe this is EXACTLY your Gerstmann's pinball...
10. Quantum Break I love Remedy. I love that they care about their worlds and settings and narratives, that they make their shooty bang bang gameplay feel different from the other shooty bang bang games. I love that they license great songs and hire good actors and try to smash a live-action TV series into a third-person shooter. I love their ambition and their unique voice. After Max Payne and Alan Wake (my personal favourite) it's clear that they're working to a template of sorts, but it's a template nobody else is using and I love it.
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#12  Edited By Nodima

Honorable Mentions:

ABZU: I thought this was a neat experience, but it didn't leave any impression on me other than Journey Under Water. I suppose the One Big Moment was cool but even that borrowed its format from one of Jouneys several Big Moments.

Day of the Tentacle / Grim Fandango Remastered: Not sure that it counts anyway, and I only played maybe two hours of each because my brain no longer works this way (maybe I'll whip out some guides over the winter and just bask in the old schoolness of it all with none of the mental stress) but the director's commentary was great and it was fun seeing all the work they put into modernizing a pair of games that are very dated for very different reasons.

The Banner Saga: Released on PS4 January of this year, and I was hooked, but it didn't stick with me much after it was done. I was excited for The Banner Saga 2 up until the point I booted it up and almost immediately bounced off it, leaving me to wonder if I ever really loved The Banner Saga in the first place.

Overcooked: I love the idea of this game, but it is VERY hard with just two players, especially when one of those players is your 37-year old girlfriend whose only real video game experience is The Walking Dead Seasons One and Two on an iPad. She loves food, I love playing video games, and the first two levels of this are a lot of fun. Once they put us on trucks and made the playing field start sliding around, though, all hope was lost. Bummer.

Batman: Arkham Knight: This game was a lot of fun while I was playing it; honestly, it should be on my list where The Witness is. But I mostly enjoyed it for all the ways it reminded me of how much I loved Arkham City, and while I didn't hate the Batmobile as much as most I did find it overused and repetitive nonetheless.

Nodima GOTY 2016
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1. DOOM

I did not have any expectations for this game prior to release. I heard the multiplayer beta buzz and didn't care much; haven't cared much for competitive first-person games since the first Modern Warfare. I play a first-person shooter every other year or two, and generally pick something that seems the most original. Who'd have thought a return to its roots would make DOOM the most original shooter in years? It undeniably borrows from modern tropes and from its own standard operating procedures, but subverts almost every expectation over and over again until you're left with a game that's both a satire and send up of the entire idea of video games and their history with violence and gore. Impeccable writing, sound and level design and more add up to a game I imagined would just be a quick, bloody romp but proved to be so, so much more.

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2. MLB The Show 16

I have bought Sony's One True Baseball Sim yearly since 2013, though I could never tell you exactly why. I admire the attention to detail in the simulation of an actual sports broadcast and the way the baseball feels and looks like baseball; if any sport lends itself to video games, it's baseball, especially the modern SABRmetrics version of it. But 2016 was the first year I had a good relationship with this series' servers, and as such I became hopelessly addicted to Diamond Dynasty, a twist on EA's Ultimate Team modes that does away with contracts, injuries, multiple versions of the same player (well, discounting the super cool flashback and rookie cards) and all the other distracting, free-to-play elements that make EA and 2K's versions of the same mode seem exploitative in favor of letting you focus on which players past and present you love to play with and why. It's an endlessly rewarding loop that had a baseball ex-pat like myself randomly checking box scores in the paper for the first time in two decades, and glued to my bar stool throughout the 2016 playoffs.

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3. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

I was late to the Uncharted party; I originally binged all three over the summer of 2013 thanks to a deep discount on PSN. I had always worried fans and critics of the series were overrating its characters' sense of individualism and relatability, and that spending $60 on a 6 hour game I'd only play once would be a mistake. Enter 2016, wherein I played Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection and Uncharted 4 all in a row, loved every second of it, and came away without a doubt in my mind that this current regime at Naughty Dog is an infallible monster when it comes to narrative structure and using gameplay to invest the player in the tales they want to tell. It's the best playing game in the series, the most beautiful game of its generation and a stellar story in its own right that only marginally leans on its predecessors; a lesson the Star Wars people failed to learn when making Rogue One. I never touched the multiplayer, but I bought the Digital Deluxe Version and didn't feel like I wasted a penny. I didn't want this ride to end.

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4. Ratchet & Clank

What a lovely surprise! During the original PS2 trilogy, I'd found myself super into Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando but otherwise gravitated a little more towards Jak & Daxter. Yet this pseudo-re-release somehow ginned up wells of nostalgia I didn't even know I had, and was so purely fun that I immediately started a New Game + upon completion. I didn't finish that second run, but boy is this game full of awesome guns, beautiful locales and trinkets to collect. It's just a shame the story didn't quite keep up with the gameplay.

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5. NBA 2K17

This game used to top my GOTY lists year in and year out if for no other reason than it was a fantastic way to vicariously manage a franchise and play a few seasons with my favorite basketball players, meticulously animated and crafted to operate on screen eerily similar to the way they did in real life. I've found the series to slowly mire itself in a variety of issues related to online server unreliability and free-to-play mechanics that have made its MyPlayer mode both a money tree and a hinderance on the rest of the game. There is feature bloat nearly to the point of no return with this game, but for the first time since 2K12 or so the CPU feels excellent to play against, and a new A.I. system simulates the individual styles of each NBA team like never before. It's the first 2K since the PS3 days I've sunk any real time into not one but two franchise saves, and while MyTeam is a horrible mess of incentives to spend real money and the laggy, basically-a-different-game online play are huge disappointments considering my love affair with Diamond Dynasty earlier in the year, the actual on court product is enough of a saving grace I feel comfortable loving NBA 2K again.

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6. The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt

Sneaking in on the technicality of the sheer scope of Blood & Wine, an expansion I'm nowhere near experiencing (I only just beat the base game about three weeks ago), The Witcher 3 has and will be a part of my life for the better part of two years by the time all is said and done with it. I don't enjoy everything about this game - so much of the loot is inconsequential (at least on the default difficulty), despite best intentions there is still a lot of repetition in its game design, and the Skellige Isles are the antithesis of fun to explore and/or traverse. The Witcher 3 works because its world is easily the most fully realized open world this side of a Rockstar tentpole, and the sheer detail invested in that world overcomes all the RPG tropes, Eastern European PC RPG rough edges and bizarre concept of pacing this game throws at you.

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7. Mafia III

I've been meaning to do a long, detailed write-up of all the ways Mafia III doesn't work. Killscreen's review goes a long way towards describing what I felt while playing this game without addressing the totality of that feeling. All the disconnect between narrative and actions, between player and locale, between setting and abilities. Mafia III was nothing if not a frustrating experience and not at all what I'd hoped it'd be, quite small in ambition both game and story wise. Setting all my disappointments aside, though, it was still a game I could play for hours at a time and enjoy. I loved the articles in the issues of Playboy and read each of them with my morning coffee (the photography was great, as well). The weight of the combat was lovely, and there was a certain feeling captured in raiding an enemy base with shotgun-toting brutes in tow while diegetic music hummed out of an AM radio. And, despite totally not nailing its attempts to inject social and political commentary into their narrative, Hanger 13 definitely deserves some recognition for trying something bold and complex, even if it was ultimately little more than window dressing on a lifeless world.

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8. The Witness

I'm going to be honest; this is the point in my Game of the Year list where I'm just mentioning things I played rather than things I finished. Firewatch could have gone here, but where most found the best characterization of the year and a fascinating psychological tale I mostly found yawns and a pretty forest. Life Is Strange could have gone here but I think the running rule is these episodic games are tied to the year their first episode releases, not their last/the compilation's release date. And Until Dawn would place much higher on this list than either game if release dates were entirely irrelevant to Game of the Year discussions. But anyway, The Witness. I felt stupid playing this game almost immediately, and once things got more complicated than a simple maze I solved a series of puzzles involving fruit trees, a single puzzle involving the horizon, a single puzzle involving a courtyard and then wandered aimlessly from puzzle to puzzle, hoping something might stick and never quite getting there. I wound up hating this game for how stupid it made me feel and baffled at how anyone could have beaten it without their hand being held, but I definitely admired its smarts even if it failed to teach me anything during my brief visit.

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9. No Man's Sky

In all honesty I should probably rank this game above The Witness, and maybe even Mafia III. I never came to hate this game, and in fact generally loved my time spent with it. Many hours were lost to exploring planets, scanning things, running from one two-minutes-away marker to the next until suddenly my ship was an hour and twenty minutes from where I stood. But there was a point at which it all felt pointless, and my progression felt as for-the-sake-of-it as progression can get. There is no game I've gone from "playing as much as I can" to "not playing at all" as quickly as I did No Man's Sky; I have very fond memories of punch-gliding across irradiated tropical deserts and iced-over wastelands, but I don't ultimately have any reason to recommend this game to anyone aside from the sheer wonder that comes from your first 12 or so planets, as wonderous a feeling as any game has ever granted me. Whether that feeling is worth the price of admission is ultimately up to the player; for me, it very much was at the time but has felt less and less so the more distance I put between myself, the fantasy of No Man's Sky and the reality of it.

No Caption Provided

10. Tricky Towers

I'm not great at this game. I play it maybe once a week. I only enjoy the Race mode, and mostly just on Normal mode. I don't have any Hot Tricky Towers Strats to share with you. But it's joined The Pinball Arcade as That One Game I play for Three Minutes Waiting for Something Else to Happen. I've never much enjoyed the fighter/competitive twists on Tetris in the past, but something about the physics based nature of this one is incredibly charming, and I've felt few more raw emotions of righteous fury or rapturous delight than when my tower collapses atop itself or the same happens to a competitor just moments away from the finish line, suddenly just a fourth of its previous height and all hope seemingly lost. A great reminder that some of the best game designs are also the simplest.

SOME GAMES I WISH I'D PLAYED WITH LITTLE TO NO REASON FOR WHY I DIDN'T PLAY THEM

ALL THE VR GAMES: I don't have that kinda dough, yo.

The Division: Just would like to know what it's like, but I think I'll just go back to Destiny if I want a fix like this.

All the Free PS+ Games I Didn't Play, Which Is Just About All of Them

Let It Die: For some reason I assumed this was a cartoonish side-scroller until I saw the Quick Look and realized I'd never play this.

Bound: Just screams PS+ some day.

Just Cause 3: Just Cause 2 was enjoyable as a PS+ game on PS3 but I didn't come close to finishing it and found it mostly baffling; once the explosions got old, so did the game.

Fallout 4

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Virginia: I'm lying. I played this. I wish I hadn't paid for it, or played it.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare: I thought the hype reels for the campaign looked cool.

Street Fighter V: I love Street Fighter, but I no longer have anyone to play it with.

Hyper Light Drifter, Oxenfree, Downwell: All look cool.

Hitman: Seems like a game I wouldn't enjoy playing nearly as much as I enjoy watching it.

Final Fantasy XV: Someday, but not today, or tomorrow.

Watch Dogs 2: Such a bad taste from the first one.

The Last Guardian: Next on my list, once holiday spending is wrapped up.

XCOM 2: So worried its as buggy on consoles as it was the last time around.

Titanfall 2: Campaign sounds promising, but if I'm completely uninterested in the MP what's the point?

Rise of the Tomb Raider: If Uncharted hadn't came out this year...

Overwatch: Ew, online FPS.

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DinosaurCanada

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#13  Edited By DinosaurCanada

Yes yes! I've been waiting to be able to write my list somewhere. I've loved reading all yours! 2016 was a banger year for games.

First of all, my 11th man is Overwatch, it's an amazing game but I'm not as hooked as I was on release! And here's a list of games I wanted to try but didn't for some reason (probably money or time):

  • ReCore
  • Owlboy
  • Kirby: Planet Robobot
  • Street Fighter V
  • Quantum Break
  • Furi
  • Super Hot
  • VA-11 Hall-A

I have no idea how to make the pictures tiny so idk no pictures

#video gamewhy??

1

Titanfall 2Pure adrenaline in the form of a game. I haven't felt a consistent ass-clenching rush like this since Burnout Paradise. Respawn knows what us true video gamers want; we want free stuff, violent chaos, and a game that just feels good.

2

Stardew Valley

Games don't hold my constant attention like this one did. It's a safe way to travel to a simpler, gratifying, worry-free life, one where the hard work is easy and all the girls don't think you're weird.

3

Dishonored 2

At its best, Dishonored 2 is absolutely the best game of the year. It's just a shame its worst is so ugly. I've encountered numerous obscure crash bugs, and severe geometry problems like falling through the world (on console). But the best of it is the most satisfying game I've played this year.The ads say it's like Assassin's Creed with an emphasis on stealth but I think it's more like Dishonored 1 with an emphasis on stealth. They added everything I wanted from the first game that was missing, minus a New Game plus at launch. It's coming though!

4

Unravel

Unravel made me think about what it took to get here, to where I am, and if there's a possible way to change where I'm going based on what I've learned from the past. It's a game I needed in my life right now. A lot of people dismissed this game, but its smart, making use of the entire level as a way to metaphorically get across a story beat or character.

5
Forza Horizon 3Oi blimey I'm racin cahrs

6
Fire Emblem Fates: ConquestI didn't play the other Fire Emblem games that came out this year, but I'm not sure I want to after being spoiled by Conquest's superb encounter and map design. The story sucks asses though, the most mature character acts about 14 and overall it feels like a bunch of kids playing fantasy and not like believable people trying to do a real thing. None of it makes any sense.

7
Pokemon SunThe only reason why it's so low on the list is because I didn't finish it, and during a first-time playthrough the fucking "call for help" mechanic is the worst thing that has ever happened.

8
Gears of War 4Gears of War is one of my favorite franchises and I hate it. The multiplayer is supremely satisfying but it make me feel like I'm back in gym class playing flag football against all the popular, athletic kids. The campaign is maybe.... my favorite??? It's hard to beat Gears 3, but this one is fucking bonkers, and kind of emotionally resonant, in an action movie kind of way.

9
ReignsNot only has this year been crazy for politics, it has maybe been one of the worst in history. But that's fine, because Reigns made me realize how hard it is to be a ruler. It's all a game of spinning plates and making friends and then killing them and then dating birds and fighting skeletons. No other game left as good of a first impression as Reigns did this year.
10Rythm Heaven MegamixRythm Heaven is a series I knew I'd love, and Megamix just confirmed it. Without spoiling anything about this hot story, I will say that it actually got some genuine deep chuckles out of me at points. Its a game I never wanted to end.

Now, onward to a jam-packed 2017

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GOTY 2016

1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Blood and Wine does not feel like a DLC. It's longer and more engaging than most full games. As a matter of fact, it felt grander than 9 of my favourite games of 2016. The setting contrasts beautifully with the war-torn lands of Wild Hunt. And CD Projekt goes even further by designing the quests you undertake in a way that they all share the theme of the land: chivalry. Furthermore, it is so interesting to see how this idyllic new place struggles with the tragedy that arose in their own backyard. It's as if everyone is in constant denial and masking their problems with colourful clothes and wine. Blood and Wine manages to recapture the disparity of options and consequences of Wild Hunt, giving those moments a splash of extravagant and intensity that really helps in the culmination of a wonderful series.
2. Dark Souls III
FROM does it again. Dark Souls III combat, by taking some inspiration from Bloodborne, is so well balanced and crafted that you really feel the weight of each step, swing, miss and hit in your own body. An attention to detail that gives life to even the most empty room. And a majestic soundtrack that knows its place. These games are the correct ones to use the term "atmosphere" on. Visuals and sound give tone to your journey throughout a desolated world full of past story and menacing future. And the controls empower you to feel like everything is in the balance of your sword's blade.
3. Final Fantasy XV
My review: http://www.giantbomb.com/final-fantasy-xv/3030-21006/user-reviews/2200-29777/
4. Inside
At first glance, this game looks like "another Limbo". Very soon you understand its own merits. It is a masterclass in design and how to roadmap a world and a message. Everyone should play this game.
5. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
Captain Avery is the best flushed out NPC and non visible character in the history of videogames. Without that, this game would simply be an amazing technical showcase.
6. Doom
Like Hugo Martin (Art Director) said in Danny O'Dwyer's documentary: this game has a deceptive minimalism like Apple products.
7. Abzû
A lot to live up when you are tagged "Journey but with water". It is not as craftily built as Journey. But I have to admit, there are moments in this game that impressed me more than Journey.
8. Street Fighter V
This game should be a lot higher on my list. I even played locally against Daigo this year! But the amount of flaws and the changes they made to SF gameplay to make it faster and more eSportsy makes this game a rushed and without identity product.
9. Klaus
Yes. One of those 2D indie platformers. Yet, it is full of interesting ideas and has a very innovative way of telling a story.
10. The Banner Saga 2
I must confess I was not very good at this game. Even so, the music, the visuals and the design around scarcity and struggle made me respect the hell out of this game. Can't wait for 3, and get my ass kicked, once again.
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RankGameReason
1HitmanThis game is fantastic. I've been playing this sporadically throughout the year but only in the last couple of weeks have I really started getting into it. Pretty much every run through a level I discover a whole bunch of new things I've not seen before. Elusive targets are a fantastic idea and something that adds an awful lot to the game. Season 2 of this is my most anticipated "game" next year now.
2Civilization VII've not played this as much as I want to because I know if I do I'll lose entire weekends. Within the first 24 hours of this game being out I'd played it for over 14.
3Dark Souls IIIThis is an awful lot better than Dark Souls II as it more closely resembles the original Dark Souls (one of my favourite games of all time). It's still got a few flaws which is why it's not higher up on this list but it's a damn good souls game.
4Titanfall 2Maybe this is a little high on my list but I really enjoyed the single player. I can't even think what the last shooter I played through was (other than Doom). It's been a good couple of years. And that just shows how good this single player campaign was.
5Gears Of War 4Gears Of War series might be one of my favourite series out there so I was thrilled to see Gears Of War 4 turn out to be a great game.
6Forza Horizon 3I've never had either of the previous games in the Forza Horizon series click for me but for some reason this one manages it. It looks beautiful and plays fantastically. The game is diverse in both tracks/areas and the cars it offers.
7DoomDoom is a cool shooter where you shoot things and they blow up. A++
8FirewatchI enjoyed my time with Firewatch, however, it was too short and it felt a little rushed towards the end which made the ending fall a little flat for me (I liked the premise of the ending, I just feel it could have been excecuted better).
9XCOM 2Really enjoyed the "first" game and enjoyed this one too, although, perhaps not as much as the original.
10The WitnessI really enjoyed my time with The Witness, it was one of the only games this year I couldn't wait until I could play it again between sessions. My biggest complaint and the reason this isn't higher was it was too easy to miss entire sections out. It was frustrating being stuck because I couldn't solve a puzzle simply because I hadn't found where an elemental of that puzzle was taught yet. This was especially frustrating when you get through most of one area only to get stuck due to this. I feel it could have been possible to make the areas flow better whilst still having an explorable and non-linear experience.

I'm currently playing through Uncharted 4 so that's not on my list. "Annual" games Iv'e decided not to include despite spending a lot of time with them (Fifa, Football Manager, F1 etc.)

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Top 10 Games of 2016

1. Final Fantasy XV
Final Fantasy XV has an incredible amount of heart and ambition. It's jam-packed with things to do and tiny details that go a long way. For every UI annoyance or wonky camera angle or underdeveloped plot thread, FFXV hooked me in with another fascinating landscape or quietly blew me away with a small little scene between its four lead characters. Some of its sidequests are downright amazing in their scope and scale. The combat system is one of my series favourites. Despite its opaque narrative, it was the best game I played this year.
2. Fire Emblem Fates
This should be telling: I played all three of Fates' campaigns and am already considering revisiting them. I'd love to do a Classic run through Conquest in particular, the most difficult version by far and the only one I didn't have the stomach to ironman the first time through. No matter which version you end up playing, Fire Emblem Fates upholds and improves upon its namesake's best-in-the-biz strategy role-playing.
3. Overcooked!
Overcooked doesn't just happen to support co-op; the act of cooperation is the very core of the game, and talking out the many curveballs it hands you through its campaign is key. My fiancé and I tore through it and went back to mop up high scores for every level. This game makes you feel like you're in your own Hell's Kitchen ep in the best possible way.
4. Titanfall 2
Respawn makes its first-person traversal stuff feel sharp and empowering from the get-go. Dunking on your enemies with effortless wallruns and power slides never gets old, and your big-ass robot has a distinct and equally satisfying feel all its own. The sheer speed and fluidity of it all made it one of the best action games I've played in a while.
5. Doom
The pre-release buzz was wrong: Doom was fast as hell, loud as hell, dumb as hell and fun as hell. It still is! Even the stuff that totally shouldn't work in a Doom reboot -- character upgrades, tiny Doom guy doll collectibles, even the odd story sequence -- are ideally proportioned and handled with just the right amount of goofiness.
6. Ratchet & Clank
Just about every second of this game is a good time. It never stretches any one sequence out too long or gets too difficult. The core action and platforming controls like a dream. It looks fantastic. I will never get sick of that homing blade gun that reminds me a little of the Ripper from Unreal Tournament. Clank remains adorable.
7. Let It Die
This is a Suda 51 game, so it goes without saying that it's styyyyyle is a big reason I'm such a fan. The faux-console splash screen when you boot it up makes me feel all funny inside. Uncle Death is the best. There's an inventive and accomplished roguelike under all that insanity, and the more I mess with Let it Die the more I dig it.
8. Picross 3D: Round 2
I always felt kind of intimidated by Picross 3D, but it looks a lot more complicated when you don't have your hands on it. That's what ten minutes with Round 2's eShop demo taught me. Starting with a big slab of blocks and numbers and chiseling out a cute little sculpture was never not charming and addictive. It's a great excuse to make some tea, plunk down and puzzle out.
9. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
I felt I didn't want another Uncharted, but A Thief's End's strong showing drew me in early. It's lenghty campaign gives you plenty of conspicuous ledges to climb, dudes to shoot and a superbly acted story to get caught up in. Nobody does VO and motion capture quite like Naughty Dog. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the online, where new tools like the grapple hook get a little more time to shine.
10. Firewatch
Firewatch sags a bit in the middle and has too many repetitious hikes, but it also offers the kind of compelling character study you rarely see in games. I wanted to persist in its world, to consider other paths the characters and surrounding mystery could have taken. One of the better "story games" of the past while for me.
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#17  Edited By DharmaBum

Hitman will most likely wind up somewhere to round out this list before the end of the year. Honorable mentions include: The Witness, Superhot, Dishonored 2, Battlefield 1, Quantum Break, Killer Instinct, Rainbow Six Siege, Overcooked, Abzu

GOTY 2016

1. Gears of War 4 - A brutally intense shooter with a large skill gap and deep metagame. Minor tweaks and improvements that don’t upset the original formula prove that this series is safely in the hands of a worthy developer. Gears may have finally surpassed Halo as the king of shooters.
2. Virginia - A short, surreal crash course in non-verbal storytelling and filmic editing that left me both puzzled and enamored.
3. Forza Horizon 3 - Listening to tasty music while cruising around an open world playground is therapeutic. Simply the best driving game around.
4. Titanfall 2 - Fast, fluid controls and smart mechanics from an underdog studio. As someone who despises Call of Duty, I’m surprised how much I enjoy Respawn’s take on the subgenre of shooter they invented.
5. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - I’m a sucker for immersive sims and cyberpunk. Mankind Divided is a worthy successor to the previous game and the city hub of Prague beautifully demonstrates the tenets of good Deus Ex design.
6. Firewatch - Excellent first-person animation, voice acting, writing, and art direction. Henry and Delilah are unforgettable characters in the pantheon of video games.
7. Inside - A short experience in the vein of Limbo that oozes competence.
8. ReCore - A pleasant throwback to old school game design that deserved more time in the oven. Tight platforming controls and plenty of exploration.
9. Mirror's Edge Catalyst - The sublime parkour traversal of the original classic receives some refinement, while the structure gets an open-world makeover. Solar Fields delivers yet again in the audio department. Thanks for the sequel, EA businessman in suit.

List of shame: Obduction, Oxenfree, Quadrilateral Cowboy, Stardew Valley, Hyper Light Drifter, Kentucky Route Zero: Act IV, Rez Infinite

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Jealous of you for reasons outlined in my honorable mentions. There's a reality where I had the exact same experience but it isn't this one.

@dogbox said:

3. Overcooked!Overcooked doesn't just happen to support co-op; the act of cooperation is the very core of the game, and talking out the many curveballs it hands you through its campaign is key. My fiancé and I tore through it and went back to mop up high scores for every level. This game makes you feel like you're in your own Hell's Kitchen ep in the best possible way.

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#19  Edited By fisk0  Moderator

My current community GOTY submission looks like this, may change a bit before the submission time is up though, still have 8-Bit Invaders to get around to, and it looks much more interesting than Hordes did. Either way, it's been a pretty good year for strategy games:

  1. Evochron Legacy
  2. 8-Bit Armies
  3. Master of Orion
  4. Sid Meier's Civilization VI
  5. Stellaris
  6. Toxikk
  7. Cossacks 3
  8. 8-Bit Hordes
  9. 1993 Space Machine
  10. Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour
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deactivated-5f8ac39b52e76

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  1. Witcher 3 (Blood & Wine)
  2. Mirror's Edge Catalyst
  3. The Turing Test
  4. Unravel
  5. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  6. Doom
  7. Grow Up
  8. Samorost 3
  9. Tricky Towers

I would have put AM2R as number two, but there is no wiki page for it.

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#22  Edited By nnickers

Finding 10 games is going to be tough for me because this was the year I finally built my first PC and that lead me to reach back and play mostly older games. I did grab the most obvious GOTY contenders but two of the big ones just didn't do it for me. The Witness will get my vote for best styyyle but man it just got too frustrating for me. Hitman is impressive and I respect it for what it is but the assassinations felt immensely unsatisfying in a year when DOOM let me repeatedly tear imp's motherfucking fucking heads in fucking goddamn half UUUUHHHHH.

Games of the Year (Subject to Change as my Bad Memory Fills In)

1. Stardew Valley

This year I joined the legions of "Never-played-Harvest-Moon-but-maybe-that-was-a-mistake." Playing Stardew Valley is the video game equivalent of waking up in bed under a dozen blankets while it's snowing outside. The art is pure joy, the music is fantastic, the characters are simultaneously one-dimensional and endearing (possibly for the same reason), and God Dammit it all just makes me feel so warm inside. The progression definitely plateaus far too long before the 3rd year goal, but it's hard to complain about that when I was already 60-odd hours in. Stardew Valley may be my favorite game ever to simply play for a short time every day, which I've done now for over 6 months.

2. DOOM

I only played this a few weeks ago, after hearing everyone on this site singing it's praise for close to a full year. None of it was hyperbole. From the first five seconds when you hear "Rip and Tear" and then immediately see an imp's skull smashed on Doomguy's sarcophagus, DOOM is fucking on. While I never touched the multiplayer or map editor and likely never will, the campaign is the most exhilarating I've played in any game in, well, memory. Exhausting almost, to the point that I found myself mostly playing in hour-long chunks before I needed to rest.

3. Overwatch

I'm not good at shooters, so I almost never play their competitive multiplayer modes. Overwatch lets people like me feel like they can contribute though and feel good doing it. I'll never be competitive with McCree or Pharah, but I play a mean Reinhardt and Winston and I'll dump all day with D.Va. The matches are relatively quick so you don't lose thirty minutes of your life every time you get a troll on your team a la Dota 2 or League, and they don't surface your teammates' performance stats so you don't have a million 12-year-olds bashing you for your KDA ratio. On top of all this, the characters are widely varied, the maps are fantastic, and the art style is like what you pretend your favorite Saturday morning cartoons actually looked like. We're lucky to get a new Blizzard franchise every ten years, so I was initially very bummed when I learned that their next would be an FPS: I'm sorry Blizzard, I should have known better than to doubt you.

4. Faeria

Yes, it's still technically in Early Access but quiet you! Even in beta this is the only digital card game to approach Hearthstone's level of production value and polish. Add to that the incredibly novel fusion of CCG and turn-based strategy and you have the most remarkable card game to appear since, well, Hearthstone. While I continue to wait for Wizards of the Coast to figure out how computers work so that I can spend the rest of my life playing digital Magic with full sets, Faeria is only the second game in what may be my favorite genre to provide an amazing, new experience without any headaches attached. It also has gorgeous art and the best music I can think of in any game since Chrono Cross. It's free, go check it out.

5. Darkest Dungeon

I'm a big fan of Lovecraft's writing. I have almost all of his published stories. He was an awful racist and a pretty despicable person all-around so I try my hardest to separate him as a person from his work, but the ways he preys on our instinctual fear of what we can't see is truly brilliant. With that, it's always seemed odd to me that video games don't pull from his aesthetic more often. And, as someone who loves horror movies but is a huge chicken when it comes to horror games (I guess the sense of agency makes it worse for me), I was thrilled when the studio to finally pull it off crammed it into a rogue-like RPG. Unfortunately after an incredibly strong start it becomes quickly apparent that the game is starved for content when you realize about a dozen hours in that you've seen every enemy and later dungeons simply crank up their stat values. Still, an amazing debut from Red Hook Studios that leaves me very excited to see where they go from here.

6. Devil Daggers

Fuck you scarabs fuck you scarabs fuck you scarabs

7. Forza Horizon 3

Full disclaimer: I've only played the demo. Yeah, I know, but I'm really sketched out by the Windows Store and Quantum Break came to Steam a few months after launch so I'm holding out hope for this one! With that out of the way, I've launched and completely everything in this demo four or five times. I'm one of those Burnout Paradise fanatics and this seems like the next open-world driving game I'll be spending 100+ hours in. Seems like it'll scratch a different itch but blasting down gorgeous sunlit highways to the sounds of synthpop is something that I'm ready to get behind 100%.

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Here's my Best of 2016 list. Ignore how 10 and 9 seem to be swapped when I let the List Tool make the list, it's correct on the actual list.

Best of 2016

1. Hitman
Hitman surprised me. Even after I'd seen so much of it through Dan and Brad. I loved watching them kill guys in cool ways I didn't think I'd have so much fun doing it myself. I did. I even like the levels no one else likes.
2. Overwatch
Overwatch is just a supremely polished game with so many very good ways to play it that it doesn't really get old. Plus the personality is on point, as is the community. It was tough giving this only 2nd place.
3. Superhot
Superhot is just rad as hell.
4. Stardew Valley
Stardew Valley is a perfect mix of Minecraft and Harvest Moon that surpasses its inspirations handily. It's really an amazing accomplishment.
5. Stellaris
Stellaris was a game I sunk into for a few months and was grateful to get out of. It's riddled with issues and didn't deliver what it promised, but for several months I was engrossed with my empire, the Rygh Utilitaria. I will always remember that playthrough.
6. The Witness
The Witness is a really atmospheric game that also has really good puzzles in it. I enjoyed spending time unraveling The Witness.
7. Pokémon Sun/Moon
Pokémon Sun is the best Pokémon game they've ever made, and not just in a year over year way like usual. It makes significant and meaningful strides in every category in ways that make it hard to ignore.
8. Picross 3D: Round 2
Picross 3D: Round 2 is not like The Witness. It is nothing more than a Puzzle Game. It's a really great one though. The two color addition to their previous Picross 3D game works super well.
10. Rec Room
Rec Room is a game I've not played. That said, the VRodeo in which Jeff played it is so good I want to put it on this list. I hope they play it again sometime.
9. Firewatch
Firewatch is... Wait, what is Firewatch? It's very pretty, that's what it is. It's nice hanging out in some well rendered woods, taking polaroids or whatever. This is a nice game.

I also have 10 dumb ancillary awards I did as well.

The Ancillaries 2016

. Heroes of the Storm
Most Significant Old Game (Runner Up: Super Mario Maker)
. Medivh
(Hero in Heroes) Best Single Addition to Game (Runner Up: Hearthstone's introduction of Standard and Wild formats to sideline old cards)
. Paris
Best Hitman Level (Runner Up: Hokkaido)
. Dan Ryckert
Best Hitman Coach (Runner Up: Hitman Developers)
. Book
(Literary Pursuits 3-4 Bookchase) Best of My Mario Maker Levels Of The Year (Runner Up: Avalanche Lodge 1-1 Cabin Fervor)
. Overwatch
Best Fan Art Scene (Runner Up: Pokémon Sun/Moon)
. Charjabug
Best Pokemon on my Team (Runner Up: Mudsdale)
. Pidgeotto
(Griffin McElroy's Ms Beakman) Best Pokemon Not On My Team (Runner Up: Popplio)
. The Jackbox Party Pack 3
(Tee KO) The Tee Shirt Tie In Award For Best Or Dumbest Tee Shirts (Runner up: Undertale)
. Dishonored 2
Biggest Personal Disappointment That No One Else Agrees With Apparently (Runner Up: Titanfall 2 Multiplayer)
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This is my list so far. I have made a GOTY list since 2013, but only of games I have completed. This is the first year I have completed more than 10 games so that makes me happy :-)

1. The Witness

2. Dark Souls III

3. XCOM 2

4. Salt and Sanctuary

5. Tyranny

6. Inside

7. Doom

8. Firewatch

9. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

10. Shardlight

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#26  Edited By Sin4profit

Top 10 of 2016

1.Hitman - Been playing since Bangkok and it's a single game that has filled me with excitement and anticipation throughout the entire year. It's a new gold standard in how episodic games can, and should, be done.

2.Doom - As someone who doesn't get much out of FPS games, i gave into the hype around Doom and it paid off. Playing on the hardest difficulty available, the game actually felt tactical in the sense that after every death i would have to go over a, "game plan" as to how i would tackle the arena-like battle situations. A fantastic game that really contested for first place.

3.Stardew Valley - As a big fan of Harvest Moon, i had a lot of fun with my time in Stardew Valley. Getting to know the world and all of it's content created that sense of traveling to a new place and getting to know it's culture.

4.Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun - Again, as a big fan of the Commandos series of stealth tactics games, i really liked Shadow Tactics alot. The addition of surprise also weighs in on this one as it seemed to have come out of nowhere, but after seeing a little footage, hearing, "Commandos" reference, and playing the demo i had to buy and play it right away. And i'm glad i did.

5.Salt and Sanctuary - Better than Dark Souls! ..maybe, or at least in the sense that i felt compelled to finish S&S which i hand't felt from any Dark souls game. Had a great time with it and was glad to see it come to PC.

6.Darkest Dungeon - I actually played the bulk of this game in 2015, and played a little bit on it's full 2016 release. Haven't finished it, but i like what it has going on. From the artwork, narration, to the mechanics that keep you on your toes, there's a lot to like here if you can handle the stress.

7.XCOM 2- I was sure XCOM 2 would be higher on my list, but the surprising amount of great games that came out this year has pushed it down, which speaks to the quality of games this year as i liked XCOM 2 a lot. Though, the timer limits irritated me, a liked the way stealth worked,the greater sense of mission variety, and blowing away half a building with an arm mounted shredder cannon.

8.Devil Daggers - A game that is simple and confident enough in itself not to be bloated with unnecessary filler. The sight and sounds of Devil Daggers sets the perfect tone to the tough as nails gameplay, in which the only goal is to survive as long as you can, which brings an arcade feel to a FPS game.

9.Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak - Though the campaign was short, and I felt stuck into using satellite view through the entire game, it had a blue-collar future feel that i like.

10.Superhot - I seem to be less impressed with Superhot than most as i felt like it was a mechanic that would be better used in a more robust game, but i enjoyed it enough that it still made the list.

The Others of 2016

Jackbox Party Pack 3 - The party pack is kind of a known quantity and there's some good stuff in 3 but it's a game that's usually only busted out during the holidays.
Oxenfree - I liked it ok, but for as natural as the dialog comes across, it still feels like it's coming from a group of people i can't stand. They're like millennials trying to out wit each other.
Butcher - Playing this recently and it's really nothing to write home about. Not terrible, just basic.

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shivermetimbers

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1. DOOM

The sense of growing power against equally growing odds in an FPS I felt has never been as perfect as it has been in DOOM. This is the game that I'm gonna replay through the years as time goes on assuming we don't face a demonic invasion in the coming years.

2. Oxenfree

The poor pacing of the game kinda sucks, but this game's story and characters steal the show here. Characters you grow to hate in the beginning become characters you love in the end. It demands to be replayed, which I would if the pacing was a bit better. Still, a game that does paranormal teenage drama right is something that I'm a sucker for. This year's Life is Strange.

3. Deadrising 2 Off the Record

Alright, I'm cheating here with a re-release, but it's still my favorite zombie game. I find the inclusion of anti hero Frank West substituting for Chuck Green to be a worthwhile change. It'll hold be over until Deadrising 4 gets released on Steam anyway.

4. Hitman

Silly game with problematic AI, but with lots of hidden goodies and challenges. Also the best level design since Blood Money. A great Hitman game overall.

5. Watch Dogs 2

This is kinda a cheat since I haven't finished it, but probably the best modern open world game released in a looong time. Marcus is a great character and while the game lacks an overall plot arc other than fucking shit up, I actually enjoy it because of that.

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Eder

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Not done yet but heres what I got so far:

Top 10 Games of 2016 (So far)

1. Dark Souls III
A great sequel to one of the best games last generation. I haven't played a new game plus of the previous games but this one was so damn good it was the first thing I did when I finished it. Also I haven't even played the DLC but I have it. I need to get in on that.
2. Gears of War 4
I LOVE the Gears games. The story is one of my favorite things about it and this game delivered, not as much as I would have liked but it has it where it counts. Gameplay of course is top notch. Also I'm hooked on Horde mode. I'm not sure if the class things is new to the series but it's new to me. There are some microtransactions but I haven't felt the need to use them at all. I wan't to play more of this so buying my way through the progression is kind of pointless. This game sold me on the whole "play anywhere" thing Microsoft is promoting. It's great and it works.
4. Doom
There are bursts of moments where this game is the best FPS game I've ever played. Then there is some platforming in First Person view. Still this is one of the best this year has to offer. I wasn't the biggest fan of Doom since I've been a console gamer most of the time. I even played the first game just to have some kind of reference. Not that you need it but it was still fun. This is how to modernize a game series.
6. Hyper Light Drifter
It's hard for me to explain this game so I'll try this: Zelda meets Dark Souls. Ok so I beat this and I do like it but I feel it can get frustrating at times due to some control issues. Still it's not very often and overall a really solid game. Dashing around and killing enemies is so much fun.
9. World of Warcraft: Legion
I have been playing since the Burning Crusade on and off. Every expansion I always come back just to hit that max level and hang out with friends.
10. Paladins
I want to play Overwatch but I'm poor.
8. Mother Russia Bleeds
Wow this game is brutal! A classic style beat-em-up with a really weird story. At first I wasn't liking this one but I had to get used to it not being just another beat-em-up. You actually have to strategist and come up with clever ways to murder people. Fun stuff.
3. Slain!
This game made a great first impression on me. Still I think it remains one of the best games this year. There are some problems with the design of the enemies A.I. but it's not that much of a problem for me. The controls are tight and the main gameplay is fun as hell. The parry system is so satisfying to pull off and you feel like a total demon slaying badass.
7. ReCore
I've never been more confused about what to feel about a game.
5. Super Mario Run
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gundogan

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#29  Edited By gundogan

GOTY 2016: the year of the FPS

Honorable mentions:

Superhot: really cool idea mechanics wise, but it's very short and the whole meta story thing is just an excuse for not explaining the gameplay.

Stellaris: potentially a fantastic 4X game, but in most of your games you will probably be bored by the lack of events happening.

No Man's Sky: a very relaxing game and with the major base building patch back on track on being an actual good game. But make no mistake: this game is still not much more than looking a pretty planets.

1. DoomSo yea, DOOM could be, no hold on, IS on my all time favourite list too. It is THAT good. The singleplayer is the perfect blend of old and new. The soundtrack is fantastic. The game is a graphical masterpiece on both looks and a technical level. The multiplayer is underrated and super solid. SnapMap is a pretty fun simple leveleditor to use with a good amount of depth in it for more complex stuff. Truly one of the best shooters ever made. What a world we live in to see both fantastic action games and movies (Mad Max Fury Road) again.
2. Titanfall 2The first Titanfall was a great multiplayer shooter and I'm glad to see the second game is not a step down (although not a 100% improvement on all fronts). Some things are a little different and there's more content, but the game still gives you that great feeling of speed and controlled chaos. It's not 100% perfect yet as the balance is a bit off (Tone being too much of cookie cutter Titan and you die a little bit too fast at times), the maps are not at the same level of the TF1 ones and the game searches for a completely new game every time instead of keeping the lobby together. But the addition of Networks gives you an easy tool for building a community and playing together. And there's a pretty solid singleplayer too. It's a bit short (around five hours), but it's a good combo of CoD style shooting, wallrun platforming and Titan combat.
3. OverwatchOverwatch is the true modern shooter. Less focus on raw mechanical skill and more focus on coordination and adaptation with its MOBA like influences. The Blizzard touch is of course present and noone of the heroes are boring the play. Sadly the map design and objectives are very samey gameplay wise and the (still not very well optimized) ranked mode does creates that MOBA toxicity at times, but Overwatch has made its mark, impressive for a leftover from a canceled MMO, and is here to stay.
4. Battlefield 1The one that puts the fun back into Battlefield. I guess WW2ish gameplay (because this prety much plays like a WW2 shooter) is still king for boots on the ground gameplay. The meaty weapons and vehicles combined with the fantastic audiovisual presentation creates an epic feeling of immersion. And you won't have to deal with all the modern bullshit bloat anymore (and those damn scout helicopters!). While the launch was miles better than the Battlefield 4 one, it's still riddled with smaller bugs like not being able to aim after being revived, vehicles disappearing, sound cutting out and many more. But luckily, they are not that frequent and do not hamper the fun this time around.
5. Devil DaggersDevil Daggers might've nailed the software renderer look better than the actual games from that era. Who would've thought that such a style would become a new hip thing after 8/16 bit pixel art? The actual gameplay is quite simple, but because the base is so precisely faithfull and smooth and it also captures the skill and mindset of an arena shooter so beautifully, it's a joy to play with a very strong one-more-game aspect.
6. Forza Horizon 3A joy to play, but sadly it was also a bit of a mess on PC the first couple of weeks and it's still not perfect. Stuttering issues when going above 30fps (which is why you want to play it on the PC in the first place!) and crashes stand in the way of a great open world racer. It looks and sounds good, has a nice positive attitude (none of the honor and bro bullshit from Need for Speed) and the handling of the cars is a good mix of realism and arcade. The open world is perhaps a little too generous in terms of progression, but if you can restrain yourself of bulldozering through the content, a lot of pleasant cruising awaits you.
7. HitmanWith just Hitman, the series returns to its sandbox roots. A big map, the targets and a whole lot of different and entertaining ways to terminate them. The game is streamlined enough to point where it holds your hand to some of the ways of taking out your target, but you don't have to follow or even enable them. Its business model of releasing the maps one by one throughout the year is questionable since it kinda opens the 'season pass trap' to the impatient buyer, but the package in the end is filled with enough quality content and they keep things interesting with new timed elusive targets.
8. Tom Clancy's The DivisionDoes this game have problems? Yes. Kinda like Destiny? Sort of yea. Do I keep playing it for some reason? Yup. Shoot dudes and ladies in the head, numbers pop out and they poop loot on death. Looks pretty too, despite the usual Ubisoft downgrade.
9. Enter the GungeonWhen this was announced, people compared it to Nuclear Throne. But it is different enough to stand on its own and just a very good rogue lite/like twin stick shooter. The huge variety in weapons is neat and the enemy design is cute with its bullet theme. The pixel art in general is solid and the soundtrack sticks in your head. The shooting lacks the impact and ferocity of Nuclear Throne, but the different weapons keep it interesting.
10. House of the Dying SunA pleasant surprise that brings back the arcade style space combat once thought forgotten. The sound and music are really good and very new Battlestar Galactica like. The game is a bit content thin, but what there is, feels super tight. Cool to play in VR too.
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@nodima: That's too bad! Some of the later levels in particular took us lots of tries. Even though it would kinda go against the spirit of the game, it'd be nice to have online play in there for situations like this.

Also: it's been great reading through everybody's lists! Lots of unexpected entries and plenty of reminders of games that did, in fact, come out this year. I...really need to play Stardew Valley don't I

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1. Pokémon Sun/Moon

2. Dark Souls III

3. XCOM 2

4. Hitman

5. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

6. Titanfall 2

7. Quantum Break

8. Mafia III

9. Firewatch

10. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

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#32  Edited By Captain_Insano

Here's mine:

http://www.giantbomb.com/forums/general-discussion-30/my-game-of-the-year-2016-im-getting-in-early-1804818/#10

Nice to see Stardew Valley gettin some love on here

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Thinkin' about writing a bit more on some of these, but here's the quick and dirty version of my list:

Quick List of Favorite Game from 2016

1. Stardew Valley
It's Harvest Moon, but better and made by one dude. I can't talk about it too much for fear that I'll go on another farming bender.
2. VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action
The comfiest game of 2016 involving bartenders, androids, wrestling, and dogs. Sometimes at the same time.
3. Dark Souls III
Here's my secret: I never like Dark Souls or it's fans. UNTIL NOW!! haha but no seriously though some o'ya'll gotta chill
4. Pokémon Sun/Moon
It's a breath of fresh air. Changes up a stagnant franchise and introduces a world that feels "real". Also... Kinda sexy?
5. Doom
DOOM is maybe the most perfect modern day FPS. It's a shame I'm not much of a fan of the genre.
6. Overwatch
Overwatch is the horniest game ever made. I mean, it's a real good time. Much fun. Wow.
7. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II
I love the game, but I hate a lot about it. Laura is a better protagonist than Rean could ever hope to be.
8. Let It Die
A late entry, but deserving nonetheless. I think this is the part where someone hisses the word "style" for a couple minutes.
9. Megadimension Neptunia VII
I can't stop playing this series. This is my Dynasty Warriors. Well.. This and Dynasty Warriors.
10. Final Fantasy XV
A couple good anime boys go on a car trip. I just wish they either stayed in the car or that everything that isn't the car was better.
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I only have 6 games on mine because I didn't play enough stuff from this year, particularly because I don't have a beefy enough computer for games like DOOM and no PS4 or XBone atm. Also got busy late in the year so while I own Owlboy I haven't played it yet. The only other game I can think of I played this year (that came out this year) is Darkest Dungeon, and their endgame decisions made it impossible for me to give it a spot even with the fact I don't have 10 games on my list.

Games I would likely have put on here (or at least given real consideration based on what I've heard) had I played them: DOOM, The Witness, Stardew Valley, Inside, Firewatch

With all that said, my GOTY list

1. Tokyo Mirage Session FE - I didn't even remember this game was coming out until Austin gushed about it, and then I only watched like 5 minutes of the QL before I closed it and bought the game. I then went on to put in like 120 hours into the game (started NG+). I liked the characters more than I expected to in spite of how trope heavy they were, enjoyed the mechanics from sessions to getting back to a turn based RPG, and the art is stellar. Adored it.

2. Hyper Light Drifter - STYYYYYLE. I enjoyed the combat, loved the art, loved the music, and appreciated them going for storytelling without words. Not a perfect game (I need to try it again with the 60fps patch) but a damned good game that I'm glad I spent the time with.

3. Salt and Sanctuary - I think I actually enjoyed this game more than Dark Souls oddly, even though it is heavily, heavily derivative from that title. Maybe I prefer 2d platformer mechanics, I dunno. DS is undeniably a better game, but something about this hooked me and I played almost through to a NG+ completion (I'm missing 2 or 3 trophies total, and I rarely go after trophies).

4. Enter the Gungeon - I tend to enjoy this sort of game, and I enjoyed my time with it. 33 hours is a fair bit of time in a game for me (though I do have 75 in Isaac: Rebirth). Adding mechanics like dodge roll so you have more control over your fate no matter what the RNG gives you puts this as a damned good entry and evolution of this style of game.

5. Icey - I heard about this game from Totalbiscuit's twitter, and after watching his video decided to pick it up. Completed the game in basically one sitting (100% of achievements) and enjoyed the hell out of its odd mix of mechanics and story. I'd say more but I would rather not spoil it for people, just go play it.

6. Devil Daggers - I played not a ton of this for various reasons, but I loved the shit out of it and intend to go back to it. I love seeing more games go back to the early FPS roots set up by games like the original Doom and Quake, and this feels like another extension of that. Hell with Modern Military shooters, give me games with crazy mobility and insane enemies any day.

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#35  Edited By Seikenfreak

What I ended up doing this year was adding games to this giant list as I played them. I was hoping it would help to have it fresh in my mind. Unfortunately, if I didn't remember or feel like adding it and then time went on, I didn't have much to say about something. This is just what made the Top 10 though. Actual list I made has a bunch of other games and honorable mentions on it. Still not 100% on this list I guess. I only feel 100% on the top two.. and the rest its like you could just sorta move around where ever. I didn't play a lot of popular stuff this year like Doom, Battlefield 1, Pokemon, Hitman etc. For no particular reason.

I also should go through and proof read my whole listing at some point but eh.

Game of the Year 2016 Users Choice

1. Dark Souls IIIThe Souls recipe still holds up for me. Excellent looking world and monster design as usual. Took about 60 hours or something to complete on PS4. As usual with these games, I kind of wanted to immediately jump in and play it again but just didn't. I wish this was fresher in my mind so I could write something more detailed but my thoughts are probably similar to 2015's Bloodborne and 2014's Dark Souls 2. It's a little sad that From Software is looking to move on to something different, at least for the time being, but I'm also okay with that and excited.
2. FactorioReally fun builder. Only played in the blank scenario mode. Monsters set to neutral so they wouldn't attack. Still spent 49 hours and sort of lost my mojo at the point of building the purple alien research. Haven't checked back in on the game since then. I would very much like to play more of it. After having played Transport Fever later in the year, I did start to notice some patterns between Factorio, Transport Fever, and Cities: Skylines from last year. I think I'm really into problem solving systems and trying to make them more efficient. Perhaps this is why I've found most of my jobs so frustrating, dealing with extremely flawed processes and not being in a position to fix them.
3. Hyper Light DrifterFantastic audio and visuals. Eerie and intriguing story. Tricky but engaging combat. Difficult at times. Super cool. Incredible intro video. Best viewed on an OLED TV /thumbsup
4. The Last GuardianAn Ueda game is a bit of a known quantity it seems and The Last Guardian is no different, for better or worse. In a sea of mostly similar or same-old games, the unique aesthetic style and character of this game is exactly what we need more of these days. I'm almost certain that your companion, Trico, is the most impressive and realistic creature ever to grace a video game. It's debatable, and somewhat subjective, if you want to chalk up the control and interaction difficulties with Trico as poor A.I. programming or unapologetic in the way it is trying to emulate the behavior of a real animal. As someone who has had a number of pets over the years, I'd like to believe, and perhaps also justify these flaws, as being pretty accurate to real life. When I'm barking orders at him with buttons, I almost feel bad. Trico doesn't know exactly what I'm asking him to do. I found myself petting and comforting him thinking it might have some positive effect on my commands, as you would a real animal. Certain small moments in the game even had me tearing up a bit. So while I had my own frustrations and battles with the camera/control systems, I still found the game engaging enough to finish it in two sittings. I also found the story to be pretty satisfying in the end. The Last Guardian is a beautiful and really cool experience for fans of Ico/Shadow of the Colossus or pet lovers. Just take your time and be patient making your way through it.
5. The WitnessThe Witness looks stunning. I didn't finish it but I played through most of it. Unlocked the mountain but kept completing surrounding puzzles until I just got distracted/bored and moved on. Wasn't really there for the narrative so I don't feel bad about leaving it incomplete as of now. I still did a couple hundred puzzles or crazy amount it is. Lots of hours. Made my brain melt. Loved getting out the pencil and paper to problem solve. Best viewed on an OLED TV /thumbsup
6. Dragon Quest BuildersInteresting game. In some ways it absorbs and pulls me along with the generally linear construction/quest progression, but in other ways it that also prevents me from wanting to invest any amount of time into building and designing something that I'm proud of and feel is impressive. It can also feel slow.. I've only completed the first two chapters, but it felt like each of them was 10-20 hours spread out over a week or two. They way pretty much everything resets for each chapter is a bit disappointing but at least they essentially run you through new room designs and items along the way. I've also never played a Dragon Quest game before but thought the art style, music, monsters etc were pretty good. I'd like to continue playing it but I feel like I have to take another break after finishing chapter 2. Curious to see what other new gameplay elements they will introduce.
7. Titanfall 2Finished the campaign on this one mere moments ago. Overall, I had a good experience with it. I purchased it pretty much only expecting to play the single player campaign, and I think I got my money's worth. Never played the original Titanfall either. Shooting and movement feels great. Sound is excellent. Looked real nice, even on the PS4. Story wasn't really at the front of my mind as I went through it, but the relatively unique experiences and pacing of each of the missions was good enough for that not to matter IMO. If this does indeed get some support for the PS4 Pro, I expect to return to Titanfall 2 then and replay a mission or two.
8. Transport FeverOne of the games to swoop in and sink its claws into unknowing, unaware me. I believe Transport Fever was brought up on a recent Idle Thumb's podcast in relation to transport management sims. That then lead me to search for a video of it, out of boredom and curiosity, and I soon realized it appeared to be a somewhat modernized version of classic Railroad Tycoon. I thought, what the heck, I'd been wanting to play something like that for a bit. And next thing you know I'm playing it for just about every available hour I have for a week or two. Interestingly enough, and just like Factorio, I immediately found myself disinterested in the "campaign" mode and dove straight into the Free Build, with the "No costs" modifier and the largest map possible. I then began laying out my railway and learning as I went. The gameplay hook for me, which reminds me of both Cities: Skylines last year and Factorio this year, is constructing this elaborate system and crunching my brain to make it more efficient or solve traffic issues. There are plenty of improvements they could make to this style of game. I hope it does somewhat well and the developer is motivated and financed enough to make further additions.
9. Project CARSThis is on here purely for the fact that VR essentially renewed my lust for driving/racing sims. I had become somewhat jaded on racing games as the experience hadn't quite evolved. After awhile you've driven most of the world's cars on a lot the world's most famous race tracks. Been there, done that. Virtual reality gives it a whole new perspective(durhur). It is just that much closer to the real thing. I was spending an hour at a time just doing laps, in a single car, on a single track, and I wanted to just keep going and going, trying to improve. As I had actually begun going to the racetrack in 2016, I wondered if any of these visual indicators or concepts that VR let me get a better understanding of would rub off on me in my real life driving. I'm not sure I can say it did or didn't at the moment as eventually I stopped playing Project CARS VR and moved onto other things, and eventually the track season comes to a close. It feels like so long ago. Still, VR and cockpit games were meant for each other. It works so well already, and that is with games that already existed and weren't designed specifically around VR. The one major flaw is the computer horsepower required to run these experiences well, and the clarity of the head mounted display itself. Yes, you can lean way in and see every amazing detail on the instrument cluster, but you shouldn't have to. The displays may not be there quite yet but they are damn close and, even with the flaws, it still might be better than playing any racing game on a standard flat screen display.
10. AbzûVery pretty game. Nice music. Easy comparison is Journey but underwater. Neat stuff. I enjoyed it. I'd like a more full fledged game in this art style but like.. more Ecco the Dolphin. Also worth mentioning Endless Ocean here. If you are into marine biology, this game is for you. Best viewed on an OLED TV /thumbsup
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#36  Edited By braves01

Only recently got a current gen console, so still catching up on new games from earlier this year. I also played a lot of remasters this year. At the moment, I'd say:

1. Doom - I even like the multiplayer

2. Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD - One of my favorite Zeldas, loved running through the dungeons again and it benefited a lot from the jump to HD

3. Dragon Quest VII 3DS - Wonderful music, graphics, animations, battles. Nothing revolutionary, still overstays its welcome a bit, but very solid all around.

4. Forza Horizon 3 - Looks beautiful, great driving physics

5. Battlefield 1 - Gorgeous, campaign vignettes were a nice change of pace

6. Pokemon Sun/Moon - Hate the fact battles aren't in 3D, but lots of smart changes

7. Skyrim SE - I loved Skyrim and I played through on PS3 the first time so this might as well be a new game. Much better experience this go round.

8. Zelda: Twilight Princess Picross - It's Picross, it's Zelda, and I didn't have to pay for it. Playing miitomo paid off.

9. Phoenix Wright: Spirit of Justice - Love Phoenix wright formula, looks great in 3D decent story.

10. Pocket Card Jockey - wackiest, got me into solitaire for a bit

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bassman2112

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This was mine ^^

GOTY 2016

. Owlboy
Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that Owlboy would be my GOTY before having played it. I don't enjoy throwbacks, I don't particularly love dual joystick shooters, and I wasn't even previously aware of its lengthy development. For me, Owlboy came out of the aether, and brought me to a place I never thought I'd feel again. I felt like a 6-year old playing all the games I look upon with nostalgia now. It was an emotional experience, and though there were faults, I can say that Owlboy was the most important experience I had this year.
. Doom
2016's Doom reminded me of when Saints Row 3 came out. Right up to release, people were tepid with regards to its marketing and expectations. As people started getting their hands on it, heads slowly turned towards one another as we collectively realized "... Wait... This might be incredible." Doom is unarguably one of the best shooters to have come out in within the past decade. It successfully maintains the speed, intensity, and feel of the original; while managing to feel thoroughly modern. The wizards at id deserve every accolade they've received, from ai programmers and artists, to musicians and producers. Doom is a success through-and-through, and if it weren't for Owlboy, this would easily be my #1.
. Titanfall 2
I never would have expected two shooters to show up on my personal top 10 list. I am not a big shooter guy, but Titanfall 2's campaign alone did more for me than a lot of other games have ever done. I get flashbacks to how I felt playing through Half Life 2 at launch when I played through Titanfall 2's campaign. It felt new, significant, and most importantly, great. It felt amazing, from movement and combat, to tone and execution. Titanfall 2 is a force to be reckoned with, and gives me utter faith in Respawn as a studio. I'm on board with Titanfall from here on out.
. The Witness
The Witness is, perhaps, the most well designed puzzle game I have ever encountered. The game is defined by the puzzles you are completing. Yes, there is something beautiful surrounding them; but, ultimately, you're here to challenge your mind. I had a pen and paper out, was taking & analyzing screenshots, photoshopping potential solutions, and really challenging myself with these puzzles - and, you know what? It was incredibly satisfying. The Witness is a must-play for anyone who enjoys cerebral puzzles.
. Firewatch
There is something to be said about a game which conveys a compelling story with very few characters. Firewatch has, essentially, two characters (with others in the periphery). These two are well-realized, believable, and act in ways consistent with their writing. There is also a lot to be said about the stunning art, great sound direction, music, and moments. It is a very dense game, packed with details you could very easily miss. As an experience as a whole, Firewatch can feel slight; but it packs a powerful punch. It actually had me researching similar positions in my home country of Canada! Maybe I'll try it some summer =)
. Hitman
Hitman is not a series I was previously committed to. My first experience was with the original back in 2000, and I just didn't "get it" back then. As I watched more and more content about 2016's Hitman, I decided to take the plunge and try it out for myself. My god. What a well designed game. It encourages creativity when reaching the solutions to its multi-layered, labyrinthine murder puzzles. It's brilliant, and I cannot think of a single flaw. I believe this to be something we can go back to for years and say "this is an amazing game." I cannot wait to see what is next for Hitman, and if they continue doing elusive targets!
. Inside
Sometimes atmosphere is key. Sometimes you lose yourself in a game's environment to the degree where you cannot escape until you see it through. Inside was one of those games for me. I played it all in one sitting, and found myself engrossed until the credits rolled. Granted, I felt the last screen was a bit crappy; but everything preceding it was of such a quality that - at times - my mouth was left agape. The last 20-or-so minutes of this game has some feats of programming which I feel are ridiculously impressive, and am confident in saying this game is worth your time.
. Overwatch
I'm not a Blizzard guy, but Overwatch pulled me in in a powerful way. I love its characters, their lore, the colorful artstyle, the amazing voice acting, the MOBA-influenced gameplay, and much more. Unfortunately, as the year progressed, I fell off of Overwatch; but I still believe that it was one of the most important games that came out this year.
. Superhot
Superhot is a unique combination of style and substance. Its visuals are very true to itself, and you'd be hard pressed to find something that is as cool as Superhot. Playing through it has moments of frustration; but when you pull everything off that you intended to do, you feel like a total badass. Isn't that what gaming is about, after all?
. Sid Meier's Civilization VI
I liked Civilization V; but I loved Civilization IV. IV is what I played for years and years and years and years, and loved for just as long. Sid Meier's latest journey into the Civ franchise rekindles my love of Civ IV in a very powerful way. It is polished in a way that I have not experienced for a Civ launch ever. I love Civ VI, and intend to play it for years to come.
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  1. Doom
  2. Titanfall 2
  3. The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine
  4. Darkest Dungeon
  5. Destiny: Rise of Iron
  6. Hitman (enjoyed watching)
  7. Overwatch (enjoyed watching)
  8. Gears of War 4 (enjoyed watching)
  9. Final Fantasy XV (enjoyed watching)
  10. Dark Souls III (enjoyed watching)

Wow, only five things that came out this year that I played and are worthy of GOTY 2016. Two of them DLC! The other five I expect to get to at some point, especially Gears and Final Fantasy, but enjoyed watching immensely. I almost didn't include Destiny because Rise of Iron isn't all that impressive, but I am enjoying it and admire the hell out of that game. Blood and Wine is probably my favorite experience of the year, but it got bumped for being DLC. Looking forward to Darkest Dungeon's DLC early next year!

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spncrbghmn

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SMTDante89

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Here's a quick link to the list itself.

GOTY 2016

1. Street Fighter V
The fighting game that made me want to "git gud." Haven't quite made it there but winning fights online and making progress in some of the Survival/Training stuff were some of the biggest moments in gaming for me this year because I feel like I've come a long way since I started getting back into fighting games with the Mortal Kombat reboot where I would just mash buttons. I still have a long way to go though.
2. Overwatch
I almost never go online with FPS games, but the colorful cast of characters in this game made me bite the bullet and pick it up, and its a whole lot of fun. I love all of the characters in some way or another, if not for gameplay then for their looks and personalities. I've laughed out loud at a few of their lines/emotes and that's a pretty big deal for me and made me realize this was something special. I've probably spent a lot more on this game for loot boxes than I should admit as well.
3. Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator-
The other fighting game that makes me want to "git gud." Love this series a lot, and the story mode was pretty great. Can't wait to see what happens next.
4. Pokémon Sun/Moon
I'm glad I came back to Pokemon a few years ago. This game shakes the formula up enough that it almost feels like its reinventing Pokemon in some ways that I really enjoy. The story is pretty good and I love the music!
5. Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth
I'm absolutely blown away by how much I enjoyed this game, with and without nostalgia. I loved the first three seasons of the Digimon anime when I was a kid (bought all three on DVD a few years ago as well) There's a few bits of shoddy localization but the story and gameplay (as well as seeing some of my favorite Digimon) more than make up for it. Absolutely recommend this one if you're a fan of the Digimon series.
6. Ratchet & Clank
I'm glad to see these two back in this remake... reboot? Still don't know. The gameplay is still as fun as ever and seeing a few things remixed in the original game's story was fun to observe. I wonder how things might turn out after this, if the movie didn't ruin any chance of keeping this series going anyway.
7. The Walking Dead: Michonne
I was going to pass on this for a number of reasons, but felt that Telltale itch creeping up on me right when this game was on sale on PSN so I grabbed it, and I'm glad I did. Shorter than a regular season and the episodes went by fast, so it didn't overstay its welcome. There's some new things with this game that I hope are incorporated into Season 3 here in a few days.
8. Batman: The Telltale Series
This game would be higher up if it wasn't for some technical issues that keep it lower on this list. I really like how they shake up the Batman mythos for this game in some interesting ways, and I liked the villain as well. I do have hope for a second season for this, I just hope it runs just a bit smoother and with less game crashes next time around.
9. One Piece: Burning Blood
I was in a big One Piece mood when this went on sale so it was a bit of an impulse buy, but I enjoyed it well enough. Some of the story fights (and the fact that the story was mainly set only during the Marineford arc) were really frustrating/disappointing and getting all of the trophies in the game is a HUGE grind that I likely won't be going for, but its still fun to have a decent selection of characters from the One Piece series fight each other. Can only really recommend this one to One Piece fans though.
10. Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
Upgraded overworld and graphics are really nice, and I enjoyed the music as well, but the story this time when compared to a lot of the "what if?" scenarios in the last game was a let down.
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This is a list!

1. Doom
This is it. There have been many games over the past decades that have claimed to capture the spirit of the original. It doesn't matter now. From top to bottom, this is the true modern successor to Doom's Legacy. I knew it was going to be special. The only surprise here was how far it exceeded my expectations. As the chaos mounts and the forces of hell swarm upon me, I know I can maintain control of the situation. So long as the bullets keep flying, the blood continues to pour and I just. Keep. Moving!
2. Titanfall 2
Excellent, creative single player with an addictive multiplayer that had me hooked. Damn good!
3. Inside
Bleak puzzle platformer. Amazing look and vibe that goes places.
4. Hitman
Nobody was talking about the Hitman game following up the less than impressive Absolution and it's seemingly cynical Episodic approach. Turns out it's the best the series has ever been and splitting into episodes was actually a great move. Consider me surprised!
6. Stories: The Path of Destinies
Delightful little chose-you-own-adventure ARPG-lite. Far more enjoyable than the sum of it's parts.
5. Quantum Break
They don't make epic narrative third person shooters like this any more. And I doubt they will again.
7. Overwatch
Never been a big fan of multiplayer games, but the sheer charm won me over.
8. Forza Horizon 3
A perfect balance of arcade and sim. Captures the joys of driving wonderfully while sending you off to gorgeous locations.
9. Rhythm Heaven Megamix
Excellent music and rhythmic button pressing! Recaptures at least some of the undying love I have for the GBA game. Wub-a-dubba-dubba-that true?
10. Pony Island
Endless Runner that's literally from hell. Light gameplay and puzzles tied together by narrative which continuously spirals out of control. (Should have put Super Hot in here, but I'd rather promote this game.)
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#42  Edited By mems1224

1. Overwatch-just an amazing game with tons of personality. Was not expecting to like this until I played the beta. It's my 2nd favorite fps I played this year(RB6 is #1)

2. Dishonored 2-improved on the first game in every way and it has two of the best designed levels I've ever played

3. Stardew Valley-so much heart and charm, thank you Dan.

4. Battlefield 1-Im a huge BF fan but I was not expecting to like this because of the setting. Even the beta did nothing for me. The full game was great though, no one does scale and spectacle like DICE. I still think the setting sucks but boy am I ready for them to do a WWII game now

5. Doom-in a year flooded with amazing multiplayer fps games it was nice to have one with a great single player one.

6. Inside-was not a big fan of limbo but I really loved Inside. The art style, the animations and the twist were all pretty incredible. It wasn't a hard game but it was a memorable one.

7. Hitman-still working my way through this one but it combines the throwing sharp things at people's heads from absolution with the big open playgrounds from blood money. Pumped for season 2

8. XCOM 2- this would have been a lot higher on my list if it didn't have so many issues. Still a great game though

9. Pokemon Moon-i really like the quality of life improvements they made and this one is actually somewhat challenging.

10. Forza Horizon 3-Another horizon game but this one has the best world to drive in.

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LavenderGooms

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#43  Edited By LavenderGooms

I ended up writing way too much text in my list, more than I had expected. Won't inline it because of this, but it's here if anyone wants to read it.

It was a good year for gaming. At least it was a good year for something.

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clain4672

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here it is. lots of games in the later half were real suprises for me, but this year was also kind of empty for me.

My GOTY for 2016

1. Overwatch
so much fun. great community, tightest gameplay of any game since rocket league, and just oozes STYYYYLE
2. Battlefield 1
Hands Down the best one in the series. they took it back to its roots and it meshes so well.
3. Doom
so cruel, hardcore, and balls to the walls fun. RIP AND TEAR
4. Hitman
need to play this more. love the comeplete sandbox and haphazard almost slapstick humor.
5. XCOM 2
switches up tried and true and its amazing in its presentation of it
6. Titanfall 2
this should have been the first game in the series. so cool
7. Watch Dogs 2
really liking this. i really want a blood dragon style thing where its totally 90s HACKERMAN style
8. Fractured Space
Its Star Trek Online meets DOTA. best F2P to launch this Year
9. Superhot
SUPER HOT SUPER HOT SUPER HOT
10. Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives
best VR Game right now. love it on my vive
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#46  Edited By FrodoBaggins

Not a full top 10 this year unfortunately, due to spending way too many hours on a certain game.

7. DOOM - Only on the list by virtue of not playing enough games this year. Didn't really enjoy it, more of a slug to finish. Last 2 or 3 levels were better but the rest was just painstakingly tedious.

6. Entre the Gungeon - One of my favorite rogue likes. Haven't put too much time into it but defiantly intend to go back.

5. Dead Star - Cool little game this. Enjoyed the push and pull, the various different ships and best of all it was free!

4. Furi - Great great game this one, and also free on ps plus. Cool art style, absolutely killer music and game play to match. Smooth as fuck.

3. Dark Souls 3 - Another great entry into the Souls franchise. Admittedly the formular is beginning to wear this after 5 games but this was a fitting end to the series, loads of fan service.

2. Blood and Wine - Any other year and this would have been number 1. What more can be said about this fantastic piece of DLC. I almost hesitate to call it that because this is bigger better and more robust than 99% of full priced games. Utterly fantastic. CDPROJEKT has my complete respect.

1. Overwatch - Over 200 hours played and no signs of stopping. Not only my game of the year but, with the exception of one very special game, possibly my favorite game of all time. Blizzard has knocked it out of the park.

Games that probably would have made the list or had a good chance if had played them -

Stardew Valley

Uncharted 4

Ratchet and clank

Xcom 2

Hyper light drifter

Titanfall 2

Fire Emblem

Tokyo MS

Salt and Sanctuary

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klb

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#47  Edited By klb

I didn't play that many new games this year, so I'm only doing a top 5, otherwise stuff like No Man's Sky gets on here by default. I only really play games on PS4 these days, except Threes and Desert Golf on the tube.

1. The Witness

This game was fully engaging right the way through to completing the final challenge. I always looked forward to sitting down for an hour or two after work to knock out some puzzles. I had never enjoyed being truly frustrated and angry until I went through my numerous attempts at the final challenge. The most memorable being the blind panic that hit during the finale of 'In the Hall of the Mountain King' as I attempted to get through the pop up maze. I've never had such intense responses to playing a game and the feelings of epiphany, satisfaction and relief are remarkable. Seeing the platinum popping up was a joyous moment.

2. Trackmania Turbo

I know this is quite a clinical instalment of Trackmania, and the online can't hit the heights of the old PC releases, but this game was pretty much just meditative for me. I learnt with DriveClub last year that I really like shaving seconds off my times in racing games, so this really hit that spot in trying to get the gold and elusive green medals. I like all four styles of driving, and the presentation throughout the game has a great styyyyyyyyyle. Shades of Black by Breakbot is still stuck in my head, and is usually the song playing when I get my best times. Still haven't unlocked the last row of tracks in single player but I'll get there one day.

3. Hitman

I never intended to play this game. I think I had watched all of the GB videos before picking it up for half price last month. It's a shame I had essentially 'spoiled' the maps for myself, but I'm still having a blast. There are so many opportunities and feats on each level that my first playthroughs were entirely different to Brad's. Each level is so well put together and the drip feed of toys through mission mastery is a great mechanic to keep you coming back to explore.

4. Titanfall 2

Picked up Titanfall 2 recently on sale too, and this game just feels incredible to play. Even when losing on multiplayer I'm having a good time. Getting the hang of all the maps except Crash Site, but that's the only bad one for me. Whilst I'd heard the praise about the singleplayer, I was still surprised about just how great the campaign was. Effect and Cause was the highlight, and the factory just before was a real stand out too.

5. Dark Souls III

The Souls games are all great games, even though DS III would hit the bottom of that list too. I like this game a lot, but it's the only one which I never touched again after finishing it, and I don't plan on going back to it. It just felt a bit too much like fan service, and I'm probably just burnt out on them at this point. Bloodborne is still my favourite, closely followed by DS II (yup). Nameless King is one of the best bosses overall, and the whole Gundyr thing is possibly the best moment in the series, so DS III still has that going for it.

Honourable Mentions

Rocket League is still the best thing I've played this year (as well last year).

Overwatch seemed neat, but I only played during the free weekends. It was pretty addictive, but it rarely was fun when losing- something Titanfall 2 stood out for.

I know that I'll enjoy DOOM and Uncharted 4, but won't be picking those up til next year.

I tried PSVR at an event, just waiting for that to be revised/affordable. Farpoint, Battlezone, and London Heist were all incredible.

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gendergenerator

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ValorianEndymion

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Ok, here is my list:

My Game of the Year list of 2016

1. Danganronpa
This includes both Danganronpa 1 and 2 - Danganronpa is one of my favorite games franchises, before I played them, I had just watched the anime, which I had already loved, but now — begin able to play the first one, which I loved even more and the second one, which gripped me even more (so much that in fact I dreamed about it) this franchise is just amazing — the perfect mixture of charming cast of characters, the great usage of contrasts and the plot, with its many twist where plays with tropes, something straight and something subverting them, keep you in constant surprise.
2. Total War: Warhammer
While I never thought that Rome II was “that bad” (and later the game did got better), when Attila, released after, I was a bit cautious, but it did revealed to be a very good game — so when time came for finally and CA released Warhammer, I had both hopes and some suspicion. But this maybe one of of the best Creative Assembly games, just right behind Shogun 2.
3. Steins;Gate
One of the best Visual Novels, is really interesting when you look it side a side with Chaos; Head, since both of them kind “share” (mostly in forms of references) the same universe, but Steins; Gate, feel a much more well structured and mature story, and it characters are much better, despite some flaws here and there.
4. Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair
In Stranger of the Sword City, your character is transported to another world, where magic and technology exist at the same time, a place where not just your character, but lots of other people, called in universe as “strangers” are lead too. Trying to find a away back home, after forming a party in the “Strangers Guild”, you them start to follow quests, and in this aspect, two of the most interesting aspect of the game reveal — first, you need to collect Blood Crystal, and you must give each one to one of the three leaders of the land, each one open new powers as the story unfold. But to get Blood Crystal you must hunt the Lineage type monster, a unique one that wander in some maps. The game also features, in fact two styles of art for portraits, one more “realistic” and one more “anime”, but you can also add custom portraits.
5. XCOM 2
XCOM was already fantastic game, and somehow, XCOM2 manages to get even better, sure not without some misteps, such as many missions have limited time, which while make sense in context, is kind annoying. But despite this, the all other elements, such more focus in almost “guerrilla” kind tactics, improved character customization, mod support and the colorful and rich design of the world make it worth.
6. Dragon's Dogma
Ever wonder what jrpg in the style of Bethesa game or the Witcher would look like? or even want a game with draws a lot from Berserk, but isn´t Dark Souls? Then please give a chance to Dragon´s Dogma.
7. Stellaris
Paradox´s first attempt doing one of his grand strategy games in space, with some 4X elements, it is amazing game, but with some rough edges and very good soundtrack.
8. God Eater 2: Rage Burst
One of the best surprises I had this year, I had only watched the anime, which I enjoyed a lot, and found myself really liking the game, it is a light type of Monster Hunter kind of game, where humanity is almost extinct, since the Aragami appeared in the world, and the God Eaters are a elite force which hunt this creatures down. Despite some point of it feel a bit repetitive, overall is a very good game.
9. Stranger of Sword City
In Stranger of the Sword City, your character is transported to another world, where magic and technology exist at the same time, a place where not just your character, but lots of other people, called in universe as “strangers” are lead too. Trying to find a away back home, after forming a party in the “Strangers Guild”, you them start to follow quests, and in this aspect, two of the most interesting aspect of the game reveal — first, you need to collect Blood Crystal, and you must give each one to one of the three leaders of the land, each one open new powers as the story unfold. But to get Blood Crystal you must hunt the Lineage type monster, a unique one that wander in some maps. The game also features, in fact two styles of art for portraits, one more “realistic” and one more “anime”, but you can also add custom portraits.
10. Elminage Gothic
Elminage Gothic is a very inspired by early Wizardry games, down to its mechanics, such class promotions, town acting as hub for a huge dungeons, it add many new elements, such instead of a single dungeon you have several smaller ones, which help improve the game pace, a whole plot with lot of themes gothic and light Lovecraftian themes, along with a very unique art style.
11. Mind=0
Mind Zero is a very Persona style of game, set in modern days itfollow a guy named Kei, a high school student, which certain event make him form a contact with a begin know as Mind. From this, he and his friends have to uncover a series os mysteries, while government and other agents are trying to track them.
12. Hearts of Iron IV
While I never was a fan of WW2 strategy games, I tried to play HOI III several times, and mostly enjoyed, but the combat aspect too me felt too confusing. However, HOI IV as a huge improvement making everything a bit more clear, drawing the battle plans is really fun.
13. Shadowverse
Aside from playing a bit of Spellfire and time where I played a few of Magic, I was never much in cardgames, so things like Heartstone, never grabed my attention much. But when I saw Shadowverse on Steam, I decided to give it a try, and much to my surprise I really liked the game and most art — if you are looking from something like Heartstone, but more anime, Shadowverse is a very good one.
14. Pool of Radiance
For this entry I mean the Forgotten Realms - Archive Collection Two - which features the following classic AD&D SSI titles: Pool of Radiance, Curse of the Azure Bonds, Secret of the Silver Blades, Pools of Darkness, along with Hillsfar, Treasure of the Savage Frontier and Gateway to the Savage Frontier, and by last, Unlimited Adventures. The most surprising thing among them, is how the pace of this games was amazing, both in terms of actual size — the each game, have a good number of quests, but each one is never too long, maps are in the just right size, while combats never felt too long or too numerous. Aside from that, there was a huge effort in each game to add more layers and narrative, quests often feature two ways to be done and there was many ways to avoid combat, which is really well done, specially if you keep in mind, this are old game working under older limitations (such as storage, many times huge part os the text had to be left in a separated manual).

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2016! I sure did go and played them vidya-gurms!

No surprises in this really, just echoing the majority of other people's lists.

Don't know how to do the fancy formatting y'all are doing, so here's my list in .png format:

No Caption Provided

Haven't actually bought Hitman yet, but watching Brad & Dan play it gave me hours of great entertainment anyhow.

And number eight should just really be Blood & Wine (or just all of the DLC), because, as others have said, it's as big as most full games. :)