1. Hitman - amazing episodic and living release, best playing Hitman yet, uneven levels but great when they're at their best. Had low expectations coming off Absolution but they nailed what a Hitman game should be. Ended up giving this game GOTY in the end because I also watched so much of it here on GB and loved doing that. After watching the Hitsmas video I felt like it was right.
2. Witcher 3: Blood and Wine - some iffy character work but mostly amazing. Great new atmosphere and world. What they added to progression fixed what was the worst part of an otherwise masterpiece in the proper game for me.
3. Stardew Valley - warm, positive game that refined and improved on other similar game and grabbed me. Nice to retreat into when you are down for a while. Really fun and satisfying to build and grow over time in that game with the changing of the seasons.
4. Inside - Incredible artistic work. The scenes, even of the mundane industrial locations in some of the game, are breathtaking. Love the room for interpretation and the ending sequence is truly incredible.
5. Doom - Kick ass game. Perfectly captured Doom without any sacrifices and made it work in new ways. Awesome soundtrack and really great to look at. One of those rare really refined shooters where I could jump in on the hardest difficulty and make my way through and have a great time (Max Payne 3 was the last of that type for me).
6. XCOM 2 - A very underrated game I think. It improves on the first game in every single area. The destruction is awesome (reminds me of a personal favorite Silent Storm) and the variety is great. Not an amazing strategy layer but a better one for sure.
7. NBA 2K17 - 2K on my list again. Still issues with this one but it is an improvement for sure. Love the way height, strength, and length matter this year.
8. Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun - Really good execution on the Commandos formula. I think some of the missions are samey for me (I think I miss the setpieces Commandos could provide i.e. moving train, D-Day, submarines) but it's still really strong and I am hoping for more from them.
9. Va11-HALL-A - Very good and dynamic Visual Novel type game. Amazing music and a great look. I love a cyberpunk world with more day-to-day life presented in it.
10. Hyper Light Drifter - Really fun and fast combat, interesting exploration, awesome soundtrack, beautiful art. Has a ton going for it.
As a PC player I can't quite believe I haven't played Watch_Dogs 2, XCOM 2, Dishonored 2, Civilization VI, Planet Coaster, Total War: Warhammer, ABZÛ and the plethora of other 4X games that released. But here my ordered top ten.
1. Stardew Valley - I normally only create spreadsheets for sports sims (Football Manager and Out of the Park Baseball), I can now add Stardew Valley to that list. My day job of an accountant meant I went to the extreme for working out how to maximise profit for each season. I put 48 hours into it, and that was mainly in the first month after seeing Dan Ryckert play it in the quicklook. The only reason I stopped devoting so much time to it is that I had to actually work and/or go outside.
2. Hitman - Much like last year Super Mario Maker was my game of the year, mainly due to the content produced by this website, Hitman jumps above other games I've played more for that reason. This is the first Hitman game I've ever played and I've loved it - who wouldn't want to be Helmut Kruger - the story is neat, while the settings are so much fun.
3. Forza Horizon 3 - The setting, the cars, the ability to play on both my PC and Xbox meant I have pumped a lot of time into this game since it's release. It's problems at launch re the PC meant it slipped below Hitman, even though I think I've had more fun playing FH3.
4. Mafia III - All of my top 4 are series I haven't played a previous game (or in the case of Stardew - that genre). The opening section of Mafia III is outside of Witcher 3 last year the story has kept me hooked through the game. I like the concept of having to take over areas of a city to progress the story.
5. Civilization VI - This is the game series that had let me down in the last two releases (V and Beyond Earth) but VI is back to almost Civ II levels of 'one more turn'. Love the way they have built on the recent style changes and really streamlined it this year, the districts feature seems like it fits.
6. MLB The Show 16 - For years I only really played Sports games, and The Show is the daddy of the 'action' style of sports game. The new Conquest mode within Diamond Dynasty had me hooked, taking me back to my youth - Risk, Collecting Cards, and short Sports Video Game matches.
7. Motorsport Manager - There has been decades since the last great F1 management sim, but while the likes of Football Manager/Out of the Park Baseball etc have gone from strength to strength, this genre has had some absolute dross, until now. First evening of playing this I had that one more race mentality and the next thing I know it's 4am in the morning and I'm past 'needing' to sleep. If this had licences and/or Workshop support at launch this might have jumped into my top 5. I suspect it may be played well into 2017.
8. Pokemon Go - For a month or two I was hooked on this game on my commute to work. Walking for 3 miles each way meant I hatched a lot of eggs.
9. Amercian Truck Simulator - Purchased this game before seeing the GBeast crew playing it, and had as much fun playing it as they had. The only reason I stopped playing it was that my #1 game entered my consciousness.
10. Football Manager 17 - This just sneaks onto the top 10 list, on release I wasn't enamoured with it, however over the last month or so it has finally clicked with me.
I haven't played a whole lot of new stuff this year and some of the stuff on this list is gonna be stuff I haven't finished, but here it is: Best of 2016. I initially put it on this post, but it removed all my paragraph breaks and turned into a wall of text. If you want to see my comments on the games I chose, then go to the link. If not, then here is the TL;DR version:
1. Danganronpa 2: Goodby Despair
2. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
4. Dark Souls III
5. Final Fantasy XV
6. Steins;Gate 0
7. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel
8. Pokemon Sun/Moon
9. Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth
10. Fire Emblem Fates
11. Stardew Valley
Just finished my list. I also write a haiku review for each entry.
|1. Stardew Valley|
Hey, Get Up and Farm
Must Always Do One More day
Here is Peace of Mind
|2. Dishonored 2|
Emily Has Grown
Brilliant Murder Sandbox
Plot Does Disappoint
|3. Dark Souls III|
Praise The Sun Again
Now We Are The Unkindled
A Worthy Goodbye
|4. The Banner Saga 2|
Journey of Despair
Alette Holds the Banner
On To Arerrang
|5. The Last Guardian|
Call Out For Your Friend
Wonder is Stronger Than Rage
The Magic is Real
Me and My Tower
Voices and Isolation
A Story that Sticks
Killer in Plain Sight
The Deaths of Helmut Kruger
What if Evil Won
Answer Your Dread Master's Call
I Murdered a Babe
|9. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End|
A Nice Way to End
Now Let the Sleeping Drake Lie
Finally Liked One
|10. Titanfall 2|
Big Robot Buddy
Please Keep Your Boots On the Wall
As of this writing I currently have 1279 hours on playtime in Team Fortress 2. It was a game I loved so much that I help run a server, created a community around that server and made some unforgettable friends and memories. Unfortunately TF2 started to fade. People were getting tired of 24 hour 2-Fort and the heavy amount of scrap metal, tickets and other junk shoved into the game. My friends and I wanted to the recapture those moments again with a new game but we just couldn't find anything even close to that. Then came Overwatch. I am almost certain 10 years from now I'll still be playing Overwatch. It has the best elements of MOBAs with interesting abilities and character strategies where you don't just stick with one character. It has multiplayer maps so good and well designed I would almost call them perfect. A microtransaction system that is extremely fair. I could gush on forever about how just amazing Overwatch but instead all I can do is give it a personal recommendation from me and my personal Game of the Year.
|2. World of Warcraft: Legion|
Two years ago I placed World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor as my personal Game of the Year for 2014. That came out in mid November and by the time Game of the Year came around it had only been out for about a month still somewhat fresh. Two months later I dropped it due to lack of interesting content since the only part of Warlords that was good was the leveling progression which was all I had played till that point. World of Warcraft: Legion has been out twice as long and I'm still enjoying the hell out of it. A leveling progression that allows you to tackle the content when you what however you want, class specific artifacts that give every character their own personal story and dungeons and raids so good I've gotten back into hardcore raiding for the first time since Burning Crusade. Legion is on par with the very peak of World of Warcraft and well worth my subscription.
There is a perfection description for Hitman and it's 'stupid fun'. It's just stupidly fun. It improves on every concept that the previous games tried and failed on whether it's the insanely large and detailed levels with near infinite replay value, the variety of weapons from giant axes to exploding golf balls and the deadpan tone of the game's humor via the great writing and voice acting of numerous NPCs. I just love this game with all my murderous heart.
|4. Forza Horizon 3|
This was my first pure driving game I've played probably since Project Gotham Racing 3 nearly 10 years ago and boy have I missed out. Forza Horizon 3 was an interesting game for me because not only does it take place in my home country but it takes place literally outside my house on the Gold Coast. The car handling is absolutely excellent, the environments are varied and all fun to drive though and the online interaction makes sure you've always got something to do. I mean, whatever other game allows you to drive a Hatsune Miku car though an Australian desert?
|5. The Witness|
I have a very love/hate relationship with The Witness. When you're literally stuck in an area you cannot get out of unless you solve this seemingly impossible puzzle you want to break the TV screen but when the solution you've been looking for finally hit you it makes you want to cry. The best puzzle game since the original Portal it's a game you'll be digging though for hours trying to wrap your brain around both the puzzle and the world itself.
Inside was one of those rare games where I played entirely though from start to finish in one night and had to sit down and think about it well after it was completed. It surprises you at every possible turn adding new mechanics at just the right time, it gives you the tiniest hint of story for those who go looking and it has the visuals of a melancholic adventure despite the graphic often disturbing violence. I would recommend this to almost anyone.
|7. Dark Souls III|
The swan song of probably the most influential game franchise of the last 5 years, Dark Souls 3 brought the best aspects of every game FromSoftware has released since Demon's Souls. Frighteningly memorable bosses, well designed areas that are worth exploring and a perfection on what already is the best third person melee combat today, it gives me confidence that whatever is next for Miyazaki it will be great.
|8. Tom Clancy's The Division|
There been something missing with today current generation of open world games. Everyone is focusing on scale rather than density. You can have the biggest game world but if it's just a forest with a few trees I'll completely lose interest. The Division is the closest I've seen a AAA developer come to density over scale. You're not exploring a gigantic city but half of one New York borough. It feels lived in and real. This open world also hosts a wonderful mix of MMORPG progression and smooth third person shooter combat. It may have it's flaws but the bright parts outshines the dullness.
|9. Persona 5|
Now I know what you're thinking "Persona 5 isn't out until April! Why is it on a 2016 Game of the Year list?' That's because I imported the Japanese version. Now Persona 5's inclusion on this list is solely based on the first major dungeon of the game which clocking in at about 15 hours is still a full game's worth of playtime. Even without including story and characters I can tell you purely from a gameplay perspective this is the best playing RPG I have ever played. If Atlus can play their cards right with the localisation then I can assure you Persona 5 will make it on my 2017 Game of the Year list... just a lot higher.
|10. Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE|
I'm so glad this game came out in the west. A completely original concept for a JRPG adding idol culture, music and showmanship to the already tried and tested mechanics of a Shin Megami Tensei game. This freshly optimistic game from Atlus could have been a much better game with a few tweaks to the characters, difficult curb and addition of English voice acting but even with those flaws it's still makes Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE an enjoyable game.
13. Dishonored 2: I liked this game a fair bit, but some of the later levels felt a lot less inspired and some of the enemies (like unkillable dogs) were more annoying than anything.
12. Tyranny: The idea behind this game is pretty cool and I liked the combat system, but the game is really on the nose about presenting you a BETRAY-choice and often time it doesn't even seem to make sense (why would I stab a faction I gave several settlements in the back, when saving one of their guys from a group of bandits over some coin?) and sometimes NPCs react incorrectly to your choices. Also a little disappointing that the game ended on a cliffhanger for DLC or a sequel.
11. Salt&Sanctuary: "2D Dark Souls" already sold me on that game and thankfully it also has a few interesting ideas of its own. The gods-angle is fairly interesting and cool in concept, but I felt like it wasn't quite as thought out. The game also does its best to replicate Dark Souls' "shortcut porn" and to give you the feeling of an interconnected world, but obviously being a 2D game that is a lot less effective.
10. The Witness: Even though I usually don't like games that are too pretentious (and having tapes talk about philosophy and those videos definitely are pretentious as hell), but I really enjoyed the puzzles. What starts as a really simple concept evolves into incredibly complex puzzles using the environment to its fullest. The game also did a remarkable job about teaching you different gameplay elements through simple examples. But screw the forest/ bird part.
9. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided: Not quite as good as Human Revolution, this is still an amazing cyberpunk action-adventure. I would have liked more city hubs, but Prague changes enough over the course of the game to sort of excuse for that.
8. VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action: It's just a pretty chill game to play and gives you that feeling like there is a lot going on in the background of the city, but much like in real life none of that actually effects your character. It's remarkably simple in concept, but the characters are really memorable and it's one of the few soundtracks this year I still listen to.
7. Stein;s Gate 0: I really looked forward to meeting these familiar characters again. It doesn't quite reach the heights of the first one, but it still stands out as one of the best visual novels I've played/ read.
6. World of Warcraft Legion: Just when I think I'm out, they pull me back in. The decision to take some concepts from FF XIV and expand on them was really smart and makes for the best expansion since Wrath of the Lich King.
5. Hitman: I loved Contracts and Blood Money and thought absolution was a steaming pile of garbage that completely missed why people like Hitman. So I was positively surprised that this game turned out as well as it did. The episodic nature of the game really motivated me to play through each level several times and I got Mastery Level 20 on every mission. Even when you think you've seen it all, just go ahead and try to do a "Silent Assassin, Suit Only"-run: It changes completely how you approach a mission when you can't change outfits, kill guards or leave bodies exposed. The only thing that drags it down is that Marrakesh is way underused by not utilizing the central market area at all and I am sort of mixed on Colorado.
4. Zero Time Dilemma: I get that a lot of people are upset that it didn't end as conclusively as it should have, but there are still some amazing mind-blowing moments and sequences in this game: The ending that leads to VLR, Carlos going HAM, etc. I feel like VLR was better, but maybe that's just because I also didn't have the same expectations for that game and knew a lot less about it going in.
3. Final Fantasy XV: This game shouldn't be so high on this list. The story isn't all that great, there are sections in the game that feel unfinished and the Open-World is sort of abandoned halfway through (although you can always go back to it). Yet I put close to 100 hours into this game, got the Platinum trophy and finished every optional dungeon in the game. The fighting system is surprisingly deep and fun, the characters are a bunch of lovable idiots that really grow on you and there is an insane amount of stuff to do in this game. If anything this really makes me excited for the Final Fantasy VII remake, since it is going to use a combat system similar to his.
2. Dark Souls 3: As somebody who thinks that Dark Souls 1 is by far the best game of the last generation and Bloodborne might be one of my favorite games of all time, this game isn't quite on that level, but close enough to it. The level design is as on point as always, the boss fights are almost always fun and unique and the game is just plain gorgeous. It might be the easiest game in the series, but that doesn't really hurt the experience I ind.
1. Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse: The combat system is in my opinion one of the best in any JRPG and the new Smirk mechanic adds another level of depth to difficult boss fights. The game also took some pointers from the Persona series and makes everything a lot more character-centric than in previous mainline SMT games, which is a very smart decision and made the overall story feel a lot more engaging. The enemy design is amazing (How do you make Krishna a smug asshole?) and even though it reuses a lot of areas from SMT IV, it improves upon the original versions in clever ways. I feel like simply just playing this game will make Persona 5 a worse experience, due to the older combat system (in a similar way to how P4 made P3 less enjoyable)
The top 10 list I submitted for Giant Bomb:
I want to give a special mention to the 2 games I played most of this year. Neither of which made it onto the top 10 list.
1. Street Fighter V
I played a solid 650 hours of this game, not including the beta but I could not in good concience put it on my top 10 list. Don't get me wrong. The core aspects of the game are mostly sound to very sound. I know why it launched in such an unfinished state as well but in the end I feel like it was a massive misstep for Capcom. When I look at the polish Street Fighter IV and Marvel vs Capcom 3 had at launch I can't help but be sad about how things have evolved. And let's not forget one of this game's updates basically had a rootkit in it. I don't particularly blame Capcom for malice in this case, just gross incompetence.
As someone who sunk a solid 2000 hours into Team Fortress 2 (without idling!) I was very hopeful for this game. I had not really liked any of Blizzard's output since The Lost Vikings so I was a bit apprehensive but I definitely wanted to try the beta to see if Overwatch could fill the hole TF2 left when it died due to Valve basically using it as a testbed for their other video games and letting go of all quality control.
I reconnected with a few of my old TF2 friends and off to the races I went. The beta was promising, maybe not on par with TF2 in its heyday but I felt it had the potential to get there for sure. After all, Blizzard's support for its franchises has historically been very strong and enduring. With that in mind I put down the money for the full release and jumped in.
I ended up playing a whole lot of Overwatch. I'm not sure exactly how many hours since Battle.net doesn't appear to show that information but I reckon it's my second most played game of the year after SFV.
However, as I spent more time with it I started to notice some structural problems. The 6v6 nature of the game actually made it far less forgiving or beginner-friendly than many other competitive multiplayer games. It also made it a terrible game to play by myself (aka solo queue) due to the fact that if you only have 6 players on a team, even having 1 player not pulling their weight can pretty much destroy any chance you have of winning the match (depending on the hero). After trying it a few times I quickly learnt to only ever play it with my dedicated group of friends.
Its usage of the MOBA-style Heroes instead of classes or loadouts also didn't really make for a more varied game, it actually made for a more restrictive one, often slavishly adhering to a certain optimal "meta", basically being forced to have certain characters on the team because their abilities are too essential (hello, Lucio!) really drove home just how limited this system actually was.
Then there was the general issue that hurts many modern multiplayer games: A slavish adherence to the matchmaking system and no dedicated servers. This prevents communities from forming around these servers and generally prevents you from really making new online friends to play with. To this day, most of my Steam friends are people I met playing TF2 on a few great servers with awesome communities. Online friendships which have lasted for years and which are basically impossible to build up in many of today's online games.
The far more locked down nature of these types of games (no custom maps, no fun rule or physics changes aside from the ones Blizzard gives the community to experiment with, etc.) also limits the amount of variation you can have within a game which in turn hurts their longevity.
As these issues started to become more apparent my interest in the game started to wane. I think I had reached around level 79 when Blizzard rolled out its competitive mode and I stopped playing cold turkey shortly after that. (I went back one more time a while later because a friend invited me to try Lucioball but that's about it. Lucioball sucked btw.) The game's problems had combined and amplified, resulting in a profound sense of boredom and lack of self-expression. Playing became a chore even when grouping up with friends the lack of variety in maps, strategies and hero combinations turned me off faster I had thought possible when playing the beta.
For the reasons I stated above and a few others, Overwatch is the recipient of my "Most Disappointing Game of the Year" award.
I guess I've finalized my list now, I think this is the year I have the most reservations for the games I list, but I still had a good time with all of them. I'm sure the site will mess up the order as it always does when you insert lists:
|1. Evochron Legacy|
In some ways, I guess the strict iterative nature of this compared to Evochron Mercenary could be disappointing, but unlike Elite: Dangerous, every single aspect of this is better than in the predecessor, and Evochron Mercenary was already an amazing game.
|7. 1993 Space Machine|
It's a 1993 Amiga game, and I'm really fond of games of that platform and era. Had it been released back then it would probably have been pretty highly regarded, and I enjoyed it.
|2. 8-Bit Armies|
The ugly art-style and lack of actual 8-bitness aside, this is a neat RTS very much in the vein of the first Command & Conquer. No convoluted upgrade trees or unit abilities, just easy to grasp fun with music by Frank Klepacki.
|3. Master of Orion|
I haven't played it since they apparently overhauled the pollution mechanics among plenty of other things. Even though it may have been a bit of a by the numbers space 4X game, it hit all the notes I want these kinds of games to hit. I though the research progression went a little too fast (thought this may have been tweaked in later patches). The atmosphere, voice acting, writing and the species variety were all top notch.
I thought this was a little hit an miss. The music was a contender for best of the year, but a lot of the mechanics felt a bit underdeveloped and shallow. I think this could be absolutely amazing in a year or so with a few expansions, and as rough as that political system was, I really hope more games will take and expand on it.
|5. Sid Meier's Civilization VI|
In the great pantheon of Civilization games I prefer most of the other ones. As a strategy game in its own right, it's a great game. It feels a bit more like a complete package than Civ 5 did at launch, and I hope future expansions will help it get a place in the upper ranks of the series.
After its long time in early access and the full release that kinda went under the radar, this is a neat if somewhat by-the-numbers arena shooter that is struggling to find its player base.
|8. Cossacks 3|
Was very buggy at launch. I need to return to it and see if it's been patched up. I had a fun time with it when it worked, but had plenty of issues.
|10. 8-Bit Invaders!|
I don't think either Invaders or Hordes quite capitalized on what Armies did really well, both going a bit much for the Blizzard model adding unnecessarily complicated systems with unit caps and upgrades. Frank Klepacki's music was still fantastic, and both entries was still fun to play.
|9. Meridian: Squad 22|
There's a neat RTS single player campaign in here, along with two additional modes - a procedurally generated take on Emperor: Battle For Dune's planetary domination mode and a tactical mode in confined areas with a limited set of units. The voice acting has gotten a little better since the previous Meridian: New World, though it's still a little hit and miss. Would probably be higher on the list if I had gotten around to playing more of it and if I hadn't encountered so many technical problems, for example the cutscenes don't work for me in-game, I have to dig them up in the install folder and watch them in VLC instead, which is a little frustrating. It's also lacking any kind of multiplayer mode, which I personally don't mind that much since I mostly play RTS games in skirmishes against AI anyway, but it's fun to play matches against friends every now and then.
What a great year for games! There are so many games that I was not able to play, but I plan on playing them within the next 6 months. The WItness, Abzu, The Last Guardian are among those. I should mention that I continue to play Hearthstone on an almost daily basis. It is a really fun game that I can play while watching the game or a TV show.
With all of that said, here is my list!
|1. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End|
Sic Parvis Magna. It’s a phrase that has been with the Uncharted franchise since Drake’s Fortune and it still rings true. This game is a tour de force. It is unbelievable how far ahead of the pack Naughty Dog is. It looks amazing, it runs great and the writing is second to none. Uncharted 2 was my favorite game of the last generation and this game blows it out of the water. Everything is ratcheted up including career high performances from Nolan North, Troy Baker, Richard Mcongagle and Emily Rose. This game not only shows how far Uncharted has come the 1st game, but how far Naughty Dog has come from its days working on the Playsation 1. Uncharted 4 is the culmination of all of Naughty Dog’s work and it is unforgettable. It’s not only my game of the year. It’s one of the best games I have ever played.
DOOM has one of the best single player campaigns I have played in years. There are so many things that DOOM gets right. It looks at modern first person shooters and spits in their faces by having an attitude, no reloading and a kick ass soundtrack. The opening sequence is fantastic, all of the weapons feel great, the movement is on point and it runs very well. DOOM constantly keeps giving you great weapons and as you gain weapons, it starts hurling more challenging fights at you. The ramp up in difficulty is nearly perfect. Towards the end of the game, you will get to a point of zen. You’ll be constantly moving and shooting while fighting for your life. While you’re fighting for your life, the soundtrack will be blasting and all I could say to myself was “Man, this is fucking awesome”! DOOM kicks so much ass.
Inside is the closest thing I have played to a perfect game this year. That is all you should know about this game. Now go and play it.
|4. Titanfall 2|
I am one of the couple thousand people who played Titanfall 1 for two years after release. I hit the level cap and kept on playing. It was my game of the year in 2014 and with that I had high expectations for Titanfall 2. This game managed to somehow surpass them. The campaign is super creative. It is one of the most unique campaigns I have played. The multiplayer is still ridiculously fast paced and has a break neck pace that is unmatched. It's too bad no one bought this game because it is the best shooter package this year.
I love stealth games. Hitman is a really dumb game that knows it's dumb. They let you dress up as almost anything and most of the levels are designed so well that the player assassinate the targets in a multitude of ways. Each level is replayable and I learn something new about it every time through. I can't wait to see what they cook up for season 2 because the elusive targets will keep me busy for a while.
|6. Dishonored 2|
Dishonored 1 was an awesome game, so I was sold on this game when it was announced. With that said, I was blown away by the level design. There are so many different ways to get through each level and the powers between Emily and Corvo are really fun to use. I will go back to work on my ghost playthrough soon.
|7. Battlefield 1|
The best Battlefield multiplayer since Bad Company 2. There is an epic sense of scale that Battlefield 4 was not able to get to. The game looks great and the World War I setting really makes this game stand out. Oh, and the campaign is really cool too.
|8. Batman: The Telltale Series|
I'm a huge Batman fan and was pleasantly surprised by how Telltale was able to apply their own spin on the Batman. The twists are actually really cool and I like their Batman costume design. The elephant in the room is that Telltale's engine is awful. I got lucky and didn't run into any problems, unlike Tales from the Borderlands last year. I hope they're able to do a second season, but more importantly, fix their damn engine.
|9. Tom Clancy's The Division|
I played a shit load of The Division. The world looks cool, the guns are fun to shoot and the coop is really fun. Unfortunately I fell off of the game after the developer admitted that they were going back to fix the game. I haven't gone back since, but I may jump back in if the season pass goes on sale again.
Much like Life is Strange in 2015, this game was very high on my list 2/3 through the game. Unfortunately the game falls off a cliff after that, just like Life is Strange. The soundtrack is amazing and animations look great. This game is able to tell a story without saying a single word until it goes off of the rails and it is mostly successful. A really short and cool game.
This seems to be displaying in a really weird order, but ah well.. fitting, given that it was just a weird year all around.
A stealth sandbox with a sinister sense of humor, the only reason Hitman isn't higher on my list is that I only technically played the first episode. Agent 47's antics were still fun to watch in various GiantBomb videos, though.
|3. Enter the Gungeon|
Enter the Gungeon was as close to 'perfect' as any game came this year, with razor sharp analog aiming, whimsical humor and a deep, challenging world packed to the gills with secrets.
In a year where I was completely over most AAA multiplayer shooters, Overwatch managed to pull me in one more time with personable characters, tons of positive feedback, and fun seasonal events.
|11. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End|
Uncharted 4 marks a high point for story in the series, but its over-reliance on stealth scenarios coupled with a lack of any stealth mechanics to speak of crippled large parts of the game.
|2. Pokémon Go|
Flawed though it may be, Pokemon GO delivered a feeling that I hadn't experienced since Red and Blue Versions came out on the GameBoy; the feeling that the world is a big, magical place filled with incredible sights and wonderful chance encounters.
|8. Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE|
I didn't get to play much of Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, but what's here is clearly a colorful and complex spin-off of classic SMT/Persona mechanics in the context of a fun story. It uses the Wii U GamePad in some really neat ways, too.
|13. Ratchet & Clank|
A fun and gorgeous reminder of the gung-ho enthusiasm that many AAA developers seem to have lost over the last decade, filled with varied events and colorful locales.
|10. Forza Horizon 3|
I've always loved Forza Horizon, but the formula started to show its age with the third iteration. Luckily, the recent Blizzard Mountain breathed new energy into the series with accurate snow physics and 50 nail-biting new events.
|5. Gears of War 4|
Gears of War 4 hearkens back to what made the series so cool in the first place: a small, atmospheric campaign that pits close friends against overwhelming odds. The stop-and-pop gameplay borders on repetitive sometimes, but the action setpieces are fantastic and feel classical (in a very good way) in how they vary the game's pacing.
|9. Titanfall 2|
As I mentioned earlier, I have little patience left for online shooters. Titanfall 2's campaign, however, never outstayed its welcome and kept throwing out fun new ideas. It's not revolutionary, but it was a fun night and a half of game time.
|4. Pokémon Sun/Moon|
Pokemon Sun/Moon was just the sun-soaked vacation I needed this Autumn. It's colorful and filled with Good Feels, and shakes up the traditional Gyms and Types systems just enough to make Pokemon a compelling play yet again.
|6. Dishonored 2|
Arkane has crafted one of the year's most dense and compelling game worlds, but its dark corridors and treacherous politics weren't always my first choice for unwinding after a long day. Still, I found myself compelled to find every last secret in a game where exploration is often its own reward.
|7. Final Fantasy XV|
In its weird idiosyncrasies, Final Fantasy XV presents perhaps the most convincing game world I've inhabited. Its often-inane fetch quests and sterile towns can't hold a candle to The Witcher 3, but when Prompto snaps an impromptu photo, Ignis makes small talk while you drive, and Gladio cooks dinner while the others play cards, it's hard not to feel that this is a living world filled with authentic characters.
Just threw up mine belatedly
if you wanna check out my reasoning for my own personal taste go here
My top five are more or less interchangeable, that's how good this year was for me.
3. The Witness
4. Stardew Valley
7. Uncharted 4
8. Deus Ex Mankind Divided
9. Titanfall 2
(Honorable Mentions: Dark Souls 3, Battlefield 1, Forza Horizon 3, Superhot, Gears Of War 4)
This year is just a top 5 as I missed some of the big releases - honourable mentions I wish I got to play: Dark Souls 3, Uncharted 4, Firewatch
The most addictive, captivating and feel good game I've played in years. It was also the perfect game to help me through a difficult time of family illness.
Not a perfect game, but it is a fantastic open world and contains some very memorable moments; the astrals! Also, while the second half really could use more detail and content I do not believe the game is full of plotholes. The story is there, and it is very good but it requires digging and connecting the dots like a Souls game and it is open to interpretation, but once you figure it all out it is very good and powerful.
Not as amazing as Journey for me, but still very captivating
The weakest aspect is the generic name.
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