Games I Liked In 2016

I wanted to write a more in depth post this time around but I'm lazy and don't really have the time. Instead I will be throwing up a list of games I liked this past year in no particular order. Here's this poorly written list, and now I'm going to bake some hash browns.

List items

  • If I had to pick a single "Game Of The Year" it would probably be DOOM. I didn't play this game until December 2016 because I often postpone playing games I think I might really enjoy until the hype around them dies down. I did the same with Wolfenstein: The New Order, which would have been my 2014 GOTY if I had actually played it in 2014.

    There are plenty of great articles about and reviews of DOOM (including Brad's review on this site) that have articulated the specifics that make the game amazing, so I won't try too hard here. DOOM is fantastic. From the hilarious self-aware story to soundtrack to the masterfully paced combat, DOOM is one of the best shooters I've played in years, hands down.

    The multiplayer is lackluster, and the SnapMap feature is a really neat thing that I will probably never spend much time with, but I will never hesitate recommending DOOM to a shooter fan on the quality of the campaign alone. Play DOOM. They're weaponizing demons, for a brighter tomorrow.

  • I really enjoyed my time with the first Titanfall, and fully expected to enjoy the multiplayer this time around as well. The pleasant surprise was the campaign. 2016 was a pretty solid year for shooter campaigns and Titanfall 2 tops the list along with DOOM.

    I have had conversations with several people who played this game without playing the campaign, once I convinced them to do so they came back ranting about how amazing it was. It still blows my mind that so many people play shooters without playing the campaigns at all, but that's a rant for another time.

    Titanfall 2 has some of the most fun shooter levels I have ever played. The fluid jumping and wallrunning controls make traversal a joy in some incredibly well designed missions. The actual plot is forgettable aside from your big robot buddy who sounds like Peter Cullen's Optimus Prime, but it's still well worth checking out.

  • Uncharted 4 is the best game in the series. So much of it feels familiar, so I found it hard to feel excited about it while I played it. The gameplay in particular is essentially the same we've seen before, and it suffers from the same issue all of the games in the series have before, it's a bit too long. There are one too many climbing sequences and the same can be said for the gun battles too.

    However, I NEVER became tired of looking at it. The game is simply gorgeous, both from an artistic and a technical level. Even hours in, I still found myself stopping to stare at parts of the environment. And the story is by far the best we've seen. Quiet character moments add some weight to the absurd action and make an overall package that is a distillation of the best the series offers.

  • It's pretty much Journey, but underwater, if you're into that check it out. Not to be dismissive, I did find it affecting, gorgeous, and engaging, but there isn't much to say about it I think. The music and visuals are beautiful, and the swimming controls are actually good which is hard to accomplish. It's lovely.

  • It's Gears of War. The Locust are back (spoilers), Marcus is old (and badass) and it's fun. A few missions were boring, and the ending is a bit too much of a "cliffhanger" but overall it felt good to be back.

  • I own a PSVR and have spent some time in a Vive as well. There are several VR games and experiences I enjoyed this year, but I felt like it made more sense to fit it all in one entry instead of separate ones. VR still has a long way to go. It's expensive, the controls aren't always great (especially on PSVR) but damn I love it. I love it for the potential if nothing else. Job Simulator, Batman Arkham VR, Space Pirate Trainer, The Lab, and Battlezone are some of the better virtual games you can try. If you don't have a headset, find someone who does, befriend them and try it over at their house. Probably don't buy one yourself, don't be an idiot like me.

  • The perfection of what that studio started with Limbo. Possibly no other game in 2016 was better at setting a mood for me. It's harsh and bleak, like no other game can be. Play it.

  • One of the few games I replayed this year. The girlfriend and I played it twice to see how different aspects of the story would play out. We even ordered printouts of the in-game photos you take with a disposable camera. It's a story-driven game about loneliness, conspiracies, and watching fires. IF you want good characters, good voice acting and an earnest story, check it out.

  • It's a young adult horror story put into a video game, and a damn good one. Oxenfree has one of the better conversation systems I've seen in a game, the characters instantly react to what you choose to say, or just continue talking if you say nothing. It flows like a real conversation, which is a difficult thing to do in a game that has dialogue choices. The art is pretty, and the story is brief but solid. I enjoyed my time with it and will probably play it again.

  • A lot of people have a lot of strong opinions about this game. NMS is obviously not what most hoped it would be, including myself. That being said, I have enjoyed my time with it and will likely come back to it. NMS became my podcast game for a few weeks. Listening to interviews and stories while travelling through space and collecting resources is fun and relaxing for me. I hope it does become what we wanted it to be some day, but I still like it and will continue to check in on it from time to time.

  • What a phenomenon this was, man. It's a great idea, and if I didn't have a job where I was on my feet all day I would be more inclined to play it more. Still, I had a great time with it in 2016 and look forward to seeing what they add in 2017.

  • I played the Console Edition of GH on Xbox One this year, so technically it was a new release. Lives up to the hype, a genuinely touching story worth experiencing.

  • You're a king, you will die, but how is up to you and the decisions you make. A silly game with solid writing and one of the best mobile games I played in 2016.

  • I absolutely loved the visuals in Bound. It doesn't look like any other game I've played. The platforming is simple, but the aesthetic pushed me through to the end and then some.

  • I have spent more time with Galaxy of Heroes than I have with any other mobile game ever. I have been playing it nearly daily for about a year now and am still going. If you want to collect Star Wars characters and pit them against each other in turn-based battles, this is the game for you. I've put very little money into the game and still feel like I'm accomplishing what I want. Lots of characters and options for customisation along with a good set of daily challenges will probably keep me coming back for a while.

  • A 2015 game I know, but I didn't play it until 2016. A solid entry in the series, and the return of Firefight, which I'm always into. It looks great, plays great, and has a better campaign than 4. If you're a lapsed Halo fan, it's a great game to get back in on. A year later and they're still adding maps, modes and gear to the multiplayer as well.