GOTY 2016

The best games of the year!

List items

  • Hitman offers levels so densely crafted that they beg to be replayed time and time again, making its episodic structure an asset rather than a liability.

  • The intricate level design of Dishonored 2 makes exploring its spaces even more enjoyable than its stealthy action.

  • INSIDE takes what made the early sections of LIMBO great and iterates on them. While Playdead has designed some terrific puzzles, it's the morbid context and stark visuals that make INSIDE such a memorable experience.

  • XCOM 2 creates an endless series of chaotic, memorable battles - but sometimes at the cost of fairness.

  • Doom simplifies the shooter genre to its bare essentials, and perfectly executes the feeling of moving and shooting. Its sense of humor and relentless style are just icing on the cake.

  • A great showcase for the power of animation, The Last Guardian succeeds in endearing you to its two central characters through expressive visuals and gameplay mechanics rather than dialogue.

    The game asks for patience from its audience - both for unpolished elements like camera and controls and its less immediately rewarding mechanics like Trico - but there's a lot to discover for those who are willing to wait. You're not likely to find something like The Last Guardian for a long time.

  • This refers to AM2R, the incredible fan remake of Metroid 2. It's one of the best of the series.

  • Through great level design, The Witness shows the player how its rules work rather than telling them. It has great puzzles, a big, beautiful world, and a mysterious aura that few games can execute.

  • Fire Emblem Fates takes the mechanics of Awakening, and builds another well designed campaign around them. The game doesn't do much to change the formula, with the exception of the great hook of choosing between Hoshido and Nohr.

  • At the time of me writing this, I've only played it for one day. And it's not the typical kind of day, it was one I had totally off.

    walked around town with my friends, the game measured it as about 11 km of distance. We talked, tracked down Pokémon together, discovered parts of our city we'd never known were there.

    My father, who's played about three games in his life, caught a Pokémon. We realized a gym was in the middle of a wildlife reserve, and reached it after 5 minutes of walking through the reserve. We noticed a guy wandering around a parking lot, asked if he was playing, and he was.

    I caught a Jynx in the middle of a convenience store and bought a slushy. I walked by a war memorial and people from the three different teams were fighting over it and holding it for mere seconds.

    When I have work to do and the uniqueness of the game has worn off, days like this won't happen anymore. But today was one of the best experiences I've had with in years. It felt more like an adventure than any other game I can think of.