GOTY 2016

Plenty of great games this year where I thankfully didn't have to scrounge up 10 entries but rather was forced to cut a much longer list down.

Hopefully 2017 proves to be just as entertaining.

Also I'd like to add that this is a very loose list. I had a ton of fun with all of these games and it's hard to leverage something like the brutal and exhilarating fun of demon slaying in Doom against the melancholy and atmospheric exploration of Inside. They're all winners in my book, but non-numbered lists are for suckers so here we go.

LASTLY - Some honorable mentions for 2016 that I also enjoyed:

Dark Souls 3, Mankind Divided, The Division, Infinite Warfare.

List items

  • I really liked the original Dishonored but at the time of release was going through some personal life issues and was never able to give it my full attention. Dishonored 2 proved to be an amazing stealth game that managed to put a spell on me. After finishing the campaign as Corvo I immediately started and finished a subsequent, albeit more bloody, playthrough as Emily, which something I almost never do in games that present such an option. Even more surprising is that on my second time through the game I continued to discover new areas and paths that I never saw on my original run. A terrific entry for the stealth genre and the best currently on the market. While I enjoyed all the games on the list, Dishonored 2 was the one that kept me coming back for more, and even after two entire campaigns through the game I keep thinking of going back and trying something new.

  • Lots have been said about Doom this year. It's excellent, frenetic fun.

  • I loved Myst and it's subsequent entries so it's no surprise that The Witness really won me over. There were moments where I felt incredibly smart and also quite the opposite in equal dose. Puzzle solving was never this clever and this beautiful.

  • Another franchise that I've loved for quite some time. After Absolutions somewhat disappointing focus on story instead of open world assassination I didn't know what to expect but Hitman 2016 proved to be a great return to form.

  • I have no real affinity for Zelda games but Hyper Light Drifter still stole my heart. Beautiful artwork, haunting music, and exciting minute to minute gameplay that rewards skill. I always considered it more akin to a Demons Souls than a Zelda inluence, which would probably explain why I enjoyed it so much.

  • Limbo was a beautiful and haunting experience, and Inside takes both of those aspects and pumps them up to 11. Mesmerizing art with a simple style that manages to somehow condense a ton of detail into every scene also drives forward a wordless narrative that speaks way more than a dry monologue ever could.

  • Solid campaign, solid multiplayer, an all around great package. Hopefully Respawn continues to support this title for quite some time as the only thing missing is map variety.

  • Back in the day I really got into Team Fortress 2, before the hats and all that, so Overwatch felt sort of like coming back home. Most importantly there is a sense of refinement and quality that Blizzard manages to convey through their products which is increasingly difficult to find in games these days.

  • I was never an Uncharted guy. I never really enjoyed the characters a whole lot and apart from some nice action sequences both the combat and controls just felt off to me. So it was really surprising that Uncharted 4 not only drew me in with a really well written and even better acted out story, but also a game that felt both dynamic and downright fun to play.

  • Extremely creative, short and sweet, Superhot was that shot of indie magic in 2016 that I previously experienced when playing the likes of Hotline Miami or Gunpoint. Hopefully the small Polish based team behind this gem can use the success to create something either as exciting and fresh, or continue iterate on the existing idea beyond the simple 2 hour indie boundaries into a fully fleshed out Superhot sequel.