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jakob187's Favorite Games of the Year That Are Not Necessarily a Top 10 List

2016 was an interesting year for me when it came to video games, as it is now the year I spent playing the fewest overall games as any year before it. In total, I played maybe twelve or thirteen games this year. That's it. In turn, the ten games that I picked for this list are out of a short pool, and for all I know, they may not even be the ten best games for this list. However, they are the ten that I spent the most time with and found plenty of enjoyment with.

This list is in no particular order:

Battlefield 1

It's been a really, really long time since I've enjoyed a Battlefield game. I'm one of those old Battlefield 2 diehards, although I also played a ton of Bad Company and its sequel. Going from the massive levels of destruction in Bad Company 2 to the nigh lack of destruction in Battlefield 3 and its more close quarters focus on combat just didn't please my appetite. I put about three hours into Battlefield 4 and Hardline, and there was nothing interesting in either of those games for me as well. Battlefield 1 feels like that return to that absolute fucking insanity that I want in a Battlefield game. Wide open spaces, solid destruction on environments, lots of combat tools to use, and battles that genuinely feel massive and dense. The map design in this game is far more akin to the glory days of DICE's franchise, with only one map genuinely feeling like a pile of hot fucking garbage (and you all know which map it is - it rhymes with Suez). The single player campaign is great, I'm sure. I haven't played it. There's too much multiplayer left for me to play before I can be bothered with that.

Let It Die

I love Souls and Souls-like games. There's a quirkiness in the way they control that I enjoy, and they typically have a larger focus on 1v1 combat, making each encounter feel like it matters, that it could be your last. Let It Die is this weird late-year entry to the fold that breaks many of the conventions of a Souls-like game by adding smart rogue-like mechanics into the mix, giving you genuinely meaningful forward progression mechanics, and then somehow adding in a form of multiplayer component that feels like Pimp Wars with a better production value. It has that weirdness and oddball nature that I want from a Suda51 game, characters that I actually give a shit about, combat that gets me moist whenever I splatter someone's brains on the fucking floor, and enough systems in place that keep me digging through menus for days. There's a lot of other stuff the game does well, but it's the sheer breadth of things it offers that makes it such a phenomenally surprising release. Also, it's free. Did I mention that? It's fucking FREE. At THAT price tag, I'm willing to pay $60 for it.


You know why Overwatch is a great game? It's a solid arena shooter by Blizzard that oozes with character. If you need any other justification for why it's on any list, here's probably one of the best things: did you ever think you would hear the words "solid arena shooter" and "Blizzard" coming out of ANYONE'S mouth in your lifetime? The fact that the company best known for strategy and RPG games comes out with a shooter and it excels at what it does to the point of being a worldwide phenomenon that continues to grow in size is INSANITY. Nonetheless, they did it, and when you further consider that it's the byproduct of some game they worked on for years before cancelling that project and coming up with this, it might also be one of the greatest success stories to come from something that was potentially going to be vaporware!

Devil Daggers

I love Doom-like games. I love dark, gritty, odd shit. I love shooting stuff. I love simplicity. Devil Daggers does all of this, and it absolutely scratched that Doom itch for me this year...and it probably would've been more talked about and satisfied that Doom itch even more this year...buuuuuuuuuuuuuut...


The new Doom is not a piece of shit. It's far from a piece of shit. It's actually really good. Here's the question I've constantly had to ask myself, though: is the new Doom good because I had super low expectations, and it happened to just not be a total piece of trash that I was able to say "yeah, it's good," or is it actually something that builds on the Doom legacy in a meaningful way while still paying homage to the first two games in a respectful manner? Yes. Yes, it does all of that. Who would've thought that the game that didn't show well at gaming conventions and people were worried could be the death nail for the franchise turned out to be absolutely fucking incredible? The music, the level design, the weapons, the sound, the hidden things, the homages, the blood, the guts, the gore, the combat, the speed, the pace...everything is just right. The melee kill system is a solid progression for the franchise, keeping combat visceral while making those melee kills MEANINGFUL. So we can all stop thinking it and saying it to ourselves: Doom isn't great because it turned out to be a shocking surprise of a game amidst low expectations, but rather, Doom is a great game because Doom is a genuinely great game.

The Witness

I played a total of about two hours of The Witness, and I haven't gone back to it. It should say a lot for a game that only two hours of it was able to make me put it on this list. Granted, I only played about thirteen games this year, so it's not like it's a super deep pool to pick from. However, if I had played every single game that came out this year, The Witness would still be on this list. The hand-crafted feeling of the game, the mystery of the world, the simplicity of understanding how to interact with that world and then realizing that you haven't even seen EXACTLY how to interact with that world... There is just something special and marvelous about how Jonathan Blow can do so much with so little, and The Witness is the prime example of that.

Dark Souls 3

Remember earlier, as I talked about Let It Die, that I said "I love Souls and Souls-like games?" The fact that we had both a solid Souls-like in the form of Let It Die and a proper Souls game in the form of Dark Souls 3 released this year is a fucking miracle to me. However, if you had told me that Dark Souls 3 would be the game that finally made me FEEL something in their world, that made me CARE about the story and lore... If you had told me that Dark Souls 3 would make me mourn and cry and envelop myself in an overarching sadness, that it would send me into my very own existential crisis upon learning the stories of all these characters and seeing all these tragic backstories unfold, I wouldn't have believed you. I'm not the type of person that generally cares that much about story and lore. It's rare that a game grasps me with it, and the first two games didn't do that at all. I just liked PLAYING them. However, Dark Souls 3 finally let on more about what it was doing, where it was going, and by the end of it, I felt finality. I felt completed. I hope they don't release another Dark Souls...ever. This was a beautiful ending to a fantastic franchise, and I hope they don't backtrack on their promise that this is the end. Thank you, From Software, for making a game that genuinely affected me.

Nuclear Throne

You know how people will put games on their end-of-year lists that may not have necessarily come out that year, but they played the ever-loving shit out of it? I spent the better part of two months playing nothing BUT Nuclear Throne. The worst part? I still haven't beaten one loop on the game. I never claimed to be INCREDIBLE at the game, but I love the visceral and intense feeling that it ramps up to. I love the action, the overblown mix of the sound, the weapons, and the overall gameplay. It's simple, solid, and effective.


Remember when I said "you know how people will put games on their end-of-year lists that may not have necessarily come out that year, but they played the ever-loving shit out of it?" Warframe is that other game for me, even more than Marvel Heroes (which I imagine will have a prominent spot on my list next year after it becomes Diablo-3-afied). There was a massive overhaul on a ton of systems in the game, and it has FINALLY...FIIIIIIINALLY found its own identity. More than that, though, Digital Extremes has figured out how to do so many things in the best way possible: the free-to-play model, how to interact with your community, how to handle events, how to create an expanding lore, how to include community content in a meaningful way, and the list is ever-expanding. Sure, the game is still a grindfest, but there is never an end to the amount of grinding to do, and the group play in the game is fun enough that I can easily come back to the game after a month off and have plenty to do.


Remember when I said...okay, the joke is old. However, Hearthstone is one of those games that just keeps getting better, and with the release of Whispers of the Old Gods, One Night in Karazhan, and Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, they've mixed up the deck archetypes and kept their Standard format fresh at all turns. Decks are ever-evolving, strategies constantly need to change, and it's because of those things that Hearthstone continues to remain fresh and relevant. These expansions have offered the most meaningful cards to happen for the game in a while, truly defining it for what it is rather than just being the "hey, Blizzard failed at making a good physical trading card game so they just translated that a little bit over to a digital game."

Game I Wish I Had Played So I Could Put It On This List: Stardew Valley

I feel like a truly atrocious motherfucker this year, and it's solely because I did not commit one minute to Stardew Valley. I do genuinely WANT to play it, and I even bought it...twice (once on Steam, once on GOG). Why haven't I played this game? Well, as you can see from the list above, there are a lot of timesinks in place. Add in that I started getting serious about playing Heroes of the Storm this year (finally!) as well as the amount of time I sunk into Marvel Heroes (about 400 hours), and you can easily see why Stardew Valley just fell by the wayside.

Other Game I Wish I Had Played This Year: Obduction

I. Fucking. Love. Myst. Obduction is one I'll get to next year. I swear that I will get to it next year.

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