By JBG4 2 Comments
The Best Time to Play Games
There were so many good games that released this year! This could be my favorite gaming year of the last decade and it was harder than ever for me to narrow a list down to only ten games because there were at least 17 or 18 that had a legitimate shot when I started trying to put this thing together a few weeks ago.
Naming my favorite game of the year was also extremely difficult because every game that made it into my Top 5 this year had a chance on any given day to take the top spot but in the end I had to go with the one game that brought me more joy than any other whether I was playing it myself or watching someone else do some dirt.
Before I get to the actual Top 10 here are some games that very nearly made the list:
So, without anymore jabbering here is my Top 10 games of 2016:
10. Stardew Valley
I always enjoyed the Harvest Moon series and after hearing that a game developed by one guy that was essentially a love letter to them was releasing on Steam I had to immediately pick it up and boy am I glad that I did. Hours and hours of enjoyment were spent farming, developing relationships with the eclectic group of town folk, and exploring the mines. I go back to this occasionally and have throughout the year, I don't see that stopping as we move into 2017 either.
9. Titanfall 2
Few shooters over the last few years have had such a quality mix of campaign and multiplayer as Titanfall 2. The speed and fluidity of the movement felt incredible and the heart in the single player made this a wonderful balance that everyone could enjoy.
It is so hard to find things to play with an entire family these days so when something like this comes along I have to give it a try. I am so glad that I did too because Overcooked is one of the best couch co-op experiences I have had in quite a while. My wife and I spent a ton of time trying to make it through each new challenge while completely ignoring getting 3 stars because well... we just can't, haha. Nonetheless this is a wonderful game and it gets even better when my 5 year old grabs your freshly cooked fish and runs straight into the water with it.
If you would have asked me last year what game had the best shot to be at the top of my list for 2016 was I would have probably said The Division. I had huge expectations for this because it seemed so interesting and after playing it I can say that I really liked it which is why it made it into my top 10 but there were a few things that held it back from being higher. I wish the endgame was better and I never want to go back into the Dark Zone again but I still put over 40 hours into it and played it just a couple of days ago.
I can't believe I played FFXV this year. I waited so long to get my hands on this and was not disappointed once I finally did. I completed the main story in just under 40 hours and have put nearly a dozen more hours into running around and cleaning up the endgame. I bought the season pass and plan to play each new piece of content released. The combat is fast and fluid while the visuals are beautiful. The story is the only thing that held this back from being even higher.
If you go back through my previous lists you will see that I absolutely adore the Souls series. It is one of my all-time favorites and I play every single new entry the day of release. I can't get enough of it and would gladly play a new one every year. I am part of the problem... Dark Souls 3 felt like more of the same which was perfectly fine with me.
Just one more turn. That is how I feel everytime I boot up Civ 6 in Steam. I couldn't wait for this to come out and once it did I wasted no time in racking up a lot of hours in a very short amount of time. I will play this for years just as I have going back to the earlier titles in this long running series. This feels more streamlined and easily approachable which is perfectly fine with me.
An absolute masterpiece in storytelling. I loved seeing the series come to a conclusion (hopefully) in such a satisfying manner and honestly think this is the best looking game I have every played. Each new set piece was almost more beautiful than the last and everything from the voice acting to the action sequences were executed with the utmost precision. Any other year it would have been a runaway number one but a couple of things took me by surprise.
Surprise! A demonic presence has invaded this list. I had no idea that I would love Doom as much as I did but holy crap did that game blow me away. The combat was amazingly satisfying and I would have never imagined that I would be as invested in the Doomguy as a character or in the story as a whole. I can't wait for the next entry in the series when I can blow away more Imps with a shotgun while some hyper aggressive guitar blares in the background.
I'm not sure what happened. I will say that I had never completed a Hitman game until this year. No game this year brought me more joy in terms of my own playtime and watching the Giant Bomb crew hilariously fumble around with than Hitman.The elaborate ways that you can take down some of your targets are amazing and I am still completing challenges to unlock new weapons and costumes to tackle the elusive targets with.
This, to me, is the first game outside of some adventure games to do episodic content the right way. I loved realizing each month that I had a new mission and new challenges to tackle. I would have never thought that this would end up as my number one game of 2016 but I am incredibly happy that it did.
By the way, if you haven't watched yet you really should go watch Vinny's run in the Hitsmas Game of the Year video, it is majestic!
Thanks to Giant Bomb and the Community for an incredible year and let us all hope that 2017 in gaming is even better than 2016!