Top Ten Games of 2016!

List items

  • Titanfall 2 is a victim of circumstance and poor business prioritization. EA decided to put it out between Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare for the sole purpose of delivering a 1-2 punch to Call of Duty in the weeks leading up to it. And while it did take a bigger chunk out of Call of Duty than any previous year, Titanfall's momentum was sacrificed. Titanfall 2 is the best of the three, and thankfully word of mouth has been good for it. But it could have and should have been so much more.

    My decision to call it Game of the Year was actually kinda tough. Uncharted 4 should be game of the year. And so should Overwatch. It is a three way tie. The quality of Uncharted 4 and Overwatch can not be denied. They are both masterpieces.

    But my heart is with Titanfall 2. Whenever I want to sit down for 30 minutes and have a lot of fun playing a video game, I am going to Titanfall 2 first and foremost, every time. And that means that it kind of has to be #1.

  • Overwatch is such a breath of fresh air for multiplayer shooters. 23 Characters that are all completely unique, yet all balanced to coexist in any team of 6. How you make a character who can fly and shoot rockets balanced against a guy that can run up walls and throws shurikens, I don't know - but Blizzard did it. There are a lot of little things like every character having infinite ammo and constant positive reinforcement that go a long way in making the game accessible to players of all skill levels.

  • Uncharted 4 is a game that faced odds that no other game here did. It had the task of following Uncharted 2, Uncharted 3, and in a way The Last of Us. And it pulled it off. While it never reached the heights of Uncharted 2 for me personally, it is still a masterpiece in its own right. And it is one of the few times in my life I found myself saying "I can't believe video games can look this good".

  • Legion is the best that World of Warcraft has ever been. It is an insane amount of content no matter your play style - Solo, 5-man, 20-man, PvP, Pet Battles, whatever. And the content train just keeps rolling, every time they push out an update, they upload the next update to the test realm right after. It's exactly what we didn't need: a truly endless number of reasons to keep playing WoW.

  • Final Fantasy XV is a strange beast. It's quite unlike any previous game in the series, but it somehow feels uniquely Final Fantasy at the same time. There's a real feeling of Square returning to form with this one, and they have Tabata to thank for that. He brought a ruthlessness and willingness to get rid of things "because they are stupid" that the series has needed for at least ten years.

  • Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 walks a real fine line for me. DoA5: LR and DoAX3 have had a couple features that make it feel creepy in a way the series hadn't before. At the same time, they are completely avoidable, and I really appreciate that. What it comes down to is this: when it was cold and snowy outside, my wife and I had a ton of fun playing volleyball and minigames, unlocking swimsuits, and dreaming about tropical islands. It's my new snow day game.

  • Ratchet & Clank is such a warm fuzzy shot straight to the heart. More people should make games like this, and I hope the success of this game pushes them to do so. It just feels great joining some funny, colorful characters on a jumping and shooting adventure through space.

  • I have some issues with the repetitive nature of Doom. However, style goes a long way and Doom is dripping with it. How they manage to convey so much character in Doomguy even though he never speaks is a real accomplishment. There's just something great about experiencing his total disdain for everything around him. What sets Doom apart from something like Wolfenstein is simple. In Wolfenstein, the main character is just trying to survive. In Doom, the main character's favorite thing is killing demons. And the efficiency and speed at which you do so is executed so well that the game has to be on my list even though I'm only half way through it.

  • Batman is something I think everyone who likes Batman should try. There are some glaring technical issues with the game, especially in chapter 5, which is the main reason I ranked it lower on the list. But the unique take on the Batman story and universe is something I had a ton of fun experiencing. Everything you know about Batman does not necessarily apply in this take, and I wish I could give you the easiest example, but that would be a massive spoiler for Episode 1. Just give it a shot.

  • The Division could have been in the top five. I loved exploring every inch of Manhattan, finding new guns, and just taking in the atmosphere. But I hit a brick wall in terms of difficulty that completely killed my forward momentum through the game. It's a game I want to love so much, but it does a really good job of pushing me away. To reconcile my conflicting feelings about it, I have decided to put it on my list, but let it climb no higher than the last spot.