Seems like this is the year where everybody has a preamble about their feelings about current events for imo understandable reasons. I always do one anyway, so I don't feel too bad joining in on the chorus. 2016 sucked big time for me, easily worst year of my life on the personal side right from January all the way through. The world kinda being an extra crap place atm is just a bonus. Is what it is.
But it's relevant to my list in the sense that I didn't touch as many games as I typically do to deal with all the fallout in my personal life. Which is a shame, because this year is where this gen of games really kicked into high gear. And boy what a year for games it's been, only Nintendo hasn't really gotten in on the fun (poor ole WiiU) and that isn't even entirely true as the 3DS has had a surprisingly strong lineup 5 years into its' life cycle. Even the Vita (which is "dead" btw) has had some bangers.
I feel like 2016 is easily the best year for games we've had since 2011, looking back at my own personal lists the difference is pretty stark between this year and say a 2012. The odd thing about this year is that I feel like it's a year full of number 2's unlike last year which in my mind had two extremely strong number 1 candidates (MGSV and Witcher 3). Like this gen seems to have gone a lot of these games don't feel "game changing" but I think we are starting to see the subtle changes and such start to add up (attempts like the Division and Hitman make me optimistic about AAA being willing to shake things up a bit, even if they have some big flaws). Nothing was more eye opening to me to see just how far this gen has come graphically than loading up Dragon Age: Origins a few months back and then Skyrim. This gen kinda snuck up on us when we weren’t looking.
It feels like late 2015-early 2017 might be the peak of this gen for AAA stuff (kinda like 2010/2011 last gen or 1998 back in Gen 5). So this list may be the most unsettled Top 10 I've yet posted on Giant Bomb. I'm only rock solid sure that the top 4 of this list will remain in the top 10 once I've finally gotten to everything some years from now and even their order may change. I feel like there's a good couple dozen games I haven't touched yet that may be legit contenders for this list.
My personal biggest surprise? There isn't a single VR game on here and I don't feel like I've missed out on anything by not having a headset. My second biggest surprise? Three franchises I’ve been at best lukewarm on in the past all put out some of my favorite titles this year. My third biggest surprise? almost every game on here was a surprise to me. Underscoring the importance I think of keeping an open mind. When it comes to videogames I love surprises, surprises make for the best videogame years.
So let's get my disclaimer out of the way eh?
My usual disclaimer applies: Many of these games in the list I have not nearly played enough, but at my age and what I know of my tastes, I generally know how I feel about these games. Like any normal non professional reviewer I haven't been able to play every relevant release due to time and $ limitations so this list could change as I eventually get to them. It's the nature of the beast that many of these user lists are won and lost at time of purchase. List is for entertainment uses only and not intended for use as purchasing advice. Read list at your own discretion. Not for use on small rodents or the elderly. Store in a cool dry place away from kids, pets and Will Smith. Past performance is no indication of future results. I'm not a game critic but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.