Let me start this off by saying that the following list is only my opinion. You may change 1, 2 or even all 10 of these, but that’s the joy of video games. We are all different so feel free to let me know how wrong I am. Also I know that I haven’t played every single game that came out this year but here goes:
#10 – No Man’s Sky
Before you click away, let me explain. Yes, NMS was a huge disappointment and yes, it was massively overhyped and Marketed incorrectly. But I like things that are different and NMS was certainly that at least. It took the concept of game making and flipped it on its head, the developers basically said “I want to make the largest scale game of all time but I don’t want to spend a lot of money” so they took the world design away from designers and gave it to mathematicians and programmers and the result was a game built on a scale never before seen. I’m not placing it on this list for the game itself as it had some huge flaws, but the possibilities it may create if other developers follow suit and execute it better.
#9 – Sid Meier’s Civilization VI
I have always enjoyed strategy games but less so turn based ones. I used to constantly play games like Age of Empires and Empire Earth which were real time flowing games and when I first played a turn based version of games like these I found it boring and slow-paced. Then I got my hands on Civil VI and my enjoyment levels skyrocketed. It’s a lot more cartoonish than previous installments of the franchise but I kind of like it. The developers have also introduced a few new elements to an already great franchise which only further enhance the game play such as the government and leader agenda aspects.
#8 – Pokemon Sun/Moon/Go
There may be a little personal bias here and these games should have probably featured in the honorable mentions section rather than on the list itself. Pokemon Go got off to a blistering start and I can’t remember any mobile game having such a worldwide impact as it did when it first launched but because Niantic didn’t predict the popularity of it and this lead to a lot of early launch problems. The 3DS games had their issues too, there were way to many cutscenes for a start, often times it felt like you were playing through a poorly structured movie. But the reason I put these games on this list is that they rekindled the childhood love for Pokemon that many of us had in our hearts, it helps us to feel that warm sense of nostalgia all over again.
#7 – VR Titles
Again, this one may be a bit of a stretch (this is the last one I swear) but VR titles in general make my list at the number 7 spot. The reason for this is because I really, really, really want them to take off and 2016 has been a good year for promoting them. The problem is that there aren’t really any ‘good’ games yet for this genre. There are games that show you the sorts of things you can do with VR like Job Simulator and there are more realistic looking immersive horror games like the Until Dawn spin off. But these don’t really feel like they even scratch the surface of what could be done with VR, for example when GTA V was re-released it came with a first person mode, imagine having VR and running around in a world like GTA’s. Hopefully as developers experiment more with the technology we will see what the VR machines can really be capable of.
#6 – The Last Guardian
The Last Guardian was a long time coming but based on the fact that the hype train kept rolling on and off for seven years means but one thing, this game is special. When it launched in December of this year it reminded me of what it felt like to actually care about a fictional character. I know the nay-sayers may list off the number of issues with it like its awkward controls and frustrating bugs but you can’t escape from the fact that it is a simply beautiful piece of work.
#5 – Firewatch
Another game which falls into the category of ‘a beautiful piece of work’ but this time without the fully equipped studio or backing of a giant corporation like Sony. Firewatch was a very abstractly stunning story driven game where you play your part in the adventure of Henry who is a fire lookout in the middle of Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming. As you walk through the wilderness and indeed the story, you begin to uncover more and more about your past and the past of your supervisor, Delilah (with whom you only contact through a walkie-talkie). It’s unlike anything else this year which is why it gets my number 6 spot.
#5 – Overwatch
If there is one game that has completely dominated 2016, it’s Overwatch. You can’t get away from it. Overwatch is a fun, multiplayer first person shooter from Blizzard Entertainment (the company behind World of Warcraft, Diablo, Hearthstone and more). I don’t particularly find it to be a game that reinvents the wheel as far as first person shooters are concerned but when you get on it with a few of your friends, time just flies by. It does what a game needs to do, it makes you have fun. Unlike a lot of other games of this genre, it doesn’t make me rage and blame everything from my controller to the air pressure outside, if I die I just re-spawn and go again. There will probably be a few among you who wanted this to be ranked higher but in all honesty I only see it as being a good fps and not an excellent one.
#4 – Battlefield 1
Battlefield 1 is unquestionably the best and most realistic first person shooter that I have ever played (yes even better than Modern Warfare). Its attention to detail, from the destructible environments to the all around immersion no other game of the same genre even gets close. BF1 is a game which made me addicted to first person shooters (I wasn’t the biggest fan before). To read my full review on this game click here.
#3 – Dark Souls III
I can’t lie; I found it almost impossible to separate my top three in this list as all of them could have easily gotten the number 1 spot. Dark Souls is what I like to call a ‘f*ck you’ game, I imagine that the team over at FromSoftware/Bandai Namco said something like the following “Hey you know how some people are good at games, let’s destroy them, destroy them and destroy them some more”. To put it simply, if you aren’t at least half decent when it comes to video games then avoid not only this game but the franchise as a whole because you will receive an aneurysm before you complete it. However for gamers like myself who love a challenge and hate easy games, you will love it.
#2 – XCOM 2
XCOM 2 is the long awaited sequel to the king of PC turn based strategy games. It takes place 20 years after the original game and spoiler alert from the first one, the aliens won. Now instead of being commander of the earth’s forces, you are the commander of the resistance fighting against your new overlords. It takes all of the elements that we loved about the first game but it puts you on the offensive rather than the defensive which boosts the entire mechanic of the game in my opinion. From now on all new strategy games should be compared with XCOM 2 as a standard.
#1 – Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
For my number one spot on this list we return to the exploits of Nathan Drake and co in their final adventure (thus far). A long story short, it’s a masterpiece. The story is epic, the game play is brilliant and even the multiplayer is a refreshing take on multiplayer shoot’em ups. Naughty Dog really are a studio on the top of their game (no pun intended). I would honestly recommend that everyone who plays games regularly plays all of my top 3 but in terms of story, Uncharted 4 far exceeds the other two.
Final Fantasy XV – A long time coming and it didn’t disappoint, if I didn’t include the more obscure entries like ‘VR Titles’ then this would’ve definitely made my top 10.
Dishonored 2 – I loved the first dishonored game but this one didn’t feel as well polished to me, for this reason it just missed out.
The Witcher 3 : Blood and Wine – This game missed out purely on the technicality that it’s a dlc and the original game didn’t come out in 2016 and without the original game, you can’t play the dlc.
FIFA 17 – The inclusion of a story mode really helped breathe new life into the long running franchise.