GAF Games of the Year 2016 - Voting Thread [Voting closed]

Alright, here I go:

1. The Last Guardian ; Its still kind of hard to put into words how I feel about this game. I'll just say that in spite of its general 'clunkiness' I'd still consider it easily in my top 5 of all time. I can't say too much without spoilers, but I can say I've never felt this connected with anything in a game before. A masterpiece.

2. Steins Gate 0 ; Still going back and forth on how this compares to the original. Fantastic experience, at the very least it is an extremely valuable supplemental game that expands considerably on the less fleshed-out parts of the original.

3. VA-11 HALL-A ; Fantastic VN, easily one of the best I've played. Great music and characters.

4. Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse ; Fantastic improvement over the original. Probably one of my top 5 SMTs.

5. Grim Dawn ; Lots of fun, way better than D3. I actually ignored this game for the majority of the year because I thought it was Warhammer based due to the design. Oops! It's actually just a super good ARPG.

6. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice ; Loved the new characters, much better than AA5. My only real complaint is that one of my favorite characters was basically just a plot device.

7. Overwatch ; First FPS I've actually enjoyed in a long time. Super fun game that reminds me of UT and Quake.

8. Shantae: Half-Genie Hero ; While not as good as pirate's curse, I enjoyed its more straightforward approach in its structure. Great music and design, a bit too easy though.

9. Gravity Rush Remastered ; Its everything the Vita game was and more. What was a somewhat obnoxious game to play due to controls is now an absolutely wonderful experience.

10. Dark Souls 3 ; Not my favorite souls game (I'd only say DS2 is worse) but it was still an enjoyable experience for the most part.
 
1. Overwatch ; My most played game of the year. Surprised at how much I got into it, after not giving a toss about the initial idea.

2. Pokemon Sun/Moon ; Full disclosure, I need more time to finish this, but it instantly captured me with the 3D graphics and wonderful music. Very reminiscent of the Gamecube games.

3. Dark Souls III ; This is what Dark Souls 2 should've been. A return to form. I could play these games forever.

4. Pokken Tournament ; This was going to be my multiplayer deep-dive game (before Overwatch).

LOSE THE LAMP
AND GET:
WITH THE CHAMP!!!

5. The Witness ; Beautiful game that held secrets which I didn't think were so secret.

But the secret secrets? Those are a bitch to find.

6. The Last Guardian ; I love Platform/Exploration games that don't need the gameplay hook of shooting. And Trico is the cutest thing. My heart melted.

7. World of Warcraft: Legion ; Probably the closest to that Wrath of the Lich King feel.

8. Inside ; A pleasant game to watch, but you really need to see the secret parts to get the full, complete effect of its story.

9. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End ; Gorgeous game that I actively sought others' playthrough of just so I could spy their reactions.

10. Street Fighter V ; A successful eSports entertainment viewing experience. This will scratch my itch till Marvel.
 
1. DOOM; Doom reinvigorated single player FPS campaigns with amazing gameplay that forced you to constantly keep moving. The feats you pulled off were as bombastic and amazing as Nathan Drake in a scripted sequence, the only difference is that in Doom you were the one writing the script.

2. INSIDE; Hauntingly beautiful, Inside provided a familiar yet new formula based on what Playdead created with Limbo. This is one of the most tightly paced games ever made with every second being tuned to perfection. Not to mention one of the best ending levels to a game ever.

3. No Man's Sky; Unlike what seems to have been everyone, I wasn't on a light speed hype train for this game. As an astronomer in real life I was intrigued by the technology supporting this game and my only expectation was for the game to make me feel like I was exploring a universe. 100+ hours later and I was still playing and enjoying what I was finding and seeing. Spending time on a planet and learning it's topography or focusing on gathering resources in caves and learning how to spot the right kind of hole that would lead to a big cave full of Vortex Cubes made me feel like a prospector from ages ago. I enjoyed it.

4. Batman Arkham VR; No other game this year made me giggle with glee and child like amazement like this one. It was my first foray into VR and I was happy I chose this game to pop my cherry. While short, I have never felt so close to characters in a video game before. From the penguin's veins bulging due to the blood pressure building up from hanging him upside down to the nasty yellow teeth in the Joker's smile, I have never met these classic characters like I did in this game.

5. Destiny Rise of Iron; While not as large and engaging as The Taken King, Rise of Iron was a fantastic addition to Destiny which focused on tight teamwork and quick completions versus arduous hard content. It was great coming back to Destiny's world again and playing with so many long time Destiny friends once again.

6. Uncharted 4; A sobering and emotional story provided an amazing conclusion to such a fantastic series. Amazing set pieces and the best puzzles the series has devised yet, this was a fantastic send off for the characters we have grown to love over the past decade.

7. Titanfall 2; The surprise of how good the campaign was hit me over the head. With inventive levels and amazing use of the mobility the game offers, Titanfall 2 provided another fantastic FPS campaign that harkened back to the days of old. Doom and Titanfall 2 brought back inventive and fast paced FPS campaigns in their full glory.

8. Final Fantasy XV; A fantastic combat system and an addictive open world provided an engaging FF experience that I haven't felt since 12. The personalities of your group and how they interacted with one another in a natural and loving way was a revelation for me. I haven't enjoyed the company of AI companions like this since Alyx in Half Life 2

9. The Last Guardian; An excellent journey that rivals Ico and Shadow of the Collosus, this was another memorable tale that didn't do anything revolutionary and is stuck in controls and tech from the last generation, but it's real goal was to build a relationship with these two characters and it did that extremely well.

10. Call of Duty Infinite Warfare; Another amazing FPS campaign that was a complete shock like Doom and Titanfall 2. No one expected this game to be as good as it ended up. The emotional attachment to all the characters, the inventive levels, amazing space dogfights and so much more that shaped an amazing experience. It's amazing visual quality on PS4 Pro with an almost native 4K resolution blew me away as well. Let's hope FPS campaigns continue this amazing trajectory in 2017.
 


1. The Witness ; Sometimes in video gaming you can feel the mind of it's creator everywhere in their art. Ico and Ueda, Dark Souls and Miyazaki, and now The Witness and Blow. Jonathan Blow has created not just an incredible puzzle game, but a game that fully explores his favorite aspects of any work of art. The dig to find more. The obsession in searching every corner of an island. The isolation of understanding something that may be too hard to properly explain to others, but you can't help but feel it. This game made me feel things I've rarely felt even outside the medium of gaming, and will be remembered by me for as long as I play.



2. Severed ; While I really liked DrinkBox Studios previous game Guacamelee, I found it to be a tad tone deft in how it meshed it's comedy and characters. I feel that Severed not only improved in this area, but is a much better game overall. A fun and engaging combat system, breathtaking visual design, and intriguing story made this easily my favorite Vita game of the year.



3. DOOM ; The day before this game came out I remember having no hope for it to be any good. The immense wave of positive feedback in the days to follow was one of the most surprising moments of the year for me. Playing Doom is an absolute joy, a parade of slick, fast action covered in gore and blood. The way that id handled the juxtaposition of lore and gameplay is brilliant as well, giving those who want it a massive library of knowledge about the Doom universe.



4. Dark Souls III ; Miyazaki gets to complete his circle, as the final convergence of the Dark Souls worlds is one steeped in the familiar and infected by the unknown. The shifting lands create the final setting for what is the end of the age of light and dark, and the end of an amazing trilogy. Weapon Arts is a great consolidations of Bloodbornes change mechanics mixed with the more massive arsenal in DS. The increased speed integrated into the old weapon styles gives a wonderful mix of old and new, and lets fans of both DS and BB play styles they can love. A perfect addition to Miyazaki's repertoire.



5. Stephen's Sausage Roll ; It's hard to explain what makes this puzzle game so amazing. What starts as a simple game turns into one of the most difficult and deceptive games I've ever played. I've sat staring at some levels for so long that I would think about them even when I wasn't playing. I would think about some of these puzzles in my sleep, and would rush out of the shower to give my invented solutions a shot. It's a game that's a bit hard to recommend unless you love puzzle games, but it's one of the best out there.



6. Pony Island ; This game is all about the subversion of expectations, to keep all of its cards hidden just under the surface. Just when you think it couldn't go to even more crazy or bizarre places, it goes there. There's nothing quite like a game that keeps you guessing, and I love a game where I can't guess the ending. That's this game for sure.



7. Thumper ; Thumper is one of my favorite kinds of rhythm games. Much like Rez, there are some rhythm games where you get a much more visceral response to the actions in the game, where you feel the game more than others in its genre. Thumper is that kind of game, one where you get into a groove and play for hours, only to walk away with your body buzzing and eyes dry.



8. The Last Guardian ; There's nothing quite like the beauty of The Last Guardian. The complexity of the animations and engine itself is an amazing sight to behold, but just like with Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, there are deeper themes and connections to discover along the way. This game leaves you with profound feelings about its creation, and the paths it must have taken over the years to be realized. It's quite incredible.



9. Rez Infinite ; Rez is Rez. Some people consider it a classic and a masterpiece (and I certainly do), so I'm always ready to re-buy it and re-play it on whatever platform. The inclusion of VR play and 'Area X' bring this game to a whole new level. The level of immersion is incredible, and it's my new favorite way to play this quintessential title, and the new level is unlike anything I could of expected. I have high hopes for more in the future from Mizuguchi.



10. INSIDE ; While the less that is said about INSIDE, the better it is for those who have yet to experience it, I will just say this; INSIDE is a masterclass in game direction and progression using a very minimalist approach. The moments of 'awe' gained from this game are some of the most 'awesome' in the industry.
 
Reading other people's lists really does remind me just how many awesome looking games I missed out on this year. Games like Deus Ex, Quantum Break and Tokyo Mirage Sessions totally slipped my mind even when I was trying to think of the games I wanted to play but didn't.

Nice list by the way.
Thanks! I had wanted to write one up last year, but procrastinated and ended up forgetting about it because of it, which disappointed me. So I wanted to get mine written up early this year.
 
1. Overwatch ; Blizzard came into the ultra competitive online shooter market and said: "we will show you how it's done." Blizzard is just the best, and they crafted a shooter that even non-shooters fans can get into. Everything rewards the player and makes the player feel like a total bad ass. Having an elimination count as long as you have done at least one point of damage is best design choice for a online shooter I have ever experienced, it just encourages teamwork. I just love the cast (Tracer is my favorite), just scrolling through them on the character select screen just makes me want to try them just by being so incredibly cool looking. These characters are already on their way to becoming gaming icons. Maybe my favorite shooter of all time, might even be my favorite game of all time.
2. DOOM ; I always had faith in id software, even through all the nay-saying and doubt I believed that this game would deliver. But this game exceeded even my high expectations and single handily brought the single player fps back in a big, bad way.
3. Uncharted 4 ; In any other year, this would easily be goty for me (DOOM and Overwatch are just that damn good). Colorful, full of character and filled with endless adventure Uncharted 4 puts a nice little bow on the franchise. Rarely does a series end this well.
4. Titanfall 2 ; Amazing sense of speed and movement with satisfying gun play to top it all off. The creators of Modern Warfare are at their best with Titanfall 2, making a campaign that is as varied and fun as a Mario Galaxy game. It helps that multiplayer is phenomenal as well.
5. Street Fighter V ; Often berated by the community (and justifiably so) SFV still manages to get me coming back over and over. My second most played game this year, I really feel like getting good at this game is one of the most rewarding experiences I have had with a video game. Shout outs to my boy Ryu.
6. Battlefield One ; For a bombastic online multiplayer shooter, Battlefield One feels oddly reverent. I honestly feel like Battlefield One does pay respect to those poor men and women that went through the hell that was World War One. The new Operations Mode is one of the coolest modes I have experienced in an online shooter. I get a pure adrenaline rush every time that whistle blows and everyone around me shouts in fury and charges off to die for king and country.
7. The Division ; Didn't live up to those initial reveals from back in the day, but The Division still delivered a fairly fun romp through a quarantined New York City. The 'dungeons' were all pretty fun and the shooting felt good, I just wish the loot was more varied and unique. Also playing alone is such a drag. Playing with friends is the only way to really get the full experience out of the Division.
8. Final Fantasy XV ; I admit I haven't finished this one yet, so I haven't got to the more infamous sections of the game. But what I have played is a lot of fun. I find myself having a hard time putting this one down whenever I decide to pull my attention away from Overwatch. The story, however, is just not that interesting and the cut scenes are poorly directed.
9. Dishonored 2 ; Loved the first one, and from what I have seen Dishonored 2 is more of that. The level design is masterfully done, and will be studied, I'm sure, by game designers for years.
10. Civilization VI ; A perfect evolution of the Civ series, building on the things I loved about V and adding so much more. This game is deep, and it's very easy to look at your clock and discover hours have gone by. "One more turn" indeed.
 
This year in gaming for me is chategorized by a few things 1. Self-sabotaging games takes the "games at war with themselves" I kept running into in recent years to a disturbing new height. 2. I picked up a much higher percentage of Japanese games than I've had since the PS2 glory days, and I've found a number of new developers that have gotten into my good graces with interesting titles. Onto the awards!



1. Xanadu Next ; Xanadu Next is one of those games that is almost built to be overlooked. It's got low-poly models, the story is more a whispered accompaniment than anything resembling a motivation, the zen-heavy self-motivated play is heavily dependant on the player, and everything has this seemingly methodical melancholy to it. Too cerebral and calm to be a console ARPG, too shallow to be a crunchy numbers-heavy CRPG. It has "flies under the radar" tattooed on its forehead.

And. It. Works.

XN is a very particularly assembled and very cleverly balanced game. The systems work together, the combat will fly by, and the puzzles click into place once you give yourself into how this game thinks. This is always the sign of a well-made game - give it your attention, your respect and it'll take you places. Hit from behind. Herd the herd of foes. Prioritize targets. Move boxes before hitting them. XP boost card for exploring, HP boost for bosses. You can never have enough bone keys. Etc, etc. Follow these parameters and you just fly thru this game.

The things I loved most about it were the music that often had on the one hand had no business being in an action game paced even this moderately, yet worked so well at setting the setting, one of natural almost soothing ambience. The level layout is divine, Falcom for all their strengths have never really been more than solid at level design but this one is fantastic. I wonder why this one is so much better than what else I've played from them on that front. The final strength was the game's makers clearly studied some real classics, not just in the Falcom heritage of OG Xanadu, Ys, and Brandish but underloved classic Vagrant Story (hint: this is the Vagrant Story 2 yall keep incorrectly bugging SE for).

The only real problem I found was the targetting would rarely switch to a destroyable object other than enemies upon an enemy's demise in close quarters. That's literally it.



2. Gotta Protectors ; Cute, addictive, incredible tunes, wacky as hell, and some solid mechanics, Ancient found a great recipe for another ressurection of an 8-bit age Japanese Famicom aesthetic with a goofy sense of humor and never overreaches on what it is. Was a great "watching football/basketball" game that I came back to again and again, and this was in a genre I usually dislike!

Can't wait for what the Koshiro Siblings come up with next in this series.



3. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II ; Cold Steel II fixes most of the problems that drug 1 down - there's almost no creeper-bait stuff, the pop up and slowdown is much rarer, and the animations are noticably better. This goes a long way towards getting the game up to Trails snuff of outstanding music, an armada of plot, characterization and theming (they do something interesting with the metaplot in this that is amazing for expectations), witty conversation, outstanding scenes, and such. Duvalie is a goddamn treasure that stole every scene she's in with amazing VA. The game also kinda feels like a "best of" throwback to the PS2 era JRPG in all the right ways. There's an alarming amount of mini-games, there's an airship (yes, at-will backtracking in a Trails game!), build-a-base, mecha battles, and much more. You don't really see this all that much any more and it's great.

There are still legacy problems. I don't knock the popular-with-JRPG-players academy setting at all, but the adherance to Persona's Slinking system shunts a ton of great scenes and character development for a very large cast behind precious time points during down times. And this is a HUGE cast, and alot of the less larger-than-life characters desperately need that limelight to shine, Gaius most of all. It also causes several characterizations to exist in a "quantum state" where events and character development both existed (if you did their whole side arc) and also didnt (if you didnt bother). This hits the techhead twintails Alisa especially hard as her focus goes from remnants of her seeming leading lady status in early production to just another possible romance slink and it just causes sloppy, unnecessary problems. The game also has a problem with theming around jobbers on the antagonist side, and pulled punches too hard in a civil war setting (risking the turning of a series known to be on the light and optimistic side to sanctified and contrived). Rean himself also seems to just...take a vacation becoming an ego-less doll during the middle third of the game endangering a characterization arc that was really starting to go some really interesting places early and definately ended up in some at the end.

Still, this was an excellent game despite these unnecessary, inexplicable few problems and is still better than 95% of RPGs.



4. Dark Souls 3 ; DS3 feels like a best-of combatwise of the 4 predecessors, inheriting none of the few mistakes of them as well. I liked the Weapon Skill system and its trade offs, and alot of the bosses were aces with neat twists on old formulas for most of them (Dancer! Watchers!) that had me workin' and sweatin' till they died. Special nod goes to the PvP situation which FINALLY gave whiners the summon at will option but did it The Right Way, The Souls Way which invited a ton of brilliant Stupid Things from creative players worldwide to make some good unsafe and insane PvP the Souls Way.

I wish the same could be said of the level design situation which betrays a bit of a self-aware familiarity with the pace and flow of Souls games' exploration. There's going to be a bonfire riiiiight about...now. And oh look, there's one when I kill a boss and one at the end of the bridge? Wait... The references to Demon's, 1, and to a lesser extent 2 feel the same way, like, hey! It's Those Guys! It's That Weapon! It's That Place! Like you were to be expecting them there or something.

One of the things that lodged Demon's Souls so deep in my heart was how wild it was. Things happened for intricate, unfeeling reasons that could amaze as easily as kill you yet held exploitable, logical reasons behind it once you understood and tamed the beast that was that game. Dark Souls 3 still has much of that proud DNA in its cells, but that wildness and proudness is now known. It's inevitable I know, but it's so much like the lands crumbling into ruin within the games, right? It's almost like it had to be really. We know Souls now, and that's OK.



5. Stranger of Sword City ; SoSC is a very modern blobber that does not forget its roots: CYOA in everything, making tension a delight.

I was almost not sold on it for a bit - there's a stretch about 5-10 hours in where your characters are rather one-dimensional still, and the zones get too tough to go many floors in so the Ambush system becomes an off-visited activity.

Rather boring. But then, it's a good time to do a class change and the WHOLE GAME opens up. Characters get more robust and more powerful (love that sub-class system), new levels open up, new bosses are defeatable, better loot winnable.

The Divinity system especially starts to shine here, providing one of those great "Fighting for control of the fight" that categorizes actually good turn-based combat. This exhilirating quality maintains itself on into the endgame like a champ.

The audio-visual combo is a delight - the oil painting characters are full of life, the monsters look down to fuck up your shit freakily, and the music (by Jimbo Naoaki who is rapidly becoming a fave) is operatic and short-looped without ever being bombastic and droll.

I do wish the endgame wasn't a "greatest hits" of earlier dungeons' tricks, and the action automation and the 1-10 button designation on PC is clunky. But these are minor. Great blobber, this one.



6. Darkest Dungeon ; Darkest Dungeon was a whirlwind during its first 30-40 hours. Harsh but rule-focused. Real RNG not "R"NG. Team make up and cleverness was the best way to ease the way to and to the end of a boss. Slick presentation of what are essentially Mignola-painted shadow puppets doing the vicious Turn-Based battle system justice: brutal and swift. Nasty mechanics. A glib, bitter narrator and glibber and more bitter treatment of your personel you send into their dooms. It's like Tony Jay had a long-lost twin brother and he's great.

Then it just...completely overstays its welcome, and due to that, the delicate balancing act of Rogue-Like and Dungeon Crawler start to clash with itself, prompting you to send rookies into the lowbie dungeons over and over to funnel incredible ammounts of cash into a couple A teams to take on copy-pasta bosses with resistance numbers going thru the roof forcing said expensive specialization.

The wild goal swings of the developers was odd as well - each patch's aim swings between nerfing advantages discovered by the players when they're found to patching in characters that basically print money and max level adventurers. It's just so unsteady.



7. Ember ; This is a fun light CRPG fun romp with bits and pieces from Diablo, Neverwinter Nights, Xanadu Next, and others forged into a cohesive, enjoyable whole. Solid story, solid visuals, solid music, solid writing, solid crafting...nothing spectacular mind you, but solid. I really like fact skills are heavily restricted by equipped equipment and the available slots, as was the surprisingly swift RTwP-light combat. It's surprisingly competant (and I mean that in the best way).

About the only problems I ran into was some strangely occasional 30 second load from saves, some fastravel crashes, and odd, clunky hotkey assigning. Still, $4 for this is definately $4 well-spent.



8. Ray Gigant ; Unlike the above, RG didn't tie together tried-and-true bits from previous games into a a whole, but struck out in about 3 or 4 directions at once that didn't quite make that satisfying whole. Collecting crystals that made up the entirety of the character building was odd and boring, the dungeon design is very thin, too.

Still, the story and characters were workmanlike but not garbo, the music is a wonderous delight (Jimbo there is rapidly becoming a favorite of mine), and they did try new things, that's still commendable even if it didn't turn out all that hot.



9. Clockwork Empires ; Gaslamp's second go at making a CASUL version of famously intimidating genres has all the makings of a great "My First Colony Survival Game", it's just not really actually baked yet.

Buggy behaving AI. Pathing for units, especially soldiers is random to the point of letting enemies in past walls. There's a huge problem with priority algorithms - what materials you have on-hand and when you set it determines when big projects begin and end. It's hard to click on several items and units requiring you to change the perspective and click just off to one side to actually interact with them. Several tasks can only be done from one type of menu. Etc, etc. It's clear that this is a good ways off from being 110% feature complete and humming along well.

Still, that's how Dungeons of Dredmor started off and it got stupid feature-complete over time. And like DoD, CE has a snarky sense of humor, full of Important Capitalized Terms and wacky stuffy Victorian aesthetics and dialogue to lighten up this Lovecraftian jaunt into the forests and deserts. Matthew "Zath" Steele brought a more of a "jazz player's jazz" feel to this OST, providing a less eclectic but more focused accompaniment than what DoD had (still great!)

I'll give this more time once they put in some big updates that are inevitably going to come, and I look forward to it a ton.



10. Street Fighter V ; SF V is a great fix to the problems that plagued IV such as characters hamstrung by nostalgia, option selects, just frame links, FADC, and the Ultra/Super utilizations with smart additions such as the V gauge being a less dominating Ultra gauge, a faster pace, Crush Counters, and other changes that stretched IV's skill wall out to be an actual slope again. Cross-platform and a robust replay and upload system are amazingly powerful and useful. I also appreciate the changes to characters, especially Dhalsim, and the new characters are interesting and full of personality. The music is largely an energetic delight that I never tire of. The updates have been rather timely as well. Buying characters and other such stuff via Fight Money is a great idea, especially once the Daily/Weekly system hit (which encourages on-line play which is smart). It just plays like a dream...

So why's it #10? Capcpom. It was launched early, yet obvious flaws present at launch persist till today. Switching from modes to modes and just logging in is sluggish. Match-ups on-line on certain days can be up to two minutes. There were embarrassingly easy exploits on PSN store and modding past the detestable Survival mode on PC. No rage quit protection, then it was player-driven (onus on the quit upon), then finally some teeth to it, PR gaffes up to and including divisions of Capcpom arguing on social media, etc. And the crown jewel: installing a goddamn rootkit to stop accessing of beta characters. In 2016. After Sony Music's debacle with such.

And that last one completely neutralized my desire to actually go back in to the game, Sim buffs and all. I think that sums it up rather concisely: just no desire to actually engauge with it again after something like that. Hell, that stunt probably dropped it from 4th or 5th on this list alone. It is THE self-sabotaging game of this year.

Honorable Mentions



X. Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma ; Zero Time Dilemma is one of the very, very few times in the past decade of wizened realism that has categorized my recent gaming past that I have been caught flatfooted by disappointment.

For starters, ZTD is a game that was the closing of a trilogy, a game that was done planning-wise and just needed an opportunity to be made and yet, it feels rushed as if some of its major details were hammered out weeks before gold.

Characters' moods shift and change to be convenient to the plot (including one scene where a distraught character shifted mood from violent to pliant I shit-you-not 4 times so the scene would play out as planned), the info dumps feel like triage, characterization seems an afterthought for many characters (Akane!), there's plotholes out the yin-yang, the ending is exhaustingly forced and opens up some the biggest plotholes, ties with other games were forgotten or marginalized...the list goes on and on.

And the safety video levels of gore was completely overdone, missing the point and pacing of 999s violence. And they are less "oh man, what did that mean", "HOLY FUCKING SHIT", and "oh, this is a mystery I must solve to get past here" of 999 or VLR than "Oh look, a deadly weapon. I suuuuuure would be awful shocked if a character uses it on another character..." It's just boring.

Still, some of the scenes were really good, especially most of those in Team D. Phi (and Karen Strassman's performance) remains a highlight, as well as Q's experiences. It's just such a shame about all the rest of this though.



X. Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen ; Putting it here as it's a 2013 remake of a 2012 game but this title's odd ways born from being highly focused on combat and one Gen 7-ass Gen 7 gray 'n brown generimedieval world won me over. It's one of those console J-games from that generation like Valkyria Chronicles and Catherine that got ignored by the mainstream but sold well enough to be cult hits and I'm glad that I now know why.
 
1. The Last Guardian ; The first game that made me cry was an Ueda game. Now it's also the last. An emotional experience and an unforgetable journey.

2. Final Fantasy XV ; The best effort from Square since FF X. Glorious music and fun, engaging gameplay.

3. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End ; I think it should had taken a more lighthearted approach like Uncharted 2 before it. The combat to exploring ratio makes it suffer from uneven pacing, and yet it still manages to crack my top 3.

4. The Witness ; An incredibly clever game, yet again by Blow.

5. Street Fighter V ; The only game that makes me want to get into the fighting game genre.

6. World of Final Fantasy ; Fanservice at it's finest. Hoped for more but what is there is still enjoyable.

7. Ratchet and Clank ; Good old R&C, not quite as good as A Crack in Time, but still pure fun.

8. Dark Souls 3 ; Not the best in the series, but it still provides with a wonderful and grueling world to explore, with gameplay as good as I've come to expect from FROM.

9. Valkyria Chronicles Remastered ; This is game is still as good as I rememberes when I first played it.

10. I am Setsuna ; Promising debut by a new studio. I certainly am interested in the next project.
 
1. The Last Guardian ; the game damn near had me in tears at the end. Have to listen to the OST in small doses cause the feels... oh the feels.
2. Titanfall 2 ; SP was pure bliss and the MP was amazing.
3. Uncharted 4 ; Great end to the series (bests U2 as the best in the series by just a lil bit)
4. Dishonored 2 ; Huge fan of these open sandbox type games. Can't wait for Prey
5. Bioshock (Remastered) ; First time playing through this gem. What a masterpiece
6. Ratchet & Clank
7. Inside
8. Doom
9. Overwatch
10. Final Fantasy XV
 
I don't have the chance to play tons of new games this year...so I'll just do 5 and then list some honorable mentions for games I'll probably get to later that looked neat.

1. DOOM ; What a masterpiece and surprise DOOM was. A unique fun fast pace shooter with an amazing soundtrack. Previews of it before looked kind fo bland, but playing it really was solid. I don't really like Bethesda's approach for not giving review copies out prior, but damn is DOOM great. It's my without a doubt clear #1.


2. Firewatch ; I've been flip flopping on this and Uncharted 4 taking #2. I liked Firewatch a bit, I liked the plot and where it goes. A lot of people didn't like how it ends, but I did, I thought it was a
kind of happy ending realistic...in some ways.
. I loved the style, the scenary, the characters, etc. It could be so warm and makes me want to go camping, but also really creepy. Also the soundtrack reminded me a ton of Slint.

3. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End ; I think ultimately I am putting this below Firewatch because Firewatch to me is more fresh and unique and I'd like to reward that more. Though, Uncharted 4 is great. The best game in the series that nobody asked for a 4th one (well most people, I for one kind of rolled my eyes when they announced it at E3). The story was great, much more real this time I felt. I have no real complaints about it, except it's a 4th one of a series that kind of got old for me...but it's the best one in the series.

4. The Witness ; I'm in the progress with this right now...so it very well may move up before the 21st deadline. I like it so far, a game that really is challenging my brain and rewarding when you solve puzzles. I'm curious as to what twists and turns it takes, and that may bump it up more.

5.Hitman ; What a silly game, but so cool. I was weary of the part releases but it really has paid off. It's fun to just kind of fuck around and try to complete the hit but also following the objectives or whatever is great as well. This game is also fun to watch others play (looking at you Giant Bomb).

So my honorable mentions will just be games I probably will eventually get to in the year(s) to come...but can't speak for them right now.

X. Dishonored 2 ; I have it bought, sealed and on my desk, I just haven't played it yet. I'll check it out next year for sure. I loved Dishonored in 2012, it was my GOTY that year.

X. Watch_Dogs 2 ; Looks really neat and a huge improvement from the first game. Something that I didn't expect.

X. Rec Room ; If I had a VR headset I'd try this out, but this is the type of stuff I'd like to see from VR.

X. Overwatch ; So yeah I haven't played this yet...I probably will. Everyone and their brother has bugged me. It definitely looks neat and unique.

Also not an official categories to be counted... but while I'm on this soap box...

Best Old Game of 2016. SOMA ; This was an amazing game with a story that really makes you question things. If you love Westworld, and can stand spooky stuff, I highly recommend this game the story has a lot of similarities. It's the best love story between a man in a diving suit and a flash drive. If I could go back, I'd put this at #3 below The Witcher 3 and Life is Strange.

Most Disappointing Game of 2016. Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilema ; People will probably say No Man's Sky or Street Fighter V were more disappointing, but I wasn't really looking forward to them. This game though definitely wasn't great. The plot was semi-predictable and weird at times, the characters of the previous game seemed weird and unfamiliar, the art and animation looked bad, the writing was bad, the puzzles were tedious, like I can't say many good things about it. The best part of Zero Escape, the twists, wasn't even that good. Actually, one twist in particular was fucking weird as hell. The whole game felt very forced I guess or rushed just overall not good.
 
Reading other people's lists really does remind me just how many awesome looking games I missed out on this year. Games like Deus Ex, Quantum Break and Tokyo Mirage Sessions totally slipped my mind even when I was trying to think of the games I wanted to play but didn't.


Thanks! I had wanted to write one up last year, but procrastinated and ended up forgetting about it because of it, which disappointed me. So I wanted to get mine written up early this year.

Deus Ex Mankind Divided had a horrible story. So much that I can't even recommend it. Gameplay was pretty good though, you can stealth and talk your way through most fights up to the final boss.
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man


5. Stephen's Sausage Roll ; It's hard to explain what makes this puzzle game so amazing. What starts as a simple game turns into one of the most difficult and deceptive games I've ever played. I've sat staring at some levels for so long that I would think about them even when I wasn't playing. I would think about some of these puzzles in my sleep, and would rush out of the shower to give my invented solutions a shot. It's a game that's a bit hard to recommend unless you love puzzle games, but it's one of the best out there.
Holy shit this gif banner is lovely
 
1. The Witness ; I want to live in the world of The Witness; bright, colorful, vibrant, with every environmental detail having some meaning, it provides enough mystery and wonder for me to solve the hundreds of puzzles provided. The level of non-verbal communication Jonathan Blow engages in with the player I have never before experienced. Puzzles were not just more difficult versions of what came before, instead they were teaching you very specific information that would be needed in the future. In that way, the puzzles of The Witness are like a language you learn by being dropped in a foreign country with no translation guide to help you on your way. You learn organically by being immersed in this simple puzzle mechanic that by the end you are doing unintelligible and complex solutions that are hard to put into words. When I hear people speak about The Witness, it is hard to describe, because the reality of the game is that you have learned everything non-verbally, which takes great lengths to translate back into speech. I think that this non-verbal development is the main theme of The Witness and something I have never seen before in a game, which is why it is easily my game of the year.
2. Titanfall 2 ; The way people feel about Doom’s single-player is the way I feel about Titanfall 2. Tight, action-packed, and easily makes you feel like a badass. Titanfall 2 unlike Doom has an equally strong multiplayer mode.
3. Dark Souls III ; I feel that Dark Souls III is a great merging of the Bloodborne and Dark Souls series. This may be just because they are running on the same engine, but Dark Souls III feel faster, and more action oriented than its predecessors. The thing that stands out to me the most is the visual design of the environments, truly some of the coolest stuff I have looked at all year. The only thing keeping this lower on my list is what I feel is a lack of environmental payoff. I feel like some sections of the game just do not go anywhere, or end suddenly when it feels like there is more potential there.
4. Stardew Valley ; I really enjoy the pace of Stardew Valley and have not really played Harvest Moon before it. Stardew Valley feels more like the game I wanted Animal Crossing to be which I ended up spending over a hundred hours playing a few years ago. The only thing keeping Stardew Valley low, is that it did not have the hooks for me to keep me going past Winter.
5. Final Fantasy XV ; Final Fantasy XV felt really nostalgic for me, in that I ended up feeling some of the same emotions of awe and wonder that I used to feel playing Final Fantasy, but that I thought were lost to my teenage years. The story is a mess, the game is repetitive, and the combat a bit too repetitive without too much player choice. But Final Fantasy XV ensures I will be interested in the next Final Fantasy entry, where I felt the series was dead after XIII.
6. Overwatch ; I had a great few weeks playing Overwatch this summer, really just the best multiplayer shooter experience I had in a very long time. But I found when I stopped playing for a week or two the game just became really hard to return to, especially after loot-boxes lost their appeal to me.
7. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Blood and Wine ; Fantastic expansion, the only reason this is so low on my list is that it did not sink its hooks into me the same way Hearts of Stone did last year.
8. Pokémon Sun/Moon ; Fantastic evolution of the Pokemon formula. It did everything I ever wanted which is to drop gyms and HMs. Unfortunately I just think I may be nearing the end of my Pokemon interest, unless they change the battle system significantly.
9. Hitman ; I never saw the appeal of Hitman games before the 2016 version, but this year’s entry is accessible and fun. Frustration and true challenges are only there if you go looking for it, but the main campaign is perfect for what I want from the game. The only thing keeping the game so low is the secondary checklist stage of the game where you go looking for challenges which you have not completed yet, which is not fun to me.
10. XCOM 2 ; I am still early on in XCOM 2’s campaign, but if feels great, and seems more replayable than base XCOM. Besides being early, XCOM 2 is low on my list because I am playing the PS4 version which seems to barely keep up with the game, which frankly is inexcusable.

Honorable Mentions
x. Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS ; I know this is a neutered version of the WII U Mario Maker which the 3ds just can not hold a candle to, but I appreciate Nintendo allowing me to enjoy a version of this game without spending around $300 on a WII U.
x. Doom ; I redboxed Doom earlier this year. Totally saw the appeal, but it just could not keep me playing more than a day.
 
1. Dark Souls III ; Incredibly atmospheric with addictive combat.
2. Final Fantasy XV ; Sublime gameplay and characters, story is iffy but the rest is enjoyable.
3. Overwatch ; Best multiplayer game of the year IMO. Creative world and characters.
4. Hyper Light Drifter ; Best pixel/indie game I've played all year. Added 60FPS patch makes it a must play.
5. Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE ;
KOWASHITAI DAIJISOU NI KAKETA WATASHI O ZENBU
6. DOOM ; Batshit insane, plain and simple.
7. SUPER HOT ; Short and sweet game but loaded with replay value. Need to try the VR version.
8. Gravity Rush Remastered ; Very torn if I should put a remaster on the list, but the remaster feels like a whole new game.
9. The Division ; Didn't think I'd end up listing this one. It's actually not that bad as I thought it would be. Technically very impressive.
10. Kirby Planet Robobot ; Triple Deluxe was a treat to play, the Planet Robobot reminds me of how fun Kirby is.
 
1. The Last Guardian ; A journey beyond all known amazing adjectives. Trico is forever in my heart.
2. Doom ; Because a double barreled shotgun has never felt so good.
3. Gears of War 4 ; They nailed the MP in terms of mechanics. Would have been #2 if it wasn't for boosters/crates etc.
 
It's not an exhaustive list and Let It Die should definitely be eligible so posters are more then welcome to have it in their lists.
It's kind of odd that it isn't there considering the huge number of otherwise pretty obscure games that it does include. I strongly request it's included; visibility is a big deal in these things and I'm almost sure there's a direct correlation to a game not being in the list and receiving less votes because people forget about it (fortunately, being a recent game, the impact should be lessened, but still).
 
1. DOOM ; DOOM 2016 is a game that has no right being as utterly incredible as it is. Stuck in development hell, re-booted from scratch at least once, and coming from id after the lacklustre RAGE, when their talent was seemingly waning, DOOM should have been another forgettable shooter in a sea of forgettable shooters chasing the COD train. And, low and behold, here we are: against all odds, and seemingly against all reason, DOOM is easily one of the greatest first person shooters of all time. And yet, it's somehow even more than that. As modern games of all kinds attempt to become more cinematic, forgoing gameplay for tripe and self-important narratives, DOOM is the old guard standing resolute: gameplay first. While developers attempt to one up the competition with ever more lavish mo-capped cut scenes, DOOM simply presents diamond-polished gameplay that no one else can touch. It doesn't need bullshit narratives that fall apart on the second play through, because it's fucking fun, plain and simple, from start to finish. The way games should be. Hail to the king.

2. Titanfall 2 ; It says a lot about DOOM that something as incredible as Titanfall 2 is my number 2. In any other year, Titanfall 2 would take the crown without a second thought: it's fucking incredible. The best military-style campaign since the original Modern Warfare catapulted CoD into the stratosphere, and the best FPS multiplayer of this generation, Titanfall 2 is something special to behold. If DOOM 2016 is the old guard of the genre, Titanfall 2 is the bright and wondrous future.

3. Duskers ; This year's hidden gem, Duskers is a game without a beginning or an end, and on paper, it shouldn't really work as well as it does. But oh, how well it works. Dripping with atmosphere, fuelled by rock solid gameplay, and presented with a style that ties it all together, Duskers is one of the most engaging and tense games I've played in the last few years. Don't miss this!

4. Until Dawn: Rush of Blood ; Coming out of nowhere, this is PSVR's killer app, one of the best VR titles period, and a hell of a lot of fun in its own right. Rush of Blood is a borderline cult-classic. Proving how damn engaging VR titles can be, Rush of Blood takes something simple - an on-rails shooter - and infuses it with the finest technology of the 21st century to deliver something very special. Give me a sequel already!

5. PlayStation VR Worlds ; Some people are a bit down on PSVR Worlds. Those people haven't thrown this on, put their loved ones into a descending shark cage, and watched with glee as their family are transformed into children before their eyes. From a brilliantly executed English gangster story, a truly great sci-fi romp through destroyed space ships in a quadrupedal mech, to the aforementioned Ocean dive, PSVR worlds blew me away again and again. My enjoyment of the menu alone earns it a spot on this list.

6. The Division ; Some people might have forgotten about The Division, but I didn't. With a solid 350 hours logged, The Division was my team's go-to shooter for a good long while, and the recent survival expansion is pulling us all back in again. While the setting gets old, the shooting, skills and team work required at higher difficulty levels makes this a brilliant team-based MMO shooter. I hope Bungie paid attention.

7. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided ; DX:MD continues the pedigree established by Human Revolution. While the overall narrative lacks scope and personal stakes, the actual execution - gameplay, world building, art and sound design - puts it on this list. This is how immersive sims should be done. And, seriously, the art design is light years ahead of the rest of the industry. Everything, from moving sculptures, augmented limb design, to clothing, office furniture, and in-world advertisements, everything is so well designed and realised, that you can't help but be drawn into this world. Simply outstanding.
 
1. The Witness ; The easiest pick for me this year, puzzle-perfection.
2. Quadrilateral Cowboy ; Super-charming and delightfully short hacking game.
3. Inside ; Great sci-fi-horror that sticks to your mind.
4. Starbound ; Went 1.0 this year and it is great.
5. Abzû ; Swimming with whales and turtles = liked it more than Journey.
6. Factorio ; Still in early access but nearly 20k positive reviews on Steam are not wrong.
7. Firewatch ; Thought this would be my goty 2016, still loved it but competition was tough this year. Want more games like this.
8. Trackmania Turbo ; In between swearing loudly, playing TMT is very addictive and fun. Hope they add more crash-physics in a sequel.
9. Doom ; On a technical/plain-fun level this is goty 2016. I have never really enjoyed FPS that much but this is, in it's purest positive sense, one hell of a roller-coaster.
10. SteinsGate 0 ; Does not live up to it's predecessor but is still probably one of the most accessible and better visual novels out there.

Honorable Mentions
x. Shenzhen I/O ; I will probably blame myself years from now for not including this on the top 10 but I just haven't had the time to play it enough to warrant an inclusion yet.
x. Fallout 4 Far Harbor ; Better than the main game and a lot better than Nuka World.
x. Stellaris ; Somewhat disappointed in this, blame myself for hyping it too much. Still played it for a very long session.
 
1. Dark Souls III ; Incredibly atmospheric with addictive combat.
2. Final Fantasy XV ; Sublime gameplay and characters, story is iffy but the rest is enjoyable.
3. Overwatch ; Best multiplayer game of the year IMO. Creative world and characters.
4. Hyper Light Drifter ; Best pixel/indie game I've played all year. Added 60FPS patch makes it a must play.
5. Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE ;
KOWASHITAI DAIJISOU NI KAKETA WATASHI O ZENBU
6. DOOM ; Batshit insane, plain and simple.
7. SUPER HOT ; Short and sweet game but loaded with replay value. Need to try the VR version.
8. Gravity Rush Remastered ; Very torn if I should put a remaster on the list, but the remaster feels like a whole new game.
9. The Division ; Didn't think I'd end up listing this one. It's actually not that bad as I thought it would be. Technically very impressive.
10. Kirby Planet Robobot ; Triple Deluxe was a treat to play, the Planet Robobot reminds me of how fun Kirby is.
I'd hate to see a vote for Superhot not get counted because it was spelled in a way the parser won't grab. The parser is looking for Superhot as one word.

SUPER
HOT
 
1. Final Fantasy XV ; Best FF since IX. The world of Eos is beautiful, gameplay is amazing and the soundtrack is glorious.
2. Dark Souls III ;
3. The Last Guardian ;
4. Dishonored 2 ;
5. Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past ;
6. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End ;
7. Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse ;
8. Inside ;
9. Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 ;
10. Kirby: Planet Robobot ;
 
1. Overwatch ; This game is more than just a FPS for me. It is gameplay ecstasy. The polished UI, diverse shooting mechanics, and depth of hero personalities entice me to play every day.
 
My top 10 Games of 2016:

1. Final Fantasy XV ; I started following the game around the start of 2015. Buying Final Fantasy Type-0 gave me the opportunity to play the demo, and I instantly fell in love with the combat there and then. The sheer fluidity and rhythmic flow of battle were unlike any game I had ever played before. I maintained my excitement for the combat system until launch, but even then I was wowed by what it offered: besides the fluid combat I had experienced in the demo (and which felt even more fluid than it did in the demo), there were several techniques you could assign to each of your characters, whose use was not only limited to the intended effect of the technique, but also could be used tactically to create a frame of immortality with which you could get yourself or one of your companions out of trouble. While the magic in the game is a bit underwhelming in my opinion, the sheer awesomeness of the summon animations added an extra sense of grandeur to the battle system.

The story, in my opinion, was not that good. It had its moments, and certain chapters (and the ending) were really, really good, but they were nullified by the sheer lack of events that transpired on screen and by the odd pacing that resulted from contrasted pacing of the second half of the game as compared to the first half. Still, what kept me interested in the game's narrative was the fate of the four main characters: the first half of the game did a great job of solidifying their relationships through (sometimes awkward and sometimes brilliant) puns and insults and other characteristic chatter. By the start of the linear parts, I felt interested enough in their fates to actually care about them. This, I think, is where the game's narrative can fall apart: if the first half does not solidify this for you, then the narrative will definitely be uninteresting to you.

All in all, I found in Final Fantasy XV an experience, a journey, that has been the second best I have had since Skyrim (second only to the Witcher 3, which surpasses FFXV by a notch due to its more interesting plot and its quality NPCs and sidequests).
2. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II ; I am currently playing this game, and have not finished it quite yet, so its position is provisional until I have seen what the last bit has to offer. The first part of this trilogy had, in my opinion, a slow start (like, 20 hours of basically nothing worthwhile narrative-wise), but this part throws that out the window and ramps up the stakes much more quickly. As a result, the story has always felt interesting to me, and has continued to pull me ever onwards, with me always wanting to know what happens next. A great success for the plot to be sure, but the characters of this game are just as interesting. The sheer amount of intrigue in the story means that each character has his or her own development on screen, which the game allows you to capitalise on by so-called bonding events, which allow you to talk with characters and gain deeper insights into their story, while not forcing too much of any character's personal story onto you. The side quests of this game, however, often feel not so rewarding. Often you will do a quest that can get annoying (chase a horse through an open field to get it to calm down) and which you only do because you want to get your hands on the resulting money. Still, I feel that is a minor issue in a game that is very story-focused and does a great job in many other aspects.

The combat is a slight evolution of the first game: besides the already very interesting mechanics of the first game, you get a mechanic called 'Overdrive', which allows you to take a number of turns in succession with a partner, which can be used to get a tactical advantage over a powerful boss or to clean out a large number of less powerful enemies who, when ganging up on you, can do a lot of damage really fast. The game feels balanced enough in my opinion that Overdrive does not feel like an overpowered mechanic that takes the difficulty out but rather a mechanic that you need to use at tactically sound moments to pulll through in a battle.
3. The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt: Blood and Wine ; The DLC that felt more like a full game (you've heard that before, I'd wager). It takes all the interesting bits from its parent game and transports it to a new and more beautiful location, all the while maintaining its signature gritty story and combat encounters. Whether you are strutting through some sewer searching for a vampire to slay, or are looking for that giant that has been murdering travelers along the highway, you know the Witcher 3 will give you an interesting narrative to go along with it. The main story of this DLC is strong, giving you a worthwhile tale which takes risks in offering unconventional story telling and set pieces (like (story spoilers!)
the fairy tale world you get taken into
). The conclusion of the tale I reached was emotional and felt deserved and logical, meaning the narrative was on point again, something we have come to expect from Cd Projekt Red.

The combat is a slight evolution of the first game: besides the already very interesting mechanics of the first game, you get a mechanic called 'Overdrive', which allows you to take a number of turns in succession with a partner, which can be used to get a tactical advantage over a powerful boss or to clean out a large number of less powerful enemies who, when ganging up on you, can do a lot of damage really fast. The game feels balanced enough in my opinion that Overdrive does not feel like an overpowered mechanic that takes the difficulty out but rather a mechanic that you need to use at tactically sound moments to pulll through in a battle.
4. Ratchet & Clank ; Ah, the unadulterated fun! This game has it. Simply jumping around and shooting enemies is an inexplicably fun passtime, and it makes replaying the game so easy. I did four replays in a row, all the while enjoying the game tremendously all through every single playthrough. The variety of weapons means there is always something new to try out and master, while the platforming elements involved are fun. All this is enhanced by the game's near-pixar quality graphics, meaning that you can run around in that pixar world yourself, and finally feel like it's the actual real deal rather than having to use your imagination to make it match a bit better. A brilliant achievement for Insomniac Games, and I hope that they are already working on their newest Ratchet & Clank game, be it a remake of another game or an entirely new one!
5. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel ; The first game in the trilogy I have discussed already. This game came out on January 29th 2016 in Europe. Its story a slowly paced, but towards the end there is more than enough intrigue to carry you along swiftly and to create a great basis from which the second game continues and improves in my opinion. The combat is amazing, allowing for a range of actions, meaning that there always is a right action for you to take: heal, magic attack spell, item, attack, special attack (craft), power attack (S-craft). Which one is best, however, is not blatantly obvious, so you need to think ahead, keeping the order of characters in mind: if that powerful monster attacks next, maybe you should heal your party. However, if your characters attack first, then you have an opening to attack or use an offensive magic spell. The system of delay time means you can manipulate the order either by doing short dealy actions or by attacking with an attack that causes the enemy to delay its turn. All these elements fit together perfectly to create a brilliant and challenging combat system. Combining this amazing battle system with good character development, we have a great game that came out of left field for me.
6. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End ; Having a played the first three games for the first time just a couple of months before, I was quite interested in seeing how Naughty Dog would make an end to a series like this. In my eyes, a reasonably satisfying conclusion with a worthwhile narrative setup towards it means that they managed to pull it off well enough. However, the game, which was said to be the longest game in the series, suffered from severe pacing issues. There were chapters that coped well with the downtime between shootouts, for exampel those in
Madagascar
, but too often the game had uninteresting climbing sequences that offered little in the way of either challenge or indeed narrative build up, and seemed to run as long as they did in order to pad out the length of the game and to showcase the animations and visuals (which were, admittedly, extraordinary). That is a shame, because the game had great combat mechanics, marrying shooting with the tactical manoeuvring around the battlefield: staying in one place for extended periods of time was a surefire way to get killed. The game needed more of those battles and less of the meaningless climbing sections. If that were the case, the game could have been a lot better.

Maybe my feelings about this pacing problem have been aggravated by Druckmann's unlikable way of dismissing this criticism (basically, he said that he doesn't want people who 'just want to go from one shootout to the next' to necessarily hang on, instead trading them for people who 'appreciate his more "deliberate" pacing', a ridiculous comment that shows condescension towards people, while answering only the complaints of strawmen), but it is what it is. A good game for sure, Uncharted 4 had more potential, and could have reached GOTG status.
7. Gravity Rush Remastered ; This game came out of left field for me. I had seen glimpses of it over the years, but never really looked into it until TGS 2015, where the second game and the remaster were announced. I decided to wager a purchase on the remaster and man, it blew me away! The sheer fun of flying (falling) around the world is incredible, and gathering crystals from all nooks and crannies was more fun than I ever expected. The combat was fun, and there was a serviceable story that had some very fun set pieces to be enjoyed. The combat, however, did have one problem: without too much effort you could finish any battle by just doing gravity kicks over and over. This made fighting sometimes just a formality, and meant that the most intriguing gameplay could be had from the parkours that you can run.
8. I am Setsuna ; A quaint little game, with a powerful nostalgic feel to it. For the first few hours, just walking around in this game made me happy: it felt so much like the JRPGs of old. As time went on, the nostalgia factor dropped a bit and some flaws in the game became obvious, primarily its low difficulty and shortage of gold to be had. Still, a nice little story with more than meets the eye and a fun battle system made it an absolute blast to play, and made me wish for the next entry by Tokyo RPG Factory to come as quickly as possible.
9. World of Final Fantasy ; The definition of a nostalgia trip, this game made use of the Final Fantasy history to create a story filled with well-known characters. The game was ostensibly aimed at a younger audience (besides the nostalgia fans might experience), and as such I think it did a good job: a simple game that has differet modes and battle speeds to spice things up a bit, and a story that is accessible for all ages yet is interesting enough for older fans to be mildly interested. As a result, I think World of Final Fantasy is a fine game that is an appealing product for the young audience.
10. Rise of the Tomb Raider ; As a playstation owner, I am obviously LTTP with this game. An interesting game, but one with many flaws. The story in my opinion was so-so: the narrative twists and turns were sparse and, if they happened, pretty obvious, and the enemy was a bit undercooked in my eyes. Some sections were really fun, while others were a drag and relied on repeatedly doing the same thing over and over. As such, I think it stands below the first entry in the rebooted series, but is still a worthwhile game to play.
-----------------------------------------

I have had a really fun year with all these games, but I think next year will be amazing. From the top of my head I can name several games (Horizon Zero Dawn, Gravity Rush 2, Tales of Berseria, The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild) that would likely have been vying for the top spot in this list. Great time for gaming in my opinion, hope next year will bring many great experiences too.
 
1. Final Fantasy XV; Didn't enjoy a single game this year more than this. Loved it from start to finish and I honestly think it was worth the wait.

2. Uncharted 4; The perfect end to the series. Gameplay is at its best here and the world that Naught Dog has created is still as flawless as ever.

3. Street Fighter V; This game was everything but flawless when it launched in February, but Capcom really managed to turn it around and it's now one of the best fighters this gen in my opinion. It's also the game I've easily played the most this year.

4. Hitman; Hitman is an incredibly fun game with massive replay value. The environments ooze atmosphere and the story, though spread a little thin, is enough to keep you engaged.

5. Firewatch; I really enjoyed Firewatch. Though it wasn't as long as I'd hoped it'd be, the game itself was fun, heartwarming and mysterious from start to finish.

6. This War of Mine: The Little Ones; As if TWOM wasn't heartbreaking and bleak enough, they added children. An amazing game with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows throughout.

7. Inside; Inside was a very mysterious game that is better left to be experienced rather than told. Play this game and you'll see why.

8. The King of Fighters XIV; A great return-to-form from SNK. The game is fun, full of charm and a solid fighter.

9. Mafia 3; Mafia 3 had a lot to live up to after Mafia 2, and though it didn't deliver in places, the story and characters of Mafia 3 are just as interesting as its predecessor.

10. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim- Special Edition; I loved Skyrim when it came out in 2011 and I love it now. Still a solid game and one of Bethesda's best.
 
1. Dark soul 3- the best from software game ever. A great way to end the series. Does it all right.

2. Gears of War 4- the best third person shooter this year great for vets and new people. Beautiful.

3. Doom- it's hard for games to nail the feel of the originals but doom does it it feels old but new at the same timw.

4. Inside- the game tells a great story with no text or voice. Amazing from start to end.

5. Titanfall 2- The game of balance. Knows how to keep changing things up so nothing gets old.

6. Forza horizon 3- best racing game in years naff said.

7. Rachet and clank ps4- funny and beautiful shows what the pro can do.

8. Oxenfree- charming story that just seems like the perfect game a millennial would play.

9. Walking dead season 3- So far best telltale game in my opinion.

10- quantum break- had a blast with this game. Played on hard. Great story. Don't understand the hate.


Games I never got to play but I'm sure are awsome.
Uncharted 4
Dishonored 2
Battlefield 1
Call of duty 2016
 
1. Final Fantasy XV ; Best FF since IX. The world of Eos is beautiful, gameplay is amazing and the soundtrack is glorious.
2. Dark Souls III ;
3. The Last Guardian ;
4. Dishonored 2 ;
5. Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past ;
6. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End ;
7. Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse ;
8. Inside ;
9. Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 ;
10. Kirby: Planet Robobot ;
you have to write something about your choice.
1. The Last Guardian ; the game damn near had me in tears at the end. Have to listen to the OST in small doses cause the feels... oh the feels.
2. Titanfall 2 ; SP was pure bliss and the MP was amazing.
3. Uncharted 4 ; Great end to the series (bests U2 as the best in the series by just a lil bit)
4. Dishonored 2 ; Huge fan of these open sandbox type games. Can't wait for Prey
5. Bioshock (Remastered) ; First time playing through this gem. What a masterpiece
6. Ratchet & Clank
7. Inside
8. Doom
9. Overwatch
10. Final Fantasy XV
you too.
1. The Last Guardian; The first game that made me cry was an Ueda game. Now it's also the last. An emotional experience and an unforgetable journey.

2. Final Fantasy XV; The best effort from Square since FF X. Glorious music and fun, engaging gameplay.

3. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End; I think it should had taken a more lighthearted approach like Uncharted 2 before it. The combat to exploring ratio makes it suffer from uneven pacing, and yet it still manages to crack my top 3.

4. The Witness.

5. Street Fighter V.

6. World of Final Fantasy.

7. Ratchet and Clank.

8. Dark Souls 3.

9. Valkyria Chronicles Remastered.

10. I am Setsuna.
And you.
1. Dark soul 3- the best from software game ever. A great way to end the series. Does it all right.

2. Gears of War 4- the best third person shooter this year great for vets and new people. Beautiful.

3. Doom- it's hard for games to nail the feel of the originals but doom does it it feels old but new at the same timw.

4. Inside- the game tells a great story with no text or voice. Amazing from start to end.

5. Titanfall 2- The game of balance. Knows how to keep changing things up so nothing gets old.

6. Forza horizon 3- best racing game in years naff said.

7. Rachet and clank ps4- funny and beautiful shows what the pro can do.

8. Oxenfree- charming story that just seems like the perfect game a millennial would play.

9. Walking dead season 3- So far best telltale game in my opinion.

10- quantum break- had a blast with this game. Played on hard. Great story. Don't understand the hate.


Games I never got to play but I'm sure are awsome.
Uncharted 4
Dishonored 2
Battlefield 1
Call of duty 2016
wrong format.
 
1. Skyrim Remastered ; Being that my first experience was on PS3 and I remembered nothing but the issues, this was a must play. The more fluid experience truly let me get immersed and take in the world. Easily the most fun I had in 2016

2. Life Is Strange ;

3. Rise of the Tomb Raider ;

4. Hitman ;

5. Ratchet & Clank ;
 
you have to write something about your choice.

you too.

And you.

wrong format.
You only need to comment on one game:
OP said:
You must have at least one comment in your ballot or it may not be counted. The comment must be more substantial than "GOTF lol" or what have you. Posting without comments may also subject you to a ban. Do NOT post a ballot without any comments, as most people don't remember to come back and add them.
 
Here are my picks:

1. Dark Souls III ; The swansong of the series that redefined what Action RPGs are. The final entry of this saga shows how masterful From Software truly is when it comes to world building and story telling. Combat was also refined with inputs from Bloodborne, making it slightly faster paced without losing the methodical and careful approach the fans grew to love and admire over the years.

2. Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun ; It took 15 years but we finally have a worthy successor of Commandos 2. Everything oozes charm, the graphics are wonderful, the animations lovely, the music perfectly synced with what's happening. It had a rather unfortunate release date but here's hoping this one catches the general public's eye attention and gets all the love it deserves.

3. DOOM ; Despite all the skepticism against it, and I was one that didn't believe it would be possible, id gave us a true return to form of the franchise that's the father of all FPS's.

4. Civilization VI ; The 4X King is back improving almost every system existent in Civ V, making the vanilla game feel like a step forward compared to the complete Civ V package. The new way cities are treated was a stroke of genius and raised even more the tactical and economical strategies this game allows.

5. SHENZHEN I/O ; The best puzzle game released this year, brought to us by the mastermind behind SpaceChem.

6. Darkest Dungeon ; A RPG about misery, madness and hard choices that keeps you constantly on the knife's edge. Paired with a godlike narration, a superb soundtrack and a very distinct art style, this game traps you in it's psychological hell and you'll love it.

7. Enter the Gungeon ; A pleasant bullet-hell roguelike with charming characters and music.

8. X-COM 2 ; Despite some technical shortcomings, this sequel was capable of expanding on everything X-COM did well and at the same time fix a lot of issues the predecessor had. The guerrilla style of warfare was a brilliant touch.

9. Oxenfree ; A short and sweet story-driven experience with a lot of character and an interesting story.

10. Furi ; No unlocks, no equipment, no levels, just your personal skill in this boss-rush type of game.


Some honorable mentions:
X. Inside
X. Grow Up
X. Superhot
X. Hitman
X. Owlboy
X. Thumper
X. Stellaris
 
1. Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth; I cant remember having this much fun with either a JRPG or a Digimon game in quite some while

2. Stellaris; For me the best games of the year were ones that re-invigorated my interest in genres I used to like but had lost faith in. The countless sleepless nights Stellaris lead to wont be denied.

3. God Eater 2 Rage Burst; One of my favourite entries in the hunter genre, quick combat, lots of cool customisation and a story that ranges from good to mediocre.

4. XCOM 2; This takes everything I loved about the first game and its expansion and made it all better. The only fly in the ointment is the low quality post launch DLC.

5. Total War: Warhammer; Finally Warhammer gets the wargame treatment it deserves and TW can break out of the historical rut its been wallowing in. Unfortunately like with XCOM 2 the DLC mars an otherwise great experience (thought for a different reason in this case)

6. Elite Dangerous: Horizons; Not sure if this counts? While the game is still a great flight model with overly shallow gameplay Horizons has done a good job expanding the latter

7. No Man's Sky; While it didnt deliver on what was promised or expected it did provide what felt like some truly unique gaming experiences.

8. Dragonball Xenoverse 2; Another great sequel in a year with plenty of them, much like with XCOM 2 it takes everything good about the first game and improves on it.

9. Overwatch; The core gameplay is addictive and fun, I just sort of hate everything else about the game

10. Let it die; While the game certainly has its problems I cant deny the pure addictive fun that oozes out of it

Honourable Mentions

X. Dark Souls III; Nothing particularly wrong with the game, but its slavish homage to Dark Souls robbed it of most of its novelty, polished but (no pun intended) soulless
 
Overwatch - Easy to learn the basics but difficult to master. This Multiplayer-Only gem takes know game mechanics (Shooter, Team work, Hero abilities) and turns into something really fun, especially if played with friends!
 
The runners of the thread have already said they'll get most of the votes you don't need to keep correcting people, (especially sometimes with wrong information) if their votes don't count, they don't count. They're the ones who didn't read.
 
1. Uncharted 4 ; the most complete game this year, great story, characters, action and gameplay additions.
2. Deus Ex Mankind Divided ; Deus ex 4 improved on Human Revolution and gave us a great FPS RPG with true shoot/sneak options for everything.
3. Doom ; the fourth Doom, like Wolfenstein before it proved that not all remakes are worthless.
4. Driveclub VR ; the first real VR game, played this for hours at a time. A gamechanger for driving games.
5. Destiny Rise of Iron ; Still the most hours played this year, grind is real!.
6. Let it Die ; Suprise entry of the year, very addicting gameplay and a free-to-play done right.
7. Hitman ; A great return to form with Hitman, second best game in the series after Blood Money.
8. The Division ; Even though the content dried up at one point, still has promise and great updates keep me playing every now and then.
9. Final Fantasy XV ; Was really enjoying getting engrossed in another mainline Final Fantasy again. Shame it's still in early access, hence the low ranking.
10. Street Fighter 5 ; Best fighting game of the year, been playing this now more already than i ever played all the versions of SF4 combined.

Honorable Mentions
x. Firewatch ; A great adventure game, clearly from the writers of the Walking Dead Season 1.
x. Furi ; Amazing soundtrack, pure and simple gameplay mechanics.
 
1. Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth ; easily the best turn-based JRPG released this gen and the last. The customisation and combat depth of Cyber Sleuth is mindblowing and just figuring out the optimum party alone could consume you for days. Love the free-form non-linear evolution trees that encourages experimentation and rewards careful planning. Playing on hard mode is heavily recommended.
2. Final Fantasy XV ; I'm just glad it delivered 80% of the hype i've accumulated for nearly a decade. Personally, open world is meaningless (most are just linear gameplay experiences stiched together anyway) if i don't find the world appealing. XV is different as its modern fantasy setting is what i've been clamouring for since VIII blew my mind to smithereens 17 years ago.
3. Uncharted 4 ; Satisfying conclusion to the best SP action adventure series ever made. I really underestimated the gameplay impact of adding the rope to Drake's abilities. And as usual for ND's titles, the experience can be jaw-dropping at times.
4. Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization ; The long awaited sequel to the peerless Hollow Fragment. They tweaked the combat system to be more action-y but the core depth is still present and the boss fights are more satisfying overall. A must-play for ARPG fans.
5. Steins;Gate 0 ; There was zero chance of 0 replicating the mindblowing experience of entering the S;G world for the first time...but it came really close in the emotional department. 0 is the perfect sequel in the sense that it fleshes out so much of the S;G universe and (the part which i enjoyed most) expands the story of the side characters. Get this ASAP if you like Steins;Gate.
6. Ratchet & Clank ; Finally we get a R&C game of the same calibre as ACIT.
7. Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir ; Absolutely gorgeous game with a fun 2D action combat system. Would have placed higher if there was more variety in enemy types.
8. World of Final Fantasy ; Fan service done right. There's room for improvement in the combat department, but overall WoFF is a charming game that kept me (and my gf especially) entertained for 40+ hours.
9. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II ; I'm only halfway (?) through the game but i'm loving the story so far.
10. The Last Guardian ; Same as above, the reason why it is so low is because i haven't completed it yet.
 
Hi all. Long time lurker.. currently lurking this thread daily. I think I have the format down despite many. Is there a tally for how many people have done this incorrectly?

1. Uncharted 4 ; All hail Naughty Dog. They are on a completely different level than most. Visually unmatched. A true technical marvel.
2. Dishonored 2 ; Joined the party late with this one. Played through the first and second game within about a weeks time. Great atmosphere and player freedom to play the way you want. Very high replay value. Got a big Bioshock vibe from the game.
3. Titanfall 2 ; Agree with most that the timing of this release was a joke. Really well put together package. I did not think the single player was as mindblowing as most on here, but it was a nice intro/tutorial for how to play the game.
For those that like time travel implemented in a similar (dare I say better) manner, try the Crack in the Slab mission from Dishonored 2
. The multiplayer is fun and is currently way better than anything Call of Duty has going for it other than the number of people that play.
4. Dark Souls 3 ; Only played Bloodborne prior. I liked this better. The story was a bit more coherent IMO. I knew it was going to be great from the main screen as soon as the music started playing. Played through it fairly quickly which is not how a game like this should be played (kid problems) but had a lot of fun. Didn't find the difficulty to be a problem. Enjoyed summoning and learning from others.
5. Overwatch ; Played this extensively for the first few months then tailed off. Very unique shooter that is refreshing compared to most other shooters that are out. I like the focus on teamwork. Who cares about KDR. All of the characters are fun to play around with as well.
6. Doom ; Was not a big Doom guy back in the day so this game did not resonate with me the way it probably did with many. Definitely a throw back to old school shooters. It knows what it is and it doesn't try to be anything different. Really dug the metal pumping as you lay waste to the monsters. The multiplayer is hot trash which is disappointing. Could have been much higher on the list.

I'm interested to see where Rise of the Tomb Raider and The Last Guardian would fall. I have yet to play either!
 
1. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End ; While the journey is not as thrilling as the previous games in the series, I really enjoyed the deeper personal story with the characters I've grown to love, all wrapped up in a fantastic and memorable epilogue.

2. Final Fantasy XV ; Been waiting for this game for almost 10 years and while it trips and stumbles during certain parts it's still a high quality game that doesn't disappoint.

3. The Last Guardian ; Another game I've been waiting years for and it is simply beautiful.

4. DOOM ; A big surprise for me this year, I had low expectations before launch but was blown away by how vicious this game was. Every moment is filled with intense momentum, either from the player running around and blasting enemies apart or from demons arriving and attacking from all angles without hesitation.

5. Battlefield 1 ; Easily my favorite Battlefield game since BF2, I really enjoyed the World War 1 setting, increased destruction, incredible visuals and audio. My only complaints are the lack of important armies (making the French Army DLC is upsetting) and also gore, which would've set the tone even more for how horrible this war was. But from what I can tell this game's popularity got more people interested in WW1 and that's what matters the most.

6. Titanfall 2 ; I played the beta and was disappointed at first but playing the full game really turned my opinion around. Just as fast paced as the original and with a lot more depth. Also a really great single-player that took me by surprise.

7. Overwatch ; I really enjoy Blizzard's games but wasn't really looking forward to this game before launch. However I bought into the hype on launch day and don't regret it a bit. The charming characters, addictive gameplay and constant free content are going to make this game a must-play for the next few years.

8. Hitman ; I bought the season pass at day one and I liked Episode 1, but the game really clicked for me when I played Episode 2 that took place on a gorgeous coastal town in Italy. The crazy amount of choices in this game had me replaying the same level over and over again, trying to find new ways to complete the goal. The following episodes kept the fun going for me. I have high hopes for season 2.

9. Firewatch ; A really personal story that takes place in the Wyoming wilderness. The art style is top notch and the two main characters are lovable. A really memorable experience for me.

10. Total War: Warhammer ; I love the Total War games but this is the most fun I've had with the series yet. Really glad to see the Warhammer universe being used to it's full potential in video games.
 
1. Hitman ; 150+ hours I have put into PC version it is a masterpiece of stealth, new content delivered regularly, and absolute fun.
2. Overwatch ; I haven't actually played much in months now but I really, really enjoyed QP early on, sunk a ton of time into it. Easy to play, hard to master sums it up perfectly.
3. The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt: Blood and Wine ; I am only 50% through the DLC but specifically stopped just so I will have more W3 to play next year. Its fantastic and huge.
4. Uncharted 4 ; platinum'd the game, while I slightly preferred UC2-3 and don't like the brother at all it was still a beautiful game to actually play, recently rebought just to tool around in multiplayer.
5. Forza Horizon 3 ; so beautiful, so fun to play. I loved FH2, didn't think the australian outback would top Italy but the mechanics of FH3 are just perfect and the game is a visual treat.
6. Ratchet and Clank ; first R&C I ever played, beautiful game and really really fun. I haven't played platform games in years really but R&C was super enjoyable.
7. Assassin's Creed Ezio Collection ; not sure it qualifies, playing right now and just having so much fun. AC2 + B + R -- three massive games for one price, visuals are great and the setting is so amazing. I have played all the games before but love replaying them.
8. TItanfall 2 ; I was one of the ones who HATED the alpha and thought the game was being sent out to die but I was wrong, multiplayer has been a blast. I have yet to even TOUCH the single player and I hear its fantastic too.
9. Battlefield 1 ; only spent 15-20 hours but I love the setting and the huge variety of things to do. T2/COD/OW games are 10-15 minute destructive rampages, my BF1 games tend to be an HOUR or more (64 player) and require much more strategy, teamwork, and thought. Some times you want that, sometimes you just want that instant visceral action rush of T2/COD.

Unfortunately I didn't get to play much of FF15, Watch Dogs 2, or TLG this year to decide upon them.
 
1. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided ; Great game that delivered only half the story though,so I think we'll soon see a sequel on the same engine in the next couple of years

2. Dark Souls III ; Could also be named as greatest hits of the franchise,It's a really great game that a few flaws set it back from being the perfect Dark Souls game

3. Titanfall 2 ; Really fun tactical shooter.Just a great buy overall

4. Doom ; Pure chaotic combat,but with an interesting level design



I have yet to play Dishonored 2,so I can't comment on it. I really liked Witcher 3:Blood and Wine,but I don't know if an expansion should be listed as a game.

Generally this year hasn't been that good in my opinion
 
1. World of Warcraft: Legion ; Players are back out in the world doing World Quests. There's a ton of quality of life improvements. The leveling quests are the best of any expansion. The story is great and actually in the game and not all in a book. My most played game of 2016 by far.

2. Pokémon Sun/Moon ; They really went all out on making the Alola region feel unique with the story and new forms for old Pokemon. My second most played game of 2016.

3. The Last Guardian ; Great catdogbird pet simulator.

4. Pokkén Tournament ; I had a lot of fun playing this. I think it does a great job of bringing Pokemon anime style battles into a game.

5. Monster Hunter Generations ; It is the ultimate Capcom milking and reusing of of old stuff, but it is still super fun.

6. Fire Emblem Fates ; Huge game/games with something for all FE fans.

7. Shantae Half-Genie Hero ; Shantae goes all Mega Man X and stuff.

8. Street Fighter V ; Regardless of all the bullshit that came along with it, it's still a great game at its core.
 
1. Overwatch ; Blizz did it again, its like everything they touch is gamer gold.

2. Dark Souls 3 ; first game is my goat third one is solid but maybe I m getting tired of the formular.

3. DOOM ; so fun to play that kind of game on pc while the music pumps you up.

4. The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt: Blood and Wine ; seeing my favourit book char again filled me with joy, but I disliked the happy ending not very Witcher like.

5. Inside ; what a ride in one sitting so much stylllllllleeeeeeee.

6. TItanfall 2 ; BT is cool, running on walls is cool, mechs are cool, titanfall is cool.

7. Firewatch ; in one sitting so tens.

8. Stellaris ; hours and hours with coworkers and never finished a game.

9. The Last Guardian ; last minute change really liked it overall but it has problems, you get invested that sometimes you have to look away

10. Uncharted 4 ; not the biggest fan of the first three games but this one won me over for that it deserves the mention.