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

Zolbrod

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1. Persona 5 ; All I can say about this game is that I can't WAIT until it gets released in the West so I can hear what everyone thinks about it. It's a success on pretty much every front as far as I'm concerned.

2. Dark Souls III ; The best game in the Souls series and about on par with Bloodborne. From has finally perfected the formula.

3. Final Fantasy XV ; The best FF in 15 years. Yes, it has many problems, but it still manages to shine despite of them. I can't even imagine what this could have been like if it had been properly finished, haha.

4. Ratchet & Clank ; This deserves to go on that exclusive list of exemplary remakes. It's beautiful, it's fun, it's the perfect balance between familiar content and completely new ideas. More of this please, Insomniac!

5. Furi ; I loved this game right from the start, even without knowing exactly why. When I finally finished it and noticed the shout-out to PlatinumGames in the credits, I knew what it was: this game is a love letter to fast-paced, action-packed, demanding 3rd person action games, with some insane bullet hell elements thrown in for good measure. Masterful stuff.

6. Ys VIII ; Ys VIII is the best Ys game since Felghana. There, I said it. Seven and Celceta were great, but just felt slightly lacking. Ys VIII captures the true spirit of classic Ys and adds enough modern elements to make it feel fresh and exciting. I don't want to derail the thread, but I feel Falcom is MUCH better at action games than old-school RPGs (I think the Trails series is okay at best), and Ys VIII is a perfect example of that. Fresh, modern, exciting, and surprisingly beautiful for a Vita game.

7. The Witness ; Disclaimer: I'm too dumb for the Witness. It goes way over my head. But it's just grounded enough for me to appreciate how immensely clever it is. Before I bought it, I was like "how interesting can a game be if it has nothing but line-drawing puzzles?" and the answer is "incredibly so."

8. Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 ; All I'll say about this game is this: Fuck Keiji Inafune. Mighty No.9 is a disgrace. Luckily, Inti Creates still knows how to make awesome Mega Man clones and ASG2 is a perfect example. Mega Man is not dead, it just has a new name and new developer.

9. Zero Time Dilemma ; Although I didn't quite like this as much as Virtue's Last Reward, it's still a great roller coaster of a ride through great Escape Room puzzles, crazy plot twists, and surprisingly deep quantum physics (by video game standards at least). There's plenty of criticism to aim at this game, but it still feels unique enough to earn a place on the GOTY list.

And that's it! I only have 9 games this year. I'm currently playing The Last Guardian, but I'm not far enough in yet to decide if it earns a place on this list. It very well might, but I'll need some more time with it.
 

nin1000

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Feb 10, 2013
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1. Dishonored 2; Even though i am currently only in mission 5 I have put in more than 50 hours into this Masterpiece. Technical issues aside, the artstyle the way the game lets you play the way you want to aswell as the fact that we finally got a really really great sneaking game puts this game on my number one spot.

2. DOOM ; It has been a good while since i have experienced such a heart pumping non stop action blasted game. From the very beginning until the awesome end the game never lets go. The gameplay is perfected in such a way that i replayed it seveal times, just to blast some enemies away.

3. Darkest Dungeon ; Even though i started playing this in january 2016, i was turned away from the hard difficulty curve and let the game sit until several weeks ago. I forced myself to give it another shot and i could not be happier about it. The game drips with atmosphere. You care for your party and want them to succeed but if a member dies it really really hurts. It has been a while since i had played such a dungeon crawler.
I put down 50 hours into this game and i am just touching the tip of the iceberg.

4. INSIDE ; Ever since i finished limbo back then i wanted to see what the studio had to offer. I am very glad that the trailers that they released from the game dont really say much since this game has to be experienced. Its a short but perfectly polished gem of a game. Its something that will forever stay in my mind. The feeling of terror and fear is transferred into the player.

5. Hyper Light Drifter ; A love letter to those games i grew up with. From the perfected pixel art style , lush soundtrack to the very nice combat. This game really deserves all the love in the world

6. Titanfall 2 ; Jam packed Campaign with action, action and more action. the movement, the shooting everything is polished to the max. It does not really bother me that it was short. Since i had a sweet time with it.

7. Firewatch ; Great experience, the beginning brought me to tears and the relationship between Henry and Delilah is really sweet.

8. Reigns ; A really really fun experimental King Simulator. Tinder King Simulator!

9. Overwatch ; A well polished game from Blizzard. I had a lot of fun in the first month and because of that it deserves a spot on this top 10. the solo queue sucks though, fix that blizzard.

10. Superhot ; Innovation in the Shooter Genre? Is that even possible ? Well this little game showed that there is still room for some nice ideas. Really really liked it and had a lot of fun while playing this insane game. SUPER HOT!
 

Bronetta

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Voting is closed guys. As much as it sucks, your votes won't be counted anymore (unless you want to post your lists anyway)
 
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Oh good, I can voice my inner guesstimates over the results now. I'm guessing a tight top 4/5, then a tight 6-11, then a tight 12-20, like a plateau effect. Watching where DOOM/UC4/OW/FFXV/Hitman shake out up top will be very interesting indeed.
 

Stumpokapow

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Considering what a great year this was for games, surprised to see that this year's thread is about 2/3 the size of last year's.
The fact that the thread was stickied probably had a lot to do with this. I believe a moderator stickied it after getting a request from the Soundtrack of the Year thread to be stickied for visibility. Our general belief is that stickying something that was going to be popular anyway makes it less visible because people mentally ignore stickies but not threads consistently bumped to near the top of the main thread listing. The Soundtrack of the Year thread was up a little bit versus last year, so I guess it may have worked for them. Hard to say if this is the only cause -- it being a pretty diffuse year for anyone who is not primarily a Sony player might play a factor. I know we took a hit in reply count when we started mandating a comment as well.
 

Grexeno

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The fact that the thread was stickied probably had a lot to do with this. I believe a moderator stickied it after getting a request from the Soundtrack of the Year thread to be stickied for visibility. Our general belief is that stickying something that was going to be popular anyway makes it less visible because people mentally ignore stickies but not threads consistently bumped to near the top of the main thread listing. The Soundtrack of the Year thread was up a little bit versus last year, so I guess it may have worked for them. Hard to say if this is the only cause -- it being a pretty diffuse year for anyone who is not primarily a Sony player might play a factor. I know we took a hit in reply count when we started mandating a comment as well.
Less visible threads like Best Soundtrack probably benefit from the sticky just because they tend to fall off the first page really quickly. Game of the Year probably doesn't need the sticky, but I don't think it hurts either. This year just didn't have the titanic battles last year had.
 

Messofanego

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2. Samorost 3 ; Re-posted from the game's woefully short-lived OT: So I found myself really fascinated by the series' decade-plus-long shift from bite-sized Flash point 'n click project with a slightly surreal, firmly environmentalist bent to a contemplative sci-fi fable that greatly expands upon the prior two game's ideas. Where Samorost 1 and 2 showed Amanita Design as a budding Czech developer learning how to use genre conventions in unusual settings, Samorost 3 is a return to those conventions and settings with a new perspective and a decade of experience.

After finishing it, I was a bit surprised by some of the critical reception negatively pointing at how stubbornly it adheres to the structure of a late 90's/early 00's adventure game. I think this detail is a conscious decision on Amanita's part, especially after hearing how loosely Botanicula sticks to these kinds of conventions. Here, Amanita reframes well-worn conventions with the same inquisitive drive that Gnome shares in exploring new planets. Much like Samorost 1 and 2, puzzles are mostly based around sequences, but Samorost 3, with its richer soundscape, often treats its puzzles like refining a sequence of notes. Along with the soundtrack having more of a whimsical identity, there's a sense of musicality to the creatures and objects you interact with in the environment, which makes these spaces feel more lively and inviting the further you look.

The recurring harmony of organic & technological elements is a motif used throughout the Samorost series. There's a clarity in its usage in the first two games, which I mostly contribute to their brevity. But in Samorost 3, that harmony isn't solely found in its art direction; it's shared across its design philosophies and musical core. Samorost 3 is a humble game. It's the kind of idiosyncratic work that results from gestating for half a decade. Being able to share the sights and sounds of a distant planet means the world to it. And I was happy to tag along.
I feel genuinely bad I didn't give more time to Samorost 3, but loved reading your take on it. Maybe I should just consult a guide, get past the puzzle I was stuck on, and soldier through.
 

Nocturnowl

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I actually think 2016 was a rather weak year. It is very much a matter of taste.
Would it make sense if I said it was a really good year but simultaneously for me it felt kinda ho-hum? coming off the 2014 and 2015 train at least, it was like a year of many great titles but nothing that really screamed GotY at me.
Granted for us both I imagine Nintendo doing something in the region of bugger all wasn't that great.

Nothing is as weak as 2012 mind you, we're still far beyond that year.
 

Riposte

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Would it make sense if I said it was a really good year but simultaneously for me it felt kinda ho-hum? coming off the 2014 and 2015 train at least, it was like a year of many great titles but nothing that really screamed GotY at me.
Granted for us both I imagine Nintendo doing something in the region of bugger all wasn't that great.

Nothing is as weak as 2012 mind you, we're still far beyond that year.
Hmm, I almost want to agree, but I was pretty set on my top 2. It's just I had somewhere around two dozen small revisions of 3-10.
 

Yoshi

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Would it make sense if I said it was a really good year but simultaneously for me it felt kinda ho-hum? coming off the 2014 and 2015 train at least, it was like a year of many great titles but nothing that really screamed GotY at me.
Granted for us both I imagine Nintendo doing something in the region of bugger all wasn't that great.

Nothing is as weak as 2012 mind you, we're still far beyond that year.
I think so, yes. There certainly were a lot of good games, but outside of Fire Emblem I was not "amazed" by anyhting. The previous years were a lot stronger. And yes, Nintendo has a lot to do with that and I agree that 2016 was not as weak as 2012 :).
 

Nocturnowl

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Hmm, I almost want to agree, but I was pretty set on my top 2. It's just I had somewhere around two dozen small revisions of 3-10.
My placements were barely set in stone myself, last week I thought that I should go back and push Stardew Valley up further having put (much) more time into it but didn't really feel like going through the minimal editing effort.

Actually going back to see your linked 2015 list which led to a link to my own (cheers by the way) had me also noticing I had more interesting descriptions for that year as well since the titles resonated with me more.

In defense of 2016 though I could have easily done a top 20, maybe I'll stretch those honourable mentions out later on now the voting has concluded here and the thread's staying open
Now for 2017, well already i'm a lot more excited with what's coming up.
 

Dance Inferno

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Alright now that voting is over (and my post from yesterday appears to be deleted), I'm going to state my guess again that Overwatch is going to win the whole thing, which is kind of mind blowing to me. I mean I knew it was popular but I didn't realize just how popular until I read through this thread. I couldn't really have fun with it after the second competitive season when I started to get burned out on the way so many aspects of the game were handled, so it's interesting how many people have dumped hundreds of hours into it and still have it on their lists.
 

duckroll

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2016 was a fucking great year for shooters. But I feel if you're not into that, it's going to seem somewhat weak.
 

Budi

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2016 was a fucking great year for shooters. But I feel if you're not into that, it's going to seem somewhat weak.
Well, I'm not into shooters really myself. But I got 3 sequels for some of my all time favorite franchises. Though, there's only 2 games and some DLC in Dishonored. Other two being Deus Ex and Xcom.
 

spekkeh

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2016 was an incredibly weak year IMO. There was a lot of breadth but little depth. The goty will be between Overwatch, Doom and The Last Guardian. No offense to anyone who was a huge fan of either of these games, but I think TLG is the only one that will be in any kind of (mainstream) discussion five years from now. And it will be remembered for its weak controls and boring first half as much as its soaring ending. I guess Overwatch if it picks up in esports.

edit- boy I was wrong.
 

Ultimadrago

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I wasn't impressed with 2016 much at all, while I acknowledge there were some really solid titles around (including a few I didn't get around to). I listed 5 games on my list even though I played well over 10. This almost happened in 2016, but I ended up running into some great shorter titles before time was up, getting my list to a Top 10. That unfortunately didn't happen in 2016, but I certainly did get something out of the year regardless!
 

Nocturnowl

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Alright now that voting is over (and my post from yesterday appears to be deleted), I'm going to state my guess again that Overwatch is going to win the whole thing, which is kind of mind blowing to me. I mean I knew it was popular but I didn't realize just how popular until I read through this thread. I couldn't really have fun with it after the second competitive season when I started to get burned out on the way so many aspects of the game were handled, so it's interesting how many people have dumped hundreds of hours into it and still have it on their lists.
Still betting on Uncharted 4 edging it out over here (edit: I just saw the thread, indeed it did) but as for Overwatch I do get where you're coming from, after managing to eventually solo queue my way up to platinum rank in season 2 I haven't even finished my season 3 placements because of Blizzard's seemingly odd approach to balance and fixing issues inherent to competitive mode in general.
It's at times like this it was worth taking the step back to remind myself why I was really enjoying it so much in the first place and how damn fun it was for me in its first few months, really the fact it kept its hooks in me for so long when the only dangling carrots were basically aesthetics from loot crates kinda tells me that despite my issues and on occasion my seething saltiness I do in fact really enjoy the game.

Hopefully since Overwatch is very much an ongoing balancing act with much more to come it can still shake off some of the sticking points that became visible once the initial buzz had worn off.

2016 was a fucking great year for shooters. But I feel if you're not into that, it's going to seem somewhat weak.
I was forced into shooters for the first time in years as a result and it turned out pretty well so that was a nice surprise.
 

Dance Inferno

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Still betting on Uncharted 4 edging it out over here but as for Overwatch I do get where you're coming from, after managing to eventually solo queue my way up to platinum rank in season 2 I haven't even finished my season 3 placements because of Blizzard's seemingly odd approach to balance and fixing issues inherent to competitive mode in general.
It's at times like this it was worth taking the step back to remind myself why I was really enjoying it so much in the first place and how damn fun it was for me in its first few months, really the fact it kept its hooks in me for so long when the only dangling carrots were basically aesthetics from loot crates kinda tells me that despite my issues and on occasion my seething saltiness I do in fact really enjoy the game.

Hopefully since Overwatch is very much an ongoing balancing act with much more to come it can still shake off some of the sticking points that became visible once the initial buzz had worn off.
Results are posted, you were right. ;)

Yeah I mentioned this in my ballot, but the most fun I had with Overwatch was during closed beta. Back then there was no progression, no XP, no loot boxes, no competitive mode, and it was amazing. The only reason you played the game was for the core gameplay, which is the best part of the game. Once Blizzard added everything else around it, that's when it started to wear on me.
 

PensivePen

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My vote wasn't counted because I put numerical scores between each game.
Mine appears to have gone uncounted too, though I'm not sure what I did wrong. But I'm sure it was probably my fault. Wasn't that worried about it though, it was more for the fun of writing about the games I played than adding to the score.
 

Budi

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Where Deus Ex is a shooter, though.

What is immersive sim?
I'm not sure what you were implying with that, I might have misunderstood. But personally I can't consider Deus Ex as a shooter. While ofcourse you can shoot in the game, saying it's a first-person shooter isn't very accurate.
 

Lostconfused

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Going by the top 10 that won I would say it was somewhat of a weak year. On the other hand the "quality" list seems pretty good to me with a number of interesting titles. I would say there were probably some great niche games out this year with a somewhat middling AAA lineup with. Bungie still pumping out Destiny, Ubisoft taking a break from Asscreed and CoD fatigue still going strong it doesn't seem like a great year for big budget games.
 

Aarglefarg

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It's always sad to see some lists be disqualified for reasons like putting a number in a later post that overwrites their list.
Mine appears to have gone uncounted too, though I'm not sure what I did wrong. But I'm sure it was probably my fault. Wasn't that worried about it though, it was more for the fun of writing about the games I played than adding to the score.
The roman numeral X for Odin Sphere in the 'unofficial' list seems to have confused it even though it was in an earlier post than your final list. Since it thinks you gave it an honourable mention.
 

Cheesemeister

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Mine wasn't counted because I voted for a board game (note: there are no rules against voting for a board game)
No, you put the entire text of your ballot in blockquote tags.

Cheesemeister said:
Can I talk about somebody else's list?
Discussion is encouraged! Want to talk about another poster’s list? Quote it. Any unquoted ballots (those outside a quote block) will overwrite your own previous vote.
 

Tain

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It's probably way too late for this, but would it be possible to see data on Superhot versus Superhot VR? They were rolled into one game, but are very much separate titles.