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

1. Root Double -Before Crime * After Days ; sci-fi story packed with great character moments, simple but clever twists and satisfying conclusion!

2. Shin Megami Tensei 4 Apocalypse ; Best rpg this year hands down, got rid of all the problems that the predecessor had. One of its endings is a dream for longtime smt fans that played all the mainline games.

3. The House in Fata Morgana ; VN with powerful story and characters, the atmosphere and artstyle are unique and captivating. And not to forget the best soundtrack of the year!

4. Xanadu Next ; Another gem made by falcom, possibly the "souls" game that most of the people didnt play and yes this game came out before the word souls even existed.

5. The Last Guardian ; This game gave me the most emotional finale this year ;_;

6. Mecha Ritz Steel Rondo ; fresh, addicting, action packed, the perfect shoot em up this year

7. The Silver Case ; This brought me back to the late 90s of japanese cyberpunk games at the time and i'm really grateful for that.

8. Orwell ; really great interactive game with some neat ideas

9. The Last Door: Season 2 ; Point & Click adventure with amazing atmosphere and sound design

10. OneShot ; 4th wall breaking at its finest, and it even surpasses Undertale in some aspects

Honorable mentions:

Wuppo
Trails of Cold Steel 2
Momodora
Yomawari
Battle Garegga
Obduction
Kirby robobot
Thumper
Inside
VA-11 Hall-A Cyberpunk Bartender Action
IMSCARED
 

1.Hyper Light Drifter; A phenomenal take on Zelda-style exploration with inventive enemy encounters and a mysterious world.

2.Overwatch; One of the most mechanically engaging shooters I've ever played. Makes having a diverse cast look like the easiest thing in the world.

3.Titanfall 2; Great movement and great shooting combine to make the most complete shooter experience of the year.

4.Furi; Slick presentation and varied boss design keep this game from ever being boring.

5.Deus Ex: Mankind Divided ; Deus Ex's world remains as captivating as ever, and this entry in the series beautifully fleshes out Prague through excellent art design and a number of involved and varied side missions.
 
1. Overwatch ; A great current-gen replacement for the now terrible Team Fortress 2. Great gameplay, great characters.
2. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Blood and Wine ; Even The Witcher 3's worst DLC is still one of the best games this year. No other developer can match the standards set by the amount of content in a single piece of The Witcher 3 DLC.
3. The Witness ; One of the best and most original puzzle games I've played since the first Portal.
4. Doom ; Great gameplay that manages to capture what made the original games great and still give us its own unique twist. Mick Gordon.
5. Titanfall 2 ; Better than the 1st, with a fantastic single-player campaign.
6. Battlefield 1 ; Showcases just how great the Frostbite engine has become, and really nails down a lot of the Battlefield gameplay that previous entries needed several months to patch in.
7. Dark Souls III ; Might just be the worst Soulsborne game. But even the worst Soulsborne game is better than most other games.
8. Stardew Valley ; Made by one person, the best Harvest Moon/Animal Crossing game, and it's available on PC. Probably some of the most visually appealing pixel art I've seen in quite sometime. Better communication and post-launch support than most AAA devs.
9. Enter the Gungeon ; It looks like a lot of people forgot this came out or something? It's got fantastic gameplay that trumps that of similar games like Nuclear Throne and The Binding of Isaac. And it's getting a massive free update sometime soon.
10. Final Fantasy XV ; The story's bad, the gameplay's lackluster, but there's something else about this boy-band RPG that I keep coming back to.

Honorable Mentions
x. Furi ; Fantastic game through and through. Amazing soundtrack, and amazing gameplay.
x. Pokémon Sun/Moon ; Great improvement over previous entries into the series in most cases, but still oddly treats its players like it's their first time with a Pokémon game, and renders the second screen of the 3DS completely useless, whereas the previous two games on the 3DS used it really well.
x. Ratchet & Clank ; Looks like a Pixar movie in game-form. Suffers in the gameplay and story departments though. Random clips from a bad kids movie, and gameplay too closely resembling that from the outdated original games, such as the terrible rubberbanding in races, keeps it from my top 10.
x. Civilization VI ; I couldn't find this on the spreadsheet list for some reason? Anyways, significant improvement over vanilla Civilization V, and hopefully it only gets better than V is in its current state when the DLC starts getting released.
x. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End ; I just haven't played enough of it to throw it up onto my top 10. I picked it up around the same time I picked up the whole trilogy and started playing them the first time. Got burnt out on the series at the beginning of 3, and just didn't like it enough to continue. I will say though, Uncharted 4 is really impressive to me so far, and hopefully it can keep this up.
 
1. Dragon Quest Builders ; Amazingly fun spinoff that stands up there with the main games of the series. Also works wonderfully as an anniversary game.
2. Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness ; Great RPG that mixes a lot of what made the old (=first) Star Ocean game good with some new ideas in how to present character interaction. Most people on GAF seem to hate it, but what do they know?
3. Hyrule Warriors Legends; Already had the WiiU game on my list two years ago, but even judged only by its additions this deserves another high spot. They managed to make the 3DS version the (currently) definitive version of the game. It plays better, it has a lot of quality of life improvements and tons of new content. Remember to play it on a n3DS, though.
4. Gotta Protectors; Sometimes there are niche games where you feel they were specifically made for you. This is one of those games for me.
5. Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past; The original game is a masterpiece, the same is of course still true for the remake. But with every improvement there come some new problems. The biggest ones being the increased encounter rate and some text issues introduced in the Western version. It's still a very good version of the game, so it deserves its place on this list, but it's not the clearly definitive version I hoped it to be.
6. Atelier Sophie; I love the new alchemy system. It offers a lot of experimentation to get the perfect recipe. Apart from that it's the usual competent Atelier game which is already a very good thing.
7. World of Final Fantasy; A great game for everyone who loves the series with lots of nods here and there. The goofy humor is so stupid it had me laughing often and overall it's just a fun ride. Sometimes it can get a bit boring if dungeons drag on, but that shouldn't distract anyone from this game. If you like your games to be strictly serious, stay away, though.


x. Zero Time Dilemma; Still a somewhat competent visual novel, but a severe disappointment coming from the other two games in the series. Has some really stupid segments. It's a good game, but it's the comparison with the other games that keeps me from including it in my main list.
x. Mirror's Edge: Catalyst; The original Mirror's Edge was one of my favorite games from the last console generation. Similar to ZTD I was disappointed by Catalyst. Dropping the strict level design for an open world offers some new possibilities, but overall makes the game feel more bland and repetitive. Climbing that huge building towards the end of the story was great, though.
x. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II; Another in a list of disappointments this year. Cold Steel 1 managed to hide some its problems behind strong worldbuilding, Cold Steel II feels like that cover is removed and the problems seem all the more severe now. Plus some of its story is just plain stupid. Still, at its core lies a great RPG, so it deserves an honorable mention.
x. Uncharted 4 ; The only game on my honorable mentions list that I was actually positively surprised by. Exploration and combat are a lot more interesting compared to the other games in the series. This is easily my favorite Uncharted game.

There are a lot of games from this year I expect to be pretty good that I didn't get to play yet. Hopefully I'll manage to play through at least one or two of them before the voting deadline.
 


1. Titanfall 2 ; In a year absolutely packed to the brim with the genre's juggernauts, somehow Titanfall 2 rose above to be the most inventive, unique and re playable shooter of the year. (And before you ask, I haven't finished Doom yet.) TF2 takes everything you love from Half-Life, Modern Warfare and Portal and molds it into an absolute joyride through some of the best-crafted levels I think I've ever seen in a shooter. And the multiplayer isn't too shabby either.



2. Ratchet & Clank ; Rarely do games from the first half of the year stick with me this long, but hey, here we are. Billed as a reimagining of the original PS2 game and as a companion to the craptacular animated film, Ratchet & Clank makes good on the age-old promise of a playable Pixar film. The vistas and backdrops in this game are some of the best I've ever seen, with particle and light effects filling in the cracks of a spectacular world. Can't wait to see where they go next (hopefully they go commando).



3. Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth ; OK sure, the game isn't *technically* one of the best of the year, but for me, this game brought my love and nostalgia for the Digimon franchise full circle, marrying it with pseudo-Persona game design, stellar music and a fairly addicting monster battler. Seriously, I put like 300 hours into this game and I still don't have the platinum.



4. Pokemon Sun & Pokemon Moon ; As the riskiest entries in the series yet, there was no better time to drop them then months after the release of Pokemon GO. And say what you will about the mobile game, but it absolutely reignited the fire in this franchise. I've played every game since day one in '98, but Sun & Moon's quality of life changes will make some of the older games, dare I say it, nigh unplayable.



5. Oxenfree ; Probably the game I least expected to be on this list, but after spending a few days exploring a playthrough of the game and letting its events simmer, I'm convinced this is one of the best experiences of the year. The fantastic and realistic voice acting, relate-able characters and spooky tunes all work so well together.



6. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End ; Honestly UC4, I'm quite surprised to see you this low on the list. While an undeniable perfection exists in Naughty Dog's games, from character interaction to design and movement, UC4 failed to capture me the way the previous games in the series did. That said, this was still one hell of a necessary ride that tied a neat bow on a story that desperately needed one.



7. Overwatch ; While I don't play it regularly anymore. Overwatch successfully resurrected an online play need I had forgotten I had (something that hadn't been around since the days of COD4 or Halo 3. Plus the world and lore are just so great.



8. Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare ; Surprise, surprise. I haven't enjoyed a COD game since Black Ops 1, but Infinite Warfare really caught me off guard. Not with the multiplayer or zombies, though, but with it's Star Wars and Mass Effect-inspired campaign. Plus Ethan was just the coolest robot bro ever (Except for BT and K2SO).



9. Clash Royale ; I swore I would curse the day that a mobile game ended up on this list, but here we are. After months and months of refusing to try it, Clash Royale has captivated my life and my phone's battery. The best part? You can git gud without having to spend a single cent because of the game's slow learning curve and Clan system. Woo!



10. Job Simulator ; I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time with the HTC Vive this year, and not one game or experience captivated me as much as Job Simulator. Sure, game's like The Lab or Tiltbrush were incredibly immersive, but the novelty wore off quicker than Job Simulator's did. That's not to say there isn't a novelty, I just didn't catch on to it as quickly.

x. ABZU ; It was Journey underwater, and a beautifully captivating couple of hours. Just not enough to make it to the big leagues.
x. Dragon Quest Builders ; The only thing this game needed was a PC release and online multiplayer. Oh well, maybe for Builders 2. ;)
 
1. Overwatch ; When does this game stop being fun? Blizzard nailed it once again.
2. Forza Horizon 3 ; Playground Games keeps making miracles, the best racing game of all time and it's not even close.
3. Doom ; Headbangin soundtrack and an amazing campaign made this one of the best Fps ever released.
4. Inside ; Some of the best animations i've ever seen, incredibly powerful game and dat ending.
5. Battlefield 1 ; Looks great, plays even better, large scale warfare has never been better.
6. The Division ; 300 hours of playtime and i only just started getting into the survival expension.
7. Watch Dogs 2 ; How this game made my top 10 is a mistery, god it was such a refreshing open world game, shame about the mediocre ending tho.
8. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Blood and Wine ; Weakest expansion for TW3 and it still shits on almost anything released this year.
9. Titanfall 2 ; beta caught me off guard but i'm so happy that the final game ended up being as good as it is.
10. Quantum Break ; An ok effort from Remedy to try something different, it is rough but i still loved it.

On the works
 
3 games sitting on my ps4 that I need to play before writing my list. Time to clear the backlog. The problem is for the last 6 months every time I turn the system on all I want to do is play overwatch. So you can guess my number 1 at least...
 
1. Ratchet & Clank ; An aesthetically-pleasing, (mostly) quickly-paced third-person shooter, R&C is the all-too-rare reboot that feels like a good idea and a marked improvement upon past entries. The slower puzzle stuff with Clank could be improved upon, but it's a slightly-flawed masterpiece in a poor year, more than enough to be number one in any list.

2. Downwell ; Since it came out on Vita and PS4 this year, I decided to rep this. I actually got the phone version in January, played it a bit, and put it down. I enjoyed it, but until I got non-touch controls on VITA/PS4, I didn't understand how great this game is. It's not just a shooter, but a game where you use your gunboots to propel yourself onto enemies, and the combo system really comes into play in Hard Mode, where you might want to land (and break a combo) rather than keeping a combo going while making a really hairy series of kills. Plus, seeing what's at the end of the well made me laugh. That was charming as fuck. I only have this second because it first came out in 2015, so I'm giving priority to the game that was totally released in 2016 as far as the top spot goes.

3. Football Manager 2017 ; As I've become more of a fan of soccer in major part due to FIFA, I've tried to find other games that help me to both understand and enjoy the game. This is the first game in the series that I have tried. As a sim, it is intricate to the point of overwhelming, but because it also allows you to delegate duties that you may not be comfortable in completing, it is also easy on newcomers. As a sim, it is wonderful. As a teaching tool, it is indispensable.

4. Civilization VI ; The tweaks to building cities are well-implemented, but beyond that, this is more of the highly-competent 4X goodness that I've come to expect from Firaxis, and a welcome rebound from the boring slog that was Beyond Earth.

5. XCOM 2 ; I thought that this other Firaxis offering hewed a bit closer what XCOM was, but (RNG-induced head-wall-bashing aside), the gameplay and customization are so high-level that it doesn't matter.

6. The Last Guardian ; It's a beautiful game, maybe the most beautiful that I've played since Galaxy. I believe that art direction and music drive beauty more than the power to render high graphical fidelity, and TLG is an example of this. It's a simple puzzle game, but it somehow creates a very real bond between player and Trico, something akin to how I feel about every dog that I've ever loved. The games that have the power to make me experience anything more than the barest of feelings for its characters are few and far between; this game does so without contrivance.

7. Videoball; Holy shit, man, I am glad that I got this game in before the cut-off. It's like Windjammers meets Asteroids, which is, firstly, not a phrase that I thought that I'd ever say, and secondly, an amazing idea for a game. The extra elements that you can put on the field of play is a great way to let people strategize, and so what we have here is a blend of strategy and ability to control your triangle-shaped player and make the shots that you need to make. No one is talking about this game, which is a shame because it deserves some love.

8. Overcooked ; This game surprised me. It's a genuinely fun little game, something of a sim that forces really quick decisions in a way that the other sims I've mentioned do not. It's also the best local multiplayer game in probably the last year or two.

9. FIFA 17 ; People like PES more, and I get that, but for me, FIFA is the best beacuse it has improved the physical play that I like so much. I like to get big-bodied forwards that can hold up play or bang with a CB for a jump ball. I like having CDMs that get real physical, and the biggest thing that improved from FIFA 14 (my last foray into FIFA) is that these things feel really weighty when I do them. Collisions feel like collisions. The best of this game reminds me of the best of playing in the post in good 2K NBA games. Oh, and the sim stuff is solid too, though now that I'm playing Football Manager, obviously the FIFA sim stuff feels much more bare bones.

10. Mutant Mudds Super Challenge ; It's mostly more Mutant Mudds, but since that's a good thing, I like this game quite a lot. It's got a surprising bit of challenge, particularly on the back end, and it's a nice little platformer that I found myself coming back to a surprising amount. I never would have pegged it for my top ten even a month ago, but here we are.
 
1. Hitman ; I didnt know I could replay a game so much until this game. I havent replayed the same game over and over since I was a kid and had the attention span suited to it. Its a masterfully crafted game. A few niggles here and there but minor in the grand scheme of things. Bring on Season 2.
2. Overwatch ; Its blizzard makes Team Fortress 2 and its wonderful.
3. Uncharted 4 ; Uncharted with stealth finally. Gameplay wise it fixed everything I had hated in 3. Shame about the slow start though
4. Doom ; Its exactly what DOOM should be in 2016. It is a call back to the old while being self aware enough to not take itself seriously. Its a textbook example of when working with a old IP how to take old ideas and make them again in a modern context.
5. Final Fantasy XV ; Story is nonsense but for the most part I liked it.
6. Pokemon GO ; That sure was a fun fad for a few weeks. I enjoyed it for a while there.


Other 2016 games I played but dont feel like ranking are Dark Souls 3 (aka Dark Souls The Greatest Hits collection) and Deus Ex Mankind Divided (aka a expansion pack 5 years in the making) Other then that a whole lot of 2015 and earlier games have been played.
 
1. The Witness ; lived up to the hype for me. The great satisfaction of solving a challenging puzzle, or finding my first hidden puzzle was a great feeling.

2. Hitman ; the high point if the series, and the best surprise of the year.

3. DOOM ; great gameplay and level design combined with great graphics and incredible optimization on PC. Second best surprise of the year.

4. Civilization VI ; another great entry in the series. Enough said.

5. Inside ; I'm a sucker for these kind of games, and this one was fantastic.

Have not played yet, but interested: Dark Souls 3, Deus Ex: MD, X-COM 2, and Dishonored 2.
 
lol

10. Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma ; I don't know why I had such high expectations after the flop Virtue's Last Reward was. 999 is still the best. But like VLR, it's the enjoyable kind of flop. If you had to ask me if I could get the time back for playing this (or VLR) then I'll go with "nah it's not so good but I'm all about that mediocre experience." The fanbase have been wishing for this game for so long and despite its mile long issues I'm glad the game exists.

Aight so ZTD is the third game in the Zero Escape series (you read and read mountains of text then solve puzzle rooms then read some more) that explains all the plot details that happened in the first and second games; 999 and Virtue's Last Reward respectively. Spoiler alert. It was supposed to.

The biggest problem I have with ZTD is it tries to do too much with so little. Well, I think I remember that I think that. Gimme a break. It's been half a year since release and maybe I should have written down notes to keep my mind fresh so I can actually coherently talk about it come GOTY time but bruh I'm lazy. I suppose I could head off to the GAF spoiler thread or wikis but ehhhh man laziness. And let's get another thing straight; I don't say things coherently anyway.

To sum up ZTD, nothing happens. I mean, there are some cool twists in there but man does the novelty wear off hard. You're thinking this is cool then the next second you go wha, that's lame.

I was actually impressed with one of the new characters. I think it was either Carlos or Eric. Let's start off with Carlos. That fratboy-looking slimebag. Turns out dude's a firefighter and he's got his own noble reasons to be in the plot. What else is there to say that's not really a spoiler. Nope, that's it. Eric though. Okay, I wasn't impressed with Eric. Dude's so whiny. People go on to defend whiny characters like him in games where stakes are high and lives can be lost. These are the kinds of characters that cause so much trouble. So easy to plant misleading thoughts in their heads and they'll take it straight up. That's Eric. Don't ask me. I haven't been in a hostage situation and hopefully never but please smack me upside down if I ever become as whiny as Eric. At the start of the game you find out he and this woman named Mira, a buxom lady, who refuses to zip up her jacket (I'm not complaining) are in a relationship and I thought how'd he end up with her? Blackmail? Well there's another of the few plot points I like from ZTD. It's pretty crazy.

When I finished the game my first thought was that I was disappointed in how Akane was treated. Where'd her DEM go? Can't believe Uchikoshi (he's the writer) and whoever else that helped with the story did her dirty like that. Totally failed to live up to her status SMH

On the other hand we did get Diana and she stole the show. So props to the writers? Good job guys just another +432423 points before we hit a score of 0.

ZTD is no good. But it's on the list because it's on the list. Channeled my inner ZTD for that line.

9. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice ; So close to suplanting Trials and Tribulations as my favorite AA. I don't know how the general populace thought of this game but since it's widely accepted 5 was terrible and I loved 5 enough for it to be my second favorite in the series then jokes has to be on me.

8. Pokémon Sun/Moon ; Can't believe we're on gen 7. Here's to another billion generations of Pokémon.

I don't know who messed with Game Freak's cereal in the morning but visually from XY/ORAS to this? It's like a generation (huehue) apart.

7. 7th Dragon III Code: VFD ; I can make a team full of Nao Toyama <33333333333333

Its position in the ballot is pure coincidence, I assure you. Since we didn't get an Etrian Odyssey game this year I needed something to satisfy my team-building-from-nothing itch. Sure, Bravely Second and SMTIV:A do scratch that itch but they give you characters with lore attached to them already for you to mess around with. I wanted to build teams where I was in charge of art, voices, roles, and all that and luckily 7D scratched that itch so hard I got marks on my back.

You play as an unnamed character and the story revolves around you. In promotional media the character is shown as a girl but with the way the story's actually written it defaults to a guy. There's this girl you meet in the beginning and she gets attached to you really fast. You know how in Persona 3 and 4 where after you max a social link you and the person you're chilling with spend some quality time alone which is code for sexy time (if anyone's still reading this don't deny this undeniable fact), the same thing happens in 7D with that girl and it happens a lot. Now it sounds like I'm complaining like I think relationships should be between a man and a woman but good heavens no. I fully support that movement. I just thought it was odd that the developers' decided to go this route when the plot is written in accordance to a male character but promote the main character in media as a female. Or maybe they aimed to go this way from the start because waifus sell.

Living up to the name, dragons is the theme. World got wrecked by dragons. Humans fought back. Dragons gone. Peace. Dragons come back with a vengeance in spreading Dragonsbane, some plant thing that is fatal to all human beings. You're tasked with killing the big honcho dragons and getting their DNA to make this something or other to kill the biggest dragon honcho. I don't think the game explained what the something was very well. Some kinda biological weapon lethal to dragons, maybe. In between chapters you have free time and are free to socialize with characters from the three different eras; the past, present and future. They're all pretty unique too and I like the diversity in the environments. The first era you get sent to is 423441432 years ago (the past, pretty much) named Atlantis. As the name evokes, the place looks exactly what you'd expect. Here, people with cat ears (yes, it's a JRPG) are still around but a dragon sunk their city and wiped out their species so come present time they are just a legend. What got me was when I had to evacuate these people and send them back to my time. Some of them were so ready to give their life at one last chance to save their city. I could never do that. Beam me to a safe place shawty if the world's gonna be blown up soon. The other era is the future and it isn't really future-y. Due to the widespread dragon threat, humanity never managed to advance their technology any farther than the present. I thought this was praiseworthy because it's consistent writing. It's still the future built from your current past. This is what your future will be if you don't solve the dragon crisis in the present. It served as a constant reminder to just get things done and save the planet.

The game's rather easy, all things considered. You get some really broken classes as you progress through the game. I like breaking things though. There are 8 classes and as a big fan of having freedom in party composition there are a lot of things combos you can pull off. Sadly there aren't that many battles in the maingame in which the combat and your builds really shine because of how easy it is to steamroll mobs and minibosses. But on the occasional times where a boss is actually challenging and this does happen by endgame it's an exhilarating experience to see your team work together as one perfect system.

Okay, I lied at the beginning. I had 15 characters since you can have three teams of five and only one of them was voiced by Nao Toyama. She's got range so she could have provided a variety of voices for everyone if the developers wanted to.

6. Bravely Second: End Layer ; When the game came out in Japan and word got around that the sequel was worse I didn't know what to think. The predecessor was great and I didn't have a problem with "that" come midgame. I must be way too easy to please. So I had this nagging suspicion that whatever ailed the second game wouldn't bother me as much. And it didn't. The core gameplay is still intact and the music is slightly worse but not enough to dock any real points.

Compared to the cast of Bravely Default, I enjoyed the dynamics of the sequel's characters better. Magnolia, the new girl, is adorable with her constant displays of affection for Yew, the new guy. Later you find out she was mistaken in that when Yew offered her a flower (forgot if it had to be a specific flower) she took this as a sign of marriage or something. I am so deep into this corny romance man I ain't even afraid to admit it. Edea's as cool as ever and Tiz man, this guy. Some stuff happened after BD but he's back better than before as he acts as a mentor for Yew. This guy. Really swell stuff with the cast. The game also dropped the serious tone of its predecessor for a more lighthearted adventure with a few serious moments here and there.

The final boss is fan-freaking-tastic. Best one I fought this year.

5. Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse ; Like the above.... or below because it's ranked higher.... or lower? Dunno. Game's good.

4. Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest ; Since I was strapped for time all year I went full casual and ran Hard/Normal/Lunatic for Birthright/Conquest/Revelation. I'm gonna do proper runs for the first two one of these days.

Gave the points to Conquest because it played the best out of the three paths.

3. Granblue Fantasy ; I'd like to say a few words to my friend who introduced me to this game. You freakin' suck dude. No wonder my grades dropped this term. I like grinding as much as the next guy but this game takes grinding to a whole new level.

GBF is some mobile/browser game with gacha elements and it's got some FF guys tuning up the band. Forgot who they are. You play as some village kid with a talking lizard when you get caught up in a mess with a blue haired girl (HNNNNNNNNG voiced by Nao Toyama, first reason why I even bother playing this game) and a female knight who are being chased by the empire for reasons unknown. Nah, the reasons are just as you expect. Blue haired girl is needed to conquer the whole world kinda thing.

One of the starter tips people like to give out is to develop a colored element like wind/water/earth/fire and not light/dark. Reason being is that it gets hard to see progression in damage output if you play the latter elements. I see the game as three separate parts in early, mid, and lategame. The stuff you do in midgame takes the longest with having to strengthen your weapon grid so you can tackle the harder content in the game. Because the only way to see progression is by building your grid and that the colored elements have much better drop rates you can sorta see why that advice always floats around.

The other advice is that since GBF is so grind heavy, does it really matter what element you go for if you know you're in it for the long haul? You should play with who you like. If you pulled a character you like and their rating in the tier list is basura, doesn't matter just use them. I pulled Amira when I started and she's one of the best Light characters and despite the warnings I went for Light because I wanted to use her. Even if I pulled a garbo Light character like De La Fille I'd still be on the light pain train. Really though the second reason why I continue to play is because of the art. The art is supremely gorgeous. And I was kidding earlier about the random FF guys. It's the FFT guy for art. And the other random FF guy composed music for the majority of the series.

Seriously, here's my team. Light and Dark just so happened to be the only elements where the best characters (not just in art but skills and team building) are female. Of course I can withstand months of constant grinding and pain for my party <3




Other than that though not much to say about Grindblue. One last thing that makes me go back is the feeling of getting stronger. Sure I could go for weeks without seeing an increase in strength but with pendant farming and other things in the game to facilitate progression I'm not too worried. Case in point, to get strong you have to fight your element of choice. I'm Light so I have to fight Luminiera Omega. She's a tough nut to crack. I couldn't even dent her months ago, much less MVP her for a chance at better drop rates. Now I do enough damage to host and MVP her before I have to call for reinforcements. It's satisfying to see my labor bear fruit. One of these days, or months, or years, I'll have a respectable weapon grid and my team of lovely ladies will have the last laugh in raids.

2. Monster Hunter Generations ; Best gameplay of the year award goes to MH. Yep, again. I'm so confident in the team at Capcom that no matter what kind of weird additions they implement in the series they would still earn my vote in always delivering in the gameplay department. Not as good as MH4U which was also not as good as MH3U, but what can we do? Still better than everything else on the market.

So this time around we got styles and skills on cooldown to add new flavors to the combat. I like them. But I don't want them back. Out of the four styles, I mostly stuck with what I know so I did Guild most of the time. Couldn't be bothered to learn to play differently but the options were there if I was so inclined. Sadly I'm very addicted to Absolute Evasion and Readiness that I feel I've gotten worse as a hunter.

In the OT there was this weird praise for MHG's director who also did Portable 3rd. Guys, P3rd was aight. There was nothing in there that warrants calling Generation's director the savior of MH. Crazy folks. Generations is a stepback from 4U, how did we lose two pages worth of item sets? Checkmate. To the Portable Director's credit, I did get hit right in the nostalgia when I got to Yukumo Village. We should have gotten Moga back but Yukumo is a fine alternative.

I went ahead and got 99% of the in-game awards before people on the site were thinking of going for them. 300 hours got me to that point and that's when I started winding down. Could have been longer too but there was no G rank. I was also getting mad at public rooms because for crying out loud stop entering my room to host your quest. Read the room description next time! People gotta stop being so stupid. GAF and the Discord group were helpful but only a handful of them shared the same objectives as I did.

Capcom does like making enhanced versions so I doubt we'll see an MH that comes with all three ranks in low, high and G on the first iteration. Whatever, they have my wallet. Bring on MHGX.




And yeah well I knew this was gonna happen. Like a lovestruck maiden, I fell in love at first sight. Ahh the Romeo to my Juliet.





1. Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE ; KOWASHITAI

Reincarnation
Dream Catcher
Give Me

k got that out of the way.

Yes, TMS is my favorite game this year. A lot of people are so salty that this game didn't turn out to be what they wanted which is some grimdark edge crossover but whatever, jam's so good I don't care. I'd rather not focus on what could have been because what we got instead I enjoyed so much because it's so out there. Atlus continues to steal my GOTYs. Thanks, fam <3

It's a fun JRPG that doesn't take itself seriously. It doesn't have a narrative that tries soooo hard to sound meaningful and deep and hams it up with philosophical hogwash. None of that garbage, no sirree. Just an RPG with a serviceable plot, great characters with no sob stories, catchy music, and the like. And it has idols. And it's amazingly colorful. I didn't even know some of these colors existed.

Big fan of the cast and how there's no emotional baggage involved. Video game writing is so awful that I'm more likely to not care if you try so hard to push a narrative. Thankfully there's none of that in TMS. Everyone's pretty normal. Itsuki's a shadow protagonist in that he doesn't do much by himself but he acknowledges his real strength comes from others and helping them grow. Tsubasa starts off with a sob story but it resolves itself fairly quickly and she's a bundle of fun to watch when she's interacting with Itsuki and Kira, her idol. People thought it was weird with how hardcore of a fangirl she was. It was hilarious in all honesty. After meeting Kiria for the first time, the first thing Tsubasa did was breathe in really hard so she can breathe the same air Kiria was. Itsuki and Touma held their heads in disbelief. Touma looks like a slimebag just like ZTD's Carlos with how he dresses and he exudes tool but you find out he wants to be a Power Ranger lead in kids' shows. He meets this little kid who thinks heroes in action shows are dumb. I think the kid mentions later on that he was being bullied... or having a rough time around the house... uhhh one of those, so Touma starts working really hard to become a source of inspiration for the kid. Touma, you lovable goof. Kiria looks as icy as her element of choice but deep inside she likes cute things. Since her rockstar image doesn't mesh well with her real interests, she's in constant conflict. I think it's sad too because this is a real issue for people, having to put up fronts and hide away who they really are. I can relate, man. She loosens up later on thanks to the main character's meddling and idunno man she shows some slight interest in the MC. Man, he doesn't deserve her. Elenora's a halfie actress and her deal is that she wants to make it to Hollywood as a sort of vindication for her roots? I think? She's hoping to make it big so people look at her for her acting talent and not for her exotic status as a halfie. This time I can't relate because I'm a completely average person in terms of everything but I can understand the struggles of people who stick out more than they'd like. Mamori is the token elementary schoolgirl and she hosts a cooking show using microwaves. She can't actually cook though. I forgot her backstory. AHHH MAN. There's another one but nah can't talk about 'em. Then there are the side characters too. Maiko's the president of the production company that employs everybody. I'm so sad she wasn't playable. The first of two blunders. Barry's an ultra hardcore otaku who loves magical girl shows. People were turned off by him but I liked how he always put in 100% in his tastses and his dedication to Mamori is incredible. And finally there's Tiki who is so freaking cute my heart is exploding send help.

Each of the main characters have a Mirage and they're kinda like their guardian spirit. Apart from Itsuki getting Chrom who is as lame as he is but that's part of their appeal I guess, the rest of the Mirages are cool too. Tsubasa gets Caeda and she's very supportive of her master in her conquest of romance. She's been there and she's glad to lend a hand. Touma has Cain and they both maintain a strong sense of justice. Kiria gets Tharja and her yandere tendencies go well with Kiria's icy exterior. But she knows Kiria's got her issues with hiding her true self so she tries her best to help her out. Elenoara has Virion. His deal is to turn Ellie into a proper lady because she's kinda rough on the outside with her personality and all. They're always bickering and it's amusing to watch. Mamori gets Draug later on and he doesn't say much. Pretty cool though. He's a giant knight clad in full body armor who wields an axe and he's very protective of her. The game has a ton of characters and does a good job of setting them apart and yeah I know I didn't do much in explaining but they're memorable enough to paint a vivid picture in my head and that's good enough for me.

The game uses a similar battle system to SMT. Hit the right elements, get more turns. Screw up, lose your turns. I've always liked how easy it is for battles to go south and TMS adds extra stuff to the formula. When you strike enemy weaknesess with a skill, party members can follow up with attacks of their own called Sessions. So even though you can only have three party members on the field at a time and you're able to swap out members at any time, gotta keep that idol theme going and have everyone contribute to a splendid performance of vanquishing foes. Following that, there are Performance attacks, Duo Attacks, Dual Attacks, Ad-lib Performances, so many ways to spice up TMS' battles. The second blunder has to be that there's no way to cancel a long string of Session Attacks. The playtime does rack up as these attacks are done automatically. As for the actual tools of war, TMS takes from FE's sword, lance, axe, bows, and tomes and the tomes take from SMT's side like Agi and Bufu. The game IS a crossover of FE and SMT, it's just not direct about it. Speaking of references, the mart you visit is handled by a character who looks like Anna, FE's resident merchant. And the convenience store matches Jack Frost's, SMT's most famous demon not named Mara. There's more little references spattered here and there. Shout-out to the developers for sticking to their guns and not making a game rife full of references, so much so that it doesn't have its own identity.

In between chapters, Maiko sends Itsuki out for idol training. Dude's admitted he's got no hidden talent for dancing and singing but he keeps at it. The majority of character development happens in here and it's a smart way to break from dungeon crawling to story advancement. There's not much freedom to the game itself though. If you aren't crawling, you're either watching goofy cutscenes during break time or going through the story. But that's not a bad thing. What turns me off in games is wack pacing and TMS veers from that.

Like Granblue Fantasy's art, the art direction is so good. So so so so so good. The actual models (still fine, relatively speaking) don't do the art justice but I can always treat my eyes when I visit the notes section or whatever it's called. But the use of colors, wowee man. Even if there wasn't a 1:1 conversion with the art and the models, at least the colors are ever present. Enter battles and the field turns into a smorgasbord of colors that numb the senses. Exploring the town gives a similar feelings. Colors, colors everywhere. Attacks are flashy, animations are tastefully done just like how real dancing makes use of your whole body, the whole works.

TMS is such a colorful little game and I'll be fond of it for years to come. What else, what else? It's the most apologetically shameless game to come out this year. It embraces its idol theme throughout and from beginning to end delivers a captivating performance. Nice to see a game like this stick its landing.

x. Atelier Escha & Logy Plus: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky ; I knew I should have bought the limited edition off VGP when I had the chance. It's sold out now :(

x. Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book ; No PS4, uguu~ couldn't play it :( Maybe my trash laptop can run the PC port when it drops next year.

Some of the stuff I bought this year
one
two
three

Ooh man I haven't said anything at all lol. See you. Gonna go back to playing Granblue instead of touching my backlog or studying.
 
1. Videoball ; Favorite sports game ever and great fun in local multiplayer.
2. Momodora Reverie Under the Moonlight ; Surprisingly deep non-linear platformer that surprised me this year
3. Street Fighter V ; Had an absolute blast despite the naysayers. Relatively good competitive balance and newcomers like Laura and Necalli rocked.
 
1. Uncharted 4 ; It's like the culmination os a life journey, since the beginning to the zenith.

2. The Last Guardian ; Maybe not for everyone, but a master piece for me. Somethin I'll remember for years.

3. Ratchet & Clank ; Everything is awesome in this game, even its price!. A game for all, as fun as always.

4. The Witness ; Same as TLG, not for everyone, but a game to be played and discovered. That feeling you get when you solve one puzzle that seemed impossible it's priceless.

5. Gravity Rush: Remastered ; A bit repetitive but it's sooo good and innovative that deserves to be here. Don't lose the chance to play the best game of PSVita, but even better.
 
I need to play The Last Guardian before I can vote. I've been waiting too long to not include it in my list.

Otherwise the best games l played were Shmups that finally got their remasters on steam.
 
1. Dark Souls 3 ; My most played game of 2016, and when all is said and done, my GOTY. It might not bring all that much new to the table, but what is here is pretty much as good as it gets in this favorite hobby of mine. (I’m happily still far from tired of the “formula”)

2. INSIDE ; An incredibly polished game from start to finish. I literally had my mouth agape the last 30 minutes of the game, and when the credits rolled I was filled with so much… weird emotion. Absolutely loved it.

3. HITMAN ; I’ve always liked the idea of Hitman, but never really fell in love with it before this one. While I ended up buying the complete season, I quickly realised how the episodic format is absolutely perfect for it. I will be there for season 2 from day one this time.

4. The Witness ; I was lost in the world of the Witness for a few weeks early in the year and loved my time there. Such a ‘complete’ feeling experience, and similarly to INSIDE, an astounding level of polish throughout. A timeless future classic.

5. Owlboy ; I somehow managed to go 9 years without hearing about this game. Playing it I felt like I was back in 1993, in all the right ways. I played this in early november and through the trainwreck US presidential election. This game gave me some much needed levity and heart at the time.
 
I like the way this seems to be going this year. Looks like a closer one than usual.

What's up with not reading OP though, why's it so hard to format correctly.
 
2. Xanadu Next Incredible isometric Symphony of the Night em up. Brilliant top to bottom.

I voted for Xanadu Next even though it's not on the spreadsheet. It got it's first ever english release this year so it should definitely count.
Actually, Xanadu Next, in a form, came out in English on NGage (seriously!) but in a very different form. This we got on PC was the original with a few modernization features.

Does this disqualify XN for the GOTY vote, Cheese and Time?
 
1. Sunless Sea: Zubmariner ; Sunless Sea was 2015's best written game, and Zubmariner, its first expansion pack, maintains the same high quality of prose and imagination that made the original so great. When compared to other story based games, Sunless Sea lacks elaborate character arcs, but more than makes up for them with outstanding prose, an imaginative, outworldly setting and great athmosphere. Its the only game that I'd put into the same tier as Planescape Torment when it comes to fantasy video game writing, and that alone easily makes it take the first spot for me.

2. Tyranny ; I wasn't a big fan of Pillars of Eternity, so Tyranny took me completelly by surprise. While Eternity was bland and generic in its setting and plot, Tyranny feels fresh and compelling, with tons of little and big choices that actually impact the game, and an interesting take on moral choices that makes you chose between law or chaos, rather than good or evil. Above all, I always appreciate it when an RPG tries something interesting with its world, and Tyranny certainly did.

3. Stradew Valley ; The best Harvest Moon game in more than a decade isn't actually called Harvest Moon. Stardew Valley manages to perfectly capture the magic that makes Harvest Moon games fun, while providing a good share of improvements on the formula.

4. Overwatch ; Overwatch might not be at all original, but Blizzard are the masters of polish. Overwatch simply feels good to play, and that is a very important thing to get right. It also features a great and varied cast of characters that provide very different ways to play the game, which provides some very welcome variety in a game that would otherwise be in danger of feeling repetitive very fast.

5. Dark Souls 3 ; Dark Souls 3 is more of the same Souls gameplay that has been widelly praised since the original Demon Souls. There's nothing groundbreaking here, but at the very least I feel like Dark Souls 3 is a welcome improvement from Dark Souls 2.

6. Umineko When They Cry ; Easilly the best visual novel I've ever read, mostly because it isn't afraid to break genre conventions and present an utterly unique story free from the ussual pandering that plagues the genre as a whole. Incerdibly rich in interesting themes, with a large and varied cast of flawed characters, and a story that starts of as a simple murder mystery but slowly (and very slowly, since its glacial pacing is its biggest problem) changes into something completelly different and unpredictable. It also isn't afraid to tackle some meaningfull themes, and it also isn't afraid to ask the reader to think for themselves what those themes are.

7. Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun ; Shadow Tactics: Blade of the Shogun is a spiritual sucessor to the Commandos series. This did little to sell me on the game, since I've never played the Commandos games. Even without the nostalgia thoush, Shadow Tactics is an excellent real time strategy stealth game. Like any good stealth game, Shadow Tactics nails the level design, with large layouts that offer multiple ways to approach a problem. Like any good strategy game, it gives you a large toolbox of abilities, centered around five characters, each with their unique strenghts and weaknesses. Its also extremelly well polished, with both excellent mouse/keyboard and controller support, a Japanese and English dub, responsive controls, and extra optional challanges in every level.

8. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II ; While I personally felt dissapointed with Cold Steel 2, it's still a very well done JRPG with a good cast of characters, an interesting story and good, if completelly unbalanced combat system. I just wish it didn't feel so padded, and that it wasn't so filled with writing tropes ussualy asociated with low quality Japanes light novels. I also wish it didn't feel so much like just setup for the sequel. Still, Trails at its worst is still very much better than most other JRPG franchises at their best.

9. The Banner Saga 2 ; The Banner Saga 2 improves over the first game in almost every way. The fights are much more varied, there are more unique hero characters that provide more options for strategizing, and the story is more interesting due to the fact that it follows two vastly different protagonists. It doesn't shake up the formula of the original too much, but when the original was already excellent, it doesn't have to.

10. Twilight Struggle ; A digital version of a very well regarded asymetric cold war card/war boardgame. Twilight Struggle impressed me with its original game design that masterfully combines a war games with a card game, without ever feeling too complicated. It also makes excellent use of its theme, with cards representing real world events spanning the entirety of the cold war, with the two factions (US and USSR) having to employ different strategies if they want to win.
 
I really enjoyed what I played in 2016. Here are my top five.

1. Fire Emblem Fates ; Between Birthright, Conquest, and Revelations, there are a ton of hours of gameplay to enjoy - and man, did I enjoy them.

2. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided ; This game more than lived up to my expectations. I loved exploring Prague and discovering more about the Deus Ex universe.

3. Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE ; I didn't know what to expect when I picked this game up, but I ended up pouring a huge amount of hours into it. I enjoyed the colourful world and performing Sessions.

4. Pokémon Moon ; This ended up becoming my favourite Pokémon game by far. The changes that were made to the formula were enough to hook me for nearly one hundred hours - and I'm still not done!

5. No Man's Sky ; I've never experienced such a beautiful and incredible vision of exploring space. Flying down to a new planet remains one of my favourite gaming sensations of all-time.
 
1. The Witcher 3 : Blood and Wine; an extremely powerful experience. Great story, beautiful setting. An essential expansion to what already was one of the best games of all time.

2. Forza Horizon 3; even in a Sony-dominated market, or in a Playstation-biased forum, both Forza series are widely respected because of their incredible quality and constant evolution. Arguably, Forza Horizon surpassed Forza Motorsport, and Forza as a whole surpassed Halo as Microsoft´s crown jewel. FH2 was a milestone; FH3 went beyond and I believe it will be eventually considered one of Xbox One´s ultimate titles.

3. Titanfall 2; I liked the first game a lot, and I have only played this one for several hours... but I feel that it is very special. Extremely precise controls, very fluid gameplay, strong story, creative scenarios. A case study for learning when not to launch a game.

4. Battlefield 1; I loved most of the past Battlefields. With Halo in decline and Call of Duty relatively stumbling, DICE went to a very underused historical setting. Excellent graphics. Relatively conservative but satisfying gameplay.

5. Dark Souls III; the best of the trilogy. I enjoyed it even more than the first one.

6. Doom; not much that hasn´t been said already. Great reboot that mixes some of the legendary pedigree of the series with some strong, newer mechanics.

7. Gears of War 4; even if I am not a lover of the series, Microsoft put a lot of money and work into this, and it shows. Very solid on a technical level, fun with friends.

8. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided; not as good as its predeccessor, but still an excellent , thinking-man´s game.

9. XCOM 2; another entry into this legendary series that gave me so many unforgettable moments.

10. Quantum Break; I expected a lot from Remedy, and it was somewhat dissapointing. Very interesting ideas, not flawlessly executed.
 
1. Doom ; My undisputed GOTY for sure. As a huge fan of retro FPS - Doom 1 & 2, Quake 1 & 2, Heretic and Hexen 1 & 2 are among my most favorite games of all time - the new Doom reboot was an absolute treat. I can't believe that id Software still have it in them, but apparently they do. All it took was for them to go back to their roots. Fantastic fast-paced gameplay and action, amazing non-linear level design, lots of optional content (including secrets and classic Doom levels) and blood-pumping soundtrack that is just right for this kind of game. Jaw-dropping visuals too. This is pretty much the closest thing we have gotten to a "true" FPS since the release of Quake III Arena. I'm hyped as hell for a potential sequel to this modern masterpiece.

2. Stellaris ; I've always been a fan of 4X, but no game in the genre has ever clicked with me to the extent that Stellaris has. Accessible, yet not by any means shallow. Tons of replay value, lots of random events to stumble upon and different paths to take that make each game feel fundamentally different than the last. The soundtrack is also phenomenal. And what's more is that it constantly gets updated. The Leviathans Story Pack and the Heinlein patch made Stellaris even better than it already was. I can't wait to see what else Paradox have in store for us in future updates!

3. VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action ; A game with an incredibly unique and appealing premise that brilliantly executes it as well. I love the cyberpunk anime aesthetic of VA-11 HALL-A, to say nothing of its spectacular OST. Moreover, it's actually got an engrossing story with a well-written, three-dimensional character cast. VA-11 HALL-A is proof that you don't need to save the world or defeat some villain in order for a game's story to be compelling - in fact, it's precisely the grounded nature of its narrative that makes it so good. I want more western-made visual novels, please.

4. The Turing Test ; I didn't realize how much I needed a well-made Portal clone until I saw one of the trailers for this game. Needless to say, it didn't disappoint despite my high expectations. The Turing Test boasts very fun puzzle gameplay combined with an unforgettable atmosphere. It's got a very intriguing plot to boot.

5. Superhot ; The most innovative shooter I've played in years. No, really. I mean it! Superhot has got it all: ground-breaking FPS gameplay, an incredibly memorable aesthetic, and a Matrix-like quality to its story and overall feel. As soon as I started playing it, I couldn't stop until I was done - that's just how much I was entranced by this game.

6. The Witness ; Some of the most fun I've had gaming this year. The puzzle game junkie in me enjoyed every second of it, including all the head-scratching (and there was a lot of it). The non-existent story and the near-lack of music disappointed me, but the gameplay made up for that.

7. The Solus Project ; A very enjoyable survival experience on a completely alien world that I won't be forgetting anytime soon. Gorgeous visuals and an incredibly foreboding atmosphere throughout the whole thing. The Solus Project is a refreshing example of horror done properly.

8. Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak ; Though it's not quite on the same level as most of the previous Homeworld installments - especially my personal favorite, Cataclysm - Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak was a love letter to fans of the franchise in more ways than one. Great addition to the rich and fascinating lore of Homeworld, a unique spin on the Homeworld-style three-dimensional RTS gameplay by having it take place on the surface of Kharak this time, and an amazing effort by series composer Paul Ruskay. My only complaint is that it was way too short.

9. Firewatch ; A very unique game that made me fall in love with Shoshone National Forest. I just had to stop and admire the view countless times during my playthrough - I found it that beautiful. And though Firewatch lacks in the story department, it's got great characterization and some really well-written dialogue between Henry and Delilah.

10. Pollen ; I feel like Pollen deserves a spot on the list for its atmosphere alone. The game's very 2001 for sure. While it doesn't have much else to offer, I don't regret playing through it all.
 
1. Doom ; Mood music. DOOM is a sadistically satisfying, meaty, and surprising game. id Software&#8217;s return to form is a shooter that emphasizes blazing fast movement, numerous available weapons with relevant mods, a satisfying progression system, a shooter protagonist that&#8217;s surprisingly well-defined through his inability to give a fuck, and like holy shit guys, FPS boss fights with life bars and phases and pattern recognition and all kinds of video game shit. Downtime is represented well through exploration for well-hidden and rewarding secrets (facilitated by a Metroid Prime-ass 3D map), along with tight first person platforming. Mick Gordon&#8217;s soundtrack drives the action perfectly with tracks that made me want to throw up the horns. The game has received excellent free post-launch support with features such as an arcade mode and numerous improvements to SnapMap, which yields some mindboggling results (I played Tetris while a knock off rendition of Earthbound's Frank theme played). The game also runs sharp at a smooth 60FPS on PS4, which is much appreciated, given how technically accomplished the game is. Overall, id just gave me exactly what I wanted following one of the lowest gaming lows I can remember. Rip and tear, id dudes.

2. Titanfall 2 ; Respawn didn&#8217;t shatter my expectations with Titanfall 2, though they were lofty from the start. The studio delivered an FPS campaign worthy of the Modern Warfare legacy, filled with memorable scenario design and even some Nintendo-like sections featuring one-off mechanics that are thoroughly explored before letting the next great idea come along. The strong scenario design is backed by perhaps the most enjoyable movement I&#8217;ve experienced in a shooter - chaining slides and wall runs is as intuitive as I can expect the mechanics to be, and the character moves with a weight and fluidity that enables a zen-like state when things get going. Titanfall 2 also features a strong multiplayer suite, though it doesn't seem to quite live up to the original. Regardless, titans are now readable due to fixed load outs and unique silhouettes, making titan fights more tactical than ever. Weapon balancing is impressive, with nearly all of them having a use, and pilot tactical abilities enable a lot of variety for loadouts. Just wish the maps were better. Still, Titanfall 2 features the slickest traversal I&#8217;ve seen in an FPS, and utilizes it with a stellar campaign and enjoyable multiplayer.

3. Dark Souls III ; Yep, it&#8217;s another Dark Souls game. Unlike Dark Souls II, which regressed from the previous game in most ways, this third entry takes cues from Dark Souls and Bloodborne to craft a &#8220;greatest hits&#8221; of the franchise with a few surprises along the way. Areas like Undead Settlement and Cathedral of the Deep feature some of the most sprawling level design in the series, and bosses like the Twin Princes and Nameless King are also topping lists. Reaching a certain nostalgic cathedral and looking back on the world you traversed is awe-inspiring. The game lacks a bit of originality with elements such as yet another poison swamp, though Dark Souls III&#8217;s highs are phenomenal, and stand with or above the series&#8217; best. I still like Bloodborne a bit more due to its setting and lore, but Dark Souls III is a worthy conclusion to the series. Just maybe work on that frame pacing for your next game, FROM :p

4. Inside ; If anyone is reading this post, stop right now and play Inside. Inside is a perfect video game. It isn&#8217;t higher on my list due to its small scope, but you guys gotta believe me. Playdead made sure that all elements of Inside, from the sound design, to the puzzle platforming gameplay, to the haunting and surreal world all add up to nightmarish, cohesive whole. And that ending, wew lad. There is not one goddamn thing I would change about this video game. The game had me on the edge of my seat nearly from moment one, with the ending sequence sending me into maximum overdrive near the end of my single session playthrough. There are no words.

5. Final Fantasy XV ; This year&#8217;s &#8220;Xtortionist Evil Within Award&#8221; goes to Final Fantasy XV. Yeah guys, this game has fucking problems. The side quests represent minimum effort by the devs, combat gets messy when fighting tougher enemies, the story is poorly told (despite some incredible lore), and often you&#8217;re forced to either take a long car ride to reach a destination or endure lengthy load times. Despite all this, the game gripped me for the 30~ hours it took to finish the story. I found the world design fascinating, and bros&#8217; relationships entertaining. Combat is super fun when it works, even if it can immediately shatter when the camera is confronted with shrubbery. The music is also a godlike effort from Yoko Shimomura & friends. For me, this game was more than the sum of its parts. One moment something a bit ugly would occur, and the next moment I would swoon over the OST, or finish off an enemy with a stylishly-animated link strike. There are more solidly-constructed games lower on this list, but Final Fantasy made a strong and unique impression that justifies its spot for me.

6. Dishonored 2 ; So I haven&#8217;t actually finished this game, but hey, it&#8217;s more Dishonored. From the few missions I&#8217;ve played, the level design and freedom of approach seems as strong as ever. Mechanics are fluid, as with the first game, and Corvo&#8217;s blink is still a slick-as-hell mechanic. World design is also on-point, as should be expected from a sequel to Dishonored. Highly recommended for fans of the original.

7. The Witness ; This may be a difficult game to talk about, but here goes. First, the world design is stunning. Like, this is one of the best-looking games I&#8217;ve ever seen on my TV. The puzzles are mostly effective at communicating ideas nonverbally, either through some light trial and error or pointing the player&#8217;s intuition in the right direction. Tying certain puzzles to unlocking further sections of the world gives satisfying feedback for completing them. Sometimes the game made me feel dumb, but the moments where it made me feel smart were priceless. And dat world, lawd.

8. Overwatch ; I&#8217;ll get this out of the way and say that class-based shooters aren&#8217;t really my thing. I&#8217;d rather worry less about having to play the healer since no one else fucking wants to, and worry more about shootin&#8217; people. Even then, I&#8217;ll give Overwatch some props. First, it&#8217;s polished as fuck, as expected from Blizzard, Second, the numerous heroes provide about as much variety as you could reasonably expect from a team shooter. I have some issues with the game, like the maps being a bit bland in design/scenario (Eichenwald is kewl doe), the mechanic of hero switching to counter opposing strategies, and some probably-console stuff like the aiming response curve that feels bad to me, and the over reliance on projectile-based weapons when combined with heroes like Tracer and Genji who are kind of fuckin&#8217; annoying to shoot at. Still, it&#8217;s a good time with friends.

9. Ratchet & Clank ; Actually my first Ratchet game&#8230;and I liked it! Didn&#8217;t blow me away, but I enjoyed the fast-paced action and variety of weapons. The game also looks jaw-dropping. It&#8217;s a pretty breezy game to play through, but I was finding myself constantly entertained even if it was mostly on autopilot. It&#8217;s an enjoyable way to kill 8 hours or so.

10. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided ; It&#8217;s Human Revolution that&#8217;s bigger and maybe a bit better - good thing I liked that game. MD didn&#8217;t wow me, but I enjoyed it well enough. Hopefully Eidos Montreal gets to make another. Immersive sims are cool. Also makes great GOTY list filler so I don&#8217;t have to acknowledge Uncharted 4&#8230;

...

...shit
 
1. The Witness ; Truly a showcase of what games can do that no other medium can. It also changed some of my long-held personal beliefs about life and people in general, go figure.

2. Devil Daggers ; Tight, tight, tight. Every pixel and every sound in this game is there for a reason. It was the epitome of a good Cave shmup in first person form. Placed #18 on the leaderboards until they patched new content into the game and completely ruined me. It is now officially "too hard" for me, but I still love it to bits.

3. Doom ; Truly an enjoyable game from start to finish. They delivered everything I wanted from this game, down to an Arcade Mode that, again, somehow captures the feel of a certain Cave Shmup series having you scramble to keep a combo meter up in order to maximize score. Where the hell did stuff like THAT come from? It's so rare to see features like that in a high budget game and id completely nailed this one.

4. Overwatch ; The game itself is great. Feels good to play (netcode being worse than CS:GO notwithstanding), looks and sounds amazing and oozes personality. The way Blizzard balances the game is less great and they keep overtweaking stuff left and right. Hopefully they will calm down and let the player base figure stuff out instead of relying on shitty stats and dumb feedback in the future. Still, I keep coming back to the game and it's always good.

5. Overcooked ; I've only really played this game once. It was during my birthday party with a bunch of friends. It made my GOTY list on that alone.

6. Zero Time Dilemma ; All I wanted from this game was complete insanity that I had no way of predicting. While I did not enjoy the disjointed format for this type of story telling, it all did indeed come together in the end in the most bonkers way possible. What a ride. Can't wait to replay it after running through both the previous games again on PC. Shoutouts to getting the coin flip during the intro and instantly "finishing" the game with the credits rolling. One of my favourite moments of the year.

7. Dark Souls 3 ; Probably the best game in the series. Exploration was amazing, combat was the tightest it's ever been and the aesthetics are off the charts. Irithyll just had me laughing hysterically in awe once I arrived there out of the tombs. Yet I am truly disappointed in From playing it safe and essentially just making two huge expansion packs for the original Dark Souls. There was nothing new to learn in terms of arcane mechanics and much of the mystery around the gameplay was gone. I wish I could be completely lost like I was with Demon's Souls and Dark Souls 1 again, but that did not happen with this game and I burned out on it after one playthrough, which is a first for me with this series. What a shame.

8. DoDonPachi Resurrection ; While my passion for grinding shmups for 10+ hours per day are gone, this game is still incredibly enjoyable and getting to play it on PC where I am most comfortable with my setup was a blast. Also those are some huge fucking lasers, jesus christ.

9. Civilization 6 ; Its good. Doesn't get me as obsessed as 4 used to, and I doubt anything ever will. But hey, at least farming resources is somewhat interesting again with all the city building. Cool evolution of the series that I look forward to playing more in the coming years.

10. Tyranny ; I didn't end up finishing it yet but dear lord was the writing and theme engrossing. It suffered a bit from the good old "I can't make this choice even though I want to because I'll lose points with the faction I like" type of thing and that feeling constantly bothered me I still ended up liking most of the choices I was presented with.
 
where is Uncharted 4, friend
On the floor in many pieces after being glory killed by DOOM.

So that pretty much happened for me, but nah. Wish you were there with Papercuts and Net Wrecker and me for our multiple three-hour long PSN party Uncharted 4 roasts "discussions". One of the most infuriatingly baffling games I've ever played.
 
1. Survival (The Division's 2nd DLC) ; So much better than any other DLC I've played. A very different experience from the core game, too. I've been having lots of fun with this. It can also be unnerving at times.
2. Uncharted 4 ; A perfect closure for Nate's journey. Felt so good and it looks incredible too.
3. Battlefield 1 ; The BF game I've been waiting for since BFBC2. So much fun.
4. Forza Horizon 3 ; FH3 made me a believer: open world racing games can be fun.
 
On the floor in many pieces after being glory killed by DOOM.

So that pretty much happened for me, but nah. Wish you were there with Papercuts and Net Wrecker and me for our multiple three-hour long PSN party Uncharted 4 roasts "discussions". One of the most infuriatingly baffling games I've ever played.
its in my top 5 and Doom isnt in my top 10, so Im sure you would've been very upset with my contribution to that discussion

but hey how about that titanfall 2 huh

edit: also did you not play Hitman wtf mate
 
I honestly think if you waiting for the Complete Edition, you really missed out on the Hitman experience. Getting one new map every month, encouraging replays for experimentation and mastery, the online-only releases...cant really get that when you just get the whole thing in one package.

Looks like it got Left Behind.
Enjoy your ban, buddy
 
1. Inside ; Stunning in every way, with the most unique and memorable ending to a game, ever.
2. Oxenfree ; Atmospheric, gorgeous, best dialogue system in a game I've experienced, and a superb soundtrack
3. Severed ; I bought a Vita just for this game and it was worth every penny, absolutely ace.
4. Thumper ; Probably the most intense and rewarding game I've ever played.
5. Forza Horizon 3 ; A really, really great sequel.
6. The Last Guardian ; Despite the occasional frustration, it's a beautiful, one of a kind game.
7. Unravel ; The most relaxing and delightful 2d platformer I've played in ages.
8. Hyper Light Drifter ; I normally shy away from challenging games, but this one really did it for me.
9. Firewatch ; A lovely place to simply explore!
10. Doom ; If only all fps games could be this smooth and damn fun to play!
 
I honestly think if you waiting for the Complete Edition, you really missed out on the Hitman experience. Getting one new map every month, encouraging replays for experimentation and mastery, the online-only releases...cant really get that when you just get the whole thing in one package.
Eh, maybe. But it sounds like the mastery stuff and associated unlocks already provide reasons to keep replaying missions.
 
Another year that I'm unprepared for haha.

Need to finish Steins;Gate 0 and Final Fantasy XV, and if I have time I might smash out some shorter games like Inside and Severed.
 

Papercuts

fired zero bullets in the orphanage.
I honestly think if you waiting for the Complete Edition, you really missed out on the Hitman experience. Getting one new map every month, encouraging replays for experimentation and mastery, the online-only releases...cant really get that when you just get the whole thing in one package.
Yeah I tried to get him on it. The episodic model works so well with the game as-is, getting the full content drop at once is likely to overwhelm and lead to less intimate playthroughs where you really get into the inner workings of each level.

It's still possible but you need a lot of willpower to not just move on, which an make it easy to miss so much of the meat of the game.
 
its the difference between a three course meal and a buffet. You can savor each dish when they come out one by one, but at a buffet its easy to just gorge on everything and get out without thinking about it.
 

Rhaknar

The Steam equivalent of the drunk friend who keeps offering to pay your tab all night.
orders are always hard with me but ill give it a try I guess:

1. Pony Island: Also the biggest surprise, since I had no idea what to expect, the game blew me away. The game part actually is a well made puzle game, but all the meta shit around it makes it my favorite gameof the year. It also has one of my favorite moments ever in a videogame.

2. Salt and Sanctuary: My favorite "Souls" game of the year isnt actually a Souls game. I loved everything about this, the gameplay, the graphics and art design, the sound, the fantastic level design, the bosses, the weapons, the class system. It truly is a 2d souls game.

3. Overwatch: Fantastic first person shooter with easy to pick up gameplay, great characters and levels, and that blizzrd level of polish they are known for. When I was heavy into it I was sure it was going to be my GOTY but I dropped off hard the last few months.

4. Darkest Dungeon: At one point I too thought this would be my GOTY, but alas, the end game grind kinda killed it for me. I actually never finished it, as the last dungeon wiped my best party and I just didnt have the willpower 80 hours in to grind a new party back up, Still, I loved those 80 hours, with simple but addictive 2d dungeon crawling gameplay, great art and sound design, and that "just one more run" feeling few games suceed at.

5. Enter The Gungeon: Im usually not the biggest fan of dual stick shooters, or rogue-likes, but this marriage of the two hooked me in. It has great weapons and a good meta-upgrade system, great levels, great character, its long (I only finished it once in 24 hours and it wasnt even the real ending) and the best part, fantastic dev support who are putting out a massive update soon.

6. World of Warcraft Legion: Legion did the seemingly impossible, it got me back into wow for real. Great expansion that completely revitilized the game for me (I hadnt played in a year and a half before resubbing for it) and I leveld multiple characters to max level and even raided again. Alas, I eventually got bored and stopped again, 5 months down the line, but still, its a fantastic expansion and I will probably get back to it when the new raid patch hit next year.

7. X-Com 2: A good if not great sequel to my 2011 GOTY that fell just a little short of being amazing. I dont know if its the familiarity (a problem that will creep up again soon), the buggy launch, whatever it was, it didnt resonate with me like the first one did. Still a fantastic strategy game, and I loved playing and finishing it. I just dont want to go back anytime soon.

8. Dark Souls 3: Honestly you can pretty much copy what I said about XCOM 2 and replace it with the words Dark Soul. Its a great game and a great sequel, but maybe Souls fatigue is starting to hit me because after I was done with it I felt no need to go back. I havent even played the DLC. Time for the seires to take a break I think.

9. Street Fighter V: Great game that will be forever blemished by the horrible launch. the core is fantastic, but the lack of features really hurt it. Its probably a much better game by now, but Ive long since dropped it unfortunately. Still a fantastic game tho, and worthy sequel to the franchise, if only for the core gameplay. Please dont fuck up MvCI Capcom ;_;

10. Flame in the Flood: Great survival rogue-like that manged to make me actually care about survival games. It has an actual campaign and checkpoints, so that helps, the crafting system is nice, the art style and especially the soundtrack are fantastic, it plays great (better with a controller) and it doesnt overstay its welcome. One of the best surprises this year along with Pony Island.
 
1. ABZÛ; The art style is beautiful beyond words and the score is incredible. This game was more moving, and evoked more positive emotions than any other I've ever played. ABZÛ was the greatest experience I've had in my roughly 30 years of gaming, and is my one and only Game of the Year 2016.


 
This may be an odd request, but can we please keep this thread open after the polling is taken, even if it's just a little bit? I like to edit my post to feature other lists and the conversation in this thread can be a little different in this thread vs the results thread (it's the one I find more interesting). I don't see the harm in keeping it open for awhile. It's not as if people are not disqualifying themselves when the polling is still active.
 
1. Overwatch ; Fantastic FPS combat, strong art direction and design, and great characters. I don't think any game I played in 2016 did a better job of conveying their characters through art and gameplay mechanics. I double dipped just to make sure I could play with my friends no matter what, and no game in recent memory felt more deserving of a second buy.

2. Dirt Rally ; Probably my favorite near-simulation racing game. Expert use of daily and weekly challenges. One of the few games that makes proper execution an actual thrill. Monthly events are a great challenge, one I hope I can properly conquer in 2017.

3. DOOM ; Great music, great self-awareness, a campaign that sticks around just long enough to get the job done. A game that committed to a vision that helped focus a game to play up its strengths.

4. Inside ; Playdead did a great job in dedicating every aspect of this game to serving one very specific goal. Nothing in the game feels superfluous, from the visual design to the way you interact with the world, and all point to creating a stellar, uncomfortable atmosphere.

5. Dark Souls III ; FROM did really well with this game, offering what feels like the ideal, condensed Dark Souls experience. Would likely have ranked higher if it wasn't my 3rd DS game completed this year, or my first experience with the series.

6. The Witness ; A visually striking game with interesting puzzles. Still need to get through the last leg of the game, which will probably necessitate a restart but it'll be a worthwhile play.

7. Superhot ; Another game that understood what it wanted to accomplish and did well in trying to achieve that goal. A game I'm excited to share with family and friends.

8. Firewatch ; I had a really enjoyable time playing this game with my SO, it was a nice personal narrative with beautiful visual design.

9. Titanfall 2 ; This is based on only having gone through the MP content. I really enjoyed the fluidity of the combat, the type that Respawn is exceptional at developing. A few available play patterns are frustrating to me (please let go of the smart pistol and pilot turrets) and seem contradictory to the awesome movement of the game (the particle wall and devotion). I'm a sucker for mech combat, and this game does it well. Northstar is the best.

10. Drawful 2 ; It's a crowd pleaser, always a joy to break out with friends and family. Still surprised there hasn't been much emulation in industry with regards to mobile device as controller, because it's still the best way to get a group of people playing a game. I would love an option to turn off the announcers, however, as there is a little bit of grating going on when the replay count gets high enough.

x. XCOM 2
x. Hyper Light Drifter
x. Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest
x. Enter the Gungeon
 
1. Overwatch ; I can't play a game for over 700 hours in one year and NOT give it GOTY
2. Pokémon Sun/Moon ; It's Pokemon. These games are always magical and Sun/Moon was no exception
3. No Man's Sky ; Fuck you it's great
4. Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 ; In an age where people with nothing better to do with their lives try to shame and ban games like this, DOAX3 deserves credit solely for existing
5. Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth ; Of the 5 games I actually played this year, this was the 5th best
 
1. Final Fantasy XV ; The ultimate flawed gem. A beautiful mess of a game. Despite the issues, this game got me hooked for a long time. The beautiful visuals, the engrossing cast, the fully realized world. It makes a wonderful and fun game.
2. Dragon Quest Builders ; My secret GOTY. I never did like Minecraft but this game isn't very engrossing and charming. Time flew by when I played this game.
3. Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir ;
4. Ace Attorney 6: Spirit of Justice ;
5. World of Final Fantasy ;
6. I am Setsuna ;
7. Adventures of Mana ;
8. Zero Time Dilemma ;
9. Inside ;
10. Uncharted 4 ;