- Special thanks to ASilentProtagonist for contributing data!
- Thanks to everyone for voting and commenting, and the mods for their support.
- 2016's voting thread
- Previous awards threads: 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004
01. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End = 1964 points, 32 honorable mentions
Just a beautiful example of the medium. You can argue that the game opts for story beats over raw gameplay but the details, pacing and visuals are such a fantastic achievement, I couldn't see anything else topping this game this year.
Probably the best Uncharted game. Naughty Dog took a bit of what they learned from TLOU and applied it pretty well to a completely different series. Still suffers from some of the same nagging issues in previous games, but overall UC4 is a very competent blockbuster adventure game with some of the coolest sets in the series.
Our favourite thief and scoundrel didn't disappoint with his final outing. He treats some familliar grounds, but goes through some staggering set-pieces, fantastic characters moments and visits locations so visually gorgeous, Naughty Dog made me believe in magic again.
02. Doom = 1776 points, 35 honorable mentions
You are not a one-man army. You are a god of death, a bringer of ruin and slaughter to the forces of hell. They fear you and rightfully so, as you unleash unstoppable fury upon them through relentlessly fast first-person shooter action
This game will take you on a ride that will unlock something in you that you never knew existed. Just let it happen.
03. Overwatch = 1607 points, 25 honorable mentions
Extremely fun, extremely addictive, casual-friendly but also unusually deep gameplay, lovely character design with a diverse and inclusive cast. Also, post-launch support has been fantastic. I see myself still paying this in several years.
wild wild rice said:
When I was hooked on this game, nothing else would suffice. Great cast of characters and locales, just casual enough for a casual like me to enjoy. I don't think it tops Splatoon as my favorite multiplayer shooter this gen but it comes damn close.
04. Dark Souls III = 1393 points, 8 honorable mentions
Dark Souls III is the most refined iteration of the Souls series, with even more polished combat and engaging encounter design than ever before. It has my favorite gallery of enemies and bosses of any game Ive ever played.
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.
05. The Last Guardian = 1310 points, 20 honorable mentions
Reverend Funk said:
Would give it all ten spots if I could. Best soundtrack of the year, best story, best everything, a true masterpiece. This is a game that I will be thinking about for years.
A mesmerizing journey that tackles the concept of companionship, one that instantly struck a chord with me as a pet owner. Beautifully directed with the sense of wonder you expect from a Ueda game fully intact despite the long development cycle. Painstakingly animated, puzzles that give pause but are never too tough to decipher, lovely soundtrack. Trico is unforgettable.
06. Final Fantasy XV = 969 points, 31 honorable mentions
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.
A game hasn't pulled me in like this since X. A true flawed gem, more than the sum, incredible that it even exists in a decent state. I have so much to say about XV, too much for this post. Can't wait to see the content they add in the future.
07. Titanfall 2 = 933 points, 39 honorable mentions
The campaign, while short, is absolutely fantastic. Like a Call of Duty mixed with Mirror's Edge, mixed with Steel Battalion, mixed with some other great and random ideas like the factory of a DKC game or the timeshift stones of Skyward Sword.
If GotY was about choosing your single favorite mission in a game for the whole year, this game would be number 1 for me. I loved the whole campaign, the multiplayer is great fun as well. A game that was sent out to die with an extremely inconvenient launch time, it deserves more success than it garnered.
08. The Witness = 899 points, 17 honorable mentions
A unique masterpiece. Learning how to solve the various puzzles without hand-holding or really many hints at all was one of the most engrossing experiences of the year. Do I believe in Jonathan Blow's worldview as expressed in the game? No. But it's at least an intriguing subject of discussion. Finishing the "challenge" is still one of my proudest achievements in gaming.
An amazing experience from start to finish. The Witness frequently introduces clever new ideas that will keep you on your toes and hides some of its biggest secrets in plain sight, you just won't know it until you've learned enough of the visual language that the game uses to communicate with you. It rivals Portal as the best puzzle video-game ever made. The world design, setting and surrounding mystery made it truly memorable. One of those rare games that show you what makes this medium so special and sticks with you long after you've finished it.
09. Inside = 826 points, 35 honorable mentions
Dusk Golem said:
With excellent atmosphere in a haunting and cold world, INSIDE joins a nameless boy who treks from farmland to city to underground lakes to get inside... clever puzzle bits, and amazing animation which helps gives a detailed look on a mostly silent world. Ending is fun but didn't blow me away like most.
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.
10. Hitman = 657 points, 25 honorable mentions
A towering achievement when it comes to world building. Stunningly consistent quality all through out the maps. Exploring each map was a joy as one figures out how to take out the next target while being fully immersed in truly active,living,breathing often funny & charming worlds. They built something even Rockstar's finest would be envious of.
11. Ratchet & Clank = 581 points, 32 honorable mentions
This game went beyond being a simple remake and carved an identity of its own, and felt like a new game to me despite being a fan of the series since the original. Game was a total blast to play.
12. The Witcher III: Wild Hunt - Blood and Wine = 564 points, 14 honorable mentions
Blood and Wine has the content and quality of a full game, yet I got it on release at just over £10. Witcher 3 was my GOTY for 2015, so more of the same is not an issue. Whilst failing to live up to the writing heights of Hearts of Stone, Blood and Wine is a fitting end to Geralt's story in an expansion that encapsulates all I love about the series.
The fact that people would consider putting a DLC in their GOTY list after such an amazing year for games should tell you all you need to know about CDProjekt's talent, dedication and respect for the players. This has more content than most full games, for a fucking third of the price, and at the same level of quality if not better than the original TW3. The story is not as good as Hearts Of Stone , but it's still excellent and this time, it's a whole new world to explore. Really can't praise these developers enough.
13. Pokémon Sun/Moon = 508 points, 17 honorable mentions
My favorite game of 2017. I mainly got it for the online, but it would be my GOTY even if it was single player only. For the first real time I was hooked into the story. So many great characters and memorable moments. When you add in the great online this comes off as a truly fantastic game and my favorite Pokemon game of all time.
14. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided = 447 points, 18 honorable mentions
A very worthy follow up to 2011's Human Revolution that returns with a single but greatly expanded hub world allowing for some of the greatest variety and exploration systems in AAA games that I haven't seen in many years. Imo, this will be looked on with more fondness down the line than it seems to be receiving at present.
15. Dishonored 2 = 438 points, 23 honorable mentions
Arkane took everything that worked with the first game, and polished it to a fine sheen. The ways to get through levels, the way that powers work together in interesting ways, and just the general player-empowerment puts this game over the top. Not to mention one of my favorite one-two punches in level design ever in levels 7 and 8. Like the first game, I can see myself coming back to this one for years to come.
16. Stardew Valley = 374 points, 18 honorable mentions
If GotY was measured in amount of time wasted, Stardew Valley would easily be a top contender. As someone who loves Harvest Moon, but kind of laments the low-budget rut it's in, this game was such a pleasant surprise. It takes the Harvest Moon formula, and expands upon it greatly. Given that this is a game made by pretty much a single person, there's some slight rough patches here and there, but they're easily forgiven. ConcernedApe raised the bar in the genre, and left the door open for a mod scene that can probably keep the game going for quite another while.
17. XCOM 2 = 341 points, 7 honorable mentions
I've loved X-Com from the days of the original games so Firaxis' remakes start from a strong position in my mind. While the strategic layer may not be as deep as the originals, XCOM remains an immensely satisfying tactical game, retaining that 'just one more turn' feeling - and this sequel builds on that in every way.
18. Battlefield 1 = 332 points, 21 honorable mentions
Easily my favorite Battlefield game since BF2, I really enjoyed the World War 1 setting, increased destruction, incredible visuals and audio. My only complaints are the lack of important armies and also gore, which would've set the tone even more for how horrible this war was. But from what I can tell this game's popularity got more people interested in WW1 and that's what matters the most.
19. Firewatch = 322 points, 35 honorable mentions
For me It took the next step when it comes to walking simulators/FPX's. Introducing some traversing mechanics like the map and having an open world really worked well for me to connect to this world, even though exploration incentives were kinda limited. But what really shines here is the greatly written dialogues delivered amazingly well both by Cissy Jones and Rich Sommer. I was really invested in these two stories, and even though coices hardly change anything massive in gameplay or overall story, it made me feel more like a part of this. Also, Olly Moss art which can only be a plus.
20. Fire Emblem Fates = 317 points, 21 honorable mentions
Makoto Yuki said:
An excellent entry that manages to give something to classical purists with Conquest, and something for new fans who love Awakening with Birthright. While it's strange that they are trying to cater the hardcore fans and the new fan base established with Awakening, Fire Emblem Fates is still move of that RNG tactical goodness the series has been known for.