We made it to the end of the year everyone, and what a year it’s been. I’ve made a point to post more regularly in 2016 and will continue that trend in 2017. In the past few months, I’ve even branched out into Youtube. It’s been a big year, and the internet would like you to believe the worst on record. Celebrities are dropping like flies, and the 2016 election has turned more people on each other than I have ever seen. We do, however, have one silver lining. Good old 2016 was a fantastic year for video games, there has never been a better time to be playing games.
I played a whole lot of games this year but if you don’t have the time you want the cream of the crop. So I have posted, for you, in no particular order, my top 10 games of 2016.
Uncharted 4 A Thief’s End
Nathan Drakes latest and likely last adventure was something I had been looking forward to for a long time. Uncharted 4 served as a great endcap to Naughty Dog’s epic series as well as a technical showpiece for the PS4. In addition to telling what I would consider a cinematic level story it’s probably the most beautiful game, I played for the PS4 this year.
Some of you know Stardew Valley as the Harvest Moon like farming game that released by Chucklefish Games recently for consoles and may very well be falling in love with it as we speak. I threw myself into the Steam release back in February, and I can’t think of much else that absorbed me as much in 2016. I spent countless hours tending to my grandfather’s farm in Stardew Valley, and after seeing the recent updates since console launch, I may go in for many more. Stardew Valley slowly trickles out more and more intricate systems the deeper you get, showing off hints of Harvest Moon, Animal Crossing, and even Zelda. That games due a proper review from me, so expect one in early 2017.
In my review, I wrote that Tokyo RPG Factory’s I Am Setsuna was a love letter to PSone era RPGs. I stand by that sentiment 100%. While a bit on the short side, Setsuna hits all the notes of those old school turn-based role-playing games. The developers love for Chrono Trigger is the most obvious. Setsuna resonated with me in a strong way, and it’s an easy recommendation for any old school JRPG fan.
Play Dead’s second outing released this year to rave reviews, including my own. It’s easy to look at Inside as the apparent evolution of Limbo, but in truth, it is so much more than that. Everything in Inside’s design feels perfectly deliberate from background animations to the way objects blend into the environment and interact with the player character. Inside is one of the most polished games I’ve seen in years and totally worthy of all the praise.
If you had told me back in January that Hitman would make this list I might have laughed. I hadn’t actually enjoyed an outing with Agent 47 since Blood Money, but 2016’s Hitman gets it right. The maps are sprawling and detailed as well as loaded with weird characters and scenarios to explore. The episodic formula did to great things for Hitman, it encouraged multiple plays of each location and kept me and many others talking about Hitman all damn year. The elusive target system still has me going back to Hitman on a regular basis, which reminds me the Food Critic is in town this week.
I didn’t have a terrible amount of love for the first Titanfall. The gameplay was great, but the multiplayer didn’t have the longevity it needed to make it worth the $60 price point. Titanfall 2, however, ended up being a pretty impressive shooter mostly for the campaign. Titanfall 2 tries some kind of cool parkour stuff that while not new to the FPS genre is pretty well fleshed out here. In addition to that, your Titan companion BT is one of my favorite new characters from 2016.
It might just be all of that nostalgia built up for the original PS2 series but the PS4 remake/reimagining of Insomniacs classic was some of the most fun I had this year. Easily the most fun with a mascot platformer in years. Ratchets second chance at life makes more than a few key differences from the original while perfecting its supremely fun gameplay and most importantly isn’t a slave to its god awful movie counterpart.
Final Fantasy XV stuck with me in a weird way. I loved that game probably more than it deserved and more than I had any Final Fantasy game in a long time. The story is a muddled mess, but it was less about that for me and more about driving the Regalia on an endless road trip with my bros. I’ll gladly slaughter more monsters across Insomnia with Noctis and company in 2017.
I was late to the party on Superhot, so it was a bit of a last-minute addition to this list, but that game is all kinds of good. It’s strangely beautiful and trippy time mechanics make the puzzles feel tight and rewarding, and boy does that story go places. If you need a weird ass puzzle shooter, Superhot is damn near the best at that.
How do you make Doom in 2016 was probably one of the most difficult questions to answer for the team over at id software. The answer? Make it super tongue and cheek. Doom nails what a modern game in the series should be, the Doom Slayer wakes up on his ancient stone tablet and gets right to kicking demon ass. You want exposition? The Doom Slayer says fuck your exposition. Doom pokes fun at its lineage while being sure its characters take everything super seriously. The game plays like the perfect action movie and is the best FPS campaign I’ve played in years. I can’t wait for Doom 2.