Best Games of 2016

Post by Patrick

Mark posted his top 5 video games last week, but 2016 was a great year for video games and it was challenging for me to narrow the list down to 10 yet alone 5. There were a lot of great games from AAA studios and a lot of great games from smaller studios. There were also few games that I loved playing that didn’t make it to the list, games that people should still check out like Hitman, Dragon Quest Builders, Pokemon Sun/Moon and the Division. 2017 is looking promising as well, so fingers crossed! Check out my favorite games of 2016 below.

10 – Watch Dogs 2
I hated the first Watch Dogs game. Aiden Pearce was probably the worst character I’ve ever played as. The story sucked, the game play was half assed. It just wasn’t fun. Watch Dogs 2 though? What a leap in quality. You play as Marcus, a hacker trying to take down an evil corporation. The cast of characters you interact with are interesting, have depth and personality. The gameplay mechanics are solid, even though it could have been a much better game if guns weren’t involved. Thankfully you can play the game without killing anyone by just using your stun gun, a drone to fly around with (to spot enemies) and an RC car to do your hacking. Guns seem a strange fit because Marcus and co. are hackers, not in a gang, not part of the mob or whatever. It just doesn’t make sense story-wise. To top it all off the open world is possibly the best open world in 2016.

9 – Inside
Inside was game I played late in the year. It’s a fantastic adventure game with light puzzle mechanics. Its incredibly well designed. Each segment in the game feels meaningful, with zero fluff involved. The atmosphere is topnotch and the game has a very cohesive visual look while the sound design is incredible.

8 – The Witness
I’m not a huge fan of puzzle games. I’ll play a Professor Layton game here and there but it’s not something I would seek out. Which is why it took me this long to play the Witness. The Witness is a Myst-like game where you walk around an island in first-person while solving maze like puzzles. The Witness looks great, has unique puzzles that force you to interact with the environment, shadows, reflections among other things to find solutions. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to beat the game, but I’m still enjoying it quite a bit.

7 – Hyper Light Drifter
I love nostalgia but that doesn’t mean I enjoy every game that tries to pay homage to the 8-bit or 16-bit era. Hyper Light Drifter is special. It’s a 2D action role-playing game (kind of like The Legend of Zelda) with incredible sprite and pixel art. The combat in the game is fluid and challenging. Your character (called the Drifter) fights using an energy sword and a gun and you can quickly move around your enemies while avoiding their attacks using a dash move. The world is open for you to explore the moment you start the game, you can choose which areas to complete first. This isn’t a world I want to leave any time soon so I’ve been taking my time trying to find all the secrets.

6 – No Man’s Sky
No Man’s Sky is a game that I played consistently, every day for months. Some people probably would be surprised by that given that there was so much controversy and negativity surrounding the game. But No Man’s Sky helped me chill after coming home from work. The game isn’t deep, but walking and flying around taking photos while I explored galaxies was more than enough for me. Now with the new “Foundation” update the developers improved the game all around and added base building. I can’t see myself quitting No Man’s Sky any time soon.

5 – Abzû
I don’t think I played a game this year that made me smile and feel as good as Abzu did. The music by Austin Wintory (Journey, Assassins Creed: Syndicate, The Banner Saga) and the art of Matt Nava (art director behind Journey and Flower) work so well together. You play as a nameless boy exploring the ocean where you’ll find huge caverns and underwater ruins while interacting with fish to help you get to the end of your journey. There’s no real challenge in the game but it’s a great experience to play through in an afternoon or evening.

4 – Titanfall 2
I wasn’t planning on getting the new Titanfall because I felt like the focus would be on its multiplayer and I’m not a fan of competitive multiplayer anymore. But when I started hearing great things about the campaign mode and how great of a buddy BT is, my mind was made up. I did not regret it one bit. The campaign mode in Titanfall 2 is fantastic. Your main character isn’t anything special but the relationship he builds with BT has a lot of memorable moments. The movement in the game is pretty spot on, the guns feel great and the story isn’t bad at all. Titanfall 2 also includes one of my favorite levels I’ve played. On top of all that I enjoyed the multiplayer quite a bit, it was a nice distraction when I needed a break from the campaign mode.

3 – Dishonored 2
I was a huge fan of the first Dishonored game. I understood why some people disliked it and the stealth in the game but those were issues that never bothered me. When Dishonored 2 was released earlier this year I went in with high expectations and thankfully the game did not disappoint. For those who don’t know, Dishonored is stealth action game where you play as an assassin, trying to win back the throne. The art direction in the game is superb, playing as Emily, messing around with her powers was a lot of fun and most importantly the developers nailed the level design. It also includes two of my favorite stages that I’ve experienced in a while. I beat the game as Emily non-leathely the first time around and I’m planning on going back and playing the game through as Corvo by basically killing everyone. It should be a load of fun.

2 – Overwatch
I’m not a massive fan of online competitive play, it’s not what I enjoy about video games anymore. But when a more casual experience comes along (like Splatoon last year) I tend to stick with it for much longer than I do more serious competitive games. Overwatch did a lot of things right. From not showing Kill/Death in the scoreboards to all the colorful and unique characters that Blizzard created. But most importantly, the game is balanced really well so that no one feels overpowered and the maps are easy to remember. This is another game that I’ll be coming back to for the forceable future.

1 – Doom
Where to start with Doom? The story behind the development of Doom is interesting and everyone should watch the documentary that includes interviews with some of the top staff at ID. Originally the Doom we were getting had more in common with Call of Duty than Doom and they scraped that entire project to rework the game into what we got this year. And what we ended up getting is one of the best first person shooters to have come out in the last decade and more. It’s possibly my favorite first person shooter ever. It’s fast pace and game design philosophy of constantly pushing the player forward is effective. The art and sound design, top notch. And the music? Just incredible. A few other things I love is how the Doom Guy (aka Doom Slayer) has a personality without uttering a single word and how the game doesn’t take itself seriously. Doom is easily my game of the year.

Post by Patrick

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17 comments, add your own...

  1. Raz says:

    Great post
    What would be the 5 of the most disappointing games of 2016?

  2. meh says:

    No place for uncharted 4 and a place for watchdogs 2? Weird.

    • Patrick says:

      The Uncharted games do nothing for me, I played Uncharted 4 and I had to stop about half way through the game because I found it to be boring and uninteresting. I’m not a fan of Drake either. But I do see why people dig the games, it’s just not for me.

  3. Demon Slayer says:

    DOOM was fucking amazing.

    The best part about the game was that you couldn’t survive by taking cover or camping. You need to run, jump, strafe, rotate, and shoot while all doing that based on which demons are appearing. It’s like chess, where each type of piece has its own moves– like pinky always got me, because I had the “Prometheus-school-of-running-away-from-danger” mentality. I played it at the hardest setting and took me about less than a week, very challenging and very satisfying. The pacing was just what was needed.

    The music is awesome, the graphics are great, the secrets were old-school type and loved the doll collecting aspect.

    Demon Slayer out – *punches monitor*

  4. salah says:

    can’t believe neither one of you mentioned Uncharted as of the best games this year.

  5. AJ says:

    Why do you and your brother keep saying “yet alone”. It’s “let alone”!!

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