Life as a gamer was pretty good this year. We got a slough of great games over the course of the entire year. And I do mean over the entire year. From beginning to end, I was playing a new game that was pretty darn great all year long. My reflexes and patience were tested in Dark Souls III. I was introduced to a new world of unique characters and extremely competitive gameplay in Overwatch. I was allowed to rip and tear my way through the hordes of demons in DOOM.
Yeah, I'd say that this year was pretty good as a gamer. But, before we welcome 2017 with open arms, we need to take a look back at the best games of this year. Yes, folks, it's time to go over the top 11 games of 2016 as reviewed by GameSkinny. This list isn't so much a counting down of the best but more a collection of what we determined to be the best games of the year. So without further ado, let's get into the list!
The Last Guardian (PlayStation 4)
This was a game that was announced almost ten years ago for the last console generation. Fans of Team ICO's work waited with bated breath for the successor to the critically acclaimed Shadow of the Colossus. Finally, that game was released, but was it worth it? According to reviewer Ashley Gill, it most definitely was.
"An emotional journey from start to finish, The Last Guardian shows that Fumito Ueda and the Team ICO staffers now at SIE Japan Studio still have the ability to create a mini-universe you can completely immerse and invest yourself emotionally into without even realizing it. It's a triumph, with its only detractors being some technical issues that, should you be invested enough, are easy to overlook and completely forget about once it's all over. And if you want to play it again once it's over, have at it -- there's replay-only content to be found that Team ICO fans should be tickled by."
- Ashley Gill
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (Xbox One)
Adam Jensen returned this year in the sequel to the the 2011 hit, Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Eidos Montreal refined what they presented to us in that game to bring us this wonderful sequel, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.
"If you dig games like Crysis but prefer more tactical, cover-based combat with a less confined world, then Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will hit the spot. There are some flaws here and there however -- repetition in level layout elements, spotty dialog, and getting overpowered if you work the augmentation system.
That being said, there's a ton of fun to be had here and lots of exploration to do outside the main quest line."
- Ty Arthur
Final Fantasy XV (PlayStation 4)
This is another game that fans have waited a long time for. After the mess that was Final Fantasy XIII, fans were clamoring for a return to the world an mechanics that made them love Final Fantasy.
What originally started as a game called Final Fantasy XIII Versus, Final Fantasy XV released to pretty great reception. Fans loved the journey that these four guys were taking and the trouble they got into.
"Final Fantasy XV is a dream come true for fans of the series and a fantastic RPG regardless of the name. This is a game that I'm sure any RPG fan will enjoy -- and even those that may not usually play the genre."
Hyper Light Drifter (PC)
Full Review by Jeffrey Rousseau
The image above still gives me chills every time I see it. Hyper Light Drifter was a game that sucked me in with it's engaging gameplay and gorgeous art. From the moment you boot the game up, you know you're in for a treat.
"Hyper Light Drifter is a very well-made and well-executed game that succeeds in constantly challenging you forward. No adventure fan should miss out on this experience."
- Jeffrey Rousseau
Battlefield 1 (PC)
2016 was a year where your common military shooter was kind of turned on it's head. Battlefield 1 definitely fits in this category. As someone who misses the days when Call of Duty was exploring battles of old wars, Battlefield 1 was a breath of fresh air.
While the combat is much more fast paced and aligned with what people are used to in a modern military shooter, Battlefield 1 brings back the historical aspect of a military shooter that I definitely missed. And bringing the Battlefield formula to World War I just makes sense.
"Battlefield 1 is a true successor of the Battlefield series and one of the best games of the year. Bringing the experience of a hundred year old war is not an easy task, but DICE made it work. However, the game is not perfect and will not receive the highest possible score due to some bad enemy AI and less than stellar design on some of the maps.
On the other hand, Battlefield 1 has given us all an opportunity to dive into one of the most brutal wars in the history of humanity -- and this is something you don’t try every day."
Pokemon Sun and Moon
I remember being given Pokemon: Blue Version when I was a kid. I played it non stop and fell deep into the Pokemon rabbit hole. That was back in 1996 and I've been playing Pokemon ever since.
Pokemon Sun and Moon are the latest installments to the Pokemon franchise and according to our reviewer, they are possibly the best to come out.
"Pokemon Sun and Moon is one of the best, if not the best, Pokemon games ever made. It mixes up the formula and changes enough to be a fresh experience, while keeping the core of the game intact.
Veteran and new players alike will have plenty to do and enjoy in these games to keep them busy for a long time. I look forward to the future of Pokemon and these games show great promise."
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
This year saw the end of the PlayStation's finest exclusive series', Uncharted. Developer Naughty Dog has grown since it released it's first installment of the series. After releasing the critically acclaimed The Last of Us, people were excited to see what the developer had learned. According to reviewer Chris Bowring, Naughty Dog has found their voice and are using it to create some real works of art.
"Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is the swan song this series deserved. From stunning visuals, to awe inspiring set pieces, grounded moments of weakness, and fluid and organic gameplay. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is one of the greatest experiences games can offer. Coming from someone who never truly resonated with the series, you owe it to yourself as a gamer to experience this."
- Chris Bowring
Full Review by Jeremy "Digit" Brown
Fans of the game Limbo have been waiting with bated breath to see what developer Playdead would do next. This year we got that answer.
Inside is a side-scrolling, horror game where you play as a young boy trying to escape from a dystopian society. Using an interesting aesthetic, engaging gameplay and unique storytelling mechanics, Inside is definitely a game that you shouldn't miss.
"Inside fulfills Limbo's aspirations in becoming a seamless, near-flawless experience. It took six years to craft this game; but just from its mysterious beginning to a literal jaw-dropping ending, Playdead has made a true work of art."
- Jeremy "Digit" Brown
Titanfall 2 (Xbox One)
Titanfall 2 is one of the best games I played all year. It just did so many things right. It's campaign was one of the best shooter campaigns I've ever played. The multiplayer is some of the best you are going to find. If you haven't played this game yet, you owe it to yourself to pick it up.
The game's mechanics just feel fantastic.
"Titanfall 2 is an amazing sequel and worthy of everyone's attention. There are many big games out and coming out around this time, but this game is definitely worth it.
If you liked the first game at all, you'll love this one. If you wished there was a story mode in the last game, this one makes up for it tenfold.
Overall, I was highly impressed with what Respawn has done, and hope they continue this franchise for many years to come."
Planet Coaster (PC)
When I was a kid, I used to waste hours and hours building roller coasters in Roller Coaster Tycoon. In recent years, that franchise has taken a bit of a nose dive and what used to be the golden standard in theme park sim games, has fallen by the wayside. Enter, Planet Coaster.
Planet Coaster has easily been one of the best games I've played in a long time. If you've been itching to play a good theme park sim, you owe it to yourself to get this game.
"Simulation games have never seen this level of creative freedom before. If you're a fan of both Sandbox and Simulation genres, Planet Coaster is a must play. Even if you're only a fan of Sandbox games, you're likely to get dozens or even hundreds of hours of enjoyment out of it."
- Autumn Fish
I don't think anyone will be surprised to see this game on the list. Overwatch is hands down one of the best shooters I've ever played. It's unique cast of characters, fantastic gameplay and emphasis on teamwork have made for a truly fantastic game. I have found myself coming back to this game time and time again only to have a hell of a lot of fun with my friends. This is to be expected by a Blizzard title.
"Overwatch is a must play game. If you like shooters, it won't take long for you to find a character to play as and a role to fill in any team. If you're one of the few people who haven't played the game in beta or already bought it, you owe it to yourself to pick it up and play. I can guarantee you you'll be playing this one for a long time."
And that's it folks! These aren't the only great games of the year though. There were plenty of titles to choose from when making this list but in the end, these are our stand out's.
2016 was an amazing year for games and I can't wait to see what is in store for 2017.
What games do you think were the best this year? Let me know in the comments!