Well guys, it's 2017 now. So let's talk YOUR best games of 2016. 2016 was actually a pretty good year for gaming, nice variety of genuinely solid games released across the year. But enough time wasting, let's get right to it!
10: Killing Floor 2 -
This was a game I waited quite a while to play, being predominantly a console player. It delivered. It's not ground breaking, it's not really even slightly innovative. However it's damned good at what it does. The game is an adrenaline rush from start to finish with EXTREMELY satisfying shooting mechanics, a nice character upgrade/leveling system and a kickass soundtrack. Mindless fun really, but very fun all the same.
Play it with buddies and you've got a seriously good time on your hands.
9: Uncharted 4 -
If there was a game to argue that video games can absolutely be viewed as an interactive movie, it's this one. The voice acting and character animations are so realistic and just...amazing that it's almost unbelievable. Rock solid gameplay and controls, a nice story that plays heavily into the emotional side of things rather than the action side makes these things even more important.
To be completely honest, the only reason this game isn't higher on my list is because I never got to see it's conclusion, and need to finish it. I'm ashamed to say this, but it's true. All the same it absolutely deserved a spot on my list.
8: Doom -
Doom has to honestly be the biggest, most pleasant surprise of the year in gaming for me. This was a game that leading up to it's release gave me EVERY reason to think it'd flop and absolutely NOT live up to the legendary pedigree of the older games in this series.
Boy was I wrong. This game delivered by firing on all cylinders. There's a story here, and it's not even bad, but the game and more importantly, Doom Guy don't give a fuck about it. That's not why you're here and they're not going to pretend otherwise...like Doom 3 tried to.
You're here to be knee deep in blood, to absolutely ANNIHILATE anything and everything in your path. From blowing bloody holes into your foes to sawing them in half straight down the middle with a chainsaw, you're gonna be drenched in gore and loving every single second of it with this game.
To put it simply, Doom does not fuck around. And I personally found it amazing that all these years later, in 2016 that a game could come out and still feel as brutal and shockingly violent, yet so immensely satisfying as the original Doom did so many years ago.
7: Street Fighter V -
A lot of people weren't as happy with this one as I was. Nearly endless complaining about it's lack of single player content and modes being the main culprit. I still stand by my stance that I argued for this game at launch. This is a competitive fighting game, it lives and dies by it's core gameplay and mechanics.
I play this game to fight other people and test my mettle against theirs. And while I'll admit the first week or two DID make that difficult with online server issues, as soon as it got worked out the game delivered. It proved itself to be a seriously awesome game for serious competitive play, and while I wish I'd have sunk some more time into it, I still comes away from 2016 feeling pretty satisfied with it.
I'm still missing Blanka and it hurts, but that's ok. Rather I was always playing it or just watching professionals do so instead, I think I spent more time overall with this game than any other of 2016. Things only seem to be looking better for the game in 2017.
6: Stardew Valley -
This one came late in the year for me, because again, I'm mostly a console gamer, so I had to wait for it to comes to PS4 before being able to give it a go.
Man...this thing is addicting. A game that is a true love song to fans of the oldschool Harvest Moon games. Charming 2D graphics and a catchy, rather brilliant midi soundtrack. This game IS oldschool Harvest Moon, but with a lot of extra things included and a lot more depth.
It has everything you'll have loved from those old HM games, with very little if any of the stuff that made the more modern HM games feel weaker and more forgettable. Despite the farm and small village setting it also features a modern setting, and that's actually pretty refreshing. This isn't a game for everyone, no doubt about that. Some may find it boring or a chore to play. But those who enjoyed the Harvest Moon games of yesteryear will find a WHOLE lot to love here. This is a game that you could play for a year straight and still not have discovered everything in it.
5: Final Fantasy XV -
SURPRISE! This game finally actually released and it's actually pretty damn good!
A fast paced, action oriented real time battle system that starts pretty simple actually quickly shows itself to be a pretty satisfyingly deep thing. Four lead characters that initially just come off as a simple and typical Japanese boy band actually turn out to be pretty interesting characters.
Strangely enough, what starts off to feel like a corny bromance roadtrip actually becomes a pretty awesome plot device, and a gameplay experience that to be honest I'll probably never forget.
This was a game I really, REALLY wanted to be good, after being flat out crushed by the trilogy of games that embodied FF13. It brings me such great pleasure to say that the game not only met my expectations by even exceeded them. And yet, there's so much more for me to do with this game still.
4: Salt and Sanctuary -
This was one that I took a passing glance at leading up to it's release and then quickly forgot about. But when it launched and everyone was loving it I just had to try it, and thanks to John, I got to.
This game simply put is incredible. It's a Souls clone, sure, but it does things so damn well that it stands on it's own. It has an incredible atmosphere, excellent enemy design and absolutely fantastic boss encounters.
The lone ambient, almost black/doom metal like guitar riff that pretty much functions as the entire soundtrack to this game captures more atmosphere than MOST AAA releases' full blown orchestrated OSTs.
It's honestly still astounding to me that such a small team created such a fully realized game with this one. Not to mention that a 2D sidescroller could capture the essence of a Souls game quite so damn well.
This game is honestly near perfect as far as indy games go. In fact if it ever gets online co-op somehow implented fully, I'd go so far as to say that it could be almost perfect. Biggest sleeper hit of the year, easily for me. The game deserves so much more credit and recognition that it got. Don't miss out on this one.
3: Dark Souls 3 -
Dark Souls 3, a game that I actually feel kind of got the short end of the stick if only due to coming hot off the heels of the greatness that is Bloodborne.
Unfortunate, because if not for this fact I think this game would have been a lot better received. It combines the best elements of Bloodborne's faster gameplay and injects them into the more traditional Dark Souls formula. Offering an amazing variety of builds and customization options.
Featuring a story that actually, truly puts some closure and finality to that which Dark Souls 1 started. Playing on the nostalgia fans of that game have, and doing it well.
Unfortunately not the most memorable game in the series, but absolutely deserving of praise and of this spot on my list. This isn't to say that there was nothing memorable here, there certainly was. One level in particular bordered straight up on horror, and ended up becoming one of my favorites in the entire series.
The "secret" true ending to this game tied things so well together for me as a longtime fan of the series that it left me more content than anything else in the series' history has as far as story is concerned.
2: Rainbow Six: Siege -
Ok, so this game came out in 2015. BUT it came out on December 1st of 2015 and really came into it's own some months after launch. So we're going to count it.
This is a game that started with a pretty rough launch, some would even call it disastrous. However, the developers behind it gave a shit. They listened to feedback, they worked hard to make things right. And they did.
Admittedly, I came late into this game's first year, so I missed the lesser times, and instead came into the game during the better times. Still, in a season of 2016 absolutely packed to the gills in notable shooters this game completely edged out almost all of them off my list and out of my game time since I started.
The ebb and flow of the attackers vs. defenders is so brilliantly executed once you've started to fully grasp how things work. I'm not gonna say it does anything REALLY new. Afterall, Counter Strike has been doing it for years, and then a bit more recently Insurgency did it well too.
That said though, I personally don't think anyone has done this as well. Like those other games mentioned, this one has a very high skill ceiling. It has a steep learning curve and it's hardcore to the max. You'll be eaten alive when you start out, absolutely chewed up. You'll be getting killed by people that are so far out of your league that it feels like you're an average Joe fighting against Batman.
That analogy is appropriate though. Because as you get better at this game and learn how to properly utilize the tools and gadgets you have you'll find yourself becoming the one who's making the plays, the guy who's pulling off those incredible, seemingly impossible scenarios.
This is augmented by the "siege" gameplay that the title suggests. See, there's more to this than learning the maps and camping objective points. Because you can just straight blow your way through a stage with breach charges and gadgets. And if you know an opponent is waiting to ambush you around the corner due to utilizing drone cameras and the like, you can just gun their ass down through the wall while they felt safe in waiting to camp you out.
This is even further enhanced by having you play as different operators rather than just a generic swat officer or terrorist. These operators fill different roles for your team based on their gadgets/abilities and the weapons loadouts they can equip. This creates team dynamics on top of a game that absolutely demands solid teamwork anyway. There's little room for error in a match, as a single slip up can and often WILL be the end of the round for you. You go down fast and when you're down, you're down. No respawns.
The game will push you to get better, and you'll feel compelled to WANT to get better. Wanting to be like that fellow who rappelled down from the roof of the building you're in, while inverted to shoot you in the head through a nearby boarded up window, after scouting you out with his drone beforehand. Seriously, doing well in this game makes you feel like more of a badass than probably ANY shooter I've ever played. It's extremely rewarding. I could keep gushing here, I can't believe how damn good this game is.
1: Overwatch -
To be honest I'm not even sure what needs to be said here if anything. This game is amazing, and everyone here probably already knows that.
Blizzard delivers, like they always do. Sure, I'd love to see more focus on the story elements for these awesome characters....but it doesn't even matter. It can't hold the game back. Let's be completely honest, the game is short on content. Yes, some has been added over the year and much more will come. But it's a fact. However it's a fact that doesn't even really make a difference to just how goddamn brilliant of a game this is.
This is a shooter for people who don't even enjoy shooters. Doesn't matter what your experience is with the genre, there's a lot to love here. Rock solid gameplay, great characters, excellent map design, fun, interesting abilities. All while staying simple enough to easily get into, yet deep enough to be truly difficult to master.
This is quite honestly my favorite new IP in video games since Dark Souls. If somehow you've missed out on playing this game, I HIGHLY encourage you to change that. I think we all knew this game would have this spot on my list...but it's only because it's absolutely deserving of the honor of being my pick for the best game of 2016!