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I think it’s safe to say that many people are glad to finally get 2016 behind them. 2016 has also been a difficult year for gaming. As I was constructing my list, I didn’t expect to see what made it in the end. A lot of games I was expecting to make it to the top turned out to only flop in the end. Although, the list isn’t what expected coming in, I enjoyed every one of them to the bitter end. Now without further ado, here are my top ten picks for 2016.
10: Dark Souls III
Dark Souls III proves that no matter how many times a game will kick your ass, players will come for more. Combining the fast aggressive nature of Bloodborne with the defensive and careful gameplay of previous Dark Souls, the third entry feels well-rounded enough for fans of both sides of the spectrum. Massive bosses plague the lands offering colossal fights that will make even the toughest fighter sweat. Inviting some friends to face these foes only makes the experience sweeter. Although Dark Souls III wasn’t another Bloodborne, I was happy to play it again and again.
9: Ratchet & Clank
The Ratchet & Clank series has been one of my favorite PlayStation classics. To see the series return to PlayStation 4 made me as happy as can be. Not only was the reboot a great chance to retell and reimagine the first game’s story, but Insomniac Games put the enough work into the project to make Ratchet & Clank to feel like a new experience. The gameplay stays true to its roots with some new mechanics thrown in to stay fresh and exciting. Ratchet & Clank is a great game for both fans and newcomers alike.
8: Pokemon Sun
I was skeptical of Pokemon Sun & Moon earlier in the year, as fans were. There was just something that wasn’t clicking for me reading coverage for it. Needless, I ended up giving the game a shot. And you know what? I was pleasantly surprised by how well the end product turned out.
Pokemon Sun abandons the traditional gym leader battles in favor of trial based challenges, I felt engrossed in the experience. I enjoyed trekking through the Alola region and seeing all of the wonderful new creatures to add to my collection. With a healthy slew of old pocket monsters thrown in the mix, Pokemon Sun proved to be a solid adventure to add to your 3DS library.
7: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
A proper conclusion to the adventures of Nathan Drake is finally here. And what a wonderful way to wrap up the series. Following Drake on his final adventure comes with a look into the treasure hunter’s past, present, and future. Teaming up with his long lost brother Sam, Nathan will travel to the ends of the Earth in search of a lost pirate treasure.
Filled with action, adventure, and mystery, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End will leave you at the edge of your seat the whole way through.
6: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided gives players a look into a cyberpunk future that is almost too realistic. Outside of the immersive world, Deus Ex gives players a quality action game with role playing elements that can be fun for both stealth and action fans. The play-it-your-way nature works well in Mankind Divided and the game gives players numerous tools and opportunities to play how they choose. I enjoyed my time with it, though I felt it ended before it even began. An immersive world, excellent visuals, and fun gameplay combine together to a truly unique experience.
As soon as that shotgun cocks as you look out at Mars, you know what Doom has to offer.
Doom returns the series back to what it was known for all those years, killing demons and blowing stuff up. As you start, players will break out of their chains and punch a demon in the face. After this action ramps up to 11 and it never slows down. Running around jumping and executing anything trying to kill me reminded me of classic arena shooters that I loved.
Doom is a return to this style of gameplay and I can’t be happier to have played it. The multiplayer is a hit and a miss, but its complete campaign will give players the ride of their lives.
4: Titanfall 2
Titanfall 2 doesn’t get as much credit as it deserves.
Aside from a solid single player campaign that proves to be one of the best a first person shooter can offer, its multiplayer alone is such a blast to play. It’s fast paced action leaves no match feeling grounded as your team runs around the battlefield, scaling building and wall-running into enemy turf.
Need any more convincing? How about giant fighting robots? Yes, as much as it is to run off walls and grapple from building to building shooting and dropkicking the competition, nothing beats piloting a giant robot to turn the tides of battle. It doesn’t even have a season pass! What more do you need in your first person shooter?! Titanfall 2 is the complete package that offers a fun experience for anyone who give it a shot.
3: Hyper Light Drifter
Hyper Light Drifter was my biggest surprise of the year. I loved its gameplay reminding me of the very first Legend of Zelda. Top down view requiring players to explore this open world full of mystery or terror. Smart players will find every nook and cranny and defeat every boss with ease, whereas impatient players will face a quick end. Hyper Light Drifter mixes gameplay styles of both classic Legend of Zelda with Dark Souls, all wrapped up in a beautiful 16-bit package. It has enough difficulty to give the best players enough challenge, while remaining fair, giving players exactly what they need. If you get a chance to play this game, take it, you’ll thank me later.
I’ve sunk hours upon hours into Overwatch and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. A game of such simple designs and concepts ended up blowing up and giving players everywhere a new multiplayer game to jump on with their friends. This hero shooter gives players a huge cast of characters, each with their own skills and personalities. For the first time in a role based competitive game, I enjoyed being flexible and trying each and every character.
I’ve spent so much time in this shooter that it overshadows most games I’ve played in a while. I would be invested in a new game to only beat it and return to Overwatch again. I liked everything about it, from its characters, game modes, lore, etc. Although, the game feels like on the outside, on the inside is a multiplayer game that will grab you and never let go. Its fun and you’ll be saying “ok one more match” over and over again.
1: Final Fantasy XV
I’ve waited ten years for this game. Final Fantasy XV had every right to end up being a bad game. But it didn’t, it ended up being one of the best Final Fantasy games I’ve played in a long time. Although the game released late this year, it ended up being a strong product. The big open world comes to life as Noctis and his friends venture across the land like a summer road trip.
Final Fantasy is known for its beautiful music, gorgeous CGI and wondrous worlds, and Final Fantasy XV is no different. As for story, you can expect a expect a ridiculous Final Fantasy game except this time it feels more straight forward. But the story takes a backseat to exploration and gameplay, which is great. Cruising around in your car, listening to classic music, looking at all this lively scenery, you feel immersed in this fantasy based on modern life.
I was surprised about how likable every member of the main cast ended up being. They kill monsters, eat homemade meals, and talk about their hobbies just as a real friend group would. They get annoyed with each other, crack jokes, get tired, and even just remain silent minding their own business during long car rides as people would. These characters come to life before your eyes, feeling truly authentic, with their movements and dialogue exchanges separating them from typical RPG characters.
The combat is all real time and when it works, it works. Stabbing, swapping weapons, teleporting across the battlefield feels action packed and moves so naturally. Your team will call out to one another, even join in on attacks. And when you finish off your foes, nothing beats hearing your party member hum the traditional victory flare.
Final Fantasy XV may not be the best game on this list, but its overall experience makes me feel that after all these years, Square-Enix has released a quality product that should be experienced by everyone.