Excited as we are for 2017 after the year that 2016 was, it can be easy to forget that 2016 still had a few good things to offer like video games and movies despite the sorrow and negativity we saw of 2016. So let’s get into my top 5 games of 2016 in their own respective category.
Best Platformer: INSIDE
This one without question belongs to Inside. A few runners up were Owlboy (a Metroidvania-style game which is incredible. If you have not had a chance yet to go play this, then do so asap), Unravel ( A meaningful beautiful story but lacks a bit in actual platform gameplay). Inside wasn’t that long of a game, but it was damn impressive? You start out right away as a little boy being in an eerie environment and you quickly understand that you are in danger and must survive by playing it smart and sneaky. As Limbo was a must have, Inside is arguably that much better and builds upon Limbo’s creativity, offering split second situational decisions, allowing you just enough time to come up strategies in crazy tense moments and giving you a much needed break to decide the next strategy in going from point A to point B. All of this leading you to a twist at the end. The game was simply brilliant.
Best FPS - BATTLEFIELD 1
This is a category that is so hard to choose from. It seems each year we have about 6-10 FPS to pick from and or buy each Fall season. This year we saw Titanfall 2, Battlefield 1, and Call of Duty Infinite Warfare all release with in a span of about what seemed like a week. The new IP from Blizzard, Overwatch, was an immediate home run. I know some people who haven’t played video games in years and came out of retirement to get their hands on this. Meanwhile, 2K’s Battleborn, is still “watching” from the sidelines at Overwatch (the Battleborn killer) and quickly lost all its value in a fast minute once Overwatch came out shortly during the Spring. Doom was flat out fun and stood on its own addressing all their fans. Doom suffered from its less than stellar multiplayer, but that didn’t get in the way of it selling well. Kind of like when you buy Uncharted, you don’t buy strictly for MP (though surprisingly it is super fun), just they story is all we want and Doom killed it! It was just a great year for FPS. Since I have to pick, gun to my head, (after all, this is such a hard decision) I am going with Battlefield 1. A game that hits you right in the feels, addressing all our fallen heroes who died for our freedom. I haven’t really related to a war game like this maybe since Medal of Honor. Some of the missions in this game are designed for you to die and allows you to appreciate the hell our veterans went through in the most unlikely outcomes they faced. Anytime a game can inform you or make you remember, and pay your respect at the same time gets the credit it very well deserves. This is an extremely gifted war simulator and it’s the best I ever seen.
Best Racing Game - FORZA HORIZON 3
Well this one isn’t too hard to pick now is it? Forza Horizon 3 is a racing masterpiece in a glorious open world adventure. Being able to customize an incredible list of some of the best cars ever seen offer to many of us true fantasy. Each map feels like you are actually outside. Australia’s outback completely shines as the sun glistens upon the water and the trees with dirt roads rugged terrain all add up to the best racing experience you can ever have behind a console or PC. Race among your friends or online in different modes giving you a blast each time similar to downing a red bull in seconds.
Best Action Adventure - UNCHARTED 4
This game man…this game…just…Thank God for Naughty Dog. To me this game is near perfect. It is still being supported by Naughty Dog introducing an online “Survivor” mode to the games greatness (like Horde mode in Gears of War 4). Not only did Naughty Dog take their time with how beautiful the art is in this game, the story is just is as great (despite the 3rd act which slowed a bit), the gameplay is so damn good. Each cutscene lead into gameplay making it extremely fluid. Sometimes I couldn’t even tell if the cutscene ended because the game is so beautiful. In the end, it offers a smooth conclusion to what is arguably the best gaming franchise there has been. Runners up include Hitman, Last Guardian, and Dishonored 2.
Best Strategy game - XCOM 2
This incredible turn based shooter succeeded XCOM by improving the in -game tactical combat, loot, and crazy objectives. The replay ability allows you to play hundreds of hours. You die an awful lot of times, but that doesn’t take away the time of figuring out what you could of done better in a high intense situation during this post-apocalyptic time. Try succeeding a mission without a backup plan in this game is like thinking your own car won’t ever need new tires or an oil change to survive. There are many gambles you are decided to take in this game to move forward so to make sure you are insured with the right number of men and never assume your highest shot will land a direct hit.
What were some of your favorite games of 2016?