2016 has been a wild year for gaming. From Pokemon Go and The Last Guardian, to the Xbox Scorpio reveal and PS4 Pro release. A new year brings a slew of new games, and this year was packed with a relentless onslaught from August to December. Here are my picks for the 2016 Game of The Year Awards.
Nominees: Battlefield 1, Overwatch, Titanfall 2, Gears of War 4.
2016 was filled with a wide variety of great shooters. But for me, the choice came down to overall quality and satisfaction. Battlefield 1 delivered in both its Campaign and Multiplayer components. With its new take on mini stories the campaign felt fresh, diverse, and had a sense of realism like never before. Those elements were not lost on the Multiplayer which lead to some of the most intense battles I’ve ever been apart of. Battlefield 1 really nails the sense of war in one great package.
FAVORITE TERRIBLE GAME
Nominees: Snooker Nation Championship 2016, 7 Days To Die
As any achievement hunter can attest to, some of the games you play strictly for achievements can surprise you and turn out to be great fun. Snooker Nation Championship 2016 hit that mark for me this year. As someone who has never played the game of Snooker, I was intrigued to learn the subtle differences between it and the American standard 8-Ball. Shortly after I was racking up points to the tune of the referees “5… 8… 10… 15…”. I couldn’t put the game down and even played after I completed my initial task of obtaining all the achievements. I know, crazy right?!
FAVORITE DLC (excluding expansions)
Nominees: Halloween Terror (Overwatch), Survival (The Division), Descent (Black Ops 3)
As simple as it was, Blizzard did a great job with the Halloween Terror event in Overwatch. What I loved most about it was the difficulty and teamwork required to complete it. Not to mention the entire Halloween theme was done to perfection. My favorite aspect of Overwatch are the characters, and building a mini story to go along with a new mode and skins was great. This DLC also reminded me of just how amazing of a game Overwatch is after taking a few months break.
Nominees: Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, Destiny: Rise of Iron, HITMAN, Titanfall 2
Runner-up: Destiny: Rise of Iron
As a huge fan of the original Mirror’s Edge, I was overly excited for the release of Catalyst. Memories of the simplistic art style, innovative parkour movement, difficult time trials, and music that I still hum to this day set the high standards the sequel failed to achieve. I was a believer in Catalyst, defending the decision to make the game open-world. And even though I think it could have been done better, something was lost with that decision.
The art style, while very similar, was overwhelmed by the vast majority of the city being one color. The parkour heavily relied on the systems of old with little innovation. I spent more time attempting to best my friends Time Trial record rather than getting 3 Stars. Finally the music simply didn’t have the lasting impression of Still Alive. This was truly a fall from grace.
BEST STEALTH/SPORTS GAME (am I doing this right?)
Nominees: HITMAN, Dishonored 2, EA Sports UFC 2, NBA 2K17
Runner-up: Dishonored 2
UFC 2 was surprisingly one of my favorite games of 2016. I’m a big fan of the of the franchise (before and after EA), but its had its ups and downs. This year EA added Ultimate Team to the game, a staple of their other franchises. To my surprise the mode was integrated very well considering MMA isn’t really a team sport. The gameplay overall is very smooth and offers a huge range of fighters to select from in various weight classes. Its been 9 months since the release and I still find myself craving for another multiplayer match.
Nominees: For Honor alpha, Gears of War 4 beta, Titanfall 2 alpha, DOOM beta
Runner-up: Gears of War 4 beta
I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed my short time with the For Honor closed alpha. The gameplay is very smooth with a sword fighting system that is unique, strategic, and rewarding. Each character also has their own style of fighting that you must learn in order to understand how to effectively use them or fight against them. Some are fast and weak, other are slow and strong, while some simply have crazy weapons that take some time getting familiar with.
This alpha solidified my anticipation for the full game which is why it also wins….
MOST ANTICIPATED FOR 2017
Nominees: For Honor, Destiny 2, State of Decay 2, Red Dead Redemption 2
Runner-up: Destiny 2
This is a really difficult category to choose from. I’m sure there are a ton of unannounced release dates and games set for 2017. Furthermore, there is very little detail on most of the games that have officially announced for 2017. But with that said, For Honor is my current most anticipated 2017 title. Between the alpha and the promise of a full campaign mode, I cannot wait to get my hands on the full game.
MOST ANTICIPATED GAME ON A PLATFORM I DON’T OWN
Nominees: Horizon Zero Dawn, Death Stranding, Days Gone, God of War
Runner-up: God of War
Another hard decision based on limited knowledge, but Days Gone really impressed me with its E3 reveal. I’m a sucker for minimal HUDs, and this game was giving off The Last of Us vibes like crazy. The trailer was action packed tense combat, huge hordes of zombies, and the promise of an open-ended zombie apocalypse game to rival any other. I can’t wait to see more on this title.
GAME OF THE YEAR
Nominees: Battlefield 1, Overwatch, Inside
Battlefield 1 was a perfectly complete package, which is why it is my Game of The Year for 2016. The campaign brought a fresh new take with its war stories, and the multiplayer was as intense as ever. Battlefield 1 is packed with visuals, sound design, and a feel that really give a sense of war. I’m glad to see DICE is back to form and can’t wait to see where the franchise goes from here.
What were your favorite games of 2016? Share them below in the comments or with me directly on Twitter!