My Top 10 Games of 2016

Here it is. My list of top 10 games of 2016.

This took me way longer to get out than it should have. Mostly because I was completely sucked in to Black Desert Online for a while. Obsessively trying to get that one item I’ve been looking forward to since I started playing. Well I got it, on Christmas day no less, and now I can rest easy and get back to what actually matters, playing and writing about OTHER videogames.

Before I get started on my list, I wanted to make it known that there were a ton of great games that I didn’t get a chance to play that probably would have competed to make this list if I had. Those games include:

Dishonored 2
Uncharted 4
The Last Guardian
Watch Dogs 2
Superhot
The Witness
Titanfall 2
Inside
Darkest Dungeon
Let It Die

And here are some Honorable Mentions. Games that I did play and enjoy, but didn’t make the list:

Stardew Valley
Tyranny
Forza Horizon 3
Civilization VI
Street Fighter V
Mechwarrior Online (not a 2016 game)

And one last thing to note, I did play Mafia III and Final Fantasy XV to completion and didn’t really enjoy either one. I wrote a Mafia III review if you want to know more about why and maybe I’ll get to Final Fantasy XV another time.

ALRIGHT! Having said all that let’s finally get down to the top 10 games of 2016. Here we go!


10. Gears of War 4
Developer: The Coalition
This is the one game I was really hesitant to put on this list. Not because the quality of the game, but because I only played it for about 3-4 hours. I just haven’t had a lot of time with it because of the busy end of the year release schedule and not to mention none of my friends bought it.

Out of those 4 hours I spent I could tell this was a top quality game, especially on PC. The silky smooth frame rate, great graphics, and same old fantastic gears gameplay coupled with some new guns and mechanics make for a solid third-person action experience. Although, I did hear the microtransactions hindered the progression in horde mode which is a shame.

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9. Zero Time Dilemma
Developer: Spike Chunsoft
I usually don’t play visual novels (never), but the highly appraised Zero Escape series had caught my attention. The 3rd game in the series, Zero Time Dilemma does a good job of keeping the player interested with its complex but well written story and thought provoking puzzles.

Without getting too deep into the story, the game revolves around 9 people getting kidnapped and locked in a bunker by a man named Zero. They are split into 3 teams and separated into different sections with no communication with each other. In order to escape, they must input 6 keywords into a terminal to unlock the exit elevator. A keyword is given out whenever one of the nine people die.

It’s pretty awesome.

If you are at all interested in trying visual novels, this isn’t a bad one to start with. Atleast it wasn’t for me.

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8. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Developer: Eidos Montreal
Although not as good in both gameplay and storytelling as Human Revolution, the previous installment, Mankind Divided is still a great game. Adam Jensen is just as cool as ever, delivering monotone confident dialogue no matter the occasion and whooping ass every chance he gets.

The side missions are arguably more enjoyable than the main story, but the same could be said for The Witcher 3, which happens to be one of the best games in last few years (ahem, foreshadowing). This doesn’t detract from the overall gameplay and actually encourages you to explore the world more. Sneaking around banks and military compounds is a lot of fun.

It’s a good addition to the Deus Ex franchise.

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7. Battlefield 1
Developer: EA DICE
I was excited when I first heard that EA was going back to the past yet again with the new Battlefield and they delivered on pretty much all fronts. The gameplay is what you would expect out of a Battlefield game, but the addition of gas grenades and replacement of modern technology with first generation tanks and weapons create a more chaotic and frantic landscape.

The game actually piqued my interest in the first World War and had me listening to Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History podcast. World War I doesn’t get covered enough in games and media in general. To go and educate myself and listen to how it started and what the soldiers went through was fascinating. Although Battlefield is a glorified first person shooter where you’re playing these virtual soldiers set out to murder each other, I think EA created this game with a more serious and respectful tone than their previous titles.

For more on my thoughts on Battlefield 1, check out my review here.

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6. Black Desert Online
Developer: Pearl Abyss
I don’t play MMORPGs very often anymore. My WoW days are long past me. Yet, when my friend introduced me to Black Desert Online and it’s unique combat system, it got me excited. Better yet, you didn’t have to pay monthly to play the game. Paying monthly for a game is a constant reminder that I SHOULD be playing the game instead of doing other things. A reminder that I’m wasting money and losing value if I don’t continue to play it. That’s just the way I look at it so I tend to stay away from MMOs.

What makes Black Desert Online different from the rest is the engaging combat system, gorgeous visuals, guild vs guild PvP systems (Node/Conquest Wars), and life skills (fishing, trading, gathering, farming, etc). You don’t actually have to even engage in combat to level up and enjoy the game. You can explore the world looking for the best fishing spots. Become a horse tamer and sell horses with advanced skills to other players. You can even manage an empire of NPC workers to gather materials for you in order to craft jewelry and armor.

There’s a lot you can do in this game and I could go on and on about it, but all you need to know is that it’s just fun to play.

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5. Dark Souls 3
Developer: From Software
Dark Souls. A game series known for it’s difficult yet rewarding gameplay. Known to test the player’s patience after each and every death as they run back to their corpse to retrieve all those prescious souls. This latest iteration will satisfy both returning and brand new players in what is the most polished experience yet.

There were still some issues with the way some covenants worked and weapon/soul level gating for multiplayer, but From Software delivered on the classic Dark Souls experience.

Although… did anyone figure out how poise works?

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4. HITMAN
Developer: IO Interactive
What a fantastic surprise this was. With the new episodic business model, HITMAN planted the seeds of failure early on in it’s debut. Instead, those seeds blossomed into a monthly test of my improvisational assassination skills through story missions and the extremely fun elusive targets.

The fact you only have 1 shot at taking out the elusive targets is such a fantastic idea I can see this going on for years to come. It creates a high amount of tension and makes you think twice about your every move as you formulate a plan to take out the target.

The amount of toys at your disposal and the opportunities that arise as you explore each mission are so varied that it just makes you want to play over, and over again.

I can’t wait for season 2.

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3. Overwatch
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Easily the best multiplayer shooter this year. Blizzard Entertainment got away from their usual genres to develop one of the best first person shooters on the market. The diversity of the characters is exciting to see. They come in all shapes and sizes, have different personalities, and ofcourse all play different roles. You’re bound to find someone you’ll enjoy playing as in each of the different game modes.

The Blizzard polish is here as expected. From the menus, the HUD, the UI, everything is responsive and well thought-out. A fantastic game all around.

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2. DOOM
Developer: ID Software
I first had worries about the quality of this game and if it would deliver on the classic Doom experience. Within the first 10 minutes all those worries went away. This game delivers on all fronts: gameplay, story (it’s what it needs to be), soundtrack, everything is just fantastic.

The fast paced action of the old days is back. The metal soundtrack blasting as you run, double jump, and annihilate demons is extremely satisfying. You are the DOOM slayer, and no demon will stand in your way. Listening to BFG Division while slaughtering everything in your path brings a rush of adrenaline that only DOOM is capable of.

Easily one of the best games of the year. Even if the multiplayer is lacking the heart that was poured into the campaign.

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1.The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine
Developer: CD Projekt RED
Well, this is it. My game of the year. Yeah, it’s an expansion to a game that came out last year, but so what? This is easily the best time I had playing any game this year. If you know me, you’ll know I think The Witcher 3 is one of the best games ever made (and I’ve been playing games for over 20 years). I wasn’t sure how good the expansions were going to be because maybe CD Projekt RED was already moving on to Cyberpunk 2077. Boy was I wrong.

Blood and Wine sends Geralt to the vineyards of Toussaint where he is tasked by the duchess Anna Henrietta to find out what mysterious monster is harassing her people at night. Trust me, it gets way more complex than a simple witcher contract.

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Toussaint brings with it a new set of beasts and monsters, characters, dungeons, a beautiful colorful open landscape, a new Gwent deck, and a new set of equipment. It also introduces armor dyeing and Mutations that provide combat bonuses to Geralt.

CD Projekt RED and their post-game support need to be admired by every game developer out there. They don’t have DRM tied to their pc version, they listen to their community and continuously update their game with different movement controls/inventory UI upgrades, and are constantly tweaking and fixing bugs that hamper the experience.

Everything about the natural storytelling, the new characters, the world, and the level design you can tell the developers poured their heart into. I can’t say enough about this game so let me just stop right here.

This was the perfect send off to an absolute masterful game in The Witcher 3.

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There it is, my top 10 games of the year. Here’s to an awesome 2017. Both for games and life in general! Happy New Year!