Each year the Darkstation staff gather around our virtual conference room table and deliberate the best games of the year. 2016 has been one of the more challenging years with one of the most diverse lineup of games to choose from. Unlike in years paste there hasn't been a single stand-out clearly defined winner for any category. Without further ado here is the first part in the three part Darkstation Game of the Year 2016 award winners.
Best Sports Game of 2016 - MLB The Show 16
As Joel wrote in his review this year of MLB The Show 16 "MLB The Show 16 is yet another great game of baseball" and the Darkstation staff agrees giving the award of Best Sports Game of 2016 to the folks at Sony San Diego.
Runner-Up: NBA 2K17
Best RPG of 2016 - Final Fantasy XV
2016 didn't have the same stand-out number of entries into the RPG field but when Square-Enix came knocking with Final Fantasy XV towards the end of 2016, the staff here at Darkstation lined up and enjoyed. Mark wrote this in his review if Final Fantasy XV, "More often than not it manages to hit that sweet spot nexus of innovation and familiarity: the game world is immense but not overwhelming, the combat is chaotic but manageable and exciting, and the story and characters equally endearing and unfathomable." Congratulations to the developers of Final Fantasy XV for earning the top spot for best RPG of 2016.
Runner-up: Pokemon Sun & Moon
Best Shooter of 2016 - Doom
One of the fiercest and most competitive categories of 2016 for Darkstation was that of best shooter of 2016. With entries like Battlefield 1, Titanfall 2, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Doom, and Overwatch its no wonder. However, Doom was the clear favorite of Darkstation in 2016 reclaiming the magic of the long-running franchise. Mike T had this to say about Doom giving it his favorite game of the year, "it’s the most refreshing, wonderfully designed and well-contained first person shooter I’ve played in years. I love everything about this game."
Best Action Game of 2016 - Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
One of the most challenging things for any game developer to do is finish out a series on-top. Our staff here at Darkstation want to praise developer Naughty Dog for their fine work on Uncharted 4: A Thief's End for giving Nathan Drake the proper send off. Grady had this to say about Uncharted 4: A Thief's End in his personal top 5, "From its first moments to its ambitious final act, Uncharted 4 was one of the single most impressive experiences I've had with a game in a while."
Runner-Up: Quantum Break
Best Strategy Game of 2016 - Civilization VI
Any year where Firaxis is putting out a Civilization game will be tough sledding for any of its competition, and 2016 is no different. Civilization VI was Darkstation easy pick for best Strategy game of 2016. Mark had this to say about the titan of strategy in his review, "Civilization VI is complex, deep, and endlessly replayable."
Best Platformer of 2016 - Unravel
Few will forget the unveiling of Unravel on Electronic Arts stage at E3 2015 with Coldwood Interactive showing off their beautiful platformer Unravel. One of our senior editors here at Darkstation Brian lauded the game and gave it a rare perfect 5/5. Brian praised the game for its "great visuals, excellent mechanics, and a satisfyingly sweet, personal narrative background make this a complete no-brainer." The rest of the Darkstation staff agreed and gave Unravel their nod for best platformer of 2016.
Runner-up: Mirror's Edge: Catalyst
Best Puzzle Game of 2016 - The Witness
A category that has a surprisingly strong assortment of contenders was won in a landslide this year with Jonathan Blow's, The Witness. A sprawling epic puzzle game captured the hearts and minds of many here on staff at Darkstation. Jonathan P had the opportunity to review The Witness earlier this year and described it as "a meticulously designed world with elaborate puzzles that reside within it."
That's a wrap on our genre awards. Stay tuned next week for the rest of our overall game of the year award winners. Until then, happy new year and thanks for having Darkstation be a part of your 2016.
I'm the Owner & Editor in Chief of Darkstation.com. After spending seven years as the reviews editor I took over the site in 2010. The rest is history. Now I work with our amazing staff to bring you the best possible video game coverage. Oh and I really like sports games.