2016 has been a strong year for the gaming industry. There’s been a lot of AAA titles and smaller indies titles I’ve played this year so it’s hard to narrow it down, but these are my Top 5 games of 2016.
Favorite Game Released Before 2016, Played in 2016: Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection
Prior to playing The Nathan Drake Collection, I hadn’t played any Uncharted game outside of a couple of hours with Golden Abyss. I was left rather impressed with all three games, especially Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, and this was a perfect way to get caught up before Uncharted 4 released.
Inside is a strange game. If you’ve played it, you understand what I mean. In a way, you could look at Inside as a spiritual successor to developer Playdead previous title, Limbo. The monochromatic design of the game stands out the most but, throughout the short adventure, you’ll be faced with difficult puzzles, gruesome deaths, and some of the best environmental storytelling of the year.
4. Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma
Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma is a game I never thought would happen. After its critically acclaimed predecessor; Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward didn’t meet financial goals, the future of the series was in jeopardy, but it managed to finally be released in 2016. Zero Time Dilemma is a visual novel that concludes the Zero Escape series, but also improved on what made the previous games so great. Any visual novels fans, this game and series is a must play.
3. Forza Horizon 3
It’s no secret how much I love the Forza Horizon series. In both my Forza Horizon 2 and Horizon 3 reviews I scored the game well, praising the festival setting, graphical fidelity, cars etc. There aren’t many racing games on the market this generation, let alone this year, that I’ve enjoyed more than Forza Horizon 3.
2. Hyper Light Drifter
Classic games such as Zelda and Metroid, clearly inspired Hyper Light Drifter and I absolutely love this game as I loved those classics. Hyper Light Drifter, like Inside, relies heavily on environmental storytelling, and does a solid job, but what makes the game stand out is its fast, fun combat system, immersive score and unique pixel art style.
1. Final Fantasy XV
After spending over 100 hours, clearing every dungeon, and unlocking every achievement, I can say that Final Fantasy XV is my 2016 Game of the Year. FFXV isn’t perfect by any means, and its troubled development past could have something to do with that, but flaws aside there isn’t any game I enjoyed more than FFXV this year. The world is incredibly massive, and quite possibly the biggest non-mmo world created in a game. Even the combat system has improved from what it was in previous games moving to a real-time system. The world begs to be explored as there so much to do here for fans and newcomers to the series.
Honorable Mention: Doom, Dues Ex: Mankind Divided, Dishonored 2
Writer for Darkstation since 2014. I've been playing games my whole life and starting writing about them in 2010. Outside of gaming I enjoy anime and watching my Philadelphia Eagles let me down every Sunday. Follow me on Twitter @jsparis09