50 Best Games of 2016

2016 has been a mostly fantastic year for games. Of course we’ve had the obligatory controversy here and there, a couple of prime examples of why you shouldn’t pre-order, and plenty of AAA games releasing in less than stellar builds, but overall, we can look back on 2016 as a good year to be a gamer.

One of the main reasons why this is is down to the level of variety and depth across platforms and genres. The modern gamer is almost spoilt for choice (as most dormant Steam libraries can attest to) and with more places to read up on games than ever before, it’s arguably never been a better time to pick up a controller or hover your fingers over WASD.

As we near the end of 2016, it’s time to do things slightly differently than in previous years with our GOTY awards. Instead of doing the standard 10-1 best games, we’re going nuclear – fifty games will all be applauded and recognised from now until the end of December. These will be in no particular order, just fifty of the finest that the year has had to offer.

Here are the rules:

– No remasters
– No ports from 2015 or earlier
– No Early Access/betas
– No episodic series’ that didn’t begin and conclude in 2016
– No DLC (sorry, Blood and Wine)

Without further ado, let’s get started.

 

50. Furi

Furi

“It’s argued that too many games lead the player by the hand until the credits roll, but Furi is more likely to chop your hand off and play hacky sack with it instead.”

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49. INSIDE

Inside

“Sure, it sounds pretentious, but Inside made me feel like other games never managed to. It made me feel frightened.”

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48. Hitman

Hitman 2016 game

“No other game has benefited from being episodic quite like Hitman has. It has given the developer precious time to pore over every tiny detail, which in turn has given the player ample time to explore every nook and cranny of each level.”

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47. DOOM

Doom Open beta

“I guarantee that within the opening level alone, you’ll fall in love with how fun the game feels to play, and blaze through the entire thing as quickly as you can…just so you can do it all again.”

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46. LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens

lego-the-force-awakens

“Even if you couldn’t care less about the Star Wars universe, I implore you to give this a go; it might just get you hooked.”

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45. Firewatch

Firewatch Game

“While there were a number of great games out this year, Firewatch was a shining example of its genre.”

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44. Total Extreme Wrestling 2016

TEW 2016

“It’s the wrestling game you’ve always wanted, made a reality.”

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43. Fire Emblem Fates

Fire Emblem Fates

“It’s a relatively straightforward fantasy affair, but the deep tactical gameplay, memorable characters and myriad of extra features make for an unmissable experience on the 3DS.”

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42. Clustertruck

clustertruck

“…one of the most innovative and refreshingly pure games of 2016.”

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41. Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley
Image Source:
gog.com


“You can just grow Pumpkins. Before you know it though, you’ll be fifty days into the game trying to seduce one of the locals by gifting them that inflatable fish you finally caught.”

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40. Aragami

aragami

“A release that I cannot recommend enough, Aragami doesn’t deserve to belong in the shadows. It should be able to sit alongside its peers with pride as a remarkable effort that shows what can be accomplished when a developer gives a damn.”

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39. XCOM 2

XCOM 2

“XCOM 2 has gone above and beyond, by not only improving upon the now legendary formula of its predecessors, but defining itself as one of the best and most addictive strategy titles on the market. Few other games can say anything similar.”

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38. Overwatch

overwatch

“If you like multiplayer games, you need to play Overwatch. If you like silly violence and larger than life characters, you need to play Overwatch. If you like gaming, you need to play Overwatch.”

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37. Pro Evolution Soccer 2017

best games 2016

“If you’re wondering why so many critics have hailed it as one of the greatest football games ever made, you need only pick up a copy and find yourself absorbed in its remarkable representation of digital football.”

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36. Dark Souls 3

Dark souls 3
Source: YouTube

“…go forth and buy this game if you haven’t already, and praise the lack of sun this winter as it inevitably steals from you your waking hours.”

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35. Salt and Sanctuary

Salt and Sanctuary

“The fact that Ska Studios is comprised of a man-and-wife team alone is astonishing- the sheer amount of detail and obvious care they have put in to this title is otherworldly.”

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34. Battleborn

Battleborn

“…get in while the getting’s good, and before the underappreciation ends with the servers closing down for good.”

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33. Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go
Source: Engadget

“I doubt I’ll forget the summer of 2016 and the role this app had in letting me (and many, many others) relive the juvenilia of bygone school holidays with such abandon.”

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32. Monster Hunter Generations

Monster Hunter
Source: endgadget

“…being constantly updated with free DLC, MHG can easily become a staple part of your social gaming for some time.”

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31. Headlander

Headlander

“You are unlikely to play anything quite as unique as this this year and you really should if you haven’t yet.”

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30. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Uncharted 4

“It’s a game more than worthy of your time and money, and will reinvigorate the faith in originality of even the most jaded gamers.”

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29. Mafia 3

Mafia 3
Source: 2kGames

“I wanted to see it through and I wanted the antagonist to meet a grisly end at the hands of Clay and his lieutenants.”

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28. FIFA 17

FIFA 17

“EA should be commended for trying something quite out of left field for them, and playing The Journey left me hopeful of an improved and less anti-climactic return in FIFA 18.”

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27. Overcooked

Overcooked

“The mechanics are simple enough that anyone can learn them, but the game itself is so challenging that you’ll never get bored.”

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26. Titanfall 2

Titanfall 2

“If you’re disappointed by Infinite Warfare or want a change of pace from the macabre Great War, Titanfall 2 should be your next port of call.”

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25. Hyper Light Drifter

hyper-light-drifter-2

“Hyper Light’s combat wants you to learn, to feel the satisfaction of learning when to shoot, when to dodge, when to break out a special attack. It is demanding, and occasionally frustrating, but in a way that makes you want to try again, to improve.”

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