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The Best & Worst Games of 2016

by William Schwartz

Best Games of 2016 by Genre

game-of-the-year-2016-shooter-doom

Best Shooter Game of 2016

Winner:  Doom

Honorable Mentions: Battlefield 1, Titanfall 2, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

It’s becoming harder and harder to get really excited about an FPS game these days, with the genre being the most overcrowded one in gaming today. When it was announced that DOOM was coming back in the spotlight it was a welcome thing to hear, but the early impressions from the multiplayer beta didn’t really do much to get people excited. Luckily the beta gave nothing away about the single player campaign, which is honestly the purest form of an FPS campaign we’ve gotten since Wolfenstein: The New Order.

Hopping into a session of DOOM is always intense

Hopping into a session of DOOM is always intense, with the game’s constant onslaught of various enemies and the myriad of guns you have at your disposal to bring them down making every second electrifying. The varied level design also gives the opportunity for rewarding exploration, without taking you out of the action for too long. Even the originally controversial Glory Kill system ended up working out great, allowing you to pull off brutal enemy kills and receive health/ammo in the process to ensure you remain in the riveting action for as long as possible. There was some stiff competition when it came to shooters this year, but it was DOOM that stuck with us the most.

game-of-the-year-2016-sports-fifa-17

Best Sports Game of 2016

Winner: FIFA 17

Honorable Mentions: MLB The Show 16, NBA 2K16, 

The sports genre had a pretty solid class of games in 2016 starting early with a return to form for MLB The Show 16, but the Sports GOTY award was snatched right from them later in the year with the stellar FIFA 16. FIFA has almost always featured a robust array of game modes to enjoy between seasons and Ultimate Team, but the introduction of The Journey took the experience to the next level. This single player mode let players take control of the up and comer Alex Hunter, with you getting to make many difficult choices along the way. This well crafted story mode felt like the ones NBA 2K has done recently, but done even better here. Utilizing EA’s spectacular Frostbite engine as well this year, the action on the pitch looked and felt better than it ever has, making FIFA 17 a can’t miss entry in the long running FIFA franchise.

game-of-the-year-2016-racing-forza-horizon-3

Best Racing Game of 2016

Winner:  Forza Horizon 3

Honorable Mentions: Trackmania Turbo

The Forza series has been a visual showcase for the Xbox One across the previous three games between Motorsport and Horizon and Forza Horizon 3 is no different. The open world of Australia is massive here with six different ecosystems for you to explore. The variety and number of different missions is very impressive, providing you with countless hours of gameplay as you build up the Horizon Festival that you are now in charge of in Forza Horizon 3. The introduction of up to four player co-op in the game’s campaign is a fantastic addition as well, with you getting a chance to take in the stunning visuals found in Forza Horizon 3, which is made even better now with the introduction of HDR and the return of dynamic weather effects. Playground Games has won the race yet again in Forza Horizon 3 with the best racing game of 2016.

game-of-the-year-2016-action-uncharted-4-a-thiefs-end

Best Action-Adventure Game of 2016

Winner: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Honorable Mentions: Dishonored 2, Hitman, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Action Adventure was a crowded genre in 2016 that saw many incredible games.  Dishonored, Hitman, Deus Ex and others were spectacular, but none stood shoulder to shoulder with the high notes of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.  It’s something that Naughty Dog has got down pat.  The Uncharted series has been delivering jaw-dropping moments in PlayStation’s flagship series for the better part of a decade.

It’s hard to point at just one big moment in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End that made it the best Action/Adventure title of 2016.  The game is literally chocked-full of big moments from its opening moments until the credits roll.  Destruction on a massive scale.  Sequences that put Hollywood productions to shame.  The latest exploits of Drake and Co. truly live up to the title “Action/Adventure.”

game-of-the-year-2016-rpg-dark-souls-3

Best Role Playing Game of 2016

Winner: Dark Souls 3

Honorable Mentions: Final Fantasy XV, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Blood & Wine 

From Software has been refining the Souls series for some time now.  While it started out as a rough around the edges cult-classic in Demon’s Souls, it’s arguably hit its pinnacle with Dark Souls 3.  The third installment in the series refined ARPG gameplay and level design, offering players their expected bounty of bosses, loot, and lore.

When looking down our list of nominees for best role playing game of 2016, the usual suspects reared their heads.  Final Fantasy XV and The Witcher 3 expansion were both notable entries in the widening genre, but with so much customization, and an incredible world to both look at and explore, the choice was easy.

While Dark Souls 3 still isn’t the most accessible of titles, those that do sink their teeth into this series earn the gratifying reward of accomplishment upon completion of this incredible journey.  Add to that From Software’s unique twist on multiplayer and building those characters and sinking all that time into the game has its benefits.

game-of-the-year-2016-fighting-street-fighter-v

Best Fighting Game of 2016

Winner: Street Fighter V

Honorable Mentions: Mortal Kombat XL, Pokken Tournament, Nitroplus Blasterz Heroines Infinite Duel

When the fighting game genre is mentioned, there are a few franchises that come to mind almost instantly and one of those is certainly Street Fighter. After years of re-releases of the fourth iteration, Street Fighter V finally launched as a PS4/PC exclusive in 2016. While the game may have been bare bones at launch, Capcom has added an enjoyable story mode and additional characters since then, with the DLC characters technically being able to be earned in game with much grinding. Even though Capcom has done some questionable things with the game, the gameplay found in Street Fighter V is phenomenal. The roster is a little small, but the characters included are well balanced and have very strong move sets. Helped by a lack of overall releases in the genre this year, Street Fighter V takes the title belt for 2016.

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