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Naughty Dog Directors Share Their Favorite Games of 2016

by William Schwartz


2016 was definitely a good year for the gaming industry, with several studios releasing massively successful titles that include a number of brand new IPs and entries to already incredible franchises. Naughty Dog Directors Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley were recently featured at Game Informer, where each provided his top 5 games of 2016.

Druckmann was up first, and he chose The Last Guardian as the best game of the year in his opinion. He clarified his choice by commenting on Team Ico’s unique way in building a bond between the player and Trico. Other titles on his list were Inside, Super Mario Run, Rez Infinite and Dishonored 2.

  1. The Last Guardian – My GOTY. Another beautiful tale of a bond created through interaction by Team Ico/genDESIGN. Trico is a masterclass in creating a believable, living creature. By the end of the journey I was wiping away tears – the first time that has ever happened to me in a video game.
  2. Inside – Felt like I was inside (no pun intended) a dark Amblin Entertainment movie. The graphic look of the art direction, incredible animation, and fantastic puzzles created and unforgettable experience. And holy crap that final sequence… creepy, tense, and totally unforgettable.
  3. Super Mario Run – Nintendo simplified Mario down to one mechanic, jump, while still retaining much of the depth of its 2D predecessors. Once I started I couldn’t stop playing until I had all the secret coins on each level.
  4. Rez Infinite – The best VR experience. I was immersed and transfixed. Area X was just drop dead gorgeous. I’ll be coming back to this one for years to come.
  5. Dishonored 2 – Amazing world building combined with some of the best level design. Loved stealthing my way through its dark corridors, discovering its hidden nooks.

On the other hand, Straley didn’t go with the AAA approach. His list was simple and full of indie titles that contained attractive storylines and unique gameplay.

  1. Inside – It’s not often I find myself slack-jawed with giddy little laughs burbling uncontrollably out at the TV while playing a game. Inside, for me, was the perfect concert of all the tools we have at our disposal as developers to make something truly artful and inspired. It’s probably in my Top 5 of all time.
  2. Budget Cuts
  3. Thumper
  4. The Lab
  5. Grow Up

Tell us your top 5 games for 2016 below.  You can check out our favorite games of the year in Attack of the Fanboy Games of the Year 2016.

- This article was updated on:March 8th, 2018

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