2016 Community Game of the Year - Results posted (at last)!

Aaron D. wrote:
nako wrote:

Looking back at 2016 in gaming as a whole, it was one of the best years in some time.

Agreed wholeheartedly.

So many unique experiences, both big and small. So many titles I never even got to.

What a banner year.

Truth, and next year is looking pretty good too.

1. Dark Souls 3 - About 120 hours has been my I want to play and keep beating game. I will probably remember this game also due to the birth of my second son during sleepless nights.
2. Tyranny - My current "wordy" game that I've been enjoying. I can't wait to see what comes next.
3. Doom 2016 - Rip and tear indeed
4. Overwatch - TF2 blizzard style.
5. 7th Dragon III: Code VFD - The one and only game in my 3Ds all year. I'm almost done.
6. Hitman S1 (2016) - Okay so I have to smash that guy, take his clothes, go over there somewhere and try to not be seen by that guard... and messed it up.
7. Rise of the Tomb Raider - A little too much busy work but still and overall fantastic Tomb Raider game.
8. Dues Ex: Mankind Divided - I did ask for this and man it is fun to be a mechanical hamster jumping into vents to steal whatever shiny thing is on the floor. Oh and there is some sort of plot.
9. Uncharted 4 - A fun romp. I hope that "Sam" has more adventures post Drake.
10. Shadow Warrior 2 - Who wants wang? It is a stylish fps with dick jokes.

DLC -
The Old Hunters - So good

The bad
No time to really finish any of my backlog..

ccesarano wrote:

The funny thing is you guys are making me feel like a jerk for shouting at my TV when Blood and Wine won RPG of the year for the Video Game Awards. :P

Wait, you thought that was a bad outcome? Blood and Wine was amazing. What did you like better?

I rated Tyranny higher because it's so different and so ambitious, but I can't imagine being angry about B&W winning an award?

The only one that does I see on the lower end of people's tallies, which has me feeling like a weirdo but it's also the one I just feel in my gut.

Then vote for it! If you don't give your honest opinion, the awards won't come out right.

I'll be honest and say I'll be disheartened if Mafia 3 wins anything. I really enjoyed the parts I could play but putting all talk of story, charecters and mission mechanics aside the game was released broken and parts of it still haven't been fixed. Being locked out of parts of the story and being limited to which ending I could achieve because the game wasn't finished on release doesn't inspire confidence.

Malor wrote:
ccesarano wrote:

The funny thing is you guys are making me feel like a jerk for shouting at my TV when Blood and Wine won RPG of the year for the Video Game Awards. :P

Wait, you thought that was a bad outcome? Blood and Wine was amazing. What did you like better?

I rated Tyranny higher because it's so different and so ambitious, but I can't imagine being angry about B&W winning an award?

It's less Blood and Wine itself (note: I have not played any Witcher game), and more the concept of an expansion pack winning. I wouldn't nominate Destiny: The Taken King for Best Shooter last year, for example, because even if it made improvements it was still the same game I'd been playing for a couple years. Why let more of the same hog the spotlight when there are new titles being released? Given that the Video Game Awards also fails to acknowledge nominees unless you're one of the bigger categories (or, to be more precise, sponsored), it feels like anything that released this year was not given its due attention.

But, that said, I'm not about to raise a stink about it here because the Community GotY was never like that. The Community GotY is light-hearted and about what you found fun, even if the games on your list are 20 years old. It's all about your year, and how you interpret that is up to you. Clock lays down some ground rules, but otherwise it's very free, which prevents us all from arguing over small details and, ultimately, arguing over what we each personally enjoyed.

Still makes me feel like a pretentious jerk, though.

ccesarano wrote:
Malor wrote:
ccesarano wrote:

The funny thing is you guys are making me feel like a jerk for shouting at my TV when Blood and Wine won RPG of the year for the Video Game Awards. :P

Wait, you thought that was a bad outcome? Blood and Wine was amazing. What did you like better?

I rated Tyranny higher because it's so different and so ambitious, but I can't imagine being angry about B&W winning an award?

It's less Blood and Wine itself (note: I have not played any Witcher game), and more the concept of an expansion pack winning. I wouldn't nominate Destiny: The Taken King for Best Shooter last year, for example, because even if it made improvements it was still the same game I'd been playing for a couple years. Why let more of the same hog the spotlight when there are new titles being released? Given that the Video Game Awards also fails to acknowledge nominees unless you're one of the bigger categories (or, to be more precise, sponsored), it feels like anything that released this year was not given its due attention

That'd be true even if they did disallow expansion packs. And by your logic, a good portion of sequels would be immediately disqualified. Which, granted, a lot of sequels are... bad, but it probably shouldn't be the rule.

(I had enough problems with Witcher 3 last year to not put it on my list, so I haven't gotten around to the DLCs, but by all accounts they've been significant enough to actually be labelled sequels had they been released by any other studio.)

Edit: I should probably add that I think The Game Awards (and practically every major awards show) is more or less complete garbage, so I don't necessarily disagree with your point, but, wishes and horses, and all that.

Hyetal wrote:

That'd be true even if they did disallow expansion packs. And by your logic, a good portion of sequels would be immediately disqualified. Which, granted, a lot of sequels are... bad, but it probably shouldn't be the rule.

(I had enough problems with Witcher 3 last year to not put it on my list, so I haven't gotten around to the DLCs, but by all accounts they've been significant enough to actually be labelled sequels had they been released by any other studio.)

And this is the danger of such discussions, because I'm tempted to not disagree or counter-argue, but simply dive deeper into what sort of sequels merit awards and etc. But I will spare everyone else here.

Despite knowing that award shows in general are all about marketing and salesmanship, a part of me wants to take them seriously as artistic recognition, so I could sit here and talk about how to approach the game awards all day (and believe me, I've discussed it exhaustively already). But while that may be fun for me, it's not the purpose of this thread and therefore I do not wish to clutter it any further.

True, true. Back to the lists!

I'm likely making mine a buzzer beater. I need me some time to get back into Dishonored 2, and figuring out Hitman is gonna take a little bit of doing.

ccesarano wrote:

This was a pretty solid year, but the funny thing is, I also have a very definitive #1 at the moment because while I enjoyed a lot of games this year, none of them feel worthy of being Monarch of the Hill. The only one that does I see on the lower end of people's tallies, which has me feeling like a weirdo but it's also the one I just feel in my gut.

If it makes you feel any better I don't think I've ever had a game in my top ten that's showed up in the community's top ten. None of them. I expect next year may be the first time because Persona 5 and Breath of the Wild will have a shot.

My top game that actually came out this year (i.e. not Persona 3 FES, which is my actual top game that was new to me) is probably Color Splash, World of Final Fantasy or Rhythm Heaven Megamix, soooo...

Definatelly waiting closer to the end of the month for my list I may still have some contenders. Love reading those lists!

Yeah I'm holding out until end of month to save myself having to find my list once I figure out where Final Fantasy XV is landing

ccesarano wrote:

This was a pretty solid year, but the funny thing is, I also have a very definitive #1 at the moment because while I enjoyed a lot of games this year, none of them feel worthy of being Monarch of the Hill. The only one that does I see on the lower end of people's tallies, which has me feeling like a weirdo but it's also the one I just feel in my gut.

Every year is a solid year anymore as the industry has matured to the point they can crank out decent quality at a pretty good clip.

The problem for me is that every new Ubi game looks similar to the last and I just don't care. Of course, I play the Yakuza games and they're all the same game, but with a new story. Heck, I love me some Battlefield, but I haven't bothered picking up BF1 because I still have unplayed expansions for Battlefront and Battlefield 4 to play. Granted, this is in large part because of the changes in my life but I don't feel like I'm hugely missing out. The iteration anymore feels more like maximizing my moment to moment fun and less on actual gameplay. That's why I ended up with a frickin JoJo game as my top pick, it was new and exciting to me.

1. Stardew Valley (PC) - I loved this optimization exercise of balancing limited hours, money, materials, and stamina disguised as a charming 16-bit farming/relationships game. This is also one of the few modern games to repeatedly surprise me by introducing unexpected events and wrinkles hours into the game, after I thought I had the game "all figured out."

2. Crashlands (iPad, PC) - Enjoyed the "crossplatforminess" of being able to seamlessly share a save file between iPad and PC. The "fun > reality" features of streamlined crafting and construction, plus the unlimited inventory system, made this simple ARPG a lot of just pure fun.

3. Rocket League (XB1) - This was my couch co-op game of the year with my 11-year-old. Both the league mode (vs bots) plus playing online were a bunch of fun. The WolverineWife had to chastise us a couple of times for yelling in triumph at the TV as she was trying to put the younger siblings to bed!

4. SteamWorld Heist (iPad) - I bounced off this game when I tried it on PC last year, but found it to be a perfect fit for the tablet platform. A great "XCOM-lite" experience on a 2D map, and totally crash-free and bug-free.

5. AM2R (PC) - A highly-polished and well-balanced 2D Metroid game of the variety I never thought I'd have the pleasure of playing again. Excellent soundtrack, too.

6. Pokemon Go (iPhone) - Biggest paradigm shift in gaming in a long time, even if its peak popularity was just a temporary phenomenon. I wouldn't have believed that I'd be hanging around a public park after midnight playing a mobile phone game with a couple of dozen strangers. Extremely thin "gameplay" keeps it from appearing higher on this list.

7. Solitairica (iPhone) - My favorite kind of mobile phone game: Lightweight yet interesting strategy, autosaves as you go (even mid-battle), turn-based, easily playable in portrait mode with one thumb, good replayability.

8. Fire Emblem Fates (3DS) - Well-polished portable strategy game, even if the online features did turn out to be largely superfluous.

9. Doom (2016) (PC) - Effective modernization of the original genre-defining PC classic.

10. Super House of Dead Ninjas (PC) - Fun lightweight 2D platformer lovingly done in the SNES style.

Last year.

It's less Blood and Wine itself (note: I have not played any Witcher game), and more the concept of an expansion pack winning.

Not to harp on this, but I did want to interject that Blood and Wine is bigger than many full games. Most companies would have sold it for full price, and called it "Witcher 4". CDPR couldn't have gotten away with that because W3 was so big; people would have been mad if they'd tried. But if just about anyone else had shipped it, B&W would have qualified as a standalone game.

I think I'm probably more in the 'fewer formal rules' camp for 'real' awards, too. The GWJ awards are just meant to express what we enjoyed playing this year, and I think that might be a better guideline for the overall awards scene than most. Ultimately, isn't that what they're supposed to be about?

1. XCOM 2 - Later patches increasingly stabilized the game and the community (including our own uberly talented kexx) has created amazing mods for the game.

2. WoW: Legion - Blizz has created increasingly proficient, robust, and deep systems of play. What they didn't create, they've shamelessly stolen and iterated upon.

3. Fallout 4 - Once I could kill the fine citizens of Sanctuary, my major complaint about the game evaporated. So did many citizens of Sanctuary.

4. Hyperlight Drifter (PS4) - I was allowed to buy a game because it was pretty.

5. Witcher 3

Reaper81 wrote:

3. Fallout 4 - Once I could kill the fine citizens of Sanctuary, my major complaint about the game evaporated. So did many citizens of Sanctuary.

Ha!

1: XCOM 2
My #1 spot is a no-brainer. It’s the only Day 1 full-price purchase of the year, and the game that captured my attention the most. It’s so good that I put near 100 hours into it, despite the single-digit framerates it ran at on my aging laptop. It’s so good it made me re-install XCOM: EU three months beforehand and have a Long War playthrough to get me in the mood. The Goodjer character pool is a surprisingly effective way to inject some emotional connection to your squad, and the drip-feed of DLC has kept the game feeling fresh as the year ground on. Turn-based strategy is definitely a taste that I love, and XCOM is the Dom Perignon of the genre.

2: Mushroom 11
My list this year is a blend of “more of the same” games and “what the ever-living f*ck is this” games. Mushroom 11 falls firmly into the second camp. At heart, it’s a physics puzzle game. But it’s also Fallout from the point of view of a mutated amoeba. And also a weird kind of real-time omnidirectional Tetris. That’s been mixed with a platformer. Before you point out that I’m making zero goddamn sense, go play it, then try and describe it back to me. You can’t do it succinctly, can you? That degree of novelty is gaming-catnip for me.

3: Shenzhen I/O
Another year, another Zachtronics game to remind me how much I probably should have been a coder instead of an engineer. It’s clear that Shenzhen is building and polishing what TIS-100 (which appeared on my 2015 GOTY list) did in a much more stripped down format. At this point, it’s clear that the entire output of Zachtronics is the gaming equivalent of Marmite (“You Either Love It Or You Hate It” was the actual tagline on their commercials in 90’s UK). While Marmite is indeed manufactured by mixing the scrapings from Satan’s own buttcrack with Rush Limbaugh’s legpit sweat, Shenzhen is a smooth, buttery taste made from brain-melting programming/optimization puzzles, spiked with a “oh-no-you-didn’t” histogram-based score chase.

4: Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes
My Friday night boardgame group occasionally dips into this. I honestly find it a hilarious way to learn how your friends think, communicate and collaborate. With our group consisting of an engineer (me), an IT guy, a nurse and a nanny, it’s a fascinating way to see how our professions fundamentally alter how we operate in the world.

5: Stardew Valley
Harvest Moon is a great way to unwind after a long day. Tending to your pixelated crops, fishing or hunting for treasures, and desperately trying to convince every NPC in the village to become a sex-worker with a poor grasp of economics has a long and illustrious history, so it was so lovely to see a new Harvest Moon game come out. Not only that, but it rejected all the cruft and poor design decisions that have diluted down recent releases in the series, and instead elects to take it back to basics. I look forward to many more great Harvest Moon games to follow.

6: Train Valley
The inimitable Dudley Smith gifted me this during the summer Steam Sale, and boy howdy do he and this game have my number. It’s a cute indie game that’s a lovechild of Railroad Tycoon and a pausable-RTS, if that makes any goddamn sense. You are tasked with laying down railroad tracks to connect an ever increasing number of stations, while juggling the trains on those tracks to get them to their destinations. It’s both simple and subtle, and what starts out as pleasant little exercise swiftly becomes a multi-tasking nightmare of head-on train crashes. Each level is done inside of 5 or 10 minutes, but it lends itself well to replaying. Just last week, I spent a feverish afternoon (literally, I was home sick from work with a fever) re-trying the same level something like 50 times in a vain attempt to “3-star” it.

7: Steam Trading Cards
a.k.a. Choice Paralysis: The Game, a.k.a. the only Steam game I can play while at work. The prize for explaining to me why I give the slightest of craps about this will be 5 cards of a set of 13 (two of which are dupes).

8: Fallout 4
I’m only a couple of hours in, and I can already tell I’m going to love it. Because Bethesda and because Fallout. Duh. Who’s a good boy?

9: Hacknet
\\home\users\Jonman\play> cd CommandLineGames –graphics_schmaphics
\\home\users\Jonman\play\CommandLineGames> Hacknet.exe –whattheeverlivingf*ckisthis –everyhackermovieever

Between this and Duskers, command-line prompt games are the new survival game. It feels like they’re en-vogue right now, and I’m just dandy with that.

10: Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime
Played with 3 friends couch co-op, this is a hoot. By which I mean, you will be hooting and hollering at your friends, as they fail to move their dude to the correct station in your communal spaceship to operate the ship’s system (weapons/shields/engines/utilities) quickly enough to defend against the pew-pew aliens that are attacking you. It’s multi-tasking writ large, an exercise in hyperthreading wherein each thread is one of your incompetent friends.

*****

Honorable mentions

Massive Chalice
As a latecomer to PC gaming, I don’t share the nostalgia for Double Fine from the point’n’click glory-days of their heritage. Their recent games are odd ducks, that ooze character but often feel like there’s a few cogs missing in their game mechanics. Massive Chalice strikes a better balance between the two, and while the tactical layer can feel like it’s lacking the depth of, say, XCOM, the strategic layer swings in the other direction, with the camera pulled back from managing a stable of characters to actually managing a stable, making the breeding decisions that will result in thoroughbred champions generations down the line, or of course, drooling inbreds who (sometimes literally) trip over their own feet.

Steamworld Heist
Steamworld Dig was a hidden gem of last year for me, so I was sold on the sequel before I knew much about it. Then I found out it was turn-based strat, and I was double-sold. It’s very much a streamlined experience, but there’s surprising tactical depth available once your roster of characters and abilities fills out. And of course, the robot-wild-west theme of the first game had been transliterated into spaceships, which makes zero actual sense, but hey, doesn’t that make it kind of Firefly with robots? I’ll be in my recharging-bunk.

Project CARS
My old pensioner of a laptop means that it’s been years since I’ve been able to enjoy a racing game. My new screamingly powerful desktop means I’m now giggling like a schoolgirl while I bez around the track at several hundred fps on ultra settings.

Plants vs Zombies: Heroes
Do you like Hearthstone but got sick of being thrashed by folk with decks full of absurd power cards? Well here’s a game for you. It’s Hearthstone, only we swapped WoW for PvZ. Thanks Blizzard EA!

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Orc Murder Simulator 2016 is a lovely open world action game about ethnic cleansing.

*****

Dishonorable mentions:
Pokemon Go: A bunch of turds painted like cute creatures, virtually-literally lying around on the pavement waiting for you to step in them. What do you do once you’re knee-dip in sh*t? Nothing!

Rocket League: Rocket League is a sumptuous meal made entirely of things I’m deathly allergic to. I want to like it, but every time I get within 10 feet of it, I metaphorically break out in hives and start puking. I can see why it’s so good, but I’m incapable of touching that goodness.

Prison Architect
Ironically, for a game that’s ostensibly about making men shower together, this left me feeling like I needed a shower myself. A shower for my soul, which had been besmirched by this cute, cartoony game about human suffering.

***

Games that will likely appear on next year’s list because I haven’t gotten around to them yet
The Witcher 3
Duskers
Elite: Dangerous

Jonman wrote:

While Marmite is indeed manufactured by mixing the scrapings from Satan’s own buttcrack with Rush Limbaugh’s legpit sweat,

How dare you!

kergguz wrote:
Jonman wrote:

While Marmite is indeed manufactured by mixing the scrapings from Satan’s own buttcrack with Rush Limbaugh’s legpit sweat,

How dare you!

No Shenzhen I/O for you!

This is the year I finally succumbed to complete laziness as a gamer; every single new game I played was on the Xbox or Android, and I didn’t even try a new game on my PC. I’m now all about my big comfy couch and a controller; I think I tried the Minecraft beta on Windows 10 a few times, and that’s literally the only new game I played on PC. I have surrendered to utter simplicity, and it’s been great. Excellent year for games.

TEH LIST:

1. Overwatch (Xbox One)
I played this obsessively for maybe three months; I basically quit right about when the Eichenwalde map came out. I’m not sure why I quit, because everything about Overwatch is amazing. Every character is unique and distinct, the game balance is perfect, the rock-paper-scissors aspect of switching to try to get an advantage adds a tactical layer I never find in shooters, the story . . . uh, the animated videos are cool, too. I think one of the reasons I don’t play is I just play vicariously through my kids, who play still., and I have a 14-year-old who last I checked was around #900 in the rankings for competitive Overwatch GLOBALLY on the Xbox per the Master Overwatch site. I just know I can’t keep up, and people like him are playing. It’s like that Great Santini basketball scene, except for nerds.

2. Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 (Xbox One)
Lots of people just ignored this game because it’s a “kiddie” game, and lots of people are, frankly, wroooooooong. Yes, it’s cartoony and silly, but this is a real, genuine, incredibly well-made competitive shooter with huge amounts of depth and customization. Twelve major classes, six on each side, and each of those has generally at least a half-dozen options, all of which played completely differently. Fun modes, crazy maps, loads of different abilities for each character, solid PvE options, bounties for that carrot-on-a-stick sense of progression, a giant backyard you could just run around and shoot stuff to goof around, and regular free DLC to add new characters and maps. I played the heck out of this. So good.

3. Titanfall 2 (Xbox One)
I liked the first Titanfall more than most, and played it incessantly for months until Destiny eventually stole me away back in 2014. Titanfall 2 is better in almost every way. First, yes, the single-player campaign is phenomenal in every way, and, even as somebody who LOATHES platforming in games in every conceivable way, I loved jumping about, and anybody who misses this game is going to miss the “Effect and Cause” level, which is without question one of the most innovative gaming levels I’ve played in many years. The single-player I assumed would just be tacked on, and I was very, very wrong, and had I just gotten that, I’d have been satisfied.

Then there’s the multiplayer. The first game had a few weapons and no real progression other than hitting a new level by doing a series of what were frankly annoying challenges with subpar weapons, but TF2 has a much better selection of guns, all of which feel very different from each other. There are four SMGs, for example, all of which have different optimal ranges and uses, way more pilot abilities (oh Phase Shift, how I love you so), regular unlocks of items as you hit each level, plus you earn credits so you can unlock early. It always feels like there’s “that reason” to keep playing. Oh, and the movement, gunplay, and just general feel are PHENOMENAL in this game. It took me a while to get used to it, but I’m now utterly wrecking people left and right because I’ve found my preferred playstyles, and the game supports that. I see other people destroying me with their own playstyle, and that works to. I love the movement, I love the gunplay, I love the titans (Tone for life, yo), and I love they dragged back the Angel City map from the first game recently, as I miss the tighter, more claustrophobic maps from the first one. And, speaking of TF1 maps, one of the things that killed that game was paid DLC map packs, which a lot of people didn’t buy, so the player base dropped off. All the DLC here is free, and the only microtransactions are fun little cosmetic items and things like fancy executions. I can’t wait for them to bring the horde mode back, for even more to do. This is just a very, very good game.

4. The Division (Xbox One)
My family took a trip to Manhattan between Christmas and New Year’s last year where we stayed near Times’ Square and basically just spent a few days wandering around the city. I’m not sure I would have enjoyed The Division nearly as much without that trip, because The Division is a bad game in all sorts of ways, but the good parts were really, really good. Case in point; the first time in-game I actually got to Times’ Square there was a giant blizzard going on, and visibility was near zero. Then, in a few moments, the storm cleared up, and, for a moment, I was back in Manhattan with my kids, staring at the landmarks, completely and utterly lost in the moment. It was one of those transcendent gaming moments where you’re entirely transported somewhere else, and it was fundamentally chilling to suddenly equate the fake, apocalypse-riddled city I was playing in to the real world I’d visited just a few months before. The city itself is AMAZING in how viscerally real and genuine it seems.

Then there’s the other stuff. The repetitive enemies, a depressingly high number of which are apparently named “Alex”. The grind for better loot. The promise of the Dark Zone, where you’d get a mix of PvE and PvP, and you’d go in balancing the tension of the tough enemies with the knowledge that some douchebag was hiding behind a car and was going to shoot you in the back and take your stuff without warning. Oh, and the fact the game was so riddled with bugs that, in fixing, caused even worse bugs and balancing issues, and I think it’s safe to assume a reasonably large portion of the development staff were likely hamsters with serious head injuries. It’s improved over time (the new Survival DLC is fantastic), but I’ve largely moved on to other things, but I played a lot of this with friends, and really enjoyed it. That being said, my main memory of this game is it’s one of those all-time “what could have been” games, and will always been a fun but incredibly flawed experience.

5. Dead Rising 4 (Xbox One)
It just came out. I’ve barely played it. I don’t care, it’s going on my list, because I know what I’m getting. I’m getting a giant sandbox full of thousands and thousands of zombies who I can slaughter with insane combo weapons and ludicrous vehicles, all while wearing dumb outfits and having fun. Dead Rising 3 is still one of my favorite games of this generation, because these games have finally dispensed all the annoying timer/save points/drudgery of the first two Dead Rising games and instead just gone with the Saints Row-esque “do what’s the most fun” attitude. Seriously, you can combine a spear and a Santa statue, and make a weapon called the “Gandelf”, which you can slam onto the ground as an AOE attack. How do you not love this? I love this.

6. Pokemon Go (Android)
So, I stare at my screen, decide whether I’m interested in who I’m seeing, and then flick a finger in a direction? PokeTinder Go? I don’t really think of this as a “game”, as there’s not really, you know, a story, characters, gameplay, or really anything. It’s basically been a conversational tool with my kids, and I’d have stopped playing it months ago except there’s a stop right outside work that I can hit if I walk to the bathroom a certain way. This is what Pokemon Go has become for me; a minor distraction on the way to urination. Yet, I keep doing it. I mean, playing Pokemon Go. Well, and urinating. I mean, stopping that would probably be bad.

7. Minecraft: Story Mode (Xbox One)
Bought this for my at-the-time 11-year-old daughter last Christmas, figuring she loves Minecraft and she likes stories. She never finished it. I picked it up randomly one day and tried it, and, geez, this thing was great. I genuinely cared about all the characters, all of whom felt different and unique, the story had enough sense of gloom and threat that it was actually gripping and interesting, and the game even played well mechanically. I should mention I LOATHE point-and-click adventures, and, even though this is a glorified version of that, I loved it. That being said . . .

Spoiler:

I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU BASTARDS KILLED REUBEN.

I need to polish off episodes 5-8 when I get time. Whenever that would be.

8. Rocket League (Xbox One)
I don’t love this vaguely as much as most people, but, you know, rocket-powered soccer cars is a genuinely good time. It’s fun, but it’s a light snack, you know?

9. Sunset Overdrive (Xbox One)
This game is very, very dumb. It is also aware of how very, very dumb it is, often to the point of obnoxiousness, and Deadpool thinks this game needs to break the fourth wall a little less, you know? If I’d spent $60 on this, I’d probably be pretty annoyed, but, as a free Games for Gold game? BARGAIN. Movement is fun, the weapons are silly, there’s genuinely funny moments, and I like any game where I can dress up a character in as ugly and stupid a manner as possible (I will always love you, rainbow-vomit ME3 Krogan Murdertrain). However, the enemies were forgettable even by zombie standards, the base defense/horde mode sections were annoying as sin, and have I mentioned this game is more self-aware than it needed to be? I played a lot of it and barely remember any of it, but I remember enjoying myself, which is honestly probably the best description I could give; fun, but forgettable.

10. Pathfinder Adventures (Android)
A very good translation of Pathfinder onto a mobile platform; one of the very rare F2P games where I just said “screw it” and bought a $25 season pass to get all the content. It’s effectively card-based D&D in my pocket, which is a great thing.

Honorable Mentions:
Gears of War 4 (Xbox One)—enjoyed it, the horde mode in particular, but the lack of easy drop-in, drop-out meant you had to collect a full group who were willing to commit for the entire run. I don’t have time for that stuff.

Doom (Xbox One) —barely touched it. I suspect I’ll cheat and put it on my list next year. Just feeling distracted by other things.

Wolfenstein: The New Order (Xbox One)—really good and really enjoyed it a lot, at least until I got to a level on the Moon (SPOILERS WEIRD THINGS HAPPEN) where I was expected to be stealthy in a big room full of enemies, when the game has no real stealth mechanics. I dropped it at that point, and will never finish it. BECAUSE FORCED STEALTH IN NON-STEALTH GAMES SUCKS.

PvZ Heroes (Android)—Hearthstone, except Plants vs. Zombies. Fun for a while. Hit a wall of difficulty in the single-player stuff, didn’t want to spend too much time in PvP just because I wasn’t feeling it.

The Castles of Mad King Ludwig (Android)—I am an architectural genius, but only when pooping, apparently.

2016 has been an interesting year. I remember there weren't too many games that stood out in 2015, but holy crap this year... 2016 was a great year for games. Here are my picks so far.

1. Doom
The original Doom is probably my favorite game ever. I really wanted Doom 2016 to be good, but my expectations weren't too high, especially after trying the MP beta. I still don't care for the MP much, even since they added pure Deathmatch. However, the single player campaign is worth full price alone. They managed to add some new mechanics, but still stay true what made the original Doom and Doom II kick so much ass. Rip Tear Kill!

2. Super Hot, Super Hot
After seeing the game jam footage, I backed this game on Kickstarter, and it's one of the coolest takes on a first person shooter in years. I wonder how it took so long for a game like this to exist. It's pretty much the Badass Simulator. It's fast, fun, and doesn't need photorealistic graphics. I love the minimalist art style. I also like some of the unlockables, like the mode where you play through the entire game with only a sword. And having just got my Oculus Touch this week, I started the VR version. It's different, but just as cool in a different way. I actually felt like Neo dodging bullets in The Matrix.

3. Stardew Valley
I shouldn't like these kinds of games. I grew up on a farm, and worked hard there for several years. I don't miss getting up early, chores, farm work, and most of that stuff. So, why would I love this game. I played Harvest Moon 64 on a whim one time back in the day, and got super hooked. Then came the GBA version. When Stardew Valley was announced, and I learned about all its features, I knew I would be hooked all over again. I played many hours of this game earlier this year, and want to go back. My friend and I will likely play co-op when that's officially added. It's relaxing, but rewarding, and a great game to play while listening to podcasts and audio books.

4. Job Simulator
I just started playing Job Simulator this week on the Oculus Touch. I love quirky games like this. I was and still am annoyed that the better version of Jazzpunk only came to PS4, and not back to PC. I love the humor in this game, and it's a fun way to use the touch controllers. Play through each job, or just do crazy things to see what will happen. It's part game, part toy, and I love it.

5. Dreadhalls
I know this is a simple game, but it's still one of my favorite games in VR. I like that you have full movement control, and the horror atmosphere. The dark hallways and rooms feel a lot more real in VR, and when you get the crap scared out of you by a monster, you can't just look away from the screen. All you can do is turn and run. I just love this game, and wish there were more of it.

6. AM2R
Even though Nintendo doesn't care about Metroid's anniversary, some of us do. I played Metroid II when it came out. I liked it, but not as much as either Metroid or Super Metroid. AM2R is a fan game done right. If I didn't know any better, I would have thought Nintendo themselves developed it. It took the core game and upgraded everything: graphics, sound, controls. New areas and bosses have been added too, but it still feels like Metroid II. It's a shame Nintendo doesn't recognize talent, and work with fans to make games like this officially supported Nintendo titles. Of course this is the same company that brags about how their products sell out, but they only release 10 units total to stores. Sorry, this is a great fan game, and it's definitely worth playing if you can find it online.

7. Mafia III
I always wanted to get into the previous Mafia games, but I just couldn't for some reason. They never quite felt right to me. The stories seemed interesting, but I never got into the gameplay. I really enjoyed Mafia III though. The setting and story are done very well, and the presentation is fantastic. The voice actors did an excellent job, and the soundtrack was also great, especially if you like music from the 60's, as I do. The gameplay actually combined with the story unlike most other games. Characters in different parts of the city would react to you differently because you were a black character. Police response would even be different depending on whether you were in a white or black neighborhood. The missions did get a bit repetitive at times, but I enjoyed sneaking into a location to take out a boss, and shoot my way through if things went bad.

8. Dangerous Golf
I know this had mixed reviews, but I genuinely enjoyed this game. Ex-Burnout developers created this mini-golf game, and it makes a lot of sense. If real golf were more like this, I would pay a lot more attention. Basically you hit the ball, and break stuff real good. There's just something really satisfying about breaking and smashing stuff. It's so satisfying to watch a beautiful environment get completely destroyed, and the audio is great too. Watching all the physics and particle effects, and hearing shattering glass is just satisfying.

9. Maximum Car
Speaking of Burnout, I discovered this IOS game a month or two ago. I wanted a fun iPhone/iPad game, and heard this was kind of like Burnout. Yes, this game is really dumb and cheesy, but that's partly what I like about it. The cheesy 90's metal theme song is great, and some of the comments are amusing. A lot of the commentary falls flat, but I respect what they were going for. I keep playing this game because of the gameplay though. It's simple, fast, and works well on a touch screen. You race through a few dozen point-to-point races, and you can take out other cars by ramming into them, or using weapons, complete with crash cam like Burnout 3. With all the HD remakes, I really want Burnout 3 in HD...

I don't have a 10 yet because there are still a few more games I want to try. Mainly Dishonored 2 and Forza Horizon 3. I could see those making the list, and possibly pushing a few games down or off the current list. I'll hopefully be able to play both games some in the next couple of weeks, and edit my list then.

BGFH wrote:

The original Doom is probably my favorite game ever.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/NClQR56.png)

Avatar checks out.

Well, I'm glad to see I've actually played three of the games this year that have received votes so far. However, I still need to sort out the order the twelve games played this year (and that include phone games, which I generally have forgotten about when voting in years past).

It is sad that a game from one of my favorite franchises is going to be in the twelveth rank on my list. But there has to be a dud in every franchise, right?

It is sad that a game from one of my favorite franchises is going to be in the twelveth rank on my list. But there has to be a dud in every franchise, right?

There's just a lot of strong entries this year. I mean, for frak sake, XCOM 2 got bumped off the bottom of my list, and that's a very good game.

edit: and in any reasonable year, Stardew Valley would have been on the list.

It has been a very strong year. Looking back over what I've played, there have been some genuine best ever type releases this year.

Last year had Witcher 3 so it's impossible at this stage for anything to top that but the overall year has been fantastic for solid games that I've played all the way through.

I'm still working my way through my list but it's pretty much set unless something can sneak in between now and the New Year.

Malor wrote:
It is sad that a game from one of my favorite franchises is going to be in the twelveth rank on my list. But there has to be a dud in every franchise, right?

There's just a lot of strong entries this year.

Wish I could say that was the reason, but no. It just wasn't a very good game.

2016 as it stands is a rather forgettable year, at least for me. I am eagerly awaiting more lists to get a better picture of what I missed out on.

I haven't had a real standout this year. Nothing leaps out like previous years. Not to the degree of a Bloodborne, or a Splatoon, or a Mass Effect 2.

RnRClown wrote:

2016 as it stands is a rather forgettable year

I don't agree with that.

RnRClown wrote:

I haven't had a real standout this year. Nothing leaps out like previous years. Not to the degree of a Bloodborne, or a Splatoon, or a Mass Effect 2.

But I do agree with this. No game I played this year would have made my top 3 from last year.

Instead, I played a large number of really good games. 2016 didn't have any of my favorite games of the past few years, but it had far more good games that I could possibly find time to play, and I managed to play many more games this year than last.

There wasn't just something for everyone, there was a bunch of stuff for everyone.

Yeah, no game might reach the same heights as some previous years for me, but there was a lot of good games just below that tier.

Don't think I have ever played as many games in a yeas as this year, even ignoring replays and continuous play like WoW, SWTOR, Rocket League, my work in progress list is at healthy (or maybe unhealthy) 21 games.