Best of 2016 Awards: Video Games
2016 has ended. It was a rough year to say the least, unless you were a gamer! From beginning to end, the year was full of fantastic video games that will be remembered for ages to come. We the people at Nerd Reactor each came up with our Top 10 lists and submitted them to the list organizer (that’s me). In the past, we made one big Top 10 list out of each individual one, but now we’re going to do something different. Much like the Best Movies of the Year list, we’re going to rate the best game from each genre, so let’s get right to it!
- Runner Up: Watch Dogs 2
It’s rare to find a development studio that blends together cinematic storytelling and cutting-edge gameplay together as well as Naughty Dog. Being the final chapter in Nathan Drake’s series of adventures, this conclusion was nothing short of incredible and bittersweet. Even though it may not be as good as Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (a hard game to top anyway), A Thief’s End still features the same responsive gameplay whether you’re climbing, shooting, shooting AND climbing, and even driving a Jeep in the Savannah. Naughty Dog’s attention to detail also makes it one of the best looking games of this generation so far! Despite its flaws, Uncharted fans completed this game feeling more than satisfied.
- Runner Up: Titanfall 2
Obviously. Blizzard Entertainment’s first foray into the world of online shooters was proven to be a success to say the VERY least. When Overwatch came out, you couldn’t go anywhere on your Facebook feed without seeing a “High Noon” meme or someone obsessing over D.Va (you know who you are). There is a reason why everyone is talking about this game: it’s damn-near perfect. Not only does it tell a good story without a single-player campaign, but it’s so well-balanced despite all of the characters’ dramatic differences in playstyle. From speed-demons like Tracer to the robust Reinhardt, any gamer can feel welcome once they boot up Overwatch. Plus, every voice actor in this game is amazing.
- Runner Up: Dark Souls III
Written by Patrick Snipes
Hajime Tabata and his team worked nearly a decade to bring us the new numbered chapter of the Final Fantasy series and it definitely shows. As a game, it’s certainly the crowning achievement of a long period of hard work, done with remarkable humility, with Tabata-san and his developers often taking into consideration the fanbase’s opinion and feedback. Even though the story was a bit all over the place, from traversing the vast environment, interesting main cast, and gigantic battles, XV does a fantastic job with bringing the classic Final Fantasy to a modern audience.
- Runner Up: Civilization VI
Written by Ray Guillan
We picked XCOM 2 as our Strategy Game of the Year because it’s bigger and better in almost every way than the original. It continues to build on the ideas from the reboot, and has extra features like the character creation that add even more depth. It originally came out on the PC only, but now console players can join in on the fun that is XCOM 2.
Written by Alger Alama
NBA 2K17 is possibly the best version of the NBA 2K series to date. It seriously ups the ante from its previous incarnation with massive amounts of depth. The game not only lets you play as “Prez” in Career Mode, but it explores relationships and rivalries with your teammates via actor Michael B. Jordan as “Young”. There’s a complete immersion factor with not only the updated NBA rules sets for the game, but your skill points that you achieve helps mold your character into whatever style you’d like to play. Your character tweets and responds to social media stimuli in the game. In addition to this, you receive calls from your player’s mother, giving that much more of a mental and emotional support for your NBA avatar. There’s a lot going on here, hence why it’s the Best Sports Game of 2K16!
Oh look, it’s Nate again, back to this list to claim the spot for Best PlayStation Exclusive of 2016! Any time Naughty Dog comes out with a game, it’s going to be tough competition for any other PlayStation exclusive to win the crown. Some people have forgotten that the game had a relatively rough start ever since the creative director Amy Hennig left and was replaced with The Last of Us director Neil Druckmann. Despite the rocky road, the team delivered with an exceptional piece of artistry that will be remembered for years to come.
The first Gears of War was a technical milestone when it came out on the Xbox 360 just over 10 years ago. Cover-based combat felt better than ever. Gears of War 4 continues what made the first game great and then some. The campaign continues the fun-filled gorefest with a story that doesn’t rely too heavily on nostalgia for the previous trilogy and ends with a tantalizing cliffhanger! Despite the heinous amount of microtransactions, multiplayer is even more brutal at 60 frames per second. But I’m asking nicely as a noob, can we stop using shotguns? Please?
Written by Chris Del Castillo
Let’s face it, every Pokemon game is pretty much the same, but it’s a formula that has worked for more than two decades. With every installment, we see new Pokemon and elements added that take you back to why you enjoy spending endless hours traveling far and wide in order to become the ultimate Pokemon Master. Sun and Moon is probably the best example of just how easy it is sit back while exploring, capturing and enjoying a brand new location thanks to improved visuals, new ways to interact with your Pokemon and even a new take on Pokemon you’ve known for a long time with Alola forms.
Again, obviously. Although design plays a huge part in a Game of the Year contender, you should never underestimate cultural impact. When you buy Overwatch, you’re not just getting one game, you’re getting something that evolves overtime. Overwatch isn’t the only game that features timely events, but the goodies you get during these are so good (Witch Mercy, anyone?) that you can’t HELP but come back. It also says a lot that I personally don’t enjoy many online shooters and this is one of the few exceptions. Chances are, we’re going to be seeing a lot more Overwatch support in the forms of new game modes and characters within the next few years. That is why we consider Overwatch to be the Best Game of 2016!
Is there any game on this list that you think deserves to be on there? If so, leave us a comment down below.
We hope you have a fantastic 2017, Reactorites!