2016 has been a brilliant year for gaming and my top 10 list for this year may be my most difficult yet – picking, ordering and finally getting round to writing this list took a long time with plenty of internal debate but that’s it! It’s done! Have a look at what my favourite games of 2016 were.
You read right – favourite, not best. Whilst I consider some of these to easily be amongst the best games of 2016, these are just my favourite games of 2016. It’s no secret that my list will consist mostly of Japanese games but if you haven’t played the below ten, then I highly recommend that you do so! Without further ado, let’s get started.
10. Dark Souls III
Dark Souls III was one of the biggest games to release in the first quarter of 2016, and it managed to be one of the best games of the year. Highly challenging with some of the most gruelling bosses in the series’ history, yeah I’m looking at you Nameless King, it’s clear that From Software learnt from Bloodborne and made Dark Souls a more fluid experience. If there was an award for it, Dark Souls III would also win the ‘Sweatiest Palms’ award.
9. Street Fighter V
Street Fighter V has more issues than a good handful of games this year, but that hasn’t stopped it from being one of my favourites. Tight mechanics and colourful visuals kept me coming back time and time again. Yeah, I’m tired of playing online almost solely again Ryu, Ken and Nash’s, and a few modes are still missing when they really shouldn’t be, but Street Fighter V is still a fantastic fighting game that’s slowly being updated to be the game it should have always been. I feel that 2017 will be a great year for it. I main Cammy by the way, in case you were wondering!
As with most 2016 game of the year lists, mine also includes Overwatch. One of the freshest experiences in years in a genre that I consider to be pretty stale, Overwatch has pulled me back probably more than any other game this year – this is partially due to my friend’s playing it a lot too, though. I play it alone sometimes which is rare for me with an FPS game, but in Overwatch I feel like I’m playing actual characters rather than nameless avatars. Its gameplay is engaging and its visuals and audio are outstanding, and it’s no wonder that it took the world by storm. I play a lot of characters but I play D.Va the most. Also, Zenyatta can go do one.
7. Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X
You all know that I love my vocaloids! Not only is Future Tone one of my most anticipated games of 2017, but Project Diva X is one of my favourite games of 2016. Improved visuals, a couple of new gameplay elements, an actual story and another great set of catchy tunes, Project Diva X held my attention for a long time and is perfect for quick bursts whenever I feel like it – admittedly, I do play it for quite a long time when I boot it up. It’s one of the games I’ve purchased on both PS4 and Vita too, and regularly switch between them both. The upcoming Future Tone has 200 songs and I’m super excited to get my hands on all of them!
6. Steins;Gate 0
The first Steins;Gate is one of the best games I’ve played, and is one of the games I’d happily describe as ‘near perfect’. The sequel is a brilliant follow-up and didn’t disappoint me, although it didn’t quite meet the highs of its predecessor but it was the best sequel that it could have been and it enhances the overall story greatly. I like he new art style but miss the very unique style of the first game, but otherwise this is Steins;Gate through and through, and you certainly don’t want to miss it if you’re a fan. I liked it so much I played through it on PS4 and Vita – all routes!
5. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice
I had a bit of an internal debate with whether or not I should put Steins;Gate 0 at 5 instead, but in the end I’m just a massive Ace Attorney fan and this is one of the best games in the series – despite the first case being the worst in the series, in my opinion. The last case may possibly be the best case and the introduction of new characters such as Dhurke helped as he’s one of the best characters in a series filled with many memorable characters. I look forward to seeing what Capcom do next with the series, and I’m still hoping to see the Dai Gyakuten Saiban games come to the West. It seems that Ace Attorney won’t relinquish the title of my favourite visual novel series quite so easily!
4. Root Letter
The only other new IP on this list is one that I won’t forget – Root Letter. I’ve gotten the true ending and have yet to get all the alternate endings, but you can bet I will! Root Letter has realistic characters and manages to avoid being trope-inspired, having characters with good and bad qualities that might not be so clear at first. A mystery that kept me guessing, Root Letter had me glued until the very end – it left me fully satisfied, and I’m looking forward to the next game in the Kadokawa Game Mystery series. If you’re yearning for a good visual novel, then the last 3 installments on this list have you covered!
3. Pokemon Moon
Ah, Pokemon Moon. I had a bit of a falling out with Pokemon but couldn’t imagine doing so again now that the latest generation has reinvigorated my love for the series – I’ve gone back and bought a game from every other generation, and have been enjoying them too! Pokemon Moon may be my favourite in the series and I love the theme of Alola, and it boasts one of the strongest stories in the series so far. I eagerly anticipate what’s next for the series, and I’ve been enjoying the new anime too! Pokemon Moon had me happy with my 60+ hour journey with it, and I still return to it for online play and filling out the Pokedex. Pokemon Moon is a complete joy.
2. Final Fantasy XV
In some ways, it’s both surprising and not surprising to see this so high on my list. Square Enix certainly could have done a better job when it came to stitching the story together and it’s horribly noticeable where some segments were cut out for DLC but regardless, I love Final Fantasy XV. The interactions between the 4 leads is enjoyable and feels wholly natural, and the action is fast-paced and plenty of fun. I look forward to the game’s future updates as it can only make the game better but for the most part, this game lived up to my expectations despite having them for so long. It really is a magical game, and I couldn’t put it down after chapter 9 and ended up finishing it from then on in one sitting!
1. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is the perfect end to one of the greatest game series’ to have existed – Naughty Dog know how to amaze! Outstanding visuals, an excellent story that couldn’t wrap things up any better, a robust multi-player mode and some of the finest voice-acting in gaming, it’s not shocking that Uncharted 4 will be many people’s game of the year. Uncharted 4 has gone out on the highest of highs and I couldn’t be happier for it – although I really will miss hearing the cast, including Nolan North as Nathan Drake, but thankfully I can hear him in many other games!
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