No one realized when it happened, but RPGs have become the new FPSs- almost every other game that comes out these days seems to be an RPG, or have heavy RPG elements, and the genre is thriving like never before right now. 2016 was the year when the RPG truly solidified its dominance over the gaming market- no matter what system you own, and no matter what kind of RPG you like, you probably had some great picks to choose from this year. Let us take a look at the nominees.
Final Fantasy XV
Ten years in the making, Final Fantasy 15 finally released this year, and… was actually good? Not only was it good, it was a great game, that reminded us all why we’d fallen in love with the series to begin with. Sure, it has its fair share of issues, but Final Fantasy 15 is an audacious game with a lot of heart, charm, and a staggering amount of ambition.
The sequel to Firaxis’ reboot of the classic franchise, XCOM 2went bigger and better on the original in just about every way. With the addition of stealth, gigantic and dynamic maps, and destructible environments, XCOM 2 threw so many wrinkles into the mix that going back to the game and playing it again and again remains a joy and a pleasure.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Mankind Divided follows up on Human Revolution by delivering almost exactly the same stuff that made that game so great and beloved, while also working on fixing that game’s flaws. It falters along the way, notably with its story, and the multiplayer offerings, Adam Jensen’s second outing remains one of the best games of this year regardless.
Dark Souls 3
The third Dark Souls game took everything that was great about every single Dark Souls game that had come before it, mixed it up with some of Bloodborne’s faster action and delivered what might be mechanically the best game in the franchise. If Dark Souls 3 is to be the send off for this series that From Software claim it will be, then what an incredible send off it will be.
World of Warcraft: Legion
Coming later than expected, Legion was well worth the wait for most World of Warcraft fans- the expansion rights all the excessive wrongs of 2014’s Warlords of Draenor, and delivers in the process what is largely being considered the best expansion the game has had since Wrath of the Lich King. If you were, are, or ever wanted to be, a World of Warcraft player, there was never a better time to play the game than with Legion now.
Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest
Nintendo and Intelligent Systems followed up on 2013’s incredible Fire Emblem Awakening with Fire Emblem Fates, a pair of games offering either a doubling down on Awakening’s mechanics, or a return to classic Fire Emblem. But it was Conquest, the game that returned to classic Fire Emblem, with all of its tactical and strategical nuance and brilliance, that truly stood out among the two, and offered RPG players a true standout experience.
Fire Emblem Fates
Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest is incredibly deep, extremely full featured, telling a sprawling story that goes on for dozens of hours, with all sorts of modes and content, and it manages to straddle the line between accessibility and depth by giving players both- depending on what they want. Conquest is a remarkable triumph of game design, a remarkable exhibition of giving all players everything without compromising on your vision, and inarguably, the best RPG of this year, and among the very best games of the year.
Note: GamingBolt’s Game of the Year categories, nominations and awards are selected via an internal nomination, voting and debate process. You can check the rest of categories and the respective winners here.