It’s that time of the year again. Mud was flung, opinions were questioned and after several rounds of totally legal brawling, we finally decided on our Game of the Year. Though 2016 may have seen more problematic launches than you could shake a cynical Brit at, it also featured tons of long awaited releases and amazing follow-ups. What deserves to sit at the top of the throne as GamingBolt’s Game of the Year? Let’s look at the nominees.
Overwatch is many things – a game of ultimates, a game of strategy, a game of metas, aiming, pinching, positioning, communication and much more. However, Overwatch is also a blast. It mixes 23 unique heroes that, despite their categories, can be as dangerous as you want them to be. Constant support from Blizzard, including new maps, modes, events and cosmetics, is the icing on the cake – Overwatch has stayed alive this long thanks to its amazing gameplay that keeps you coming back for more when it’s not letting you be the hero everyone deserves.
“Upping the ante” isn’t a term to take lightly. Respawn certainly didn’t with Titanfall 2. It delivered the best single-player FPS campaign in a long time. Retaining the same awesome movement and gunplay from the original, Titanfall 2 revamped its approach to abilities, Titans and map design, delivering more evenly paced action. Don’t worry – you can still be a futuristic bad-ass all throughout.
Final Fantasy 15
You’ve probably heard a thing or two about how long it took for Final Fantasy 15 to release. The final product could have used a tad more polish but as it stands, this tale of war between Prince Noctis and the Niflheim Empire is well worth the price of admission. With hours upon hours of content, gorgeous worlds to explore, memorable characters and a spell-binding soundtrack, Final Fantasy 15 marks the series’ rebirth for a new generation.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Nathan Drake wasn’t going to just walk off into the sunset and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is a fitting hurrah to the adventurer’s legends. Naughty Dog’s signature formula of platforming, exploration, puzzle solving, shooting and action-packed set-pieces still hasn’t worn thin. Debates could be made about whether Uncharted 4 is the best in the series but as one last good-bye to its iconic hero, it’s undoubtedly Game of the Year-worthy.
Watch Dogs 2
Watch Dogs 2 had a huge stigma to overcome thanks to the original. Instead of going the same route, Ubisoft decided to mix things up, introducing a more open-ended campaign with varying styles of play for missions and a new outlook. Marcus Halloway and his crew are a brighter, hipper and more enthusiastic take on the hacking underground and Watch Dogs 2 is all the better for it. Take that, Aiden Pearce.
From the moment you awaken in your crypt to gripping that iconic shotgun for the first time, DOOM is id Software through and through. Its pulsating metal pushes you to tear apart your enemies. The Glory Kills provide the tools. The environments encourage all manner of strafing and experimentation. It’s all up to what kind of demon-killing Space Marine you want to be and there’s no digital violence enabler better than DOOM.
Like The Talos Principle, Thelka Inc.’s The Witness philosophises eloquently but without beating you in the head with it. Instead, the narrative gently guides you from one puzzle to the next, the mysterious island opening up to scrutiny. It’s not long before you finally learn to “see”, awakening the perspective necessary to truly appreciate the world of The Witness and the experience it wants to bestow upon you.
Fire Emblem Fates
Intelligent Systems’ Fire Emblem Fates didn’t just give us more Fire Emblem – it established a veritable universe of excellent turn-based strategy RPG gameplay to get lost in.You could build your own base. Check and mate. From the beginner-friendly Birthright to the intense action of Conquest and the eventual epic battle of Revelation, Fire Emblem Fates let you customize your avatar for the first time and truly craft your destiny.
Forza Horizon 3
It’s hard to believe that Playground Games could make such a huge leap from Forza Horizon 2 to Forza Horizon 3. The entire scale of the game has been expanded as much as enlarged, providing more cars, challenges and objectives to complete than ever before. The addition of Horizon Blueprint encouraged racing according to your needs while the vast open world rewarded exploration without any pressure. Forza Horizon 3 struck that perfect balance between arcade and simulation, offering an experience that anyone could fall in love with.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Moving on is never easy. Everyone wants you to make a new life and look forward to the future but the past always teases you. What if you could have one last adventure? Would you risk everything for it? Would you do it for family?
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is the end of Nathan Drake’s story. That’s no small task when you consider the epic adventures our main man has had. Naughty Dog didn’t need to up the ante to impress us, though visually this is the most stunning title for PS4 (and other consoles for that matter).
Uncharted 4 captures that feeling of one last amazing trip into the beyond before finally settling down into the drudgery of normal life. In the process, it teaches us that even everyday life can have its important milestones and they make the adventures all the sweeter. For its excellently crafted narrative, generation-defining visuals and superb gameplay, Uncharted 4 is our pick for Game of the Year 2016.
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.