Top Video Games 2016
Welcome to the first of our three "Top" lists of 2016! I've asked our contributors and a few others to submit their favorite games from 2016. How many of these are on your list? Enjoy!
Andy lives in DC and fancies himself a horror aficionado and casual (console) gamer. His favorite game is Resident Evil 4.
5. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
My crush on Nathan Drake aside, the Uncharted series feels repetitive at times (compared to itself and other games in the series). With great graphics and solid story line, though, it makes my list.
DEMONS IN SPACE. I don't feel the need to say more about why it's on my list.
3. Bioshock: The Collection
I get that this wasn't a new release, but the remastered edition of all three games with all expansion packs warranted it's inclusion here. I forgot how fun these games are!
2. Far Cry: Primal
Not being a fan of other games in the series, the previews made this one seem interesting so I thought I'd give it a shot. 60 hours later, I still hadn't completed all the side quests and was still loving every minute of it.
1. The Last of Us Remastered
The story in this game is unparalleled for me. Fungus zombies, looters, an adult man and his daughter-replacement. The Last of Us would top my list of overall best games, not just for 2016.
As someone who loves video games for what they are, an art form, when Jacob put out the request for the Geekundspiel contributors to send in some ideas for the things we enjoyed the most, I jumped at the chance to write about the video games I’ve anticipated and enjoyed the most throughout the year. Here are my picks for the top five games I’ve had the most anticipation and enjoyment for out of 2016, I hope you enjoy!
5. Final Fantasy XV
Released November 29, 2016 by Square-Enix for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, Final Fantasy XV is the legendary series’ long-awaited return. Sure, we’ve had the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy to stave us off along the way, and I personally am an avid player of Final Fantasy XIV Online, there’s nothing quite like the grand scope of a full-release Final Fantasy game. After being announced originally back in 2006 as Final Fantasy Versus XIII, we’ve waited a full decade for the game to be released.
Along the way to it’s release this year, Final Fantasy XV has had both a movie, Final Fantasy XV: Kingsglaive, and a 5-episode anime series, Final Fantasy XV: Brotherhood. While I have yet to play Final Fantasy XV myself, most of the professional reviews have given the game great ratings, and I have heard great things about the game from friends.
Final Fantasy XV follows Noctis, the crown prince of the kingdom of Lucis on a journey to retake his home and ascend to the throne. With his 3 close friends, Prompto, Gladiolus, and Ignis to help him along the way, the four friends openly explore the world of Eos. For the first time in a main-series Final Fantasy title, XV is an open-world adventure, and has done away entirely with the turn-based combat systems of the Final Fantasy games of yore and opts to use a more fast-paced, almost hack-and-slash style of combat, similar to what you might find in say, Kingdom Hearts, another Square-Enix title who’s main-series sequel, Kingdom Hearts 3, I have been waiting for for a decade.
What will happen to Noctis and his comrades? Will they be able to retake the prince’s throne, or fail trying? Will the world crumble and fall to monsters and gods, or will you fight against them for the future of Eos? Play the game to find out!
4. Metal Gear Solid V: Definitive Experience
Released in October of 2016 for the Playstation 4, Metal Gear Solid V: The Definitive Experience, is technically not a 2016 release. The game consists of both Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes & Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain packaged together. Ground Zeroes was initially released in March of 2014, while The Phantom Pain was released in September of 2015. The game, however, stands up to the test of time. Metal Gear has been a favorite of mine for a long time, and despite how poorly Konami has treated its creator, Hideo Kojima, since the release of The Phantom Pain (The company took the man’s name off of his own game, for heaven’s sake!), I still admire the series as it was created by Kojima (Konami can take their Metal Gear: Survive and stuff a sock in it). For 25 years, Metal Gear had redefined how stealth games were made. I remember playing the original Metal Gear Solid at a friend’s house as a kid.
As it stands, Metal Gear Solid V is the missing piece in the Metal Gear saga’s timeline, and as with Final Fantasy XV, for the first time in it’s nearly three-decade run, Metal Gear Solid V goes open-world, letting the player explore the deserts of Afghanistan, or the jungles of Africa. You can choose to engage enemy convoys, or let them pass you as they head to their base. You can sneak into an enemy base and capture their resources and soldiers to send back to fuel your own base and recruit them into your own private army, or you can destroy the enemy base from afar. The choice is yours in this high-stakes espionage-action game.
Mother Base is yours to command. All of its soldiers, resources, and weapons are at your disposal. You can arm for a nuclear eventuality, or disarm all of the nuclear weapons in the world. Build Outer Heaven. Become Big Boss.
Released May 23, 2016 for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 , OverWatch is Blizzard Entertainment’s highly-anticipated first-person MOBA. The game itself is a solid, fun experience. Filled with a diverse cast of characters, both in their abilities, personalities, and even ethnicities, OverWatch has been hailed as one of the best games in the genre yet. I can’t really say much about its story, because as though there IS a story to OverWatch, none of it lies within the game itself. Regardless, it’s still a fun game. I personally like playing D.Va and jetting my mech off into a group of enemies as it self-destructs.
2. Pokémon Sun/Moon
Released November 18, 2016 for the Nintendo 3DS, Sun & Moon kick off the seventh generation of Pokémon games. I don’t have much to say about this entry, because it’s Pokémon. Everyone knows Pokémon and you either love it or hate it. I personally love the series, and recall my excitement when I first played the original Pokémon Red Version of the original Nintendo Game Boy. This is an installment in a series that’s been with me for my lifetime, and it’s just as fun as ever.
For me, video games are a reflection of life, and my love for them goes back as far as I can remember. Some of the first games I remember playing were Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, and Final Fantasy VII on the original PlayStation. With that in mind, my number one pick for my personal favorite video games of the year was an easy one. My number one pick is…
1. Dark Souls 3
Released March 24, 2016 on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, Dark Souls 3 is my pick for my favorite game of the year. Dark Souls is a series that entered my life at a very rough time and has helped me understand that no matter what I’m fighting, it can be overcome.
And that’s what this entire series has been about, overcoming and defying the odds. Dark Souls 3 returns to the heavily-armored fantasy setting after FromSoftware’s foray into the Eldritch Truth in 2015’s BloodBorne. In Dark Souls, you take on the role of an Undead, branded by the Darksign, cursed to die over and over again, yet always returning to life. And at it’s core, that’s where you learn to persist. Dark Souls is known for being gruelingly difficult, but in truth, it isn’t. To understand that, you first have to understand the world of Dark Souls and learn to play by it’s rules.
As much as I love the series (I recently got a tattoo dedicated to it, in fact), there isn’t too much that I can truly say about it without spoiling the obscure story of the games. You have to hunt it down yourself and make sense of what the world has to offer, another lesson that Dark Souls teaches. Just remember that every choice you make in this game will have a consequence. Whether you choose to play as a nimble rogue, an armored knight, or a swift sorcerer, this game will challenge you to defy it. Overcome the odds, never give up, and remember:
“Don’t you dare go hollow.”