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Game of the Year 2016: GP's Top 10

Game of the Year 2016 The Last Guardian Overwatch Dragon Quest Builders Final Fantasy XV Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Pokemon Sun Pokemon Moon The Witness Owlboy

We're nearly a month into the new year, but you didn't think we forgot to post GP's top 10 games of 2016, did you? Okay, so it's a little late, but better late than never, right?

In any case, there were quite a few memorable and great games in 2016; our individual game of the year lists tended to reflect that a lot as each one had at least a few unique games that didn't pop up in others. Some games dominated the conversation for most of the year, some were quaint surprises, and yet others popped up at the last minute to steal the spotlight. And in a year where shooters had one of their biggest years in a while, perhaps the most surprising thing about our list is that only one made it on (which speaks to the quality of the games that released in 2016).

But enough talk! Here are the ten games the GP staff and contributors voted on as our overall Top 10 games for 2016. Enjoy!



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10. Kirby Planet Robobot


"Kirby’s latest outing has me reflecting upon my childhood, and how these games make me feel, in a different way than I expected. I simply haven't felt this impressed, this unbelievably delighted from a Kirby game since my childhood. I've often said that Return to Dream Land marks the pinnacle of traditional Kirby gameplay. But Planet Robobot takes it -- and fans’ expectations -- and manages to make everything feel like a mechanized wonderland."

- Jonathan Higgins




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9. Severed


The beauty and the pain portrayed in Severed is matched only by how simple and refined the combat is. It may not have the whimsy of their other games, but Severed is easily one of DrinkBox Studios’ best, and one of the best games overall on the Vita -- not just of this year, but of any year.

- Chris "Wildcard Corsair" Garcia



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8. Owlboy


So much about what makes Owlboy worth experiencing isn’t in the mechanics, but in its cast and environments. You won’t feel triumphant in the end — it’ll be more like you just watched a really awesome Disney movie. The folks behind Owlboy put so much meticulous care into their work that it took nine years to make. The end result is absolutely worth your own time and attention.

- Jonathan Higgins



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7. Pokemon Sun and Moon


Alola is an absolutely, positively phenomenal place. Its challenges were versatile; I’ve never had as much fun with a main story in a mainline Pokémon game. The soundtrack is absolutely phenomenal; “The Battle At the Summit!” is probably Masuda and his team at their absolute best. Narrative direction? Superior, bested only by Black & White. Music, sounds, and general ambiance? Also top-tier. All of this and more make Sun & Moon easy to recommend to first-timers, or lapsed fans.

- Jonathan Higgins




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6. The Witness


It's hard to follow up a game like Braid, but developer Jonathan Blow did it. The Witness is truly unlike any other game I've ever played, thanks to its unique combination of exploration and puzzles. The game teaches you organically how to think about the solutions to each puzzle, and the way that each area is divided into different types of puzzles is extremely well done. It is, without a doubt, the smartest game of the year.

- Jason Clement




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5. Tokyo Mirage Sessions


As a fan of both Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei, I can certainly understand the disappointment some felt when Tokyo Mirage Sessions turned out to be a game that in no way matched what they had envisioned Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem would be. But the heart of both franchises shines through in ways expected and not, with a top-notch presentation and a warm heart that in my mind turned out to be the Wii U’s last and greatest hurrah.

- Justin Graham




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4. Final Fantasy XV


Though it’s rough around the edges, Noctis’s road trip tale of brotherhood and a desire to find his betrothed after his kingdom has fallen under imperial rule shines through where it counts, wearing its inspirations from past Final Fantasy games on its sleeve while standing well on its own. And the game’s ending is not only rewarding, but one of the very best that the series has delivered yet, nailing the game’s themes one after another.

- Justin Graham




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3. Dragon Quest Builders


Building has never been quite as compelling in video games as it is in Dragon Quest Builders. While the simplistic combat is perhaps the game's weakest point, Dragon Quest Builders is by far one of the deepest experiences I've played this year thanks to its blend of exploration, construction, and traditional JRPG mechanics. Nearly everything about it from its addicting gameplay to its fantastic soundtrack make it an outstanding experience and one of this year's biggest surprises.

- Jason Clement




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2. Overwatch

I won’t tell you my exact hour count, but I’ve put a disgusting amount of time into Overwatch. You know how I complained about not having enough time to play games in my backlog? Well, I'm pretty sure I could've finished a couple of RPGs with the amount of time I have thrown at Overwatch.
But anyway, Overwatch is a total blast to play. Rich with personality/polish, an incredibly varied playable cast, rewarding team-based gameplay, and plenty of positive reinforcement built right within the game makes the consistent fun I've had with it far outweigh the criticisms I could level against it. And from someone who pretty much never plays first-person shooter multiplayer is incredibly high praise.

- Barrel




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1. The Last Guardian


The Last Guardian is, by all accounts, a game that very possibly could have come out and completely underwhelmed; after all, it was in development for some eight years (and more often than not, those types of deals tend to be disasters in the end). But somehow, some way, Fumito Ueda and his team at GenDesign pulled it off.

By no means is it perfect; playing the game can be challenging at times due to some awkward controls and stubborness on Trico's part to obey at times, but the journey is worth it at the end and incredibly compelling. The Last Guardian has some of the most stunning environments and architecture I've ever seen in a video game. The visuals are breathtaking, especially when you're in the outdoors areas and see Trico's feathers glistening in the light and ruffling in the wind.

The Last Guardian is triumphant, its story possibly exceeding what Team Ico had accomplished in its two previous games thanks to a touching narrative that is built on the relationship between the boy and Trico throughout their journey. I can't imagine how Ueda plans to top this, but I can't wait to find out.

- Jason Clement


8 Comments

Solid list and looks to me that 2016 was a pretty good year for gamers. Especially that fact that they got 2 games they thought they may never get in FFXV and The Last Guardian. A few games on this list I don't know so if I ever find them for cheap I'll have to grab them.

No Doom? No Uncharted 4? No Gears of War 4? Titanfall 2? I did expected Overwatch since that's the only game I've played on the list. Otherwise great list. I noticed XB1 games is never mentioned much on GP these days. I feel like I want to represent XB1 for GP someday as a reviewer lol. Just not much time these days. Dx

 

Anyways I'm excited to eventually play the others. Owlboy really intrigues me. Hoping for an eventual console release. :D

I noticed XB1 games is never mentioned much on GP these days. I feel like I want to represent XB1 for GP someday as a reviewer lol.

 

I hear you; I've been wanting to get some XB1 reviews up for a while as well but I think the only reviewers who can do it are me and Lee. On that note, you may see one or two up in the near future, so stay tuned.

 

Also, thanks for reading, TK! :)

I hear you; I've been wanting to get some XB1 reviews up for a while as well but I think the only reviewers who can do it are me and Lee. On that note, you may see one or two up in the near future, so stay tuned.

 

Also, thanks for reading, TK! :)

 

No prob! Hopefully we can play more XB1 games. I've been playing way too much PS4 stuff lol. Would be cool if you can join me and Venom for some Gears/Halo co-op.

Lol, I've only played one game from that list, but it was The Last Guardian so at least it was the number one game!

Lol, I've only played one game from that list, but it was The Last Guardian so at least it was the number one game!

 

You should try FFXV, Laddie! I think you'd like it; I was surprised by how Western a lot of its mechanics are.

No Doom? No Uncharted 4? No Gears of War 4? Titanfall 2? I did expected Overwatch since that's the only game I've played on the list. Otherwise great list. I noticed XB1 games is never mentioned much on GP these days. I feel like I want to represent XB1 for GP someday as a reviewer lol. Just not much time these days. Dx

 

Anyways I'm excited to eventually play the others. Owlboy really intrigues me. Hoping for an eventual console release. :D

I tried to make Titanfall 2 happen, TK. I promise! I think I was probably the only person on staff who played Uncharted 4 (and it wasn't on my own list. Though I did like the ending.).

I have played none of these games :( I am busy playing old games in the never ending pile that just keeps growing. I am sad none of my favorite games made this list So I'll make my own.

 

 

 

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