Now that the dumpster fire known as 2016 has officially been put out and left to smolder, we at the Dadcade want to share with you our top picks for games of 2016 before we collectively scrub all memory of the year away. Obviously, since we are parents, we didn’t have the time to play EVERY game released in 2016, but because we are gamers we did play a lot. So, with that said, lets break down the top picks (and a few duds) of 2016.
#3 – Uncharted 4 – When the end credits rolled on PS3 era Uncharted 3 I felt satisfied that Nathan Drakes story had been told to a satisfying end. It wasn’t until May of this year that I had learned how much I missed the world and characters of Uncharted. Naughty Dog as always delivered tight, exciting game play and immersive story and memorable moments.
#2 – Titanfall 2 – I loved, LOVED the original Titanfall. While the multiplayer only shooter lacked an actual cohesive story, I found the game play to be unique and exciting. So you can imagine how excited I was when developers Respawn took all the potential of the first one and actually delivered on it. Titanfall 2 keeps all the fast paced multiplayer action of the first and adds a story with the best designed levels I’ve seen come out of a FPS. It is a shame that publisher EA practically sent this game to die choosing to release it between behemoths Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty, but that is probably just because the developers didn’t want to sell a season pass. This is truly the better, more enjoyable of shooters released in November.
#1 – Overwatch – I fell for Overwatch hard you guys. My kids hate this game, my wife hates this game. no other game this year or even last year even has consumed so much of my time and continued to be so enjoyable. I have it for both PS4 and Xbox, I even tried it for the PC. I could pop this game in and play a quick match or find myself playing it for hours on end. No matter how good you are there seems like a role for you on a team. Added points for Blizzard for continually adding free updates to the game in form of new maps, special holiday events, new characters and new modes. This game has not only kept my attention for the better part of the year but it continues to be fun and its only getting better.
Honorable Mention – Dishonored 2 was a fun distraction that offered choice on how to tackle the challenges and missions it threw at you. I spent 20 hours exploring the world as a stealthy empress looking to get her throne back and i look forward to going back to it and trying a more chaos oriented play style.
Disappointment of the year – This one is tough to narrow it down. Do I go with the boring grind fest that was the Division or do I go with a game like Hitman that is actually pretty solid game but with a baffling release schedule? Well both I guess. The Division had tons of promise but the mission variety and actual game play started to feel very stale after the first few hours, not to mention a game breaking bug at launch where you couldn’t access an in game computer at a player hub to actually start the real game. While Hitman was good, Square Enix looked at gaming trends and decided episodic games were the way to go. Each mission can be completed in an hour or so and the desire to go back and try to eliminate targets in different ways isn’t alluring enough to keep me interested long enough to wait for a new mission to be released on a monthly basis.
#3 – Uncharted 4 – I didn’t know I wanted another Uncharted game until I got to the about the halfway point of Uncharted 4. Like Nick said, I thought the ending to Uncharted 3 was good enough to send Nate off into the sunset, but after finishing 4, it most definitely wasn’t. Uncharted 4 is a masterpiece in visual fidelity and story. The gameplay is starting to get old and I wish they would have done a little more with the combat, but overall, this was the sendoff Nate deserved and I’m glad he got it.
#2 – Dark Souls 3 – Dark Souls 3 came out early in 2016 and pretty much consumed my life for a few months. I played it on the PS4 and beat it, and then immediately bought it again for the PC so I could see the better visuals and different community. FROM Software, as you probably can tell if you have been reading our site for the past year or so, is one of my favorite developers and whenever they put out a game, you know you’re getting a tight, cohesive package with cryptic storytelling and a living, breathing, world…even if that world is full of the dead. I don’t know what the future holds for the Dark Souls franchise, but I hope we get more of it in the coming years.
#1 – Overwatch – Honestly, I knew Overwatch would be my game of the year months ago. Also like Nick, I bought this game for multiple systems and have put countless hours into it this year. I think I’m level 114 (starred/prestiged plus 14 levels) on the PC and somewhere in the high 60’s on PS4. To say this game consumed my time is an understatement and even months after release I’m still playing just as religiously as I have in the past. What’s so shocking is that this is a multiplayer only game, and in the past, I have shied away from these types of titles. But what Blizzard managed to do with their online shooter is remarkable. If you can’t aim, there is a class for you. If you like playing defense and sitting back while enemies come to you, there is a class for you. Like Call of Duty style shooters, there is a class for you. There is something here for everyone and the attention the devs give to their game is something others should aspire to. It’s almost unfair for the rest of the games out this year because none of them stood a chance lined up against Overwatch.
Honorable Mention – World of Warcraft: Legion – I have been a subscriber to World of Warcraft on and off since the game launched. I remember playing the first week through all of it’s server woes and then standing in line at midnight waiting for Burning Crusade to release. I have been there for every expansion and I plan to be there for every expansion going forward. World of Warcraft is the one gaming constant that has been with me since college and I doubt that’s going to be changing. With that said though, WoW has been hitting some low marks these past few years. Their expansions aren’t bad per se, they just don’t have the staying power to keep fans interested in between expansions and their subscriber numbers confirm that theory. That all changed this year with Legion and the introduction of it’s class halls, world quests, and other end game ideas they implemented for their subscribers. It’s still World of Warcraft at it’s core, but the ever changing ideas the devs put out there show they are trying to keep fans invested and do what’s best for the community.
Disappointment of the Year – No Man’s Sky – I didn’t have the highest of hopes for No Man’s Sky over it’s tumultuous development. I thought it looked really cool and developer Hello Games were talking up some great ideas. If the game we were promised was the game that was released, it probably wouldn’t have made my top 3, but it would have been a really fun game that I enjoyed in 2016. But that didn’t happen…at all. The game we were promised was nowhere to be found when Hello Games released No Man’s Sky over the summer of 2016. Things like multiplayer or vibrant life filled planets were all missing. What we were left with was a pretty game that had little to do in it and lots of resource management. We were told to keep pushing on, it would open up and the center of the galaxy would hold a surprise. Some people did push on, I did not and the surprise was just another let down (spoiler – it restarts the game.) After warp boosting about a dozen times, I realized that I was the mouse on the wheel expecting to be taken somewhere or shown something and in the end I just left with utter disgust over a wasted experience and broken promises. No Man’s Sky may end up being a decent game if the developers put enough time into the future content updates. I won’t be around to see it though because I don’t want to spend another second in their world.