I feel like I’m in the minority but Gaming in 2016 didn’t seem all that impressive to me.Sure, there were experiences I missed out on (Uncharted 4), but what I did play didn’t always wow me as they had in years passed. Could some gigantic disappointments be the reason for this? It’s possible, but let’s save that topic for another day. For now, I want to talk a little bit about the games that did impress me this year:
5. Pokemon Go
This may be a controversial pick, but hear me out. No other game this year captivated the country like Pokemon Go. It’s still one of the few games I routinely come back to, as well as one my friends and I still enjoy, discuss, and at times obsess over. Was the launch flawless? Absolutely not. Is the game perfect? Nope. Do I get to play it while travelling to various cities across the Midwest? Definitely. Does it get me out of the house, searching far and wide for Pokemon? You bet. Did I just boot the game up now for nearby Pokestops while typing this paragraph? Absolutely. That right there is enough for me to consider Pokemon Go one of the better games of 2016.
4. Civilization VI
Civilization VI likes to dominate your mind. You’ll spend days thinking of your next turn, plotting out your research and expansion. You’ll try your best to make treaties and not upset your enemies too much.
There is nothing else, only Civ.
Civ VI is the game that we all expected to be good and it still delivered. The experience draws you in with its strategy and tactics before refusing to let go as you can sense your end goals in sight. Provided, of course, your opponents don’t blindside you with their superiority. If that’s the case, then chances are you’ll spend hours digesting what went wrong as you put new and improved plans into motion for the next game.
3. Titanfall 2
Titanfall is one of the best shooters many of you never played. If you missed it, then shame on you. Don’t worry though, because you can rectify your error by picking up Titanfall 2, featuring its improved single-player campaign that I haven’t even touched yet; the multiplayer affair is that good.
The speed and pace of play is unlike most games on the market, save for the other two I’ll talk about shortly. You’ll have to forget your traditional instincts at the door; no camping or crouching here. It’s all about moving across the map at breakneck speed, trusting your hip fire, and summoning the big bad titan to wreak havoc. What makes the sequel even better is that Titans feel far more balanced; you’re not an overpowering machine of destruction anymore and often you have to be far more careful than you would on your feet. The result is an online experience that rivals any other shooter on the market.
It’s hard to talk about gaming in 2016 without discussing Overwatch. Blizzard’s newest IP may just be their best thanks to an accessible playstyle that makes everyone feel like they’re doing something beneficial for their team.
I could talk on and on about Overwatch, but consider this: I own it on multiple platforms (PC and Xbox One) and I’m also considering getting it for PS4. That’s probably the biggest recommendation of a game I can make.
DOOM is my personal Game of the Year for 2016. Yes, Titanfall 2 is just as fast. Yes, Civilization VI is just as addicting. Yes, Overwatch is just as vibrant. What makes DOOM different then? The ability to stay true to its roots while delivering everything a modern shooter should. The combination of its self-aware nature, brutal in-your-face play style, and absolutely killer gameplay make it one of the must-play games of the year.
This is the game for the old-school crowd who remember booting up DOOM in DOS. This is the game for the modern gamer who is tired of the familiar FPS setting. This is the game that can still bring a smile to my face as my head bobs to the music while playing the campaign. This is the game that I get most excited about and tell everyone “seriously, play this game. You won’t regret it.”