Game Of The Year 2016 – Best Single Player

And so it begins. Today marks the start of our journey back through the games released this past year to find those that really stand out from the crowd. We like to spread our love for games as wide as possible, trying to give different games and genres a time to shine, but this year we start with a bang, a titanic thunderclap for Best Single Player 2016.

That’s no easy thing to decide when this year has been so good for games. The First Person Shooter genre alone has been as strong as I can remember, but beyond that there have been critically acclaimed single player games such as Dishonored 2, Watch Dogs 2, Ratchet & Clank and, of course, Uncharted 4.

In a break from recent years where we voted internally, we instead gathered together online to really discuss and advocate for our games – alas, recording this was not possible, or we would post it as a podcast. For each category, we’ll be sharing some of those arguments for the main contenders.

For Best Single Player, they went a little like this:

Doom

Simply put, Doom is an over-the-top gory throwback to 90s shooters, that somehow feels about as fresh as the genre has in years. Having the brutal melee attacks replenish ammunition mean that you are almost always stocked up for the carnage ahead, which is just as well as the demons of hell are not only as deadly as they were in the original games, but also packing more heat.

While the multiplayer is a largely forgettable affair, I found myself sucked into the single player for the entirety of the campaign. It hardly ever missed a beat, whether that’s due to the level design, the superb metal soundtrack, that feeling of the old made new again, or just that I hadn’t had a decent bit of ultraviolence in a shooter for a long time. As a kid that grew up with Doom and being disappointed with Doom 3’s deviation into horror, this reboot was everything I wanted and more.

– Dave

Uncharted 4

The surprising thing about Uncharted 4 is that Naughty Dog actually took some pretty big risks. Instead of sprucing up the series’ existing formula, it underwent a major overhaul. From the feel and flow of combat to meaningful additions such as the jeep and grappling hook, at times it feels completely removed from what’s come before. It often gets to steer away from the non-stop action of previous games with much more open levels that encourage exploration and more tactical approaches to combat.

That said, there’s still an overwhelming focus on killer set pieces, many of which are their own self-contained showcases. The best thing about these is that they’re completely playable, from that initial boat scene to some intense close combat situations.

Though it can lose its way at times, Uncharted 4’s single player is simply unforgettable. It’s an extravagant masterpiece that rival studios will struggle to top for quite some time and a fitting send of for Nathan Drake.

– Jim

Titanfall 2

The thing that stands out about Titanfall 2 is that you’re never stuck doing the same thing for very long. One minute you’re on foot blazing your own trail through the enemy soldiers and robots in your way, the next you’re hopping in and taking control of BT-7274, your loveable Titan companion, except that you’re then handed sections that make use of Titanfall’s jet pack enhanced traversal.

That kind of variety extends to the level design and the set pieces, as the team that helped define modern day shooters with Modern Warfare flex their muscles once more. It’s not perfect – the boss fights aren’t particularly inventive and some environments can be underwhelming – but each foible disappears in from the rearview mirror as quickly as it appeared, to be replaced with a fresh new idea, a new setting, a new twist on the gameplay – the time travel level is simply sublime, not to mention the awesome feeling when you eventually have a Smart Pistol in hand.

For those reasons and more, Titanfall 2 recieves our 2016 award for Best Single Player.

goty2016-bestsingle

Runners up:

  • Uncharted 4
  • Doom
  • Watch Dogs 2
  • Ratchet & Clank
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38 Comments

  1. Wow, didn’t expect that and didn’t expect Dark Souls 3 to not get so much as a mention.

    • I was about to say the same. DS3 was at the very least a contender. I’d even have had Dishonored 2 in the running over Ratchet and Clank. I’ve got R&C and at least for me it’s pretty forgettable.

      • Just a quirk of people having to pick their favourites and sifting through so many opinions. Dark Souls 3 was talked about for this, but more of us put R&C in their lists, so it was shortlisted for when we sat down to discuss our winners.

  2. Not really a great choosing of single player games nominated (not the games I would have chose but they are great games no doubt) but of what’s there I’d have voted for DOOM personally.

    • Out of the selection it was Uncharted 4 for me but I completely agree about Ratchett and Clank which I actually gave up on in the end as I found it a tad meh. But again, Say this out loud and ask yourself if something sounds odd, TSA believe that Ratchet and Clank and Watch Dogs 2 are better single player games than Dark Souls 3.

  3. To all the people disagreeing above, this is personal opinion remember. You’re arguing that your favourite game this year isn’t their favourite game this year. Little bit silly.
    My favourite meat is lamb, what’s yours?

    • I guess it doesn’t come across well in a comment section but we’re just sharing our personal opinions too and trying to be as respectful that TSA’s personal opinion doesn’t match up with ours. I don’t think any one is arguing? Are we?

      And I’m a big fan of beef

      • I also like beef, but lamb just edges it I think.

    • Lamb with some apple sauce is quite nice, can’t disagree with ya there.

      • You can’t have apple sauce with lamb! That’s just weird.

        Mint sauce goes with lamb.

        Apple sauce goes with pork.

        And even more beef goes with beef.

      • Pork. hur hur.

      • Never trust Tuffcub when he speaks of meat. It is 90% likely to be smutty. The other 10% is various subsections of smut.

      • Only 90% smutty when he speaks of meat? Isn’t it just “90% smutty, all the time, no matter if meat is involved or not”?

        I’m hungry now. I want a nice big sausage.

      • Legally, I have to say that it’s only when meat is involved to avoid being sued by Tuffcub for slander. There is evidence it is fairly true. If i said 90% of the time(I am not), it would be slander according to the courts.

    • Lamb? I tried some lamb this year but gave up on it because I found it a bit meh. And what about chicken? Chicken hasn’t even had a mention.

    • Turkey for me ;)

  4. I enjoyed both R&C and UC4, haven’t played the rest but i’ll definitely be picking up WD2 and TF2 at some stage. Probably not Doom though, the demo felt very repetitive with it’s constant shoot-shoot-bash-shoot-bash-bash.

  5. Pretty well deserved for Titanfall 2 in my opinion, it was certainly a very enjoyable campaign. I’d also probably give it the multiplayer award as well, excellent online game.
    As for the runners up, Uncharted 4 deserves its second place, excellent end to Nate’s adventures.

  6. I just finished Titanfall 2 last night. Fate.

    Really enjoyed it, along with Uncharted 4 too. Doom is on my to-buy list still.

    • Don’t know about anywhere else but Doom is currently £14.99 at Argos.

  7. Quite surprising that TitanFall2 won TSA’s Staff Pick. Honestly thought it would be Uncharted 4 or Dark Souls III. Shame that DSIII didn’t get a mention but each to their own.

    2016 has been a very strong year. Doom broke the mold of decade long development = crap by being fecking Doom and showing everything how it’s done. Uncharted 4 wrapped itself up. Dishonoured 2 refined itself. Dark Souls III won back those who didn’t like II. Watch Dogs 2 repeated history by being the second Ubisoft game to go from an ok title to a wonderful one.

    Wonder if XCOM 2 will win the strategy game pick or if it’ll be given it due to there not really being any this year. (That i’m aware of.)

  8. Gave it a bit more thought and Hitman should have been a contender. Maybe it didn’t qualify because it was episodic?

    • I suspect everyone’s forgotten about Hitman because of that idiotic episodic decision. Stuck playing the same hour or so of game for a couple of months until the next episode? Or play a whole game and then go back and play it again doing things differently?

      Great game (and the christmas stuff is fun), but suffered badly due to that decision.

      • Yeh it’s a fantastic game and I hung out until all the episodes where out so it’s still fresh in my mind. But I can see why it might be overlooked which is a real shame.

      • It’s a dumb decision as Edios can afford to do it as one complete game and I suspect each episode was only played for 20 hours at the very most(in total) before the next one was released. It’s not like Telltale where it kinda works for some reason but could be due to it being an interactive show format instead of Hitman being Hitman.

        Really questionable. FFVIIRemake is the only major triple A title that I know has a valid reason for splitting into 3 parts due to the sheer cost of it.(I think).

        Just a dumb decision that may have harmed the franchise more then it did to win back those who felt Absolution was naff. (I felt it was a superb game).

        I wonder if it’s because the story is fragmented due to the episodic format not really working that caused it to slip from people’s mind or because 2016 is a strong year for gaming and Hitman got buried by doing episodes where it could have stood on it’s own if it released during the dead months?

    • We didn’t forget it – I certainly didn’t and it’s pretty fantastic – but as explained above for DS3 and Dishonored, it wasn’t popular enough among our writers.

  9. Surprised Titanfall 2 made it up there :o
    But then thinking back I can’t think of much that made an impression on me fullstop this year.
    Bar maybe Xcom 2’s frustratingly painful legend difficulty, and Dooms killer slugfest of metal madness.

    Xcom 2 for top Strat.. but it’ll probably be Civ 6 :(

  10. Not played any of this years popular games except No mans sky and we all know how that panned out.Maybe a contender for most talked about game?

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