For the past couple of weeks, we’ve inundated you with our opinions in various categories and genres, from our favourite soundtracks and characters to picking the best first person shooter and RPG of the year. Yet they were all leading up to this point, the overall winner of our Game of the Year 2016 awards.
With so many games having been played and gone in for consideration, we narrowed our field down to the single figures from the categories that went before, before narrowing it down further to just two games. If you’ve been paying attention, you might be able to guess which two games they are.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
With Nate and Elena having forsaken treasure hunting forever at the end of Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception to embark on a new kind of adventure, Uncharted 4 wasn’t a story that needed to be told, and yet Naughty Dog found a way to add to trilogy in a new and meaningful way. It saw Nate dragged back into a world he thought he’d left behind, with even higher personal stakes as a long lost brother emerged from his distant past to sweep him off on a new adventure.
It was, as you’d expect, full of huge set pieces and gorgeous graphics, taken to new heights on the PlayStation 4, but Naughty Dog didn’t rest on their laurels with the gameplay either. The larger environments made for more varied and engaging combat areas, in which stealth was a realistic option for the first time, the grappling hook became an indispensable tool for traversal, and the addition of a jeep that just felt so natural to drive around the sweeping landscapes.
Through and through, this was a fantastic send off for one of PlayStation’s most beloved characters – though with The Lost Legacy’s recent reveal, perhaps not the series.
In the run up to its release, it took a while for me to really see what had people so excited for it, beyond just being a game developed by Blizzard. Its multiplayer leans on ideas that we’ve seen elsewhere, from the bright and colourful graphics to class-based multiplayer and the wide, MOBA-like variety of unique and interesting characters, the universe fleshed out with a series of animated shorts and comics.
Blizzard wove all of those ideas together into a rich tapestry of their own, and one that effortlessly engenders teamwork within the game. You might have a favourite character to play as, but having a balanced team of characters that fill specific roles is much more important, and emphasised by the game telling you quite clearly what you current team’s weaknesses are.
One thing that’s without doubt is that this game will continue to evolve and grow over the coming months and years. We’ve already seen that with new characters Ana and Sombra, new maps, gameplay tweaks, the Arcade, seasonal events for Halloween and Christmas, and the founding of the Overwatch League. Overwatch was a huge hit when it launched in the middle of the year, but it’s really just the beginning.
In the end, there was almost nothing between these two games, as we had a straight up vote amongst our writers. There does have to be a winner though, and our Game of the Year for 2016 is:
Runners up in alphabetical order:
- Civilization VI
- Dark Souls 3
- FIFA 17
- Forza Horizon 3
- Titanfall 2
- Uncharted 4
The rest of our Game of the Year 2016 awards went to:
- Best Single Player – Titanfall 2
- Best Multiplayer – Overwatch
- Best Soundtrack – Furi
- Best Audio Design – Inside
- Best Visual Design – Uncharted 4
- Best Mobile/Handheld Game – Pokémon Sun & Moon
- Best Story – Firewatch
- Best Character – Nadine Ross (Uncharted 4)
- Best Hardware – HTC Vive
- Best Virtual Reality Game – Here They Lie
- Best Racing Game – Forza Horizon 3
- Best Sports Game – FIFA 17
- Best Strategy & Simulation – Civilization VI
- Best Role Playing Game – Dark Souls III
- Best First Person Shooter – Overwatch
- Best Action Adventure – Uncharted 4
- Biggest Disappointment – No Man’s Sky
We’ll see you next year (AKA tomorrow) for the results of our Community Game of the Year 2016 vote.