2016 was an odd year of gaming for me. I played some solid games, felt some disappointment, and found myself favoring indie titles (which was refreshing) over AAA’s. It didn’t seem like the strongest year for gaming, but I also have some titles like Watch Dog’s 2
that are still on my backlog.5. Mafia 3
If it wasn’t for the prominently repetitive mission types, this game would rank higher on my list (it had so much potential to be more!). Despite this, there’s just enough to enjoy with Mafia 3‘s open-world revenge story. The story, music, and atmosphere are engaging enough to make the game fun. The soundtrack alone is worth it.
4. Tom Clancy’s The Division
Despite some frustration with the Dark Zone and some initial balancing issues, The Division is an open-world shooter that I have returned to several times. Accept the grind and there’s plenty for players to do in a pandemic-ridden New York City. It’s best played with friends for maximum fun and minimal frustration.
I’ve referred to Firewatch as an indie-gem, and I still hold onto that sentiment. Some players weren’t a fan of the ending, but I found much to enjoy in the journey, even if the game can be completed in a few hours. The characters were engaging, the voice acting was excellent, and the setting was artful. If you’re looking for something unique or for a game where you don’t need to rush, Firewatch might be for you.
2. Stardew Valley
My inner child was elated with Stardew Valley. The nostalgia alone was worth it, and I’m very happy for its success. This RPG embraces the country/farming/community life with a slower pace and plenty of room for farming, crafting, and mining. Fans of Harvest Moon or Rune Factory will feel at home with this title. Combined, I’ve probably put 100+ hours into it on my PC and PS4.
1. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Uncharted 4 is visually stunning and is perhaps still the prettiest game available on the PS4. It was easy to forgive the developers for the game’s launch delays. Nathan Drake returns in this game with an exciting story, fluid mechanics, solid level design, and quality voice acting. And if you’ve read my review for Uncharted 4, you know that it’s the little things, like the animations or the splattering of mud from the vehicles, that take this game from being good to great.