2016 was a crappy year, but luckily I had video games to distract me from all the negativity in the world. I played a lot of good and some bad stuff this year, and so I wanted to make a top 10 of my favorites. I’m going to be including games that I’VE played this year, regardless of when they were released, since I didn’t play a lot of stuff from this year. I’ll also include games I may have started in a previous year but completed this year.
10) Attack on Titan
This game does a good job of capturing the high-paced combat seen in the anime. It improves heavily on the gameplay of the 3DS game released a few years prior, but the lack of a character creator makes the game feel less immersive than the 3DS game.
9) Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam
While this game doesn’t have the character development seen in previous installments, the writing is still extremely hilarious. The battle system is enjoyable, and there’s plenty of content for completionists like me.
A fun game to play in short bursts (I usually play it during class). The game is challenging in all of the right ways, and the soundtrack is phenomenal.
7) Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures
This game perfectly captures the immature humor of the web series and combines it with a catchy soundtrack and fun gameplay. The game’s higher difficulties are kind of a let down though; removing the ability to save makes it difficult to actually attempt these modes, as they must be completed in a single sitting.
6) South Park: The Stick of Truth
Easily the most hilarious game I’ve ever played, Stick of Truth does a great job of recreating the show’s humor and art style. I was continuously shocked at how mature the jokes could get. Having a customizable character as the protagonist adds to the game’s immersion, and the combat system was well-designed, although I feel there could’ve been less emphasis on quick-time events.
5) Pokemon Go
This game is constantly referred to now as a dead fad, but I still use the app every day (Misha reference intended). I love using the app as a time-waster when out and about, and I enjoy training my team, even though I have yet to keep a gym for more than a day.
4) Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon
This game blew me away. I expected a simple, fun Pokemon spinoff. What I got were brilliantly-developed characters, an engaging and deep story, an ending that legitimately left me depressed for a few days, and an extensive post-game that not only wrapped up this depressing ending, but provides plenty of replayability. I cannot recommend this game enough.
3) Pokemon Sun
After Pokemon X left me disinterested in the main series Pokemon games, Pokemon Sun renewed my interest. So much has changed to prevent the game from feeling like a chore (removal of HMs, time-based stat raising, etc.). In addition, the characters are all lovable, and the plot is engaging, although I felt that the ending didn’t live up to my expectations of an epic final battle. The plot also seemingly ends on a cliffhanger, but I’m still doing the post-game, so I don’t know if it it ever gets resolved or not.
2) Xenoblade Chronicles
I tried this game out mainly because it was the only New 3DS exclusive game at the time. I only knew Shulk as the meme-inspiring goofball he was in Smash Bros., but I was pleasantly surprised at the dark story Xenoblade had to offer. I also loved the orchestrated soundtrack, European voice acting, and the battle system that keeps the player engaged. A big complaint I have with this game is the ending; while the majority of the game was a mix of sci-fi and fantasy, the final chapter of the game throws this unique plot out the window in favor of almost every known JRPG trope. But because I enjoyed the rest of the game so much, this ending doesn’t detract from my experience too much.
Many people, myself included, get annoyed by how much this game is discussed. But it really does deserve all the praise it gets. Undertale has an extremely fun battle system, replayability in the form of multiple endings, well-written dialogue, and what is in my opinion the best video game soundtrack of all time. I do feel that the plot isn’t as polished as it could be, with the Pacifist route having several plot holes and leaving me with a sense of incompletion. The game also relies a bit too heavily on references, with certain segments seeming like borderline plagiarism. But, regardless of its flaws, I enjoyed this game, its lore, and its various fan works too much to not put it as my favorite game that I’ve played in 2016.
So, those are my pics. Feel free to let me know what you think, as well as your favorite games you’ve played this year. My first year on this site has been a good one, and I look forward to more good things (in the world of gaming, because real life is screwed) next year.