The Greatest Games of 2016

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Posted January 9, 2017 by Sean Capri in Video Games

What a brilliant year for video games! In no particular order, We The Nerdy proudly honors the ten greatest games of 2016.

Battlefield 1

Sean Capri thinks Battlefield 1 is great

Of all the great shooters this year, Battlefield 1 boasts the most thoughtful, most engrossing single-player campaign. Playing as soldiers, pilots, and everyday-heros from various warring countries is, admittedly, reminiscent of past World War 2 games. But this is different. For starters, many of the stories are heart-wrenching. Many of the soldiers are just kids, teenagers even. I’ve played many shooters in the past and have never felt such a vicarious sense of courageous bravery. Never stale, the narratives are broken up into digestible chunks and each story arc is more interesting than the last. The multiplayer is massive, accessible, and uniquely Battlefield. But in my opinion, the campaign is the special something that makes Battlefield 1 one of the greatest games of 2016.

Read our review.

Doom

Chad Waller thinks DOOM is great

DOOM is an open love letter to violence. It’s the kind of game that gives you a shotgun around level two; it’s the kind of game where almost every gun you get can be outfitted with explosives; it’s the kind of game where chainsawing monsters gives you ammo and punching monsters to death gives you health. It’s 12 brutal hours of shooting, explosions, and heavy metal, and it’s an absolute blast from start to finish. Yet it’s not mindless violence. DOOM is a smart game, one that tells most of its story through gameplay and subtle gestures rather than long-winded talking or journal entries. Doom Guy never speaks a word, yet he has more personality than most video game protagonists out there. He also kills everything he sees, which is pretty amazing.

Read our review

Forza Horizon 3

Sean Capri thinks Forza Horizon is great

Rolling out of bed to drive into work is awful. It’s the last thing any of us want to do. Forza Horizon 3 gave me a reason to wake up hours before I needed to – just so I could squeeze in some extra Forza time. This groovy open-world racing game is the epitome of excellent gameplay and a beautiful execution of Playground’s ambitious vision. Australia is simply stunning and is such a natural fit for the Horizon festival. The setting elevates the entire experience because it just feels fun. Is there a better place in the world to host such an over-indulgent car party? It’s exotic, lush, and expansive. And those accents – how could you not have a great time in this party country? Forza Horizon 3 is a system seller and a true celebration of cars, music, and freedom. To me, this game defines what it means to be Game of the Year.

Read our review

Ratchet and Clank

Bobby Pauls thinks Ratchet and Clank is great

To me this game was very deserving of a place within the Top 10 of any GOTY conversation. In the past when I have always thought Sony; I instantly think Mature games. That isn’t a knock on Sony by any means it is just what seems to have become the norm these days. With Rachet & Clank I feel what Insomniac Games was able to accomplish was make a 3D Platformer. Not just any 3D Platformer mind you; but one that is just as good as any out there. So much so it at times rivals 3D Platforming thats been made famous by a lovable Italian Plumber. The world is gorgeous and pleasing to the eyes from the word go. I loved the fact that this game was accessible to those who were new to platforming and gave a harder challenge to those who are experts of platforming games. The music just fits the stages perfectly and in addition the humor just is nailed to perfection. As we close out 2016 you would be doing yourself a dis-service if you didn’t take time to play this game.

Overwatch

Roshan Krishnan thinks Overwatch is great

Read our review

Uncharted 4

Adeem Khan thinks Uncharted 4 is great

It’s been almost a decade since the first Uncharted came out and Nathan Drake stole the hearts of gamers worldwide. Just as we all have, Nathan Drake has grown too. No longer a bachelor womanizer, Nate is a married man longing for his olden days of adventure, and Naughty Dog has crafted him the perfect one. The gorgeous adventure hits all the notes we expect from an Uncharted game. From epic escapes and intense shootouts, Uncharted has never been more fun. But the game doesn’t rest on its laurels, and makes plenty of long overdue changes. The wide-open levels and drivable areas give a much-needed break from linearity. The introduction of the grappling hook improves both the combat and the platforming. The story is emotional and the stakes have never been higher for Nate, because this time it’s about family.  The best thing the game does is provide closure. Everything from the unforgettable easter egg to the emotional epilogue adds to this sense of completion of a journey. I’ll probably never be able to stop talking about how much this game gets right, and that’s okay because Uncharted 4 is a game we’ll be talking about for a long time.

Read our review

Dishonored 2

Thomas Juretus thinks Dishonored 2 is great

Dishonored 2 proved to be a worthy follow-up to Arkane studios’ 2012 stealth action-adventure game. The kingdom once again is threatened by an usurper, but the game is not content to just have us play again as Corvo Altano. This time around, we also get to play as his daughter, Emily Kaldwin. While there are some similarities in gameplay, both characters have their own unique set of powers, allowing for each playthrough to have a different feel to it, regardless as to whether you wish to be stealthy in your approach or go all out in assaulting and killing your foes in various ways. The unique powers were fun to use, and when paired with the various runes you find made for some interesting encounters with the various enemy types, which this time around not only included enemy soldiers and guards but also witches, demonic dogs, and robotic soldiers. Add in some very clever level designs, like a mansion where the layout can change by pulling a lever or another where you can go back and forth in time, and you have the makings of one of the best games of 2016.

Inside

Jean-Luc Botbyl think’s Inside is great

Inside is unlike anything I’ve ever played – and yes, that includes its predecessor, Limbo. While the two share similar DNA, Inside sees Playdead truly coming into their own. The game establishes incredible senses of atmosphere and style from the very beginning, and utilizes them as tools to develop the world throughout the course of the game. There’s an incredible sense of environmental storytelling here, which is absolutely necessary considering the complete lack of dialogue. The dystopic world of Inside truly felt immersive for the entire time I spent with it, right up to the absolutely insane ending. This is a triumph in game design, and one that we’ll be looking back on for years to come.

Read our review.

Dark Souls 3

Andrew Semicek thinks Dark Souls 3 is great

Dark Souls 3 is the pinnacle of what makes a Souls game great. With its emphasis on a (slightly) faster pace and amazing boss fights there wasn’t many more games this year that were as challenging, beautiful, and brutal than Dark Souls 3 was this year. This was my Game of the Year since I first played it and there hasn’t been a game this year to topple it.

Read our review

Hitman

John Newby thinks Hitman is great

After the “Chinese Democracy” that was Hitman: Absolution, IO-Interactive was in danger of forever losing a fanbase that embraced assassinations with a slightly goofy tinge. Thankfully, the creative team apologized, went back to the drawing board, and came up with the best version yet. Instead of trying to tell a crazy story like that in Absolution, Hitman instead relied on unique playgrounds to drive this tale of betrayal. And all of these playgrounds were filled with fun outfits to wear (Sheik, sushi chef, yoga instructor, Italian plumber) and weird tools for assassination. What other game this year let you take out a target with an exploding golf ball or a poisoned hookah?

The campaign was impressive enough, but IO also added in one chance Elusive Targets, character-created assassinations, and an Escalation mode centered around six assassinations increasing in difficulty. And as the violent cherry on top of this murder sundae, IO released two bonus missions free of charge to celebrate summer and the holidays. One let you take out an action hero on the set of what seemed to be a Michael Bay movie, and the other let you dress up as Santa and KILL THE ROBBERS FROM HOME ALONE!
That alone should make Hitman Game of the Year.
How does 2016 stack up against 2015? Check our our Greatest Games of 2015 and watch our Best of 2015 Tribute Video.

About the Author

Sean Capri

I am a beady-eyed Canadian. I play video games and feed/walk my three dogs.