2016 was an especially exciting year for gaming. There were a lot of great games but these stood out above the rest for me (and maybe for many of you as well).
Overwatch is my game of the year. The game has brought in many players who have never even played Blizzard games before, giving the company many new fans. Along with the traditional first-person shooter fare, there is a hero for every type of player and an XP system that rewards each playstyle fairly. Whether you like to go guns blazing or play a support character you can contribute to victory equally. Overwatch has an active community for players and the developers are also very active in seeking feedback from players. The option of many game modes gives beginners and hardcore players something to love.
World of Warcraft: Legion
Many people thought the franchise was in its death throes after Warlords of Draenor, but Blizzard promised to improve and delivered strongly to those who doubted whether or not the company really cared about the franchise. It has been estimated that Legion has had 15 million subscribers, although official numbers are still unknown.
Final Fantasy XV
Square Enix time doesn't necessarily translate to our idea of time—but as someone who has been playing Final Fantasy since I first heard about it (that's around the mid-90s), this game shows that Square Enix's investment into the franchise is far from over. This is ironic given that the very first Final Fantasy game was meant to be the final game that the company (then known as Square) would ever release, but commercial and critical praise has kept the franchise alive even 30 years later. The newest installment offers players a massive and beautiful world to explore. It features classic JRPG combat mechanics and a number of other meaningful mechanics that make this adventure road trip feel genuine and fun.
Dark Souls III
Nothing says difficult like Dark Souls III. Considered to be one of the hardest games of its genre, it keeps players coming back for more and challenging players with a very intricate combat system designed to keep you on your toes.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
2016's Game of the Year had risen above and beyond the crowded adventure/RPG genre that became popular in the 2010s. Exploring the massive map, completing quests, and eventually completing the game could take you over 100 hours according to developerCD Projekt RED. It is packed with fantastic content and an engaging story. While offering exceptional gameplay, the requirements for the highest graphics settings on PC might break your bank but it may be worth it to see this stunning world in 4K.
The spiritual successor to the Harvest Moon series, Stardew Valley had the charm of classic RPG action that appealed to RPG fans and gamers in general. The rather mundane task of farming is also balanced by the opportunity to pursue social opportunities such as marriage. The minimal graphic requirements make it a great option for those with lower-end computers.
Those growing up with Pokemon can now take it with them wherever they go with Pokemon Go. The game has not only had a positive effect on one's physical health but also on one's mental health. Many people have taken the nostalgia with them and combined it with modern technology, creating many Pokemon GO meetups around the country and around the world. While the game is limited to catching Pokemon, hatching eggs by walking, and battling for control of gyms, the developers are constantly adding new features that will hopefully engage more and more past and current players of the franchise.
The latest installment in the franchise allowed the player to immerse themselves into the life of a soccer (football) player, Alex Hunter, in his journey in the Premier League, one of the most popular sports leagues in the world. For those who follow the sport, FIFA 17 can be one of the most intensive sports games yet and one of the most rewarding. The winner of the FIFA Interactive World Cup can not only win $200,000 in prize money but meet soccer stars such as Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi at the Best FIFA Football Awards.
While many people believe turn-based games are boring and time-consuming, they require plenty of thought and planning. I believe that the franchise's gameplay requires the same train of thought as chess. Civilization VI is a good example of the turn-based RTS, still keeping its popularity almost two decades after its release. The idea of multiple routes to win games—whether it be crushing your enemies, building Wonders, being technologically advanced or even world peace—keeps players of all play styles engaged.
Dead By Daylight
If you've wanted to play both sides of a survival horror game, Dead By Daylight is your chance. You can either seek to kill or be killed along with your friends. For the survivors, you can either be selfish and ensure your own survival or work together to make sure you all escape. For the killers, one can choose between several distinct roles to make sure no one makes it out alive.