What a year 2016 has been! I for one am glad its almost over. Yes its been a rough one this year mostly due to that dumpster fire of an election we had in the U.S. There were some good things though and 2016 was a great year for gamers. Titles that had been in development for many years, and even a decade in a few cases, finally made their debuts. There were winners and of course there were losers, derailed hype trains and unanticipated gems. I usually give a rundown of the best RuneScape updates of the last year in December. This year however there’s really only one update worth talking about, but more on that later. This year its time to jump into the top ten business and give you my picks for the top ten games of the year. Keep in mind console exclusives are not included on this list. Only games that you can play on PC are in my list.
I know what you’re thinking why on earth would you put RuneScape in a 2016 top ten list? I mean, it’s 15 years old this year how can it be considered a great game in 2016? I have three letters for you NXT. Its not often when a 15 year old game can get such a dramatic new coat of paint. The new game client brought RuneScape to the modern era. It looks better, it runs better and Jagex can do more with it. If you didn’t know anything about RuneScape and saw it on NXT for the first time you would really think it came out this year. RuneScape is my number ten pick for two reasons the first of which being NXT. The second reason is its still after all these years a top tier high quality MMO with a player base that is live and well.
9. Chronicle: RuneScape Legends
Chronicle: RuneScape Legends is a great strategy card game. It’s different then other card games in that it’s pretty fast paced without being overwhelming. It has been refined over a number of months and gives players a well balanced experience. The RuneScape theme and settings are very nice especially for RuneScape players however you don’t have to be a RuneScape player to enjoy this game. It makes the list for being a good addition to a genre that has become stale over the last few years.
8. FarCry Primal
Coming in at number 8 is a very unique and beautiful game. FarCry Primal takes the world of FarCry back to the Ice Age and it is breath taking. You must fend off both man and beast while trying to bring your tribe to prominence. I can’t compare it to anything its just so unique. There is a very large open world with countless missions and side missions. Crafting and animal taming also play a significant role in this one of a kind cave man odyssey. It can be frustrating at times but that does give you a real sense of achievement when you overcome the given task. This title firmly makes my countdown for its beautiful graphics and uniqueness.
7. Civilization VI
I talked about Civ VI back in October when it released but it has quickly showed itself to be among the best games of the year. Civ games are always good, however this Civ game is the most complete there has ever been at time of launch. It has everything Civ V had and more. Its historical, strategic and fun what more could you want from a Civ game. The only down side is its graphics. They went to a very cartoony art style that I absolutely did not care for. Other than that it’s a great game.
6. Stardew Valley
This game is amazing on many levels. First of all it was developed by one guy. Second, 97% of its nearly 44,000 reviews on Steam are positive. That’s just impressive. In Stardew Valley you inherit your grandfather’s old farm plot and with hand me down tools and some cash you have to make a go of your new life. Its a life/farming simulator that has a way of growing on you. I have to be honest when I first saw this game I thought oh boy another hipster game with old school graphics but it actually turned out to be much more. Stardew Valley lands on my list for its charm and simplicity.
5. Battlefield I
This was another October release I wrote about. This game is so good. It was so refreshing to get a historically based shooter. This is not just any shooter either its WWI. The horrific majesty that was the war to end all wars is perfectly captured in an impressive looking game. Furthermore the era of experimentation in modern war was really well done and Battlefield is the only franchise that could do it right. The single player vignettes are really engaging and it makes you realize that while you are having fun it was a terrible period in human history and you can’t help to feel empathetic to those who fought. Battlefield I makes my list for its beauty, its historical story telling and its addicting gameplay.
4. Titanfall 2
Titanfall 2 is an example of what a studio can do when it listens to its customers not just paying lip service. We wanted more titans, check. We wanted more loadouts and game modes, check. We didn’t want them to touch the stuff that worked, check. We didn’t want to pay for community splitting DLC, check. Most of all we wanted a single player campaign, check. I only wish this game had released sooner or had been held back but releasing when it did was a mistake. The game is so much better than its sales would show. It went up against Battlefield I and COD Infinite Warfare a month later, but in terms of pure fun Titanfall beats out all of its competitors. This game makes the list because it was done right and if you want more games to be done right BUY THIS GAME! As consumers all that we have is our wallet to reward companies when they give us games like Titanfall otherwise enjoy half-baked pieces of garbage that you can preorder two years in advance.
Oops they did it again, here comes Blizzard. What a game. Overwatch is a team based accessible shooter that is fun for hardcores and casuals alike. The heroes are unique and all have their own play styles its fun and tremendously popular. Overwatch is the template for success now when it comes to team based multiplayer shooters. The art style is great while the back and forth gameplay reminds you as much of a moba as a shooter. Bottom line its just fun and well worth the money. Overwatch could have easily been number one on any top ten its just that good.
2. Dark Souls III
Do you like to buy new controllers every week or so? Do you like to be stuck on a single boss for days on end? Do you like building a character only to find no amount of building will help you and you must defeat this boss with wits and reflexes not grindy determination? Well do I have the game for you Dark Souls III. This game is the best hack n slash of the year which puts it firmly in second place on my list. If your one of these people that are just so gifted that you claim every game is easy well my friend have fun with this one. Its brutal and yet its enjoyable. On one hand you rage quit on the other hand you pick it up five minutes later because you can do it next time. The game looks and feels amazing and it’s quintessential Dark Souls.
Wow is Tanis serious right now, Doom for number one, really? Um yes I am, its the best game of the year and here is why. Most game franchises that develop a whole genre don’t continue their greatness twenty years later but that’s exactly what Doom did. It took the fast paced blood and gore over the top classic shooter and made it relevant today. Its even bloodier and faster now. It kept that metal soundtrack and added some surprisingly good platforming. Its classic Doom for 2016. There’s a whole generation that didn’t know the joy of this kind of shooter. They’ve seen twitch shooters and tactical shooters but they never had the pleasure of going hell bent for lecture and turning demon into gibs with a double barrel shotgun. The single player mode is what games are supposed to be. Sorry guys you don’t know this but you’ve been getting ripped off all these years. Multiplayer is what you do after beating the game its not the only part of a game. Doom reminded us of that. I loved this game. Every minute was enjoyable and I am a big fan of what it stood for as well as its actual gameplay. It looks great, sounds great and it is my pick for best game of 2016.
Well there you have it my top ten of 2016. I know some you probably agreed with and some you probably didn’t. If you get a chance this holiday break and Steam has that wonderful annual sale check out some of these games. As for me I’ll be anxiously awaiting 2017. I can’t wait to see how expansions will work for RuneScape. I hope everyone has a great holiday and until next time, Happy RuneScaping.