It’s that time of the year again folks… Yep, it’s time for Game of the Year 2016!
2016 has been an atrocious year for most things (Brexit, Trump, Jonny hurt his knee, every celebrity ever died), but when it comes to video games it was actually pretty good! As is par for the course with our GOTY posts, we’ve split this down into a few lists per day, with categories ranging from Best Soundtrack, to older games that took our time up. For all of our GOTY posts, we collected a list of titles from all of our writers, and the winners were simply the ones who took home the most votes. So without any further faffing, here is NGB’s Game of the Year 2016 kick-off post!
The best soundtrack of the year caused probably the most debate for us. Some of us were staunchly in the DOOM camp, with its metal-as-all-hell soundtrack ripping and tearing through your eardrums as you slaughter waves of demons. However, it was FINAL FANTASY XV that came out on top amongst the staff.
Deb: If there is one thing better than the story, its most definitely the soundtrack. The Final Fantasy series in my opinion hosts some of the most beautiful orchestral compilations in gaming, filled with so many raw emotions that my hairs stand up on end as goosebumps sweep over me. Tracks range from a gentle lull to energetic guitars, there is certainly a great variety to be heard; it even contains soundtrack from previous FF titles! Florence and the machine’s rendition of ‘Stand by Me’ is beautiful and is a moment that I will certainly never forget! Final Fantasy XV is another game who’s soundtrack will take pride place in my collection and one I will listen to for a long time to come, so much so that I had to order the limited edition OST!
Adam: Final Fantasy games are known for their soundtrack and XV is no different. Square Enix have also made it so you can even listen to the previous soundtracks in your Regalia! However, the main theme and chocobo music (Best yet!) make this my favourite soundtrack of the year.
This award was almost titled “The No Man’s Sky Award”, given the *ahem* turbulent time the game has had this year, but we did get a couple of votes for other titles. (Dis)honourable mentions go to Mafia 3 and Homefront: The Revolution, but it was painfully clear that NO MAN’S SKY was going to take this one, for a number of reasons.
Nick: No Man’s Sky is a decent game, which is what hurt it the most this year. With some strange marketing choices and a slightly over-eager publisher in Sony, No Man’s Sky was hyped beyond its means. I feel there’s still more to come from this game, to hopefully satisfy those lofty expectations a little.
Gari: Huge hype and potential ended up causing a right old mess for Hello Games and Sony with No Mans Sky. Not only was the game promised to be more expansive and full of rich content, it was let down by poor repetitive gameplay that felt rushed and underdeveloped. Its better now than it was, but it should’ve been like that when the game launched and not 4 months after release.
BEST EXCLUSIVE GAME
Possibly the most overwhelming vote we had this year. Everyone that voted in this category bar one voted for UNCHARTED 4: AMONG THIEVES. This also featured in many top 10 overall lists as well, so come back later in the week for everyone’s views on that one…
BEST VR GAME
VR was the big thing that hit in 2016 – With a huge marketing push for the ultra-high end with the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, as well as the console space’s introduction to VR with the PlayStation VR headset. A few of us had hands on time with all of these, and with honourable mentions going to Rez Infinite and Elite: Dangerous – Horizons VR, the game that came out on top was overwhelmingly the fantastic JOB SIMULATOR.
Jonny: A fairly uninteresting sounding concept that really shows the feeling you get from a well-crafted VR game that you can do anything in that virtual space. Also a great outlet for anyone who just wants to be a belligerent twat in reality but can’t get away with it.
And that, dear reader, is day 1! Join us tomorrow for 4 more categories, including Best “Old” game, Best Surprise, Best “Free” game, and our Most Anticipated of 2017!
We will also have a podcast tomorrow with all of the discussion from today’s winners as well