It’s almost time to get to our top ten, but before we do, let’s talk about the ones that didn’t quite make it. The “Best of the Rest” for Game of the Year 2016, if you will.
For clarity, the way that we calculate our GOTY list is by getting a top ten list from all of our writers, then assigning a score to each game, and totting up the scores to give us our final list. Today’s list primarily consists of games that not everyone got a chance to play, or just didn’t resonate with everyone particularly well. So with that, here are our games that didn’t quite hit our top ten.
Possibly the most controversial entry that didn’t hit the top ten. Easily one of the most high profile multiplayer games released this year, Overwatch has been a phenomenal success and is one that didn’t make our full list simply because not everyone got a lot of hands-on time with it.
Charles: I have really enjoyed playing a game that isn’t all about getting the best K:D ratio. Don’t get me wrong, it’s always nice to place top of the score board, but when you get recognition for keeping team mates alive as Mercy, or blocking a weapons-grade amount of damage with a hefty shield as Reinhardt the feels are just as good!
I’ve also really enjoyed playing with friends on the PC. Over the last few years, my console based circle of gamers has dwindled, but on the PC they are going strong. Overwatch has done well to cater for differing play styles with an impressive roster of characters that suits each individual differently. This enables a wider catchment for friends gaming together, but equally, you can hop on with randoms and not worry that the “Rambo’s” of the world aren’t up for helping the team because plenty of other folk are.
A game that had strong expectations, given that it had come from some of the minds behind Journey, Abzu ended up hitting Ben a lot harder than he ever anticipated, as mentioned in his review.
Ben: Abzu came along at the exact right moment for me. After slipping back into what I can only describe as a very deep depression earlier in the year, this wonderful diving sim came along with almost medicinal qualities behind it. A game that I could, and have, quite happily sit in for hours on end without really doing much, Abzu is a game that I will forever hold very dear.
Gari: If you own an Xbox One, then Quantum Break is a title that you’ll see like no other on the market. Not only does it have a great story (incorporated with a tv style show), the game also has some of the best and unusual gameplay elements ever incorporated into a video game that works around time manipulation. Quantum Break is so unique and theres unlikely to be anything like it in the near future. Fantastic.
A game that seemingly split the team, Dishonored 2 was a bit of a Marmite game for most of us. Whilst not quite hitting the heights of the original title, it was still a worthy game for a few of us.
Robin: The first Dishonored offered gamers a massive amount of choice and flexibility in how they could tackle every part of the game. Whilst Dishonored 2 somehow feels more linear in the way it is put together, each set piece and assassination still feels like an opportunity to experiment and test yourself, to find the most effective, efficient and fun solutions to the presented scenario. A welcome return to the Steam punk setting of the first title, but Arkane will probably need to develop the idea somewhat if a third entry is planned.
PLANTS VS ZOMBIES: GARDEN WARFARE 2
An FPS with a difference, PVZ:GW2 took everything great about the first game and crammed it into a frenetic shooter that wasn’t all about blood, guts and bullets.
Deb: I was a huge fan of the original game and I never imaged that PopCap and EA could top themselves so well! As someone who is not so great with shooters, this series makes the experience so much fun and is friendly enough for all ages to enjoy. PvZGW2 is a prime example where developers really listen to feedback and act on it, and for that they have my sincerest respect and gratitude. The multiplayer modes were bigger and badder than ever before and the inclusion of solo play gave everyone something to enjoy, either alone or with friends. The world was much more free and immersive, and the new character classes added a great new dynamic to PvZ combat. PvZGW2 was certainly the best in regards to support, rewarding long term players and not forgetting their past roots. DLC as before was free, with constant updates that really give you something to keep coming back for. It is for these reasons that this series will always have my support, I can’t wait for more!
A “walking simulator” with a strong art style and writing that far surpassed everyone’s expectations, Firewatch was a game that took us all by surprise in just how well it nailed the tones of friendship, romance, and winding yourself up to think something scary was going to happen but never materialised…
Nick: Firewatch is a different pace of game than most of it’s competition, but Campo Santo’s mystery game grants the player a gorgeous place to get lost in, as well as some of the best script work you’ll have seen all year. Protagonist Henry and his boss, Delilah, remain opposite ends of a radio and I found it a joy seeing the relationship between the two unfold, especially with such an inviting backdrop to do it in.
And there we have it! There are more games discussed in the video and the podcast (Which will arrive later today), but this should see you through to tomorrow, when we’ll start counting down our top ten games of the year!