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Game of the Year Awards 2016

Showcasing the best video game experiences of the past year

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Introduction  |  Gameplay Awards  |  Special Awards  |  Genre Awards  |  GOTY

Best PC Exclusive
Best PC Game 2016 Grim Dawnwinner badge Grim Dawn

"Grim Dawn has been worth the wait since its Kickstarter campaign ended four years ago. Using the Titan Quest engine provided that essential first step to greatness, and it helped create awesome locations populated with diverse monsters. The levels are huge and joined together in a cohesive manner. The inclusion of faction alliances, and numerous written logs, helps strengthen the role-playing aspects. Character customization, class combinations, equipment upgrades and Devotion skills allow for a titanic range of viable builds. Once you finish the game, additional time can be spent with bounties, faction quest, and exploration of obscure areas." - Ben Thomas

Honorable Mentions: Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak, Shadow Warrior 2, Civilization VI

 

Best PlayStation 4 Console Exclusive
Best PS4 Console Exclusive 2016 Uncharted 4: A Thief's Endwinner badge Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

"The Uncharted franchise has always operated with certain areas of focus in mind. For the first two games, it has been about story and characters first, gameplay second, and technical visuals third. With Uncharted 4, the focus has shifted, as this final chapter focuses on tons of gameplay improvements and incredible presentation, while the story and characters are not quite at their peak. But even so, almost every element of the game remains at least reaching greatness. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End wraps up one of the most memorable action adventure franchises in gaming. The quality has fluctuated a bit, but this final chapter safely brings the series to a satisfying and technically impressive finish." - Alex V

Honorable Mentions: Ratchet and Clank, I Am Setsuna, MLB 16: The Show

 

Best Xbox One Console Exclusive
Best Xbox One Console Exclusive 2016 Forza Horizon 3winner badge Forza Horizon 3

"The new Australian setting in Forza Horizon 3 brings a larger map, more environment variety, and plenty of local inspiration, from the DJs to the HSV cars. Exploring the world, there is tons to do and a huge assortment of cars to do it with; from career races to Bucket Lists, from developer-made events to those created by fans. Online play is just as free-form, offering something for all types of players. The game also impresses with its visuals. The cars are excellently detailed inside and out, and the environments are also full of detail. The lighting looks simply excellent, as does the nearly photo-realistic sky during the day / night cycle." - Alex V

Honorable Mentions: Gears of War 4, ReCore, Quantum Break

 

Best Wii U Exclusive
Best Wii U Exclusive 2016 Xenoblade Chronicles Xwinner badge Xenoblade Chronicles X

"Xenoblade Chronicles X is a very well crafted action RPG that provides more and more content the further you delve into it. The game can be learned and enjoyed relatively quickly at least on a basic level, and the enjoyable, generally fast-paced gameplay makes it inviting to more casual RPG fans. At the same time, it embeds subtle mechanics and features that are quite rich, ensuring that the diehards will get much out of it as well. Those who appreciate RPGs, particularly with a focus on action and an open-world brimming with tons of content, should give this Wii U exclusive a chance." - Stephen LaGioia

Honorable Mentions: Paper Mario: Color Splash, Pokken Tournament

 

Best Downloadable Game
Best Downloadable Game 2016 Grim Dawnwinner badge Grim Dawn

"Grim Dawn is a satisfying, complex and clever hack-and-slash adventure that provides great value. The variety of environments and monsters is excellent, from zombie-infested villages to wasps swarming within gloomy caves. Watching the snow gently descend upon a mountain-top—already swarming with bloodthirsty cult members—was quite memorable. The dangerous Aether-corrupted land looks stunning, scorched green from crystals embedded into the earth. Grim Dawn has a dark influence inspired by the Diablo series and with this comes a horde of skeletons, spiders, and slithering serpents." - Ben Thomas

Honorable Mentions: Stardew Valley, Inside, The Witness

 

Best DLC / Expansion
Best DLC / Expansion 2016 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Blood and Winewinner badge Blood and Wine (The Witcher 3)

"Blood and Wine is a great expansion to The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt, offering up almost an entire new game’s worth of content. The expansion’s setting, Toussaint, is large and vibrant, with loads of interesting characters to meet and side quests to accomplish. You can even choose to purchase and restore a Vinyard. The main storyline focuses on vampires, and is perhaps a bit lighter in tone than what the base game offered. Anyone who enjoyed The Witcher 3 owes it to themselves to play this excellent piece of DLC." - Tim Reid

Honorable Mentions: Dying Light: The Following, ARMA 3: Apex, Forza Horizon 3 Blizzard Mountain

 

Best Game No-one Played
Best Game no-one played 2016 Titanfall 2winner badge Titanfall 2

"On the PC, I had trouble finding games when searching exclusively for less popular modes like Capture the Flag or Last Titan Standing, but these modes can still be accessed via the ‘mix tape’ playlist which seems to be populated. If the original game’s fast-paced action didn’t appeal to you in 2014, I doubt the sequel will change your mind, but if you like the idea of a mix of parkour-based infantry combat and slower Titan combat contributing to regular moments of profound badassery, it is hard to think of a better alternative to Titanfall 2." - Tim Reid

Honorable Mentions: Obduction, Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak, Pony Island

 

Best New IP
Best New IP 2016 Overwatchwinner badge Overwatch

"Given that Blizzard have never really made a first person game before, their first attempt with Overwatch is indeed an impressive one. With the promise of free content updates and a massive community already entrenched, this game is here to stay. While there are still some kinks to be worked out in the competitive scene, the breadth of play styles present and the amount of fun that comes from combining different character abilities means this is a game I will likely be returning to over the next several years. Overwatch is an addictive and well designed team-based multiplayer game with a bright future featuring a remarkably diverse set of classes." - Tim Reid

Honorable Mentions: The Division, Grim Dawn, ReCore

 

Most Improved Sequel
Most Improved Sequel 2016 Uncharted 4: A Thief's Endwinner badge Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

"While still occasionally entertaining, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception suffered from a convoluted plot and questionable gameplay alterations. However, Nathan Drake's tale was not yet complete, and for that we must turn to Uncharted 4: A Thief's End on the PlayStation 4. The actual story of Captain Henry Avery is clearly communicated and feels quite cohesive, something that hasn't always been the case with the past historical adventures. Players will get to find out pretty much everything there is to know about Nathan Drake, and there's some actual character growth on display. It also has the most impressively designed levels the franchise has seen, combined with solid action and exciting setpieces. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End effectively combines amazing presentation, polished gameplay and a good story to make it one of the best exclusives the PS4 has to offer, and a fitting end to the tale of our brave adventuring trio." - Alex V

Honorable Mentions: Final Fantasy XV, Dark Souls 3, Ratchet and Clank

 

Most Surprisingly Good Game
Most Surprisingly Good Game 2016 Far Cry Primalwinner badge Far Cry Primal

"Far Cry Primal is a good twist on the franchise and a game that encourages respect for the nameless Stone Age warriors that lived before recorded history. The game’s basic survival mechanics give it an edge while still retaining the fun associated with the franchise. The world of Oros is absorbing and the progression system is nearly perfect. There are plenty of good changes that come with the setting, like an observant owl or tamed predators that assist during combat. Despite initial appearances, it does not suffer from the tedious aspects of resource collecting. It is more concerned about giving players a progressive sandbox of satisfying encounters." - Ben Thomas

Honorable Mentions: Final Fantasy XV, Stardew Valley, Doom

 

Most Disappointing Game
Most Disappointing game 2016 No Man's Sky No Man's Sky

"Despite what should be a crowning achievement for the space genre in video gaming, No Man’s Sky doesn’t quite satisfy. Its sheer scope and sense of wonder are amazing at first, but the immersion is fleeting. The core gameplay loop of exploring, resource gathering, then selling your items and jumping to the next solar system grows tiring quickly. You can’t create anything nor is it challenging as a survival game, so the only thing left is to beef up your bank account, craft some minute upgrades and try to make it to the galactic center (which isn’t worth the journey). The technical issues and full asking price don’t help, either." - Alex V

Others: Dreamfall Chapters, Street Fighter V, TrackMania Turbo

 

Even more award winners on the next page!

 

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