Topher’s 2016: Games

I played 31 games in 2016. It’s not a terribly impressive statistic, especially considering I’d started four of those games prior to 2016 and several of the games on this list are relatively short. Nevertheless, I’ll break those games down by system—and provide a few thoughts at the end.

I finished many of these, forgot several of them (looking at you, iOS games), liked many, and loved a few.

Some notes about this list:

  • This is first playthroughs only. Games replayed in 2016 aren’t included here, though I don’t think were any.
  • Games didn’t have to be released in 2016 to be on this list, I just had to play them for the first time (or continue a first time through) in 2016. In fact, most of these did not come out in 2016.
  • The 20+ games I played at PSX are not represented here, with the exception of The Last Guardian (which is included because it is in fact a real game and I bought it)
  • This doesn’t account for games I spent a marginal amount of time with, which were almost always forgettable, free iOS games.
  • I own every system from the past two generations, but you wouldn’t expect it given the three platforms you’ll see on the list.
  • Games I ‘finished’ are marked in italics. It’s a pretty fluid term, ranging from completing a story to earning a Platinum Trophy to spending way too much time with a game.

PlayStation 4

  1. Goat Simulator (started in 2015)
  2. WWE 2K16
  3. The Lego Movie Video Game (started in 2014)
  4. Lego Marvel Superheroes (started in 2013)
  5. Lego Marvel’s Avengers
  6. Catlateral Damage
  7. Uncharted 4
  8. Inside
  9. Tricky Towers
  10. Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris
  11. Oxenfree
  12. Dishonored: Definitive Edition
  13. Virginia
  14. Three Fourths Home
  15. Super Mega Baseball
  16. Batman: The Telltale Series
  17. The Last Guardian

PlayStation Vita

  1. Plants vs. Zombies (started in 2013)
  2. Severed
  3. Hitman GO
  4. Volume
  5. Actual Sunlight
  6. Downwell
  7. We Are Doomed
  8. Bastion

iOS

  1. Lifeline
  2. Duet
  3. Canabalt
  4. Sigils of Elohim
  5. Score Hero
  6. Lara Croft GO

_______________________

Some thoughts:

Uncharted 4 was my game of the year in 2016. It was exactly what I wanted from the conclusion of Nathan Drake’s story: huge action set pieces, strong narrative, stronger character development, and fun, if a little repetitive, gameplay. I’ve loved the Uncharted series since I first played Drake’s Fortune in 2008, and Uncharted 4 lived up to my lofty expectations of what it could be despite its slightly tumultuous development cycle.

Batman: The Telltale Series could be Telltale’s best game. I waited until December to play any of the episodes, and I’m glad I did. The storytelling was so strong, and the unique take on the Batman mythos so compelling, that I’m not sure I could have handled having to wait a few weeks between episodes. It was marred by the same performance issues that have plagued Telltale’s releases for years, but even stuttering frame rates, missing models and animations, and a pair of crashes couldn’t dampen the experience. Between this and Rocksteady’s ‘Arkham’ series, we’re practically drowning in great Batman games, and I can only hope the trend continues.

 

The Last Guardian is in fact a real game, and that’s one of the few things I can say about it with confidence. Morbid curiosity got the better of me, and I still don’t know how to feel about this game two months removed from my time with it. I can’t remember another instance of simultaneously loving and hating something so passionately. The game is stunning, especially Trico’s animations, but incredibly frustrating, including Trico’s everything else. It’s a game I’m sure isn’t bad, but I’m not sure it’s good.

TT Games has done a great job with their Lego games, which my wife and I enjoy playing together because they’re fun and they don’t require too much thought, but I’d love to see more long form couch co-op games from other developers.

The biggest takeaway I can find in this list (and in my playing habits through the first 45 days of 2017) is the number of games completed. It’s a habit I’d like to get away from moving forward, as finishing a game isn’t really an indication of enjoyment at this point—not to mention I’ve spent far too much of my time finishing games I could have stopped playing much earlier. But that’s another issue for another time…

What were your favorite games last year, likely fictional reader of this blog? Did you learn anything about yourself as a gamer?

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