Like pretty much everyone who lived through it, we’re glad that 2016 is now in the rear-view, but amid all the divisive politics, celebrity deaths, and loudmouth, Cheetos-skinned presidents were a ton of great video games. No matter your taste, you didn’t have to look far to find a game worth spending time with in 2016, a year that not only saw several long-in-development games finally see the light of day, but also delivered on the promise of VR, even if all three of the leading virtual reality headsets are still too prohibitively expensive for most consumers to truly enjoy.
Really, the best thing that can be said for 2016 in terms of the games it gave us is that there was no clear “game of the year” candidate; in fact, it’s hard to find many lists of the year’s best games that look much alike. We played a lot of games in 2016, but we also missed out on a fair number too, so it’s likely that one or a few of your personal favorites didn’t make our list of the year’s best. Still, we think we found 10 games that represent some of the best experiences a gamer could have in 2016, so without further ado, here are our picks for the year’s best titles.
10. Battlefield 1
Both Battlefield and its main competitor Call of Duty ditched the modern warfare theme with their 2016 releases, but whereas CoD flung players into the far reaches of the solar system in the distant future, Battlefield looked to the past for inspiration and was arguably better for it. As one of history’s most destructive and violent conflicts, World War I has been a conflict very few games have wanted to tackle, but Battlefield 1 does justice to the Great War with a surprisingly excellent campaign that doesn’t hold back from showing the horrors that took place more than a century ago.
Taking the form of a series of vignettes, BF1’s campaign attempts to show the true scale of the First World War by throwing players into different theaters that go well beyond just Western Europe. Admittedly, the game’s multiplayer and its focus on killing for fun clashes with the anti-war message of the campaign, but if you can overlook this thematic dissonance, you’ll find one of the finest competitive online modes of the year. It will be interesting to see if DICE returns to modern day with its next iteration, but as things stand right now, we would be perfectly content if the series stays (figuratively) stuck in the past for awhile.