My top 10 games from the past year.

These weren’t all necessarily released this year, but they have taken my time in 2016 and they have all been excellent.

So much still to play and finish, and to continue! How many of these games will be on the 2017 list, too? Destiny and Pokemon wouldn’t surprise me at all!

Here’s to an excellent 2017, in gaming and in general!

Destiny

Ok, so I just about gave up playing Destiny at the end of 2015. I’d played it mostly solo since release, and grown tired of LFG sites to just do something more than the crucible and strikes.

Then, somehow 2016 rolled around and I ended up in a clan made up of some of my best friends, completing raids, hitting max light (400, only just!!), and basically sinking even more hours into this universe than I could have ever predicted in December 2015.

The updated content, the additional post-game content, the Y3 exotics and skins. It sucked me right back in.

 

Titanfall 2

I loved the original Titanfall, loved it. Figured that a sequel would be good, but it may lose some of its shine.

Never have I been so pleasantly surprised!

One of the best FPS campaigns of recent memory, a fresh take on Pilot/Titan loadouts, and the excellent core movement mechanics of the original. This is how you do a sequel!

 

Dishonored 2

Another sequel to another game I loved.

Another success story.

I chose Corvo, I have no regrets! Blink-strangle-blink-hide body, I love the lore, I love the world it’s built, and I love pretending I’m excellent at stealth.

I need to try and do a lethal play through with Emily, but I just don’t know if I can be that person.

Just Cause 3

I need a game where I could just blow shit up and fly, and have free roam of a space that could let me just be stupid.

This game gave me that in spades, then it gave me the ability to tether enemies to helicopter rotors and exploding canisters.

Looks stunning, provides a sandbox for mayhem and fun. What more could anyone want?

 

Forza Horizon 2

I have played and loved the Forza games for years, and kind of held the Horizon series in disregard as arcadey and cashing in on the brand.

Then I saw this cheap, fancied a Forza title and thought “why not?”.

I’m so pleased I did.

The “story” is a little bland, bit who cares? I was driving a Ford Escort (my 2nd car in real life) in a rally race, across fields and towns, against AI that was made up of my friends’ driving abilities.

It looks great, the cars feel excellent (it’s a Forza game after all!) and it’s a total blast to play.

Halo 2

Playing through this campaign again, (co-op, legendary) was a total nostalgia hit.

The Master Chief Collection is a goddamned bargain, and re-living all the classics is fantastic.

We chose to do Halo 2 first, though because we’ve done all of the others more recently.

The re-mastered graphics are excellent, and hold the original feeling of the game, whilst making it shiny and not look dated.

One tip: doing this on co-op is incredibly unforgiving! One dies, you both die. Get ready to get grumpy!!

 

Overwatch 

A full-priced game that is literally only online matches and a few characters?  Not an enticing purchase…..

Thankfully, this was a gift, and I have loved it since that day.

Bright, colourful visuals. Excellent controls, with unique characters all having their own feel and set of skills.

This is a basic game, built on layers and layers of intricate systems. Each character had a foil, each player can find a character to be comfortable with (D.Va is my “main”), each map is intricately designed for the back and forth of the gametypes.

No pay-to-win, just skins, voice lines and emotes.

Just a straight-up, slick and fun FPS.

 

The Witcher 3 – Wild Hunt

I don’t really make new year’s resolutions, but last year, I promised myself I would play and finish the main quest in The Witcher 3.

I had only seen reviews and videos praising it, and I wanted in on the action! Little did I know that this have would enter the top 10 of my all-time favourite games.

It’s just incredible. Massive, yet intricate, brimming with detail that puts other open-world games to shame.

I finished it, I loved it, I chose Yen…..

Now I have the DLC to play through, and frankly, I can’t wait.

Pokemon Sun

So, yeah. I got this at Christmas, but since then, I’ve struggled to put it down.

An avid Pokemon fan since the moment in inserted Pokemon Blue into my Gameboy all those years ago.

I’ve tried to keep up with the series over the years, playing and finishing the story of several of the releases (Blue, Yellow, Gold, Ruby, Pearl, Black, Y), keeping roughly abreast of the increased array of monsters, the advances in the core mechanics and graphics etc, and “Y” blew me away. The 3d rendered world, the colours, everything. It was exactly how the game should have evolved, whilst maintaining most of how the games have always been.

What on earth could “Sun and Moon” do to improve this? Just more of the same?

Nope! Some tiny changes, some big changes (no Gyms, no HM’s….) and a colourful world with excellent music. It’s an improvement in a way that I never expected.

Granted, I’m not sure about the whole “Z-moves” thing, and I’d only just gotten my head around the whole Mega-Evolution thing…..

It’s great, I’m no way near finished, and I expect this may well be on my list of 2017, too!

 

Grand Theft Auto V

Ok, so I finished GTA V on Xbox 360, then dipped in and out of GTA Online.  Loved it.

Then the prospect of playing the whole game in 1st person came about, and I HAD to go for it.

An already incredible game, with added immersion of a change of perspective, and improved graphics (seriously, it looked great on 360, now it’s just stunning).

Granted, I haven’t finished it again, yet. But that’s because they keep releasing content for GTA Online, and it’s just so damn fun!

Honestly, there’s too much to do for fun, to take the time to do things seriously.

 

 

Special Mention

In the lull of Destiny becoming a stale for a few weeks, we found “The Division” for a bargain at CDKeys and the Destiny clan got together to give it a go.

I played the beta for an hour or so, wasn’t impressed.  Saw the reviews, wasn’t bothered.

Turns out, I may have been wrong! The game is great fun, but only when playing with others.  Otherwise I don’t touch it, and that’s why it hasn’t hit my top 10. It’s great, but not as a solitary experience, so my time with it has been limited, and I’ve not gotten fully to grips with it.

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