2016: TechnoAisle’s Gaming Year in Review – Part I

We take a look back at the biggest hits of 2016 in Part I of our 2016 roundup; we also list the titles that were worthy of discussion

Coming off the back of 2015, 2016 had its work cut out. Many would call topping 2015 an insurmountable task. And for good reason; The Witcher 3, Metal Gear Solid 5 and Fallout 4 in the same calendar year is no joke. Add that to the fact that PC gamers got their hands on GTA 5 for the first time, and you would have to wonder if there’s ever been a year better than 2015 in gaming.

In light of these facts, 2016 turned out rather well. Sure, it had its hiccups (we’re talking about No Man’s Sky, specifically). But keeping them aside, players on all 3 major platforms were treated to some phenomenal games. Exclusive games like Uncharted 4 and Gears 4 made their respective consoles proud. Even the PC had a premium exclusive this year in Civilization 6.

In this article, we will talk about all such titles. But we’ll also shed some light on the biggest busts of the year, as painful as it is. Part I exclusively deals with the positives. So if you’re feeling the blues today, this might be perfect for you. Part II, however, will have a bleaker picture of the year. But we end it on a bright note, with mentions of the best indie titles of the year. So, without further ado, let’s get going.

HITS

There was no shortage of big name titles in 2016. Right from the get go, we were treated with arguably the best indie title of the year: The Witness. Braid developer Jon Blow had been working on the game for 5 years, and needless to say, it turned out to be a gem. It was also one of the more challenging experiences of the year, a trend we are starting to see more and more. Sony had all of its eggs in the Uncharted basket in early 2016, with Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End supposedly marking the end of the series. Expectedly, the game was near flawless; something which Naughty Dog seem to have a knack for. And unlike previous years, Microsoft would answer back with not one, but two award-winning exclusives. While Gears of War 4 was already pegged for industry accolades, not just for its gameplay, but also for technical achievements, the real winner was Forza Horizon 3. Who knew 2016 would throw out a candidate for the greatest racing title ever?

Other stellar entries include Blizzard’s Overwatch, another pleasant surprise. Speaking of surprises, Inside popped out of nowhere and took the gaming world by storm. The sheer amount of YouTube videos dedicated to making sense of the ending speaks volumes to its resonating impact. Mid-year releases like DOOM and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided made the otherwise weak summer period more enjoyable.

Fall 2016, more than anything, was a period of an endless barrage of AAA sequels. Dishonored 2 was arguably the most anticipated game of the season, and it held up to its billing, for the most part. EA rebooted the Battlefield series in the World War-era with Battlefield 1, and everyone loved it. Much was riding on the shoulders of Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs 2, and it too did not disappoint. The PC community welcomed another solid entry in the Civilization franchise. Civilization 6, apart from being the best PC exclusive of the year, also had exemplary DX12 support; something particularly lauded.

The year ended in supreme form. Final Fantasy XV and The Last Guardian had been in development for 10+ years, so both of them coming out within a month of each other’s release was a godsend. And while they weren’t exactly Game of the Year material, they ensured that 2016 ended on a giant uptick.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

  • Dark Souls III
  • Tom Clancy’s The Division
  • Hitman
  • The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine
  • Far Cry Primal
  • FIFA 17
  • NBA 2K17
  • ABZU
  • Hyper Light Drifter
  • Darkest Dungeon

This brings us to the end of Part I. If you liked it, hop on over to Part II of the article.