10 absolute best games of 2016

My picks for the best video games of the year.

Titanfall 2

Since I’ve already share my opinion about the most innovative games of 2016, here’s a rundown of the games that held my attention the most, had some cinematic qualities that are on par with Hollywood movies, or simply offered the best gaming experience.

1. Battlefield 1

No game held my attention as much as Battlefield 1. It’s cinematic and photo-realistic at times, with unusual gameplay elements like using a sniper decoy. Yet, it’s the stories -- told for each mission -- that hit home the main point about war being like hell on earth.

2. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

COD is that go-to series for a pure adrenaline rush but what I like most about this latest entry is that it feels like you are in a science fiction movie. There are quite a few memorable moments, which is one reason these games are so compelling. (Meaning, it’s not all about the kill.)

3. Overwatch

The real story with Overwatch is that it is a return to the classic first-person shooter mechanic of pure visceral fun. There are so many characters to choose from, so many dynamics to the weapons, that you can’t stop playing.

4. FIFA 2017

The AI keeps getting better in the FIFA series, and this release is so convincing that I kept playing to see how the computer-controlled players would react. The more you play, the more you notice the surprising ball dynamics, headers, and momentum changes.

5. Inside

Inside is both an innovative game and a really engaging experience. I consider it one of the best games of 2016 because of the memorable gameplay and design, but also because you want to keep going back to it and even replay some of the levels (and the ending is astounding).

6. Final Fantasy XV

The main innovation of Final Fantasy XV, as I’ve already noted, is that the gameworld is so massive. The reason it is a best game of the year is due to the creatures, some of which you find by accident driving over a ravine and see them off in the distance. It’s an experience.

7. Star Wars: Battlefront

Some of my favorite games of the year ended up on my innovative game list as well. For sheer visceral and visual quality, Star Wars: Battlefront deserves even more credit. It feels like you are in the Star Wars universe. Seeing Han Solo run by shooting at you only helps.

8. Titanfall 2

I was really roped into the story in Titanfall 2, especially in the first few opening levels. I won’t say the gameplay is that unusual -- it mirrors what you see in the original game -- but the overall experience is on par with any tentpole movie and the graphics are otherworldly.

9. Forza Horizon 3

This racing series continues to dominate, and the fact that the latest game now offers an add-on for winter racing (and driving up mountains) makes it even better. The new Polaris RZR side-by-side addition gives you a bit more off an off-roading experience.

10. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

My other top pick is a personal favorite. The Uncharted series always includes several death-defying leaps, a story that holds your attention, and some cool climbing gameplay. The multiplayer addition adds tremendously to the series.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

Bing’s AI chatbot came to work for me. I had to fire it.
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