After a year dominated by a slew of celebrity deaths, political and racial tensions coming to a head, and alarming election results on both sides of the Atlantic, I think I echo the thoughts of millions of people when I say “Good riddance, 2016.”
Thankfully, there was still plenty to celebrate in the world of video games. Not only did blockbuster franchises make their triumphant return, but we saw plenty of original releases from both well-known and unknown developers. And to top it all off, we got to play not one, but two games that were long thought to be vaporware – one week apart, no less!
But first, I have to call out a few games that could very well have made this list, but I never got around to playing for one reason or another.
Stardew Valley and Civilization VI are major time sinks, and despite owning them, I didn’t get to play them nearly enough to be able to properly include them on this list.
Then there were other blockbuster games like Doom and Planet Coaster that I just flat out didn’t even get around to buying. Planet Coaster, in particular, probably would have been guaranteed a spot on this list if I’d picked it up, since the Roller Coaster Tycoon games were my childhood, and everything I’ve seen of it makes it look like the theme park sim I’ve always dreamed of.
And then there were the smaller games like Thumper, Superhot, Furi, and Owlboy that had some neat-looking and really original ideas, but never found their way into my Steam collection.
But, in the end, I felt strongly enough about nine games that made the cut and earned a spot on my top games of 2016 list. Yeah, I’m one short of a traditional top ten, but maybe I’ll get around to playing some of those games I mentioned earlier and one of them will claim that last coveted spot.
Even though there are only nine of them, every game on this list is one that I had a blast with, and/or that brought about memories that I’ll carry with me into the next year and beyond. And I think that’s what really makes me feel so strongly about these being my favorite games of the past year.
So, without further ado, here are my top 9 games of 2016!