Best of 2016: Video Games (Plus 2017 Predictions)

Now before we get excited about video games coming out this year, we need to remember some of the top games that sucked us into their pixelated worlds last year.

Twenty-sixteen was a great year for gamers. Whether you enjoy games on a console, computer, or your mobile device, there were more than enough options to keep you entertained.

Last year Nintendo announced they will be bringing a new console to market called the Nintendo Switch in the spring of 2017. Their flashy new trailer got us excited at the possibilities of essentially having a mobile console where you can play your games anywhere. Besides that, not much changed as far as who had the dominant console of 2016.

Globally, Sony Playstation 4 was once again the #1 console, as it closed in on around 50 million units sold and significantly outpaced its closest competition, Microsoft’s Xbox One. PC gamers are cute with their $3000 machines and elitist attitudes, but even they found happiness with the amount of quality games that were released.

Regardless of how or where you play vids, the top five selling games globally were as follows:

  • FIFA 17 
  • Pokemon Sun/Moon 
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End 
  • Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare 
  • Battlefield 1 

Top Six Video Games of 2016

Outside of sales, what were the best games of 2016? Like previous best of 2016 write ups (Comic Book Adaptations, Horror Movies, Electronic Dance MusicHeavy Metal and top animated films), this was a challenging list to come up with, so we tried to make sure it had a little something for everyone.

Because there are only six spots, we missed a few other amazing games like Final Fantasy XV, Dark Souls III, DOOM, Stardew Valley, Firewatch, The Last Guardian and Thumper. I could go on, but you get the point. This top six is based a lot on personal preference and trying to include a variety of platforms.

6. Forza Horizon 3

Platform: (Microsoft Windows, Xbox One)

This is one of the best racing games that has ever been made. It’s a great open-world racing platform that captures the Australian landscape perfectly, and is truly a fun driving experience. It’s also pretty sweet to have 350 of the world’s greatest cars and trucks at your fingertips.

5. Hyper Light Drifter

Platform: (Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Ouya)

I had to include an indie game that pays homage to the eight and 16-bit games of the past. This will remind you of Legend of Zelda and Diablo and actually began when the developers raised funds via Kickstarter. This game has basic combat mechanics and the sound and color alone are hypnotic as you battle within the sci-fi world. It was another surprise hit and deserves to be on a year-end list.

4. Inside 

Platform:(PS4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows)

Playdead created a 2-D jumping game in a similar vein to Mario Brothers. But don’t let the simple controls fool you because the puzzles and the mysterious dark fiction story keeps you engaged and challenged. This game has minimalist detail with chiaroscuro colors, creative narrative, and an absolute perfect sound design and movement. This is a mysterious storyline with a shocking conclusion.

3. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Platform: (PS4)

If you own a PS4 this is the blockbuster adventure that you need to have. It’s not only the best of the Uncharted series, but it’s the perfect send-off for the franchise. It delivers a superb and wild story, amazing action and jaw-dropping environments. The voice acting and production values are top-notch and I can guarantee you it delivers a ton of fun.

2. Titanfall 2

Platform:(PS4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows)

Respawn Entertainment has produced one of the most original and entertaining first-person shooters in years. It’s pretty awesome that the best part of Titanfall 2 is the campaign missions, and not the online multiplayer action that Titanfall 1 was known for. This is such a fun giant robot brawler game that will dazzle you with its smooth gameplay, and confident design.

1. Overwatch

Platform:(PS4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows)

There are so many things to love about this online, multiplayer, hero shooter game. The cast of characters is fun and impressive. Join a team and start blasting away to a full on addiction. You will not be able to put your controller down. It has become a cultural juggernaut of fan obsession that is a smart, friendly game that has already a huge impact on the medium. It’s the #1 game of 2016 and could very well retain that title for 2017.


Top Six Mobile Games of 2016

Above we gave our top six video games of the year but didn’t include the mobile realm. I wanted to seperate the two and highlight what was a banner year for the mobile world. So many people are still plugging away on older titles like Clash of Clans, or maybe you’re a Sim City kind of person. But with so many great new games coming to the platform this year, putting together a top six was a daunting task. Of course the king of mobile games was the cultural phenomenon that’s known as Pokemon Go, but there were so many other great games that also deserve love.

A number of game could have been inclued on this list, so shout outs go to 7 Mages, Dirac, Dream Machine: The Game, Quantum Moves, Captain Cowboy, Reigns, Templar Battleforce, The Beggar’s Ride, Air Attack 2, and Monument Valley and so many more. Here is my top six for 2016:

6. Mini Metro

Platform: iOS and Android

Who knew a simplistic game about building and managing train lines would be so immersive. So many of us are critical of public transit until we realize how tough it is to plan out. When you first look at this game it doesn’t seem like much, but designing train lines around the world to transport passengers is no easy task. This game will challenge your strategic thinking as you try to manage resources and make sure the general transit populace remains happy.

5. Super Mario Run

Platform: iOS and Android

Nintendo has finally decided to Mario jump its way into the mobile realm and they did so with a bang. This is not just your ordinary auto-runner game, it’s actually a really well polished Mario Brothers game that fans will appreciate. The game is complex enough that you will want to keep trying to outperform your previous score as you try and kill a specific number of enemies, and collect coins. The replayability on this is off the charts.

4. Crashlands

Platform: iOS and Android

This was an extremely fun game to play. You’re a space truck driver who crash landed on an alien planet. You have to survive by gathering resources, building a base and eventually crafting your way off the planet. You fulfill quests and try and stay alive as long as possible. Although the trailer makes the game seem kind of weird, once you start playing, it’s hard to stop.

3. Fallout Shelter

Platform: iOS and Android

Although this came out in 2015, Fallout Shelter really took off this year. Any fan of Bethesda’s popular Fallout series will dig this new mobile obsession. The popular world-building game allows you to build and manage your own post-nuclear vault filled with other workers and families. You keep building until you have a full fledge sprawling underground metropolis. It’s free to play and I highly recommend it.

2. Clash Royale

Platform: iOS and Android

Supercell, the creators of the popular game Clash of Clans has done it again. Clash Royale is a mishmash of genres where you collect and upgrade dozens of playing cards that feature Clash of Clans troops, spells, and defenses. This strategic, card-based tower defense game crams a lot of depth and fantastic gameplay into small, bite-sized bursts of fun. You no longer have to wait on building bases and other time wasters. Instead, Clash Royale pits players against each other in live multiplayer battles in a static arena.

1. Pokemon Go

Platform: iOS and Android

What did you think would be the #1 mobile game on this list? It’s pretty obvious Pokemon Go set the bar extremely high when it comes to creating a game with such a huge cultural and worldwide impact. This game alone revitalized the Pokemon franchise in North America and its use of augmented reality was a game changer. In the first month alone, Pokemon Go saw over 100 million downloads. Sure it was buggy at times and the participation dropped off, but hunting Pokemon in your neighborhood is why this game is numero uno for mobile games in 2016.


Odds on the Top Selling Video Game of 2017

Photo Credit: Bioware

Now comes the hardest part of predicting what will be the best selling game globally in 2017. Sure it’s somewhat easy to predict EA’s Fifa 18 will be #1 and whatever new Call of Duty game should find itself somewhere in the top five if not #2. Other than that, it’s pretty much a crap shoot and a lot of educated guessing.

I’m predicting Mass Effect: Andromeda is going to not only be considered one of the best games of 2017 but will also become one of the top-selling games of the year. And you have to take into account the new Nintendo games that will be released for the new Switch console and the Wii-U, like the much anticipated The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild that has been delayed over and over again. Also in the running, a new Mario Brothers that should do huge numbers if released this year as expected.

So here are our preliminary odds. Let’s have some fun and predict the top ten selling games of 2017 along with the odds of them being #1. Sure, with Fifa in the mix, we are probably looking at who will be #2 and onwards.

For the record, we did a pretty good job last year in nailing what games would be huge sellers. Just saying.

  • Fifa 18 (September 2017): 1/19
  • Call of Duty 2017 (November 2017): 2/1
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda (March 21, 2017): 2/1
  • Horizon Zero Dawn (February 28, 2017): 3/1
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: (March 3, 2017): 3/1
  • The Last of Us – Part 2 (TBA): 4/1
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (TBA): 4/1
  • Destiny 2 (TBA): 5/1
  • Mario Brothers (Nintendo Switch) (December 2017): 5/1
  • Ghost Recon Wildlands (March 7, 2017): 17/3

Honorable Mentions

  • NBA 2k17
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
  • Star Wars Battlefront 2
  • Persona 5 
  • For Honor 
  • Sniper Elite 4 
  • Halo Wars 2 
  • Tekken 7 
  • God of War 
  • Uncharted: The Lost Legacy 

Feature Photo Credit: Heart Machine