2016 was a roller coaster of a year. There was a wild U.S. Election, the Olympics and the Cubs finally won the World Series. Similarly, this was quite the year in gaming as well. Final Fantasy XV finally came out after a decade of anticipation, Pokémon GO took the world by storm, and Battlefield 1 finally gave us a game to write home about. After such an exciting year, we should look back and recognize the good things gaming has given us. Ladies and gentlemen, MONG’s Games of 2016.
The categories and nominees were chosen and voted on by the MONG team.
Since the dawn of gaming, shooters have been undoubtedly one of, if not, the most popular type of game. From early shooters in the arcade to modern day high tech works of art, people have always loved shooters – 2016 was no exception. The games we had the most fun “runnin and gunnin” in are:
It was very close but the winner is Overwatch!
The year 2016 was filled with good shooters galore, like the gorefest Doom or the parkour antics in Titanfall 2 or even the step back to the war to end all wars in Battlefield 1. However, Blizzard’s hand in the shooter ring this year blew us out of the water. Overwatch gave us the pleasure of being able to play in whatever way we wanted, rather we wanted to be up close and personal, or stealthy and far away.
Action/Adventure games have always been near and dear to gamers’ hearts. There’s nothing quite like going on an adventure, making friends, and kicking bad guys’ butts. There’s a certain satisfaction you get when you complete a long, strenuous campaign that makes you feel accomplished! The Action/Adventure games we adored this year are:
Rise Of The Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration
With over 50% of the vote and without a doubt the winner is Uncharted 4!
Naughty Dog is a studio that continues to impress and this outing was no different. Uncharted 4 built on the mechanics of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd game, adding not only new platforming challenges but also new set pieces and a different feel to the game. Shooting felt as snappy as ever and the flashback sequences really brought home what the Uncharted series is known for. Nathan Drake may have had his last outing, but it was definitely an adventure worth ending on.
Best Indie Game
There is nothing quite like an indie game. Indie games have less resources and need to resort to using creativity and imagination to attract players. Big budget games are great, but a big budget game can never capture the charm like indie games do. The Indie games that charmed us are:
Also with over 50% of the vote, Inside is the winner!
Simply put, Inside redefined the word indie game. Inside gives the player a dark, mysterious, and thought provoking adventure which is driven home with the stunningly designed atmosphere. The dark alleys and creepy corn fields gave us chills and an easy decision when it came to voting for this years best indie game
There is a reason why almost all of the best modern games have RPG mechanics. Role playing games are a gamers escape to a completely different reality. You get to be someone else, live a different life, and feel like a brand new person. The games that immersed us the most are:
In a tight race, Pokémon Sun and Moon takes it!
Pokémon is Nintendo’s most popular 3Ds game, and with 2016 being the 20th anniversary of the world of pocket monsters, Pokémon company was sure to celebrate in a big way, and not just in perhaps the biggest iPhone and Android game known to man,Pokémon GO. The newest entry in the Pokémon series brought us to the Alola region, where we saw not only new Pokémon but new versions of old favorites. New mechanics were a welcome addition that made a good formula, great. Pokémon Sun and Moon has surely left its mark on the series and we can all look forward to how the series improves from here.
The expectation for gorgeous visuals seems to never stop rising. Every year games look more and more beautiful. Of course visuals aren’t everything. However, there’s nothing like stopping in your tracks and gazing off into the distance, seeing gorgeous colors, and realistic beauty. The games that treated us with eye candy are:
Final Fantasy XV
Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration
With a whopping 80% of the vote, Uncharted 4 dominated this category. Uncharted 4 gave us an experience we won’t soon forget, this experience was greatly improved by beautiful visuals to go alongside a wonderful game.
In recent years, gaming studios have realized the importance to good stories in games, and how they enhance the entire game. Good stories make you emotionally invested, and can make you smile, laugh, cry, or even make you angry. The stories that truly engaged are:
Final Fantasy XV
Undoubtedly the story we loved most was Uncharted 4
The tale of Nathan Drake has always been one of awe and adventure, with both Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3 being called the pinnacle of his career. In Uncharted 4, we get what may be the end of his journey as a treasure hunter. Not only does the game take a slightly darker tone, but the sense of family is very strong here. We see Nathan as a family man with his wife Elena, his connections with his brother Sam and even his father figure with the always quippy Sully. And while we get a sense that Nathan Drake may be getting too old for this, he still provides us with an epic tale that is right on par with his earlier adventures.
Innovation is what drives gaming forward. Without innovative gaming ideals like aim assist or auto save, we would be giving Pong 53 the game of the year award. The games that we thought drove gaming forward the most this year are:
The most innovative game of 2016 award goes to Overwatch!
In a time when the FPS genre has been done to death, Blizzard decided to lift inspiration from Valve for its shooter. While Overwatch and Team Fortress 2 have seen their fair amount of comparisons, Overwatch shows us that in a sea of darkness and seriousness, we need a game with oversized men with a rocket hammer, an archer that can summon dragons, and a mother with healing bullets. Blizzard has shown innovation by not just adding new maps and characters, but by evolving as the game goes on adding new characters, creating new game modes, and creating events to coincide with holidays, further showcases the team’s commitment to keep the community active. Overwatch is less of a game and more of an experience to keep going back to.
Since the early 2000s online multiplayer has boomed and become a major stamp in gaming. There’s nothing better than intense gaming sessions with friends, wether they are across the country or across the street. There is no doubt, many of people’s best gaming memories come via online multiplayer. The games that gave us some good times with friends are:
Rainbow Six Siege
Once again, with 80% of the vote, Overwatch takes this one!
Overwatch as a multiplayer game may not seem like much: either you capture a point or move a payload. However, due to the maps that have been constructed, the amount of characters in the game and the different ways they can be combined, Overwatch has become a game where no two matches can end up being the same. The eSports community around this game is huge now, with Blizzard holding the Overwatch World Cup at Blizzcon this past year. Not only is it a fun game to play with friends, it is also a fascinating one to watch. It’s the game that brought us closer together as a team, and we are happier for it.
Best Mobile Game
Many people aren’t as fortunate as others and can’t purchase a brand new next gen console! Some people just don’t want one! Then there’s some weirdos like the MONG team who have next gen consoles, but just have to constantly be playing a game! Either way, mobile games give you fun on the go! The games we enjoyed on the go the most were:
Was there really any question? Of course the reward goes to Pokémon GO! Pokémon GO hit a level of popularity that very few games ever hit. The sidewalks were literally flooded with people playing the game. The way it got people out of the house and on the streets was like no other game has done before. A game that becomes part of pop culture like that definitely deserves a reward.
Game Of The Year
Finally, the moment you have been waiting for. The Game Of The Year award goes to a game that made us laugh, smile, and yell. The GOTY should be a staple in gaming, and in our gaming experience. We should be in awe at the design, structure, and execution of this game. Most of all, when we finally are done playing this game. We don’t sell it or get rid of it, we enshrine it to our hall of fame by keeping it in our collection for good. The MONG Game Of The Year nominees are:
Ratchet and Clank
and the winner, of MONG’s Game Of The Year award, with 40% of the MONG staff vote is…Overwatch!
Overwatch was a game that transcended this year. While most games provide a great story or interesting mechanics or even multiple game modes and an open world, Overwatch provided personality and a community that has been acknowledged and respected in the world. We have seen Overwatch fans of all shapes and sizes, and people have done so many absurd things regarding the game this year. A man made a control scheme out of bananas. Dozens of people played a virtual scavenger hunt for an unknown character. An official video game porn parody was made about this game only a few months after release, and while that might seem like a joke, it actually shows how much Overwatch has meant to the world. It has impacted so much more than just the gaming community, and it usually takes years for games to reach that status. Overwatch has proven to be a game worthy of Middle of Nowhere Gaming’s Game of the Year.
Jeremy LeLaCheur is an Associate Writer at MONG who owes Shawn Richards, Chris Cobb, and Harry Loizides for helping make this article the possible!
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