I’m always late to the party, so I don’t see why my Top 5 list should be any different. Only trouble is everyone has already listed my favourite games. So I’m going to have to cheat. If this year has taught me anything, it’s that cheating is OK – as long as you lay the groundwork early to justify yourself.
So, I’m going to cheat. Because, I can’t just repeat the same glowing compliments that everyone else has used to describe this year’s great games. I can’t roll out the same Top 5 games.
Although, I think I just did.
I considered doing a Top 5 sports games. Not just the best sports games, the sports games I spent the most time playing.
But, it might be a little too niche. Also, it’s a bad list. FIFA should be there - I have no excuse. I want to add Don Bradman 17, but only because I like cricket. Weirdly, I quit both WWE and PES out of frustration, so I’m not sure why they would even make it. Also, I didn’t play any MLB this year, so that list would be a lie from the start.
But lying is fine, and so is being divisive, smug, and just plain horrible. So, in the spirit of 2016 here are the Top 5 games that let me down, and made me spend the last twelve months playing old games and watching Let’s Plays.
One hundred percent my kind of game. Long and lyrical, wide-open environments, and time to explore. A game that lets you immerse yourself in the experience.
Never bought it, never played it, and I am so glad.
I’m a huge fan of the original Mirror’s Edge. When it released, nobody else liked it but me. If they say they did, they’re lying. I played it to death, played the story multiple times, did the speed runs, unlocked all the time trials, and never did get the knack of wall running. The original game’s linear narrative gave every run a breathless urgency.
Catalyst’s open world lost that. It quickly felt like a lot of random and repetitive running, jumping, ducking, and diving, all in a disconnected void.
I have no logical reason to hate Final Fantasy XV, except my own issues. The boys are too pretty, the girls are too sexualised, and the banter is too bantery. The bane of 2016 – banter.
I get the whole Musketeer/Stand By Me roll-call of characters. The main guy driving the story, and his mates – the big guy, the serious guy, and the comic relief. But, I’ve never liked Final Fantasy as much since it went real-time, since it became a button masher, and no matter what they do, I’ll always want more over-powered summons.
I was so looking forward to Mafia III. Urrrgh.
There are a couple of reasons why I’m lukewarm on the Uncharted series. Firstly, the politics of the game. American fortune hunters charging ‘round the world, stealing historically and culturally significant artifacts for profit. If you’re the local police or army you would have to stop them, and search them, and arrest them – that’s your job. For doing your job you’d get kung-fu kicked off a building. That’s the reason I’d like to give for not liking it.
The real reason is I’m a lifelong Tomb Raider fan. So, it’s not just that Uncharted is a rip-off of Tomb Raider, with a male lead – it’s the fact that it’s always been a better game. That really gets me.
Fine. Most of my issues are my own unrealistic expectations, or just petty preferences and prejudices. But, now I’ve started, it’s hard to stop. I want to criticise Watch Dogs 2 for reminding me of Mr. Robot, Far Cry Primal for being too short, and Dark Souls III for being just another Dark Souls game, despite it being my favourite franchise. It’s hard to stop the vacuous rhetoric once you start.
So, to end on a positive note. The best game of 2016. A game that can’t be criticised in any way, that was the undoubted highlight of the gaming year.
The Last of Us: Part 2.
Yeah, I know. But I did hit play fifty times on the trailer, and that's like playing a game.
The Last of Us: Part 2 – game of the year. Sure it’s a cheat. What can I say?
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