2016 is officially halfway over, and even though there are still many great games set to launch throughout the second half of the year, that’s not gonna stop us from looking back at the 10 best games of the year… so far.
Quantum Break, the 3rd-person shooter with time-bending mechanics, starts off our list thanks to its unique twist on an otherwise conventional cover-based 3rd-person shooter. The time powers are very fun to play around with, and make for an aesthetically distinct experience. Remedy Entertainment’s attempt to bridge the gaming and TV worlds with live-action sequences was also admirable. While its story was a little anticlimactic, Quantum Break helped further bridge the videogame and entertainment industries.
When we first played any of the original Pokémon games on handheld, we’d use our imaginations to try to envision what our little pocket monsters would look like when they battled. Pokkén Tournament brings that visual fantasy to realization in this fighting game from Bandai Namco. No more menus or taking turns attacking. Pokkén delivers the real time Pokemon battles we were expecting when the game was first announced years ago. It may not be the most polished fighter out there, and yes, the Pokemon selection is very limited, but the overal experience is a must if you’re a Pokemon fan in the slightest.
It was a bold decision on Ubisoft’s part to take the Far Cry series back in time to the stone age. While the game falls victim to repetition and a boring narrative, the presentation, environments and visceral first-person melee combat can create some truly memorable moments. Exploring the land of Oros, hunting game and collecting resources, all while on the lookout for rival tribes, can be a lot of fun. Throwing on the game’s Survivor Mode is a great way to experience the game as well, with a minimal interface, a hardened difficulty, stamina, and perma-death. Welcome to the jungle.
7. The Witness
The Witness, Jonathan Blow’s follow up to the critically adored Braid, successfully built on all the features that made his previous game so excellent. The Witness is a first person puzzle game set on an island. You must explore the island and solve the various puzzles, doing so will slowly reveal the overall narrative. The puzzles are excrutiatingly difficult, but solving them creates an unmatched euphoria. While the lack of traditional storytelling may turn some away, The Witness is absolutely worth your time. The island is beautiful and the quiet soundtrack pairs perfectly with it. You can easily spend time just wandering around the island and listening to the soundtrack without worrying about puzzle solving. If you’re looking for a quiet thoughtful puzzle game then look no further than The Witness.
Ratchet & Clank, the reboot no one expected or thought they needed. Fans and newcomers to the Ratchet and Clank franchise will find much to love in the series reboot, whether it be the outrageous weaponry, stunning visuals, addictive gameplay, or entertaining storyline. The game even found itself with a feature film counterpart. But what really makes this game stand out as one of the best titles of 2016 so far is that it completely took us by surprise and impressed us the whole way through. Ratchet & Clank revived my love for a series that grew tired and kindled hope for a sequel.