I like making lists. I make them for my supermarket runs, to organise ideas that will eventually make me a millionaire, and my favourite, to plan trips.
That said, I am terrible at creating best games of the year lists, for two simple reasons:
I don't keep track of what I play and I usually notice late in the year that I spent too much time on games from previous years.
This year was no exception, so I've made a great effort in the last couple of months to catch up with my 2016 backlog, so here goes nothing (If you are still reading, this is the time to escape. Your choice.)
Don't forget to listen to my GOTY podcast, where Rob, Bob and I talk about these games and others that marked my 2016.
5 - FIFA 17 (The Journey)
What a year for football fanatics! I love football, I love to play it IRL but I probably do it more while sitting down in the comfort of my couch.
This year, apart from the standard tech innovations, supported by a wise decision to upgrade to the Frostbite engine, FIFA introduced a single player campaign where you play as a young footballer, and help him move along the ranks of top Premier league clubs. This is if you manage to play well, because your road to glory will likely pass by a loan to a lower division club as you fight your way back to fame (I won't discuss my progress here…)
This is a simple yet marked addition, being that this is one of the biggest milestones in a game with over 20 years of history.
Also, Portugal became European champion, so my year in terms of football is one of the best ever.
4 - Batman VR (it's really more PSVR to be honest)
So I got PSVR. I know... I know... First generation is a bad investment. Low resolution when compared to the other options. Well, I don't care and I am very happy because this is such a game changer.
I want to single out Batman because it was the most videogame-like experience, due to its features and level of interaction between player and game, since most of the other options available are more of a VR experience than a full fledged game.
I spent 1 hour analysing the first murder instead of the 10 minutes it requires, because it's just so impressive, so lifelike, that it made me feel like I really was in a back alley in downtown Gotham.
It's mind-blowing what this tech can do and I can't wait to see what 2017 brings.
3 - Firewatch
I don't only play AAA games. Sometimes I go for something completely different from my standard repertoire in hope of it hitting that note that resonates with me.
Firewatch did that, because it gave me the feels.
The artistic (sound and visual) design of this game is second to no other big studio production, and managed to deliver so much on a game with a simple premise and very limited area of action.
The relationship between the main characters and the constant change between funny and tense moments make this game very compelling, but I'm still thinking about that ending…
2 - Titanfall 2
I love the FPS genre, but usually because I play quick online games, where it's pwn or get pwned.
But sometimes, unfortunately not frequently, a title appears where I get sucked into the single player, and ignore everything else.
TF2 introduced some really fresh and innovative gameplay concepts that make me want to go back replay some levels right now! Without giving up too much, let's say that walking on walls becomes a second nature and it's not about where you'll land, but when....
An incredibly well designed game that deserves a look by all FPS fans. And I didn't even play online yet…
1 - Overwatch
This has to be #1 because my online play time has been almost exclusive to this bad boy since the day it came out. Thanks Blizzard for delivering above expectation, making me love a game I didn't even know I wanted to play.
Overwatch came out in May, and not a day passes where don't read an article, play a video, view a video or discuss about this game. It's just too damn cool, designed to look like a bunch of comic book characters got together in one of the fastest paced online shooters I've seen in years.
There aren't weapons combination for each class. There aren't upgrades or boosts. All 20+ characters are unique in their looks, weapons, skills and play style. And don't get me started with the constant enhancements and seasonal content.
Blizzard never disappoints. Overwatch is the king FPS of 2016 and likely 2017. And the King deserves the number one spot.