As 2016 gives way to 2017, it marks the end of a year with some major tent-pole game releases and also several newer or smaller games that have won our heart. So, here we are going to take a look at 10 of the most impactful games of the year.
The list is of course affected by my own bias, and does not list the games in any particular order. The same list for anyone else may vary, so feel free to comment on the games that you think should be on this list.
Now, let’s just get into it-
- FIFA 17
Why not start with the most common household name when it comes to games. EA’s mammoth franchise never fails to attract the massive gaming community, and this time it is no different. The inclusion of the new ‘Journey’ mode showed us that the franchise is still trying to break new grounds and innovate. Even though the reaction to this feature hasn’t been as universal as EA would have liked, it still managed to become the fastest selling FIFA edition till date.
2. Pokemon: Sun and Moon
Another massive release, Pokemon: SM is the newest entry to this 20 year old franchise, with the game releasing to some big numbers. Other than adding to its previous 600 odd Pokemons, like several games these days it has shaken up its formula a bit with the introduction of island trials (replacing gym battles) and Ultra Beasts. Coupled with the renewed vigour from the Pokemon Go phenomenon, Sun and Moon has managed to hit the ground running.
3. Civilisation VI
We finally got the sequel to the critically acclaimed fifth instalment of this turn-based strategy game and with some major changes to the core gameplay. From district un-stacking to religious victory, the changes are enough to make even veterans sweat a bit. Though faced with some criticism about the AI, the game has overall proved with its subtle complexity that it is potentially a rightful successor to Civ5.
4. Battlefield 1
A tent-pole in the FPS genre, the most recent instalment in the Battlefield series dares to venture the less known period of World War I. The game received praise for its theme, soundtracks, maps etc. and is considered a major improvement to its recent predecessors. Even though it has received criticism for some minor issues, it might be safe to say that with Battlefield 1, the franchise has now taken a slight lead in its constant tussle with the Call of Duty series.
5. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
The stealth series is generally forgotten amidst the plethora of FPS, RPG and MMOs that come out each year. Mankind Divided is here though this year to take up the mantle. The game allows the player to take multiple routes suited to their playstyle to complete objectives, thus providing flexibility to the gamers in a FPS setting that is rarely seen these days. Also featuring some RPG elements, this game is a perfect mix for players looking for diversity in their games.
It is safe to say that this game is one of the biggest things (if not THE biggest) to happen in gaming this year. Overwatch provides the players with a multiplayer experience so good that you will start to wonder why the hell can’t the other multiplayer games be a bit more like this. With a diverse, colourful world and a rich roster of characters, you are guaranteed to have one of the most fun multiplayer experiences you have ever had. Not to say that the game doesn’t have its problems, but the pros by far outweigh the cons here.
7. Final Fantasy XV
Moving on to the RPG genre, this is one series that seems to be there for a very long time. Since its inception in 1987, the game has changed leaps and bounds. Being a modern day version of the game, it still features all the things that characterized the previous games in the series, the lovable characters, the simplistic yet chaotic battle system, and of course the Chocobos. FF lovers will get their due as they get on the road with the lead quartet.
8. Dark Souls III
The souls series is infamous for being notoriously difficult, and being the last game of the trilogy, Dark Souls 3 has some big shoes to fill. With the return of the game’s original mastermind, DS3 provides anyone who dares to step into its world with an intense experience, and seems to have incorporated all the goods from the other instalments. Though sometimes too much good is not good for you, as you might have heard, and Souls veterans can be seen criticizing some aspects of the game for the very reason. But overall, it is the perfect way for the series to bid adieu.
One of the big names in the stealth genre, Hitman returns to the stage after quite a few years. The game seems to have taken quite a different approach this time around with its episodic releases that has taken some criticism. But to compensate for it, the episodes have been quite good and have featured a large sandbox for players to dab in, which was missing in Hitman: Absolution. Even though the ratings haven’t been as high as one would have liked, you just can’t NOT mention it when considering the major releases.
10. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Now, this is one game that has lived up to our expectations for sure (may have even exceeded it). Being the conclusion to the Uncharted series, it needed to go out with a bang. And so it did. With amazing visuals, innovative gameplay filled with chaotic sequences to mind boggling puzzles, and some amazing platforming, this game is one of the best I have seen in recent years.
Honorary Mentions: Let us not forget games like Inside for its immersion, Quantum Break for its daring concept or Doom for its excellent single player mode. These games almost made the list for me.
Before we can conclude an end of the year review, it is customary to look ahead into the coming year. There were plenty of big names that were delayed into 2017 which we can look forward to but we should not forget about the other new IPs that are coming out, or the sequels. Mass Effect Andromeda, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Red Dead Redemption 2 is some of the biggest games that await us. But don’t forget the likes of Ghost Recon Wildlands with its new open world feature or the next sequel to the God of War series, or even games like Horizon Zero Dawn where you can hunt robots in a post-apocalyptic world. Should be quite an exciting year!