How did our picks match up with those of your fellow readers? Take a look at the results here.
How did our picks match up with those of your fellow readers? Take a look at the results here.
From Nathan Drake's final adventure to the heated overtimes of Overwatch, 2016 was an amazing year for video games. Culling down our annual Top 50 list was harder than ever this year, but now it's time to share the results.
Our full Top 50 list is featured in the latest issue of Game Informer, but that won't stop us sharing our picks for 2016's best platform exclusives, genre standouts, multiplayer experiences, and more. Read on to see which games took home honors, including G.I.'s Game of the Year award.
Best Sony Exclusive: Uncharted 4: A Thief's EndBetween Uncharted and The Last Of Us, Naughty Dog is undoubtedly Sony's strongest first-party developer – and it doesn't appear the studio will be relinquishing that prestigious role anytime soon. Thanks to some stunning action sequences mixed with more serious and thoughtful story moments, Uncharted 4 continues to push the boundaries of what's possible, both for Sony's console and video games as a whole. The epilogue alone makes it a must-play for fans of the series, as well as Sony's most impactful exclusive of the year.
At year-end, I like to look back and see how it stacked up for the RPG genre. I don’t do this just because it’s part of my job, but also because I enjoy examining trends (open-world RPGs are here to stay) and where things are headed. Trying to put a year into perspective can be difficult. Most of the time, I find myself ricocheting between the highest highs and lowest lows. I’ll never forget the disappointment that washed over me as I reviewed Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithfulness and realized it wouldn’t be the return to glory I desperately wanted. I also look back fondly on my road trip in Final Fantasy XV, and was incredibly relieved that the game showed progress for getting the series back on track. And who could forget the games that surprised you? I didn’t expect Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth or Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE to keep me hooked like they did, but they both had such fun gameplay and captured cultural parts of Japan that I love.
My holiday break consisted mostly of game playing and friends asking me if I wanted to go see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story again. I ended up seeing it a second time and was able to study it more, resulting in a greater appreciation of the little details that director Gareth Edwards put into the film. It's a hell of a ride, especially the final act where it all hits the fan. A few things still bugged me, like Lucasfilm shying away from including an opening crawl of text. I know it's a silly, little thing to get hung up on, but every Star Wars game has it, and it just seems like a Star Wars necessity. In an interview with Empire, Edwards also voiced frustration in not getting to tack one on the beginning of his film.
When I decided to turn the 12.31 Super Replay into an annual event, I knew the focus needed to be on bad games. People enjoyed watching us suffer; that was the hook that stood out. We used Overblood as the foundation for the type of game we were looking for each year. Blue Stinger, Illbleed, And Martian Gothic were all games that delivered a similar stench. They were perfect selections for the annual Super Replay.
When Tim Turi left Game Informer to work at Capcom, I realized this Super Replay event wouldn't be the same without him. He played through all of these bad games, and, well, I don't think it would have been fair to continue on without him. Out of respect to Tim, we are moving away from the survival-horror angle, and are falling back on my original pitch: it needs to be a bad game period.
As it turns out, there are many different flavors of terrible video games, and I think we found another example in Sonic the Hedgehog that is every bit as enjoyable, campy, and unbearably bad as the original Overblood. The game is simply titled Sonic the Hedgehog, but it's often referred to as Sonic '06. It's developed by Sonic Team for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and is another failed attempt to give the blue speedster new life.
The world of digital trading card games sees plenty of entries each year, so there are many options to pick from. 2016 had many options to pick from – whether they were released in prior years, or in some form of alpha or beta, you have plenty of great games to pick from. Here are some of the best.
HearthstoneBlizzard’s entry into the card game world still has it, and with the recent Mean Streets of Gadgetzan expansion you can get into the mix with new strategies without having to track down old cards. With weekly tavern brawls and daily quests, getting your collection going is much easier than when the game initially launched. We’ll probably continue to see hearthstone imitators for years and years to come. Check out the review for the original game here.
This stylized anime-infused brawl shares some similarities with Hearthstone, but featyures aspects that make it interesting and different as well. With an evolution system that makes timing your plays a critical part of the strategy and a wealth of classes each with unique cards and mechanics, Shadowverse has lots to offer. You can watch us play a few games in this episode of Test Chamber.
Can't stop playing Overwatch? I'm right there with you. The game dominated my spare time this year, with me often playing until the wee morning hours, all in the name of the next loot box or to extend my reign of terror in competitive play. In many ways, Overwatch has given me "one more match" syndrome in the way Civilization begs you to play "one more turn." Overwatch has been such a fun experience that I keep coming back to it, but I figured I could also have some fun with my latest gaming obsession. Therefore, I put together this list to let you know when you've passed a certain threshold, going beyond just someone who enjoys the game and into a fanatic that can't let go. So without further ado, you know you play too much Overwatch when...
You've prestiged more than three times and have an annoying, overcrowded portrait to show for it. Sadly, you know it's only going to get worse.
You've pulled countless all-nighters in the name of getting your competitive rank up.
This year is going to be an interesting one for sports games. While it's no surprise that the yearly franchises will give us plenty to talk about this fall, I feel like the whole genre is at an important crossroads for a variety of reasons. Three years into the current console cycle we're no longer in the honeymoon phase, and franchises should be on the cusp of their prime period within the generation. Will we see a leap forward or a year of treading water? Here are just some of the questions I have regarding the sports games of 2017.
Falling Down the Peripheral Rabbit Hole
VR may be the future, but I don't think its install base is big enough yet to warrant developers dedicating hours and dollars to it at the expense of a good, solid non-VR experience. Notice how EA in particular hasn't jumped into VR as fast as they did with motion controls last generation? Perhaps this has made them more focused on delivering the fundamentals for their titles. If VR can solve some of its motion sickness issues and entry price, sports will be at the forefront of the experience, but I don't think we're there yet.
When my two kids started playing soccer, I braced for the worst. I'd heard horror stories about parents turning into freelance coaches, barking orders and yelling with officials about a game that was being played by five-year-old children. Would I turn into that guy? If those games and practices taught me anything, it's that I ultimately do not care about soccer. I enjoyed watching my kids work as a team with other kids, but if they got a goal – or more often than not, didn't – it really didn't matter. It's just a game, after all. Unfortunately, as I discovered to my horror, that attitude didn't transfer to other parts of our family entertainment.
Right now, our house is obsessed with Overwatch. When the kids aren't playing the game, they're talking about it, drawing pictures of its characters, and writing stories set in the game's world. I happen to adore the game as well, and it's an activity that we've been able to enjoy together. It's been great – or at least it is when I'm not turning into a freelance coach.
In 1992, Game Informer published its first annual video game awards. The one-page celebration of the year featured just a handful of categories, including Best Concept, Best Playability, and Best 8-Bit Game. While the format has changed over the decades, one game has always risen above the rest to become the standout experience of the year. Join us for a trip back through 25 years of G.I.'s Game of the Year awards.
1992: Street Fighter IIIssue #8
Capcom's genre-defining Street Fighter II was the winner of G.I.'s first ever game of the year award, with the staff lauding the SNES port as a "perfect translation" of the arcade sensation. Street Fighter II also won the Best Playability award, while Sonic The Hedgehog 2 won the award for Best Graphics.
1993: Mortal Kombat
In an NBA Jam-themed issue featuring a very young Andy McNamara slam-dunking on the cover, Acclaim's Mortal Kombat K.O.'d its chief competitor for the top slot. That said, Street Fighter II Turbo still got the nod for Best Playability, while Shadowrun won Best RPG, Star Fox won Best Shooter, and Aladdin won Best Translation From The Big Screen.