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We did it. We picked the 10 best games of 2016, and you better agree with us (because we don’t even agree with us).

After hours of consideration, the GamesBeat crew has chosen its Game of the Year and its overall top 10. This is separate from our personal lists, which you can find here. This list represents our staff as a whole. To come up with this top 10, we didn’t vote — we argued and deliberated, and you can listen to our conversation to see how we came up with our picks for yourself.

Click play below, download the podcast on iTunes, or watch the video above to hear our Game of the Year discussion. And to see what we picked, scroll a bit further to see our countdown.

10. Darkest Dungeon

Seeing an entire group of monsters dodge your attacks builds up stress (and for me, tears).

Above: Seeing an entire group of monsters dodge your attacks builds up stress (and for me, tears).

Image Credit: Jason Wilson/GamesBeat

Developer: Red Hook Studios
Publisher: Red Hook Studios
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PC, Mac, Vita


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Darkest Dungeon is a Lovecraftian horror role-playing game that will drive you and your characters insane. You guide a party of adventurers through dingy catacombs of a mansion in search of relics and treasure, but you are likely to find death and disease. The challenge is to keep your team alive long enough — avoiding the permadeath mechanic — to empower them with the strength to take on the variety of obstacles Darkest Dungeon will throw at you. That is difficult, but it is also rewarding — and it doesn’t hurt that the game is beautiful looking in its own way.

GamesBeat managing editor Jason Wilson: “My favorite role-playing game this year comes from Red Hook Studios, by far the smallest group of game designers on this list. It does something that no other game accomplished in 2016: instill me with a sense of dread. You recruit adventurers to help clean out your ancestral home of the horrors, but these twisted terrors can do more than rend your flesh. They can drive you insane, which could have positive benefit … or make your warrior a gibbering glop of impotent rage.”

9. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

You'll fight in outer space in Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.

Developer: Infinity Ward
Publisher: Activision
Platforms: Windows, PS4, Xbox One

I’m as surprised as you are that this is on our top 10, but GamesBeat lead writer Dean Takahashi had a strong reaction to the single-player campaign. Sure, the multiplayer mode — which has been the franchise’s meal ticket for the last decade — isn’t as beloved as some of the previous Call of Duty releases, but developer Infinity Ward has potentially brought new life into its campaigns, and we recognize that.

GamesBeat lead writer Dean Takahashi: “One of the best decisions Infinity Ward made was to double down on the story. It hired two leaders from Naughty Dog, maker of the Uncharted series, and it used them to instill a much more interesting narrative. This is also why, after many years of repetition, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare feels like a brand new experience. You can fly Jackal fighters in space, use a grappling hook, run on walls, and mow down dozens of combat robots.”

8. Battlefield 1

Zara Ghufran, a fictional character who fights for Lawrence of Arabia in Battlefield 1, is based on real female rebels.

Developer: DICE
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platforms: Windows, PS4, Xbox One

It was a wonderful year for shooters, and a big reason for that is everyone tried something different. Developer DICE’s Battlefield 1 is a prime example of that. The studio took its technical know-how to World War I, and focused on personal stories to do something that is fresh in this genre.

Dean Takahashi: “EA took some liberties with history, but I appreciate that the goal was less about being historically accurate and more about re-creating the visceral feeling of being in the war. In that way, EA created one of the best history lessons ever for a new generation of people. Even as a history buff myself, I appreciated learning new things about the war that I didn’t know.”

7. Civilization VI

Civilization VI has a "color language" for distinguishing buildings and terrain.

Developer: Firaxis Games
Publisher: 2K Games
Platforms: PC, Mac

The latest entry in the long-running Civilization franchise had a lot to live up to, and it mostly holds up as an excellent addition to the series. You get the sense that, like the last couple of Civ games, this one will still benefit greatly from expansions, but Civ VI is a more complete game out of the box than Civ IV or Civ V.

GamesBeat writer Mike Minotti: Civilization VI is such a relaxing game. I can easily lose hours just staring at the screen, building natural wonders, setting new policies, and starting new trade routes. The improved city-building adds more depth, and the stylized character models and art add more personality. Long live fat Roosevelt!”

6. Hitman

Agent 47 is back.

Developer: IO Interactive
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Hitman is the most pleasant surprise of 2016. This franchise has always seemed to get by on its concept. That is to say that people seem to like the idea of playing as a sneaky assassin who can get away with murder, and so they forgave the Hitman series for coming up short in a lot of key ways in the past. But this Hitman gets so much right. It puts you in a giant, clockwork world where everything works as it should until you come along as Agent 47. As the titular Hitman, it is up to you to figure out how to pull this intricate, interconnected antfarm apart at its seams to accomplish your ends. And because the game is episodic, it encourages you to go back into the same stage over and over to finish different challenges and find new ways of performing the same hits. And by returning to these spaces, you begin to learn everything about them, and then you almost can’t help but fall in love with them for enabling your dumbest ideas.

GamesBeat reporter Jeffrey Grubb: Here’s one of my Hitman stories: In an escalation challenge, where you perform a series of hits that build on top of one another, I started in the kitchen of a Paris palace during a fashion show. I knocked out a chef that attracted the attention of a guard that enabled me to start a gas leak in the kitchen that caused an explosion that distracted the guards in the security office that enabled me to get a shotgun that enabled me to kill my designated target and escape all under five minutes. Yeah. Hitman rules. 

5. Final Fantasy XV

There's a lot to explore in Final Fantasy XV.

Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Final Fantasy XV shouldn’t work at all. Square Enix announced it a decade ago, and then it fell into development hell. But the end result is a reinvigorating entry in the series. Square gives players an awesome open world and lovable characters, and that’s a combination that works well for this kind of role-playing adventure.

Mike Minotti: “How can a game that’s been in development for so long come out so good? The game formerly known as Final Fantasy Versus XIII is unlike any other in the series, focusing on real-time combat and an open world. But it works because it’s so different, with its large, gorgeous world filled with treasures and magical moments.”

4. Doom

Doom E3 2015 - Cyberdemon 2

Above: Give him a smooch!

Image Credit: Bethesda

Developer: id Software
Publisher: Bethesda
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Doom is all attitude and action. It shouldn’t work in 2016, but its love of Satan and the over-the-top reverence it has for the Doomslayer marine is so welcome in a world where most games take themselves too seriously. It also helps that the gameplay doesn’t ape Gears of War or Call of Duty. Doom wants you to take on the demons of Mars head on, and it rewards you for constantly moving, and that is so different and welcomed.

Jeffrey Grubb: I didn’t expect to like Doom, but this game is so different and confident that I ended up falling in love with it. The fast-paced combat encourages you to get into the faces of the enemy helldemons in a way that most other shooters never would. And then the heavy-metal, satan-worshipping style that I assumed would come across as lame is actually irreverent in a way that is refreshing and original.”

3.Titanfall 2

Titanfall 2 E3 2016 official 02

Developer: Respawn Entertainment
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Titanfall was an impressive shooter in 2014, but it failed to keep the attention of a large portion of the gaming community. Titanfall 2 rectifies that with an improved multiplayer that is more interesting to play and progress in. Simultaneously, Respawn introduced an mesmerizing and creative single-player campaign that sometimes feels more like what would happen if Nintendo made a shooter.

Jeffrey Grubb: “Respawn is just better than everyone else. Given a few years, the studio was able to put together an incredible first-person shooter campaign and multiplayer game. Multiplayer is better than even the first Titanfall. The Bounty Hunt mode is so smart in the way it forces players to get into conflicts around the map through the various rounds of combat. And then the single-player is a revelation. It is like the smartest people in gaming coming up with smart mechanics and then building genius levels around those concepts. When we look back on this generation, I expect to view Titanfall 2 as a defining achievement.”

2. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Elena and Nathan lead a boring life at the outset of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End.

Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony
Platform: PlayStation 4

No one makes games like Naughty Dog anymore. Well, OK — that’s not true. Others try (hello, Quantum Break), but no one comes close to doing it as well as the Uncharted team. This treasure-chasing adventure is unbelievably gorgeous. It has lovable characters. Its action has even evolved to include stealth, platforming, and shooting that all bleed into one and affect one another. It’s the best example of this kind of game, and it kinda makes you wonder why any other studio even bothers to try.

Dean Takahashi: “It’s a beautiful game, with scenes where you can see for miles above dense jungles or cities. The story is also enthralling, as Nathan’s lost brother Sam shows up, and he keeps getting them into situations where one brother could be killed. The contrast between the more mature Nathan, who has already gone on enough adventures, and Sam, who thirsts for more, sets up some difficult choices for Nathan. Much of this story is told through the gameplay, as the characters converse with each other in the middle of gameplay scenes.”

1. Overwatch

Overwatch is celebrating Christmas.

Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Overwatch is a phenomenon. It’s the biggest shooter since Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, but its warm, welcoming art and easy-to-grasp gameplay has brought in so many more different kinds of people than Call of Duty ever did. It is at once predictably amazing as the latest Blizzard game and also a stunning surprise in that it is bringing so many players into the competitive-shooter genre.

Mike Minotti: Overwatch is my favorite competitive experience in gaming. The team-based shooter has so many heroes, each with distinct abilities and strengths, that I’m never bored. It’s also filled with personality. Overwatch can make me care more about a character with a simple animation or voice line than most other games can with hours of cutscenes. I haven’t stopped playing Overwatch since it came out in May, and I don’t see myself stopping any time soon.”

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