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It’s hard to find a common link between all of the excellent games released in 2016. This isn’t the year of the bow or Luigi. Instead, it’s a year filled with a lot of quality releases.

The awkward transition to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One era is behind us, and developers are thriving with a mix or original ideas, sequels, and reboots. I played a lot in 2016, almost more than any other year that I can remember. That’s because, along with the excellent single-player experiences, 2016 gave me a couple of addicting multiplayer games that I play almost every day.

We spent hours figuring out our unified GamesBeat games of the year, showing just how much we had to talk about. Well, the heck with those guys now! Let’s get to my list of the 10 best games of year.

10. Civilization VI

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

Above: Civilization VI has a “color language” for distinguishing buildings and terrain.

Image Credit: 2K/Firaxis Games

Developer: Firaxis
Publisher: 2K
Platform: PC


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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!

9. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney — Spirit of Justice

I can smell the Justice.

Above: I can smell the Justice.

Image Credit: YouTube

Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Platform: 3DS

I love me some Phoenix Wright, and this is the series’ best entry since the original trilogy debuted in 2001. It brings back fan-favorite characters like Maya while pitting Phoenix against a crooked legal system in a foreign country. Seeing Wright and friends save a nation from the horrors of injustice make me feel all warm inside.

8. Bravely Second

Bad guys always wear angled masks.

Above: Bad guys always wear angled masks.

Image Credit: Games Reviews

Developer: Silicon Studio
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform: 3DS

As much as I admire Final Fantasy XV’s changes and innovations, I still love a traditional turn-based RPG. Bravely Second is as good as those get these days, employing a deep Job system that allows you to change classes while maintaining certain abilities. Also, Magnolia and Yew are the cutest video game couple of 2016.

7. Planet Coaster

A merry coaster.

Above: A merry coaster.

Image Credit: Frontier Developments

Developer: Frontier Developments
Publisher: Frontier Developments
Platform: PC

I’ve only started playing Planet Coaster about a week ago, but I like this theme park simulator more with every hour I dedicate to it. Planet Coaster is the RollerCoaster Tycoon successor I’ve waited years for, finally allowing me to make my dream park in 3D. And, since it has Steam Workshop support, I have the entire internet backing me up with their own amazing creations.

6. Doom

Doom E3 2016 Harvester 02

Above: A fun friend in Doom.

Image Credit: EA

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

This was the big surprise of the year. I thought that gaming had long left Doom behind, but it turns out that its old-school sensibilities are desperately needed in our modern industry. So many shooters are about hiding, taking cover, and waiting for your health to regenerate. Doom instead forces you to run and gun down demons in a fast-paced blitz of mayhem that brings joy back to shooting.

5. World of Warcraft: Legion

Legion is a success for Blizzard.

Above: Legion is a success for Blizzard.

Image Credit: Blizzard

Developer: Blizzard
Publisher: Activision Blizzard
Platform: PC

World of Warcraft is the game that just won’t go away. I planned to level my character to 110 and move on, but Legion is just too engaging to leave behind. The new world quests give you something meaningful and fun to do every day. The class halls and artifact weapons give you a stronger tie to your character, and the story doesn’t suck (looking at you, Warlords of Draenor).

4. Titanfall 2

Titanfall 2's campaign sure looks pretty.

Above: Titanfall 2’s campaign sure looks pretty.

Image Credit: EA

Developer: Respawn Entertainment
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Titanfall 2‘s multiplayer actually isn’t grabbing me the same was the original’s did (maybe because I’m playing so much Overwatch), but the single-player campaign makes up for this. It’s wonderfully paced, switching from platforming and pilot to action and titan. And right when you think you’re about to get bored, its level design shows why it’s some of the most clever I’ve ever seen in a shooter.

3. Final Fantasy XV

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

Above: There’s a lot to explore in Final Fantasy XV.

Image Credit: Square Enix

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

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.

2. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

"Nice report card, kid! You're going to Chuck E. Cheese's!"

Above: “Nice report card, kid! You’re going to Chuck E. Cheese’s!”

Image Credit: Sony

Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony
Platform: PlayStation 4

I love this series, and A Thief’s End is a great way to finish the story. Nate and his friends are just as charming as ever, and the addition of his brother to the cast adds more depth to Drake’s background and gives this game a strong theme: the bond of brothers and what you’re willing to do for them. Just like other Uncharted games, A Thief’s End has memorable set-pieces, beautiful locations, and funny dialogue. It’s pure, blissful entertainment from start to end.

1. Overwatch

Get eliminated by Ana.

Above: Get eliminated by Ana.

Image Credit: GamesBeat

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

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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