2016 has been a high quality years for games. We’ve been given a huge selection of quality titles and offerings that have truly come into their own. As we approach the busiest time of the year, I figured it would be a good time and pay homage to the games that have set the bar high in 2016 – and the games we’ll be judging the releases over the next four months against. Obviously if you disagree, do let us know which AAA-games made the grade for you.

5. Overwatch

PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Is there anything that can be said about Overwatch which hasn’t been said a thousand times over? Blizzard’s online first person multiplayer extravaganza has taken the gaming world by storm, capturing over 14 million gamers and heralding in a new standard for online shooters. It manages this thanks to an exhaustive cast of characters that deliver almost every conceivable possible way to play the game. The graphics are gorgeous, the humor is prevalent and the game plays like a dream. There’s arguably very few games in the marketplace that can touch Overwatch for its competence.

There’s little to hate about Overwatch and with so much content being heaped upon the game, there’s plenty to look forward too in 2017.

 

4. Dark Souls 3

PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Dark Souls 3 feels like the sequel we should have gotten in the second outing. The level of difficulty has been finely tuned while the graphics have been notably bumped. Everything within this game feels like the developers took on board fans concerns and went out their way to ensure that the finale to the Dark Souls trilogy went out with a bang. The game never feels unfair, challenging you to come back and have another stab at it. It’s through this that the central mechanics truly shine and just wows us.

In terms of conclusive experiences, Dark Souls 3 nails it – leaving little doubt that you’re playing a quality package. It’s well worth taking a look at if you’re down for a satisfying experience.

 

3. Final Fantasy XV

PlayStation 4, Xbox One

A late addition to our list, but one that’s very worthy of the position. Final Fantasy XV is the series returning to  triumphant form; a confident game that manages to blend together the series high standards with some of the best graphics we’ve seen this generation.

Perhaps best of all, Final Fantasy XV is a monstrously big game. Stuffed with side-quests, interesting locales and the kind of scope that puts many open world games to shame. It’s fun and manages to marry together a touching story line with characters you care for.

Is it the best Final Fantasy game? We wouldn’t dare say, but it’s certainly a contender for the crown and in a year of mild disappointments, it easily rises above the crowd to earn its accolades.

 

2. DOOM

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC

Perhaps the biggest surprise of 2016 so far – id Software’s DOOM not only surprised us upon its release in May; it very nearly stole the show. The game is a testament to the classic game, complimenting a number of its ideas and approaches to game play while seamlessly blending in its own ideas. The combat is some of the most engaging and satisfying in any video game while the varied level design lends itself to a sense of exploration. On top of this the use of music can’t be faulted, from ambient tones as you explore the world to the thumping sound track as the combat picks up.

How different it all seemed two weeks before launch, with Bethesda holding back review copy’s and the multiplayer beta very widely panned as a mess. If it weren’t for that weak multiplayer component; DOOM would very much be in with a shout of the top spot. As it stands, we’ll have to live with that amazing single player campaign that blew our socks off and made us remember why it is we enjoy the single player experience.

 

1. Uncharted 4

PlayStation 4

Naughty Dog’s latest installment to the Uncharted franchise was everything that fans wanted and more. Continuing the story of Nathan Drake, Naughty Dog married the expected high quality exploration game play with some of the most beautiful graphics ever seen in videogames. By the time the final chapter rolls in, gamers were taken on an exciting thrill ride that brought the story to a satisfying and fulfilling conclusion.

It’s the combination of high-end set-pieces, intricate design choices and the marriage of brilliant core mechanics and some excellent voice acitng that helps to anchor the entire game. The refinement of all that came before that really makes Uncharted feel like a great outing. It’s the perfection of a formula that  began with Uncharted 1 and slowly grew over the games. 2016 has been filled with all kinds of experiences, but it’s Uncharted’s delivery that puts it just ahead of an exceptionally well-rounded pack of contenders.

Put simply, Uncharted 4 knocked our socks off and claims its spot as Sce