I played a fair number of video games last year, and now that we’re in the second week of the New Year I think it’s time to reveal my Game of the Year (GOTY) for 2016. Game developers, journalists, and players all over the world have been waiting with baited breath for an insignificant online writer with effectively no social media following to announce his pick for 2016’s GOTY, and the wait will soon be over. This whole week I have dedicated to my GOTY award, so let’s get the hype train started.
But first, a few notes about the rules for my GOTY, as they are a little different from what you’ll find in most other places. The first rule is that for a game to be considered for the GOTY I must have played the game for the first time in 2016. That might sound straightforward at first, but keep in mind that I’m perpetually late when it comes to playing games, so that means we have nominees from several different years going head-to-head in the competition. The second rule is that I must have played a substantial amount of a game and/or completed it for it to be considered for the GOTY. If you’ve been reading my game commentaries from last year you know that some games I only put a few hours into, while others got in-depth playthroughs. Games like Overwatch, Driveclub, and Star Wars: Battlefront, which I only messed around with for a little while, did not make the cut, and honestly it would be really unfair if any of them won the GOTY award. At the same time, a game that’s inherently short can make the list, but only if I finish it.
Originally I was going to have a list of 10 nominees, but as I looked at the games I had played last year and thought about each of them I was having such a hard time picking only 10 that I increased the number of nominees to 12, but even then it was still an arduous process. While there were games that clearly were not GOTY material, there were plenty that, even if they wouldn’t win the GOTY, had a strong case for being on the list of nominees. To keep things fair, I took the time to reread some of my writings and I rewatched my gameplay footage from the games under consideration. After a lot of deliberation, and some agonizing decisions, the final list of 12 nominees is ready. For the first four days of this week I will highlight three games each day that are nominated for the GOTY, and on Friday I will make the big reveal.
And today’s nominees are…