This is it! The big day! The entire world has been waiting for this! Ok, that’s not even remotely true, but I’m going to continue pretending like it is. You’ve seen the nominees, you’ve read my brief spotlights of them, and now you’re going to learn which one was my GOTY 2016. Prepare yourself.

And the winner is…

In the end, it was a very close decision between Uncharted 4 and Ratchet and Clank. As I thought about the games on this year’s list of nominees and reviewed the things I wrote about them, these two games slowly but surely knocked all other contenders out of the fight. Then they duked it out with each other, and it was a long, bruising engagement in the boxing ring of my mind. Both can claim a myriad number of things they do incredibly well, both can claim a prestigious heritage, and both can claim a strong case for being my 2016 GOTY, but there can only be one. Minute by minute, and blow by blow, Uncharted gradually gained the advantage. Uncharted did storytelling better than all the other games I played last year, the performance by its actors was a step above all the others, it was the best looking game of all the nominees, its gameplay was as strong as ever, and it had an incredibly satisfying ending. Ratchet and Clank is a fantastic game, and maybe can claim a slight edge in terms of gameplay, but on the whole Uncharted 4 is the better game. I thus declare Uncharted 4 as my 2016 Game of the Year. Congratulations to developer Naughty Dog and everyone else who was involved in its creation.

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