2016 is finally at an end, the most infamous year in the last decade that was filled with deaths, WTF moments and tragedies.  Although, 2016 seemed to continually disappoint us, it was one of the best years for gamers in a while.  Whether you were a fan of shooters, RPGs, VR, Racing, etc., there were plenty of games to be played.  We at Gaming Tree House asked each of our editors to complie a “Top Ten List Of 2016” to present you with the best “18 Games/Experiences Of 2016”.  Enjoy!

    Check out our editors top ten lists below by clicking on the links:

    StormZtrooper’s Top Ten

    Retlaw’s Top Ten

    Nick Catto’s Top Ten


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    18. Job Simulator

    StormZtrooper’s thoughts: “Job Simulator was my first PSVR experience, and am I glad it was. Between the funny robot antics and the crazy work environments, it makes great use of the virtual reality aspects. This game is my favorite PSVR game to date, and I’m hoping for more PSVR experiences similar moving forward.”

    17. Pokemon Sun & Moon

    Retlaw’s thoughts: “Pokemon made a glorious return in 2016. In addition to adding plenty of new beasts to the roster, Pokemon played with our nostalgia by introducing alternate versions of Gen 1 Pokemon, making them fell all new all over again. The battle system was streamlined HM’s were removed (Hallelujah!) and traditional gyms were discarded in lieu of the brand new island challenges. Varying tasks that the trainer would have to complete in order to progress. The new Pokemon introduced were memorable, especially Wishiwashi and Mudsdale, my personal favorites. Anyone who had avoided Pokemon for some time due to feeling stale would do themselves a favor in picking up Pokemon Sun or Moon.”

    16. Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare

    Nick Catto’s thoughts: “For all the hate Call of Duty gets, they always produce amazing games. I haven’t played a Call of Duty campaign in years, but for some reason, I decided to give Infinite Warfare a try. Flying my ship around the star map, doing side missions, upgrading guns, all while being enveloped in a great story is all I could ask for. The main characters name is also Nick, which made the story feel more personal to me…”

    15. Deus Ex Go

    Nick Catto’s thoughts: “I never thought that a mobile game would ever make my favorite games list. I played Lara Croft GO and Deus Ex GO back to back, loving every second of it. Solving each puzzle is a challenge and builds on each new tactic you learn. For $2.99, its a must play.”

    14. The Witness

    Retlaw’s thoughts: “THIS game….is also very hard to describe. It mostly involves wandering around a gorgeous island and solving line puzzles. Well goddamn, that sentence also did the game no justice. Between finding mind bending pieces of philosophy scattered about, The Witness affects the player in a way few games ever do. By the time you beat the game, your perception of the island will have completely changed, despite the fact that the island remains largely the same. The game is quite difficult, and finding the hidden solutions rank among the most satisfying in the genre. For the 50 hours or so I put into the game, I was CONSUMED by it. I had a notebook filled with sketches of solutions before I tried them, something that would only make sense to other people who have played the game, its also the only game that has literally made my brain hurt, as I try to figure out solutions to puzzles.”

    13. The Witcher 3: Blood & Wine DLC

    Retlaw’s thoughts: “Before you get too salty that I picked DLC to put on my GOTY list, there is precedent. Witcher 3: Blood and Wine won Best RPG 2016 at The Game Awards, beating out titans like Dark Souls 3, World of Warcraft Legion and Xenoblades Chronicles: X. I’m not trying to justify my opinion, because anyone who has played Blood and Wine knows that the opinion does not need to be justified. The expansion to the practically undisputed GOTY 2015 delivered on every single front. Massive new world to explore? Check. Excellent story with engrossing characters? Check. Improved gameplay? Check. Finally, a fitting end to The Witcher series? Check. Blood and Wine had more content in its status as DLC than the majority of 2016, not just a high amount of content though, a high amount of quality content that sets the series out from the rest.”

    12. Gears Of War 4

    StormZtrooper’s thoughts: “Gears of War 4, such a fun and amazing game. The campaign is probably my favorite shooter campaign of the year, and it left me craving for so much more. Also, who could forget Old Man Marcus? He is probably my favorite video-game character this year. If you are craving a third-person shooter game to start off the year then look no further.”

    Retlaw’s thoughts: “The sequel/reboot to the beloved Microsoft franchise came back as strong as ever in 2016. The new story handled its legacy characters well, as well as introducing the new protagonists in a respectable way. I most certainly leave something to be desired in the multiplayer department, but the fault there is mine and not the games’. Gears 4 planted the roots for The Coalition to take the franchise in all sorts of interesting ways, especially with the implications of that ending….”

    Nick Catto’s thoughts: “Gears of War is officially back! New characters breath fresh life into the franchise, and characters like Old man Marcus makes the fresh life feel right at home. The multiplayer also feels like an upgraded original Gears of War.”

    11. AM2R (Another Metroid 2 Remake)

    Nick Catto’s thoughts: “All I’ve wanted was a new Metroid game. Thanks to a super-fan, I got one. AM2R is Metroid 2, with a Super Metroid skin. Slowly clearing the map and hunting Metroids was so refreshing. Thank you for making this game!”

    10. Titanfall 2

    StormZtrooper’s thoughts: “Titanfall 2, this is one game that I almost skipped entirely this year after playing the Technical Alpha and hating it. Respawn took all of the criticism and feedback from the Alpha and changed this game into what it should have been originally. This is the first entry in a Titanfall game that included a campaign, and oh how good it was. Stop reading this, and go play it right now, till the very end, you will thank me later. Not only is the campaign amazing, the multiplayer is just as phenomenal as ever. It’s everything I wanted, plus more. You need a good multiplayer game to keep you busy, but only have about 15 minutes to spare here and there? This is your game. This is a must play and don’t overlook it like I almost did.”

    Nick Catto’s thoughts: “Titanfall 2’s blend of amazing single player story and fast paced multiplayer makes it a must play. Respawn made Titanfall 2 the most fluid controlled FPS I’ve ever played. Running and jumping off walls has never felt better. All the customization options for your pilot are just icing on the cake.”

    9. Ratchet & Clank

    Nick Catto’s thoughts: “What more can I say about Ratchet & Clank that my review hasn’t already said? Even though I caught a ton of internet hatred for this review, I stand by my 10/10. Ratchet & Clank just puts a smile on your face the entire time playing. Whether it’s your amazing arsenal of weaponry or the basically Pixar-esque graphics, this game just continuously delivers on the most important level, and that’s just having fun. Ratchet & Clank is my Game of the Year simply because I had such a blast playing it. That is, after all, why we play video games.”

    8. Watch Dogs 2

    StormZtrooper’s thoughts: “Watch Dogs 2, I went radio silent on this game when it was announced as I wanted to go completely blind in this game after having the unpopular opinion of loving the first one and am I glad I did. Between the awesome environment of San Francisco and the game-play of this game, it just kept me coming back for more and more. It’s the first game that I have 100% completed since Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, one of my all time favorites if that gives you an idea of my love for this game. Definitely don’t skip out on this one, its my GOTY of 2016.”

    7. Forza Horizon 3

    StormZtrooper’s thoughts: “Forza Horizon 3, honestly can’t think of a better racing game in the last five years. The open world of Australia is the perfect place to explore and race across between the outback, the forest, the city and the coast-line all provides a great variety. The amount of cars, customization options, and challenges, there is enough content to keep you racing for a very long time.”

    Retlaw’s thoughts: “This game is a special entry on this list. Only because I never would have owned it if not for the pricing error on Target that priced the digital game at $20 shortly after it released. I suppose I owe the Forza developers an apology, but if any good came out of that pricing error, its that I will be buying every future Forza Horizon at launch. I did not realize how badly I was missing racing games until I got to play Forza Horizon 3. The controls are a nice blend of arcade and racing simulator that combine to create a nice little difficulty bump. Normally I don’t lament graphics in games, every game looks gorgeous these days, but holy shit, Forza Horizon 3 is gorgeous. The open world Australian outback lends itself out to create an expansive and diverse sandbox full of racing glory.”

    6. Inside

    StormZtrooper’s thoughts: “Inside, what a game.  Honestly, it’s my indie game of the year and nothing has left me with more questions at the end then this game has.  If you would like to hear my spoiler-y thoughts on the game, check them out here or you can watch my entire play-through of the game here.”

    Retlaw’s thoughts: “This game…..this game is so hard to describe to anyone who hasn’t played it. On its surface, its a 2D platformer with some platforming puzzles and an interesting aesthetic. That sentence does the game as little justice as possible. Playdead has crafted a world that is far greater than the sum of its parts. Even now, many months after I got the 100% completion, I find my mind wandering back to it and contemplating all of its little intricacies. For anyone who hasn’t played it, I can’t recommend enough.”

    Nick Catto’s thoughts: “Inside may tell the best story without words I’ve ever seen. Inside also has some of the most beautiful aesthetics in a game I’ve seen. I would say more, but I don’t want to spoil a single thing.”

    5. Dark Souls 3

    StormZtrooper’s thoughts: “Da……..crap, I just died.  *Respawn* Dark……again, dead.  If that doesn’t give you an idea of what this game about, I don’t know what will.  Dark Souls 3 is a game I love to hate and hate to love.  It’s a game about learning from your mistakes, and pushing forward.  It has never felt so satisfying to beat a boss or enemy in a game like this one.  If you rage quit easily, avoid this game, but if you love a challenge then this game is for you!”

    Retlaw’s thoughts: “The third and (possibly) final Dark Souls game released in 2016, and what a treat it was. Serving as more of a sequel to Dark Souls 1 than 2, Dark Souls 3 expanded on the story of Dark Souls in fascinating ways. As is tradition in From Software, we were left with more questions than answers, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. I remember wandering through the fascinating environments of Dark Souls 3, but not exactly seeing them, because I was too busy being on the lookout for the next ambush.  When I took the time to look, I was reminded that From Software sets the gold standard in terms of environmental design. Exploration always yields equal parts treasure…and danger. The game refused to pull any punches for its final installment, providing arguably the most difficult, and secret boss fight in the entire series (NAMELESS KING!!).”

    4. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

    StormZtrooper’s thoughts: “Uncharted 4, my first ten out of ten for the year.  If you would like to read my review, you can find it here (Don’t worry there is also a video).  Nick and I also did a spoiler-cast that you can watch or listen to here.  This game was such a fitting end to the series, and was one of the best Uncharted entries to date.”

    Nick Catto’s thoughts: “Uncharted 4 was a fitting bookend on a legendary franchise. A Thief’s End may possibly have the most satisfying ending of any game. Spencer gave this game a 10 and I have no problem with that score.”

    3. Doom

    Retlaw’s thoughts: “Doom was the 2016 game I didn’t know I needed. As a whole the franchise has always been on my peripheral, I respected the series and what it did for gaming but always from afar. Then Doom was released, and I was delivered a message in blood and lead that this game was built for me. Doom’s single player was absolutely fantastic, even though the story was barely there. Sure there as an evil corporation who for whatever reason decided to mine Hell for natural resources and, shocker, it does not go well. Doom succeeded in single player by crafting incredible gameplay and aesthetics. Showing us all the purity of past games and then covering it in a glorious 2016 coat of graphics and polish. When the death metal kicked on, and you racked your shotgun, you didn’t stop until every demon in sight was dead. That kind of simplicity is refreshing.”

    Nick Catto’s thoughts: “DOOM may be the most metal game of all time. Fast pace movement, slick controls, amazing weapons, and a hardcore soundtrack is a recipe for greatness. The way DOOM pushed the “petal to the metal” when damaged, instead of “run and hide” gave this a fresh feel from other FPS’.”

    2. Battlefield 1

    StormZtrooper’s thoughts: “Battlefield 1.  It has had me hooked since the first reveal trailer and has yet to take it’s hooks out of me.  The World War 1 setting has what I’ve been missing from FPS shooters for years.  The campaign in this game is phenomenal and really shows the brutality of war.  Between the Alphas, Betas and the actual release, I have put way more hours into the multiplayer portion of this game then I would like to admit on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4.  This game was almost my GOTY for 2016, but another title just barely beat it.”

    Retlaw’s thoughts: “Fall 2016 had no shortages of shooters to play, hell most of them are on this list. Gears of War 4, Titanfall 2, CoD Infinite Warfare, one other that will be mentioned later, and this game. Battlefield 1 is a massive return to form for DICE. Myself and plenty others were a little disappointed in Star Wars Battlefront, and Battlefield Hardline didn’t make many waves, so DICE deciding to roll everything back to the war to end all wars was an exciting idea. They delivered on all fronts, eschewing a traditional single player campaign in favor of character driven short stories was a brilliant idea. Rather than playing a globe hopping protagonist, we got the chance to play as a chauffeur turned tank driver, a morally questionable pilot, an infantryman trying to find his friend, the last days of a veteran, and a freedom fighter who stood against the industrial tyranny.  These short stories put World War 1 in perspective, as its global effect was seen and felt by all. To say nothing of the introductory mission, where you play as various infantrymen all doomed to die in the muck. I realize that I’ve been focusing on the single player, rather than the top notch multiplayer Battlefield always delivers. I’m doing so because the single player is what put this game so high on the list. The multiplayer is excellent, and will give every Battlefield fan exactly what they are looking for, but the single player is whats really going to stick with me.”

    1. Overwatch

    StormZtrooper’s thoughts: “I blame my fellow editors for this one as they got me into this.  In this game, I never felt like I was losing, as I’m more of an “objective-based” player.  No matter the amount of times I died, I always felt like each match I did great.  Also, the amount of variety with maps and characters, kept me going back for more and more.  If you like team-based multiplayer games, then this one is for you!”

    Nick Catto’s thoughts: “Overwatch brought multiplayer shooters to new heights. Not only did Blizzard make playing all roles, including healing and tanking fun, but they also made playing the objective number one.”

    Retlaw’s thoughts: “My #1 Game of the Year for 2016 isn’t exactly an outside pick. Overwatch has already accepted GOTY 2016 from The Game Awards and Gamespot. While perusing the reactions to these choices, I’m met with the arguments against Overwatch as GOTY 2016 “No single player” “Limited maps and modes” “Game iz ass lol”. On some level I understand most of these criticisms, because on paper, two of those three are correct. Overwatch launched in 2016, a brand new IP from Blizzard, and seemed to take over gaming culture overnight. Within this multiplayer only game, I found something that i had been looking for for a long time. A true FPS multiplayer experience that can hold my attention for more than a few months. The reason I chose it for my GOTY 2016 is that the pure competition in this game has consumed my gaming life. This holiday season I acquired Titanfall 2, Battlefield 1, Deus Ex Mankind Divided and Dead Rising 4, and I still can’t stop playing Overwatch. For the first time in my entire gaming life, I am playing an online FPS solely because I wish to improve. I’m not chasing some unlock, or distracted by a meaningless K/D ratio, all I want to do is keep getting better. Overwatch is the only game that has transferred the mentality I have for fighting games into another genre. So there may be limited game modes and maps in comparison to other FPS, but none of them have the depth and level of competition that Overwatch brings. Every match is different, and matches have an ebb and flow that any character can shift the momentum with one big play, as long as their teammates know how to capitalize. I have 100 hours of game time in  Overwatch, if I could have more I would, but I know 2017 will continue my Overwatch career.”


    We would also like to mention eight games that didn’t make our list, that were great games that you should check out!

    Honorable Mentions That Didn’t Make The List:

    • Dishonored 2
    • Dead Rising 4
    • Street Fighter V
    • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
    • Pacman Championship Edition 2
    • Firewatch
    • Final Fantasy XV
    • Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Remastered

    Sound off in the comments below and let us know what your top ten games of 2016 would be and compare with our list above!

    Here is to 2017 being another phenomenal year for gamers!