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7 Unexpected Game Awards Winners

The Game Awards, Game of the Year 2018 announcement has come and went. Some of the awards handed out were expected, others caught the gaming community by surprise. 2018 brought the world unforgettable video game experiences. With such a spectacular selection to choose from, it’s only natural there were some surprise winners.

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Out of the 23 categories, seven awards stood out. People might tune in to The Game Awards to see which game takes home Game of the Year, but there are 22 other categories that hold incredible significance as well.

Below is a list of the seven awards that caught the world by surprise at this years Game Awards.

Best Art Direction

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Return of Obra Dinn - Best Art Direction 2018

Return of Obra Dinn by 3909 was awarded Best Art Direction at The Game Awards 2018. Facing stiff competition, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, God of War, Octopath Traveler, and Red Dead Redemption 2, it is a miracle this little indie game rose above them all. This puzzle game with its unique black and white sketched art style was able to beat out games that cost millions, even hundreds of millions to develop and produce. This surprising win at The Game Awards 2018 is just a reminder that even small projects can have a massive impact on the video game industry.

Best Performance



Roger Clark as Arthur Morgan in Red Dead Redemption 2 put on a spectacular performance. However, the surprise is the performances Clark was able to outshine. Bryan Dechart as Connor in Detroit: Become Human, Christopher Judge as Kratos in God of War, Melissanthi Mahut as Kassandra in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and Yuri Lowenthal as Peter Parker in Marvel’s Spider-Man all put on performances that will stay with gamers for years to come. Each one of these talented voice actors had a chance to take home Best Performance at The Game Awards but Clark and his interpretation of Arthur Morgan was given the honor.

Best Action Game



Leaving jaws on the floor, this category winner was unexpected to say the least. Dead Cells by Motion Twin beat out Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Destiny 2, Far Cry 5. And Mega Man 11 for Best Action Game. Dead Cells is an amazing game but this side-scrolling roguelike-metroidvania video game taking home Best Action Game is the embodiment of a surprise win. Its Google card doesn't even categorize the game as an action game and it still won Best Action Game. This isn’t just a surprising win, it must have also been a massive hit for Treyarch, Bungie, and Ubisoft Montreal to lose to such an underdog.

Best Role Playing Game



Monster Hunter: World was awarded Best Role Playing Game of 2018. Up against some stiff competition, this grind-fest of a game rose above all others. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age, Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom, Octopath Traveler, Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire just didn’t have what it takes to beat it out Capcoms latest creation. Among the nominees for Best Role Playing Games, Monster Hunter: World is the least obvious RPG. Focused on gearing up by killing giant monsters, the story is usually only a means to open up new monsters to slay. Monster Hunter: World did stand out when compared to previous Monster Hunter titles. It offered gamers the most engrossing and RPG-like story that those that came before it.

Best Family Game

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Overcooked 2 - Best Family Game 2018

If anyone put money on who would win Best Family Game, this announcement may have cost them. Overcooked 2 took home the prize, beating out games like Mario Tennis Aces, Nintendo Labo, Starlink: Battle for Atlas and most surprisingly Super Mario Party. Gaming is for everybody and the entire the family can get involved. When looking for a video game that everyone can enjoy, Overcooked 2 might be the best choice according to The Game Awards.

Best Sports/Racing

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Forza Horizon 4 - Best Sports/Racing Game 2018

Forza Horizon 4 by Playground Games, Turn 10 Studios, and Microsoft Studios scooped up Best Sports/Racing Game at The Game Awards 2018. Not even the massively popular FIFA 19 was able to strip the crown from Forza Horizon 4. The racing game also stood up against massive hits like Mario Tennis Aces, NBA 2K19, and Pro Evolution Soccer 2019.

Game of the Year 2018

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God of War - Game of the Year 2018

God of War deserved this award. That opinion still doesn’t make it any less surprising it surpassed Red Dead Redemption 2 or Marvel’s Spider-Man. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Celeste, and Monster Hunter: World were also nominated but these games were clearly going to be overshadowed. God of War was able to leave such an impression on gamers, the community, and the industry that even its early year release in April didn’t hold it back. Red Dead Redemption 2 dropped only weeks before The Game Awards but God of War was still tattooed in the brains of those who first played it over seven months ago.

Every game that was nominated at this years Game Awards deserved recognition. It was especially pleasing to see indie games once again break barriers. The list above isn’t here to say these games didn’t deserve the win, it represents games that were able to break the mold and overtake any “obvious” winners. It goes to show that gamers are an enigma. There is no sure winner when art is judged, especially in the video game industry.

Game of the Year 2018 Nominees: Tough Competition

Game of the Year 2018 Nominees: All Tough Competitors

The Game Awards will announce the winner of Game of the Year 2018 on December 6th. With nominees made public, the readers pick article was able to foresee many of the choices. There was a surprise title that deserved its recognition, Celeste. Besides that outlier, each of the games nominated has either defined a generation of gaming or blew audiences away with their imaginative spin on a long-running series.

Vote for the game you think deserves to be Game of the Year 2018 at the bottom of this page!

Game of the Year 2018 Nominees List

  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
  • Celeste
  • God of War
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man
  • Monster Hunter: World
  • Red Dead Redemption 2

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

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Fully embracing RPG elements, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey worked to reinvent itself. It maintains many of the elements that long-time fans will enjoy but with some added bonuses. Progression is much more dependent on gear and leveling. The world is absolutely brilliant, gorgeous, and engaging. Ubisoft did an incredible job creating an Assassin’s Creed game that stands out from the rest while retaining classic qualities fans have grown to love. This game will surely be stiff competition for the rest of the titles in the running for Game of the Year 2018.

Celeste

Spawning from a prototype during a game jam, developers Matt Thorson and Noel Berry later expanded Celeste into a full game. This indie game is up against some massive titles with multi-million dollar development budgets and companies that are able to spend millions on marketing. Celeste even beating out some games out like Farcry 5 and Fallout 76, created by well known and respected developers. It’s always amazing to see indie games recognized for breaking the mold and delivering quality gaming experiences to audiences around the world.

God of War

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A massive hit and a game that will go down in history, Game of the Year 2018 winner or not, God of War is a spectacular experience all the way through. Showing off the softer side of Kratos, fans of the series and newcomers alike fell in love with the action, setting, and breathtaking story. The readers choice poll shows that 59% of voters think God of War will be named the winner. These results aren’t surprising. God of War was a hit from the second it was released.

Marvel’s Spider-Man

The lovable Spider-Man came back in a big way. It was Insomniac Games first licensed title and they pulled off creating one of the best Spider-Man games in years. Swinging through an incredibly detailed New York City, all the spidey gadgets, and the innocent nature of the young superhero combine to deliver an unforgettable video game. Only time will tell if Marvel’s Spider-Man can fight off its competition in this year's race to become Game of the Year.

Monster Hunter: World

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Capcom did what many believed they could not, take Monster Hunter into the mass market. Once a niche franchise, massively popular only in Japan with scattered fans in the West, it is now a household name. Monster Hunter: World reworked some of the more time consuming and tedious mechanics to open themselves up to an entirely new audience. The core concept is still the same, kill monsters and make gear out of their bones, skin, and other materials. However, now that the game is a streamlined RPG designed to accommodate a wider audience, Capcom’s latest Monster Hunter could be dubbed Game of the Year 2018.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Coming out near the end of the year, Red Dead Redemption 2 was met with both glowing reviews and unhappy fans. Rockstar Games developed an immaculate world, gritty and immersive but that immersion comes at a cost. Gamers playing RDR2 live their life as a western outlaw, down to every last detail. Sleep, eat, bathe, chores, all the mechanics can be overwhelming and those looking for a quick game to play may be turned off. But, anyone looking for a game that will create memories which have the potential to last a lifetime, Red Dead Redemption 2 could be it. It’s unclear if those negative reactions by gamers will impact its chance to take home Game of the Year 2018, only time will tell.

Be sure to stop by GigamaxGames.com for coverage of The Game Awards in December and even more news, reviews, and video game updates!

 

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Game of The Year 2018: What Could It Be?

Game of The Year 2018: What Could It Be?

The Games Awards takes place on December 6th and Game of The Year 2018 will be announced. Any gamer keeping up with the latest titles knows the race for Game of The Year 2018 will be a tight one. It seemed every month brought with it at least one highly-anticipated hit. Gamers were on the edge of their seats, itching to play the next big thing. People didn’t even have time to beat the games they just bought before jumping back on their favorite online retailer to pick up the next one.

Below is a list of the top picks for Game of The Year 2018. Each one caused waves throughout the gaming community. Some are still waiting to be released. All are facing some incredibly stiff competition.

Don't forget to vote for your choice at the bottom of this article. 

Monster Hunter: World



Release Date:
January 26, 2018
Developer: Capcom
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

Monster Hunter has been around as a series since 2004. Gamers are tasked with, well, hunting monsters. This grind is incredibly addicting and Monster Hunter: World took the game to an entirely new level. Gaining global attention, this niche franchise attracted gamers of all kinds. Taking out some of the more tedious mechanics, Monster Hunter: World appealed to a mass market.

Far Cry 5



Release Date:
March 27, 2018
Developers: Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft Shanghai, Ubisoft Reflections, Ubisoft Ukraine, Ubisoft Toronto, Red Storm
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

Far Cry 5 brought with it a beautiful open world based in Montana. Absolutely stunning, it gave gamers a story that pushed boundaries and made people think. Long-time fans weren’t all happy about the new title as the “wow” factor continued to fade after so many iterations. However, the developers were willing to make a statement and create an entertaining experience from start to finish. Only time will tell if Far Cry 5 can take home the Game of The Year title.

God of War

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Release Date: April 20, 2018
Developers: SIE Santa Monica Studio
Platform: PlayStation 4

The first PlayStation exclusive to make it to this list is also in high contention for Game of The Year 2018. God of War made those without a PlayStation 4 jealous to the point of running out and buying the console for nothing else but a chance to play. A completely new take of Kratos, long-time fans loved seeing this historically brutal non-hero in a new light. Kratos with a heart and the all-important 'Boy'might just take home this year's Game of The Year 2018.

Spider-Man

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Release Date: September 7, 2018
Developer: Insomniac Games
Platform: PlayStation 4

Addicting, emotional, and an absolutely spectacular take on Spider-Man, the PlayStation 4 exclusive Spider-Man captured the imaginations and hearts of gamers worldwide. Swinging through an incredibly accurate New York City never felt better. The developers did an amazing job staying in-line with the light-heartedness the Spider-Man series is known for. It was difficult to put this game down. With its addicting nature and entrancing story, Spider-Man is high up on this list.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Release Date: October 5, 2018
Developers: Ubisoft Quebec, Ubisoft Montreal
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch (Japan), Microsoft Windows

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey will be the last Assassin’s Creed the world will see for quite some time. The developers seem confident this game will be enough to hold fans over. Its massive world and RPG elements make a perfect mix for a game that is expected to continue expanding. Fans were a little confused about its story. It is unclear which side the main character, either Alexios or Kassandra was supposed to be fighting for, however, the game is absolutely a fun ride. Even with its drawbacks, Assassin’s Creed has a chance to take that all important title as Game of The Year.

Red Dead Redemption 2



Release Date: October 26, 2018
Developer: Rockstar Games
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One

The incredibly detailed and unbelievably hyped Red Dead Redemption 2 made its way to consoles close to the end of the year and made a massive impact. It was well reviewed and yet still faced criticism by gamers. The ultra-realistic direction Rockstar Games took made the game both immersive and frustrating for some. With all the excitement, with all the detail, and all the hard work that went into Red Dead Redemption 2, the question remains if it will be enough to let this game achieve the honor of being titled Game of The Year.

Fallout 76



Release Date: November 14, 2018
Developers: Bethesda Game Studios, Bethesda Game Studios Austin
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

Fallout 76 is Bethesda's experimental take on a multiplayer RPG. Never before has Fallout given gamers the opportunity to play with their friends, in the same world, at the same time. Fans were shocked when they heard the news. Some were even enraged that Bethesda would force its single-player loving fan base to play with others. However, the developer thought about this and made some interesting additions to protect those that enjoy playing solo. Making its appearance close to the end of the year, it only has a couple months to have an impact on the industry.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

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Release Date: December 7, 2018
Developers: Nintendo, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, Sora Ltd., Bandai Namco Studios
Platforms: Nintendo Switch

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is cutting it close. Releasing a day after The Game Awards, fans don't even have a chance to play before a Game of The Year is announced. Nintendo has done a spectacular job getting fans excited about the new Super Smash Bros. game for the Nintendo Switch. Without getting hands-on with Ultimate, it’s too early to tell if it has what it takes to beat out all the unbelievable competition it will face.

What game do you think will take home Game of The Year 2018? Vote below!

Think a different game will take home the title? Leave a comment at the bottom of this page and let the world know!

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The Game Awards 2017 GOTY: Skip The Fluff

The Game Awards 2017 GOTY: Skip The Fluff

This past Thursday marked another tremendous return of The Game Awards 2017. Dubbed the Oscars of the gaming world, this international conference brings together the entire gaming community to reflect on the past year and all the amazing games released in 2017.

We watched the entire presentation so you didn't have to and took all the most exciting announcements from The Game Awards and got right to the point. Those that want to watch it for themselves can find the full event at the bottom of this page. 

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Scroll down for the Game of The Year Winner!

Everyone had their eyes on The Game Awards 2017 to see which games will be recognized and those that ended up slipping through the cracks. Streamed live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles in 4K Ultra HD format, it celebrates the best games, eSports and members of the gaming community. This is a global event which includes localized versions reaching Chinese, South Korean, Brazilian, Russian, Japanese and other broadcasts from nations around the world.

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2017 was an intense year for gamers everywhere. People were speculating what game would take home the coveted Game of The Year (GOTY) award. It was incredibly difficult to guess the winner with so many amazing games but the nominees included; PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Persona 5, Horizon Zero Dawn, Super Mario Odyssey, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Be sure to check back on GigamaxGames.com as the crew dissects the entire event throughout the month.

Below you will find the Game of The Year Winner and a few other highlights from this epic event.

Game Of The Year Winner | The Game Awards 2017!

Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild

Nintendo rocked the nominees this year but Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild took home the title of Game of The Year 2017 winner. Well deserved, this is a Nintendo masterpiece and was a win for the legendary game company. This was an unbelievable year for the world of gaming and proves the future is bright for the gaming industry as a whole.

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The Game Awards 2017 Awards

Best Music

Nier Automata - Platinum Games

Best Narrative

What Remains of Edith Finch - Giant Sparrow

Best Action Game

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus - MachineGames

Best Art Direction

Cuphead - Studio MDHR  - Nominated for a total of 5 awards this year.

Best Debut Indie Game & Best Indie Game

Cuphead - Studio MDHR

Best Role-Playing Game 

Persona 5 - Atlus, P Studio

Best Strategy Game

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle - Ubisoft

Most Anticipated Game

The Last of Us Part 2 - Naughty Dog

Best Family Game 

Super Mario Odyssey - Nintendo Entertainment Planning & Development

Game for Impact 

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice - Ninja Theory

Best eSports Team

Cloud9

Best eSports Player

FAKER

Best Ongoing Game & Best eSports Game

Overwatch - Blizzard

Best Student Game

Level Squared

Best Performance

Melina Juergens - Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

Best Game Direction & Best Action Adventure Game

Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild - Nintendo Entertainment Planning & Development

 

Industry Icon

Carol Shaw

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This inspiring individual was the first woman to get her name on a game box. It was an age where one person created an entire game, from graphics, user interface, and coding, she did it all. If you haven’t heard of this pioneer of gaming, please take the time to click this link to her wiki page and learn a little more about this spectacular individual.

 

World Premiere Highlights

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Accounting Plus - 2018

Co-creator of Rick and Morty, Justin Roiland is bringing a brand new game to the world on December 19th. This whacky adventure holds true to the craziness that is Rick and Morty without being a Rick and Morty game. This VR experience is the first title from the new studio, Squanchtendo. Partnered with Tanya Watson, they teamed up the indie study Crows Crows Crows which takes a unique approach to the notoriously dull word of accounting.

In The Valley of The Gods - 2019

From the creators of Firewatch, this adventure game looks like it takes place in Egypt where the two heroines take on the impressive challenge of exploring the long-abandoned tombs.  Using technology that looks like it’s straight out of the early 19th century, 'In The Valley of The Gods' caught the attention of the world with their brief preview at this year's award show.

Fade to Silence - 12/14/17 PC and “2018 all next-gen consoles”

Coming very soon, the developer showed off just exclusively in-game footage. This survival game looks as though it’s based in a post-apocalyptic world where the hero battles the elements to survive. This game snuck up on the community and seems like it’s sure to deliver unbelievable thrills.

Bayonetta 1 & 2 - Coming to Nintendo Switch - February 2018
And
Bayonetta 3 - Now In Development - Exclusively on Nintendo Switch

This critically acclaimed franchise is coming to the Nintendo Switch in its entirely. 1, 2, and 3 will all be available on Nintendo’s newest console. The president of Nintendo America showed up in person to announce the title and left fans feeling as though they once again poured their heart and soul into the newest addition to the Bayonetta universe.

Death Stranding  

Kojima Productions announces Death Stranding is back. With an extended trailer, it offered a little more background into the story behind Death Stranding. More detailed than their original trailer it was still extremely vague but looked incredibly interesting.

Witchfire

The creators of The Vanishing of Ethan Carter and Bulletstorm bring the world, 'Witchfire'. With a short preview, there wasn’t much information offered but the action-packed trailer caught the Gigamax crew’s eye.

Dreams - 2018

This trippy trailer looked bright and colorful. The beautiful visuals and an exquisite soundtrack caught the world's attention. Stay tuned for more information as details begin to emerge.

PUBG Desert Map - Miramar - Available Tonight

Available tonight on the test servers, the new desert map for PUBG the world has been waiting for has been officially announced. The head of PUBG Corp. made the announcement in person on The Game Awards stage.

Work Together or Die Together (GTFO) - 2017 (Maybe)

From the designer of Payday and Payday 2, a brand new first-person shooter developed by 10 Chambers has been announced to the world. Intense combat and relying heavily on teamwork along with puzzle-solving, GTFO being released by a brand new indie studio. From the looks of it, you would have never guessed an indie team of 10 put this game together.

 

Additional Highlights

Zelda: Breath of The Wild | The Champions’ Ballad - DLC Pack 2 | AVAILABLE NOW

Besides the grand opening and teaser of a new weapon and Link riding a motorcycle named “The Master Cycle Zero”, there wasn’t too much information offered but there’s a plus. Developers let the gaming community know that it is available now. This DLC looks spectacular and the Gigamax crew cannot wait to spend countless hours exploring all of the new content this DLC is sure to bring.

Soulcalibur VI

One question, do your souls still burn? The world welcomes back this classic fighter from Bandai Namco Entertainment and the crowd lost their minds when the news broke. New gaming platforms allowed the developers to bring an entirely new level of graphics and environmental detail that was never before seen in a Soulcalibur game. This is high on the must play list for the Gigamax crew.  

Fortnite 50v50 Mode

Available right now, this unique game mode is truly something unique. Pitting 50 players against another team of 50 will surely bring an incredible experience. Building, shooting and working as a gigantic team is an exciting prospect.

Flash Sale Celebration

In celebration of the award ceremony, The Game Awards 2017 is hosting a sale on Xbox Live, Nintendo eShop, PlayStation Store, and Steam. This year they’re teaming up with eBay and offering exclusive deals on gaming hardware and gear. Also, there’s still time to enter The Game Awards 2017 ULTIMATE GIVEAWAY! [Hyperlink: https://wyng.com/campaign/831410]

Watch The Full Event

This years game award was actually much less awkward than expected. With hysterical jokes, mind-blowing music performances, and spectacular visuals, this is not an event to miss.

Watch This Craziness from The Game Awards 2017...

There was so much incredible content announced at The Game Awards 2017 that this article won’t be able to cover it all. Be sure to check back on GigamaxGames.com as the crew breaks down the entire event throughout the rest of December as they break down the entire event and offer in-depth insights into all the major announcements. Follow Gigamax Games on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with the latest content.

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Top 10 Most Outstanding Games of 2016 | GIGAMAX

2016 was a beautiful year for videogames, many highly anticipated titles were released as well as some hidden gems. It seemed as though every week had a big title come out, in fact with so many releases it can become very hard to keep up with the hits and the misses. Here at Gigamax Games we believe that a good game is comprised of many different aspects. Each game is a work of art and has its own personality. Trying to select only 10 that stood out to us this year was a difficult task, but overall it was a fun look back and we had to nitpick to find the best of the best. So without any more ranting, here are our favorite games of 2016.

XCOM 2

XCOM 2 title

This top down tactical RPG was a breath of fresh air for real time strategy fans. The popularity of the first game left big shoes to fill and this game certainly filled them. From the start, it is established that you will not be fighting with the same strategies used in the first. XCOM 2 makes the player think like a guerrilla fighter facing an enemy much stronger than themselves and with far greater numbers. With a non-optional permadeath feature, creativity and quick decision making is essential. We love this game because it doesn’t hold your hand and rewards careful planning and patience in a way that is rare in today’s market.


Far Cry Primal

Far Cry® Primal_20160226223639

It is rare to see a first-person game deviate from being just another shooter. Far Cry Primal doesn’t just stray from the path, it walks all the way back to the stone age. 10,000 B.C. was a big one for mankind and Ubisoft throws you right in the middle of it. The player takes control of a caveman trying to get revenge for a tribe that has taken him in. This game stood out because it made the bold move of taking a semi-realistic look at life in Mesolithic Era and relied heavily on melee combat. It did not stray from the Far Cry formula but ultimately the unique location and plot made this game stand out.


DOOM

Doom gun shooting

A beloved series that has stood the test of time, DOOM got a reboot this year and it was spectacular. Slaying demons has never felt so right and this game makes sure the carnage never stops. Many fans were nervous when the reboot was announced and rightfully so. This action staple has been around since the early 90’s and is beloved by many. To everyone’s delight DOOM managed to maintain a retro feel for series veterans while also making adjustments in all the right places for newcomers. A first-person shooter with non-regenerative health and guns you don’t reload is an almost extinct style. This game stood out by daring to challenge the genre norms and restored confidence in developers that the classic FPS feel is still a viable option.


Dark Souls 3

Darksouls 3 dragon

Difficult games have a niche following that typically won't reach very far. Dark Souls 3 tears down that barrier,almost as well as it destroys a gamers free time. This game is an infamous term in the gaming industry, even those that aren’t enthusiasts have heard of the series and that its insane difficulty. Dark Souls 3 managed to live up its name and upped the difficulty even higher. Most impressive this time around was the amount of casual gamers it got to attempt the unforgiving challenge. This game makes the list because it not only built a beautifully obscure world, but it managed to welcome a ton of newcomers while also being as unwelcoming as possible, and that’s fascinating.


Overwatch

Overwatch Start Screen

A multiplayer hero based shooter with a ton of character and characters. Overwatch was an instant hit, taking the competitive gaming scene by storm and establishing itself as the new standard for a multiplayer game. Critically this game did amazing and it deserved the recognition. Blizzard managed to combine teamwork, hectic gameplay and an interesting world in a package that appeals to casual and hardcore gamers. They continued to impress by supporting the game after launch with a ton of free content which shows no signs of stopping. Overwatch makes the list because of Blizzard’s unrelenting stream of free content updates as well as the awesome fast paced gameplay.


Abzu

Abzu

Not every game needs to be about murdering someone, some games can build a beautiful world and let the player enjoy a wonderful story without combat. Abzu starts you as a lone diver in the middle of a vast ocean,and throughout the course of the game it becomes so much more than that. As you swim through the story, interacting with marine life big and small, you learn a lot about the world without so much as a word spoken. The player is simply tasked with making it to the end and is never forced forward leaving plenty of time to get lost in its gorgeous setting. Abzu stands out because it manages to get you emotionally invested in a world that has no dialogue and offers an experience for those who love to game but need a break from the violence typically associated with the industry.  


Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

Uncharted 4

The last entry in a series that almost every playstation owner has experienced. Uncharted 4 was an amazing end to Nathan Drake’s story and wrapped it up before growing stale. Huge set pieces and hectic firefights constantly appear and unexpected twists keep the story interesting. Drake has the most to lose this time around, this can be felt throughout the game. Situations that old Nathan would’ve run into with a smile are now faced with hesitance. This is why the game resonated with us, it tells a relatable story about growing up and taking responsibility for your actions. Uncharted 4 successfully finished Nate’s story while simultaneously making him a more relatable character with real world problems.


Pokemon Sun & Moon

Pokemon Moon title

Sun and Moon were one of the most anticipated games to come out this year. This time around Game Freak went to great lengths to appeal to both old fans and newcomers. Removing a ton of the convoluted systems from the series, Sun and Moon is still Pokemon at it’s core and that’s a good thing. Gone are the days of HM mules, confusing pc’s and weakness memorizing. All of those common inconveniences have been overhauled to make a streamlined experience. Newcomers will find the game accessible and veterans will be surprised by the copious amount of references to the first game. Pokemon Sun and Moon makes the list because it shows that the developers are listening to the fans and are finally willing to start making changes that have been asked for since Red and Blue version.


Battlefield 1

Battlefield 1 soldier

World War 1 was a devastating time in history that changed the world. This monumental event is rarely covered in games but something tells me that is going to change. Battlefield 1 dared to be different this year. While other first-person shooter developers were making space combat games, Dice went back in time. It felt amazing to finally play a competitive shooter without wall running as this game relies on your marksmanship and survival instincts. Online battles are intense and require teamwork to come out on top. Destructible cover makes the battlefield feel alive and every bomb, bullet, and vehicle transforms the landscape a little more. The campaign also does a great job of educating players on the different sides of the war. Told through a series of vignettes, players take control of different soldiers spread out in the various conflicts that made up the Great War. Battlefield 1 makes the list because it took a risk in a market that was pointing toward the future and moved it forward by going to the past.


Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XV friends

2016 saw a ton of amazing games come out but none struck us quite as well as Final Fantasy XV. 10 years in the making Square Enix finally delivered and it was certainly worth the wait. It starts out as a simple journey but turns into a quest of friendship, love, and redemption. From the moment you meet the main characters it is obvious they all have very unique personalities. Before long you’ve become emotionally invested in their story, each character has a ton of dialogue and will remark on almost every situation. The new battle system is flashy and keeps the player engaged, while the open world immerses you even further. Our playthrough was quick and even that took 40 hours, with plenty of side quests ignored their, is easily another 30 hours in the game. Final Fantasy XV is our game of the year because of how quickly it captivated us. The minute we picked up the controller stopping wasn’t an option. It is rare to see a game make you care so deeply about a group of virtual people. This game is going to become a cornerstone of the FF series, right next to VII, and will always be a Gigamax favorite.

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