PlayStation Insider’s 2016 Game Of The Year Awards

2016 has come and gone but with it came a ton of fantastic games that we won’t forget anytime soon. From the early releases of the year with games like The Witness, to the last month of December when we finally got our hands on The Last Guardian, 2016 was packed from wall to wall with fantastic titles that will continue to keep us busy well into 2017. Here are the games that we here at PlayStation Insider thought stood above the rest in 2016.

PS4 Exclusive of the Year — Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Naughty Dog is Sony’s best in-house developer, no matter which way you slice it. From graphic fidelity, engrossing narrative, fun gameplay, Naughty Dog has a secret sauce cooking and keeps delivering superb treats. It is no surprise that the company’s first title built from the ground up for PS4 is an absolute delight. The team perfectly wrapped up one of PlayStation’s most iconic characters story and told the tale they wanted. It’s also, hands down, the most gorgeous console game out there. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is a must for any and all PS4 owners. — Max Roberts

Vita Game of the Year — Severed

In 2016, it was a surprise to see a Vita exclusive launch. “Vita” and “exclusive” are rarely slapped together in the same sentence. DrinkBox Studios decided to deliver one though, and boy did they deliver. Their first game since Guacamelee, Severed features that unique and stylish, Mexican-inspired aesthetic and Metroidvania gameplay, but all in first person. Boasting touchscreen controls for combat that works, slicing off enemy limbs was a delight. The grim tone and Metroidvania gameplay loop makes the 5-6 hour game a must for Vita owners. — Max Roberts

PSVR Game of the Year — Batman: Arkham VR

I mean, come on, of course the game where you get to play as Batman would win our best PSVR game award. In the new headset’s first few months on the market, there have been many new and interesting games but none of them have stood out in the same way that Arkham VR has. While it may only take around 90 minutes to complete, the experience that you have is one of the most memorable of the year. In a time where virtual reality is still trying to find its footing, Batman: Arkham VR is the best example of just what the future could hold for the peripheral. Plus, more of Mark Hamill’s Joker is always a good thing.  — Logan Moore

Best Shooter — Battlefield 1

While most shooters are trending towards taking place in the future, DICE opted to instead go in the other direction and make their next iteration of Battlefield take place in a war that is over 100 years old. Battlefield 1 was a breath of fresh air because of this and was really one of the most distinct shooters of 2016. With a unique campaign that allows you to play in any order you want and a return to form for the game’s long beloved multiplayer, Battlefield 1 is arguably the best game in the series and will keep you coming back for months on end. — Logan Moore

Best Multiplayer Game — Overwatch

Since its launch in May Overwatch has been wildly successful, and that’s due, in no small part, to Blizzard’s continued support in the community as well as the quality game itself. What makes Overwatch so brilliant is it’s diversity in both character designs and gameplay. There are currently 23 playable heroes in Overwatch, each with their own abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. As you can imagine, this game has been a beast to balance as certain balance changes in heroes may spark an unintended shift in viability for the heroes who were otherwise perfectly fine. Blizzard has worked non-stop, not only to make the game more balanced, but more fun as well; doing their best to ensure each of the 23 (soon to be more) heroes sees play. While there may never be a time when the game is perfectly balanced, and all heroes are equally played, that’s alright. It’s a living game. It shifts and grows and evolves with it’s community and as long as it’s supported by its community, Overwatch will always be a fresh experience. — Carter McDaniel

Best Sports/Racing Game  — NBA 2K17

No sports game has seen such a jump in features and gameplay as much as the 2K series has done year after year. The mechanics of the game continue to delve deep enough to satisfy basketball enthusiasts while keeping the pace fast and fun for casual players as well. The game modes this year have seen a tremendous improvement, from MyCareer, MyTeam, and my personal favorite, MyGM. Everything about NBA2K17 screams polish and it is easily the best sports game this year. — Ian Vidal

Best RPG — Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XV is game that was 10 years worth the wait. The beautiful world of Final Fantasy and its monsters were finally given a real sense of scale. It’s nothing short of amazing for fans both old and new to see monsters roaming the fields as you drive past and take in the gorgeous scenic view. The gameplay had taken a departure from the typical turn-based play and instead opted for a real-time action game. This breathed new life into the series and has given the audience a new Final Fantasy game to fall in love with. — Ian Vidal

Best Indie Game — Inside

You’ll be hard pressed to find a game that was more meticulously designed and crafted in 2016 than Inside. While it may be a simple side-scroller on paper, the world, tone, and vibe that Inside offers is unmatched. You’ll find yourself consistently weirded out, yet unable to look away while playing through the game. Its puzzles will make you think and the characters you run into will make you wonder just what’s going on in this strange world. With one of the most stand out endings in the last few years, Inside will keep you asking questions for days, weeks, and months after you finish it. It’s truly one of the most unique and interesting games I have ever played in my life, let alone in 2016. — Logan Moore

2016 Game of the Year — Overwatch

Blizzard is known for making quality titles. Any time a new Blizzard game releases, almost everyone is excited. Sometimes, they create something so great it transcends gaming. The last time that happened was when World of Warcraft released and Blizzard has possibly done it again with Overwatch. Overwatch is more than just a game; it has become a geek culture phenomenon. From the great cosplay to the popular memes, Overwatch is everywhere. It’s cast of unique characters has connected with its audience in such a way that is rare in gaming. On a gameplay level, Overwatch is top-notch. Blizzard’s inaugural shooter perfectly blends FPS and MOBA elements in ways that plenty of developers have attempted, but have ultimately failed. It’s an incredibly competitive shooter that deserves the love and support it does. It may not be my personal game of the year (shoutout to DOOM), but Overwatch is clearly the game of the year for 2016 and it may be the game of the decade if it’s as successful as Blizzard’s last phenomenon. — Michael Ruiz

Logan Moore
the authorLogan Moore
Logan is a video production student from Indianapolis and has been playing video games since he was in diapers. When he's not playing games, he's probably watching the Chicago Cubs and praying that God one day delivers them a championship.