10 – House of the Dying Sun
Some parts Battlestar Galactica mixed with some parts TIE Fighter makes a pretty good space dogfighter. Missions are short and to the point, and it’s got a real nihilistic feeling to it.
9 – Headlander
It’s a Metroidvania where you can’t jump. It’s pure 70’s sci-fi: weird, colorful, and full of lasers.
8 – Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
It expands the scope of the Call of Duty series in ways that I never expected. They could’ve called this a Halo prequel and they wouldn’t have been far off from how it feels. It also does a better job of building up actual characters than any other Call of Duty.
7 – Shadow Warrior 2
Sometimes repetitive, but I couldn’t stop enjoying it. It’s got tons of weapons and options for destroying endless hordes of demons.
6 – Rise of the Tomb Raider
This was a great followup to Tomb Raider. It expands upon that game in smart ways and it’s a fun action game.
5 – Firewatch
Calling this an outdoor Gone Home is terribly reductive, but it’s pretty close. The story kind of hand-waves away some of its problems, but it’s engrossing from beginning to end.
4 – Quadrilateral Cowboy
I love everything Blendo Games makes, and QuadCow is no exception. It’s got a great aesthetic and I love the retro command line puzzle solving.
3 – Salt and Sanctuary
I could never get into Dark Souls like I got into Salt and Sanctuary. That’s likely because S&S inherits as much from Castlevania as it does from Dark Souls. It’s a game that’s sometimes frustrating but I could never stay away for too long. There’s a huge number of enemies, and the memorable bosses will haunt your dreams until you finally vanquish them.
2 – INSIDE
LIMBO was okay. INSIDE is amazing. It’s short, but impossible to stop playing. The less said about it, the better, but I will say that it’s one of those games that keeps doing incredible things until it explodes at the very end.
1 – DOOM
I like all of the Doom games, even Doom 3, and I was skeptical that DOOM would be good. It spent a lot of time in development hell. It was all worth it. This is an amazing game that retains the feeling of the original while giving it a 2016 makeover.
Honorable mentions: Oxenfree, Asemblance, Batman – The Telltale Series
Games I probably should have liked but didn’t really grab me, so I didn’t spend much time with them: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Dishonored 2