It’s been an thrilling, varied year for videogames. So blow those trumpets. Hit those drums — hard. It’s time for the Boysie Awards. Here are the Best Games Of The Year!
Best Mobile Game | Pokémon Go
Pokémon Go is a free cellphone download of Pokémon mashed up with the history of your local landmarks. Wherever you go, you’ll find Pokémon — along with everything from nearby graffiti to architectural landmarks. You see and meet Pokémon fans on the street and you might even talk with them. Pokémon Go is a landmark game that’ll keep expanding with more Pokémon. You can’t do much better than that.
Best PS4 Game | The Last Guardian
There aren’t many games that evoke the deep emotions between you and a pet — in this case, a feral pet. And that’s what The Last Guardian does best as you explore mysterious temples with a young boy and Trico, a giant monster that’s both delightful and ferocious. The game induces a human/animal bond, one that’s more engaging than any game ever has. Plus, the emotional ending may make you cry (in a good way).
Best Xbox One Game | Forza Horizon 3
This passion-filled racing series always offers frantic speed and astoundingly varied scenery. With each edition, the graphics become more detailed, pleasing both auto fans who love to customize their cars and those who love the majesty of the open road. The radio stations aren’t bad, either. Plus, you get to put on a massive festival of motorific wonders in beautiful country of Australia.
Best Nintendo 3DS Game | Pokémon Sun and Moon
This really was the Year of Pokémon. There’s just so much to do in the island universe of Sun and Moon. The new gameplay added accessibility and amusement. And the story was full of mystery, inclusiveness and friendship. Pokémon just keeps on going without changing the “gotta catch ’em all” formula too much — and millions around the world are just fine with that.
Best Nintendo Wii U Game | The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD
The Wii U is being replaced by Nintendo Switch. So there weren’t many games published for the aging Nintendo console this year. Even though Twilight Princess was a remake, the Link adventure offered a vast amount of exhilaration and thrills. With an exclusive Amiibo figure, enhanced graphics and new items like the Ghost Lantern, the game’s a real winner.
Best Computer Game | Civilization VI
The long-running Sid Meier series has always been about history, learning and strategy. Here, you’re an empire-builder. But it’s never easy to conquer. Barbarians can overwhelm and destroy your village. Villains from history try to stop you at every turn. Diplomacy helps, but espionage does, too. It’s all challenging but compelling. Interacting with the heroes of history like Gandhi and Roosevelt makes the whole thing worthwhile.
Best Puzzle Game | The Witness
The Witness had a great inspiration — the legendary game of Myst. But even more, its puzzles make you think — and think and think. To solve them, you use parts of your brain that you don’t usually use. The Witness’ lurid location (a strange, quiet island) comes interspersed with small nuggets of story. It’s not a perfect game, but it sure comes close.
Best Indie Game | Slither:io
It seems like a slithery snap to play. Go online. Pick a snake skin. Try to eat other snakes and get longer. That’s all you have to do in this free game. But try to do that without bumping into any of a thousand other snakes just as hungry as you are to top the leader boards. One bump and you’re toast. For weeks, I couldn’t stop playing. Slither:io is really amazing — partially because it’s so difficult to become the biggest snake of all.
Best Multiplayer Game | Overwatch
The reason Overwatch is getting accolades isn’t just because it offers variety in its heroic characters. It’s because everything works so well. The controls are always smooth and responsive. The characters — everything from a robot to a ninja to a powerful nerd — have riveting backstories. And you don’t have to memorize a ton of crazy buttons to figure out how to play. It’s not simply about shooting, either. Playing a healer is just as important and fun. If you just want to watch, Overwatch is going to make a terrific eSport, too. It’s all about cooperation and teamwork — and that’s something we all need to understand a little more in real life, too.
Best Adventure Game | Skylanders Imaginators
Imaginators doesn’t just win for creativity. It succeeds because it’s the second best Skylanders game of all time. You can customize your own Skylander in the game. But you can also make an action figure that comes to you in the mail, too. Sure, the game offers the same sometimes-corny characters. Even though I’m annoyed by KAOS, I’ve come to appreciate his yearly presence in Imaginators.
Boysie Game of the Year Runner Up | Overwatch
Overwatch isn’t for everyone. In fact, we only recommend this T-rated title for gamers 12 years old and up. But for those of you ready for a more mature multiplayer experience, there’s little else like Overwatch in the gaming world.
Boysie Game of the Year Winner | The Last Guardian
It should come as no surprise that this stunning game takes the top spot in 2016. The No. 1 reason that The Last Guardian is our game of the year? Going on this roller coaster ride of puzzles and adventure with the giant beast Trico not only makes your heart beat. It makes your heart melt. The Last Guardian makes you appreciate one of the closest friendships you can ever have — even though that friendship is inside a game.