I didn’t play as many new games as some in 2016–definitely not as many as I would have liked–but I still have some big favorites. I talked about the best 3DS and mobile games of the year already, so I won’t rave about those again here.
Full disclosure: I don’t have an Xbox One, and I literally just got my PS4 in the mail. So my personal favorites won’t range as broadly as others’. But hey, let’s dive in anyways.
5. Pokémon GO
This year was a good one for mobile games, and Pokémon GO is the one that took the world by storm. If you haven’t played it, you still likely know everything about it.
Pokémon GO isn’t without its issues, but bringing Pokémon to mobile as a location-based augmented reality app game has been nothing short of fascinating.
4. Animal Crossing: New Leaf – Welcome amiibo
Listen pal, I know New Leaf came out in 2012. Just stay with me.
Nintendo rolled out the Welcome amiibo update for Animal Crossing: New Leaf in November to the roaring applause of 3DS gamers worldwide. They even re-released the updated game, adding Welcome amiibo to the title. (See, it can go on this list!) New Leaf is a crazy good life sim, and the fact that it got this big of an update more than four years after its release speaks to that.
The update adds amiibo functionality, a whole new area in town, a slew of cute villagers, and several refreshing gameplay features.
3. Civilization VI
Hoo boy, do I love me a good Civ game. And this is a damn good Civ game.
I’d definitely go so far as to say Civilization VI is the best in the series, as have many other players. I frickin’ love building an empire from nothing, researching my way through the ages, battling feisty armies, and figuring out the best strategy to stomp Peter the Great into the dirt where he and his mustache belong.
2. Monster Hunter Generations
This is the first Monster Hunter I’ve ever played, and I have to say I’m hooked. It was pretty easy to get into–easier than others in the series, I’ve heard–and also super fun. The action-heavy RPG presents dozens of hours of, ahem, monster-hunting with rewards of fantastic weapons and armor you build from your conquests’ bodies.
1. Stardew Valley
Newbie developer Eric Barone–better known by his username ConcernedApe–created something incredibly special with Stardew Valley. It’s a gem of an indie farming-simulation RPG with just the right combination of Harvest Moon inspiration and magically heartfelt creativity. You can pour hours into this game and still have more to do. And the pixel art style is absolutely gorgeous.
What do you think of my top picks? And what are your favorite 2016 games? Let me know in the comments!