As for me, well I felt that this year was a mixed bag. We had some extremely excellent games, but we also had some highly anticipated games that totally fell on their face. Some great franchises made a return only to quickly fall under the table again, hockey finally came to form in NHL 16, and we got plenty of shooters to talk about.
When talking about actual GOTY my thought process quickly broke things down to two games. Batman: Arkham Knight and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. As people that follow my posts know, I am a massive Metal Gear fan so that game probably would have slipped into this discussion no matter what, but to have a game compete with it for me is what is so great. Both of these games are the “last” from their respective creators before being sent off to other studios, both excelled at everything that made them great, and both brought in some nostalgia of past titles. Yet in my opinion one game slightly edged the other, and I mean extremely minimal edge, Batman: Arkham Knight.
Game Of The Year – Batman: Arkham Knight
It is crazy hard to say a game edged MGSV, but I felt that if any game had done it then it was Batman: Arkham Knight. The thing that won me over is that the game stuck to what made the franchise so great. Fighting mechanics, exploration for Riddler clues, enemies, and voice work. It tied all of this up into a really tight bow and thrilled you at every turn by putting on a display of the franchise at its all-time best. Then to continue the single player experience via DLC, which I can truly say was an addition to the game, just topped all other games for me. I’m a Batman fan and with what Rocksteady does it will be missed when they are no longer making the games. This is how you go out with a bang. By taking everything you have done well and doing it even better.
Rise Of The Tomb Raider – Best Xbox One Title
Of the list of games I had to cut down, Tomb Raider was on that list. Not only did it need to beat out the extremely hot online of Halo 5, it had to beat out some third party titles too. Tomb Raider is very similar to Batman in which it took everything that it did great and excelled at it with a bigger more dynamic world, and a thrilling story with lively characters. If you have an Xbox One then you shouldn’t be missing out on this game, at all!
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Best RPG
Very rarely do RPG titles win GOTY for me, but The Witcher sure did put up a fight. It has a mature story structure, it was challenging and fun to play, and it looks beautiful. It had very similar qualities as Dragon Age, which won GOTY recently for us as a website.
Rainbow Six Siege – Best Shooter
This game will most likely pick up heat for having no single player, but then I look at other titles that do. Call of Duty’s single player is alright, but other shooters felt rather lacking. Halo explored some great areas, but it felt dull. Star Wars Battlefront had a terrible AI mode for “single player” and nobody cares. Rainbow Six stories are great and I do miss the single player, but their online experience really made up for it. It is seriously the most thrilling and fun experience I’ve had with a shooter in so long.
Metal Gear Solid V – Best Action
Look, MGSV was sitting right there next to Batman for GOTY of the year. It was basically a “close your eyes and point at one” moment because both games did everything so well. What pushed MGSV back a tiny bit is that the open world somewhat took me out of the Metal Gear feel. If it were more like Ground Zeroes where each mission is an open world I think it would have won hands down. And yet, this game goes on a whole new adventure and barring some very slight mistakes, it does things so well that I continue to play it to this day.
Honorable Mentions – Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, Halo 5, Mad Max