A few weeks ago we asked you, our readers and Creators, to tell us which games were the best that you played this year. And you responded with a lot of love for a lot of games. Whether you're a #PC, console or handheld gamer, 2016 was definitely a standout year for gaming, and we know that choosing between the top titles was definitely not easy.
From insane multiplayer mayhem, to gripping single-player experiences, this year had something for every kind of gamer. That said, each vote has been hand counted and tallied, so here are your winners!
Best RPG 2016
Dark Souls III is FromSoftware at its best! With this installment, #DarkSouls3 delivered an experience that builds upon everything we love about the franchise, and then some. From the ghoulish new creature designs, to an atmosphere so deep you can drown in it, there's a lot to love (and fear) in this entry. It doesn't matter how good you eventually got at #DarkSouls2 or #Bloodborne, you were guaranteed to get your ass handed to you — and you liked it.
Runner-up: Final Fantasy XV
Best Action 2016
Uncharted 4 was a complete pleasure to play, from beginning to end. It delivered the fast-paced run 'n' gun mechanics expected from the series and seamlessly blended gameplay with storytelling. Not only was it a fantastic game, it was also a perfect end to Nathan Drake's story and delivered the closure that many other franchises fail to do. Naughty Dog is known as one of the best developers in the business, and #Uncharted4 is a shining example of why.
Runner-up: Dishonored 2
Best Shooter 2016
There was a bit of confusion and skepticism when people first heard Blizzard was going to try its hand at an online FPS. It's certainly not the genre that the company is known for — could the studio really pull it off? Well, at least we now know better than to ever cast doubt on the developers. #Overwatch isn't just a game, it's a phenomenon! From the Pixar-level detail of the animated shorts, to its seasonal events and memorable characters, there's something for every kind of gamer in Overwatch. It's fast, it's fluid, it's fun.
Runner-up: Titanfall 2
Best Multiplayer 2016
Tracer, Mercy, Reaper — these are just a few of the characters that have become common names to almost every gamer in 2016. One of #Blizzard's major achievements with Overwatch was just how well-balanced every character played. There isn't an obvious single choice that will guarantee you the win. Every play style is catered to, and the diverse cast of characters can appeal to pretty much anyone. This careful attention to accessibility is the main reason why Overwatch isn't just the best shooter this year, it's the best multiplayer game of 2016.
Runner-up: Battlefield 1
Best Indie 2016
Receiving nominations for both Best Indie Game and Game of the Year demonstrates that Inside is no ordinary indie. Playdead has achieved the impossible by creating a more complete and masterful evolution of Limbo, ultimately dragging us into one of the most disturbing game worlds in recent memory. Its puzzles are wickedly clever, its animations fluid, its music literally made with a skull, and it boasts a visual style of unparalleled beauty.
The conclusion to #Inside will baffle you and the questions and allusions it poses throughout will have you seeking more and more answers every time you play it. Believe me, you’ll be compelled to revisit this bleak landscape after the credits roll.
Best Mobile/Handheld 2016
The #Pokemon games have been around for quite some time now, and they're not going away anytime soon. They've always enjoyed immense success with every release, and though each new generation brought a few new features with it, Game Freak has always played it safe. That is, until Pokémon Sun and Moon released last month and shook the franchise up completely. Gym battles? Gone. Vulpix is obviously a Fire Pokémon? Eh, guess again. Does that Diglett have hair? Take a seat, friend — you've got lots to catch up on.
Sun and Moon are a breath of fresh air to a series whose formula was already starting to wear thin. Battles are more streamlined, there's a greater emphasis on competitive play, and a slew of new online features prove these pocket monsters are not the only ones who are evolving.
Runner-up: Pokémon Go
Most Hyped For 2017
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a game that #Nintendo fans have been waiting on for a long, long time. Initially announced in 2014 as a Wii U exclusive, the game is now expected to also release with the Nintendo #Switch in March 2017 (unless delayed again, but we already have gameplay footage). With promises to take the series back to its open-world origins, #BreathoftheWild is looking to be Link's biggest, and possibly best adventure to date. The Legend of Zelda is a franchise that has become synonymous with quality, and for good reason. Nintendo has constantly delivered some of its best work with these games, and that's not looking to slow down anytime soon.
Runner-up: Horizon Zero Dawn
Game Of The Year 2016
Say what you will about sequel culture in the industry today, Arkane smashed it out of the park with Dishonored 2. Our Game of the Year winner takes players on a journey to the new land of Karnaca, where they'll experience a new world and overthrow an estranged aunt who stole away Emily Kaldwin's throne.
That alone wouldn't be enough to weed out the competition, but where #Dishonored2 really shines is the numerous avenues a player can take to reach the objective. Stealth or mayhem, it's your choice. The superb level design caters to any play style, while the choice of Emily or Corvo presents two characters that are equally delightful to play. For all its slick action and steampunk (technically whalepunk) aesthetics, there's also a ton of replay value and plenty of water-cooler discussion material to be found in Dishonored 2.
So there it is, the best of the best according to our community of Creators. This isn't to say that the games not seen on this list are terrible. Far from it. With nominated releases such as Tokyo Mirage Sessions, Tyranny and Owlboy, 2016 has been filled with truly great titles, and things are only looking up. 2017 is on track to be an absolutely phenomenal span for game releases, and come this time next year, there are sure to be more violent GOTY discussions in the Now Loading and Creators Media offices.
Did your GOTY win big? See a game that you wish made it to the list? Let us know down in the comments below!