The Best PC Games of 2016

Best Overall PC Game: Overwatch

Overwatch Screenshot
Overwatch Screenshot. © Blizzard

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The first half of 2016 has been an exciting one in terms of PC game release but Overwatch stands head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to game play, storyline and features.

Overwatch is a first person shooter game developed by Blizzard Entertainment that features a team or squad based format that pits two teams against each other. The game is set in an alternative, near future Earth where artificial intelligence threatens to take control of humanity. Players select a hero from a diverse group of people that include soldiers, scientists, mercenaries and others. Each of these heroes fill a specific role in a co-operative team based game play.

Overwatch is the first new game franchise from Blizzard since StarCraft was released in 1998 and once again they've hit it out of the park. Overwatch offers stunning visuals and polished gaming experience that goes unmatched this year. The game premise has has countless possibilities moving forward that should reward gamers into the foreseeable future.

Best Real Time Strategy Game: StarCraft II Legacy of the Void

StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void
StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void. © Blizzard

StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void is the third and final chapter in the StarCraft II trilogy that began back in 2010 with the release of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. This time players are taken through the storyline involving the Protoss race in the single player campaign. Once again Blizzard has reach new highs with the series creating a compelling storyline with tried and tested game play that has a chess like balance that is nearly flawless. The multiplayer ranked, un-ranked and custom modes have also been updated with some fresh units and game play features that add new excitement to the never tiring online matches.

The only disappointing aspect about StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void is the fact that it's the final chapter in the trilogy. Lets just hope that Blizzard doesn't wait another ten years before they bring us another real time strategy masterpiece in the StarCraft Universe.

Best World War II Game: Hearts of Iron IV

Hearts of Iron IV
Hearts of Iron IV. © Paradox Interactive

Hearts of Iron IV is the fourth entry in the World War II based grand strategy game series. Each entry in the series seems to raise the bar in terms of what a grand strategy game should offer and Hearts of Iron IV is no different. Those patient enough to get through the game's steep learning curve will be rewarded with everything strategy game fans look for in a game. Perfect game balance and a wealth of features that allow players to control all aspects of the game. However minute, if it has an impact on the outcome, players have the ability to manage it.

Specific features include all aspects of nation management including the ability to take command of any nation and rewrite history. A real time war simulation where players need to be involved in resource management, manufacturing, military build-up, scientific research, diplomacy, espionage and more. The robust single player experience includes a number of scenarios/conflicts that allow one to hone their skills as well as a grand strategy that begins during the tumultuous 1930s and the build up to the Second World War.

Hearts of Iron IV was released in June 2016 and a free DLC titled Poland: United and Ready has been released which includes new 3D models of military units, new leader portriats and more.

Best First Person Shooter: Doom

Doom Screenshot
Doom Screenshot. © Id Software

Doom is the second reboot of the series and comes more than 10 years since the release of the first reboot, Doom 3. This edition scores high marks with its single player campaign that is a non-stop thrill ride that won't give you a second to catch your breath. Doom puts an emphasis on speed and combat and from start to finish players will need to be on. Over the top firepower will be needed to take on all sorts of demons from hell, who seem to keep coming regardless of how much firepower you can thrown at them. Some have called this non-stop game play "old school" with health packs and armor to pickup, but it is a welcomed change from many of the shooters released in recent years. Doom also incorporates new game play features not found in previous entries in the series such as double jumps and ability to use Parkour style movement to avoid enemies for a split second.

Doom does contain a competitive multiplayer mode, but does not separate itself from the countless other multiplayer shooters available, but the single player mode helps it stand alone as one of the best games of 2016 so far.

Best Sci-Fi Game: XCOM 2

XCOM 2 Screenshot
XCOM 2 Screenshot. © 2K Games

XCOM 2 is the follow up to XCOM reboot released in 2012 and everything is bigger and better than before making it one of the best games in the series. XCOM 2 takes place 20 years after the events of XCOM and picks up with the assumption that the Earth lost it's battle with the aliens (regardless of how you may have fared in the game). XCOM is a shadow of it's former self, with members forced to go into hiding. But something has started to turn and the remaining XCOM forces try to pick up the pieces and overthrown the aliens that now occupy Earth.

This game excels and surpasses nearly every aspect of a very well received XCOM. It is one of the deepest and satisfying strategy game experiences to be released in recent years. The procedurally generated maps and 3D models are visually stunning to play through. The gameplay and mechanics are as intuitive as you will find making it fun and close to perfect.

Best Original Game: Far Cry Primal

Far Cry Primal Screenshot
Far Cry Primal Screenshot. © Ubisoft

If there's one game from 2016 that's been overlooked by gamers this year it is Far Cry Primal. The assumption is that this lack of popularity can be attributed to the transformation that has been made in the series with this release. At first look some may question the reason for a spinoff that transports us to the prehistoric Stone Age, without any trusty firearms whatsoever. But skeptical gamers should be reassured, Far Cry Primal not only has an engaging story, but is visually appealing and these are woven together to make an extremely fun gaming experience.

While this technically is not a first person shooter, there are no firearms to "shoot", it plays very much like an FPS. Players take on the role of a stone age hunter, armed at times by nothing but his bare hands. they must fight for survival against animals, the environment, and other tribes in hopes of becoming the leader of their tribe. If you're looking for something new and different from the typical first person shooters then Far Cry Primal is definitely one game you don't want to overlook.

Best Story: Banner Saga 2

Banner Saga 2 Screenshot
Banner Saga 2 Screenshot. © Versus Evil

The Banner Saga 2 continues the saga started in the indie gem The Banner Saga. The story picks up where the first chapter left off with choices made carrying over to impact the storyline of The Banner Saga 2. The game features beautiful 2D had drawn artwork that mesh beautifully with the musical score and audio effects. The epic story told in The Banner Saga 2 is not only compelling but will hit on personal level as you become tied to your viking caravan that you must guide on a journey torn apart by strife and battle.

The game itself is can be categorized as a Tactical Role Playing Game with turn based combat system. Players can build a party of characters with various skills and abilities to help them through their journey.

Best Action RPG: Dark Souls III

Dark Souls III Screenshot
Dark Souls III Screenshot. © Bandai Namco Entertainment

Dark Souls III is the fourth title in the Dark Souls series of action role playing games. The game is played from the third person perspective with a game play that mirrors that of Dark Souls II. Dark Souls III includes a full character creation process allowing players to customize characters to their liking. Players can equip their characters with a wide array of weapons including swords, bows and other ranged and melee weapons. In the game players will travel across the Kingdom of Lothric as the Age of Dark has come once again and the dead begin to rise once more.

Dark Souls III has been planned as the final game in the series and it's excellent graphics, visuals and gameplay help close out the series on a high note.

Best Apocolyptic Game: Tom Clancy's The Division

Tom Clancy's The Division Screenshot
Tom Clancy's The Division Screenshot. © Ubisoft

Tom Clancy's The Division is a third person action game set in New York City after a small pox pandemic has crippled the city and sent it into chaos. Players take on the role of a member of a highly classified special forces operative who is tasked with trying to restore order and uncover the source of the pandemic. Tom Clancy's The Division offers players a mix of genre and game play styles that makes it very enjoyable and fresh to play. The mixing of the single player and co-operative multiplayer modes works very well. The game world is an open world that allows players to venture into different areas taking on missions and quests as they encounter them. The Dark Zone also offers of some excellent game play options with player vs player and player vs environment areas.

In addition to being a third person shooter The Division also has role play game elements such as experience points and money used to upgrade weapons, equipment and character skills.

Best Strategy: Offworld Trading Company

Offworld Trading Company Screenshot
Offworld Trading Company Screenshot. © Stardock

Offworld Trading Company is a strategy game developed by Soren Johnson, a lead designer on Sid Meier's Civilization IV. In the game players become a budding entrepreneur trying to get a competitive edge on Mars after Earth has been drained of all its resources. This economic strategy puts players in charge of a new Martian colony that must compete with rivals that will do just about everything to undermine your business. In Offworld Trading Company, money and market forces are your weapons and victory depends entirely on your economic rather than military decisions.