So, it's the end of the year, and we here at CGMagazine, after a long and brutal conversation, have named Final Fantasy XV as our pick for 2016's game of the year. The voting got fairly intense near the end, and if you have not yet listened to our GOTY podcast, I strongly suggest that you do. In the end, we were left with three games and a tie for the top spot, with Final Fantasy XV, Hitman, and Overwatch considered favourites this year.
In the end, Final Fantasy XV won edging out Hitman which had firm support from both CGMagazine writers along with the Podcast team. The Square Enix JRPG eventually got the nod with the staff believing it pushes the industry and franchise forward with a strong narrative, a large open world full of things to do, and a fun combat system.
Elias Blondeau- Editor: “[Final Fantasy XV] really spoke to me on a personal level. I got lost in it. I got engrossed in it. I’m going to replay the whole thing again this week with the new game plus stuff they patched in. As a long time series fan, and a long time series fan of Hitman. Looking at both these franchises that I care about a lot, Hitman delivered a very very tightly polished reiteration of things that I already liked about those games. Final Fantasy did a very good job of having enough fan service to make me go ‘Aw man, I recognize the thing you’re doing,’ while, at the same time, embracing a lot of modern JRPG and WRPG design choices to make a game that appealed to all sorts of audiences… I think that Final Fantasy XV solved a lot of JRPG problems by being accessible to a wider audience while still not losing any depth.”
It was a tight race, as Hitman narrowly lost out. Unlike Final Fantasy XV's praise for it's story, loveable cast, and it's huge world, Hitman's nomination was based on the game's ability to take advantage of this console generation's power and capabilities, with an episodic release that allowed players to drop in and out when they'd like.
Brendan Frye- Editor In Chief: “[Hitman] is the game I’ve gone back to the most this year, and a game that has stuck with me most out of all the things I have played. When they first announced Hitman was going episodic, I along with other members of the media where skeptical, unsure if the team at IO Interactive would be able to pull it off. Then it came out, and everything clicked. The game experience all made sense, and best of all, it was fun. I will happily go back to Hitman as long as they release new maps for it, and the way they mix up missions and add new targets really pushes the genre forward. I think, for that reason it really belong as one of the years best.”
Overwatch landed in third place for breathing fresh air into the shooter genre, and it's ability to bring in many different players from varying walks of life.
Cody Orme- Associate Editor: “It was one of the first real pushes in the shooter genre that was bright and colourful and charming instead of dark and brooding. It’s progressive, and there’s a lot of things to say about Overwatch that are positive.”
Lisa Mior- Writer: “It really drew in a lot of different groups of players into this game because of that, it was a lot more approachable than other shooters.”
Game of the Year 2016 Nominees (Based on staff Vote):
Final Fantasy XV [Winner]
Hyper Light Drifter
Overall 2016 was filled with some amazing games. It was a great year for fans, it was a great year for the industry, and it was a great year for gaming.