1Pvs2P.com's Game of the Year 2016 Awards!

Welcome to 1Pvs2P.com's Game of the Year 2016 Awards!

Join us this month as we debate special category awards, unveil our Editors' Choice picks for the year, and announce our consensus Game of the Year on January 1, 2017. Scroll down for the results of our GOTY 2016 deliberations from podcast episodes 72-74.

This post will be updated as our weekly podcast episodes are released, so bookmark this page and check back later as we announce more awards.

Congratulations and special thanks to all the creative minds behind our award-winning video games of 2016! Our show couldn't be possible without your time, passion, and dedication to your craft.


After scouring our Top 10 Editors' Choice lists on Week 3 of our Game of the Year deliberations podcast, we squabbled over our consensus game of the year. With some discussion, Overwatch emerged victorious with its Saturday morning cartoon style, balanced and diverse character classes, well-designed maps, and accessible gunplay that elevate it as the premier online multiplayer shooter of 2016. Though it has no single player campaign, there is plenty of variety between team composition, ultimate abilities, world-spanning levels, and modes that encourage cooperative teamwork. Blizzard's signature polish also extends to its character skins, emotes, sprays, and icons, which replace a more typical online shooter progression. Plus, free seasonal updates with smart new heroes and game modes have extended the game's shelf life. As 2016’s Game of the Year, Overwatch is great, light-hearted fun, even when your team won't get on the payload.

Other Candidates

  • Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
  • Hyper Light Drifter
  • Forza Horizon 3
  • Stardew Valley

Runners-Up

  • Doom
  • Hitman

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Click a game then hover over (or tap · button on mobile site) to read more about our Editors' Choice award winners of 2016.

Ryan Reeh
Writer & Co-Host


Taylor Reeh
Producer & Co-Host


SITE AWARD BEST SURPRISE.png
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Stardew Valley's down-home charm and refreshing take on the farming simulator genre came out of nowhere to be one of the Best Surprises this year, and continues to pile on free features and additions post-launch to an already excellent game. From building a dream farm, to restoring a town's community center, to finding the right romantic partner, to dungeon crawling in a mine, Stardew Valley has it all and then some, all created by one-man developer Concerned Ape (Eric Barone). This game is the relaxing good time that you never knew you wanted. 

Runners-Up

  • Doom
  • Pocket Card Jockey

Other Candidates

  • Pokémon GO
  • Hitman
  • Devil Daggers
  • Picross 3D Round 2
  • Battlefiled 1
  • Titanfall 2
  • World of Final Fantasy
  • Dragon Quest Builders

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Overwatch is sure to earn a lot of praise, but its visual style is the most cohesive visual package video games had to offer in 2016. From a diverse cast of characters that visually hint at their character classes, to the stylized art and level design, Overwatch's graphics strike the right gameplay balance between form and functionality. Evoking the Saturday morning cartoon vibe, this year's most playful multiplayer shooter ended up being one of its most pleasant to look at.

Runners-Up

  • Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE
  • Thumper

Other Candidates

  • SUPERHOT
  • Abzu
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
  • No Man's Sky
  • Forza Horizon 3
  • Devil Daggers
  • Enter the Gungeon

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The story of Mighty No. 9 is disappointing no matter how you slice it, and the final product somehow managed to sink lower than our already very low expectations for it. Turning a very successful Kickstarter into a game this bad is shameful. From its sloppy controls to its also-ran boss design and graphics, everything about this game screams discount Mega Man in a way that makes us question whether Keiji Inafune's success was a fluke. To put it bluntly, this game sucks. A lot.

Runners-Up

  • Star Fox Zero
  • No Man's Sky

Other Candidates

  • Trials of the Blood Dragon
  • We Happy Few
  • Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness
  • Homefront: The Revolution
  • Trackmania Turbo
  • Far Cry Primal
  • Metroid Prime Federation Force
  • Final Fantasy Explorers
  • Umbrella Corps
  • Mafia III
  • Battleborn
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  • Pac-Man Championship Edition 2
  • Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
  • Dangerous Golf
  • Quantum Break

SITE AWARD BEST MOBILE OR HANDHELD GAME.png
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In this, the 20th anniversary of the original Pokémon games, Game Freak has recaptured the spirit of what made the original games so fun in the new Pokémon Sun and Moon. The new Hawaiian-inspired setting is colorful and light-hearted, and also manages to explain reworked mechanics like Gym Battles that have become Trials, Totem Pokémon, and why some of the older creatures now have new Alolan forms. It helps that Pokémon's formula is as streamlined as ever here, resulting in some quality-of-life improvements for longtime fans of the franchise and expanded online areas and functionality, which easily put it at the top of our favorite mobile/handheld games this year.

Runners-Up

  • Reigns
  • Pocket Card Jockey

Other Candidates

  • Warbits
  • Final Fantasy Mobius
  • Final Fantasy Brave Exvius
  • Fire Emblem Fates
  • Clash Royale
  • Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam
  • Kirby: Planet Robobot
  • Monster Hunter Generations
  • Picross 3D Round 2
  • Severed

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Mafia III’s Lincoln Clay is one of the sole motivators in finishing an otherwise average game. An African-American Vietnam War vet who returns home only to be betrayed and left for dead after a successful bank heist, his character arc transcends the typical revenge plot and deftly handles the racism in 1960s Louisiana. His well written and voice acted dialogue is some of the smartest writing in games this year, setting a new standard for open world protagonists and showing us that complex characters don’t have to be one-dimensional.

Runners-Up

  • Sam Drake (Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End)
  • D. Va (Overwatch) 

Other Candidates

  • Cassie Drake (Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End)
  • The Drifter (Hyper Light Drifter)
  • Rowlet (Pokémon Sun/Moon)
  • BT-7274 (Titanfall 2)
  • Uncle Death (Let It Die)

mafie III title.jpg

Most video games end without a satisfying resolution, but Mafia III’s Post-Credits Stinger is worth sticking around for after the main narrative finishes. The majority of the game’s story beats are embedded in documentary-style interviews with side characters, and one thread involves CIA agent John Donovan’s testimony to a congressional panel investigating Lincoln Clay’s criminal saga. The payoff for this B-plot is an insane connection to actual American history that stood out as our favorite moment of the year. It's a must-see.

Runners-Up

  • Doom's Opening
  • Dishonored 2's Clock Mansion

Other Candidates

  • Titanfall 2’s Time Travel Level
  • Superhot’s Possession Mechanic Payoff
  • Hyper Light Drifter’s Opening
  • Returning to Anor Londo in Dark Souls III
  • Battlefield 1’s Tutorial Mission
  • Battlefield 1’s Zeppelin Explosions
  • Uncharted 4’s Auction Mission
  • Uncharted 4’s Nostalgic Dinner Scene
  • Throwing the Fire Extinguisher in Hitman’s Tutorial
  • Hitman’s Agent 47 Plays Drum Solo Disguised
  • Ethan and Reyes Discuss Mortality in Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
  • Inside’s Ending (Both of Them)

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We should be ashamed of how much time we spend with Sid Meier’s Civilization VI, but as any Civilization fan can attest, there isn’t a way to refuse its endless charms. From Sean Bean as the erstwhile narrator to the game’s smart revisiting of core Civ mechanics, it really embodies its “One More Turn” ethos as the 4X-board game we’ve always dreamed of. Weekends beware, Civ VI’s engrossing gameplay will make you forget all sense of space and time.

Runners-Up

  • Pokémon GO
  • Hitman

Other Candidates

  • Tom Clancy’s The Division
  • Clash Royale
  • Pocket Card Jockey

For an entire season this year, Niantic’s Pokémon GO dominated headlines and pop culture, bringing back fans to the Pokémon franchise for its 20th anniversary. While a somewhat shallow experience, it became a flashpoint for society’s obsession with phones, and for weeks after its release, everyone from school-age children to grandparents were flicking their way to catching them all. Companies and businesses were using its popularity to draw in customers, players discovered places they never knew existed (and stumbled on crime scenes), and the application had to be updated to let drivers know they shouldn’t be playing it on the road. The fad made a lot of money quickly and is almost assuredly responsible for Pokémon Sun & Moon’s commercial success, but while Pokémon GO’s player community grows smaller, its success is something Nintendo is looking to repeat with its future mobile efforts.

Runners-Up

  • Incremental Console Upgrades (PS4 Pro, Project Scorpio)
  • No Man’s Sky Becomes One of Steam’s Lowest Rated Games

Other Candidates

  • Nintendo Reveals the Switch After Months of NX Rumors
  • Counter Strike GO Skin Gambling Scandal
  • Disney Infinity Dies as Toys-to-Life Sales Dwindle
  • Oculus Rift and HTC Vive Launch Blunders
  • Ubisoft Staves Off Vivendi’s Corporate Takeover
  • Weak AAA Launch Sales Potentially Foreshadowing Another Game Industry Crash
  • Nintendo’s NES Classic Edition Supply & Demand Problem

VR’s poor launch is a bad harbinger for a technology touted to be the future of video games. From problems with getting customers their headsets, the lack of standout launch titles, to its high expense and computing cost, VR’s already tenuous value proposition looks worse, especially when you consider how many companies were involved in releasing either headsets or software. Between the Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive, and Sony’s PSVR, there is little reason for gamers to be excited about VR’s prospects. In fact, there are already some rumblings from developers that VR is a huge money pit for the industry. It’s a colossal disappointment so far and one of the worst trends we saw in 2016.

Runners-Up

  • Gaming’s Toxic Anti-Women Attitude (Allison Rapp Firing, Baldur’s Gate Trans NPC Reaction, Smash Bros Sexual Assault)
  • Highly Promoted & Hyped Games Fail to Deliver (No Man’s Sky, Quantum Break, Mighty No. 9, Street Fighter V)

Other Candidates

  • Konami Milks Metal Gear Fanbase Post-Kojima (Pachinko Machine, Metal Gear Survive)
  • Companies Not Releasing Games to Critics Pre-Release to Inflate Pre-Orders (Bethesda, others)
  • PS4 Pro Makes Some “Upgraded” Games Actually Run Worse (The Last of Us: Remastered, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided)
  • Nintendo’s DMCA-backed Crusade Against Fan Games (AM2R, Pokémon Uranium)