All told, I played 147 games across 10 different platforms in 2016.
Let's take a closer look, shall we?
First things first, here's the list in chronological order:
1. Assassin's Creed Syndicate
3. Pokemon Alpha Sapphire
4. Castle Panic
6. Lara Croft GO
9. Find Mii
10. Chronicle: Legends of Runescape (beta)
12. Paladins: Champions of the realm (beta)
13. Rocket League
14. Rust Bucket
15. Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 (beta)
16. Choice of the Dragon
17. Space Team (card game)
18. Wizard's Choice Volume 1
19. Puerto Rico
20. Uncharted: Nathan Drake Collection - Drake's Fortune
21. This War of Mine
23. The Division (beta)
25. Boom Blox
26. Kill Strain (private access)
27. Sage Solitaire
29. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
30. Valiant Hearts: The Great War
31. Papers, Please
32. Alto's Adventure
33. Puzzle Craft 2
34. Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright
35. Prison Architect
36. The Wolf Among Us
37. Clash Royale
38. Uncharted 4 Multiplayer Stress Test
39. The Division
40. Life is Strange
42. Sports Friends
43. Star Wars Battlefront
44. Guns up!
45. Frozen Free Fall: Snowball Fight
46. Gems of War
48. Final Fantasy XV: Platinum Demo
49. Pokken Tournament Demo
51. Mario Kart 8
52. Pokken Tournament
53. Yo Kai Watch Wibble Wobble
54. Disney Crossy Road
55. Kingdom Hearts Unchained X
56. Stories: The Path of Destinies
57. Overwatch (Closed Beta)
58. Pokemon Shuffle
59. The Witcher 3
60. Paragon (beta)
61. Angry Birds Action
66. Twofold, Inc.
67. Table Top Racing: World Tour
68. Overwatch (open beta)
69. Pocket Card Jockey (demo)
70. Pocket Card Jockey
71. Uncharted: Fortune Hunter
72. Tropico 5
73. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
74. Bushido Bear
75. Vlogger Go Viral
77. Nonstop Knight
78. Blades of Brim
80. Key to the Kingdom
81. Wii Sports Club
82.Ice Age: Artic Blast
83.Teeny Titans - Teen Titans Go!
84.The Secret Life of Pets Unleashed
86.Pokemon Red (3ds eshop)
87.Monopoly Here and Now
88.Pokemon TCG Online
89.Metroid Prime Blast Ball
92.Rio 2016 Olympic Games (mobile game)
93.No Man's Sky
96.Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
99.Titanfall 2 Tech Test
100.Guillotine (Card game)
101.The King of Fighters XIV (demo)
102.Seen (mobile texting game)
103.Lego Juniors Create Cruise
104.Kung Fu Panda: Showdown of Legendary Legends (demo)
105.Injustice: Gods Among Us
106.Justice Monsters V
107.Letter Quest: Grimm's Journey (mobile)
108.Epistory - Typing Chronicles (demo)
109.Battlefield 1 (open beta)
110.Super Mario 3D World
111.Market Crashers (3ds Mii Plaza)
112.NBA 2k17 The Prelude
113.For Honor (Closed Alpha)
116.FIFA 17 Demo
117.Bike Race by Top Free Games
120.Steep (Closed Alpha)
122.Pokemon Sun/Moon special demo
123.Plants vs. Zombies Heroes
124.Red Dead Redemption
125.Asphalt 8: Airborne
128.Burrito Bison Launcha Libre
129.Cars vs. Bosses
134.The Oregon Trail Card Game
136.Invisible, Inc. Console Edition
137.Gwent: The Witcher Card Game (closed beta)
139.Super Mario Run
140.Dungeon Defense: The Invasion of the Hero
145.Hogwarts Battle (card game)
146.XCOM: Enemy Within (Android)
(As I wrote this post, I discovered a couple things: I hadn't recorded playing Paperback or Mario Kart Wii. Mario Kart Wii is the only Wii game I played, so the analysis below is only for 145 games and 9 platforms. Also, Sports Friends is on this list twice, so even though the list above ends at 146, there's only 145 unique titles there.)
Great. Now, let's analyze!
I played games on 10 different platforms this year. Table in this case means a literal table--I included board and card games on this list.
|And 1 on the Wii!|
By Personal Review Score
I used a very basic scale and gave my gut reaction to each game. The scale was Bad, Fine, Good, Great, Amazing, and Pile. Pile simply means I played it, but not long enough to really form an opinion.
One exception: Red Dead Redemption. I didn't really play it long enough to form a full opinion, but I played it enough to know it's at least great. So I'm counting it as that here.
Here's the list by review score:
|The Witcher 3||Amazing|
|Uncharted 4: A Thief's End||Amazing|
|Metroid Prime Blast Ball||Bad|
|Choice of the Dragon||Fine|
|Table Top Racing: World Tour||Fine|
|Vlogger Go Viral||Fine|
|Bike Race by Top Free Games||Fine|
|Pokemon Alpha Sapphire||Good|
|Paladins: Champions of the Realm||Good|
|Space Team (card game)||Good|
|Uncharted: Nathan Drake Collection - Drake's Fortune||Good|
|This War of Mine||Good|
|The Division (beta)||Good|
|Valiant Hearts: The Great War||Good|
|Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright||Good|
|The Wolf Among Us: Season 1||Good|
|Uncharted 4 Multiplayer Stress Test||Good|
|Life is Strange||Good|
|Star Wars Battlefront||Good|
|Final Fantasy XV: Platinum Demo||Good|
|Pokken Tournament Demo||Good|
|Mario Kart 8||Good|
|Stories: The Path of Destinies||Good|
|Uncharted: Fortune Hunter||Good|
|Blades of Brim||Good|
|Monopoly Heare and Now||Good|
|No Man's Sky||Good|
|Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft||Good|
|Titanfall 2 Tech Test||Good|
|Injustice: Gods Among Us||Good|
|Letter Quest: Grimm's Journey||Good|
|Battlefield 1 (open beta)||Good|
|Super Mario 3D World||Good|
|NBA 2k17 The Prelude||Good|
|For Honor (Closed Alpha)||Good|
|FIFA 17 Demo||Good|
|Steep (Closed Alpha)||Good|
|Pokemon Sun/Moon Special Demo||Good|
|Plants vs. Zombies Heroes||Good|
|Burrito Bison Launcha Libre||Good|
|The Oregon Trail Card Game||Good|
|Assassin's Creed Syndicate||Great|
|Lara Croft Go||Great|
|Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons||Great|
|Overwatch (Closed Beta)||Great|
|Overwatch (Open beta)||Great|
|Pocket Card Jockey (demo)||Great|
|Pocket Card Jockey||Great|
|Key to the Kingdom||Great|
|Teeny Titans - Teen Titans Go!||Great|
|Pokemon TCG Online||Great|
|Lego Juniors Create Cruise||Great|
|Red Dead Redemption||Great|
|Chronicle: Legends of Runescape||Pile|
|Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 (beta)||Pile|
|Wizard's Choice Volume 1||Pile|
|Kill Strain (private access)||Pile|
|Puzzle Craft 2||Pile|
|Frozen Free Fall: Snowball Fight||Pile|
|Gems of War||Pile|
|Yo Kai Watch Wibble Wobble||Pile|
|Disney Crossy Road||Pile|
|Kingdom Hearts Unchained X||Pile|
|Angry Birds Action||Pile|
|Wii Sports Club||Pile|
|Ice Age: Arctic Blast||Pile|
|The Secret Life of Pet Unleashed||Pile|
|Rio 2016 Olympic Games||Pile|
|The King of Fighters XIV (demo)||Pile|
|Kung Fu Panda: Showdown of Legendary Legends (demo)||Pile|
|Justice Monsters V||Pile|
|Epistory - Typing Chronicles (demo)||Pile|
|Asphalt 8: Airborne||Pile|
|Cars vs. Bosses||Pile|
|Invisible, Inc. Console Edition||Pile|
|Gwent: The Witcher Card Game (closed beta)||Pile|
|Super Mario Run||Pile|
|Dungeon Defense: The Invasino of the Hero||Pile|
|XCOM: Enemy Within||Pile|
Ratings by Platform
What platform was most worth my time in 2016? Let's find out!
Diving further, I used a weighted scale to score each platform. Each game gave it's platform a certain number of points based on its rating. Here's the scale:
Here are the results:
But where did I get the most bang for my buck? Take a look at the average score per game by platform:
I didn't take the time to track down the exact release date of every game, but I did a quick analysis on how many games were released in 2016 or earlier. Here are the results:
In this case, "expansion" means a game that didn't come out in 2016, but had some significant content addition that released in 2016. For example: The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine and Destiny: Rise of Iron.
Fun fact: 25 of the games on this list (17.36%) were not "released" when I played them--they were in beta, alpha, or whatever the developers decided to call it at the time. 2 of them (Overwatch open beta and Steep open beta) were even second pre-releases, meaning I played it in one state, then another state before release.
Did playing a game before it's release cause me to buy/spend any money on the full game? Exactly 24% of the time (6 purchases). One caveat: 2 of the games (Gwent: The Witcher Card Game and For Honor) are not released yet, so I couldn't spend any money of them yet even if I wanted to (though for now I wouldn't in either case).
As for letting me play it twice before launch? 50% purchase rate: bought Overwatch, didn't go for Steep.
Other Fun Facts
- The oldest game I played this year is Key to the Kingdom, originally released in 1990.
- I played 4 games on multiple platforms (Hearthstone, Rocket League, Lego Juniors Create Cruise, and Overwatch). Rocket League wins with 3 separate platforms played: PC, PS4, and Xbox One. What a game! (For purposes of the analysis above, I only counted each game on the platform I played it in on most.)
- My Witcher 3 save file claims I have played the game for 722 hours and 4 minutes. The game was released on May 19, 2015 and I've played it on and off since then. I suspect this number is somehow inflated, but I also can't prove that. For context, that's the equivalent of 18 full-time work weeks. What a great life I have!
- I played no fewer than 8 Pokemon games this year across 4 platforms. Congratulations, marketing team. You really nailed that 20th anniversary thing.
- I helped make one of the games on this list! Maui was my thesis game at the University of Utah's Entertainment Arts and Engineering Master's Program. Skyreach was published by another team in the same program. I helped test a lot of other games around the program, but only these two are on the list because they're the only ones for which I played the final, public release versions. (I gave both games a "Fine.")
- 5 of the games I played in 2016 were purely for Eli, my 2-year-old son. However, he also got excited by a few games I would've played anyway: Pokken Tournament, Pokemon Sun, Rocket League, and Mario Kart in particular. I can't wait until we can really play games together (rather than just him watching). Maybe that can happen in 2017.
- Only 12 of these games are sitting on a shelf in my house right now. The rest I either never owned, got rid of, or own digitally.
- On that note, there are 4 videogames on my shelf that I didn't touch once in 2016: Super Smash Bros. for 3DS, Just Dance 2015, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, and The Last of Us Remastered). I'm not even going to bother counting how many tabletop games I own that I didn't play this year. I have a hard time believing I never played The Last of Us or Metal Gear Solid all year, but neither made it on the list.
Here are some things I learned that I hope to apply to my gaming habits in this new year:
- The numbers don't lie: mobile games are often terrible, and they deserve much less of my time than they got this year.
- I really do love tabletop games--it's just harder to find the time/other people for them. However, as the numbers above show, it's worth it almost every time. In 2017, maybe I can drop my mobile gaming time and increase my tabletop time.
- Boy, was I wrong about The Division and No Man's Sky. Both were supposed to be huge releases that took large portions of my gaming time this year. I pre-ordered special editions in both cases. Both turned out to be good, I guess, and quickly forgotten. I haven't played one second of either of the DLC expansions for The Division that I paid for. In 2017, I'm going to be much more cautious before purchasing games. (In fact, I already am--that's why Final Fantasy XV isn't on the list. I didn't want to spend any more money I wasn't sure I would enjoy spending.)
- My favorite games released this year: Overwatch, Pokken Tournament, Pokemon Sun, and Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. I should make special mention of The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine because, while an expansion, it helped elevate my opinion of the game as a whole. It was already "Amazing," but after Blood and Wine, it's one of the greatest games I have ever played.
- After graduating from a games program, getting a full time job, and having a second child in 2016, I'm very sure that my 2017 list will be shorter--but I do plan on keeping a list in 2017.
- The games I'm most excited to put on that list: Horizon Zero Dawn, Pyre, and Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom.
- I'm also very interested in Mass Effect: Andromeda, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Persona 5, Injustice 2, Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Absolver, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, Ever Oasis, and Red Dead Redemption 2. But I have no idea which of those I'll actually play this year. Come back next year and find out!
If you really read all of this, you're incredible and thank you so much. Let's talk more about games!