Redbrick Gaming's Top 10 Games of 2016 | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Redbrick Gaming’s Top 10 Games of 2016

As the new year kicks off to a great start for gaming, the Redbrick Gaming Editorial team look back at the best games of 2016

10 - Stardew Valley

Remember the days of planting crops outside of a browser window on Facebook? Stardew Valley remembers. Bringing back the genre almost forgotten with the decline of the Harvest Moon series, Stardew Valley allows you to create your own version of rural utopia  on your very own farm. Left a large but ravaged plot of land by your deceased grandfather, your character moves out of the big city to the rural town of Stardew Valley, and gets to work restoring the land and making their mark on the town. As well as planting crops and raising animals, you're free to explore the town and its colourful characters, explore the mines, find love and start a family, and even save the town from the influence of an evil big city corporation. You won't find all that on Facebook!

9 - Firewatch

Campo Santo's first title was always one of my most anticipated of the year. The trailers leading up to it, whilst hiding the 'walking simulator' nature of game, just made my hype for the title grow and grow, as I love a good story and character-driven game. If you read my review of Firewatch way back when you will know that it lived up to every expectation I had of it. The ending was iffy, admittedly, and divided people, but beyond that, Firewatch offers some of the best writing in the video game medium and some of the best vocal performances you will ever find in the history of gaming. If the story and characters are what drives you through a game, Firewatch is one you must play and is definitely one of the best of 2016.

8 - Overcooked

Developed by a tiny team of only 2 developers in Cambridge, Overcooked is a hilarious multiplayer couch game. This chaotic cooking game puts all your cooperation skills to the test, as the kitchens add additional challenges and hilarity. We have seen this game develop at speed throughout the year, from a single screen booth at EGX Rezzed, to an overcrowded three-screen booth at EGX, whose queues which could easily have rivaled Gang Beasts’ at times. For its great quality and hours of fun with friends, we’ve given Overcooked a spot on our coveted Redbrick chart. With DLC for free and for a fee released in 2016, it’s clear that Ghost Town Games have a lot more additions up their sleeves to add chaos and comedy to any night in.

7 - X-Com 2

X-COM 2 was a game I had very little interest in until it came to console, as a potato has better processing power than my laptop. However, since I've picked it up I've struggled to put it back down. Whilst I am by no means an expert commander of the X-COM resistance I still find myself all in every night for just a couple more missions. If you love strategy you will love X-COM 2. It has its flaws, it's rather buggy and the very luck-based mechanics can make you overwhelmingly frustrated but when you pull off that 20% chance sniper shot you're in for at least another couple of hours.

6 - Hitman

If you told me the next Hitman game was going to be episodic I'd have gone on endlessly about how that would've been the worst idea. Oh, how I couldn't have been more wrong. Each episode  of the latest Hitman is a complete joy to play and all of them are jam-packed with challenges and assassinations. That plus all the monthly content such as Elusive Targets and not only do you have a fantastic game, but also one that is great value for you cash. Hitman wasn't my favourite game in its genre this year but it earns its place in this list effortlessly.

5 - Final Fantasy XV

You would expect a game that was 10 years in the making to end up somewhere on a game of the year list. Final Fantasy XV goes larger than any previous game in the series, offering a huge breathtaking open world, stunning visuals, and difficult but addictive combat. The main appeal lies in the same place as most Final Fantasy games, in its story and characters, all of which manage to remain creative and interesting throughout the immensely long run of the games main story. Final Fantasy XV also delivers the sort of epic battles you would expect of a game that pits you against gods, showing you just why waiting all that time was probably necessary to do a game of this style and magnitude the justice it deserved, and earning it a place in our games of the year!

4 - DOOM

DOOM was a surprise for everybody. The brilliance of DOOM is its ridiculously fun gameplay! DOOM is all about having fun. It’s all about finding brutal, limb-breaking weapons that will destroy the various types of demons you encounter. Its fast and vertical gameplay is ferocious, and takes time to master. When mastered, you’ll understand how killing demons is its very own art form. Multiplayer is also very fun, as it has the same core gameplay as the single player. Also thanks to Snapmap mode (a map creation toolkit) there are thousands of different modes and maps for you to experiment with. Some are simply hilarious and some are suicide missions. A worthy mode for one of the finest, most unique shooters to be released in a long time.

3 - Dishonored 2

Dishonored 2 is the most fine example of stealth I can think of in recent memory. Surpassing its predecessor (which itself was a prime example of the best of its genre) in almost every aspect Arkane Studios simply outdid themselves on this one. Everything from the art-style and graphics to the near perfect AI and level design, Dishonored 2 is just fantastic. Whilst I didn't get time to write a full-fledged review I cannot recommend this game enough and it stands as potentially one of my all-time favourites, not just for this generation of gaming, but potentially for all of them. It fulfilled an itch that MGSV filled last year, but then it went one step further, and has pulled me in again and again for playthrough after playthrough.

2 - Overwatch

Probably the most high-profile game released all year, and just missing out on our top spot is Blizzard's sensational new shooter Overwatch. Combining interesting and unique characters with a new take on traditional FPS gameplay probably created this year's most talked about game.  Focusing more on team based co-operative gameplay than the standard every man for themselves model of shooter we have come to expect, makes Overwatch a game that every type of player can enjoy on some level regardless of skill, and helping to cement Overwatch as probably the most popular game to be released this year.

Game of the Year - Uncharted 4

Uncharted 4 concludes Nathan Drake’s and co. epic story. The last two games of this series have some of the best story-telling we’ve ever seen in video games, and Uncharted 4 is no exception. This game will be an example for all in the future in how to tell stories within the medium of video games: how to write character dialogue in the right way; how to give the player some of the best third-person action sequences they have ever experienced; how to conclude a story that feels completely natural for the player. Granted, Uncharted 4 might not be played purely for its gameplay, but its stunning visuals, better-than-average multiplayer, and of course compelling story, makes it one of the best games this year by far.. Go experience this landmark game!


29th January 2017 at 1:48 pm

Images from

Stardew Valley, YouTube, Ghost Town Games, XCOM2 Wikia, PlayerTheory, IGD, GameWallpapers, Bethesda, Blizzard Press Center and NaughtyDog