EA and DICE took a different approach with the World War 1 focused Battlefield game. The campaign's short stories offer freedom and non-linear approach while humanizing the characters and multiplayer balances it out with tremendous teamwork.
The single-player campaign in Battlefield 1 focuses on individual stories of soldiers as opposed to taking you through the story of one individual – keeping it's story mode constantly fresh. There are plenty of new multiplayer modes in Battlefield 1, including the hour long Operations mode, and weapons are surprisingly well depicted for the era.
The attention to detail is incredibly impressive both graphically and audio-wise. Everything, down to the smallest detail, is incorporated. Sun glare impacts your sniper scope and reflects off of the lens, shadows cast darkness over enemies under cover and all aspects of nature seems to function independently. I mean, even the leaves on trees in the middle of the forest behave individually and you don't just see the branch move by itself.
Overall, Battlefield 1 is the best shooter of 2016 and it's available on both Xbox One and PS4 as well as PC
Batman: The Telltale Series
First revealed at The Game Awards last December, Batman: The Telltale Series debuted this August and just finished its final episode this week. Developed on their new engine, Telltale managed to get a new twist on Batman after 76 years. Overall, it's the most original Batman story I've seen and the best overall Batman story I've experienced across any medium ever – bar none. A new villain and psychological focus on Bruce Wayne rather than Batman himself, we finally get to see the emotional toll that the caped crusader's escapades take on the man behind the mask.
It's available now on Xbox One as well as other platforms. Not only is it the best Batman story I've experienced, but it is the best Telltale game to date as well.
The Flame and the Flood
Developer The Molasses Flood managed to change the typical survivor game features and design a pretty unique game. You play as a girl named Scout who is accompanied by her dog Aesop. Most of America has been covered in water, and Scout needs to scavenge the land in order to survive. Along the way, you meet deadly creatures like wolves and snakes, as well as diseases like dysentery and starvation.
The Flame and the Flood offers one of the best soundtracks I've heard in a very long time. Often times, I found myself roaming around trying to survive just to hear more of it. The "twang" of the acoustic guitar is beautiful and the rush of the water makes it seem like you're there. The Flame in the Flood captures the very essence of survival games. The thought of "Should I stop here and look for supplies or keep going and hope I can find something better?" It's the very essence of humanity: Is what you have good enough or do you risk it for the unknown and keep going despite not knowing how long until you can find more supplies, shelter, etc. It's what keeps us going in our own physical lives, and The Flame in the Flood integrates it into the digital world in seamless fashion.
Dead Rising 4
Frank West returns to Willamette with an all new storyline.
It won't take you any more than five minutes into the game before it becomes clear that Capcom took a different approach to the franchise. Offering a much more linear story with optional side missions, the gameplay is much more organized than the first three. Side missions are tied into the main story, and Dead Rising 4 feels like one big game, rather than a collection of mini-games.
This time around there are weapons caches hidden throughout the world which contain exo-suits. It's a new power mod that transforms Frank into a mini Ironman Hulkbuster. He receives increased, strength, speed, stamina and can wield much more devastating weapons. Of course, by devastating, I mean giant and blood spilling. You can kick cars to send them flying across the roadway, or simply rip a parking meter out of the ground and do your best Hank Aaron impression. Be warned, because enemies wield exo-suits as well.
The best overall game in the franchise by far, Dead Rising 4 is a must pickup exclusive for Xbox players.
LEGO Dimensions: With most of the first season and beginning of the second season of the game launching this year, LEGO Dimensions offers a lot of fun, replayability, and enjoyment for fans of multiple franchises. Warner Bros and Tt Games are set to support the game for years to come, LEGO fans can look forward to a lot more ahead.
DOOM: While DOOM isn't an Xbox exclusive, it played incredibly well and offered a surprisingly decent campaign. The franchise is not known for its campaign story, but the 2016 iteration of DOOM surprised many with its story, as well as multiplayer. A top shooter for many this year, we picked DOOM as an honorable mention.
With so many games out this year, it's likely your favorite is not on the list. Let us know which are your top favorites in the comments below! The new year is just around the corner, so be sure to catch up on all of 2016's best games before that backlog catches up to you.
Happy New Year everyone.
The Xbox One saw a number of great games this year, the exclusives line up was absolutely stacked and it even had some awesome multi-platform games. Whether you're measuring up your thoughts on Xbox One games against this list or looking for some great game to play on your Xbox One – here are the best Xbox One exclusives, along with a few other games that should definitely be played (regardless of what console you're on).
Below you'll find all the best games, as well as couple honorable mentions at the end. They are listed in no particular order with a brief summary of each. Let us know if your favorites made the list or not, and hopefully, it will help you with any last minute gift ideas for your loved ones.
Gears of War 4
A continuation of arguably Microsoft's greatest franchise, Gears of War 4 perfectly sets up the next trilogy of the Fenix family. Marcus makes a return in the game, but this time it's all about his son J.D. and his two friends.
It is an unbelievable, emotional journey that draws you in with humor, bravado and captivating story that leaves you with both a sinking feeling in your stomach along with a desperate yearning for more.
Set 25 years after the events of Gears of War 3, the human population is steadily but slowly repopulating and rebuilding. Sera is war-torn and still re-balancing, but weather shifts due to the Imulsion countermeasures are devastating the land. J.D. Fenix and his friend Delmont "Del" Walker have gone AWOL from the COG and joined up with an Outsiders group led by Reyna Diaz. Initially hesitant to trust them, Reyna elects to take them in after they befriend her daughter Kait and warn her about imminent COG attacks against them due to their constant raids. When a new locust-like enemy called the Swarm emerges and begins snatching up most of the human population, JD, Del and Kait must rescue their friends and eliminate this new dire threat.
Add all of this to new multiplayer modes and weapons, and Gears of War 4 is Microsoft's best exclusive game of the year by far.
OXENFREE is developed by two cousins who left jobs at well-known studios of Telltale and Disney to start their own game. Nightschool studios and OXENFREE was the result. The tone of Oxenfree, along with its overall theme and presentation, is one of the most open and honest I've ever experienced in a game. NightSchool Studio has allowed us to play a game where we feel as if we are just sitting and talking with friends for about six hours or seven hours. In essence, Oxenfree allows you to step outside of yourself and play your own life for the most part.
It's an emotional game about the typical high school student and their life with absolutely amazing dialogue, narrative and story line. The conversation is open, honest and simply innocent. Yes, of course, it's about 18-year-olds so it's quirky, silly and sometimes hysterical.
The game takes moments from your past where, at the time, you thought you sounded mature and worldly, but in reality, you were as clueless as you ever were about life in general. It is this feeling that Oxenfree is built on. It's a feeling of honesty. It's open, pure and quite simply – it's human.
Oxenfree is definitely a must play game and one of the few games I would give a perfect score to. Overall, my personal Xbox and overall game of the year. Initially was a Xbox-only title, but later came to PC and PS4.
Remedy Games' new take on time manipulation was a brilliant new IP. Jack Joyce becomes infused with Chronon particles allowing him the ability to freeze time along with using it as a weapon. The game focuses on Jack, while the integrated TV show deals with the antagonist Paul Serene (Aiden Gillen). Each episode is a full 30-minute episode which airs in between chapters of the game. What you see in those episodes is directly tied to the choices you made during gameplay and carries forward to the next chapter.
The manner in which Quantum Break uses depth perception to differentiate between characters in foreground and background is uncanny. The time manipulation abilities impact all enemies differently. The lighting and shading seemed to be a major focus in development with ambient light and shading standing out
The game is a cohesive blend of time travel, action, and live action TV show provides a seamless experience, and overall one of the best complete gaming experiences in recent memory.
Quantum Break's unique setup makes it a must play, either on Xbox One or Windows 10, as a sequel will surely be coming soon.
Forza Horizon 3
PlayGround Games left nothing on the table with Forza Horizon 3. The Australian background is stunning and makes for an amazing backdrop for all sorts of racing. There are over 350 cars available, the controls are smooth, and the graphics are gorgeous.
The Forza Horizon 3 opens with more options as you gather more fans while racing. Any racing fan will have more than enough enjoyment as there is always something to do. The Car Pass adds over 40 new vehicles which run perfectly at 30 FPS in the gorgeous landscape.
Racing fans, or even those casual players, should pick up Forza Horizon 3 right away.