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It's a busy time of year for everyone, but New Years is right around the corner (good riddance) and that means it's time to talk about video games! Take a few minutes away from the holiday rush and join me by the cozy fire below in discussing the best and worst games of 2016. To start us off I'll share my top 5 games of the year. It's actually quite difficult for me to narrow it down to 5 since I played more games this year than I usually do but here's what I've got (in sort-of no particular order): - The Witness (probably my overall GOTY) - The Witness is the best puzzle game I've ever played; it's a game that really sparks your interest early on and continues to captivate you to the end. The puzzle design is brilliant and starts off very friendly to beginners but frequently challenges you to think in new and creative ways. The environment design is both peacefully picturesque and deviously clever. The Witness is very good about leading you through everything it has to offer without ever pulling your arm. There's plenty to explore on your own, and the secrets to discover feel genuinely rewarding. You'll feel smart, you'll feel intrigued, and you'll feel surprised. You'll feel frustrated every once in a while - puzzles can be hard sometimes - but at the end, you'll feel very satisfied. - INSIDE - Talk about a game that sticks with you! INSIDE is a prime example that video games can be powerful forms of art and even inspire horror in ways that other forms of media can't. Everything about this game is so perfectly crafted, and it's truly an experience to behold. The puzzles aren't anything special, but that's not the focus of the game at all, and overall it shines incredibly in all of the places it wants to. INSIDE is on sale for $14 on Steam until January 2nd and I encourage you to try it out. You're really missing out on something special if you don't. - Fire Emblem Fates - FE Fates was on my GOTY list last year when I played the Japanese version and it's holding its spot on my list this year for the US release. It's a damn good strategy RPG just like FE Awakening and has a ton of replayability in its multiple storylines. Fates improved on a lot of things from other FE and introduces some cool new features as well, and it has some pretty rad Amiibo support too. The characters are fun, the story is engaging, and the gameplay is tight. It's easily one of my favorite games for the 3DS. - Kirby Planet Robobot - This game reminded me why I fell in love with Kirby games as a kid. It's been a while since I played a really fresh Kirby game but this one pulled me in deep. The Robobot feature is awesome and really adds some depth to the gameplay in ways that past Kirby gimmicks have really failed. On top of that the music is amazing and the story has some surprising depth if you're willing to dig a little bit for it. It isn't very long, but it offers the usual Arena and Meta Nightmare modes which are fun challenges if you want more out of it. - Overwatch - I didn't spend much time with Overwatch but I can't even imagine making a GOTY list without this game on it. I'm not even a fan of Blizzard but this game is incredible. The characters are all unique and fascinating in their own ways, from both a narrative and technical standpoint. The gameplay is simple enough that new players will pick a favorite character and have a lot of fun with them, but experienced players can find deeper engagement through learning and strategizing using every character. And the whole thing is designed so nicely to make sure that you as a player are completely aware of what's going on around you so you can feel smart making decisions. Blizzard knew exactly what they wanted with this game and they knocked it out of the park. Other games are going to look to Overwatch for inspiration and design for years to come. Honorable mentions for me include: - Owlboy - Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE - Hyper Light Drifter - SUPERHOT - VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action Here's a list of games from 2016 if you need to refresh your memory: https://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/5eiezv/2016_end_of_year_discussions_coming_soon/dacmmsn/ Now share your thoughts! By the way don't forget to vote in Morg's forum awards if you want your voice to be heard! http://forums.thebehemoth.com/topic/18294-the-behemoth-awards-2016/