While 2016 may have been a rough year for the world it has given us some real gaming gems. With that in mind here are my Picks for the top games of 2016:

Honourable mentions

There are a number of games that I haven’t had the chance to play enough or that just didn’t quite make the list that still deserve recognition. The Last Guardian is a game I haven’t got around to trying yet along with Dark Souls 3 and Dishonoured 2. Overwatch is also immensely popular and well made but not my kind of game. VR has also complicated this list for me with The London Heist being one of my favourite ever experiences in gaming but at only 30 minutes not managed to cement a place on this list (RIGS and Battlezone also coming close).

10: Dirt Rally (console release)

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Dirt Rally is a rally sim that isn’t afraid to be difficult and despite this fair. When (and it is inevitable) you end up throwing your car off the edge of a cliff you know exactly where you went wrong and where you can improve. The handling is superb both with and without a wheel giving you a real feel of the car and enabling you to push to the absolute limit. The career mode allows you to rise the rallying ranks and build your collection of rallying cars from the likes of the classic Mini to the more modern Subaru Impreza. Dirt Rally also manages to incorporate rally cross and hill climb stages into its repertoire. All in all Dirt Rally is one of the finest racing games out today and thoroughly deserving of a place on this list.

9: Motorsport Manager (PC)

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Motorsport Manager is a game I have been waiting for. As a massive Motorsport fan there has been a void for a management game like this for so long and Motorsport Manager not only fills that void but greatly exceeds all my expectations. While the game may not have the official licenses of any major Motorsports it has created a realistic representation of the upper echelons of the sport. Modern racing is decided as much off the track as it is on it and the game excels in  both these areas. The off the track experience allows you to build and construct your base, vote on rule changes, hire and fire staff and drivers, design parts and all this while under pressure from the chairman to balance the books and win races. Motorsport Manager perfectly encapsulates modern Motorsport and is great fun.

8: Battlefield 1

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Battlefield 1 took the military shooter back to the past and did a grand job of it. The game manages to take the massive sandbox online gameplay of the series and translated it perfectly to World War 1. While the game did have to take some liberties with the weapons and vehicles of the era it did so solely to create a fun experience and they absolutely nailed it. The singleplayer campaign augments this with its war stories providing ample fun and bringing that massive scale of the multiplayer into the single player successfully.

7: Firewatch

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Firewatch surprised me with its gorgeous art style and well voiced characters when it released earlier this year. It told the sad story of Henry, a volunteer fire warden in the Shoshone national forest, and his relationship with his supervisor Delilah. The game portrays stunning vistas and tells a truly moving story that while it may not end in an entirely satisfactory manner it kept me gripped throughout. Firewatch is a must play game for me.

6: F1 2016

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F1 2016 is an incredible representation of the sport. The team at codemasters has accurately recreated F1 with spot on handling, great AI and a compelling career mode F1 2016 has raised the bar for F1 games and is a brilliant step up from last year.

5: Final Fantasy XV

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As a total virgin to the Final Fantasy series XV has given me a brilliant introduction. THe game focuses on a troupe of young men with you controlling Noctis as you try to reclaim your rightful throne. The relationship between these friends is what cements this story and it is brilliantly written and genuinely convincing. The combat, for the first time is series history, is real time and it works a treat with the warp system adding variety and the enemies providing genuine challenge. Final Fantasy is a brilliant game even for those who’ve never played a final fantasy game in their life.

4: Ratchet and Clank

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Ratchet and Clank was a genuine surprise. I went into the game expecting a simple HD remake of the original and instead I got a fantastically funny, gorgeous and enjoyable remake. The game captured everything the original did well and took it to the next level with brilliant new weapons, gorgeous levels and fantastic writing. While the game does tread the same ground as the original it embellishes upon this and provides a truly wonderful experience.

3: DOOM

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I wasn’t expecting much from Doom but when it released it blew me away. Doom’s fast flowing combat and varied enemy types made the campaign an absolute joy. Doom doesn’t try to tell a complicated story it just focuses on what matters: Guns and Demons. It is a delight to play thanks to the speedy movement and satisfying weapons and it really delivers a great experience. In addition to the great base gameplay snapmap provides a map editor that promises endless user-generated content. Doom really is a triumph.

2: Watch Dogs 2

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Watch Dogs 2 is superior to its predecessor in every way. It’s a supreme example of how to learn lessons in game development. Where the original had a dull cast of characters the new cast are colourful, vibrant and interesting. Where the original focused on Aiden and his personal struggle 2 portrays hacker culture as a whole. The list goes on with 2 having a sense of humour a more fleshed out world with believable companies and characters. Watch Dogs 2 is sublime and it certainly shouldn’t be discounted due to the disappointment of the original.

1: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

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Uncharted 4 is quite simply a masterpiece. With stunning set pieces and gorgeous visuals alongside a wonderful twisting, winding narrative Uncharted 4 nails every aspect. On top of all this the multiplayer is incredible fun providing a welcome change to the standard multiplayer shooter dynamics with stealth aspects. A Theif’s End provides a brilliant finish to the series and is well deserving of the top spot.