Welcome to the DDNet Awards, our annual celebration of the best and brightest games that we’ve been playing throughout the year.
It has been a really good year for games in 2016, with great examples of every genre popping up through the year. Across 15 categories over the next three weeks, we look at the winner, runner up and three bronze medalists for each category.
In order to qualify for selection, a game needed to have been released for the first time on a new platform, between the first of December 2015 and the end of November 2016.
Let us know what you think of the award winners in the comments!
Sony might be winning this generation’s “console war,” but the Xbox One has had more than enough games to keep players more than happy. The console has always been good with the big western-developed blockbusters, but what the console often doesn’t get credit for is just how good it is at independent and arthouse stuff too. If the console has a weakness it’s that it has a lack of Japanese games, which of course matters to us at DDNet, but as a secondary console, the games below alone proove it’s worth the investment.
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is perhaps not entirely the game that fans of the original were hoping for; as with its predecessor it’s a game with some brilliant ideas that the developer struggles to truly execute against. All that being said, Catalyst was also one of the most creative and distinctive blockbuster games released this year, it looks gorgeous, and it really does have some brilliant ideas behind it.
Overwatch is a game you can spend months immersed within alone. A brilliant multiplayer FPS, with brilliant characters, brilliant map design, and brilliant replay value, Blizzard’s newest hit is the kind of game that even people who don’t usually enjoy FPSers can get right into. And, with plenty more content coming and a burgeoning competitive scene emerging, Overwatch is a game that we’re going to be talking about for many years to come.
One of the most beautiful platformers that you’ll ever witness, Ori and the Blind Forest was an especially impressive efford given that it game from a relatively untested game developer. Inspired by the likes of The Lion King and The Iron Giant for its theme, the gameplay itself is a Metroidvania, throwing players both platformer and puzzle game challenges, and every step through the world is breathtaking and potent.
You can read our review here.
Forza Horizon has evolved to become one of Microsoft’s most important franchises. Combining a superb sense of speed, gorgeous cars and tracks, and plenty of attitude, this series is one that is both stylish and of seriously high production values. A game set in Australia, and remarkably authentic in its attention to detail, and with a full open world to explore, this is a racing game that really pushes the genre forwards.
You can read our review here.
We’ve already had Unravel as a medal winner in a number of other categories, and the simple reason is that we just can’t praise this game enough. It’s not just that it’s a gorgeous 2D puzzle platformer, though it’s certainly one of the better examples of that particular genre. No, Unravel is such a potent game because it’s impossible to play it and not be emotionally affected by it. It’s a resonate game becaue it tells a story that is so familiar to so many of us. With so many games so focused on epic fantasies and escapism, it’s nice to have a game so downright human for a change.