It's time once again for the indomitable staff here at Push Square to share their own personal Game of the Year picks. Every year, we herd our writers together and force them to spill their opinions on their five favourite games of the last 12 months. Usually, this involves poking them with a stick until they come clean. Below, you'll find the personal PlayStation picks of reviewer Graham Banas.
Fifth Choice: Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
As a long-standing fan of the series, there was no way I wasn't excited for Naughty Dog's latest, and unsurprisingly, the studio delivered. Sure, it might not be the most important game to the industry in the series, but it'd be hard to argue that it isn't the best - the game is worth its price of entry for that stunning chase sequence in Madagascar alone. Uncharted 4's varied gameplay and poignant storytelling made for an absolutely perfect sendoff for Nate and his ragtag group of friends.
Fourth Choice: Oxenfree
2016 might well have been the best year for AAA games since the insane year that was 2007. Indies, on the other hand, disappointed me rather repeatedly this year - but there was one that not only didn't disappoint but absolutely blew me away: Oxenfree. An incredible soundtrack, some really interesting time travel mechanics, and an intriguing mystery helped to craft one of the best indies of the year. This is a game I was expecting relatively little from when I started, but by the time I had finished, I just wanted to be able to experience it for the first time again.
Third Choice: Thumper
Thumper is incredible. There's no other way to put it. When reviewing it, I said that some of the levels represent some of the best rhythm gameplay ever made, and I stand by that. The gameplay is simple enough to pick up rather easily, but actually mastering it? Good luck. The last couple of levels are so incredibly intense and challenging that surviving by the skin of my teeth felt like a monumental accomplishment. An unrelenting, heart-pounding masterpiece of a game, Thumper is also the game that sold me on VR.
Second Choice: Dishonored 2
The original Dishonored was one of my absolute favourite new IPs of last generation, so I had pretty high hopes for the sequel. Amazingly, the follow-up exceeded my expectations. The first game introduced a spate of incredibly fun powers playing as royal guard Corvo Attano, but the sequel doubled that number by letting you instead choose to play as Queen Emily Kaldwin. Some of the most absurdly enjoyable power-based stealth gameplay on its own would've been enough for this to chart, but add in an exceptional score, arresting visuals, and a great sense of progression and the game is ace.
First Choice: Inside
Inside is the other indie release that did not disappoint me - in fact, it's in the complete opposite direction. It made me turn on my Xbox One the day that it released (a rare feat these days) - that's how excited I was for this. The haunting atmosphere. The horrific Orwellian dystopia. The unsettling score. The incredible puzzles. The grotesque and immaculate last act. This game is, simply put, a masterpiece. There are very, very few games that I would call legitimately perfect and mean it, but Inside is one of them. The game is absolutely flawless.
What do you think of Graham's personal picks? Are there any games on this list that would make it into your own top five? Spill your own opinions in the comments section below.