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 Sammy Barker.
Fifth Choice: Gone Home
Romance may be a popular genre in practically every other medium, but it barely exists in games. Gone Home bucks that trend, slowly unravelling a story about the hardships of young love through environmental detail and a deft hand. The true brilliance here, though, is how it subverts expectations, masquerading as a horror title right the way through to its uplifting and genuinely lovely conclusion. Excuse me, I've got something in my eye.
Fourth Choice: Rez Infinite
Rez has always been an outstanding game, but a decade and a half removed from its original Dreamcast release, it finally feels complete. Rez Infinite may flaunt its PlayStation VR support as an optional feature, but this futuristic rails-shooter has practically been begging for virtual reality since the very start. And while the core experience still astounds, it's the new Area X stage that borders on Biblical when experienced with Sony's headset.
Third Choice: Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
The industry as a whole really ought to be embarrassed. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End may be mostly pomp and spectacle, but Naughty Dog's ability to write memorable characters really is second to none. And while some may not have appreciated the more grounded direction adopted in Drake's final ever outing, I personally found it far superior. Plus, it's not exactly a bad game either: underrated combat and a perfect ending make for an almost flawless final chapter.
Second Choice: Inside
The real beauty of Inside is trying to decipher what it's all about. This cleverly designed puzzle platformer escalates in a way that's almost impossible to predict, as it segues from Orwellian industrialism to outright horror. Meticulously designed conundrums mean that you'll constantly be questioning what you need to do, but the game never builds a brick wall in front of you. And it's this pristinely applied layer of polish that allows ruminations over the title's metaphor to move to the fore.
First Choice: The Last Guardian
Having previously adored Fumito Ueda's prestigious output, The Last Guardian has long been atop my most anticipated list. But even with such lofty expectations, this brilliant fantasy tale managed to surpass them. Mechanically it's unquestionably flawed, but the bond between boy and beast is unbreakable, and the entire campaign serves as a reminder that, when convention is eschewed, this industry is capable of incredible things.
Has Sammy's narrative-driven selection struck a chord with any of you? Climb atop the big bird thing in the comments section below, and let us know.