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 Stephen Tailby.
Fifth Choice: Hyper Light Drifter
I was enamoured by Heart Machine's melancholic adventure game from the moment I first saw it. The wonderful art style paired with an equally good soundtrack makes for an audio-visual treat. The sombre story of the Drifter's quest for a cure to his blight – and that of the war-torn land that provides the backdrop – is effortlessly told without uttering a single word. As if that weren't enough, the developer has also pulled off robust, punchy combat, an upgrade system that rewards and encourages exploration, and an overworld brimming with secrets. You owe it to yourself to play Hyper Light Drifter.
Fourth Choice: Ratchet & Clank
Insomniac outdid itself with this entry in its flagship series, particularly in the graphics department. Ratchet & Clank is gorgeous and brilliantly animated, with the numerous planets providing a kaleidoscopic variety in visuals. The run, jump, shoot gameplay is as fun as it's ever been, with an arsenal of old and new weapons that's still the most imaginative (and hilarious) bunch of boomsticks in any game. It's also great fun exploring levels from the original game and seeing how they've been expanded while still recognisable enough to stir nostalgic memories. A pitch-perfect iteration that serves old and new fans alike.
Third Choice: Overwatch
This is one game I initially wasn't interested in at all. When it came to release, however, the tidal wave of praise won me over, and I'm so pleased I took the plunge. Blizzard's first-person shooter is vibrant, fast-paced, and most importantly, very fun. Playing the moreish objective-based modes with a few friends is ceaselessly enjoyable, and the massive roster of unique characters means there're always new ways to play. Blizzard has also provided excellent post-launch support, bringing regular new content and re-balancing existing characters. It's a modern classic, destined to be remembered as a turning point for multiplayer shooters.
Second Choice: Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
Surprise: I absolutely love Nathan Drake's swan song. It's my favourite Uncharted adventure, with a gripping story, great characters, and a lot of nods to the previous games (not to mention it plays host to one of the best Easter eggs in PlayStation history). The more open locations lend themselves to exploration, as well as freeing up Drake's combat and movement abilities to encourage a more freeform, adaptive style of action. Also – and I almost don't need to say this – it's absolutely beautiful. As far as blockbuster action games go, Naughty Dog's final main entry is very hard to beat.
First Choice: The Witness
The Witness launched in January of this year, and it has stuck with me like nothing else released since. It's an utterly captivating puzzle game that continually feeds you new challenges. When you think you've cracked the game, it turns everything upside down. You're always learning new rules, and constantly experiencing that light bulb moment. The open world island is also littered with secrets, and the hidden ending is something I won't forget in a hurry. It's very hard to summarise my thoughts in such a small space, but if you need further convincing, you should absolutely play it for yourself.
Has Stephen's list triggered a lightbulb moment in your brain? Which of his five picks is your fave? Try to figure out what Quintumply means in the comments section below.