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 Alex Stinton.
Fifth Choice: Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
Nathan Drake's final outing is the definition of a gaming blockbuster. Exceptional graphics, a globe spanning adventure, and some absolutely ridiculous set-pieces mean that for anyone - like me - who puts immense value in this sort of single-player experience simply couldn't miss this one. When the credits rolled, though, it wasn't the over-the-top action that stood out for me the most, rather, it was the small character moments that helped round out this final chapter of Drake's adventures so well.
Fourth Choice: Dishonored 2
The best stealth games swamp the player with plenty of options, allowing you to experiment and find your own way through the obstacles arrayed ahead. Managing to surpass even its predecessor, Dishonored 2 does this better than any other game this year, allowing your creativity to run wild thanks to its incredible bag of tricks. When you also throw in some quite exceptional mission design, you've got a game that not only kept me enthralled for hours, but made me more than happy to attempt to ghost my way through every single mission.
Third Choice: Ratchet & Clank
You don't see too many action platformers like Ratchet & Clank these days, so I was surprised to find that even in 2016 a reimagining of this duo's first outing still proved to be a hugely enjoyable intergalactic romp. It came at just the right time for someone burnt out on the usual parade of titles that populate the big budget end of the gaming spectrum, and I fell in love all over again with its top-notch visuals, crazy weaponry, and chaotic action.
Second Choice: Overwatch
As soon as I played the Overwatch beta I knew it was a game for me. It truly is a masterclass in game design, serving up recognition for even the smallest player contribution while making sure that both the competitive and the laid-back can enjoy its multiplayer battles equally. As with my top pick, it's another title I find myself returning to time and time again. Whether it's for a seasonal event, a new character, or an quirky match type, I never felt like the player base had moved on without me, which is probably why it's become a regular fixture for many other players as well.
First Choice: SMITE
Wow, who'd have thought it? A free-to-play MOBA being crowned my Game of the Year. Throughout most of 2016, SMITE has been my gaming rock; a near constant fixture as a tsunami of other gaming delights rushed by, and while there were weeks when I didn't head into the lanes for a much needed fix of god slaying, I always came back to it sooner or later. Yes, I'm fully aware it's near impenetrable to new players, and that it suffers from the same problems as pretty much every MOBA, but it's the massive roster of characters - as well as its deep meta-game - that's kept me showing up for more.
What do you think of Alex'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.