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Dec 26, 2016

Justin Celani’s Top 10 Games of 2016

The above is in no way a spoiler of Justin’s number one game, but it definitely appears on this list. Justin has been busy this year between YouTube, writing, and of course his family and other real-world obligations. This is why Justin has assembled a hearty list of games he’s played this year, and if you haven’t played something from this list, you should be convinced to start.

Honorable mentions:

Far Cry Primal

Aright so Far Cry and Ubisoft have a definitive template when it comes to open world and Far Cry Primal has a story that is as basic as the Stone Age in a lot of ways. Yet the world they created was a bold move, taking guns away and vehicles and replacing with arrows, spears, and animal mounts. I hope to see more iterations of Far Cry that go for very different themes.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

The first Dues Ex really pulled me into the cyber world and with much delight, the sequel did just as well of a job pulling me in.  With level design that just allowed for multiple ways to play. Much like Dishonored 2, they took their core ideas and improved upon them. Yet after finishing it, I felt a bit empty, as if some of its potential just wasn’t as fully realized and a story that while concluding definitely feel like it was leading to bigger things.  Still one worth playing if the genre and theme is to your liking.


Dark, creepy, and with an ending that will have most people scratching their heads. Inside, from the creators of Limbo, keeps the same style of storytelling and gameplay.  Platforming, puzzles, and atmosphere is what Inside excels at and does a really damn good job of it too.  I didn’t think compared to Limbo this did anything super different or unique aside from the ideas behind the story and theme, but it’s worth it to experience the last 15 minutes alone.

Dragon Quest Builders

I’m not into building games like Minecraft, I’ve tried over and over with no luck getting pulled in. Then Dragon Quest Builders comes along and not only shows me that it is possible to have a building game that is robust, but also features a story with good presentation. Dragon Quest Builders is charming, funny, and easy going, even with combat involved. Grab some tea or coffee, a controller, and just loose yourself.

Mafia 3

Open world games are a dime a dozen these days but amazing storytelling is usually not on aspect the genre gets right. Mafia 3 has issues from a gameplay perspective that cause repetition to set in greatly. It’s combat, which is bloody and visceral truly packs a punch, but it’s the story and voice actors that truly bring this world to life. Even past the routine gameplay, Mafia 3 storytelling is worth the time.


And now to the actual list…


10 – Dead Rising 4

I’m very partial to the franchise and have played it since the first entry back on Xbox 360. I’m not here to talk about timers or what I did or didn’t like about the recent changes in part 4. What I can say is that as far as having a blast, mowing down zombies, laughing, and getting my Christmas jollies, Dead Rising 4 aims to please. It’s a different kind of beast but one I can’t stop having fun with every time I pick it up.

9 – Gears of War 4

With new teams in both the development process as well as the storyline, there was a lot that could have gone wrong with Gears of War 4. Yet it retained and added onto what made the series an exciting IP in the first place. It definitely felt a little too safe at times, but if this is an indication of the next few entries in the series, I believe it’s in good hands. The new team of characters are young and full of life, but I’m interested to see how the new Swarm threat changes them.  Now bring on the sequel.

8 – Rachet and Clank (PS4)

Rachet and Clank for the PS4 is a beautiful game. One of the best remasters or recreations of a previous entry ever.  With new additions, story elements from the movie, and just the overall care that was put into this shows. It’s a great trip down memory lane for those that experienced Rachet and Clank, but it also serves as a great game in general for platforming and shooting fans.

7 – Dark Souls III

Love it or hate it, Dark Souls as a franchise has solidified itself as a top tier hardcore action RPG. Difficulty and death is always something to expect and 3 is no different. At this point and time, it seems some are worn down from series fatigue, but if this is truly the final entry, it definitely didn’t disappoint. Bringing the lore and mythology full circle, Dark Souls 3 continues to shine with its macabre sense of art and direction.  Few games nail down the feeling of nightmares when it comes to creature design, but From Software has it down to a T.

6 – Dishonored 2

Dishonored shows me that it’s ok to go all out in combat or take a more stealth like approach, rewarding me for either path. Dishonored 2 offers more of the same style of progression and options but with a vivid new location, new characters, two playable protagonist, and a world that just completely sucks players in if given the opportunity. It’s not doing anything that truly changes what the franchise is, but it’s the definition of what a franchise sequel should do. Bigger, better, more elaborate, and added to. Dishonored 2 nails it.

5 – Titanfall 2

I loved the multiplayer of Titanfall and I craved for a Titanfall 2 with a single player campaign. Not only did I get one, it’s one of my favorite first person experiences of all time.  Featuring interesting level mechanics which are constantly changing, fast and fun combat, platforming/wall running that really add to the adrenaline, Titanfall 2 delivers.  It’s a game I think a lot of people are passing up for one reason or another, but if you enjoy FPS games, it’s one not to miss. Robots, great campaign, fun MP, there isn’t much not to love about it.

4 – DOOM

DOOM just wants to rip and tear into anything and everything that is undead or a demon. To see a franchise not only return to a more classic sense of style and pace as the original game but to add it successful is sweet bliss. DOOM is hardcore, DOOM is intense, DOOM is bad ass and it’s a FPS I can’t get out of my head. With bloody visuals, intense combat, and chainsaw kills that would make Leatherface proud, I’m excited for DOOMs future.

3 – The Last Guardian

If you ever owned a pet or played a game on the PS2/PS3, this is pretty much almost a guaranteed game in your top spot. Yes it has camera issues, yes Trico will sometimes appear to be disobedient, but the vision since day 1 when it was announced for PS3 has been fulfilled. A heartfelt, exciting, intense piece of gaming that adventure fans shouldn’t miss. It doesn’t hold your hand in telling you what to do or how to progress, but with Trico by your side, that’s all you really need anyways.

2 – Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

The amount of times my jaw dropped from the insane visuals, voice acting, and shoot outs have me still holding into the excitement that is Uncharted 4. While it’s pacing is a bit off and it starts on a rather slow build up, the payoff for me was completely worth it for me. Seeing the characters that have grown over the franchise length, related some of the themes at play to my own life experiencing in ways. Uncharted 4 hit a chord with me personally, even if I’m not a swash buckling treasure hunter myself.  The new swinging mechanic was a blast. People will argue forever what game is the best in the franchise and that’s fine, as far as 2016 goes, if you wanted to feel like you’re in a movie about treasure hunting. Look no further.

1 – Final Fantasy XV

This might be a huge surprise to some of you as it was to me. FFXV was a game I was anticipating but not overly excited about after the years of its development. Long story short, this game consumed me when it released. Seeing my dump about 50 hours into it within 2 weeks, a huge rarity for this family man now a days. Fast combat, great characters, and a journey, that while quite a bit flawed in its presentation and pacing, still won my heart over. Noctis and company went on a grand adventure, changing the ways a Final Fantasy game can be made. Open world exploration, huge set piece boss battles, and a plethora of content to go through both during the game and post ending.