Game of the Year 2016 Countdown: #10 - #6

We've reached the final ten in the countdown of our Top 25 Games of the Year. Here are our picks for numbers 10 to 6.

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After spending days locked in fierce debate, our global team of GameSpot editors and video producers has finally assembled a ranked list of the 25 best games of the year. Our list is informed by an array of tastes and preferences, reflecting our team's diverse gaming backgrounds and opinions. From the biggest triple-A offerings to the smaller indie experiences, there was an abundance of games we loved this year. We're going to count down to number one over the next few days, so keep checking back as we unveil our choices for the 25 best games of 2016. For today, here are our picks for 10 to 6.

10. Inside

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Danish developer Playdead followed up its memorable 2010 sidescroller Limbo with another excellent game in the form of Inside. The hauntingly beautiful 2D puzzle-platformer is in the same general vein as Limbo, but make no mistake: it stands on its own and is memorable in new ways. Building on what made Limbo great, Inside goes further in all respects: story, gameplay, and atmosphere. The puzzles are unique in their design and complexity. Combined with the open-ended narrative and eerie atmosphere, Inside is definitely one of the best games of 2016 and is fully deserving of your time and attention. Beatable in less than five hours, Inside is not a lengthy game. But it is striking despite its brevity. A dark and thoughtful experience, Inside will stay in your memory for a long time to come. - Eddie Makuch

Read the Inside Review

9. The Witness

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Few games challenged us this year as much as The Witness, the new puzzle game from Thekla, Inc., and Braid creator Jonathan Blow. Set on a mysterious island comprising numerous biomes, you solve maze-like puzzles on sets of increasingly complex panels. Each sequence teaches you a new ruleset, and although you don't accrue new items, weapons, or character abilities, by the time you begin peeling back the layers of the island itself, you've accumulated a wealth of new knowledge along the way.

The Witness isn't brilliant just because of its difficult puzzles, though. It's remarkable because of how it communicates its ideas. There is no exposition, there are no obvious tutorials, and there's not a single NPC guiding you along the way. You're free to explore the island, and solve puzzles in whatever order you wish. Somehow, you find your way.

So maybe that's the most amazing part about The Witness. By the time you've solved every puzzle--or, at least, as many as you can--the game hasn't changed. Sure, a few hidden doors have opened and you've activated a few lasers along the way. But the island has remained the same. It's you that's changed. - Mike Mahardy

Read The Witness Review

8. XCOM 2

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In a medium where sequels often play it safe, XCOM 2 breaks the mold. It doesn't just build on the turn-based strategy formula of its 2012 predecessor, but also warps it, questions it, and tweaks almost every aspect to create something more tense, and far more rewarding.

XCOM 2 demonstrates a mastery of each of its layers, from its turn-based squad combat to its base-building meta game. It's a deft mix of character development, ground combat, and overarching strategy choices. It also lends gravity to each and every decision you make. Do you attempt a rescue mission with a squad of timid rookies? Is plasma rifle research more valuable than alien technology? Will killing that enemy defeat your chances of destroying the alien satellite before it transmits crucial coordinates?

After playing enough, that's what XCOM 2 becomes: a series of impossible decisions. But somehow, developer Firaxis has made that process fun. It's created a way to learn from failure. Even more than XCOM: Enemy Unknown, XCOM 2 lets you look forward to starting over, and witnessing every possible outcome in a demanding, challenging, and ultimately exhilarating strategy game. - Mike Mahardy

Read the XCOM 2 Review

7. Battlefield 1

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Given the series' track record, expectations were not high for Battlefield 1's single-player. Despite that, it turned out to be the one of the year's most pleasant surprises. DICE's decision to tell several short, self-contained stories ultimately resulted in a more personal and far more memorable experience than we're accustomed to seeing from Battlefield--or most shooters.

While its multiplayer component is devoid of any of that, it's excellent nonetheless, as DICE has further refined the established Battlefield formula. The series has always done a great job of giving you options. Do you want to be a medic, risking your life to save others? Pilot a tank? Fly a plane? This diverse array of choices ensures that every match plays out differently. Battlefield 1 takes things even further, as Behemoths (game-changing vehicles like an armored train or zeppelin) and weather effects bolster the number of ways that two matches played on the same map between the same teams can feel dramatically different. Combined with the dynamics of playing in a squad and a mode (Operations) that makes matches feel less like meaningless skirmishes, Battlefield 1 is in many ways a high point for the franchise. - Chris Pereira

Read the Battlefield 1 Review

6. Doom

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Contrary to almost everyone's expectations, 2016's Doom exploded on the scene earlier this year with fast-paced gunplay and a hard-hitting soundtrack that instantly transported you back to the series' heyday. Its weaponry, enemies, and locations evoked the same dreadful excitement that Doom and Doom II did on PCs in the '90s, despite the fact that it was created by an entirely different team.

What's apparent is that the creators of the new Doom understand the series' roots. And rather than try to recreate Doom as it used to be, iD Software managed to recreate Doom as we imagined it was, when our imaginations read between the pixels. In effect, Doom resurrected the series in ways we all hoped, but never believed it would. Mediocre multiplayer aside, Doom was easily the biggest surprise of 2016, and a reminder of why we fell in love with first-person shooters all those years ago. - Peter Brown

Read the Doom Review

GAMESPOT'S TOP 25 GAMES OF THE YEAR

Numbers 25 - 21

Numbers 20 - 16

Numbers 15 - 11

Numbers 5 - 2

Number 1

GameSpot will be unveiling its picks for the Top 25 Games of the Year all throughout December. Click here to see the full schedule.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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santinegrete

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Doom is the 6th best game this year? I expected it to be the first. Oh well, I can stop seeing the tally now at least.

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deactivated-59aca989c9399

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Doom maybe in the top 20 but not top 10. It was fun for the first mission then it was just boring and repetitive with a cheap story to tie it all together. Inside should have been higher, I'd even put BF1 in the top 5.

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pizzaboy66

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@69ingChimpmunks: Not your list. People like you is why people don't can't take GOTY lists seriously.

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deactivated-59aca989c9399

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@pizzaboy66:
1. It's my opinion. I love making GOTY lists and things of that nature. If you can't take someone's opinion with a grain of salt then why bother responding? Isn't that the whole point of a GOTY list? To debate and put in your two sense as to what you think the top games are.

2. Doom wasn't even among the best reviewed games of the year on Gamespot lmfao. Just going through 10-15 for example: Hitman and Dark Souls 3 also have an 8. While games like ABZU, Thumper and Civ 5 are given 9's. You see the point I'm making here? You have higher acclaim for these games and yet Doom is put above all of them. It makes no sense.

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GirlUSoCrazy

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Doom in the top 10? No....... It really fell flat for me, too many times you get locked in a certain room/area Knack style and had to eliminate enemies, who often don't leave their designated rooms and come looking for you if disturbed, levels don't really wrap in on themselves as much and aren't intimate affairs...

Maybe it's an OK game on its own and a rebirth of the fast fps campaign but didn't feel so much like a Doom game and disappointed me

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pizzaboy66

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Edited By pizzaboy66

@girlusocrazy: Not your list

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Pierce_Sparrow

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Why is Doom so celebrated? It's one of the most mediocre shooters of the year. Nearly everything about it is bland and uninspired. Even the gameplay just isn't that interesting after a while.

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ninboxstation

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Gamespot has lost it's touch over the years... 2016 has been one of its worst lows for Gamespot, when it comes to reviews and scores... and they had the chance to fix it with this GOTY list... but instead they just made it worse..... .

.

for 2017, going to see on Metacritic to see the scores Gamespots give... but not waste time to go on Gamespots site anymore... not untill it feels like theyre back on track ...or till the end of 2017 to see if they f.. uck up the GOTY list then again..., other sites are more reliable

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loafofgame

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@ninboxstation: This list is not about being reliable. They explain it in a video. The list is a result of a debate among staff members. That makes it uncharacteristic. This list is not a reflection of general consumer appeal or metacritic averages, it's a reflection of a consensus among the staff.

If I want a generic best of list, I can make one myself in 10 minutes. That's not very interesting, though.

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Syco92

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Overwatch is garbage blizzard fans **** off

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Lizard_King89

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@syco92: Wrong. Overwatch is amazing. Best game of the year.

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Fedor

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@syco92: Well... Don't play it then...

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Yeezer

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Seeing as how journalism is still desperately trying to push muh diversity and SJW views as "art". Overwatch is probably going to win. Well UC4 had some of that too, but it's not being marketed and awarded for it like Overwatch already has.

Funny thing though, Blizzard is taking advantage of these people because everyone actually loves Overwatch because of waifu material and porn it's producing.

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Fedor

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@yeezer: "Blizzard is taking advantage of these people because everyone actually loves Overwatch because of waifu material and porn it's producing."

I see a bit of projection going on here.

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UnjustNation

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The top spot will probably go to UC4, it received a 10/10 from Gamespot. Overwatch got 9/10.

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UnjustNation

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Edited By UnjustNation

Uncharted 4 for GOTY.

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Lewis-Angelo

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DOOM GOTY

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RSM-HQ

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Edited By RSM-HQ

I realise some people are annoyed with best game lists. But come on! it has no reflection on what you have to enjoy.

With that stated I'm surprised D00M got so far, in the early previews and even review stage. GS staff was more negative about D00M than positive. And even go on to state they dismissed D00M to continuously hype last years Fallout 4.

D00M is a great game, yet I argue how it got this much further than DkSIII? A game that got the same score and seemed more liked (based on videos and articles) by the GS staff. So why the turn-a-round?

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ZmanBarzel

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@RSM-HQ: "I realise some people are annoyed with best game lists. But come on! it has no reflection on what you have to enjoy."

Reminds me of the banners being flown as part of Ming's wedding scene from "Flash Gordon":

ALL CREATURES WILL MAKE MERRY

UNDER PENALTY OF DEATH

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RSM-HQ

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@zmanbarzel: I wish I understood that reference :D

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deactivated-58bd60b980002

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@RSM-HQ: For DS3 they said at the last part that some niggles annoyed them and while DS3 has great ennemies and all, there is too many game trying that right now ... so somekind of burn.

DOOM they only said good things about : especially the nostalgia thing. They made a DOOM that felt like DOOM and it is a big surprized, they thought it would be another DOOM3 or a COD DOOM ...

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RSM-HQ

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@Coco_pierrot: What are you writing about? They disliked the pacing, structure, and glory kills which they found forced and repetitive in D00M. And that's just the single player. You should go back and read it_

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ninboxstation

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Edited By ninboxstation

@Coco_pierrot:

the burn from playing DS games is cause the games take up so much time to finish.. and they’re so good you end up playing NG+ games too... that’s where the real burn comes from....

and From Software deserves GOTY, they have been making great Souls games and had an incredible impact on the gaming industry with their game design.. but barley ever won GOTY for for DS1 or BB... but this time they should get it (especially when looking at the other GOTY candidates)

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RSM-HQ

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@ninboxstation: DkSIII is certainly in my personal top 5, that game is so good! But then so is D00M.

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Ember_to_Flame

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uncharted top 5, last Guardian shouldnt be though even if people consistently Thinks it will be, just sad if it is.

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ariyan-hm

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Edited By ariyan-hm

im pretty sure number one is a sony game , its gamespot after all .

since last guardian and uncharted wasn't in list till now im guessing on of them is #1 ...

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deactivated-5d762a7e1423c

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@ariyan-hm: No question GS has a decided PS bias (it is the generation their staff grew up with), but that should not have anything to do with Uncharted being high on the list; it wasn't my GOTY by any stretch, but it is a great game. If The Last Guardian is in the top 5, then they have gone far, far passed a PS bias into a mania.....game is garbage. With respect to XB exclusives, it is an odd world in which Inside should be ranked this much higher than Forza....I am not a racing fan, but Forza should have made the top 10 in any list this year....bad year for anything but shooters.

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ZmanBarzel

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@Daelusca: "With respect to XB exclusives, it is an odd world in which Inside should be ranked this much higher than Forza."

"Inside" isn't an an Xbox One exclusive. It came out on the PS4 in late summer.

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ariyan-hm

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@zmanbarzel: he was referring to froza

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t-16

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Based on the games in this list the placement of FFXV is criminal.

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t-16

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If CoD is in the top 5 I will laugh, so so much.

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loafofgame

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@t-16: It won't be.

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doccobb

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Edited By doccobb

Titanfall 2 ftw!then in no order watch dogs 2,overwatch, dishonored 2 and obviously gears 4 will get nothing while last gaurdian im sure will be there gamespot def has a bias towards sony

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Fedor

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@doccobb: Gears 4 deserves nothing.

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ariyan-hm

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@doccobb: of course its last guardian or uncharted . what do you expect from GS

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UnjustNation

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Edited By UnjustNation

@ariyan-hm: Just like it should be. UC4 GOTY2016

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Kyelo

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Edited By Kyelo

@doccobb: Watchdogs won't be there, you are forgetting about Uncharted...all the networks are giving similar awards out, there is no bias just better received games this year.

Every year is different, during the first half of last gen it was all 360.

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deactivated-5d762a7e1423c

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@kyelo: No bias? Let's take a look at your "better received" theory....Metacritics of the exclusives:

Uncharted - 93 (probably ranked #1 here)

Inside - 92 (10 here)

Forza 3 - 91 (23 here)

The Witness 87 (9 here)

Thumper 84 (14 here)

GoW4 84 (not here yet)

Last Guardian (83, better not be on this list)

So, in your opinion, how does your "no bias" theory work out?

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ZmanBarzel

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Edited By ZmanBarzel

@Daelusca: "Inside" and "The Witness" aren't exclusive. Both are available on PS4, Xbox One and PC (and possibly Mac).

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deactivated-5d762a7e1423c

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@zmanbarzel: They wound up being timed exclusives, but no one knew that at the time and they are widely recognized as releases on the XB and PS respectively....only an idiot would suggest otherwise...which there are no shortage of in this world...or on this site :)

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Kyelo

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Edited By Kyelo

@Daelusca: Simple really they have shot down Sony exclusives, gave good scores to others...also this isn't a list of what got best scores, this is a list of what dozens of people think...the likes of Forza isn't going to hit enough peoples pro points because is a racing game, something like Uncharted will because it looks good, plays good and has a solid story. A non racer will never like Forza, but a non adventure gamer may see plus points in Uncharteds story for example.

The first half of last gen was all XB you see and quite rightly, it's just flipped this time(quite rightly again).

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deactivated-5d762a7e1423c

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@kyelo: You started by saying that PS games were better received and I thoroughly debunked that with an objective measure,yet you repeat it like you can't read. In your head what does your argument look like when looking at the facts....or do you simply ignore those. By chance, care to argue a time when GS showed a VB bias....I'll wait,

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Jamesy

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Edited By Jamesy

I'm just here to watch the immature fanboys freak out because someone's opinion is different from theirs, then say something like "GameSpot sucks" or "IGN is better," only to return to GameSpot the next day, because that's what immature fanboys do.

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ariyan-hm

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Edited By ariyan-hm

@jamesy: i dont think its just someones opinion , game coverage and journalism have direct input on game industry and games failure or success its not 1990s anymore , where someone sees a game at store and buys it just to come home see what it is .

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