2016 might not have been a wonderful year in some respects, but when it came to games it gave us some of the best we’ve ever seen. Deciding on the best of the bunch couldn’t have been easy, but this is what our readers came up with.

WINNER

Battlefield 1
Price: R999

Platforms
Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC

The move to a much earlier period in history paid off for EA and its Battlefield franchise – 2016’s game knocked the socks off of fans and critics alike, to the point where 15.5% of the votes went straight to it and its Metacritic score sits at 88%. Impressive.

64-player battles fought with in dynamic weather conditions with bayoneted rifles, in biplanes, on the backs of horses and across a wide variety of detailed (and highly descructible) warcapes clearly struck a chord with players. Much praise was heaped praise on the game for swapping out the trappings of modern warfare for something that felt altogether more raw and visceral. And, above all, fresh.

That’s not something 2016’s Call of Duty game could boast, although it still managed to come third in our poll with 8.5% of our reader vote tally despite tepid reviews and calls for Activision to give the franchise a rest.

Second place was taken by Naughty Dog’s brilliant wrap-up of the Uncharted franchise, which impressed locals enough for them to give it 11.8% of the vote. The game’s incredible settings, scenery, production quality and acting was complemented by the usual Uncharted exploring/climbing/shooting gameplay that the franchise has become known for, and even local fans who had to shell out more than a thousand bucks (!) for the pleasure of playing were impressed.

In all, 2016 was a stupendously good year for games, and the clear winners were the gamers themselves. As they should be every year.

Votes
Percentage of votes: 15.5%
Runners-up: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (11.8%), Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (8.5%)

Journalists’ choices

Nicholas Cowen

IO’s reboot of its iconic stealth series is something of a coup for the franchise. Challenging, compelling and laugh-out-loud hilarious at times, Hitman has never been this engaging – or this fun to play. For me, the new HITMAN was better than everything else on offer, beating out the likes of DOOM and Uncharted 4 – fantastic games in their own right – to be my outright favourite game of the year.

Clinton Matos

The 2016 reboot of FPS classic DOOM is a marvel. It took everything that made the old school FPS games great and masterfully propelled it into the present. It’s an absurdly fun reminder of why this genre was so much fun in the past, and why it’s so dominant in the market today. Constant post-release updates and DLC from the developer mean that it’s still fresh months after launch, and you should be playing it.

Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.