TrueAchievements Games of the Year 2016 - Part One

By Dave Horobin, 2 years ago
Earlier today we opened up the voting for this year's TrueAchievements Game of the Year, and we thought we'd try to help with your decision making by sharing the highest scoring games from this year's official site reviews.

Over the course of the past twelve months, we've reviewed 131 games and 13 DLC packs (nearly 1/3 more than we've ever done before). Twenty of which have received a score of 4.5 or 5 out of 5.

Here are the first ten, in order of date published.

Layers of Fear - Published February 23rd - 4.5/5

Layers of Fear

Layers of Fear is a fantastic example of why atmospheric games still deserve a place in the industry. While you'll be startled plenty of times by ghostly figures and distorted paintings, the tension and mood throughout the game will be what compels you to keep playing. The sound effects and music have been used to great effect and the way in which the environment manipulates itself around you adds all the more to the painter's insanity as he aims to complete his work. While the game is only at its full potential on your first playthrough, the extra secrets and collectibles help to add replayability to what may have originally been thought of as a "one play only" title, even if those extra playthroughs are quick ones. There have been much shorter and less polished games for the price point of £15.99/$19.99, so even though it's not exceptionally long, the quality easily counteracts this. If you're after an enthralling experience, horror fan or not, Layers of Fear is a great way to satisfy the itch.

Click here to read the full review.

Rocket League - Published March 2nd - 4.5/5

Rocket League

It might have taken a while for Rocket League to appear on the Xbox One, but the wait was worth it. The simplistic design of the game makes it extremely easy to pick up and play for newcomers, while at the same time allowing players to develop their skill and understanding of the game through practice. There is an issue with the game occasionally locking up, but that shouldn’t detract from the enjoyment and excitement that the game provides on a far more often basis. If you've already played the game extensively on other platforms prior to its launch on the Xbox One then there's nothing new on offer. For anyone that hasn’t tried Rocket League yet, it’s an absolute masterpiece of a multiplayer game that really has to be experienced to be truly understood.

Click here to read the full review.

Action Henk - Published March 4th - 4.5/5

AH logo

Action Henk isn't a new and unseen type of game. Its total package exhibits shades of similar titles, like the precision of Trials HD, the colorful and fun imagery of Joe Danger, and the speed of Sonic The Hedgehog. The fact that it does all of these things so well, in one go, is what makes the game a must-play for genre fans. Thanks to great original mechanics like buttsliding and the grappling hook, it won't feel entirely familiar either. Some moments will frustrate players to the point of rage quitting, but they'll return soon to try again because when success in Action Henk eludes you, it often seems only slightly out of reach. It's without doubt a toy story worth experiencing.

Click here to read the full review.

Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 - Published March 8th - 4.5/5

Pvz garden warfare 2

Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2 has managed to take all of the best bits from the first game, build on them and then add more good things on top of them. All of our favourite characters are back, whilst the newer characters that have been introduced are fun to play. One of the biggest improvements is the addition of the Backyard Battleground hub base, and the addition of the single player focused quests, missions and collectibles means that this game appeals to both single and multiplayer gamers more than ever. The bright colours and fun gameplay are ever present and there isn't a lot going wrong here apart from some issues with the sound and music. For fans of the first Garden Warfare game, this sequel is a must play. For those who haven't had the chance to experience the plants and zombies war yet, it's hard to find a reason not to recommend this game.

Click here to read the full review.

Quantum Break - Published April 1st - 4.5/5


Thus far as a studio, Remedy has a long history of creating games that focus on two key ideas: providing unconventional gameplay that brings something new to shooters and presenting it in a story rich with characters, background lore, and more than a few twists. Quantum Break hits on both of these tenets and does so in what feels like their most well-rounded game to date. The time manipulation powers are as special as Max Payne's "bullet time" or Alan Wake's fighting with light. The time travel storyline is one that lends itself to discussion, speculation, and adoration among genre fans. Both of these things are then aided by a great cast and truly stunning audio and visual design. Not without missteps, Quantum Break is still an exceptional title that takes chances and looks like the makings of a successful new franchise. In short, it's a hell of a time.

Click here to read the full review.

Tom Clancy's The Division - Published April 2nd - 4.5/5

Screenshot 1

The Division’s dense and stunningly recreated version of New York City provides an interesting environment for you to explore, and the overall story arc ties each of its components together in a cohesive way. There are a few bugs here and there that need ironing out in post-release patches, but none of them felt game breaking or detracted from the overall enjoyment of the game. As a cover-based shooter it’s more than competent and will provide an entertaining and worthwhile experience for those of you that want to play through the story and then move on to the next game. If the enticement of better loot and stat optimization catches hold of you however, there’s a chance that The Division may well become your next addiction, especially if Ubisoft and Massive can keep a steady stream of updates and DLC coming.

Click here to read the full review.

DiRT Rally - Published April 5th - 4.5/5

DiRT Rally

DiRT Rally is a true return to form for Codemasters' Dirt franchise and may be the company's best title to date. The developer set out to create the most realistic rally simulation available, something they have quite stunningly achieved. For some, the increased realism will come at a price, pushing the difficulty out of the reach of beginners and arcade racers, but for those prepared to put more effort and time into the title, there is a hard-earned but genuinely rewarding experience to be had.

Click here to read the full review.

Dark Souls III - Published April 11th - 4.5/5


Dark Souls is a bit of a "marmite" franchise in the gaming industry. While some absolutely loathe it, others adore it and can't get enough. The series had a rocky road with Dark Souls II and had some fans questioning design decisions, but Dark Souls III has reminded the community of why the series has the reputation it does. The game is an undeniable treat for both eyes and ears, and uncovering the lore as you explore the darkest depths is an experience that is unparalleled in many other games. The new FP gauge and weapon arts are great new features, aiming to excite new players as well as to help veterans to discover new ways of fighting, and these are used to great effect in the incredible boss fights. The game might stumble slightly on the way with occasional difficulty changes and linearity of some areas, but this will be quickly overshadowed by the many things the game gets right. It's a challenge that, when overcome, will invigorate your desire to keep going, and when you do, you will be glad you did. Prepare to die once again, Unkindled One. It's a dangerous world out there.

Click here to read the full review.

SUPERHOT - Published May 18th - 4.5/5


SUPERHOT Team managed to take what seems like a fairly simple mechanic and turn it into a game that is full of possibilities. Having all movement synced to that of the player provided a fresh twist on the shooter genre, and real-time replays give the player another chance to feel awesome about what they just pulled off. Despite the relatively short length of the main levels, the Challenge and Endless modes should provide most players with plenty to sink their time into. For several reasons, the game is one of the most innovative shooters in years and should provide players with many hours of entertainment.

Click here to read the full review.

DOOM - Published June 3rd - 4.5/5

Doom Carousel

As one Bethesda employee put it: "If you're not into violent, bloody games… DOOM's probably not a game for you". For everyone else, it’s impossible not to recommend trying the title. The campaign is where DOOM really shines with its fast-paced, slick, brutally bloody and exhilarating action that mixes old-school gameplay with modern design. The multiplayer is solid if not spectacular, but that may change in time once the game’s community begins to experiment with the creation tools in SnapMap. DOOM is back and it’s hellishly good.

Click here to read the full review.

Do any of the games above make it into your Game of the Year shortlist? Let us know in the comments below.

We'll be posting Part Two of our Games of the Year roundup shortly, so keep checking back to see what else made it into our top twenty.

In the meantime, you can cast your votes for your Game of the Year here.
Dave Horobin
Written by Dave Horobin
Dave is the TrueAchievements Social Manager and has been a Newshound since 2010. When he's not chasing developers and publishers for early review copies, he can usually be found on the TrueAchievements social pages discussing all things TA related.