12/30/2016 10:04 EST | Updated 12/30/2016 10:35 EST

The Best Video Games Of 2016


2016 has been a transition year for gaming.

We're deep enough into the current generation of consoles that developers are focused more on building worlds than figuring out the tech, resulting in some great games. Developers have also started taking some of the racial and gender diversity talk to heart by broadening the base of playable characters in triple-A games like "Watchdogs 2," "Mafia III" and "Dishonoured 2."

Sony and Microsoft, meanwhile, are eager to improve specs and sell more consoles but wary of new product fatigue. So, borrowing from Apple's iPhone release schedule, they both put out more powerful interim consoles -- the PS4 Pro and Xbox One S -- rather than moving onto the PS5 and Xbox Two too fast.

Developers are focused more on building worlds than figuring out the tech, resulting in some great games.

Nintendo, on the other hand, threw in the towel with its Wii U and is moving full steam ahead to the next-gen with their innovative Switch console arriving in the spring. Leave it to the House of Mario to always be doing their own thing, for better or worse.

Yes, they lost the latest round of the console wars (after trouncing everyone with the Wii) but there was only one game that truly penetrated the zeitgeist this year, and that was Nintendo's mobile experiment (developed by Niantic Labs), "Pokemon Go."

Maybe you heard of it?

There was also the rise of virtual reality (VR), which hit the mainstream with Playstation VR. Sony's affordable entry into virtual reality scooped up 30 per cent of the emerging market, despite arriving on the scene after the PC-based Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, thanks to the millions of PS4s already out in the wild. The tech is still in its formative stages, but VR is no gimmick so expect Microsoft and Nintendo to join in sooner than later.

But that's what coming, and we're looking back so here are the best games of 2016.

16 Best Video Games Of 2016

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