It’s been a huge year for video game hits on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox one. We run down some of the biggest releases from the past twelve months, Whether you’re into action-packed multiplayer action or a breathtaking single-player experience (or anything in between), there’s bound to be something to catch your attention.
Overwatch is a team-based multiplayer first-person shooter video game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. It was released in May 2016 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. A week from its launch, Blizzard reported over 7 million Overwatch players with a total accumulated playtime of 119 million hours; Blizzard reported more than 10 million players by mid-June, over 15 million by early August, and over 20 million by October. The NPD Group, a video game industry tracking firm, reported that Overwatch was the third best-selling retail video game (nb. discounting digital sales through Battle.net) in the US in May 2016 on the month of its release, and was the top-selling game in June 2016. With digital sales, Overwatch was the fastest selling game during its release month
2. Uncharted 4 : A Thief’s End
The game was first teased at the PlayStation 4 U.S. launch event on November 14, 2013, as the next main entry in the Uncharted franchise. It was unveiled as Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End on 9 June 2014, at Sony’s press conference during E3, with a small teaser debuting the game’s real-time visuals. Development on the game was wrapped on March 18, 2016. Upon release, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was widely acclaimed by video game publications, with critics praising the game for improved gameplay mechanics over previous entries in the series, narrative, emotional depth, visual design and the multiplayer.
3. FIFA 17
The game has received positive reviews upon release, with gameplay, the Frostbite engine, sound and presentation all criticality acclaimed albeit The Journey receiving a polarized reception. FIFA 17 has been the fastest selling edition of the franchise.
4. Dark Souls III
Dark Souls III received critical acclaim upon its release, with praise given to the game’s visuals and combat mechanics, reminding reviewers of its faster paced similarity to FromSoftware’s previous game, Bloodborne Chloi Rad of IGN awarded the game a 9.5 out of 10, stating she thought that “If Dark Souls 3 truly is the last in the series as we know it, then it’s a worthy send-off.” Rich Stanton of Eurogamer rated the game as “essential”, calling it “fabulous” and that it was “a fitting conclusion” to the series. Steven Strom of Ars Technica wrote that he thought the title still had the “smooth and impressive rendering of the series’ signature style” and some of “the best boss fights in any Souls game”. Simon Parkin of The Guardian gave the game 5 out of 5 stars, and wrote that while Dark Souls III “may not have the novelty of the first Dark Souls“, it was “the more pristine and rounded work” of the series.
5. Battelfield 1
Battlefield 1 was the best-selling retail game in the UK in its week of release. Its launch week sales surpassed the combined sales of both Battlefield 4 and Battlefield Hardline. The PlayStation 4 version topped sales charts in Japan, selling 113,083 copies in its first week. Similar to previous entries in the series, Battlefield 1 is a first-person shooter that emphasizes teamwork. The game is set in the period of World War I, and is inspired by historic events. Players can make use of World War I weapons, including bolt-action rifles, automatic and semi-automatic rifles, artillery…
6. Doom 4
Doom was released to positive reviews regarding the fast-paced gameplay, single player campaign, and visuals, whereas criticism was predominantly toward the multiplayer mode. Many critics believed that Doom was a successful return to form for the series. Following the wide release, the game received scores of 85/100 for PC and PlayStation 4 and 87/100 for the Xbox One on Metacritic, and, unlike the beta, the reception of the final version of the game received very positive reviews from users on Steam.
7. The Last Guardian
The Last Guardian has thematic similarities to Fumito Ueda’s previous games, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. Its story is framed as a flashback narrative told by an older man recounting his experience as a young boy meeting a giant, feathered creature, resembling a griffin, named Trico.
The game was named on several year-end Game of the Year lists, including The New Yorker, Engadget, GameSpot, and VG247.
8. Quantum Break
Quantum Break is set at and around Riverport, where, due to miscalculations by Paul Serene, a time travel experiment goes wrong. Doused in chronon radiation, the material that makes time travel possible, protagonist Jack Joyce and antagonist Paul Serene are granted time-based abilities; for example, both can freeze time and move at higher speeds, whilst a higher dose of chronons means Serene can see into the future to decide which choices to make in the present.
Critical reception for Quantum Break was divided but generally positive, according to aggregator Metacritic, with the Xbox One version receiving better reviews than the Windows version. Critics generally praised the game’s graphics, gameplay and story, but had mixed opinions regarding the game’s TV show and the choices featured in the game.
9. Tom Clancy’s The Division
The Division takes place in mid-crisis Manhattan, an open world with destructive environments that are free for players to explore. The player’s mission is to restore order by investigating the source of a virus.
According to Ubisoft, the game broke company records, including highest number of first-day sales (breaking the record previously set by Watch Dogs in 2014), and becoming the company’s best-selling game. The Division also broke the industry record for biggest first-week launch for a new game franchise, generating an estimated amount of $330 million globally. The retail version of The Division was the best selling game in its week of release in the UK and Ireland, debuting at No. 1 in the UK retail software sales chart. The game’s launch marked the biggest video game debut in the first quarter of the year in the UK, breaking the record previously held by Sony’s Gran Turismo 4. It was the third biggest launch of a Ubisoft game in the UK, behind Assassin’s Creed III and Watch Dogs. The game has the highest week one sales for a new intellectual property, breaking the record held by Destiny. The game was No. 1 in Japan, selling over 80,000 units in its first week. In the U.S. NPD indicated that the retail version of The Division was the best selling game in March 2016.
10. Watch Dogs 2
In November 2016, Ubisoft revealed that the game’s pre-orders were disappointing for the company. Due to this, Ubisoft took a more conservative approach and reduced the sales projection for the second half of its fiscal year 2017. However, CEO Yves Guillemot is confident that the game would not be a commercial failure, and compared the game to Far Cry 3, a commercially successful game with low pre-order sales. He believed that reviews would have a great impact to the game sales due to consumers’ “wait-and-see” approach.
Watch Dogs 2 was the second best-selling retail video game in the UK in its week of release, according to Chart-Track, an eighty percent decrease from the sales of the original.
11. Street Fighter V
The game was initially criticized for having too many “rage-quitters”, due to there being no penalty system. On March 9, Capcom took steps to fix the issue. Ono stated that one of multiple reasons for the game’s February release date was for it to be out in time for the Capcom Pro Tour.
The PlayStation 4 version of Street Fighter V received generally favorable reviews from critics, as indicated by review aggregate website Metacritic, holding a score of 77/100 out of 80 reviews. As of March 31, 2016, Capcom announced that Street Fighter V had shipped 1.4 million copies across the PS4 and PC platforms, digital downloads included, making it 600,000 copies short from their 2 million goal fiscal goal.
12. Final Fantasy XV
Within the first twenty-four hours, Square Enix reported that Final Fantasy XV had shipped five million units worldwide in both physical shipments and digital sales. This gave Final Fantasy XV the biggest launch in the franchise to date. It received the most first day digital sales in Japan for a game up to that point, and set records for physical shipments and downloads in mainland Asia. In Japan, the PS4 version topped Japanese gaming charts, selling 690,471 units. The Xbox One version sold 3,791 units. Total sales of both versions came to 694,262 units, down from Final Fantasy XIII. Second week sales in the region were 79,792 units, down 88% from launch week. The game’s release boosted console sales for the PS4 over the previous week by 42,102 units. In the United Kingdom’s all-format gaming charts ending December 3, Final Fantasy XV was the second biggest Final Fantasy launch after Final Fantasy XIII.