From ‘Doom’ to ‘Stardew Valley,’ we each picked our favorite games of 2016

Digital Trends, as an organization, has already chosen its game of the year, but DT’s gaming team comprises a wide range of tastes and opinions. Though we often speak as a group, we aren’t always of one mind.

To that end, we wanted to take a moment and share our thoughts on some of our individual favorites of 2016. We’re confident you’ll recognize some of them, as we’ve been writing about them for days, weeks, and months. There may also be games you haven’t heard of, or maybe forgot about.

If you’re having trouble figuring out what to play this holiday season, we hope you’ll take our word for it, and give these games a shot.

Superhypercube

Digital Trends staff picks video games 2016 mike epstein 4Mike Epstein
Associate Editor

Of all the VR games on all the headsets that came out in 2016, Superhypercube is the one I kept playing on mine. The VR puzzle game from Fez developer Polytron is a simple construct: You rotate a three-dimensional shape, comprised of small vector-style cubes, to make it fit the very specific hole cut out of an oncoming wall. With every success, more cubes are added, and the shape gets larger. As it does, you’ll need to crane your neck and lean out of your chair to see the wall as it draws closer.

Superhypercube doesn’t adhere to the audacious claims of most VR. It doesn’t transport you to a whole new world. Instead, it explores the subtleties of a new platform, creating something that feels both familiar and completely new.

System: PlayStation VR

Darkest Dungeon

Digital Trends staff picks video games 2016 will fultonWill Fulton
Staff Writer

Darkest Dungeon embodies several of the best trends in indie game development from the last five years. It’s a punishing roguelike dungeon crawler with turn-based combat and an XCOM-style strategic management layer for cultivating squads of feckless, permanently dying heroes in a gothic, Lovecraftian fantasy.

Reducing it to zeitgeist chasing does Darkest Dungeon a great disservice, however, because it does all this with an impeccable panache all its own. Undermining the typical power fantasy progression of games, your heroes track not just health and experience, but also stress, which is driven up by the horrors they witness underground. Over time, they acquire traits like kleptomania, paranoia, or masochism that will cause them to defy your orders and make a mess of your plans.

Systems: PC, PS4, PS Vita

Dark Souls III 

Digital Trends staff picks video games 2016 gabe gurwinGabe Gurwin
News Writer

Many studios have tried to imitate the “Souls” formula, but Dark Souls III proves that no one can deliver an experience quite as polished, atmospheric, and downright fun to play as FromSoftware and creator Hidetaka Miyazaki. Pulling in ideas from Bloodborne, the studio’s 2015 offshoot, Dark Souls III speeds up its combat without sacrificing the strategic element that drew many to the series. Fighting tooth and nail to defeat bosses like Pontiff Sulyvahn or Aldrich is a stressful, sweaty-palm ordeal, but the satisfaction you feel after landing that final hit and lighting your next bonfire is incomparable.

Systems: Xbox One, PS4, PC

Read our review

Doom

Digital Trends staff picks video games 2016 brendan hesseBrendan Hesse
Staff Writer

Doom is a game that knows what it is and revels in it. In an industry that, more often than not, looks to outside sources like film or television for inspiration, Doom dared to look within. Throughout its masterful single-player campaign, Doom insists on being a video game first and foremost, and nearly every aspect of its top-tier production values exists in service of gameplay. Recognizing its own absurdity and (frankly) stupidity, the game leans in and revels in its over-the-top violence, rather than trying to humanize the protagonist or add emotional gravity where it doesn’t belong.

Systems: Xbox One, PS4, PC

Read our review

Pokémon Go

Digital Trends staff picks video games 2016 brad bourqueBrad Bourque
Staff Writer

While enthusiasm may have died off in recent months, it doesn’t change the fact that Pokémon Go was one of the most popular games this year, and one of the most popular mobile games ever. Developer Niantic and The Pokémon Company leveraged nostalgia and a wealth of location data to bring Pokémon to life in a way that clearly captivated the hearts of gamers across the world.

It takes a massive amount of playtime to power up the right Pokémon with the right moveset and the right underlying values, but once you do, the satisfaction of seeing your name and Exeggutor in the gym at your favorite bar was more than worth the kilometers walked and Pokéstops spun.

Systems: iOS, Android

Read our tips guide

Movies & TV

How ‘invisible’ effects brought Winnie the Pooh to life in ‘Christopher Robin’

Christopher Robin earned an Academy Award nomination for the innovative way it merged Winnie the Pooh and other imaginary characters with its human cast in postwar London. Here's how visual effects studio Framestore worked its movie magic.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in several genres for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Gaming

Here’s everything we know about the zombie-infested, survival horror Days Gone

Days Gone, the first PS4 title from Sony's Bend Studio, looks to offer a different type of zombie game. Here's everything we know about the forthcoming title, from the setting to its gameplay.
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Gaming

Apex Legends adds its first new gun, the Havoc energy rifle

Respawn added the first piece of new content to Apex Legends, the Havoc energy rifle. It's available now for PS4, Xbox One, and PC players. The fully automatic rifle can be modded to shoot single-shot energy beams.
Gaming

Samsung Galaxy S10 optimizations make it great for Fortnite

Samsung's new line of Galaxy S10 devices have been optimized for gaming. All three offer improved support for the Unity engine and the S10 Plus also offers vapor chamber cooling, similar to the Xbox One X.
Gaming

Having problems with your Xbox One console? We have the solutions

The Xbox One has evolved over the years, but so have its problems. Thankfully, we have solutions for some of the console's most enduring problems, whether you're experiencing issues with connectivity or your discs.
Gaming

Did Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown fall victim to the Madden Curse?

Join us as we take a tour through the long-running history of the Madden Curse -- and Tom Brady's recent accolades. We all know John Madden is a longtime NFL talent, but is he also an agent of dark forces?
Gaming

These are the coolest games you can play on your Google Chrome browser right now

Not only is Google Chrome a fantastic web browser, it's also a versatile gaming platform that you can access from just about anywhere. Here are a few of our favorite titles for the platform.
Gaming

Need help getting the Sleeper Simulant in Destiny 2? We’ve got you covered

The Sleeper Simulant is one of the coolest new Exotic weapons you can unlock in the Warmind expansion of Destiny 2, but it's an involved process that will take awhile. Here's everything you need to know.
Gaming

Want to trick out your PlayStation 4? These themes will get you started

Personalize your gaming experience with some of our favorite themes for the PlayStation 4, including free, paid, static, and dynamic options. Fan-favorite third-party and exclusive games are also included.
Gaming

Fortnite squads up with Ninja, Chan, and Samsung for exclusive K-pop skin

The Galaxy S10 Plus has features that make it great for mobile gaming and just like last year, Fortnite and Samsung have joined forces to bring an exclusive K-pop skin to the phone. Here's how you can get it.
Computing

Between Intel and AMD, these are the best gaming CPUs at every price

What are the best processors for gaming you can buy? You don't need to spend a fortune to get an amazing gaming CPU and now that AMD is competitive again, there are more choices than ever.
Virtual Reality

HTC Vive Focus Plus makes it easier for developers to port PC content

HTC Vive has announced the Vive Focus Plus headset. The upgraded stand-alone headset makes use of "six degrees of freedom" support in controllers for a PC-like virtual reality experience.
1 of 2