GOTY 2016 | Number 1 — Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
No joke, I listen to the Uncharted theme while walking by myself fairly regularly, because I like to pretend I’m off on an epic adventure. Needless to say, I have some feelings for this particular series. If you’d asked me at the end of Uncharted 3 that there was any way they could successfully make another Uncharted game without messing it up badly, I would’ve been hard pressed to take the leap. Thankfully, the team over at Naughty Dog managed to stick the landing on Nathan Drake’s final adventure for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. Focused on delivering a narratively driven final chapter, the game makes good on developing Nathan Drake as a character and shines in some of the quieter moments just as much as the beautiful set pieces.
It would have been easy to just let the series go after Uncharted 3. It didn’t close the book completely, but there was a relatively tidy conclusion. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End managed to evolve every aspect of the series in a meaningful way that made the entire experience better. With some stellar performances by the entire cast, I was hooked on the story from the beginning to the end. The grappling hook added some extra fun to both the exploration and combat aspects of the game, even if I never quite managed to master it. There’s something to be said for how good this game looks as well. It may be one of the most gorgeous-looking video games out there, which is a testament to how masterful Naughty Dog is at pulling power out of Sony’s hardware. I’m proud to call Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End my favorite game of 2016 and whole-heartedly recommend it to literally anyone who owns a PS4.