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Game Informer's Top Scoring Game Reviews Of 2016

by Brian Shea on Dec 31, 2016 at 09:02 AM

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Game Informer reviews tons of games every year, but only a select few are able to obtain special commendations reserved for the highest scoring titles. Games that earn an 8.5 or 8.75 obtain a Game Informer Silver award, while a score ranging from 9 to 9.5 earns that game a Game Informer Gold award. While most of the best games of the year fall into that range, the most elite titles ascend to the next level to earn a Game Informer Platinum award (9.75 or 10 score).

To help you keep track of the best of the best, we've compiled all of the top scoring games of 2016 here. Check out the games we've thought are the best of the year so far, and if you want to learn more, you can read the full review with a simple click-through. Also, be sure to save this page so you can check back each month to see which new games we think should be added to your "must-play" list.

For more of our favorite games from recent years, head to the links below.


Be sure to click on the blue game titles to jump to the full review text.

Resident Evil 0
PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC

"This HD remaster of Resident Evil 0 is an easy recommendation for anyone who enjoyed the original GameCube release and has enough patience to navigate the sometimes tedious inventory management. New fans of the classic survival horror formula that came on board following last year's Resident Evil HD Remaster shouldn't expect as tight of an experience, but one that's deserving of its place in the core franchise and fleshes out Umbrella's troubled history with dramatic flair." —Tim Turi

PS4, Xbox One

"UFC 2 improves over its predecessor in the ways it needed to. The improved ground game and deeper career mode are the biggest draws, but Knockout mode is a blast to play with a friend, and Ultimate Team offers a unique twist on the popular mode from other sports games. If 2014’s EA Sports UFC was a promise being made, UFC 2 is its deliverance." —Brian Shea

Salt and Sanctuary

"Ska Studios continually impresses with the ambition of its games, which are always defined by an impeccable attention to detail and tight moment-to-moment mechanics. That reputation for clean design continues unabated with Salt and Sanctuary. This nightmarish island is well worth a visit, even if you’ve never confronted the challenging games that engendered the adventure." —Matt Miller

Quantum Break
Xbox One, PC

"Quantum Break isn’t a perfect game; it’s a bold experiment in how two mediums can tell a larger story, and at times it pays off. It would be foolish for every game to attempt to emulate this form of storytelling, but Quantum Break as a gaming oddity deserves attention. I wish the events of the show were more significant to the main story, but Quantum Break more than makes up for that with some of the best storytelling and gameplay Remedy has ever produced." —Ben Reeves

Enter the Gungeon

"Enter the Gungeon is an essential pick for those that are fans of the roguelike twin-stick shooter genre, and a great choice for those looking for an action-filled arcade romp as well. Even with permadeath threatening to ruin your fun around every corner, the vast selection of goofy guns and eventual discoveries keep you coming back again and again without any lingering frustration." —Daniel Tack

The Banner Saga 2

"If you enjoyed the first chapter, you are ready for a great time continuing your tale right where you left off. If you’re new to the series, you should play the original and start the saga from the beginning." —Daniel Tack


"It travels to far lands, features challenging bosses, and does an impressive job of showing that, even from a third-person perspective, games in VR can transport you to another world. Chronos made a believer out of me, and I can't wait to see what this studio does next."  —Andy McNamara

Wii U, Vita, 3DS, iOS

"Shortly after I finished the story, I dove back in to explore every path I didn’t already venture down with my new powers in tow. The draw to keep playing and exploring immediately after I finished is a testament to how much I enjoyed Severed." —Brian Shea

Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens
PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, Vita, 3DS, PS3, Xbox 360, PC, Mac, iOS, Android

"A Lego title is a strange choice to deliver new Star Wars story material, but it works surprisingly well, and gives fans plenty of interesting and new content to digest." —Andrew Reiner

Rhythm Heaven Megamix

"Megamix functions as both a great entry-point for newcomers thanks to its excellent minigame collection and the help it provides for breaking down the beats. For veterans, it’s like your favorite band released a greatest hits and remixes collection, and threw in a bunch of new worthwhile songs, making Megamix the best and most complete Rhythm Heaven to date." —Kyle Hilliard


"Starbound is a satisfying space sandbox that rarely disappoints, with occasional minor bugs or mandatory missions offering minor quibbles with unbridled, endless exploration." —Daniel Tack

Madden NFL 17
PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360

"If you asked me which I'd rather have – a new franchise mode or the improved line play that's now in the game, it's hard to ignore what I've actually experienced versus a hypothetical. The game is better because of it, and there's no going back."  —Matthew Kato

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice

"While Spirit of Justice brings little novelty to the series and relies on a familiar gameplay system, it nonetheless offers a story full of intrigue and puzzles that are satisfying to solve." —Elise Favis

Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse

"Despite some minor quibbles, it stands out as one of the finest traditional JRPGs available on the 3DS, an easy choice for franchise veterans and a compelling entry point for someone looking to take a dark dip into something strange and striking."  —Daniel Tack

Destiny: Rise of Iron
PS4, Xbox One 

"This adventure through forgotten legends stands strong on its own, and continues an unbroken string of content drops that have each made Destiny a richer universe." —Matt Miller

Pokémon: Sun & Moon

Sun & Moon feels significantly different from previous Pokémon games. X & Y may have marked the series’ biggest visual change, but Sun & Moon shows Game Freak is willing to re-examine Pokémon’s tenured mechanics in order to improve the game.—Kyle Hilliard 

Batman: The Telltale Series – Episode 4: Guardian of Gotham 
PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC, iOS, Android

"...this episode packs enough dramatic moments, character development, and entertaining action sequences to emerge as one of the best episodes in the series and one of the best experiences by Telltale in recent memory, period." —Javy Gwaltney

PS4, Xbox One, PC

"...Steep has a charm that transcends that narrow question through its world design, accessible gameplay, and transmission of a certain joie de vivre that itself is a hard concept to create and convey." —Matthew Kato

Final Fantasy XV
PS4, Xbox One

"Final Fantasy XV is unlike any RPG or open-world experience I’ve played before. It succeeds and struggles in finding its unique stance, but a few problematic designs don’t hold it back from being a hell of a journey." —Andrew Reiner

Mario & Luigi Paper Jam

"One of the nicest things I can say about the Mario & Luigi and Paper Mario games is how consistent they are at offering interesting and funny RPG experiences for those not necessarily inclined towards the genre. Paper Jam doesn’t disappoint while not dramatically changing the formula previously established, but it ranks high in the Mario RPG pantheon thanks to its improvements in pace, willingness to trust its players to figure out the mechanics, and its goofy multi-Mario-verse premise."  —Kyle Hilliard

HEX: Shards of Fate

"Hex lacks some of the features initially promised in the Kickstarter campaign, like multiplayer raids, guilds, mercenary allies, and “endgame” PvE content. Even without those features, it is a well-designed, robust digital trading card game with a wealth of exciting content offerings. With several sets that take advantage of the digital-only environment and an enjoyable campaign already available, the future looks incredibly bright for this card-slinging soiree." —Daniel Tack

Far Cry Primal
PS4, Xbox One, PC

"Don’t let the lack of a number fool you: This is a full Far Cry experience, with top-notch production and another massive open world to explore. The missions start to feel fairly similar after a while, usually requiring you to go to an area and grab something or kill everything. And even though you have access to a fairly robust toolbox, you can get through most of the situations by running headlong into battle, stabbing faces with your spear while your animal friend creates a diversion for you. Still, this is the first entry in the franchise that seems to truly support the way I play these games. It always felt a little strange to be a warrior who rocks a polo shirt, and Primal lets me live out the caveman fantasies that I frankly never knew I’d been harboring." —Jeff Cork

Stardew Valley

"As my time with Stardew Valley came to a close, I felt a tinge of sadness. After nearly 25 hours with the game, I was worn out but also deeply appreciative of my time in the valley. Turning off the game was almost like leaving a second, smaller home, one filled with fond memories and good people. Though some quirks might unnecessarily keep players at arm’s length, those willing to grapple with the more arcane aspects of Stardew Valley are in for a world of delight." —Javy Gwaltney

PS4, Xbox One, PC

"Driven largely by its successful single-player campaign, Doom is a welcome return to form for the genre-defining franchise. By sticking to time-worn traditions in all the right places and deftly employing some modern flourishes, id has rediscovered what made this demon slaying series so successful."  —Matt Bertz

Total War: Warhammer

"Total War: Warhammer is one of the best Total War games I’ve ever played, and fans of either franchise should find themselves with a winner here. Those looking for more historically rooted fare may find the fantasy over the top, but plenty of solid strategy lurks under the magic and mayhem." —Daniel Tack

Zero Time Dilemma
Vita, 3DS, PC

"The final chapter of the Zero Escape series is an excellent horror adventure both for fans and newcomers, allowing them to be storytellers in addition to players, defying time and fate to create their own twisted, macabre labyrinths." —Javy Gwaltney

Monster Hunter Generations

"Monster Hunter Generations offers some minor new tweaks to the franchise, but keeps the core completely intact, an easy winner for series veterans and the best point of entry for a new player looking to cut their teeth on some challenging creatures." —Daniel Tack

PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC

"The Journey isn't the be-all-end-all of FIFA 17. It's a good start that adds to the game despite its flaws, while the title is anchored by the overall gameplay and other modes." —Matthew Kato

Picross 3D Round 2

"Picross 3D Round 2 is more complicated than the previous 3D Picross, but its changes add worthwhile challenge without venturing into the world of over-complication." —Kyle Hilliard

Dead Rising 4
Xbox One, PC

"In many ways, this is the game that people who just wanted to be a one-man zombie wrecking crew were probably hoping for all along." —Jeff Cork 

Be sure to click on the blue game titles to jump to the full review text.



The Flame in the Flood
Xbox One, PC

"The Flame in the Flood has a beautiful aesthetic and a strong structure, welcoming a larger audience with its accessibility options. The trip down the river is a rocky, dangerous one, but there are rich treasures and exciting tales waiting to be discovered by those brave enough to take the journey." —Javy Gwaltney

Batman: The Telltale Series – Episode 2: Children of Arkham
PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC, Mac, iOS

"Telltale’s Batman looked to be a disaster in the making that didn’t quite grasp the Batman source material, but is now shaping up to be a unique take on this beloved character that everyone should play." —Andrew Reiner


"Owlboy not only has the hook of a new idea to mix up the genres it mettles in, but the fundamentals to follow up on it. Its sense of movement is fluid, its momentum is strong, and its characters are engrossing."—Suriel Vazquez   

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
PS4, Xbox One, PC

"Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare features a compelling single-player experience with plenty of optional missions for those looking for more, and robust multiplayer modes for players of every style, whether you’re leading the scoreboards in kill confirmed or goofing around with friends taking on an alien invader in an over-the-top amusement park."—Daniel Tack  

Darkest Dungeon

"Darkest Dungeon is an incredible take on the classic dungeon crawl. The game brings Lovecraftian lore to new heights with cool classes, powerful narration, stylish art, and addictive gameplay that will keep you crawling back to battle slithering monstrosities even as your favorite heroes become corpses." —Daniel Tack

The Witness
PS4, Xbox One, PC

"The opaque world might be disappointing for some players, but The Witness is about a different kind of discovery. It steers your mind in unconventional directions, and makes you feel clever as you build on your knowledge and uncover new layers about the game’s language and logic. Even when I wasn’t playing it, I was thinking about puzzles that had me stumped. Some puzzles are tough, but all of them are fair, and the fun of solving them is only topped by seeing what awaits you on the next series of monitors." —Joe Juba

Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright

"Birthright is its own epic saga, with at least 25 hours of playtime and a load of sidequests and goodies to discover during the course of its satisfying and moving story about identity, family, and love. It tricked me into falling in love with its cast of characters and then made me weigh their lives against the fate of the world over and over again. Birthright is a grueling, fantastic experience that not only matches the quality of its predecessor but possibly outshines it as well, more than earning its place at the table of must-play strategy/RPGs." —Javy Gwaltney

Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest

"It’s built on the same great foundation, but Conquest is more than just a harder version of Birthright. It creates a consistently tense journey with few lulls. I spent the majority of Conquest’s campaign feeling like hope was some distant dream as I fought tooth-and-nail with limited resources against armies that vastly outnumbered my untrained troops. The campaign is a grueling challenge all the way through, but every time I snatched a win from the jaws of defeat I felt an undeniable surge of satisfaction and pride, one that made my victories that much sweeter. If that sounds fun to you, Conquest is the ideal way to play Fire Emblem Fates. If you want all of the fantastic gameplay with less pressure, don’t feel any shame about sticking to Birthright. You can’t go wrong either way." —Javy Gwaltney

Dark Souls III
PS4, Xbox One, PC

"Dark Souls III successfully replicates the winning formula of the Souls series, a wondrous combination of majestic boss battles, incredible layered environments full of secrets, and precise combat that can make other action RPGs difficult to play once you’ve mastered the art. If you’ve never played the series, this is a great place to begin, offering a bit more direction in the early game before opening up. If you’ve already played the series, you can feel confident that From Software hasn’t lost its touch." —Daniel Tack

Hearthstone: Whispers of the Old Gods
PC, iOS, Android

"Whispers of the Old Gods succeeds on multiple levels, shaking up the competitive scene with a variety of new deck types to experiment with and combining flavor and mechanics to create interesting fun new cards." —Daniel Tack

The Witcher 3: Blood & Wine
PS4, Xbox One, PC

 "Blood and Wine is an example of an expansion that takes advantage of providing top-notch new content. The whole expansion is an adrenaline rush, reminding me of the intense pacing of Wild Hunt's final act. It also has plenty nods to Geralt and his friends that longtime fans are sure to enjoy. You never know when a past character may make an appearance or be mentioned. The world has so much depth and excitement; Blood and Wine is a great way to spend your last days as Geralt." —Kimberley Wallace

Pro Evolution Soccer 2017
PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC 

"That feeling of jubilation happens all over the pitch and in the game, in moments big and small, and it increases when you realize that this is your game to control. Your game to conquer." —Matthew Kato

Pac-Man Championship Edition 2
PS4, Xbox One, PC

"When we talk about how so many franchises mine our nostalgia instead of trying something new, it’s because games like Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 prove that with some revamping, our old favorites can be timeless." —Suriel Vazquez

PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mac

"Virginia is a taut thriller that strikes a fine balance between storytelling and interactivity in a way that narrative-driven first-person adventure games have not accomplished since their inception, thanks to its blend of classic cinema and exploration. It should not be missed." —Javy Gwaltney

Forza Horizon 3
Xbox One, PC

"Forza Horizon 3 is a delight, and it’s one of those rare racing hybrids that should appeal to gearheads who want deep tuner options and people on the other end of the spectrum who just want exciting arcade-racing action. It’s this generation’s best racer, and my favorite Forza game to date." —Andrew Reiner

Gears Of War 4
Xbox One, PC

"Even with a new studio leading the development charge, Gears of War 4 is a return to form for the series, and is a continual delight, even if it does unnecessarily cling for dear life to the past."—Andrew Reiner 

Battlefield 1
PS4, Xbox One, PC

"In an era dominated by modern military and sci-fi shooters, Battlefield 1 going back to the Great War is a refreshing change of pace. After 40-plus hours with the riveting multiplayer action, I’m still eager to charge once more into the breach."—Matt Bertz 

Dishonored 2
PS4, Xbox One, PC

"Dishonored 2 successfully builds on the solid stealth-combat foundation of the original while introducing enough fun new gameplay concepts to feel fresh. Whether you prefer sticking to the shadows or gutting every co-conspirator in the land, the game offers a rewarding experience with attractive upgrade paths."—Matt Bertz 


"You're constantly under the gun in XCOM 2, and the deck is often stacked against you. Firaxis' masterclass in strategy design has you second-guessing all your choices and analyzing your smallest decisions. It might sound stressful, and at times it is, but XCOM 2's battles are so compelling that it's easy to pick yourself up after defeat and jump back into the fray. Successfully navigating XCOM 2's storm of difficult choices is enough to make you feel like a true legend." —Ben Reeves

Hyper Light Drifter
PS4, Xbox One, PC

"Hyper Light Drifter has already positioned itself as one of the best experiences of the year. It’s a challenging game, but it never feels unfair. The promise of seeing more of the world and hearing more of the fantastic soundtrack are worthwhile rewards for your tenacity. Despite seeing the finish line ahead of me, I did everything I could to prolong the experience by exploring every nook and cranny. I didn’t do it out of necessity; I did it because I wanted to stay in Hyper Light Drifter’s world for as long as possible." —Kyle Hilliard

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

"A Thief End’s is the best Uncharted yet, delivering a story I didn’t want to end, and an adventure that concludes with a hell of a payoff. The “wow” factor of the world exploding under Drake’s feet has diminished in the years following Uncharted 2, but those moments are still effective, and a true showpiece of the developer’s exquisite craftsmanship for world and gameplay design. All four of Naughty Dog’s games culminate in A Thief's End in a fitting and cohesive way that fans should appreciate." —Andrew Reiner

Quadrilateral Cowboy

"Quadrilateral Cowboy is a strange, fantastic journey that will likely charm and test you in equal measure. I expect to come back to it many times over the next few months despite having completed it, searching the environments for nuggets of the story hidden away in the corners of each level and striving to become the best thief this side of cyberspace." —Javy Gwaltney

NBA 2K17
PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC 

"In the world of sports sims, no other game feels like it’s even on the same level as NBA 2K17. Visual Concepts continues to embrace innovation and add benchmark-setting features for hardcore fans. With unrivaled gameplay, presentation, and game modes, 2K Sports’ latest hoops game is a must-play for all sports fans." —Matt Bertz

Civilization VI

"Firaxis' newest entry in the Civilization series isn't a game changer, because the game was already great. However, Civilization VI could easily be the pinnacle of the series."—Ben Reeves 

Titanfall 2
PS4, Xbox One, PC

"In an era where it feels like the majority of shooters either have single-player or multiplayer tacked on, Titanfall 2 is the full package. The top-tier campaign has nearly perfect pacing, and the subtle revisions and additions to the multiplayer make it better than ever."—Javy Gwaltney 


Be sure to click on the blue game titles to jump to the full review text.


PS4, Xbox One, PC

"Inside has excellent gameplay, thoughtful puzzles, and deadly obstacles that are entertaining to avoid – but it feels wrong to call the game “fun.” The full experience, from its opening moments to a finale that left my mouth agape, is a strangely uncomfortable one." —Kyle Hilliard

PS4, Xbox One, PC

"Overwatch is an amazing experience. It’s fresh and consistently fun, with matches that are great in random groups, but astonishingly good when played with friends. Blizzard has taken its masterful art of polishing and perfection to the team shooter, and things will never be the same."  —Daniel Tack


Be sure to click on the blue game titles to jump to the full review text.

For more of our favorite games from recent years, head to the links below.