50 Best Games of 2016

From 'Overwatch' and 'Stardew Valley' to 'Mario' and 'Pokémon', the best of a truly excellent year for games

'Inside' Playdead9/50

9. Inside

Like its equally bleak predecessor, Limbo, Inside is a gripping and unsettling journey into a dark fairytale masterfully disguised as a simple left-to-right puzzle platform game. The brilliant opening level – which tells you nothing about who you are, where you are, when you are or anything else that might give context to the threat that hunts you – is a masterclass in how to establish the rules of a game without a single line of text or dialogue. The ending is one for the ages and left our normally talkative reviewer completely speechless. Between those two points lurks a game whose strength is maintaining an utterly uniform artistic tone (think George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four meets The Night of the Living Dead) while delivering one new shock, one new mechanic and one clever puzzle after another in just the right amounts until you finally stumble out the other end with more questions than answers. The tiny team at Playdead don’t do interviews and they certainly don’t comment on the meaning of the games they make. This is just as well, because Inside utterly defies explanation – so strange, arbitrary and obliquely terrifying is its world. 

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