It’s your time to shine, PlayStation Nation. With a brand new console on the way in November, PlayStation VR bringing virtual reality to the living room, and a potent game lineup, this is your year. But right now, we’re throwing raw meat into the arena and you’re going to fight amongst yourselves.
You have to choose which of the 14 games below is Sony’s crowning achievement for 2016. Will you choose something new and ambitious like No Man’s Sky, or does this year belong to the nostalgia of Ratchet & Clank or Gravity Rush Remastered? Will you pick Street Fighter 5’s bombast or Firewatch’s understated solitude?
And we can’t forget the high-flying Nathan Drake. His latest adventure set a new bar, but his remastered catalog was nothing to shrug at either. The PlayStation Game of the Year is entirely up to you, so make your vote count.
The world's biggest gamer-voted awards show is upon us, with the Golden Joystick Awards taking place on November 18th at the Indigo at The 02 in London. We're looking to crown the Xbox Game of the Year, and the power is in your hands to help choose which it will be.
You can see the full shortlist for PlayStation Game of the Year below, and cast your vote here at the Golden Joystick Awards 2016. Tune in on Friday, November 18, to find out who takes home the honors.
Giant Squid’s Abzu is bottled serenity. Players take a trip deep under the ocean in an adventure that reminds us of the stunning Flower and masterful Journey. You’ll swim alongside dolphins and whales, commune with fish, and explore an underwater mystery. Eat your heart out, Aquaman.
Click to vote for Abzu at the Golden Joystick Awards 2016.
After a successful run on Kickstarter, Harmonix returns to its roots with pulse-pounding rhythm. This reboot of the PlayStation 2’s Amplitude features more tracks, a blistering multiplayer mode, and the bass-heavy beats to inspire the trance-like state to which all rhythm games aspire.
Click to vote for Amplitude at the Golden Joystick Awards 2016.
Campo Santo’s inaugural adventure, Firewatch, puts players in the deep Wyoming wilderness almost entirely alone, with no one but a voice at the other end of a walkie talkie for company. A personal tragedy inspires the protagonist, Henry, to take a job manning a fire watchtower. Throughout the story, you’ll unravel a mystery as he confronts his tragic past, questions his choices, and stops teenagers from skinny dipping and setting off fireworks.
Click to vote for Firewatch at the Golden Joystick Awards 2016.
Originally released on PlayStation Vita, Gravity Rush’s colorful visuals and clever use of the handheld’s gyroscope made it a hit. But let’s be honest. Motion controls aren’t everyone’s favorite. This year’s Gravity Rush Remastered drops the tilt and tumble in favor of traditional controls on the PlayStation 4. We might have to wait until 2017 for Gravity Rush 2, but if you haven’t fallen in love with the updated original yet, don’t drop the ball now.
Click to vote for Gravity Rush Remastered at the Golden Joystick Awards 2016.
Nostalgia-driven RPGs are hot right now, with a number of Kickstarter projects building on our fondest turn-based memories. Square Enix wasn’t going to let the trend slip by. The publisher created a team to capture what we loved about Super Nintendo classic Chrono Trigger, and the result is I Am Setsuna. The result is a gorgeous gift to fans, with melancholy music accompanying a story of sacrifice that resonates with long-time roleplaying gamers and those who missed the genre’s 16-bit heyday.
Click to vote for I Am Setsuna at the Golden Joystick Awards 2016.
Hello Games’ ambitious No Man’s Sky was one of 2016’s most anticipated PlayStation 4 releases. And while its release was anything but smooth, past the controversy lies a competent game filled with strange planets and baffling creatures. The journey to the center of the universe is filled with remarkable sights, but does a PlayStation Game of the Year award lie at the heart of the game’s mystery?
Click to vote for No Man’s Sky at the Golden Joystick Awards 2016.
Okay. Bear with us on this one. This year’s Ratchet & Clank updates Insomniac's original 2002 3D platformer. Sort of. It’s a retelling based on the Ratchet & Clank movie (also released this year). The movie is based on the original PlayStation 2 game. So this game isn’t a remaster. It’s a remake. Ish. Don’t worry. The funny weapons and memorable characters are all here, just maybe not exactly as you remember them.
Click to vote for Ratchet & Clank at the Golden Joystick Awards 2016.
“It’s kind of like Dark Souls!” might be the hardest sell in gaming since “It’s a MOBA” or “It’s like Minecraft mixed with…” Despite all the pretenders to the From Software throne, Ska Studio’s Salt & Sanctuary gets things right. With hints of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Salt & Sanctuary doesn’t just mimic the Souls series’ challenge. It captures its sense of foreboding discovery. There’s only one thing we’re certain is lurking around the corner, though: death.
Click to vote for Salt & Sanctuary at the Golden Joystick Awards 2016.
The best PlayStation Vita games are the ones that smartly embrace the handheld’s features. Severed is a drastic tonal departure from Drinkbox Studios’ last game, Guacamelee! However, the strong Metroid-style exploration thread remains in this dark story about a one-armed warrior on a quest to save her family. With excellent touch-screen controls (no, really!) and a brilliant art style, Severed should not be missed.
Click to vote for Severed at the Golden Joystick Awards 2016.
Capcom steps into the ring again, but only on PlayStation 4 and PC. Street Fighter 5 brings some fresh changes that make the latest entry more accessible than its predecessor. Launch wasn’t without its problems, but Capcom has been under the hood and tuning things up to make it a mainstay in the fighting game community. Now, if they could just do something about Ken’s hair.
Click to vote for Street Fighter 5 at the Golden Joystick Awards 2016.
Before we said goodbye to Nathan Drake this year, we had the chance to revisit his previous adventures (save Vita-exclusive Golden Abyss). With upgraded visuals and updated combat for Drake’s Fortune, this package is the perfect way to catch up on all of Nathan Drake’s greatest hits like “No no no no no!” and “Oh shiiiiiiii-!”
Click to vote for Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection at the Golden Joystick Awards 2016.
The Uncharted series has always been at its best while blending snappy dialog, blockbuster action, and emotional moments among its cast. Naughty Dog’s farewell to its half-tucked hero is a showcase for the PlayStation 4, with gorgeous vistas, tense moments, and a conclusion that is both heartwarming and satisfying.
Click to vote for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End at the Golden Joystick Awards 2016.
On the surface, Thekla’s mind-bender is a series of line puzzles without much variation. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find there’s quite a bit of nuance in the gorgeous setting. We can’t promise you’ll make it all the way to the end without help, but we’re pretty confident that you’ll enjoy trying. Just remember to take a deep breath and a break if you get stumped. And if you decide to use a walkthrough, that’s your business. We won’t tell.
Click to vote for The Witness at the Golden Joystick Awards 2016.
Remember Yakuza: Dead Souls? Don’t worry, it doesn’t matter. Yakuza 5 (and not the zombie-filled, non-canon spinoff) is the sequel to the last numbered installment, released in 2010. Series protagonist Kazuma Kiryu is now hiding out as a taxi driver, living under a new name. But just when he thinks he’s out, they pull him back in. Yakuza 5 continues the story with five playable characters and all the karaoke, ramen cart management, bowling, and Taiko Drum Master you can handle. Tired of punching mobsters? Play some Virtua Fighter 2 inside Yakuza 5. It’s like Inception, just without that whole spinning top thing at the end.
Click to vote for Yakuza 5 at the Golden Joystick Awards 2016.
Be sure to vote in the Golden Joystick Awards 2016 by October 31. Find out which of these great PlayStation games comes away with the coveted award on Friday, November 18.