2016 Game of the Year: INSIDE

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Playdead

In a meta-commentary about video games and our own free will, INSIDE developer Playdead’s second game (also its second masterpiece after Limbo) forces players to question the nature of control. The story tasks players with guiding a nameless boy through a series of puzzles and platforming levels in a gloomy, harsh world. The resulting journey leads players to escape from armed guards and infected animals, use mind-control helmets, and genetically modify the boy’s body to complete puzzles.

2015 Game of the Year: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

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CD Projekt

Though The Witcher game series dates back to 2007, Polish developer CD Projekt Red seems to have broken through with its third installment. Based on Polish fantasy novels by Andrzej Sapkowski, the games follow Geralt of Rivia, a witcher (or monster hunter, for those who aren’t well-versed in Witcher lore), searching for his adopted daughter Ciri.

2014 Game of the Year: Sunset Overdrive

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Microsoft Studios

The first full year of a new console generation is always cause for trepidation among gamers, and admittedly, 2014 (the year after the release of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4) is one of the weakest gaming years in recent memory. Still, that shouldn’t take away from the Insomniac Games’ excellent Xbox One-exclusive, Sunset Overdrive.