Prey is the kind of game that industry experts have predicted is no longer popular. It's a surprise, then, that Arkane Studios' first-person shooter proved such an important part of the rebirth of single player games, feeling like the ideal spiritual successor to the likes of System Shock and BioShock.
The shooter is more than just a simple retread of well-worn themes, though. Much like Bethesda stablemates such as 2016's DOOM, Prey adds some major innovations to the genre, primarily through the use of the unbelievably fun GLOO Cannon and the sense of paranoia created when any inanimate object could be a hidden enemy.
In spite of its status as an indie game, Cuphead was one of the most highly anticipated games of the year. Fusing together run-and-gun shooting mechanics with fearsome boss battles, Cuphead is a major challenge to players without ever stooping into cheap tricks or unfair fights, and with plenty of secrets to discover.
Alongside this addictive gameplay, though, Cuphead's other strength is its art style. Drawing on the rubber hose animation of the 1930s, Cuphead is like playing a classic cartoon. If only the game relented long enough for players to sit still and take it all in.
7. NieR: Automata
NieR: Automata is a rare thing: a game that makes replaying it a fully worthwhile experience. In part this is down to just how fun it is to play, with PlatinumGames creating a spectacular blend of action and RPG within a stunningly created world.
Beyond that, however, lies the game's story, and the way in which PlatinumGames has expertly gripped on to how video games work as a storytelling art form. Without delving into a spoiler territory, NieR: Automata is a game that justifies being played time and time again.