High Scores 2016

High Scores: The Best Videogames of 2016 – 16 to 13

This is part of Kill Screen’s list of the best videogames of 2016. To see the rest of the list, check out all the other parts.


16. Abzû


Abzû is an underwater opera about the precious cadence of ecosystems. Its ocean world feels like a fantasy as you swim downstream with dolphins and weave between the tropical leaves of aquatic plants. But for the most part it is not. The game only takes what beauty already exists (or once did) in the seas and attaches a full-blown orchestra to it. In a year when scientists have announced the human impact on the coral reef is driving it to extinction, it’s a vital commemoration.

By Chris Priestman

15. VA-11 HALL-A

VA-11 Hall A

Cyberpunk is dead. We live in the zone now, jacked in every second of every day. The failure of modern cyberpunk is a failure to engage with that reality, instead falling headfirst into gangrenous nostalgia for a fictional future. VA-11 Hall-A is different. It lures you in with those seductive aesthetic markers—neon, synthesizers, Blade Runner noir, you know the drill—and then tells a resonant, intimate human story with wit, waifus, and warmth to spare.

By Zach Budgor

14. Dishonored 2

Dishonored 2

The word at the heart of Dishonored 2 is ‘clockwork’. Not because of its new clockwork soldiers or the indelible Clockwork Mansion. It’s a game of many moving parts and is therefore not without its frictions. But the memorable moments feel close to genius: time-shifting through a decrepit manor, stalking the strata of the Addermire Institute, the traffic of people aboard the Dreadful Wale. When everything locks into place it’s as if some grand machine is firing on all cylinders. And when you perform assassinations from careful planning and spontaneous accidents, you feel like its masterful engineer.

By Chris Priestman

13. Devil Daggers

Devil Daggers

The modern shooter has gone astray, and you may not realize this until you play Devil Daggers. It resets the genre back to year zero. There’s no bullshit here. Survive for as long as you can, locked in an eternal struggle with a hell fleet of bony centipedes and churning flocks of skulls. This is its demand. So you dance and die around its abyssal arena as if caught in some back-pedalling tornado. Slowly you learn to move better, to bounce off the goddamn floor, to duck under the snarling horrors and to press deeper and harder until you find it: shoot-’em-up bliss.

By Chris Priestman