High Scores 2016

High Scores: The Best Videogames of 2016 – 8 to 5

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.


8. Hitman


What have I done? I accidentally killed this golf instructor in Sapienza—automatically a huge knock on my final score—and I feel terrible. This dude wasn’t my intended target. I just wanted his outfit. As I don this mystery man’s uniform, I wonder; what was this man’s life like before I threw a knife into his head? Before I, the ever-bald and temporarily golf-loving Agent 47, placed an exploding ball onto an isolated tee and gazed coldly from afar as it blew my mark to bits. Did the golf instructor I accidentally murdered have children? A cute dog? I’ll never know the life of this golf man whose identity I’ve assumed. I’ll only know the bad score I get for fucking up. Yes—Hitman is a good game.

By Caty McCarthy

7. Quadrilateral Cowboy

Quadrilateral Cowboy

One of my favorite developers on Twitter is Brendon Chung. He has a knack for finding the beauty in any game—even the ones no one likes. The dresser drawers in Homefront: The Revolution. The variations of sliding across cars in Mafia III. Chung sees the most minute of details and celebrates them. Chung’s latest game, Quadrilateral Cowboy, is about those details, right down to your deck’s clunkily analog feel. From executing and eventually learning command line inputs to playing badminton with your trio of down-and-out hacker comrades, Quadrilateral Cowboy is a celebration of videogames and interactivity, right down to that very last heist.

By Caty McCarthy

6. Duskers


Duskers feels like an old friend you still hang out with. You can return to it at any time and leave again knowing it was a wholesome visit. It’s also the heavyweight champion of flickering interfaces and white-noise terror. Sat at your monitor, you type commands to your cast of drones, collecting salvage from derelict spaceships. It’s perfect at what it does. You ride on the hope that one day you’ll find another survivor among the wreckages of space. But Duskers in turn feeds on this longing, producing what is best described as a rare, potent type of isolation horror.  

By Chris Priestman

5. Oxenfree


We all know an Alex. Hell, we all were an Alex once. Stubborn, kind, sarcastic, bitter, and everything in between. Alex is familiar because she was us. And that’s what Oxenfree understands about teenagers. At the start of the game, Alex and her gaggle of friends, family, and haters set out for a typical night on an island. Then things take a turn for the supernatural—of the ghosts, possessions, and downright eerie variety.

Still, Oxenfree is a game about grief. The haunted spaces of Edwards Island draw out the best and worst in Alex and her friends. The island is strange, dark, seemingly without hope—an echo of the characters’ struggle with the loss of Alex’s older brother, and Alex’s stepbrother’s deceased mother. Oxenfree stands firm as a smart supernatural tale that crawls to a chilling end without any melodrama. And it happens to have the most authentic teens in games to boot.

By Caty McCarthy