Best of 2016: Jake’s Top Picks of the Year

Here are my favorite shows, games, and movies of THE WORST YEAR EVER.

2016 didn’t suck. Sure, I disliked last year for probably the same reasons you did, but there’s no denying the incredible content we could play, stream, or watch in theaters. This year gave us long-awaited games, surprisingly incredible shows, and excellent movies that aren’t sequels.

There was a lot of good in 2016, and here’s what I loved the most. 

 

Best Show: Stranger Things 

I don’t need to sell you on Stranger Things. Chances are you watched it over an afternoon during the summer, or you’ve already been told by everybody to check it out. Regardless, I love Stranger Things because it was everything you heard about and more. The story was gripping, the kids actor felt like real kids, and the music was on point. It could be scary, funny, and heartbreaking. Stranger Things is so much more than an homage to 80’s pop culture. It’s damn good TV.

Runner-Up: Westworld

Is Westworld the next Game of Thrones? I don’t think so, but it is a well-crafted and intelligent first season that muses heavy ideas like artificial intelligence and control through a talented cast and top-notch production values. And naked robot people. Lots of naked robot people.

 

Best Movie: La La Land 

La La Land is pure joy. Anchored by Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone at their absolute best, this film is a tribute to the musicals of old Hollywood, and a modern masterpiece elevated through exquisite songs and cinematography. When my jaw wasn’t on the floor, I was grinning with satisfaction through the whole film. Believe the hype, go see La La Land.

Runner-Up: Kubo and the Two Strings 

I love Kubo so much. This film redeemed an otherwise trash heap of a summer, and made going to movies fun again. Please, don’t go see Resident Evil this month. Don’t bother with Underworld. Rent Kubo, buy Kubo, just watch Kubo

Honorable Mentions: Moana, Moonlight, Hell or High Water

 

Best Game: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Nathan Drake’s final adventure is a fitting sendoff and an incredibly personal journey that I didn’t want to end. The game expertly balances spectacular set pieces with quiet, slow-moving moments that focus on Nate and his relationship with Elena. I will never forget driving around Madagascar as much as I will looking at every nook and cranny of the Drake family home. Uncharted 4 is the pinnacle of AAA games, and a poignant farewell to one of the medium’s greatest heroes.

Runner-Up: Pokémon Sun and Moon

Sun and Moon is the best Pokémon has ever been. Besides an actually engaging story and fun setting, the small quality of life improvements make your adventure in the Alola region one you won’t forget. GOOD RIDDANCE HMs!!!!

Honorable Mentions: Overwatch, Ratchet and Clank, Severed

 

There you have it. Let us know what your favorites of last year are, and cheers to 2017.

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