The year is nearly over, and I don't think I'm alone in saying that I'm ready to leave behind the dark, twisted fantasy that is 2016.
No matter your political persuasion, social status or country of residence, you'll have felt disquieted by events at some point this year. The sheer scale of 2016's failings allows for such blanket statements. Natural disasters, mass shootings and political events have left me buffeted by wave after wave of anxiety.
Because of this never-ending cycle of unease, video games have been more important to me this year. Of course, they're always a form of escapism, but in 2016 they've had to function as a kind of digital cocoon.
Gaming has been a place to retreat. A moment of respite. Whether passing the minutes on a mindless clicker or puzzle game, losing myself for hours in grand strategies and sport sims or taking a long weekend to head out on a fantastic adventure, gaming has helped me. A lot.
Perhaps that's why I've been reacting to game delays with all the composure of a YouTube commenter. And, God, the delays have come thick and fast.
Three of my most anticipated games at the start of the year -- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Persona V and Hideki Kamiya's new RPG Scalebound -- all got pushed into 2017. Tacoma, FullBright's first game since the excellent Gone Home? 2017. Cuphead, the delightful bullet-hell platformer with hand-drawn animations? 2017. Horizon Zero Dawn? You guessed it.
At times the delays felt personally tailored to rob me of what little joy was left in this miserable year. And I haven't even mentioned Mass Effect. A moment of silence, if you will, for what you could've been playing this Christmas:
Despite the many, many delays, 2016 has actually been a pretty great year, at least when it comes to gaming. Long-running series Battlefield and Pokémon both recaptured fans' hearts in a big way, Uncharted had a well-received send-off, Blizzard nailed another genre. Hell, The Last Guardian finally happened!
Then there was hardware. Microsoft released a smaller, (kinda) faster Xbox with UHD Blu-ray support in the Xbox One S. We got a smaller PlayStation 4 and the (kinda) 4K-capable PlayStation 4 Pro. Oh, and we also had our first look at Nintendo's new system, the Switch. Although the jury will remain out until its release in March, it's definitely an excitingly different machine.
VR also happened, in a big way. After some not very consumer-friendly early products, both HTC and Oculus released their mass-market headsets, the Vive and the Rift, for gaming PCs. Not to be outdone, Sony launched PlayStation VR for its many PS4s, and Microsoft teased Project Scorpio, a new Xbox that will be VR ready.
But it's the end of the year, and I'm rambling. I've pretty much known what my game of the year was likely to be since a 30-minute gameplay session at E3, but hearing about one person's favorite game is never particularly interesting. So, to wrap up our week of winners, ten Engadget editors picked their favorite games of 2016 (and a few titles that didn't quite hit the mark).
Enjoy, and remember: Other opinions are also valid.