The PC Games Of 2016

Simulation and space games

Simulation isn’t simply about realism. It’s about being devoted to the appearance of being real, which means games about fictional spaceships belong here just as much as American Truck Simulator.

Squadron 42

Official site

Genre
Space, Simulation
Release date
Tba 2016
What is it?
To be bundled alongside Star Citizen, Squadron 42 is a story-driven single-player branch of Cloud Imperium’s space trader-cum-fighter sim that is billed as the “spiritual successor to Wing Commander”. Most interestingly, certain events are transferable between the two games thus how you conduct yourself in Squadron’s events can have bearing on the main game’s narrative.

All Squadron 42 posts.

American Truck Simulator

Official site

Genre
Simulation
Release date
February 3rd 2016
What is it?
Like Ronseal, this Does Exactly What It Says On The Tin. It’s Euro Truck Simulator but across the pond and likely with an extra helping of maple syrup and beef jerky. If you’re into the European counterpart, it’ll probably be quite exciting touring your haulage Stateside for the first time.

All American Truck Simulator posts.

Home Free

Official site

Genre
Simulation
Release date
TBA
What is it?
The Canine Formerly Known As Dog Park is now known as Home Free, a survival sim that nearly doubled its Kickstarter campaign ask at the TAIL end of 2015. It’s an open-world action RPG that’ll have you relying on all manner of doggy means to last another day in a procedurally-generated city.

Dog Park feature.
All Dog Park posts.

Enemy Starfighter

Official site

Genre
Simulation, Early Access, Space, VR
Release date
TBA
What is it?
With the vast number of space games ever flooding the vast expanse, it’s almost odd that so few resemble StarFox more than the odd similarity here or there. With Enemy Starfighter, the likeness is more obvious but all the better for it. Its sort of roguelike makeup means you’ll level up after clearing areas of enemy craft while avoiding your permanent death.

Enemy Starfighter preview.
All Enemy Starfighter posts.

Take On Mars

Official site

Genre
Simulation, Exploration, Early Access
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
Take On Mars seems to have conveniently capitalised on the Mars Madness that swept the world and popular culture towards the end of 2015 with the release of Ridley Scott’s The Martian and the sighting of water on the real life Red Planet itself. Take On Mars is a complex survival sim about considering the all of the above as you build a settlement, mine resources and set up a living up there on Mars.

All Take On Mars posts.

RimWorld

Official site

Genre
Construction and Management Sim
Release date
TBA
What is it?
A sci-fi colony building/managing sim that looks like Prison Architect. While there are similarities between it and Introversion’s jail-runner as far as sophisticated systems are concerned, RimWorld differs from most management games with its incorporation of AI-controlled “storytellers” who dictate variations in game rules and stipulations.

All Rim World posts.

Dwarf Fortress

Official site

Genre
Simulation, Management, Early Access
Release date
Beyond the end of time.
What is it?
A better question might be: what is Dwarf Fortress not? It’s been defined by its ever-popular fortress mode, yet also has an adventure mode, a fictional encyclopedia, and an arena mode. It’s updates have been known to include procedurally-generated stories, poetry, music and dance, before then stating these features are but a small part of bigger, more significant updates. It first launched its alpha in 2006 and continues to wow us with its updates. Ten years on, what’ll 2016 bring?
Dwarf Fortress feature.
All Dwarf Fortress posts.

Maia

Official site

Genre
Simulation, Management, Early Access
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
A slow burner that has scope to be really fantastic or unfortunately disappointing. Focussed on the minutiae of managing a colony, even the slightest variation on living circumstances can have vast knock-on effects down the line in Maia. Like tinkering with a virtual ant farm.

Maia preview.
All Maia posts.

Limit Theory

Official site

Genre
Simulation, Space
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
A successfully Kickstarted space sim (at close to four times its original asking tally) by one-man dev team Josh Parnell which has an “infinite procedural world”. Limit Theory’s ambition is equally matched by Parnell’s courtesy and dedication to updating backers of his game’s progress – the last of which was in September 2015 after a few months of radio static. That said, it’s a big project with a small team so this is likely to be expected.

Limit Theory interview.
All Limit Theory posts.

Star Citizen

Official site

Genre
Simulation, Space
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Star Citizen is a beast, a goliath, a force to reckoned with. Via its own dedicated crowd-funding initiative, it’s racked up over $100 million in funds in just over three years, and launched its Alpha 2.0 at the end of last year. Procedural planetary landing from space-to-surface is the latest nifty feature to make its way into the game, but expect many more additional features to be added over the course of 2016.

All Star Citizen posts.

VA-11 HALL-A

Official site

Genre
Bartending, Simulation
Release date
TBA
What is it?
An eclectic/entirely weird mix of robot love interest, talking dogs and bartending that’s part visual novel, part puzzle game. As you converse with pub patrons, VA-11 HALL-A also becomes somewhat of a pseudo social work simulator – which may or may not be what the devs are going for. A demo is out now with development builds expected to be distributed to those who purchase before official release.

(Please note that RPS contributor Cassandra Khaw is also part of the team developing VA-11 HALL-A)

VA-11 HALL-A feature.
All VA-11 HALL-A posts.

Turmoil

Official site

Genre
Simulator, Management
Release date
TBA
What is it?
Live the life of a 19th century Gold Rush opportunistic oil baron, as you get rich or die trying from mining the black stuff. Keep a keen eye on production values, prices and selling speeds in order to succeed. Turmoil entered Early Access in June 2015, where it planned and “hoped” to remain for six months.

Turmoil feature.
All Turmoil posts.

103 Comments

  1. Cockie says:

    No “No Man’s Sky”? Or did I miss it? It’s coming in June this year after all iirc…
    Glad to see Limit Theory make the list though :D

    • Cockie says:

      Also, great work on the list!

    • Andrew says:

      It’s in Action section.

      • Cockie says:

        Ah, I looked in Exploration, Space, Survival and Adventure. It’s listed as “Survival Game, Space” after all.
        Oh well, thanks!

        • Hedgeclipper says:

          Some of the classifications looked a bit odd to me – Mirror’s edge under shooters for example. Still there’s enough games to make assembling a list like this quite a job.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Can that game really tolerate any more extremely vague hype?

      I mean, it could be super amazing, but we really don’t have the slightest clue.

      • Cockie says:

        You mean NMS? I agree, but it definitely belongs on a list of possibly interesting games coming out this year, I’d say.

    • legopirate27 says:

      Limit theory is actually coming out? I assumed that had quietly died along the way. I backed LT on kickstarter, so cool news! :D

      • Cockie says:

        It is! Josh disappeared for some months due to a stress-related breakdown, got professional help, changed his working method to a healthier one and things are now looking great.
        Source: link to kickstarter.com

        • Jay Load says:

          Well…yes, that was a great post to see. However, he’s done little visible since then…October seems to be the last thing I can find of his. Doesn’t mean he’s not busy beavering away, of course, but I do worry there’s been some kind of relapse.

  2. Agnosticus says:

    Haven’t seen the Dying Light expansion The Following in any of the lists, maybe because it’s an expansion.

    I really liked Dying Light, but merging it with mad-maxy car combat sounds like a lot of fun. Also they’re revamping the vanilla game.

  3. unraveler says:

    No Darkest Dungeon?

  4. Yachmenev says:

    Three games and one expansion on my own list:

    XCOM2
    The Witcher III: Blood and Wine
    Headlander
    Day of the Tentacle: Special Edition

    The later two seem to be missing in ther articles list?

    • Haggard4Life says:

      I didn’t see Full Throttle: Remastered either. Did they forget about the Double Fine games?

      • Yachmenev says:

        Full Throttle Remastered is a 2017 title, but the others should be there, when it’s a list of 308 titles. Hope they add them.

        • Hedgeclipper says:

          There’s some odd shoehorning with games for 2016 going on though. I’d be shocked to see a full release of Dwarf Fortress before 2030 and quite surprised to see a lot of those early access games with TBA release dates this year.

  5. rustybroomhandle says:

    XCOM 2!!!! *loud shriek, followed by a thud… foul smell to follow in a few days*

  6. Kallenar says:

    The game that I’m looking forward to the most in 2016 has to be “Stardew Valley”! A pixel art farming RPG, similar to “Harvest Moon” and “Animal Crossing”, but for PC.

    The remastered version of “Full Throttle”.
    Played it as a child, before I even had a grasp of the English language. And the intro still gives me goosebumps after all these years.

    “American Truck Simulator”. Spent more than 100 hours in ETS2, but I’ve always thought American trucks looks alot nicer.

    I really hope the Warhammer 40k games they’re working on turns out great. But leaning on past releases, I won’t hold my breath.

  7. Dodj33 says:

    Great list- i look forward to browsing through at leisurely pace very soon. I would like to echo Unraveller regarding Darkest Dungeon.

    Also Mirror’s Edge seems to have been placed accidentally in the Shooter Category.

  8. pringles says:

    Of the titles on these lists, I’m mildly hyped about Legion, System Shock 3, Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst, ATS and XCOM 2.

    I am, however, naming Live for Speed S3 as my contender for the game of the year of 2016. ;O.

  9. TheWhippetLord says:

    Although they haven’t set a release date, I’ll be surprised if the delightful-looking evil dead god simulator ‘That Which Sleeps’ doesn’t rise in some form this year.

  10. PopeRatzo says:

    I object to MOBAs and multiplayer gasbags being included in the “Shooter” category.

    • Hedgeclipper says:

      But then it’d be nearly empty… though I do agree; I got to the shooter page and thought there hasn’t been much activity with shooters lately, then I read on and realised I just wasn’t interested in most of what’s being called a shooter now.

  11. Dodj33 says:

    Some other games that look promising from my Steam Wishlist-apologies if they are included and I’ve missed them

    The Solus Project (Survival/ Exploration)
    Worlds Adrift (MMO)
    Goliath (Action)
    Formula Fusion (Racing)
    RIOT- Civil Unrest (Simulation)
    Bombshell (Action)
    Agatha Christie – The ABC Murders (Adventure)
    Block’hood (Simulation)
    Brigador (Action)
    Secrets of Grindea (RPG)
    Gemini: Heroes Reborn (Action)

    • Dodj33 says:

      Also Randomly

      GRIP (Racing)
      That Dragon, Cancer (Exploration)
      Allison Road (Horror/ Exploration)

  12. Turkey says:

    Beyond Good and Evil 2 is my most anticipated game on the PC games of 2017 list.

    • moisan4 says:

      I had no idea they were making a sequel, I am so happy.

      • Arkayjiya says:

        They were not as far as I remember. It was teased then scrapped then never heard again. Did something change in the meantime?

  13. Anthile says:

    I think my wallet just had a panic attack.

  14. suibhne says:

    Daunting list, but also odd omissions like The White March Part 2 and Blood and Wine.

  15. Herr_C says:

    It seems 2016 will be a bit of a let down after 2015. I haven’t been interested in this many games in one year since 2004.

    I just hope 2016 will fix the lack of good MP FPS games in 2015.

  16. Eight Rooks says:

    Small correction: Dragon’s Dogma is exactly the same, content-wise, as the original release. Bitterblack Isle is the new area that was added as an expansion when Dark Arisen first came out – it was just viewed as mildly odd/confusing at the time because Capcom basically sold it as a physical release (for 360 and PS3) which had the original game on and the expansion seamlessly integrated. If you bought it as a download that was what you got as well – there was no option to just pay for the new content (though IIRC it was priced significantly lower than usual). AFAIK there is nothing PC-exclusive about the port besides resomolutions and what have you.

  17. Kitsunin says:

    Ooh I forgot about Ladykiller in a Bind. Weird thing to be excited about, I suppose, but darn it there aren’t enough good visual novels! All the stuff getting localized from Japan lately has been pretty damn mediocre, too, but next year we’ve got this and Zero Escape 3! One would hope for a new Ace Attorney game too, but Capcom is so damn disrespectful with spin-offs.

  18. aircool says:

    I vote to change the term ‘survival game’ to ‘tree puncher’.

  19. Biaxident says:

    So many games I’m looking forward to. Will be better than 2015 if anything for me if the ones I’m really looking forward to do come out this year.

    In particular Torment, HoI4, Stellaris, XCOM 2, Mount and Blade 2, Kingdom Come: Deliverance… I could go on. New Far Cry looks really cool too, big fan of setting it in prehistoric times.

    • jonahcutter says:

      I really like the setting of Far Cry Primal too. Prehistoric, but without human + dinosaur fantasy. And the series’ hunting-for-crafting system finally won’t seem wildly out of place.

      Unfortunately, the melee combat looks really poor so far. Mouse click, stab animation, blood decal. It seems really flat and weightless.

      Even if there are bows, there will probably still be a lot of melee fighting. I hope they can come up with something far more engaging than they’ve shown so far.

  20. ChromeBallz says:

    Why no mention of Black Desert in the MMO section?

    • photoheathen says:

      Black Desert and Blade & Soul are two MMOs releasing (in the west) in 2016.

  21. SuddenSight says:

    I don’t see Hat in Time on this list, so I have now mentioned it. Technically TBA, but it seems about as likely to be released in 2016 as half the games on this list.

  22. TheComputerGamer says:

    Didn’t see Trackmania Turbo for the racer section; which will have a campaign mode and some odd coop; two people control the same car mode.

  23. Premium User Badge

    Grizzly says:

    Automobilista, a racing sim that is itself build upon the Game Stock Car Extreme thingy everybody keeps overlooking, releases later this month. Among it’s upgraded features is a dynamic track system, which means it can butt heads with Rfactor 2 now.

  24. Themadcow says:

    XCOM 2 just needs to be a bit more x-com to become #1 on my watch list. Just replaying Enemy Within now and it really could have been great if they’d retained the Base and map creation from the original game.

    Bards Tale 4 won’t be released in 2016, it’s slated for a 2017 release and will be produced by a new inXile office that hasn’t begun yet.

    • bills6693 says:

      Obligatory Xenonauts mention :P

      Hopefully 2016 will see Goldhawk (the devs) announce what it is they’ve been working on!

      I think XCOM 2 will be interesting but not back to old X-COM in terms of map/strategy layer. But hopefully a bit more choice than XCOM 2012 (i.e. hopefully not the 3 abductions choose 1 from 2012), but more of a ‘these will expire’ but you can do more than one if you stretch your resources

      • Themadcow says:

        Ah,yeah. Need to try Xenonauts again – haven’t really played it since early beta.

        As for those pick one from three missions – those would definitely be the first thing I’d get rid of. It’s was stupidly annoying and frankly quite improbable that the world’s foremost defence against the alien invasion was so limited.

        • bills6693 says:

          Ah yes, definitely try Xenonauts again then, it very much is worth it! Play with the ‘community edition’ too, I’d say.

          Yeah, I kind of wish I could have a bit more of the Xenonauts campaign map/design with the XCOM visuals (though Xenonauts does look good still). The multiple bases (or for me, one main base and a few air bases), the ability to shoot down as many UFOs as you can manage with your aircraft available, to send out as many ground missions as you can manage and bomb the other crash sites – all great stuff!

          • Hedgeclipper says:

            Funny, I finally got round to XCOM recently and I’m finding the cartooniness off putting – between the art style and the pick from two missions thing I’m struggling to enjoy it. I loved Xenonauts though – I’d love to see them tackle TFTD.

      • Arona Daal says:

        I hope they replace their bizzare Shitpile of Combat Mechanics.Especially the LOS and Cover System.

        As someone who has played pretty much every X-com , and X-com Clone, only “Ufo Extraterrestrials Gold” hat a worse Rule System.

        Without the gorgeous Graphics & Animations,Xcom EU would be just another failed Attempt at creating a UFO Game.
        And i expect Xcom 2 do be just more of the same.

  25. Stupoider says:

    The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine, America Truck Simulator, and Mount & Blade Bannerlord are the games I’m most looking forward to in 2016.

  26. Sebioff says:

    The screenshot on the Planet Coaster entry actually is a fairly recent Parkitect screenshot, while the screenshot on the Parkitect entry is very outdated :)

  27. ninjapirate says:

    Classifying “Spy Party” as a “shooter” seems a bit odd…

  28. Anthile says:

    Well, there’s also Kentucky Route Zero. The fourth episode will come out very likely this year and with a bit of luck it might even seen completion. I certainly consider that more likely than Overgrowth being released in 2016.

  29. dbemont says:

    That Which Sleeps tops my list. Surprised it didn’t make this list.

  30. Doomsayer says:

    HALF-LIFE 3

  31. Pulstar says:

    Wasn’t more than half of your 2015 list delayed?
    *applies copious amounts of salt*

  32. Doomsayer says:

    Hey RPS: You accidentally forgot to give VR its own page. Halfway down page 15 is a header for a VR section and a bunch of games that are decidedly not survival games. And it’s not listed on the index page.

    Hey adventure game fans: Obduction is a game you should look forward to this year.

  33. Daryl says:

    Inner Chains looks fantastic.

  34. Ahuizolt says:

    Like last year, no presence of Space Engineers in your list. You put Medieval Engineers, which is less advanced in dev, and miss SE… With darkest dungeon, it’s quite big omission… Otherwise, nice list !

  35. neshi says:

    No Automation (The Car Company Tycoon Game) in the sim list? It’s the one I am most looking forward to!

  36. notcurry says:

    So Hitman aims to recapture the wonder of earlier instalments and aims to recapture the creative magic of earlier instalments. Interesting.

    Also, glad to know that Adam was impressed by its Prequel and Adam was impressed with the segment he saw mid-last year.

    You could have waited for the hangover to wear off, guys. We are an understanding community.

  37. Urthman says:

    Firewatch and The Witness have been my top two most anticipated games for a long time. Hard to believe they’re both coming out within a week of each other.

  38. DevilishEggs says:

    Asylum, the next adventure game from Scratches designer Agustin Cortes, could come out in 2016.

    Twitter indicates maybe.

    The subject matter is a bit dated but only because he’s been working on the game for so long.

  39. Premium User Badge

    teije says:

    Thanks for putting this together. Some great games in there, including some I hadn’t heard of before – time to update my wishlist…

    I’ll add to the other commentators a plug for That Which Sleeps as looking very promising and definitely being released this year.

  40. DanMan says:

    I feel rather nun-plussed about most of what’s on offer here. I guess I’m getting too old for this s***.

  41. PhilBowles says:

    Great to see Cossacks 3 picked up in the list – and with a release date, no less. Looks to be a very good year for strategy.

    As for other genres, the second Diablo 3 expansion is rumoured for 2016 as well.

    • PhilBowles says:

      Also, there’s a Homeworld game on this list, but not Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak, which is planned for release this month. Is this the same game under a different name?

  42. Hedgeclipper says:

    and Factorio out on 25th Feb

  43. brucethemoose says:

    Did I miss Megaton Rainfall anywhere on this list?

    It’s still coming to PC in spite of the PS4 VR announcement, and it looks like a very promising superhero game that could possibly be coming in 2016.

  44. GWOP says:

    I had totally forgotten about Radio the Universe. How do you guys even remember all these games?

    Great list! Thanks for all the hard work!

  45. pasports31 says:

    No Yooka-Laylee?

  46. AngoraFish says:

    I find it curious that so few, if any, of the games on the “Roguelike” list actually have anything whatsoever in common with actual Roguelikes.

    Seriously, we’re calling a fully 3D space dogfighting sim a “Roguelike” now? The mind boggles… the term truely has become debased to meaninglessness.

    • Kyzrati says:

      I’d say that Cogmind is absolutely a traditional roguelike despite its many innovations :). It’s even completely designed in ASCII, with an optional tileset layered on top for those who just can’t do ASCII.

      I agree on the dogfighting one, though–I remember that one getting posted to /r/roguelikes and then being rather quickly removed by the mods, for good reason.

  47. Darth Gangrel says:

    Well, I’m definitely looking forward to playing through “the Kennedy assassiantion” in Alekhine’s Gun (page 2).

  48. dethtoll says:

    XCOM2, Doom, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Dishonored are my targets for the year.

  49. Eleriel says:

    Not a single mention of ABZÛ?
    good list either way.

  50. davec1 says:

    X-COM 2 is definitely high on the list, but I’m, perhaps naturally, most excited about my own game, the beat-synced ambidextrous arcadey mindf…hug that is MODSORK!

    link to youtu.be

    [/shameless self-plug]