The PC Games Of 2016

Exploration games

Gone are the days where every game with a first- or third-person perspective is about simply killing everything you see. Now there are a growing number of games about the simple pleasures of exploration – whether the reward is story, or a beautiful vista.


Official site

Release date
Early 2016
What is it?
Drawn from the works of the late American author Philip K. Dick, Californium is a strange and wonderful first-person game about a writer struggling to separate his hallucinations from reality. It looks beautifully surreal, yet at the same time quite terrifying.

All Californium posts.


Official site

Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
Fulbright’s follow-up to Gone Home is another non-combat exploration game this time set aboard a space station in microgravity. There are similarities to be drawn between it and its 90s domicile predecessor, say the devs, but there’s also fresh tech by way of audiologs and videologs to get your floaty mitts on.

All Tacoma posts.

Inner Chains

Official site

Exploration, Horror
Release date
What is it?
Inner Chains is a very pretty-looking horror-themed FPS spread across an ominous “biomechanical” world where fire sprews from the ground, industrial steam fogs the air, and dinosaur-like dogs roam around as if turned inside-out. If its substance lives up to its polish this’ll be a winner.

All Inner Chains posts.


Official site

Exploration, First-Person
Release date
February 9 2016
What is it?
Assuming the role of a volunteer fire lookout tasked with preventing blazes spreading in national parks, Firewatch is the first game from Campo Santo – the studio formed of ex-Double Fine, Telltale and 2K Marin devs. John played a bit last year and praised its sense of adventure: “Its reason to exist is to tell you a story, but to go to great lengths to ensure that your experience of that story is your own.”

Firewatch preview.
Firewatch feature.
All Firewatch posts.

The Witness

Official site

Release date
January 26 2016
What is it?
Jonathan Blow’s first-person, non-combat, puzzle-cracking, follow-up to Braid that’s been almost seven years in the making IS coming out this year. In fact it’s expected on the 26th of this month. Unless you’re reading this after that date and it’s not out yet, in which case it’s not. And then your guess is as good as mine.

All The Witness posts.


Official site

Exploration, Driving/Racing
Release date
What is it?
A 90s road trip simulator set in Europe. “The closest comparison I’d imagine is Euro Truck Simulator with a narrative,” say the devs who also compare it to Blood Money meets Gone Home. Every update brings with it a distinct level of intrigue, from replacing the innards under your hood; to mundane, though regularly absent from videogames, tasks such as changing a tire.

All Hac posts.


Official site

Exploration, First-Person, Early Access
Release date
What is it?
After a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2013, and after arriving on Steam Early Access in late 2014, the guys behind Frontiers have very much adopted an ‘it’ll be done when it’s done’ approach to their first-person survival-cum-exploration game. As such, it might not even release this year but its lovely visuals and promise of exploration by land, sea or sky has us hoping it just might.

Frontiers review (early access).
All Frontiers posts.

Memory Of A Broken Dimension

Official site

Exploration, First-Person
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
Scary. And creepy. And scary creepy. Frontiers is a first-person puzzle game set in a glitchy black and white 3D space which can only be accessed by navigating a command prompt interface named RELICS. It looks like an old, dodgy, broken VHS where the tracking is permanently broken. If none of that made sense, read: terrifying.

All Memory Of A Broken Dimension posts.


Official site

Exploration, First-Person
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
An exploration game/walking sim/interactive drama/non-combat wandererer/whichever synonym tickles your fancy that uses jump cuts to weave its X-Files and Twin Peaks-inspired narrative around its colourful, cartoony and scant textured aesthetic. The FBI seek to locate a missing child but there’s more to the story than what first meets the eye.

Virginia preview.
Virginia interview.
All Virginia posts.


Official site

Exploration, First-Person, Horror
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
News on the sci-fi horror System Shock-esque/Amnesia-in-space game Routine has been very, very thin on the ground (or in the air) since it was first announced in 2012. This unfortunately means it still has no release date. In fact, it made this very list last year whereby devs Lunar Software only managed two written blog updates. But it’d be nice if it managed an appearance this year, wouldn’t it?

Routine interview.
All Routine posts.


Official site

Exploration, First-Person, Stealth
Release date
What is it?
Inspired by the works of famous writers such as Calvino and Borges, Somewhere is a game about using photos to enter other people’s heads, seeing places in new ways, and uncovering a story about a fictitious city named Kayamgadh. It’s set in “a surreal colonial India” and looks positively lovely.

All Somewhere posts.


Official site

Exploration, Flying
Release date
Q1 2016
What is it?
Auk, the protagonist from Aer, can fly. Which of course, by way of virtual extension, means YOU can fly. In fact, Auk can actually turn herself into a bird and “reach even the most remote places in her homeland of flying islands.” So imagine climbing to such lofty heights against Aer’s beautifully low-poly, colour-splashed backdrops. Let’s!
Aer preview.
All Aer posts.

LEGO Worlds

Official site

Creative, Exploration
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
It’s LEGO! It’s like Minecraft! It’s like Minecraft but with LEGO! LEGO Worlds is an open-world procedurally-generated building game where you can build building, vehicles and creatures. A multiplayer feature is set to come and while it currently lingers in Early Access, developer TT games is evaluating a “release candidate in early 2016”.

All LEGO Worlds posts.

Terraria: Otherworld

Official site

Creative, Exploration, Sandbox
Release date
TBA 2016
What is it?
Not a Terraria sequel, we’re told, but a game with the same name that takes place in the same universe with the same style, same interface and same mechanics. But hey, sequel or otherwise, the likeness is welcomed. And there’s a story this time as you go up against a malevolent nature-corrupting force in an alternate dimension. Best grab your pickaxe.

All Terraria: Otherworld posts.

Shape of the World

Official site

Release date
July 2016
What is it?
A procedurally-generated exploration game where the world itself grows around you, and where your presence is the “driving force” behind said evolving environment. Unlike other walking simulators where exploration serves to guide you towards pre-conceived destinations, Shape Of The World says exploration is about “intentionally getting lost and the joy of being found again.”

All Shape of the World posts.

Sea of Solitude

Official site

Exploration, Horror
Release date
TBA 2017
What is it?
Alice likes the look of this as it involves a protagonist who spends so much time in water that she becomes a monster. Not that Alice is a monster (I don’t think?) but she describes herself as “happiest in the murky waters, gently going numb”, you see. Shape Of The World is episodic and looks smashing. It’s also still in prototype phase, but we do hope it pops its head above the drink before the year’s out.

All Sea of Solitude posts.

Medieval Engineers

Official site

Exploration, Creative
Release date
What is it?
Castle-building sandbox from the devs behind Space Engineers, Medieval Engineers is less boundless space and more deadly mace. Rely on medieval tech to construct, maintain and demolish cities, holds and fortifications within the game’s creative mode and forthcoming survival mode.

Medieval Engineers review (early access).
All Medieval Engineers posts.


  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

        • 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:

    The Witcher III: Blood and Wine
    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:


  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. 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

    [/shameless self-plug]