Okay, this is the award category where I have to give a little bit of backstory. Secret of Mana, originally released in 1993 on the SNES, is one of my favorite RPGs. But I didn’t actually play it until 2012, via the Wii’s Virtual Console service.
This particular award is named after Secret of Mana because it gives the spotlight to a game I didn’t play during its original release, but caught up on in the previous calendar year (in this case, 2016), as kind of a “better late than never” kind of thing.
So without further ado, here is 2016’s Secret of Mana Award recipient.
Winner: The Uncharted Series
Yeah, I didn’t fully play the Uncharted games until early last year, when I bought the Nathan Drake Collection on the PS4. Though the games are flawed (particularly the first and third entries), they really are something great, and I regret not playing them during their original releases. In fact, I like them so much, that I would retroactively hail Uncharted 2 as my favorite game of 2009. Their fast-paced action, and replication of Indiana
Originally, I was going to give this award to Undertale, which was released in September 2015, but I didn’t play until January of 2016. But I feel that was a close enough window that it was inconsequential. Meanwhile, the original Uncharted trilogy was released in 2007, 2009 and 2011. So catching up on three great games a good number of years after their original release was too much to pass up. Plus, I named Undertale as my overall Game of the Year for 2015, so it wasn’t exactly shorthanded.
Anyway, Uncharted is great. I understand its power now.