Let's face it: 2016 was not exactly a stellar year for a lot of reasons.
Whether you hated the celebrity deaths, the traffic, the political atmosphere around the world, or had some other reason for feeling bad this year, it may have been legitimately stressful to get through 2016 unscathed.
Luckily, video games allow us to forget some of the badness of the year, and there a lot of ways to indulge in a bit of escapism as a result.
You may want to gain control over the world. You might want to play in a fantastical new world far away from your own. You may just want to go on a road trip without traffic.
Why not indulge in some wishful thinking then? Below is a list of really good games to forget 2016 by.
Forget traffic with some Forza Horizon 3
To the untrained eye Forza Horizon 3 (Xbox One, Windows 10) appears to be just a racing game.
As an open-world racing game whose environment is based in Australia, however, the game allows players to imagine a world with much less traffic and much more speed than what you're accustomed to.
Best of all, You don't actually need to race anyone if you don't want to. If you feel like exploring the setting of the game without a care, then this is the perfect distraction for the frustrated driver or commuter in all of us.
Be your own brand of politician with Political Animals
Whatever your political leanings, it's likely a given that the year has been tiring for everyone trying to drum up their bet.
Political Animals (PC) touts itself as an election simulator, wherein you can shape your own virtual animal candidate as they try to win the presidency. This means you can choose whether you want to make a virtuous, well-meaning effort, take a corrupt route, or opt for a more morally gray stance as you try to win the votes of the people.
While the game itself simulates the struggle of a campaign do note, however, that the campaign to win is all there is. (READ: 'Political Animals' tests how far you're willing to go to win the election)
As the game doesn't actually feature your candidate's officiating of his duties after winning, there are no repercussions for being corrupt, other than hurting your own conscience.
Of course, that also makes it the escapist fantasy of politicos everywhere. With no repercussions, it's easy to simply take the path of least resistance and lie your way to the presidency!
Feel like being evil? Play Tyranny!
As the tagline of "professional evil person" role-playing game Tyranny goes, "Sometimes, evil wins."
In Tyranny (PC) you get to play as the Fatebinder, the enforcer of evil overlord Kyros, and your actions get to shape the world around you for ill or…well, it'll never up with the good guys winning, as they're all dead.
In other words, if you're feeling a bit misanthropic, this RPG will let you attempt to mete out your own wicked sense of justice on the world. In some ways, you may even be able to beat your own master at the pretense of being evil.
As they say in our world, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em."
Return to your childhood with Pokemon Sun and Moon
Sometimes, you just want to be the very best, like no one ever was.
Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon (Nintendo 3DS) come highly recommended as the latest installments of the Pokemon gaming franchise.
In the game you'll be able to collect and battle monsters set in the Alola region of the Pokemon universe.
If you're feeling social you can go about and trade monsters with your friends, or if you want to forget your troubles and do something mindless, enjoy running in the grass while looking for new Pokemon to take under your wing on your way to becoming a new Pokemon master.
Live your fantasy road trip in Final Fantasy XV
This list would not be complete without mentioning the recently released Final Fantasy XV (PS4, Xbox One).
It's been 10 years in the making, and now that it's out, it's shipped over 5 million copies.
In Final Fantasy XV, you take on the role of Prince Noctis as he and his 3 comrades-in-arms attempt to take back their kingdom from a ruthless opposing state.
With a smooth battle system in tow, this road-trip themed role-playing game is a joy to play.
Also, Prompto singing "I want to ride my chocobo all day," is a cute way of reminding us that this game still has bird-like steeds that go "Kweh!"
Go to Middle Earth with The Lord of the Rings Online
Now, this game isn't a 2016 release, but PC-based online role-playing game The Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO) deserves a mention if you want to spend your time in a game world that tries to actively recreate Middle Earth in a video game manner.
Now on its 9th year of operation, the game is about to head into Mordor in a reported upcoming expansion, making it a highly-anticipated update if you love Tolkien lore. (READ: Gaming freedom: The Lord of the Rings Online)
Adding to this, the way the game is easy on the eyes (and easy on the system requirements for computers), meaning everyone can go and take a look at Middle Earth and run around helping hobbits and elves at their leisure.
At higher levels, you can also ride a war-steed and fight orcs in Rohan, as well as take on big battles such as the iconic Helm's Deep battle.
More importantly, LOTRO is the game world equivalent of therapy. Whereas Tyranny is catharsis for being evil, LOTRO is a game whose ending we all know and can appreciate: Evil will not win, if everyone stands together to take it on.
Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.