These games and awards were decided during the Ward Podcast’s Best Games Played 2016 episode, where we considered any and all games played by the members of the Ward Podcast in 2016, even if they weren’t released that calendar year.

In what might be our most traditional game award, Fallout 4 excels at making you want to explore every nook and cranny in post-apocalyptic Boston.

Moreso than any other other Bethesda game that came before, everything in the game, from the addition of voice acting to the player character to the settlement building, is made to feel as if this is your world. Sometimes that comes with a price, such as the sacrifice of previous Bethesda games’ amazingly creative dialog options. In Fallout 4, dialog options are more of a leap of faith, that you’re able to interpret what the abbreviated options on the screen are what you meant to say.

But with that in mind, the possibilities of the world are amazingly impressive. Maybe you want to save your son from the hands of the Institute, maybe you don’t, but what’s important is that it offers you the choice to do so. And maybe it breaks down after a while, after you become the king of everything and you’re one-shotting deathclaws, but most contemporary Bethesda games do.

Fallout 4 still gives you meaningful choices concerning the main forces in the Commonwealth, similar to those found in its predecessor, Fallout: New Vegas. Even after you’ve finished the main quest and completed all the side stories and downloadable content, there’s always another rock to turn over, another corner of the world to explore, another little story told through environmental clues and terminal entries. Even after playing for scores of hours, you may find another companion to join you on your journey, making your story in this place all the more real.