Divisive solo developer Phil Fish once remarked during Video Games: The Movie, that video games "Are the culmination of every form of art and expression that mankind has ever had", and he's not wrong.
From calling upon scriptwriting to establish narrative and drive, to architects and set designers that sculptenvironments and landscape geometry, you can fold almost every artistic pursuit into what eventually becomes a truly great video game.
Composers and musicians apply their craft as sketch artists conceptualise and design the very worlds themselves. Just look at The Last of Us, The Witcher 3, Metal Gear Solid V - all recent and incredibly well-received games, yet gameplay is only one part of why we love them so much.
It takes a lot to acquire a team, get the requisite funds and will your project into being, which is why it's worth celebrating the handful of developers that really get it right. Here are the best studios working in 2016, and please leave your own shoutouts in the comments below!
10. Klei Entertainment
We need more studios like Klei Entertainment. They're one who prioritise art direction and vibrant character designs, reinventing themselves and pushing new genres with every subsequent release, now responsible for indie gems like Mark of the Ninja, Shank, the mighty Don't Starve and the endlessly playable Invisible Inc.
Between just those four games you've got an arc that starts with a 2D brawler, goes into a world's-first 2D stealth experience, expands wildly into a randomly-generated survival game and ends with an isometric stealth title that plays like XCOM with the lights off.
Seriously, what other developer comes firing out the gates with this much potential and finesse? Their titles are always polished to a mirror sheen, the characters instantly loveable and the gameplay immediately engaging. Since hitting their groove with Shank in 2010 they've been on the form of their career, and it doesn't look to be slowing down any time soon.