GAF Games of the Year 2013 - Voting Thread - VOTING CLOSED

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Feb 22, 2012
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I held out to the last day to play a few more games before submitting my list. My top 6 were pretty clear cut. These were definitely my six favorite games of the year. After that it was much harder to choose from a large list of candidates.
1) The Last of Us ; It was quite a feat for this to be my favorite game of the year, because this isn’t my favorite genre. I’m someone who has to restart if he takes too much damage or wastes too much ammo which can make games like this stressful and frustrating. When I initially played it I was captivated by the prologue and really interested to see the relationship between Joel and Ellie evolve. I stopped playing for a few months due to the aforementioned frustrations, but when I came back to it, those concerns melted away and I was captivated. The further into the game you get the more fascinating and compelling it is. I’m not usually someone who cares about story in videogames but this game kind of pointed out to me that that’s because the story in most games is garbage. When you can add a really compelling story onto a technically marvelous game, it can be magical. This game really felt like the spiritual successor to Resident Evil 4 to me, just a phenomenal effort.
2) Bioshock Infinite ; This and the Last of Us are pretty much tied for me for game of the year, I gave the slight edge to the Last of Us, thanks partially to being a new IP. I didn’t find the story in Bioshock AS compelling as in the Last of Us, but it was still a terrific story. After I finished the game I had to spend hours on the internet reading and discussing what that ending meant. And when my friends finished the game, we had a lot of fun discussing our theories and experiences. Not a lot of games can evoke that kind of reaction. I loved the gameplay, particularly the skyhook, and pairing it up with Winter’s Shield and some of the other gear combinations to make myself virtually an unstoppable juggernaut.
3) Link Between Worlds ; When this game was announced, I was lukewarm to it. Sure, it was a successor to my favorite Zelda game of all, but the series had grown stale, I’ve been enjoying the handheld games, but not loving them, haven’t even brought myself to finish Minish Cap and Spirit Tracks. The flattening element particularly looked like a tiresome gimmick reminiscent of shrinking in Minish Cap. When I got my hands on it at PAX Prime, my impression started to change. This was my game of the show along with Titanfall and I all of a sudden couldn’t wait for this game to come. I’m not one of the people who is floored by the rental system. It’s fine, but I could take it or leave it. I do like the feeling of exploration again and the knowledge that I can get to almost anywhere and do almost anything if I think about it, and not be waiting for some predetermined event before I can access every area (which was my main complaint with Minish Cap and Spirit Tracks) And this is a little thing, but it was really nice that when I picked up my first rupee the game didn’t stop and explain what a rupee was and what the different colors meant. This game was a start contrast with Nintendo’s recent games where they overload you with tutorials. Those were gone, we were just left with fun puzzles, a great environment and excellent gameplay.

4) Ni No Kuni ; I look at this as the spiritual successor to Dragon Quest 8. It’s made by the same team, with a heavy focus on an anime look, has a monster-capturing aspect and is a very traditional turn based RPG. So of course I was going to love this, and I did. The complaints about my other teammates having bad AI never bothered me, I’m the one playing the game, I don’t want to let my teammates fight everything for me while I just watch the cut scenes. This was my favorite RPG in years.

5) Tomb Raider ; It’s funny, when Uncharted come out, everyone accused that game of ripping off Tomb Raider. When this game came out, everyone accused it of ripping off Uncharted. They are similar, which is completely fine with me, as they are some of my favorite types of games right now. I found the story completely disposable, it was just a vehicle to put me in situations to fight and get new weapons. But the gameplay and the combat were so much fun, particularly using the bow.
6) Guacamelee ; The game started out seeming like a parody of Mexican and Videogaming culture. Which I suppose it is. But it’s also an incredibly fun Metroidvania title. It’s a short game, I finished it in under 6 hours, because unlike some of the other games in the genre, it gives you a helpful map, identifying doors by colors, so you know where you were and which power you need to go. Some games have you returning to every area you couldn’t go to every time you get a new power, which is tedious, I much preferred this method. Midway-to-later through the game actually evolves into a platforming puzzler as you use all the different abilities you’ve unlocked to get through tricky platforming sections which was really nice change of pace.

7) Y’s Memories of Celcetta ; My first Y’s game. I think this game was plagued by a bad release date and terrible box art, but it’s a terrific game, and really should be experienced by more people. It’s always surprised me that the overhead Zelda style wasn’t copied by more games, it’s produced so many classic games. I haven’t finished this game yet, but it’s one of those that I can’t put down and I keep going with. It will probably lead me to check out some of the other Y’s games.

8) Gears of War: Judgement – While it’s true the Gears series is getting too formulaic, and this is not the best entry in the series, I still poured hours into it and really enjoyed my time with it, both playing the campaign through with friends, and the multiplayer. I liked the changes that People Can Fly brought to the game, and I really thought they helped mix things up. The sales the game got tells me these changes may not carry over into Gears 4, but I think people were just tired of the series and needed a break. Not making this Gears 4 surely didn’t help perceptions either.
9) Rayman Legends ; Rayman Origins was my game of the year in 2011, so I was incredibly excited to get my hands on this. I think for me, the controversial decision to move the game to September so it could come out on other systems really hurt my perception of the game, because I got it for 360 (and Vita) instead of the WiiU for achievements and trophies, and the game is clearly designed for the WiiU. The Murphy levels are the game’s big weakness. They are fun enough diversions on the Vita, but having to try to force this non-playable character to pick up 600 lums and rescue all the teensies gets very tedious. The game is still very good, but it does seem like a bit of a letdown from the greatness of Origins.
10) Animal Crossing: New Leaf ; It’s hard for me to put an Animal Crossing in my top 10, because they never feel like new games. This game felt the most like a new game since the Gamecube original. I thought the mayoral duties added a lot to the game. When the game first came out I got very, very addicted the way I always do with a new AC game. I put in 206 hours into it, which is ludicrous for me in this day and age.
X: Super Mario 3D world ; Maybe I’m just not far enough into the game (World 2) but so far I’m not seeing why so many people are so crazy for this game. I’ve played through the first world solo and with my girlfriend to see if the experience is more magical with co-op. Maybe I’m just not far enough in, it’s not like this is a bad game, but it’s not really grabbing me either.
X: Pikmin 3 ; This is a game I wish I’d played more of, but it came out at a busy time for me. Hopefully I’ll be able to give it more time in the coming year.
X: Beyond 2 Souls ; I’m only about halfway into this game, and still not sure exactly what’s going on. I think if I’d finished the game I might have it in my top 10, but as of right now, It’s not there.


2012 game: Uncharted: Golden Abyss – I was very skeptical of this game at first, it seemed like a very limited game, but as I went forward that feeling melted away and it started to feel like a true Uncharted experience on the Vita. This game became my first and only platinum trophy as well.
 
Jun 4, 2013
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X: Super Mario 3D world ; Maybe I’m just not far enough into the game (World 2) but so far I’m not seeing why so many people are so crazy for this game. I’ve played through the first world solo and with my girlfriend to see if the experience is more magical with co-op. Maybe I’m just not far enough in, it’s not like this is a bad game, but it’s not really grabbing me either.
That's because the game doesn't get good until world 4 or so, outside of some really good levels.
 
Dec 4, 2013
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I only have one for right now that I would like to post:

2012. Thirty Flights of Loving; This game strikes me as one of the most clever, different games I have ever played. Though it is only about 15 minutes long, it's made a more lasting impression on me than any other game I have ever played, and that is not an exaggeration. It is a game I think every developer should play, because I believe, this game is what can help lead us to art. The game fascinates me, and more than any other entry into the industry, makes me excited for where games could go next. It's made such an impression on me that I've now decided I want to pursue a career in making video games.

Every person, regardless of your tastes in the industry, if you have any interest in how games and art work, play Thirty Flights of Loving and it's prequel Gravity Bone.
 
Jun 26, 2008
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1. Super Mario 3D World ; Some of the most creativity I've seen in a game with absolutely stellar level design. The best platformer I've ever played
2. Gone Home ;
3. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ;
4. Pokémon X ;
5. Monster Hunter 3: Ultimate ;
6. Tales of Maj'Eyal ;
7. Animal Crossing: New Leaf ;
8. Senran Kagura Burst ;
 
Dec 11, 2008
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I suppose I should list my top 10 now. I really wanted to leave mine for as long as I could since I’m still making my way through my getting bigger by the day backlog. It sucks, but I still haven’t touched a small handful of games from 2013 like: Killzone Mercenary, Dragon’s Crown and Tearaway. Also I feel like 2013 really has been the best year for videogame ever for me (nope....I don’t say that every year). The amount of quality stuff that has come out has kinda overwhelmed me. Anyway, here's my top 10:





1. Grand Theft Auto V ; No other game deserves to be called GOTY more than Grand Theft Auto V. Truly an amazing achievement and in a complete league of its own. The insane attention to detail, the most impressive game world ever created, the insane graphics, the fantastic characters, the great soundtrack, impressive voice acting and dialogue, the varied and constantly fun missions – I could go on forever. No other game comes close to this hard to believe achievement Rockstar has created. The game of the generation and quite simply, one of the best games of all time! I can’t shower it with enough praise.

2. The Last of Us
3. Tomb Raider
4. Bioshock Infinite
5. Brothers
6. Rayman Legends
7. Muramasa Rebirth
8. Puppeteer
9. Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen
10. Metal Gear Rising

Stinker of the year award: Beyond: Two Souls and to a lesser extent God of War: Ascension.
 
Feb 1, 2012
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1. DOTA 2 ; Words simply cannot express the amount of hours of fun and frustration that I have had playing DOTA 2. It is easily my most played title of 2013 and I'm almost certain this will be the case for 2014.

2. Fire Emblem: Awakening
3. The Last of Us
4. Guacamelee!
5. BioShock: Infinite
6. The Stanley Parable
7. Device 6
8. The Swapper
9. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
10. Papers, Please

X. Gone Home
X. Year Walk

2012. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
 
May 31, 2009
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Yeah, 2012 was such an epically bad year for games. It may be the worst gaming year ever. And 2013 was a terrific year, not best ever, but a great year, maybe in the top 5 or so.
This is a statistical impossibility: Kid Icarus Uprising released in 2012.
I ran out of characters in my post (lol), but I was going to say the only notable games I really remember from 2012 are Journey and Kid Icarus. Definitely a weak year.
 
Apr 26, 2007
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Yeah no 2012 is a far better year in terms of games than 2013. I am not joking when I say I can't possibly have 10 games that I like on my list for this year so I just have to throw crap in that I played. It's not a games of the year list, its games that came out this year list.
 
Aug 25, 2012
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1. The Last of Us - Honestly, there is too much to say about this game and most of it has already been said enough. I won't say masterpiece, but I feel Naughty Dog nailed everything they wanted to show with The Last of Us. This game has one of the best stories I've had the pleasure of experiencing in 2013 and definitely one of the most solid and impressive endings I've ever had the pleasure of taking in, especially during a long time when I've been going through multitudes of bummer and iffy endings. Just wow. Just. Wow.

2. Volgarr the Viking - Volgarr had a vision and it executed perfectly on it. I find little at fault with the game and every challenge and screen is tough but fair. The game demands that you respect and understand and even master its mechanics to succeed and I love it for it. It is simple yet continually creates scenarios that test your knowledge and understand of its small set of rules. After throwing myself at the wall of the first Valkyr level, the game clicked with me and I triumped over it. It is so good. It is a juggernaut.

3. Metal Gear Rising - Like Patrick Klepek said, Rising is a twist on action games by empowering your defensive capabilities. Skill and timing is still incredibly important but I liked the different take and making defense a very viable road to victory.

4. DotA 2 - I loved playing the original mod back in high school and middle school even if I sucked back then. I spent a lot of time finally understanding and getting the mechanics down with DotA 2 and Valve fixed the issues I had with the first. They made it easy to understand and learn the game and cut out the bullshit of memorizing item combinations in the shop. Combined with the fairest "free to play" out there, the game is so great and deep and currently my go-to competitive romp (only with a team of friends, though!)

5. Knife of Dunwall - I'm not quite sure how to catagorize this, as Knife of Dunwall is effectively a full expansion to the original Dishonored. Put this vote towards the first part if that's how it has to be but I prefer to just lump the two parts together and treat them as a full expansion. The levels are just as strong (and sometimes even better) than the ones in Dishonored, along with a tighter story that stumbles less than Dishonored did.

6. Antichamber - A puzzle game that incorporates metroidvania mechanics into it, Antichamber is a wonderful game that makes me look forward to more experimentation of how world design works. Not just in its crazy overlapping non-euclidean layout, but also incorporating a seamless consistent environment and world in a genre that generally doesn't see it. The minimalist artstyle was a bonus, too.

7. Gone Home - Although a lot of people will mention how this game's strength is only in its story (and I agree the story and writing is wonderful and beautiful), what really wrapped it all up for me and made me enjoy it (versus how vapid I thought Dear Esther was), was how Gone Home created and explored a very natural and fluid exploration of a space. Every inch of that house feels real and lived in. Nothing just felt like empty space and each room had a story to tell just by how it was laid out. Simply physically exploring the house felt very natural and human and encompassed the very small yet powerful human story that wanted and yearned to be unraveled.

8. Zeno Clash 2 - Coming off of the first game, the sequel really ended up impressing me with its story while also developing and expanding on its really quirky and unique universe. The story really did impress me, given how simple the first game's story was. The combat was as odd as the world but also entertaining and going through the game in co-op added to the mayhem and fun. But really that story secured its spot in my top 10.

9. No Time to Explain - Combining really tight and crazy platforming mechanics and incredibly silly yet potent humor, this game really stuck with me from early on in the year. Wonderful platforming that expands and employs unique movement, the game was crazy fun to play while always making me laugh crazy hard. Just a wonderful game to play through.

10. Super Mario 3D World - 3D world has wonderful level design, but unlike most people, this isn't higher on my list because I felt sometimes that the game hung too tightly onto using specific items or characters to succeed. Although it is very infrequent, it was still a bit too often for my tastes when I ran into a star that I couldn't get without a specific power up (re: cat suit) or a specific character. That sort of level design didn't gel with me too well. Playing through the game made me wish for another truly "open level" Mario game a la 64 and Sunshine as every other Mario since then has had strictly linear level design that I haven't been a huge fan of after loving Sunshine so deeply.

x. Stanley Parable - A really fun critique on video game story telling. It's hard for me to rank this game, though, relative to other games (more so than Gone Home) and thus it is just sitting in my honorable mentions. This would probably be my number 11 though.

x. Metro: Last Light - The game was damn good. And on the gameplay front, I felt it was mostly an improvement on 2033, but I wish it incorporated more of the "heaviness" and "clunkiness" of 2033 that made me love the first game so much more. Also the story was a bit clunky and sometimes even just too cringe worthy to me.

2012. Spelunky - A wonderful balance between skill and luck. More so than most other Rogue-likelikelikelikelikelikewhateverthisisadumbargument. It gets around many of my issues with the luck involved in Rogue games (like FTL) and turns it into a crazy game of risk and reward combined with sheer skill in the maneuverability mechanics in the game. Just wonderful. I can't stop playing. Must beat Yama.
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
May 21, 2006
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I only have one for right now that I would like to post:

2012. Thirty Flights of Loving; This game strikes me as one of the most clever, different games I have ever played. Though it is only about 15 minutes long, it's made a more lasting impression on me than any other game I have ever played, and that is not an exaggeration. It is a game I think every developer should play, because I believe, this game is what can help lead us to art. The game fascinates me, and more than any other entry into the industry, makes me excited for where games could go next. It's made such an impression on me that I've now decided I want to pursue a career in making video games.

Every person, regardless of your tastes in the industry, if you have any interest in how games and art work, play Thirty Flights of Loving and it's prequel Gravity Bone.
Just wanted to comment that I read your post and I really agree. For my GOTY 2012 list I just did a list of interesting games I played, rather than a ranked ballot, and I said this about 30 Flights of Loving:
30 Flights of Loving is a 20 minute tech demo that explores a few different narrative techniques in a game. Jump-cuts, flashbacks, telling a story without words or signs, indirect characterization, happy accidents, environmental interaction, visual styles. What's really cool about it is that it comes with a Developer Commentary, where the developer examines reasons behind every scene. It seems very thoughtful, and speaks to the way in which a single developer has a sort of authorial control that a team does not. I loved peeling an orange
It's just this interesting little object. Really nice.
 
Jun 14, 2011
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1. Europa Universalis IV ; My first EU game after being introduced to Paradox strategy games with CK2. I got completely absorbed with the empire building aspects and the variety of tasks and mechanics the game has available. Playing through a new game just recently I see just how wildly different the results of a campaign can be while still feeling completely organic in the fluctuations of power and size for the world it creates, it's a joy to see it unfold. Probably my new go to strategy game as I love the how dynamic the map can be with it's evolving boundaries and colors that represent my numerous rivals. It creates the impression of being a world conqueror that I've always wanted from a strategy game.
2. The Last of Us ; This is the sort of game that I enjoy replaying a stage despite not dying or losing but, rather, going through the trial and error of completing a stage so it plays out in a fluid manner that feels concrete with the scenario presented. I really enjoyed mastering the controls and stealth aspects as I find the optimal course for keeping the characters alive. The open level design and solid combat really lent itself well to navigating challenges in a really tense fashion. The incredible animation and world setting compliments the stealth action to make the different levels alive and captivating to play through.
3. Fire Emblem: Awakening ; One of the main reasons I could justify picking up a 3ds I knew this game was going to be great and even still exceeded my expectations.
4. Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch ; Excellent throwback and beautifully built world. I had been desiring a JRPG for quite some time and Ni No Kuni is so lovingly crafted I had a blast exploring every bit of it.
5. Dust: An Elysian Tail ; Gorgeously animated and detailed. As much as I love the colorful art and music the combat also feels great completing the package of a really fun game.
6. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds ; ALTTP is one of my favorite games of all time so this brilliantly crafted homage peer pressured me into picking up the lovely gold tri-force 3ds. I ended up spending quite a bit more time with FE and SMT, yet just the fun of exploring this Zelda title with tight controls, wonderful music and colorful world makes me happy. I am certainly going to take my time discovering all the secrets just as I did with ALTTP back when it was originally released.
7. Shin Megami Tensai IV ; A solid built SMT game but seems to lack the atmosphere and style of Nocturne as a result of being on a portable while also being somewhat clunky to control and navigate. Still, it keeps the addicting nature of fusing and leveling up my demons, though I need to play more of it, I am liking the progression of the story and the core SMT concepts remain solid.
8. Grand Theft Auto V ; Lots of nice details but the story somewhat fell flat in the second half for me to the point where I wasn't really all that engrossed with the characters. There is plenty of neat side things to do but playing through the game it didn't really build up in a way that seemed warranted. Had fun with my time with it but I was done playing before I figured I would be and never have had the urge to go back.
9. Papers, Please ;
10. Rogue Legacy ;


I generally don't like putting expansions as goty picks but I love the way firaxis has handled them this year. Two great follow-ups to two of my favorite games of the past few years....(please no more of that dlc nonsense like you did when Civ5 first came out)

x. Civiliazation V: Brave New World
x. X-Com: Enemy Within

x. OOTP 14 ; Just feel like putting this here. OOTP has become my favorite sports sim type game and has really become something I like jumping back into whenever I need to scratch that itch. Baseball really is perfect for this type of manager game and OOTP fits the bill excellently.

x. Reus ; A very charming and fun game just wish I was able to spend some more time with it.

Meant to get around to the new Shadowrun game but didn't. Will have to pick it up during a sale but it looks awesome. If I had played it Shadowrun would most likely had made my top ten.

Also a decent year for Marvel games. Lego Marvel was my first time really getting into one of the many Lego games and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Marvel Heroes is also a lot of fun and I hear they've built on it quite a bit since release. Will definitely get back into it if/when the desire for those games comes around ala MUA and X Men: Legends.

Also Madden 25 is shit. Rented the PS3 version and returned it the same day. A totally broken port of a bad game. That series has really fallen off a cliff and I doubt I will be suckered into it again anytime soon. Just need an OOTP type game for NFL or college football.
 

jett

D-Member
Jun 6, 2004
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Edited my list, added Ni No Kuni and Gone Home! I can't be arsed to reorder everything so they'll have to content themselves with number 9 and 10. :p
 
Aug 19, 2011
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1. Spelunky ; It's a late entry, but it's some of the most consistent fun I've had with a game this year. Just a game I can kick back and relax, and play a few rounds whenever I'm bored.
2. Saints Row 4 ; The missions were hilarious, and I loved all the fan service and references to the previous Saints Row games. Couldn't ask for more after being a fan of every game in the series.
3. Bioshock Infinite ; Great story and one of the best atmospheres I expereinced in a game this year.
4. Rogue Legacy ; I'm a sucker for these type of games. Very addictive gameplay with tight platforming and a rewarding NG+.
5. The Stanley Parable ; This probably would have been higher if I didn't play the Half-Life 2 mod first when it came out. Still a fun, interesting experience.
6. Divekick ; Had some great times playing this with my friends, which is hard to come by these days.
7. Runner 2 ; Loved the first one, and this is just more of the same addictive gameplay I've come to know from the Bit Trip games.
2012. Far Cry 3 ; Game was gorgeous, and it had some amazing open world action and gameplay.
 
1. The Last of Us ; I think this is the first game in a long time (besides Beyond) that really struck a chord with me. I fell in love with these characters and the story was really profound. The ending, especially, was amazing. I loved the way they made you question things and the objectives of the characters. Looked great, and gameplay was fluid and fun. Definitely my GOTY.
2. Beyond: Two Souls ; Kind of surprised with this one. I knew it was going to be good, and I was put off by the non-linear storytelling, but I found myself tearing up at the ending. Looks incredible. It is honestly one of the best games visually that I have ever played. Gameplay was very reminiscent of Heavy Rain, which I found enjoyable. I felt the choices were a bit lacking, but I enjoyed the experience overall.
3. Animal Crossing: New Leaf ; Fun to play but repetitive. I've spent WAY too long with this game.
4. Bioshock Infinite ; amazing ending, but I found the gameplay to be very similar to other FPS games, even with the vigors. I found myself getting bored at points, but the experience as a whole was very enjoyable.
5. Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies ; DAT CASE 5
6. Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag ; I was surprised with this one. I thought it was going to be very similar to 3, and I couldn't even bring myself to finish that one. The open world aspects really sold it for me. It's a complete joy to just sail around in the environment. A bit lacking story wise and graphically.
7. Fire Emblem: Awakening ;
8. Grand Theft Auto 5 ;
9. Ni No Kuni ;
10. Saint's Row 4 ; Incredibly fun but I wish there were more powers. Loved the references to other games / pop culture icons.
 

TheSeks

Blinded by the luminous glory that is David Bowie's physical manifestation.
Feb 14, 2009
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1. The Typing of the Dead ;
2. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist ; Came out of left-field and surprised me, a staunch hater of how the series has went since Chaos Theory into a more genocidial/"action-stealth" role in having the levels (MOSTLY) be able to be "ghosted"/undetected, untouched. The Perfectionist difficulty was sorely needed and it's nice that Ubisoft (for better or worse) supports the Panther/Assault/Ghost playstyles in all the levels with a pretty good balance between doing all of them one-way or another or a mix.
3. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ;
4. Ace Attorney 5: Dual Destinies ;
5. Battlefield 4 ;
6. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon ;
7. Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag ;
8. Dead or Alive 5: Ultimate ;
9. Biohazard (Resident Evil) Revelations HD ;
10. Persona 4: The Golden ; Hey, apparently this is eligible. Thought it was 2012. Oh well, deserves a mention on the list due to revamping some of the systems and adding more content.
2012. X-com: Enemy Unknown ; Never got around to it in 2012 and didn't have interest until the demo wowed me. It's worth mentioning as "one of the best of the year" because it "rebooted"/respawned the series pretty successfully compared to other "reboots"/franchises brought back from the dead (I'm looking at you, Syndicate) by doing the same thing the older titles did but tweaked.
 
Jun 6, 2011
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7) Y’s Memories of Celcetta ; My first Y’s game. I think this game was plagued by a bad release date and terrible box art, but it’s a terrific game, and really should be experienced by more people. It’s always surprised me that the overhead Zelda style wasn’t copied by more games, it’s produced so many classic games. I haven’t finished this game yet, but it’s one of those that I can’t put down and I keep going with. It will probably lead me to check out some of the other Y’s games.


Glad you liked it. I was pretty positive on it but the more I sit on it the more I'm soured. Still a really fun game, though.
 
1. Bioshock Infinite ; The story was interesting and kept me hooked the entire time. The gameplay isn't too bad but was a bit repetitive.
2. Project Diva F ; Simple yet challenging rhythm game with great music and style!
3. Saints Row IV ; Exactly what I want from an open world game. They went crazy and it worked in their favour!
4. Gears of War: Judgment ; A slight improvement from GoW3 but lacked in story. It was still enjoyable and the most fun I had with co-op in 2013
5. Ni No Kuni ; Beautiful art, a rather simple plot but it was engaging enough to not let me put down the controller. A little on the short side for what I was wanting though
6. Anarchy Reigns ; co-op madness.
7. Soul Sacrifice ; My most anticipated handheld title of 2013 and it didn't let me down. Gameplay is solid but a bit repetitive.
8. Injustice: Gods Among Us ; I lost touch with fighters the past few years, but this game pulled me back in with a great roster and it's rather simple (yet technical) style
9. Grand Theft Auto V ; It's what GTAIV should of been
10. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 ; So many characters to choose from, so many! Which is great for when you're with a bunch of friends, but it was also what let the game down. Too many to focus on.
 
Aug 21, 2012
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I wish I had taken the time to do this properly but I didn't. That's why I'm not going to try to say why I love these games because other people have already written some wonderful things about them and whatever I can write about them before the deadline will pale in comparison.
1. Super Mario 3D World ; It takes the best of the series' past and merges it with new and exciting ideas.
2. Pikmin 3 ; The best of all the Pikmin games. The DLC is challenging and fantastic.
3. The Wonderful 101 ; A fun action game with insane boss fights.
4. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD ; It improves the Gamecube game by removing or changing the tedious parts of the original leaving a better paced adventure.
 
Nov 13, 2013
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1. MGR: Revengeance - A Platinum action game With RULES OF NATURE

2. Wonderful 101 ; Closest thing you have to a Devil may cry/Bayonetta game on the Wii U, Thank you Kamiya

3. Saint's Row 4 ; This is what Saint's row 3 should have been, All the powers in this game makes you feel like a real super hero

4. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon ; The closest you have to doing mushrooms, crack and a molly without doing it.

5. Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen ; Kinda mad I missed this game before, but thanks to amazon and PSN+ I got it and loved every minute of it, it's open world RPG is a game everyone needs to play

6. Anarchy Reigns ; Fun as hell fighting game, Single player was lacking but multiplier was what it was made for

7. Fire Emblem Awakening ; One of the best games on the 3DS, could have been longer but Great cast of characters and new game mechanics

8. Tomb Raider ; a Nice reboot to the previous tomb raider games, not amazing but great

9. Hotline Miami ; I do like hurting people

10. Dragon's Crown ; Awesome sidescrolling beat'em up, Amazing visuals.

x. Soul Sacrifice ; One of the Vita's best games, Multiplier is a Blast, story was great

x. Sanic Transformed ; Pretty much a Better mario kart compared to everything else now

x. Final Fantasy XIV ; a complete rehaul of an ABYSMAL previous game, A great move as it's not an enjoyable and playable MMO, still has some work to be done

x.One Piece Pirate warriors 2 ; Dynasty warriors with one piece characters, amazing combo, who knew?

x. Killzone Mercenary ; The Vita's Best shooting game, solid controls, great visuals, Awesome online.

x. Killzone Shadow Fall ; Next gen visuals, COD-like controls, awesome weaponry and amazing online multiplayer? Too bad the single player is boring lol

x. Killer Instinct ; Extremely surprised how solid this game turned out, although it isn't finished it's pretty great so far.

x. Resogun ; Sadly but not really the Killer app for the ps4 launch, like Geometry wars was for the Xbox 360. Crazy addicting.

x. Gran Turismo 6 ; a Step in the right direction FINALLY, this feels like a racing game, no more cars that drive like bricks, these cars move and this game now has a "fun" feel GT games has been missing since Forza got on to the scene.
 
Dec 5, 2008
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Yeah, 2012 was such an epically bad year for games. It may be the worst gaming year ever. And 2013 was a terrific year, not best ever, but a great year, maybe in the top 5 or so.
No longer content with ranking games released in a year, or games released in a generation, GAF moves on to ranking the years themselves.
 
Jul 16, 2009
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1. Grand Theft Auto V ; No other game deserves to be called GOTY more than Grand Theft Auto V. Truly an amazing achievement and in a complete league of its own. The insane attention to detail, the most impressive game world ever created, the insane graphics, the fantastic characters, the great soundtrack, impressive voice acting and dialogue, the varied and constantly fun missions – I could go on forever. No other game comes close to this hard to believe achievement Rockstar has created. The game of the generation and quite simply, one of the best games of all time! I can’t shower it with enough praise.
Dat praise

I wish I enjoyed GTAV like some of you. It's the game that hurts the most to read about every time I see a list with it.
 
Nov 29, 2007
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1. The Swapper ; Extremely well put together. Perfect difficulty and probably the most atmospheric 2D game I've ever played.
2. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds ; Leaned a bit too heavily on nostalgia, but given my fond memories of its predecessor, that isn't such a bad thing.
3. DmC: Devil May Cry ; The environments you travel through are so varied and visually astounding. The combat depth doesn't hold up to the best in the genre but it's far more competent than most will give it credit for.
4. Guacamelee! ; The best metroidvania I've played since... Shadow Complex?
5. Volgarr the Viking ; Incredibly tight controls and challenge with repetition that bordered on frustration but never crossed the line.
6. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed ; Level design is fantastic.
7. BattleBlock Theater ; The only game I got my wife to play co-op with me this year.
8. Bit.Trip Presents... Runner 2: Future Legend of the Rhythm Alien ; Way more fun than it ought to be. Dancing is bullshit though.
9. Bioshock Infinite ; I loved the environments but the game was a bit of a slog. It's only on this list because the ending is a mindfuck that I thoroughly enjoyed.
10. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons ; Puzzles were too simple but the game is beautiful and emotional.
x. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ; As much as I love character action games, I just despise the Metal Gear franchise too much. Plus the slicing in slo-mo mechanic wasn't that satisfying for me.
x. Grid 2 ; A bit sterile for lack of a better word. But I thought it controlled quite well and I had a good time with it.
2012. Theatyrhythm Final Fantasy ; No 16-bit soundtracks resonate as much for me as those of Final Fantasy IV and VI. I've learned to stay away from this franchise since it went to absolute shit with X, but I got this game for pretty cheap so I gave it a chance. Nostalgia plays a big part but I really enjoyed it.
 

Papercuts

fired zero bullets in the orphanage.
Sep 1, 2007
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Dat praise

I wish I enjoyed GTAV like some of you. It's the game that hurts the most to read about every time I see a list with it.
I have mellowed on it since release but I still liked it a lot. I'm wondering how much I would have enjoying it if 4 outright not existed though, as some of it may be how much I was letdown by that.
 
Mar 10, 2005
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1. The Last of Us ; A new IP coming this late in the generation from the same developers that brought the universally acclaimed Uncharted 2 a few short years ago, this game not only matches, but in many ways even surpasses that effort. The Last of Us is tense, brutal, uncompromising, but most importantly it feels very real. It is a nothing short of a masterpiece. A near-perfect blend of storytelling and gameplay. It doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it doesn't need to. Everything comes off as so refined and believable in a way that it's not one single thing that stands out, but rather how everything comes together to make something truly special. Naughty Dog has achieved this level of expert craftsmanship that very few are able to match. In a year of retreads and not so necessary sequels, this was a breath of fresh air. Best survival horror game I've played in years and one of the best games I've played this generation.


2. BioShock Infinite ; One of the most original, imaginative, and engrossing worlds along with one of the most engaging stories I've experienced in a game all year. I had a very hard time putting my controller down and it kept me guessing all the way through to the end. The gameplay itself falls a bit short, but everything else made made up for it.


3. Beyond: Two Souls ; To me, David Cage games are flawed gems, but they do have a place in this medium. They seem to touch subjects that few games ever do. While I didn't find this concept as interesting as Heavy Rain, I still enjoyed it and spent several hours replaying scenarios and making different choices to see how things play out. Getting more experienced actors really made a difference when it came to the game's presentation.


4. God of War: Ascension ; A solid entry with impressive visuals, but I think they've gone about about as far they go with the story.


5. Dead Space 3 ; Despite this being further evident of the series's continued decline in quality by forgoing its survival horror roots in favor of something more action heavy in order to garner sales, I still found it to be enjoyable.

2012. Dishonored ; Probably would've been my GOTY had I finished it in time to vote last year. Loved the atmosphere, open levels, and trial and error gameplay. Hadn't had that much fun ghosting thorough a level since Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory.

I wasn't able to start getting trough 2013 titles until November (because of my backlog) so the following titles were omitted but may end up on my list for next year: Batman: Arkham Origins and Gears of War: Judgment.
 
Jun 27, 2012
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1. The Last of Us
2. Beyond: Two Souls
3. Animal Crossing: New Leaf
4. Bioshock Infinite
5. Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies
6. Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag
7. Fire Emblem: Awakening
8. Grand Theft Auto 5
9. Ni No Kuni
10. Saint's Row 4
Just a quick heads up. You need to add a comment to at least one vote to be counted. Look at the OP :)
 
Oct 31, 2009
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1. The Last of Us ; Brilliant in all aspects (music, atmosphere, graphics, dialogue, characters, narrative, gameplay, sound design, mechanics, pace, etc) and comes together as greater than the sum of its parts. Greatest aspect for me is how dynamic the enemy encounters are, because scenarios change depending on your position, you path, your enemies, and your weapons (and how you use them). To stealth or not to stealth (avoid enemies or hunt for supplies) is a constant choice you're making. Ultimately an engrossing love story with an "artistic" ending (a.k.a. up for interpretation), which I love.

2. God of War Ascension ; Highly underrated game that came out earlier in the year. The single player, while narrative wise a little pale, was still entertaining with its boss battles, level design, puzzles, and superb graphics & animation. Had fun playing through the spectacle. The amazing aspect though has to be the multiplayer. In an ocean of multiplayer shooters this one stood out with its melee focused combat. It was fun (especially versus mode), responsive and fluid, and most importantly successfully translated the god of war single player gameplay experience into multiplayer. Using the various combos and magic at your disposal, juggling when and how to use them combined with using the environment to your advantage was very satisfying.

3. Killzone: Shadow Fall ; While I really missed the cover mechanics it had in the previous games, I still loved the shit out of KZ: SF. Jaw dropping graphics, gorgeous environments with amazing level design, very satisfying gunplay and mechanics, and the story was pretty decent too.

4. Grand Theft Auto V ; The story wasn't that great, the ending kind of anit-climactic, and I really miss the old days of wacky cheats like floating cars or extreme bunny hopping with bikes. That being said, this game brought together really good shooting mechanics and driving mechanics with a cool looking open world. It was fun to play through once.

5. Resogun ; Such an addicting game. Its rare for me to care about trophies but for this game I attempted to get them because it meant playing through each difficulty and playing in ways you wouldn't think to, while learning all the time how to evolve your personal style. Very fun game that reminded me of the joy of playing Geometry Wars, but took it even further than that. Save the last humans!

6. Beyond: Two Souls ; Didn't like how the narrative was presented (in out of sequence pieces/scenes), and I thought the gameplay mechanics changes made for less intense moments than Heavy Rain. But I still liked this game, and I love this style of game, where choices affect what happens to you, and affects the ending. The graphics and soundtrack were also astounding. Some of the scenes were really beautiful thematically, the stealth sections were well done and felt freeing, and creating chaos with Aiden was a guilty pleasure. Give me more Quantic Dream :)

7. Diablo 3 (console version) ; Just a very fun game to couch co-op with freinds :)

I do have a bunch of games that I missed and still need to play, so my list may have been longer and even different. But alas, this is as it stands now.
 

RobbieNick

Junior Member
Jun 8, 2007
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UPDATE: I was told I hadn't formatted my list right, so I'm fixing it.

1. Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag; Wow! What a difference a year makes. This is by far my favorite Assasin's Creed game. I can sail the seas and plunder ships while doing small side missions for HOURS without ever touching the main story. The world I'm playing in is the most engrossing I've played in since Skyrim. I absolutely love it.

2. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate; LOL! Okay, I'm not sure if this even counts as it was an update to an old Wii game, but this was my first Monster Hunter game to finally grab me and I became incredibly addicted putting in over 150 hours into it. I really hope Capcom brings Monster Hunter 4 over as well.

3. The Legend of Zelda: A Link between worlds; This may be my favorite Zelda game of all time. While much shorter than your average Zelda fare, having all the weapons available to you from the start helps keep the game at a good pace and I'm never at a spot where I feel the game is dragging me down or boring me in any way.

4. The Last of Us; What can be said that hasn't already been said? Naughty Dog did an incredible job with this game with action and atmosphere that really puts you into it's dark world. I still wish the knee-high walls weren't so obvious of when a fight was about to take place.

5. Super Mario 3D World; I wasn't expecting this game to be nearly as good as it ended up being. Nearly everyone was disappointed to not get another Galaxy, but in many ways they did as this is one of the best 3-D Mario games in years making even 3-D Land look weak in comparison.

Now, for a quick list of the other 5.

6. Skylanders: Swap Force It was a huge improvment over hte other two.

7. Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies

8. Rayman Legends

9. Metal Gear Rising: Revengance

10. Lego City: Undercover
 
Jan 13, 2009
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1. The Last of Us ; Sometimes bleak, sometimes scary, sometimes touching and sometimes funny. This game was amazing.
2. Metro: Last Light ; The most claustrophobically atmospheric game I played all year.
3. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons ; Unique mechanics married to a beautiful storybook world and a very dark and sad story. When you reach 'that moment...' You'll know.
4. Grand Theft Auto V ; The best open world with the most fun and cool things to do and see this year. Shame the campaign itself was such a drag, otherwise it might have been my top pick.
5. Call of Duty: Ghosts ; I'm putting this on the list because it has a highly customizable bot match mode. I love games with bots. I can spend tens maybe hundreds of hours devising my own crazy game types.
6. Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag ; ARR MATEYS!!! Putting all the AC nonsense aside for a moment, this was the best pirate simulator I've ever played. Sailing around the Caribbean, boarding enemy ships and looking for treasure on deserted islands made for a delightful experience.
7. State of Decay ; Best open world zombie game I've ever played hands down. Rough around the edges but it's got it where it counts: the interlocking systems and mechanics tying the whole game together.
8. Splinter Cell: Blacklist ; I loved the story, I loved co-op, I even enjoyed the competitive MP. This game was the whole package for me more than any other this year.
9. Animal Crossing: New Leaf ; Oh Halcyon. I know I'm a stranger now but for a few months I was completely addicted to visiting you. More than anything else this game reminds me of what it was like being a kid, wandering around and getting up to random stuff all day.
10. Fire Emblem: Awakening ; Turn based strategy on the 3DS at its finest. I was really surprised by how attached I got to the characters and how much I cared about their relationships with one another (that I helped forge.)
 
May 6, 2006
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1. Tearaway; my trip with Iota was just an experience i'll never ever forget: Media Molecule crafted something truly special and unique, and i kept smiling and smiling while living my adventure in that dreamy universe made out of paper. And that ending... sublime.
2. The Wonderful 101
3. Guacamelee
4. DmC: Devil May Cry
5. Bioshock Infinite
6. Puppeteer
7. Killer Instinct
8. Resogun
9. The Wolf Among Us
10. Super Mario 3D World
 
Jun 7, 2004
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1. The Last of Us ; No game has ever combined plot, gameplay and character development this well. It's usually heavy on one or both of those while light on another. I think it's the best game I've EVER played.

2. Beyond Two Souls ; Very nice story and I really loved Jodie's character development. I'd like to see more games that have this kind of intimate (for lack of a better word) characterization and story progression. The soundtrack is also the best I heard this year.

3. Tomb Raider ;

4. Fire Emblem: Awakening ;

5. Grand Theft Auto V ;

6. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag ;

7. NBA 2K14

8. MLB: The Show 13 ;

9. Dead Rising 3 ;

10. Ryse: Son of Rome ;
 
Oct 22, 2006
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Despite my misgivings about where the AAA industry is headed/has headed, there's no denying the sheer size of the industry pretty much guarantees some great titles each year. I had about 20 titles I was juggling between to come up with this list and even those 20 titles represent less than a fifth of the games I've played this year. Truly a bountiful year, even if the fall was a little weak.

1. Dota 2 ; Despite my love for number 2, it's not even close here. Dota 2 isn't in contention for game of the year- it easily takes that- it's in contention for best game of all time. Incredible depth, a competitive scene that's as enjoyable to spectate as other games on this page are to play, and the best business model in all of gaming. It's also a game you'll come back to time and time again for the gameplay alone- there's no prestige here, no unlocks, no meters to fill, (aside from a participation tracking level up counter that's almost parody like in how barebones it is) no dailies to finish, no persistent world to change- just a game that's fantastic to play no matter how many times you've played before. It may be a remake of a mod, but it's also Valve's finest achievement, and that is no small praise.
2. The Wonderful 101 ; The best single player experience I had this year. Like Dota, it's a game where the only progression that matters is your skill. I beat the game on normal and yet still feel that I've only scratched the surface. Add to that the fact that the game's campaign is lengthy without being redundant, a triumphant musical score that's among the best for the year, Kamiya's mastery of this genre's foundations, and a storyline that actually grabbed me despite/because of its unabashedly earnest and childlike nature, and you've got a real winner. I can understand the complaints leveled at its lack of "purity", but I enjoyed the vast majority of the genre switch ups and feel there's much substance to them than most AAA games have to begin with. It may not be his best, but it's my favorite of Kamiya's work. More than any other title on this list, I hope people come back to this in the future and give it the appreciation it so sorely missed this year.
3. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds ; The perfect Zelda game I knew Nintendo had in them. 60FPS, super responsive controls, a beautiful rendition of an already fantastic soundtrack, and the same ingenious dungeon design the series has had for the past few installments without all the filler and fluff those games sadly had in them. The pacing and speed of this game make it. I want all Zeldas, 2D and 3D alike, to be this lean, this perfected going forward.
4. Super Mario 3D World ; No, it's not the Galaxies, but it does continue their trend of delivering absolutely amazing levels with often brand new mechanics one after another. Maybe Nintendo should take a break and go back to the drawing board with Mario, maybe they should even revisit the 64/Sunshine model and see how they can apply the same quality and density of platforming focused level design to it- but, then again, maybe they don't. If this is what we get when they go with the tried and true, I'm fine with that.
5. The Last of Us ; Against all odds, a Naughty Dog game makes it on my list. The Uncharted games exemplify nearly all that I find wrong with gaming today, so how'd this get here? Well, for one, the base mechanics "gel" for me in a way Uncharted's never did. Uncharted's Indiana Jones mixture of auto pilot puzzle solving, auto pilot platforming, and competent third person shooting strikes out on all but 1 of its 3 pillars, and that pillar is supported by fairly mediocre encounter design and bullet sponge enemies. TLoU's mix of stealth, light crafting, and shooting, on the other hand, felt natural and engaging, in all of its elements, to me. This is the Chaos Theory successor I've wanted- a predatory game, to borrow modern SC terminology, where employing the right mix of stealth and combat is more rewarding and effective than committing to either path entirely. Where Uncharted's cutscenes and story bits feel intrusive- like they're pulling the game away from me- TLoU's controller free moments provide welcome relief from the tension that constantly flows from its gameplay. Of course, it doesn't hurt that TLoU's story is far better, perhaps even the best in gaming. I still don't feel like it's the direction the industry should go, and its praise is perhaps too strong, given the more worthy gameplay oriented games of the year, but there's always an exception to the rule, and what a worthy one this is.
6. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons ; Exemplifies using the tools of the medium to tell a story. Gorgeous world. Loved the belay section on the castle walls, even more than the "moment."
7. Guacamelee ; The best metroidvania of the year. (as much as I wanted to like Rogue Legacy) While the genre has felt well trodden in the wake of Iga and the indie scene's love affair with it, 'melee brought something worthwhile to the table with its demanding and fun platforming, and more action game like combat system. Good show, Drinkbox.
8. Civilization 5: A Brave New World ; Made Civ 5 the Civ 4:BTS rival I've wanted it to be since launch. Nothing more, nothing less.
9. Antichamber ; Incredible puzzle game that sadly peters out the further it goes. (I thought this was going to be runner up throughout the first half) While I'm not convinced the open structure is a good fit for a game where your actual ability to solve a particular puzzle may be in question on the basis of missing "tools" and I definitely felt like figuring out which puzzles I could solve next was more of a puzzle than the actual puzzles themselves towards the endgame, the strength of those initial discoveries is enough to put the game up here. Truly an original experience everyone should check out.
10. BioShock Infinite; While my love for this game has declined the more I thought about its bullet sponge enemies, some of the truly broken skill/gear combinations possible, and how infrequent the game making skyhook encounters were, I'm still putting it up here because the firefights were you do have the skyhook and you do utilize your full toolset are some of the most fun FPS encounters I've ever had. When I think of the missed potential present in this game, I don't think of how it should have been a mechanically insubstantial cinematic experience like so many apparently wanted, I think of how I wish every firefight lived up the quality of the game at its best. Beautiful music too.
x. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate; My first exposure to the series. It's also undoubtedly the best action RPG I've ever played. Learning each fight is skill-intensive, rewarding, and exhilarating. For all the grief this game gets about grinding, I found myself able to experience nearly all of the monsters in the game (completed up to G-rank online) with a basic set pulled off an early Barroth. And that was plenty enough game for me. I really hope Capcom brings 4 over as I'm in now and will follow the series going forward.
x. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance; It turns out Platinum's weakest game is still better than the vast majority of games. Big surprise.

If I had time to finish Volgarr, it'd probably be up here too.
 
Mar 27, 2013
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I haven't played a lot of 2013 games in 2013 as I'm usually one year behind but here goes:

1. The Last of Us ; Game of the generation for me. This game's execution is perfect is every aspect - gameplay, graphics and story. In addition to that, the MP is a lot of fun and provides a very unique experience that I spent hundreds of hours in.
2. FIFA 14 ; FIFA is the definitive football game and one of the most fun couch co-op game out there.
3. Guacamelee! ; Great platformer with tight controls and relatively deep combat. Metrodvania are usually tedious, in my opinion, but this game balances backtracking and moving forward well .
4. Stealth Inc: A Clone in the Dark ; How this game isn't considered one of the great indies is beyond me. The level design is very smart and the platforming is tight.
5. Velocity Ultra ; Hugely overlooked game, this gem offers a lot of content for those looking byte-sized fun gaming.
2012. Journey ; Most beautiful game of all time and absolutely a piece of art.
 
Jul 12, 2005
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1. Bioshock Infinite ; I just had a wonderful experience with this game. I played it at night, in one- to two-hour segments, and I looked forward to coming back to it every time. It’s just such a well-realized world that is amazing to traverse. Elizabeth is a great companion, and adds a lot to the game. Everything about this just clicked for me. I know the combat and some of the encounter design gets some flack, but I really had fun with it and made a point to use a variety of techniques and patterns to confront enemies. It didn’t get old for me, and I was discovering new fresh strategies all the way through. They story is something that I enjoyed discussing and reading about for hours afterward It’s a wonderful ride, and a game I’m sure I will play and enjoy several times over the years.
2. The Last of Us ; Another fantastic experience. Really close call here between number 1 and 2. I think this is a stunningly crafted game, and it left a truly lasting impression on me. The undercurrent of tension is so well done, and the Joel and Ellie relationship builds so well. I played it in a stealthy manner on the whole even though I’m not a huge stealth person, and it was very rewarding to niftily work through many encounters without raising an alarm. This is another one that I’ll be picking up again in the future
3. Grand Theft Auto V ; First GTA I’ve played to completion since GTA III. Something about this just grabbed me. The three-character dynamic kept it fresh, and I thought the missions were varied and fun, without being too long or frustrating. The controls in this game felt just fantastic, I thought they really dialed in the driving, and the shooting, while a bit auto-pilot, allowed for some frantic encounters. The polish overall I thought was really something; this is a game that has so much content, but feels super solid. I think the story peaks about 70-80% in and then sort of descends a bit, but it kept me going. And even with some rough edges, I think some of the vistas are stunning and the game is a treat to just drive through.
4. Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix ; I am a massive KH1 fan, so this was a treat. The realization of Disney-themed worlds here is such a success and the music alone is worth a place on this list. Playing through it again in 2013 just reminded me so much of how vast and rich this game is.
5. Tomb Raider ; I’m a big fan of games like this and Uncharted 1 that really focus on a specific detailed environment and take you on a journey through it. I just had a blast traversing the island from the peaks to the tunnels, and even though admittedly the story (especially the supporting characterizations) was a bit rough, I enjoyed the hell out of it.
6. Lego City Undercover ; I guess this was the year of open-world games for me. This game just kept a smile on my face; it’s got a great sense of humor and some really hilarious moments. And it’s one of the best Lego games at tapping into that addictive collection side; there is so much to collect, but it doesn’t feel like a chore
7. Rocksmith 2014 ; I am in the process of using this to learn guitar and it’s been great fun, and I feel the steady improvement. The sense of progression is really well done, and there are a variety of excellent features here. Can’t vouch for sure that it’s going to make me a competent guitar player, but it’s very impressive so far
8. Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon ; One of my favorite GameCube games reborn, and it’s actually better than the original. This is an amazing looking and playing game, with tons of content and depth.
9. Battlefield 4 ; I know it has had its problems (and then some), but when it works, I just love the way this game feels. The sound design is so good, the movement feels right, it’s great when you get it groove. And I even thought the campaign was pretty fun.
10. Disney Infinity ; Super ambitious game that is a blast to play in co-op. It requires a bit of effort to get the most out of it, but it’s worth it.

2012. Dragon’s Dogma ; I played this in the spring and still can’t believe how good it was. Once you get going and get your crew together, it gave me a sense of adventure that I haven’t really felt for a long time. I loved the fact that really had to go explore and you didn’t know what you going to find. There is a sense of mystery, and the combat is very fluid, quick, and fun when you find yourself in the thick of it.
 
Jan 19, 2010
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1. The Last Of Us ; Not being a fan of zombie games of any sort, it took Naughty Dog to not only get me to play one, but to actually enjoy it as much as i did. Since so much has already been said about The Last Of Us, i'll keep it short and just paraphrase Roger Ebert (which is fitting in more ways than one): "It's not what it is about, it's how it is about it."

2. Puppeteer ; While the platforming itself is not the most challenging, the gameplay is competent and full of variety, changing up the pace regularly and keeping you entertained. I like games where you can tell that tons of love and attention went into making it and this is such a game. The presentation is fantastic across the board, Puppeteer has a lovely art style and looks pretty clean. The backgrounds have tons of detail and interactive hotspots.The score is great and i'm glad i got the digital version of it, sadly some of the best tracks are missing from the tracklist. The humour is pretty good most of the time, with lots of references to all sort of things. While i didn't always laugh out loud, i did smile constantly. The charming "magical theater" theme isn't being treated as a cheap gimmick, but pervades every aspect of the game with incredible attention to detail. I love how everything has been made with the theatrical theme in mind, not just the levels themselves, but also the menus, with the mechanical act selection map, the curtains, the head collection in which the heads are displayed like theater props, the pause screen (Intermission), and the manual (Programme). Then there are the genuinely funny descriptions and animations for each of the 104 heads, kudos to everyone involved! I also liked the 3 curtain structure and how every curtain kept building up to the main boss confrontation of the act. Another thing i appreciated in this context is how even though each act adhered to a certain theme, each curtain within an act still had their own thing going on regarding the setting and gameplay. The boss fights were very entertaining and even though they share some common elements, most of them put their own spin on it, so it doesn't feel too repetitive. On top of the game being fairly lengthy in the first place, it's also fun going back to replay and explore the levels using Kutaro's full skill set, chasing down all the missing heads, head secrets and bonus levels, as well as freeing all the remaining souls. Even though there are no time trials or the like, i feel like the game is packed with enough content to replay it several times, not that it isn't fun enough even without those incentives to replay it.

3. Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch ; Charmingly old fashioned JRPG, full of adventure and discovery. The story might be a bit simplistic, but the game makes up for it with an endearing cast, beautiful art courtesy of Studio Ghibli and a absolutely wonderful score by Joe Hisaishi.

4. Guacamelee! ; One of the biggest surprises of the year for me. This platformer/brawler hybrid has just the right amount of challenge to make me sweat and give me a sense of accomplishment upon finishing a difficult combat or traversal segment, without ever feeling overly punishing. The game is briskly paced and keeps introducing new abilities before you can get bored of the last one. The use of newly acquired abilities for both combat and platforming is a great touch. The clean, cartoony designs, music and nerdy humour add a great deal of charm.

5. Dragon's Crown ; Controversial character designs notwithstanding, this is an incredibly beautiful game. Luckily, the gameplay is also very solid and tons of fun in co-op. The characters all feel very diverse in their skills and movesets and warrant replaying the levels over and over to beat the game on the higher difficulties, where the gameplay, character builds and level specific "loadouts" start to shine.

6. Hotline Miami ; The definition of "just one more try" for me. Going from getting your head bashed in within 3 seconds by the very first enemy to falling into a music induced trance like state and finally beating a chapter with an A+ feels extremely satisfying.

7. God Of War: Ascension ; Not having played the PSP entries or any of the HD remakes, i came into GOW: A with a bit more good will than many others and ended up enjoying it quite a bit, even if it was more of the same. After GOW III it was fun going on an actual adventure again with a slightly less dickish Kratos.

8. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ; As a big fan of Vanquish i'm a bit disappointed in myself for ranking this so low and i have no doubt i'd rank MGR:R significantly higher if i was any good at character action games, or if i managed to play it earlier than this week. As it is i didn't get quite as much out of it as others have, but it is a very solid action game for me, with some of the craziest set pieces one could imagine and visceral combat that properly conveys the power and sheer badassery of the main character. The narrative is extremely cheesy, but in an selfaware, endearing way.
 
Feb 8, 2008
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Just wanted to comment that I read your post and I really agree. For my GOTY 2012 list I just did a list of interesting games I played, rather than a ranked ballot, and I said this about 30 Flights of Loving:


It's just this interesting little object. Really nice.
Quadrilateral Cowboy is probably going to GOTY 2014, I swear.
 
Sep 4, 2009
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DMV
1. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds; This is the first Zelda game I've completed in a very long time, and just loved every minute of it. Superb all the way around.
2. Fire Emblem: Awakening
3. Senran Kagura Burst
4. Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F (PS3)
5. Dynasty Warriors 8
6. Project X Zone

2012. Warriors Orochi 3
 
Feb 14, 2005
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About 1 hour remains.

If you do not include comments on at least 1 game on the same line as the title, YOUR BALLOT WILL NOT BE COUNTED.

So how long after voting ends will we get to see the results? :)
Results will be up when they're done. We're going to try and have as fast a turnaround as possible, but don't bother trying to stay up past your bedtime.
 

Vodh

Junior Member
Aug 4, 2011
2,424
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Edinburgh
1. The Last of Us ; Easily the game of the generation, a strong contender for the game of forever for me. Loved everything about it, looking forward to replaying it once I forget enough details.
2. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance ; Amazingly satisfying, fast paced, adrenaline pumping stylish action with an awesome soundtrack.
3. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag ; Easily the best entry in the franchise, enchanting pirate adventure that looks gorgeous on PS4.
4. Bioshock Infinite ; Beautiful aesthetics, eerie atmosphere and surprisingly good plot outweigh the mediocre shooting.
5. Grand Theft Auto V ; Brilliant entry in a great franchise. The fact that it doesn't make the podium for me speaks volumes about how strong a year I think it was.
6. Gunpoint ; Witty and entertaining noire plot and precise, fluid and satisfying stealth puzzle gameplay. A gem that deserves more love.
7. Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm ; Not quite as impactful as the core game, it was great improvement and addition nonetheless.
8. Dragon's Crown ; Absolutely gorgeous art, this game looks beautiful and plays great, offering a surprising amount of depth and even more surprising amount of content. To think I've almost skipped it...
9. Resogun ; And I thought I hated shmups.
10. Sang-Froid: Tales of Werewolves ; This one took me by surprise! I loved the theme and it was a really interesting take on the genre. Didn't finish it quite yet, but definitely coming back to it.
 
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