Game of the Year Round Up, or Why there is No Such Thing as a Game of the Year

I picked what I thought were the most reputable (take this for what its worth), non-specializing (so no RPGCodex or Xbox Website) sites that awarded a GotY accross platforms and genres. That left me with 4 sites: IGN, Eurogamer, Gamespy, and Gamespot. Here’s what they decided.

IGN

GotY:

Okami

Runners Up:

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess

Eurogamer

Goty:

Guitar Hero

Runners Up:

2: Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion
3: Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
4: Final Fantasy XII
5: Dead Rising
6: Lego Star War 2
7: Gears of War
8: Viva Pinata
9: Wii Sports
10: Prof. Kawashima’s Brain Training: How Old is Your Brain?

Gamespy

Goty:

Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Runners Up:

2. Company of Heroes
3. Final Fantasy XII
4. Gears of War
5. Okami
6. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas
7. Guitar Hero II
8. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
9. Half-Life 2: Episode One
10. Viva Pinata

Gamespot

GotY:

Gears of War

Runners Up:

Bully
Company of Heroes
Okami
Dead Rising
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Final Fantasy XII
Legends of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Tom Clancy’s Rainbox 6 Vegas
Viva Pinata

People disagree! News at 11!!

Interesting to note that all the game of the years are console’s and few PC games even made it to any of the runner-up lists.

If they disagree, then their can’t be a “Game” of the year, instead we have several games that deserve to be mentioned once again at some seminal moment because of their goodness. Why try to act like one game manages to be better then the rest when consenses is impossible (in theory and in practice).

Interesting to note that all the game of the years are console’s and few PC games even made it to any of the runner-up lists.

Thats never to suprising, as its how many platforms against one? PS2, PS3, Xbox, Game Cube, Wii, Xbox360, to say nothing of handhelds. And each of these platforms (OK, not the Xbox this year) has a manufacturer actively seeking to put hits on it. Though I removed the markings, Gamespy specifically gave the Oblivion award to the PC over the 360, so I still say the PC had a good year.

You had Oblivion, and you had Company of Heroes. Then there was everything else.

It’s weird though - I think if it was released in the second half of the year and branded as an actual game not episodic content, HL2: Ep1 would definitely have garnered more recognition and awards than it’s been given at the end of 2006. It was a short 5 hours - but 5 hours of condensed gaming goodness that made HL2 spectacular on release and earned it numerous GotY awards.

So, you don’t understand the concept of subjective praise and differing opinions by aggregate? It must suck for you to read book of the year, movie of the year, album of the year articles then. Since, goodness there’s like more than 4 outlets publishing those various pointless articles.

Eh, I thought HL2:E1 (these things really need sub-titles) was a turn for the worse. Having Alyx around 90% of the time was a bad move. It just draws way to much attention to the fact that Gordon is a mute. The fact that Alyx survives countless bug attacks, has infininite ammo, and yet still screams when a combine drops to close to her really breaks the suspension of disbelief a shooters like Half Life depend on. Also, not having a gun for the first hour stank.

Well I enjoyed having Alyx around because she was not an annoying squadmate, and it added a semblance of relationship to the game between Gordon and Alyx. Having a silent protagonist doesn’t break immersion for me, unlike others, but criticising Alyx’s presence because it draws attention to that is probably the weakest criticism of that mechanic.

I don’t understand what having infinite ammo and surviving several bug attacks has anything to do with being susceptible to jump-scares. It only makes the character more believable.

YMMV on the first level ofc but I love the gravity gun.

WTF the fuck?

What the fuck the fuck Extar?

Think of it more in terms of an echo effect.

I believe the official Hardcore Gamer GotY is “…guys, GotY is stupid. Let’s go play something.”

Fear not, because Daikatana was designed just for you, with allies who, like Alyx, had to survive for you to win, but were also highly vunerable. Oh man, that was such an awesome game…

Ohh look IGN is trying to be hip.

Ha! …

My game of the year criteria, for the PC, is:

  • New game released during the year
  • Designed well for the PC, few interface issues if any
  • I managed to play through and finish
  • Would not mind playing through again

Based on that criteria, I don’t have a game of the year for 2006.

There were a few contenders, but none of them made it:

Splinter Cell: Double Agent: poor console port, code not optimized on a slower machine like mine, mouse controls can’t be easily customized, no feedback from developers on issues. They did fix one issue, the unlockable items bug, but that’s it.

Star Trek:Legacy: almost direct console port, doesn’t take advantage of PC platform enough for gameplay options, a number of bugs, no feedback from developers on issues.

The only new title I completed this year was Half-Life 2: Episode One, but the gameplay didn’t make me want to play it through again any time soon.
Plus, EP1 was just an expansion for Half-life 2, not sure if you could classify it as a complete game like the others.

I found the gameplay in SMOD:Tactical for Half-Life 2 much more enjoyable and challenging.

Been trying Space Empires 5 but the AI for that game is somewhat incomplete. Will revisit if the developers focus their attention on removing many AI issues.

A few days ago a friend of mine let me borrow Company of Heros. I have high hopes that will turn out to be a good game, but I still have a few other older games to go through before I try it.

Half-Life II Episode One didn’t require Half-Life 2 to play. It was no more an expansion than Half-Life 2 was to Half-Life, or Warcraft III is to Warcraft II.

Wait, wha? Are you saying the title of “Game of the Year” exists outside of gaming publications as some sort of completely solid designation derived from something other than opinion? Yeah, these lists are BS omg lol!!

Not excatly, no: its was a very short single player campaign that used the excact same technology (Source Engine) and continued from the same story with the same characters. Not really an expansion pack but not a new franchise in the way that HL2 is to HL1 either.

Just because it doesn’t require the original game to be installed doesn’t mean it isn’t an expansion. It’s as much an expansion as Dark Crusade and Guild Wars: Nightfall, only with much shorter but much better gameplay.

No it didn’t.