So, what's YOUR Top 10?

GOTY for me is Fallout 3 (against all expections on my part no less) but there were some serious contenders including:

Valkaryia Chronicles: JA2 meets JRPG in a well done and inspired way unlike some other attempts at this genre (cough Operation Darkness).

Insurgency: I have to note this HL2 mod as well because when all is said and done I prefer it to all exsisting retail multiplayer FPSs. I kind of wish this mod team and DICE would have a love child.

Far Cry 2: Greater than the sum of its parts. I felt like I was just there sharing the Dunia experience, and if I make any sort of plot progression while I was at it, so much the better. And it was so well done I didn’t mind.

Gears 2: An improvment on the reigning king of cover shooters is pretty compelling.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Kojima has a quirky style and it doesn’t play like a normal mass consumption game, but to those who appreciate his style there is no better example. If you like narrative based games this is the gold standard of narrative dominating gameplay.

Sins of a Solar Empire: A great value with unique scope that straddles the line between 4X and RTS much better than any game to date.

I was generally unimpressed with this years games in the fighting genre and to a certain extent also in the strategy genre. There just hasn’t been all that much new put onto the table. While a love EU: Rome to death I can’t call it a new high for strategy gaming. The industry is seriously focusing on the more hollywoodesque aspects of games over almost all else making it a lot easier to say “look what they did better than last year” in games where that’s a major componant.

Operation Darkness was fun enough, but the camera was…jesus. I never thought a strategy RPG would be the game that I point out for Worst Camera of the YEAR. I think a few turns started with the camera pointed directly down at the top of a characters head. Wtf

My GOTY is either L4D, Audiosurf or GTA4. (I haven’t played much this year)

I think the GTA4 backlash is insane. I just picked up the game a week ago… and I think it is great. The online is amazingly fun. (I just played some free-for all) The fact that you and your friends can hop in a van over the internet terrorizing the whole town with your violence is pure gold.

I think the key here is “you and your friends” - Coop play can hide MANY issues.

I don’t know how much of it’s lack of GOTYness is GTA4 backlash so much as it being a tough year to compete. Also, while I haven’t played Saints Row 2 yet a lot of folks seem to be saying it ‘out GTAed’ GTA4. While it doesn’t appear on my honerable mentions list for GOTY, I enjoyed GTA4.

Not in any kind of special order:

Left 4 Dead
Sins of the Solar Empire
Fallout 3
NWN2: Storms of Zehir
Mass Effect (PC)
STALKER: Clear Sky
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
The World Ends with You
No More Heroes

Needs to play badly:

King’s Bounty
World of Goo
Far Cry 2
Saints Row 2 (apparently)

In no particular order:
Fallout 3:
I wasn’t expecting much from this game I’m totally uninterested in the fallout licence, the only thing that attracted me was that it hopefully might have been a better game than oblivion. Which it was.

Great game. It makes me think that if EA was a decent company that the NFS games would be alot more like this game.

King’s Bounty:
A surprisingly good sequel to the origninal. It managed to keep the spirit of the original completely, espesially considering that it came 18 years after.

Defense of the Anchients:
The only internet based multiplyer game I’ve ever played for more than a few times. I’m surprised that it hasn’t had commercial successors until now.

Heh, it does have a killer following and seriously addictive gameplay. I would like to point out that it’s totally not a 2008 release though. ;-) Check out GPG/Stardock’s Demigod for commercial successors if you haven’t already. It’s in openish beta right now scheduled for a 2009 release.

Let’s see… In no particular order of appearance:

  • End war

Innovative, endless gameplay. This is a game in the purest of senses, and has an awesome UI to boot. I think i’ll hold this as my GOTY.

  • Fallout 3

it’s fallout! yay! And the dog is awesome :D

  • GTA4

Maybe this didnt work as well as intended on all the things it tried, but at least it tried. One of the things i hold it in high regard for trying is to rise above the immaturity that goes with mainstream action games and try for something approaching a human story.

  • EvE-Online

As it did in the years before, this shed its skin a couple times over the last year, becoming a slightly newer game every time. I love EvE, but she hates me.

  • Far Cry 2

Conrad’s work of literature ‘Heart of Darkness’ retold as a game. Instant classic because it actually works.

  • Audiosurf

Are games art? fuck if i know, but this little thingamiebob were the best ten euro’s i threw at steam all year.

  • Sins of a Solar Empire

Oh man, the hours this monster ate until it was satisfied…

  • Mario Kart

The one game that keeps the wii from clogging up with dust. Blue shell! you bastards!

  • Ace Combat 6

I know, this is way older, but i got my 360 this summer, so to me, its a '08 title and i love it to death.

  • World in Conflict

Is this an 08 title? not really shure. Did make me upgrade my pc twice though.

Aside from the usual picks, I’d like to give an honorable mention to Clear Sky and GTR Evolution. I adore anything post-apocalypse, and I’ve spent countless hours driving Norschleife.

But I played Freespace 2 and Jagged Alliance 2 for the first time this year, so they win.

Just FYI, I’m going to be ramping up the Official Unoffical QT3 GOTY Awards again right after Christmas, so make sure you keep your lists handy… Without Bioshock and Portal hogging up the limelight things should be much more exciting this year.

If I only include games that came out this year, the list is:

  1. Mount & Blade
  2. Fallout 3
  3. Left 4 Dead
  4. Guitar Hero: World Tour
  5. Braid
  6. World of Goo
  7. Call of Duty: World at War
  8. GTA IV
  9. Far Cry 2
  10. Hinterland

That said, I really enjoyed playing Dominions 3, GalCiv, Titan Quest Gold and a ton of Rock Band and Call of Duty 4 this year. Haven’t tried RB2, Fable 2, Valkyria Chronicles or LBP yet, though, so I suspect this list will change if I ever compile a list of my favorite games released in 2008.

I think Jagged Alliance 3 is due out next year too. No more Freespace tho :(

I haven’t gotten around to Dead Space, Banjo Kazooie, Saint’s Row, Mines of Moria, Midnight Club, King’s Bounty, Mount and Blade or Tales of Vesperia yet. I doubt any of them will really shift the current list though. That, or they can be in next year’s top 10 list.

10. Jeanne d’Arc
It takes a rare game to get me to enjoy my two hated genres. The JRPG story and the grindy SRPG gameplay. Thankfully, Jeanne d’Arc overcame both these by being a really fun game to play with a great story supporting it. I’m not I’ll enjoy any other JSRPG other than Jeanne d’Arc, I’ve tried, so in this one goes.

9. Castle Crashers
My brother and I grew up on Golden Axe and Bare Knuckles. So in today’s age, with an Xbox friends list, and an office full of gamers, it’s an incredibly nostalgic experience with all the pomp, verve and style of modern games. We loved this to bits. The art style, the humour and the simple cathartic gameplay are all reason we spent a month just talking about it over lunch.

8. Sins of Solar Empire
My only regret for this game is that it’s hard to find 5 other people who are willing to sit in with you for a 5 hour long strategic session as we attempt to conquer the galaxy. Otherwise, this is more or less how I envisioned Space Strategy to be. None of that staid MOO crap.

7. Audiosurf
I love music. I love games. I love Audiosurf. Now if there’s only a novel version of Audiosurf… I wonder how that would work out.

6. Braid
Another hearken back to old school style. This time, to a genre that never really grabbed me until modern iterations with its less punishing gameplay. Braid takes the punishing twitch away and puts it in the mindbending puzzle. Combine that with gorgeous art and story and its an experience to remember. I hear it’s a big metaphor for something too.

5. Patapon
The infectious beat, the incredible art style, the deep gameplay are all good, but nothing compared to the way your little patapons react to your godhood and gameplay. Like Tom said, there were few other games that was as simply joyous to play as this one.

4. Prince of Persia
This just snaked in on the top 10 because of the ending. I won’t spoil it here, but suffice to say, the gorgeous art direction, the streamline mechanics are all a nice step forward for the series, but it’s great that they managed to keep the PoP series’s tradition of strong characterization and storytelling alive.

3. Far Cry 2
One of the only 2 games this year to be able to actually transport me to a new world. Far Cry 2 deserves more kudos than Tom is lavishing on it simply for its sound design. If I cared nothing for its ending, and found its combat rather repetitive towards the end, I’ll still boot it up, just to wander the forest and listen to the rustle of leaves, the trickle of streams and the ooomph of a shotgun blast to someone’s face.

2. Rock Band 2
I love music. I love games. I love to fake-jam with my friends to rock songs. Rock Band 2: the best way to bring girls to a gaming party and have them enjoy themselves.

1. Fallout 3
This is how I always imagined a first person RPG would be. The sheer delight in exploration, the poignant vignettes of history to stumble into, the visceral thrill of urban combat and the consequence of choice and character. Fallout 3 may have its flaws, but only because it does so many things right that I want to see those flaws ironed out and the RPG genre move on to greater heights.

The overrated category: Fable II, GTA IV, Lost Odyssey, Left 4 Dead, World of Goo.
The disappointing category: Warhammer Online, Force Unleashed, Stalker: Clear Sky, Burnout: Paradise

I also realize a lot of my decisions are based on the art direction of the game. Designers should hire quality production designers from now on. Not just a mish-mash of what looks cool.

I kinda of wanted to give a nod to rock band 2 mostly because not only is it awesome, but it was created to take the place of the original in your library- which honestly makes it the ultimate imo.

Unfortunately I suck at the game and dont play it THAT often so i left it off my list.

It seems to be Fallout 3 this year.

Imagine: Party Babyz (not kidding)
Boom Blox
World of Goo
I wish I were the Moon
Rez HD

1: Fallout 3, bugs and all

2: GTA4, warts and all… You can still just go kill people, here, dammit. That’s all most people do.

3: Mount & Blade

4: WAR, though I’ve fallen off the wagon.

5: ERepublik

6: Pain

7: GRID, Guess I missed out on all these other racing games everyone likes.

8: TF2 updates

9: Pirates of the Burning Sea. Still engaging after all this time. Ship to ship is nail bitingly fun.

10: Sins of a Solar Empire. That’s this year, right?

Saints Row 2 lets you do that too!

1. Mirror’s Edge: Too many pipes, too much combat, too many stupid puzzles, the worst story and cutscenes ever. However, when it worked, it worked brilliantly - there’s nothing quite like thinking on the run and perfectly executing a plan you only had ten seconds to hatch.

2. King’s Bounty: It’s singleplayer HoMM3 done right (well, it’s technically just a sequel to King’s Bounty, but HoMM3 is the game that sticks out to me in this weird sub-genre).

Man, what else did I even play this year?

3. Probably Persona 4: I haven’t played it yet, but apparently it’s identical to Persona 3. I liked Persona 3.

4. Fallout 3: Was okay, I guess.

5. Braid: Had awful, awful writing and an awful story (albeit one cool ending sequence) but was a really good puzzle game, gameplay-wise.

6. Left 4 Dead: Co-op makes a lot of problems seem insignificant. Although it becomes repetitive very quickly, Left 4 Dead is pretty good while it lasts. Versus is also kind of cool, initially.

EDIT: 7. Call of Duty: World at War: It’s Call of Duty 4, except slightly worse. Call of Duty 4 was a really good game, though, so this game isn’t bad.