1. Gone Home
I haven't enjoyed a game like this in a very long time. From start to finish, my curiosity was piqued. I wanted to know why my sister left, where everyone was... and what the hell was wrong with my house! The main plot points were great and moving and all, but the real meat lies in the side content and learning about the history of the house and its owners.
Gone Home, you swept me off my feet and ran away with my #1.
2. Dota 2
715 hours in less than year's worth of time. That's how much time I've invested in Dota 2. I can't say it's been a pleasant experience, those 700+ hours, but I can say that the lows are far outweighed by the highs. Easy choice for #2.
3. Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
I liked the original Amnesia. I didn't love it, mostly because the ending was one of the best ways to sum up how most Lovecraft mythologies were explained by Derleth. That's an entire argument by itself. What I will say about AMFP is that it makes Amnesia a much tenser experience and more about the horror of atmosphere and implication than bad grey monsters. Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs tucks itself neatly into the folds of the #3 spot.
4. Expeditions: Conquistador
Premise, setting, and mechanics all make this game a massive success for me. Letting you play a band of conquistadors as anything from brutal, pagan barbarians to pious imperialists and everything in between makes for an easy #4.
Only just played it this year and was pleasantly surprised at how strong the world, atmosphere, and choices were. Not mind-blowing or revolutionary, but a well-executed game nonetheless.
6. Cook, Serve, Delicious!
COOK. SERVE... *Delicious*
Tons of fun. That's it. That's all it takes for #6.
The theme of this year for me was early access indie RPG's. Underrail takes the spirit of the original two Fallout games, throws in a slightly skewed setting, and lets you play freeform with its world. That's good enough for me Underrail. Here, have #7.
8. The Age of Decadence
One of the best ways to differentiate yourself in the world of RPG's is to construct a unique setting. This portrayal of Roman society and mythologies is a fantastic example of a game carrying itself on intrigue and uniqueness factor. Sadly, the unfinished state means it can only swing for #8.
9. Metro: Last Light
While I didn't enjoy it quite as much as the original game, mostly due to narrative turns rather than the actual mechanics, Last Light was my favorite shooter that I played this year. It's strong enough that it takes the 9th spot for me.
10. Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers
I can't, in good conscience, put this very high on the list because it's as old as I am. However, playing this game for the first time this year has led me to a new appreciation for adventure games. The creepy, bizarre Southern twang Tim Curry tries to pull off, the incredible soundtrack, and truly intriguing story collectively make this an easy pick for #10.