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#1 Posted by HubrisRanger (523 posts) -

It's GoTY time, it's the ten year anniversary, so you know what that means:

How would you rank Giant Bomb's ten previous Game of the Year recipients?

A few ground rules: no we as a community aren't going to create a shared, compromised list of these ten games. This is just for your own subjective ten best, and as such no need to go hard on anyone for a list you disagree with. I just found it a fun mental exercise to be given these ten excellent games, and then try to sort out how I feel about them. Feel free to give as much or at little reasoning as you want. Also, this is not the place to air grievances about injustices of games that should have been in the top spot. (Though I am looking at you, 2011.) This is just for fun. If you ruin the fun, you'll be a fun-ruiner, and no one likes that person.

Here is the breakdown in case you're not familiar:

2008: Grand Theft Auto IV 2009: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

2010: Mass Effect 2

2011: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

2012: X-COM Enemy Unknown

2013: The Last of Us

2014: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

2015: Super Mario Maker

2016: Hitman

2017: Player Unknown's Battlegrounds

Will post my own personal rankings below. Have fun. Remember? FUN!

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#2 Posted by HubrisRanger (523 posts) -

10. Shadow of Mordor
9. GTA IV
8. Skyrim
7. Uncharted 2
6. Last of Us
5. PUBG
4. Hitman
3. Super Mario Maker
2. X-COM: Enemy Unknown
1. Mass Effect 2

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#3 Posted by inevpatoria (7422 posts) -

I feel like this is an annual tradition. Likewise, I feel like my list changes every time--and not just because there is a new addition each year.

I'd love to do an extended deep dive on each game. But let's be real, no one cares to read that kind of diatribe. After all this preamble, my list probably looks like this. For now.

10. PUBG
9. Skyrim
8. Shadow of Mordor
7. The Last of Us
6. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
5. X-COM: Enemy Unknown
4. GTA IV
3. Hitman
2. Mass Effect 2
1. Super Mario Maker

It's worth noting I've been in lockstep with the site's Game of the Year decision only four of the previous ten years--2008 (GTA IV), 2010 (Mass Effect 2), 2011 (Skyrim), and 2015 (Super Mario Maker). Three of those four games land in my overall top five.

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#4 Edited by Seikenfreak (1493 posts) -

The top half of this list, 1-4, are the games I've played:

1. Grand Theft Auto IV (Great)

2. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Great)

3. X-COM Enemy Unknown (Decent)

4. Player Unknown's Battlegrounds (Meh)

The bottom half of this list, 5-10, are the games I haven't played but ranked them based on my opinion from what I know and have seen.

5. The Last of Us (I own the remaster and never played it. I'd probably like it? Or maybe not.)

6. Hitman (The tiny amount I've played of the older games tells me maybe I'd like this? Eh)

7. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (Lord of the Rings is cool but this seemed passable to me)

8. Mass Effect 2 (Bought ME1 way back, hated it after like an hour of play and never touched it again. Don't see why I'd like 2 any more than that)

9. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (I finished the PS4 one. So this one would probably also be meh because they all kinda seem like the same thing)

10. Super Mario Maker (Not interested. And for some reason I still bought it on sale? Sealed sitting on shelf.)

If I sound like a lunatic, you can look at my GOTY lists on Giant Bomb here I've done since 2014. Does make me wonder if I'd be able to go back and do a brief Top 10 list for each of the prior years. If I'd even be able to figure out what came out each year and if I would have anything to write about each.. hmm

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#5 Posted by nutter (1890 posts) -

1) The Last of Us

2) Mass Effect 2

3) Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

4) Hitman

5) Grand Theft Auto IV

6) X-COM Enemy Unknown

7) Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

8) Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

9) Super Mario Maker

10) Player Unknown's Battlegrounds

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#6 Posted by nutter (1890 posts) -

@seikenfreak:

Maaan...I need to speak up for a few of these that deserve a look...

Hitman is so much better than the original run. Try the free episodes.

Mass Effect 2 is maybe the game of the generation. I loved the slow, clunky game with a hard sci-fi story that was Mass Effect, but 2 turns it into something like 13 Assassins, where you gather an army to go on a suicide mission. It’s amazing.

Uncharted 2 is the best Uncharted game. It’s an Indiana Jones story, and if you’re into that, no game has doe it better. Uncharted 4’s serious tone didn’t do it for me.

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#7 Posted by Seikenfreak (1493 posts) -

@nutter: lol The issue with something like Hitman is that I've watched GB play it and talk about it so much that I kinda became sick of it. Probably the reason I had zero interest in the new one. It's a weird thing I guess.. When I think about it, I guess if I'm not interested in a game, that I feel indifferent about it, but then the GB crew cover it a lot or talk about it a ton then it sort of makes me dislike it even more? I guess in the same way that I think Jeff or other people have talked about with various popular things. Like Rick & Morty. (I think) that show is amazing and I would want to tell people to watch it but I guess that in turn makes people not like it.

As for game of the generation? I'm probably on the Red Dead Redemption side of that argument. Or some other game that isn't coming to mind. I guess Dark Souls is part of that generation, no? I'd probably take DS1 or 2 maybe? Never really thought about it too hard.

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#8 Posted by fisk0 (6841 posts) -

I can only do a top 5, because there are only five games on that list I care about at all, and I'd go as far as to say that both GTA IV and Shadows of Mordor were middling to downright bad games.

  1. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
  2. Super Mario Maker
  3. Hitman
  4. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  5. Mass Effect 2 (honorary award for being the sequel to the only game in the franchise I really enjoyed)
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#9 Edited by shivermetimbers (1682 posts) -

Mannn have all those aged badly or have had games which make them feel obsolete now (except for Mario Maker and perhaps Hitman). I guess that's the thing about the past and having different tastes on staff.

But here's my list:

1. Super Mario Maker

2. Hitman

3. The Last of Us

4. X Com: Enemy Unknown (this would be above Last of Us if Xcom 2 and its expansion didn't exist, tho I'll admit to not playing much of either)

5. Mass Effect 2

6. Shadow of Mordor (can't blame the staff too much, 2014 was a shit year for AAA games and most games in general)

7. Uncharted 2 (honestly I have a hard to judging the quality of this and the above 2 games, but I do feel it's aged the worst)

8. Skyrim

9. PUBG

10. GTAIV (I hate using the word overrated, but can we now admit that this game is pretty shit nowadays?)

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#10 Posted by Hyuzen (559 posts) -

Top of the list are games I haven't played but feel comfortable ranking them as such knowing what I do about them.

10. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

9. Grand Theft Auto IV

8. Player Unknown's Battlegrounds

7. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor

What follows are the games I've actually played.

6. Mass Effect 2

5. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

4. Hitman

3. X-COM Enemy Unknown

2. The Last of Us

1. Super Mario Maker

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#11 Posted by Cerberus3Dog (1023 posts) -

  1. Mass Effect 2
  2. The Last of Us
  3. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  4. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
  5. X-COM Enemy Unknown (I care about 1-5 on this list, I don't have strong opinions about 6-10)
  6. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor
  7. Hitman (I really enjoyed watching Giant Bomb's Hitman videos, wasn't nearly as fun playing it myself)
  8. Grand Theft Auto IV
  9. Super Mario Maker (I thought I would have liked it more than I did, it didn't stick with me. 3D mario > 2D Mario any day of the week)
  10. PUBG (Haven't played it/ most likely won't)
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#12 Posted by TheManiacsGnome (344 posts) -

1. Mass Effect 2

2. X-COM Enemy Unknown

3. The last of Us

4. Player Unknowns Battlegrounds

5. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

6. Hitman

7. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

8. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor

9. Super Mario Maker

10. Grand Theft Auto IV

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#13 Posted by Superharman (296 posts) -

Okay, so I haven't played the last three Game of the Year winners but I've seen a fair chunk of them streamed on the site that I feel like I know where they sit in my mind and I'll give a brief explanation for those.

1. Mass Effect 2

2. Hitman - I haven't played this! But I've seen enough of it streamed that I've gotten so much entertainment from it. This is one of the perfect Giant Bomb winners and while I was pulling for Doom after seeing some of the GB streams, I can't deny how great this one is.

3. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

4. Super Mario Maker - I didn't play it because I have no interest in creating Mario levels or playing a random assortment, but watching the guys have fun with this was enough for me and you can't deny how great well made Mario levels are.

5. X-COM Enemy Unknown

6. The Last of Us

7. Grand Theft Auto IV

8. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

9. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor

10. Player Unknowns Battlegrounds - I didn't play it...and I don't really have an interest in playing it. I don't really like watching the streams either other than to listen to the crew banter.

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#14 Posted by FrodoBaggins (1955 posts) -

1. The Last of Us (probably game of the generation)

2. Skyrim (nobody does it like Bethesda)

3. Uncharted 2 (4 is better but this is still great)

4. Xcom (great game)

5. Mario Maker (great game)

6. Hitman (haven't played yet but look a great.

7. Battlegrounds (looks decent, haven't played)

8. Mordor (decent game)

9. Mass Effect 2 (decidedly ok)

10. GTA 4 (never had an urge to play, enjoyed 5 though)

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#15 Posted by Shaunage (933 posts) -

10. PUBG

9. GTA IV

8. Shadow of Mordor

7. Hitman

6. X-COM: Enemy Unknown

5. Last of Us

4. Skyrim

3. Super Mario Maker

2. Uncharted 2

1. Mass Effect 2

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#16 Posted by Rebel_Scum (1439 posts) -

Man... the year Hitman landed must've been a really bad year.

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#17 Edited by Big_Denim (831 posts) -
  1. X-COM Enemy Unknown
  2. Mass Effect 2
  3. The Last of Us
  4. Hitman
  5. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
  6. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  7. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
  8. Grand Theft Auto IV
  9. Player Unknown's Battlegrounds
  10. Super Mario Maker

Super Mario Maker gets 10 by default because it's the one game I did not play. PUBG is still, to this day, a buggy mess. It blows my mind that it ever got as popular as it did. If I'm being honest, the only games from this list that I would probably have agreed on is Last of Us, Mass Effect 2, and XCOM.

I'm still bitter about Divinity Original Sin 2 and in general how this site covers and handles cRPGs. :(

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#18 Edited by Big_Denim (831 posts) -

@rebel_scum said:

Man... the year Hitman landed must've been a really bad year.

Honestly...not really, no. I thought it was a pretty decent year for games. The crew just got really obsessed with the game...kind of like PUBG. This is, after all, their list though. Jeff has said this time and time again that they're making Giant Bomb's favorite games of 2018 - not a list of that year's best games. There are other outlets to go to for that 'list.' This is more about the year-in-review discussion, arguing about nothing, and ultimately creating a list that highlights each of the cast member's favorite games (for the most part).

For reference: Dishonered 2, The Witness, Dark Souls 3, Titanfall 2, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Grim Dawn, Superhot, Overwatch and DOOM all came out in 2016. I would have put all of those above Hitman. Don't get me wrong...I really like Hitman. But some of the games I just mentioned get really shafted due to the crew's tastes, lack of time, new-hire shoe-ins, etc.

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#19 Posted by HubrisRanger (523 posts) -

@rebel_scum said:

Man... the year Hitman landed must've been a really bad year.

Honestly...not really, no. I thought it was a pretty decent year for games. The crew just got really obsessed with the game...kind of like PUBG. This is, after all, their list though. Jeff has said this time and time again that they're making Giant Bomb's favorite games of 2018 - not a list of that year's best games. There are other outlets to go to for that 'list.' This is more about the year-in-review discussion, arguing about nothing, and ultimately creating a list that highlights each of the cast member's favorite games (for the most part).

For reference: Dishonered 2, The Witness, Dark Souls 3, Titanfall 2, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Grim Dawn, Superhot, Overwatch and DOOM all came out in 2016. I would have put all of those above Hitman. Don't get me wrong...I really like Hitman. But some of the games I just mentioned get really shafted due to the crew's tastes, lack of time, new-hire shoe-ins, etc.

I think it is also safe to say that the #1 spot there reflects the general content and feeling of the staff that year, not unlike how cogent arguments could be made against PUBG last year but the effect that game had on the staff itself is pretty undeniable. It is funny, this has always been the ethos behind their "Old Game" of the year discussions, but only the last few years have I felt that ethos has taken over the actual GotY award discussion. See the Skyrim versus Saint's Row debate; Jeff's argument boiled down to "This isn't the world's Game of the Year, it is OUR Game of the Year, and there's never been a more Giant Bomb-ass game than Saints Row the Third", but ultimately that logic lost the day. Super Mario Maker, Hitman and PUBG are all awards that seem specifically to be made through the lens of "This site loved and played the shit out of this game this year, so it clearly is our game of the year".

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#20 Edited by cubidog (96 posts) -

I actually haven't played most of these games, but have watched a lot of videos on YouTube from them.

  1. Super Mario Maker (the only one of these that I still occasionally watch people play, and I actually want to buy for myself. Still can't believe the creative and fun levels people have made with this toolset.)
  2. XCOM: Enemy Unknown (watched a YouTuber play a full campaign on release and another one with the expansion. Highly entertaining.)
  3. The Last of Us (loved the story, didn't really like the stealth segments. Multiplayer is highly underrated in this game as well.)
  4. GTA 4 (never finished the story mode. Had some crazy fun multiplayer modes that led to some of the best multiplayer moments ever.)
  5. Uncharted 2 (just a dumb fun action movie with likable characters and good multiplayer due to the climbing and traversal.)
  6. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor (combat was pretty enjoyable and the nemesis system was a very cool idea I wish more games would use.)
  7. Mass Effect 2 (interesting characters were the star here. Combat got a little better too and the mako segments were removed thank god.)
  8. The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim (the only game I have ever bought a strategy guide for. I really enjoyed the 20 hours I played of it, but got busy and never returned to it. I still think about buying it on Steam every time it's on sale, but know I shouldn't because I will get addicted to that.)
  9. Hitman (loved Giantbomb's coverage of this game, and some YouTubers playing the elusive target missions. Not the kind of game I ever want to play myself, but a pretty good game to watch)
  10. PUBG (another game I didn't want to play but liked watching others play. Watching the same group play for months and slowly get better was pretty cool. When they eventually got a chicken dinner, I actually loudly exclaimed YES because I was so invested. I know that is a little weird, but I can't recall that happening even while playing games myself.

Honestly the only games that were easy for me to decide their placement was Mario Maker and XCOM. All of the others could switched around and it wouldn't make that big of a difference to me.

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#21 Posted by chekhonte (137 posts) -

When do the GotY pods start to drop and in which rrs do they appear?

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#22 Posted by elmorales94 (370 posts) -
  1. Hitman - Basically a perfect game.
  2. X-COM: Enemy Unknown - Not as good as its sequel, but it is a truly fun and polished tactics experience. This helped make it one of my favorite genres.
  3. Mass Effect 2 - This legitimately might be my favorite RPG of all time.
  4. The Last of Us - Peak Naughty Dog. Incredible all around, but lacks the bombast of the games above it.
  5. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves - Fun time, when the series was still fresh. More influential than people give it credit for.
  6. Player Unknown's Battlegrounds - The highs are real high, the lows are low.
  7. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor - This is the cut-off for games I'd be willing to touch. This game is okay, but it was an incredibly weak year.
  8. Super Mario Maker - Never have cared for Mario. Uncurated, user-created Mario? Even worse.
  9. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Snooze.
  10. Grand Theft Auto IV - This game is actively bad and it always has been.
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#23 Posted by Rebel_Scum (1439 posts) -

@big_denim: Yeah see that year I'd be like ehhh I guess I have to pick one lol.

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#24 Posted by HubrisRanger (523 posts) -

@chekhonte: Typically the week of Christmas, and they'll be on the main Bombcast feed. If you've not listened to them before, buckle up. They're...something.

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#25 Edited by Big_Denim (831 posts) -

@rebel_scum: Oh really? Dang that's too bad! I thought the ones I listed were great!

I don't intend this to come off as mean, bit what kind of games DO you like then? cRPGs? Cause those will sadly never make a Giant Bomb list (see my earlier rant about Divinity...)

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#26 Posted by Rebel_Scum (1439 posts) -

@big_denim: The Witness is the best of that bunch, some of the rest are decent games but nothing that screams out as GOTY.

Out of that list:

Great: The Witness

Good: Dishonered 2, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Doom

Haven't played and not my thing: Dark Souls 3, Titanfall 2, Overwatch

Haven't heard of: Grim Dawn

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#27 Posted by Big_Denim (831 posts) -

@rebel_scum: tTo be fair, most haven't heard of Grim Dawn. I just do my best to shout it's name from the highest hilltops with a megaphone. xD

Ok, now I'm done side tracking the topic. Back on track, sorry OP!