Let's forget all the objectivity for a moment here. Forget the most influental games, forget the desert island premise, forget the actual qualities, all the pros and cons because that is all more subjective than we often want to admit anyway. Games, art or not, are so complex and diverse in what they target, why they speak to us, why they click. And even that can change over time.
So, tell me the one game you love the most. Don't be a wuss and pick one and tell me why you did pick just that specific one! Obviously, there are no wrong answers here.
Of course I will go first: I am turning 30 next week and I have been playing games since I was 10 or something like that. Sometimes I do get hyped and I am not ashamed to admit it. The zeitgeist does play its role because playing games as a part of a comunity is the way to do it, at least for me. At the same time I am often short on money so I play some games multiple times and that often reveals the weaker parts. With all that, my pick could probably be seen as almost invalid by most people, because it is a very story-heavy based game. The Last Of Us. I picked it up without really planning to, just on a whim when it first launched on PS3. After playing the intro sequence, I found myself in tears. And that does not happen to me often at all. But the way the game is paced, acted and scored, every and each of those elements clicked with me from start to finish. Years after the release (and re-release) I still listen to the soundtrack often when I walk to/from work. I know Troy Baker is everywhere these days, but that doesn't make him any less talented. Seriously, he is gifted with somethning, and the way the performance capture was implemented just strikes exactly where it needs to. That also extends to the other roles/parts in the game.
I love the minimalistic, super grim and honestly pretty hardcore story. Every sub-plot in the game is chilling, every single character so well realised. It is, for me, the definition of a perfect game, even though I totally understand the most people would not agree with me on this.
I played the game six or seven times over the years, even the expansion was pretty awesome. I came to terms with the shitty nature of multiplayer microtransactions, the multiplayer is very strong overall. But I love the game specifically because of the story and great gameplay. For some reason it hasn't gotten old so far, it just works for me. I am glad there is no sequel coming, although if they announced it I would really have no choice but to buy it.
Now give me your pick!