With Game of Year Around the Corner, Let's Look Back

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BMaxwell

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It's the most wonderful time of the year! Well, almost.

For each of the past 2 years, I've written up a top 10 over on my sick Tumblr. I thought reexamining those would resemble fun, and it'd also be a good time to re-hash GB's top 10 from the past 2 years.

My 2017 Top 10:

10. Children of Zodiarcs
9. What Remains of Edith Finch
8. Super Mario Odyssey
7. Slime Rancher
6. Divinity Original Sin 2
5. Pyre
4. Persona 5
3. Hollow Knight
2. NieR Automata
1. Night in the Woods

So 2017 may have been, for me, the best year of games ever. The top half of the list contains some of my favorite games in recent memory, and in retrospect the best of the year might not even be on that list. I missed Yakuza 0 altogether that year, but I finally tried in earlier this year and it is fantastic. (images and words here).

Giant Bomb's 2017 Top 10:

10. Dream Daddy
9. Tekken 7
8. Night in the Woods
7. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
6. Destiny 2
5. Cuphead
4. Super Mario Odyssey
3. NieR Automata
2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
1. PUBG

My spirit was holding Alex's hand as he tried to push NieR to the top. Third place is very respectable though, plus I think I was making him uncomfortable. Also PERSONA 5 IS THE MOST STYLISH GAME AND I WILL DIE ON THIS HILL.

My 2018 Top 10:

10. Gris
9. Tetris Effect
8. The Red Strings Club
7. Donut County
6. Moonlighter
5. Dragon Quest XI
4. Moss
3. Slay the Spire
2. Monster Hunter World
1. Astro Bot Rescue Mission

2018's lineup didn't hit quite as hard as 2017's games did for me. If I had a do-over, I'd swap out Gris for Florence or maybe Dead Cells. Gris hit hard and faded fast for me. (images and words here).

Giant Bomb's 2018 Top 10:

10. Dragon Ball FighterZ
9. Monster Hunter World
8. Hitman 2
7. Marvel's Spider-Man
6. Return of the Obra Dinn
5. Into the Breach
4. Red Dead Redemption 2
3. God of War
2. Dead Cells
1. Tetris Effect

It felt like the most passion in the room last year was Dan's disgust with Red Dead 2. Tetris Effect felt like it won Least Objectionable Game of the Year. People argue what they feel, and I can't hold that against anyone.

How is 2019 looking to you? I'm having trouble paring it down to 10, but there are only 1 or 2 games I feel any strong passion for. A lot of very good games came out this year. Not much in the way of great games for me though.

How do the past 2 years stack up for you? Did you make top 10 lists? How do they hold up?

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rorie

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#2 rorie  Staff

@bmaxwell said:

How is 2019 looking to you? I'm having trouble paring it down to 10, but there are only 1 or 2 games I feel any strong passion for. A lot of very good games came out this year. Not much in the way of great games for me though.

I kind of feel similarly. I've had a lot of good times with games this year but there have been few things that really popped my eyes out of their sockets. In terms of what I've spent the most time with it's probably MTGA but who knows what'll end up on my list.

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Seikenfreak

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Definitely a light year for me. Here are my 2017 and 2018 GOTY User Lists/Vote. (I started putting a lot of time into these as it was an interesting writing exercise, challenge, and fun to reflect)

Currently working on the 2019 list (The forum formatting options on Giant Bomb are so frustrating) but.. Hmm. Looking at what I have so far..

  1. Sekiro (From Software does it again. I didn't like the aesthetic as much compared to the Souls games but maybe perfect ninja/samurai gameplay/feel here? I'm like one trophy away from the Platinum but just got tired after multiple playthroughs)
  2. Divinity: Original Sin 2 (PS4) (Old but new to me. Was completely addicted til I stopped for Death Stranding. 30 hours ish and need to get back to)
  3. Death Stranding (70 hours. Addicting gameplay. Who cares about the story, except for Unger/BB)
  4. Resident Evil 2 (I was in love with this until I started on second playthrough and heard it was kinda the same or whatever. I can't remember. I immediately lost interest and haven't touched it since)
  5. Blasphemous (A fun surprise. Got up to last boss and stopped)
  6. FF14: Shadowbringers (Great but more of the same. FF14 content updates have become so damn formulaic, I've been saying it for years.)
  7. Ace Combat 7 (A jet game! Woohoo!)

Feels like my top 6 could be mixed around in various orders. I guess I haven't played much new stuff compared to the last year or two. Slow for me as I said. Some other stuff on the list I need to prune or write something about. Bunch of older games I've played. Still some other releases I might still play.

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BMaxwell

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@seikenfreak: Man, I was impressed with Divinity Original Sin 2 but I had a real hard time coming back to it every time. It's super well done, and I had fun with it once I'd start playing it, but I had to drag myself back to it every time. That game is dense.

As for RE2, I was impressed by how much the 2nd playthrough was different from the first. It didn't feel like there was a lot of redundancy there for me.

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Seikenfreak

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@bmaxwell: Hmm maybe that wasn't the reason then for RE2. *thinks for a bit while writing this* ..wait, maybe it was the key thing? You have to find all the keys again and they're in different spots? Which makes no sense.. lol I remember starting Part B, finding something dumb gameplay wise (keys), then getting on the forum and reading people discussing the second playthrough and for some reason I was just like.. NOPE! Key thing was part of it I think. Pretty sure I made a post complaining about it so I could probably find it but eh.

Whatever, I really enjoyed the first half which is why its still up there.

As for Original Sin 2, I just have trouble going back to games in general because I get into a groove. I'm not sure I will have a problem with this one as it feels like I was just playing it yesterday.. in reality it was like 3 weeks ago? I can still recall what I was doing too. Pathfinder: Kingmaker on the other hand, I cant remember how far I got into it or anything about it, but after I was enjoying Divinity so much I was like.. oh yea, that Pathfinder game, I should go back to that after this.

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liquiddragon

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#6  Edited By liquiddragon  Online

@seikenfreak: @bmaxwell: I thought REmake2 was worth 2 playthroughs as well. Long time fans were really disappointed it wasn't like the original game where the 2 scenarios were treated like their sides of a single story. The new game treats it more like the 2nd scenario is alternate universe. I understand the frustration but from a production standpoint, it's a lot to ask. I feel like they did enough character custom scenes and script changes tho. The 2 stories are completely different while working off the same spine. I played Claire's first and I personally felt that version of the story was more satisfying but it did seem like they designed Chris's scenario first just based on 1 or 2 things.

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MocBucket62

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I have a vague idea as to what my top 10 will look like. There's right now 5 games that I feel really strongly about and 6 games that are fighting for the spot that I really like, but can't say that I absolutely adore. Personally speaking with the exception of 1 indie (Later Alligator) I haven't felt as passionate about my selection of this year's indies. Last year I played indies that I look back very fondly such as Yoku's Island Express, Wandersong, Return of the Obra Dinn, Into the Breach and my GOTY Celeste. This year I got to play Wargroove, Baba is You, Cadence of Hyrule, Untitled Goose Game and Sayonara Wild Hearts which are all solid and well made games, but I don't know if I'll look back at those games as much as my indie library last year. Well, maybe I could have a change of heart for those games but for me this year, I feel more passionate for a good number of Nintendo Switch exclusives (Super Mario Maker 2, Luigi's Mansion 3 and my likely GOTY Fire Emblem 3 Houses).

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sparky_buzzsaw

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Definitely been a mellow year for me too in terms of what I like. My wallet’s grateful for that. Anyways, good read.

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Efesell

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I'm bad at cobbling together lists but it's been a pretty robust year for me. Shadowbringers, Sekiro, Fire Emblem, Cold Steel 3 for the truly greats and then yeah just a lot of overall "Good" things this year.

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bakoomerang

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I'm surprised I actually played enough new releases this year to put together a top ten. Didn't happen last year. Looking at the list though, it kinda just reads like "10 games I played that came out this year". There were some good games for sure, but nothing I feel super passionate about.

Resident Evil 2 is definitely this year's game that everyone else seemed to love that I didn't like. Also Bloodstained, but to a much lesser degree (I liked that game for a while, but felt it went on way too long. By the end I was at least 5 hours past being ready for it to be over which ended up really souring my opinion of it).

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Sombre

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My GOTY list will be populated with older shit.

Vermintide 2, and 2019's Risk of Rain 2. Outside of that it's been almost entirely old shit

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ConfusedOwl

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This is a year where I bought a lot of games and felt strongly about almost none of them, thus bringing to light my poor buying habits. If I had to pick a GOTY right now it would probably still be Resident Evil 2 Remake because it's one of the few I really loved. Link's Awakening could also be a contender. The year of the remake for me it appears. I could also say Tales of Vesperia since it's one of my favourite games in general and it got re-released this year but it wouldn't be fair to current releases.

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FrodoBaggins

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Haven't played a whole lot due to Apex! Best shooter since Overwatch

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csl316

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I don't remember Dead Cells and Into the Breach being that high, but hey, those games rule.

My top 10's (lists in my profile) all sort of hold up, really. I occasionally look back with some surprise, but then I remember why I picked them, feel good, and remember why I make those lists in the first place.

2019 has about 20 games that can realistically be in the top 10. But I'm pretty sure Sekiro is at the top, especially after watching Rorie and Ben play it recently.

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Shindig

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I've burned myself out on RE this year. Like, I've played 1, Remake, 2 and 3 this year to completion and can't commit to another one.

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mezmero

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#16 mezmero  Online

Was kind of an off year for me personally though I still found some quality stuff. It was a really good year for catching up on a backlog because as a wise man said: "There's never been a better time to be playing video games". I played Tetris Effect and Vampyr from the year prior and as it turns out both were great in their own way. The big star of my backlog was Divinity: Original Sin 2. Never played a Divinity game before and this one completely bowled me over in a big way. It's not flawless and it's not for everyone but by the end of the incredibly strange tale I wove with The Red Prince I was head over heels for this game as it was exactly the kind of throwback I needed.

The only thing from this year that comes close to Divinity: Original Sin 2 is Outer Wilds. A much different game with very minimalist approach to its design. Though it may not be the most "break neck, action-packed" game play experiences to come out this year it is undeniably a memorable one for me. Looking over everything else I've played and will play, nothing has stirred as many strong emotions in me as Outer Wilds did. It will probably be my favorite thing of the year just by virtue of doing so much with so little. Everything else I played this year was good to great but not any big stand-outs quite like the ones I've mentioned. It was a decent year for action games though honestly these kinds of experiences, no matter how cool and flashy they get are feeling a bit enervating particularly during a fairly depressing year for the real world.

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Seikenfreak

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#17  Edited By Seikenfreak

@bmaxwell: Maybe I spoke too soon on Divinity OS2 lol The weekends here and my chance to get into it again. Played it for maybe an hour this morning and I just wasn't feeling immersed or hooked on it like before so I turned it off. And here I am watching movies and being bored etc instead of playing it.. Blahhh.. I'll be very disappointed in myself if I can't get back into what is probably my #2 game.

Edit: Oh, also! I saw they did a patch for Divinity on PS4 just before Death Stranding came out. It added organization bags and stuff. Yay! More motivation to get back into it. Until you realize that you have to enable those features and it disables trophies? Wtf? I can understand for the more combat/difficulty altering perks but inventory management? Gtfo.

I think my lack of motivation to fill out and polish up my user list is another sign of the year. That or I'm just getting pissed off that I can't organize the list and make it look nice.. except I somehow managed to do it previous years and I don't know how. Just indenting everything until it looks sort've okay. /facedesk

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Humanity

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This year I’m actually finding it hard to fill an entire top 10.

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Haz_Kaj

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MY top 5 games(not order yet)

- Resident Evil 2

- Sekiro

- DragonQuest XI S(not eligable for 2019 but still great)

- Devil May Cry V

- Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

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infantpipoc

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Fire Emblem Three Houses is my favorite game of this year, and I don't except to see it on the site l top 10 list.

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#21  Edited By Bonbonetti

It's been a great year for me. I have several games in my top list.

The most unique game for me this year: Ancestors -The Humankind Odyssey.

Four really good racing games: Assetto Corsa Competizione, MotoGP 19, WRC 8 and FIA Truck Racing Championship. The truck racing game being the most unique one among these.

Some cool, fun and interesting RPGs: Stygian - Reign of the Old Ones, Yaga, Operencia.

Several excellent Adventure games: Observation, the Outer Wilds, Stardrop, Whispers of a Machine, Stillness of the Wind, Detective Di.

As for Strategy there's: Seeds of Resilience, AI War 2, Dawn of Man, Age of Wonders Planetfall.

For action: Rebel Galaxy Outlaw.

My GOTY right now? probably Ancestors -The Humankind Odyssey. It's clunky to play and tricky to learn, but it's so different from anything else I've seen and played, and the concept behind it is super-appealing to me.

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BMaxwell

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@bonbonetti: Can you talk a little about Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones? It was on my radar, but the Steam reviews have been Mixed and that has scared me off.

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nutter

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As of now, my top three are Control, MK11, and Remnant, with Control most likely at #1.

If all of those get their love, that’d be cool.

I’d love to find the time for Plague Tale and Judgement, as I could see either of those sneaking into that top three, too.

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Bonbonetti

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@bmaxwell:

You should definitely try the demo if you are interested and have a Steam account.

The game is equal thirds Adventure game, RPG and survival game (need to eat rations, keep your sanity up, craft stuff, etc). It makes me think of a fusion between Sanitarium, Torment and Pathologic. It's not like Fallout 1-2 or Baldur's Gate.

It has the dark mood and survivalist aspect of Pathologic, the gameplay style (combat vs solve problems through dialogue) of Torment, baked into a story-driven and surreal game-world of something like Sanitarium.

The art style and music are both quite original. Taking all these things into consideration I'm not surprised the game is divisive. I think some people were expecting a 90% Adventure-horror game, or a 90% RPG, or 90% survival-horror game. For these people, the fact that the game is more of an [Adventure, RPG, survival] game than they expected, is a negative thing.

Some people were also expecting a more combat-oriented game. Depending on the character you choose, or create through a custom character, you can do plenty of combat. You definitely have that option as a viable play-style. However, in my opinion you will need to secure npc companions early on if you take the combat path, because the combat is quite challenging. For me the game was easier if you took the dialogue, thievery and stealth approach, i.e. if you play it more like an Adventure game.

At the game's launch my initial complaints were; there was no tutorial for the combat, in fact there was not much of a tutorial for anything, the combat was tricky to manage because there was not enough information given to you, and lastly there was no manual save. However, all these issues have been adressed through patches.

The main "pulls" for me with this game were: the atmosphere of it (music, visuals, narrative style), the Lovecraft connection, and the Adventure game aspect. I also feel the game is very well done, it feels like a quality product to me. I don't love the combat and survivalist aspects, but they are enjoyable and interesting enough.

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BMaxwell

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@bonbonetti:

I'm a sucker for Lovecraft-esque stuff, so the theme is what put it on my radar.

I didn't realize there was a demo! I'll have to give it a look then. Thanks!

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conmulligan

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Slightly off topic, but have they talked about what the format is going to be like this year? GBE are only going to be in town for a week which suggests either the discussions or the video features are going to be severely trimmed back.

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BMaxwell

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@conmulligan: Not that I've heard, no. I didn't love last year's format, but who knows? Maybe it'll grow on me if they keep it that way. It was definitely a more positive discussion, which I know some of the crew would prefer.