GotY - 2013
I played more than three games this year, but most of them were older games. This was a year of transitioning my game library from the X360 to my PC, which meant waiting for strategic sales on Steam for my favorite multi-platform titles. To be honest, Top 10 lists are for "professional" game critics (which I say with a bit of a sneer and roll o' the eyes), and I have lost interest in trying to stay current. It doesn't matter WHEN you play a great game, and I've learned that the "zeitgeist" is to be avoided whenever possible.
That said, my PS3 died this year so no The Last of Us for me until a PS4 version comes out. Of course, I'd have to get a PS4 first...
So it was all PC versions for me this year. I finally got around to playing Borderlands (around 80 hours so far and into Playthrough 2- so it did SOMETHING right). Fantastic game and an argument for less-is-more when it comes to plots in games. Focus on characters, keep a maelable framework plot and let the world and gameplay carry the experience.
Dust: An Elysian Tale has been pretty good so far, certainly pleasing from a visual standpoint and satisfying combat.
Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine is a surprisingly great game. There isn't another shooter/melee hybrid that comes close. In fact, the mix of melee and shooting in Space Marine is so seamless it makes the distinction between shooter and brawler seem ridiculously artificial. The action fits the world and characters; this is HOW an Adeptus Astartes fights so why let genre conventions limit the action? Simple answer: don't. This game got me into the Warhammer 40k universe, and now I've got two giant books (Eisenhorn and Ravenor) towering on my bookshelf daring me to approach. That's this game's fault. It made me (someone who will NEVER play the board game) a fan of its franchise's fiction and universe. I can't imagine higher praise for a licensed video game.
Gone Home was also an interesting experience, but I will not address it as a video game. It just isn't a game,not if the word is to have any useful meaning. It is a virtual environment with a story: Everything a video game is when you take out the game. However, elements of its presentation can be used to great effect in video games. Its an excersise in almost-completely ambient story-telling and regardless of the actual content of that story, it is very effective in its execution.
Oh, I just noticed how Booker and Lara are both striking a very similar pose, looking down to the left. The protagonists this year were not particularly happy ones on their boxart it seems. Even Older Brother is looking off to the left! Only Younger Brother has the good-manners to look us in the eye.