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Giant Bombcast Game of the Year 2020: Day Five

On our fifth and final GOTY show, we'll pay tribute to the games that didn't quite make it as finalists for our best games of the year, and then finally determine the 10 games that rise above the rest.

The Giant Bombcast is the world's most beloved video game podcast, and now it's available in video form.

Jan. 22 2021

Cast: Jeff, Brad, Vinny, Alex, Ben, Jason, Jan

Posted by: Brad

In This Episode:

Game of The Year 2020

151 Comments

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Y2Ken

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Great show, thanks everyone!

What a season, what a season.

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Takanu

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Edited By Takanu

Always a joy to watch, thanks for the week!

TLOU2 GOT WHAT IT DESERVED.

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captubaplayer

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GOTY was great this year. Love the format. Thanks guys!

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LavenderGooms

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@takanu said:

Always a joy to watch, thanks for the week!

TLOU2 GOT WHAT IT DESERVED.

It sure did. Vinny was the hero we needed.

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Poundkeeper

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Thanks so much

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Slime_Minister

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A really fantastic GOTY this year. Thank you all for the dedication and the quality content.

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Lucie

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Thank you guys.

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mikachops

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Edited By mikachops

Ben and Jan came into Mahjong this year alright.

Spelunky 2 is a 5/10 to Spelunky 1’s 11/10, no surprise it got passed over by this group.

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Vegeta187x

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Is there no video version of this?

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Yesiamaduck

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Vinny did the right thing

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X4N

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I found "This does hang here" weird. It was an award for 26th-30th place. WTF

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bathala

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Finally it’s done. Great week

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99bajakid

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@takanu said:

Always a joy to watch, thanks for the week!

TLOU2 GOT WHAT IT DESERVED.

I felt like it should have been cut way before then, but eh.

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AV_Gamer

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Edited By AV_Gamer

Good GOTY showing overall. Way better than last year. I don't completely agree with the final list. But Alex made it clear when he brought up Austin and Invisible. Inc. Staff wanted their personal favorites on the list. At least you guys didn't pull a Tetris Effect and actually argued for your games this time.

@aistan said:
@takanu said:

Always a joy to watch, thanks for the week!

TLOU2 GOT WHAT IT DESERVED.

It sure did. Vinny was the hero we needed.

Hades which I had in my Top 3 winning is fine. As far as TLOU2, it got its due with its share of awards from many sites, and the main annual awards show. The game and Naughty Dog are fine. And it made plenty of money, despite the pointless backlash. The real victim during this segment was FF7 Remake, and Tony Hawk getting on the list over it. But GB staff were never truly FF fans to begin with.

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huckleberrysassacre

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Im glad supergiant finally closes the loop and gets the goty after debuting at what? no. 3 then not appearing on any list after that? I personally think pyre is better, but it's hard to argue with the sheer quality execution on hades

This is also probably weirdly the most in-line GB has been with other people goty's since...Last of Us?

ALSO

doesn't the finale of tlou 2 take place in santa babara?

i will not take this slander from brad as a true daygo faithful

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madlaughter

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Edited By madlaughter

I really think GB struck the perfect balance this year with GOTY.

  • It was fun to watch live as a communal experience
  • Doing it online actually seemed to work well, Jan was super MVP
  • Less categories but similar runtime meant that we got what felt like a lot more meaningful discussion
  • Categories were carefully crafted to generally encourage positive conversation
  • Everyone at least seemed like they were in a good headspace, no one got too miffed at anyone else from what I can remember
  • Fun & engaging discussions
  • Using the site top 10s and narrowing down via Beastcast seemed like a really smart move
  • Some hard cuts in those bottom 5 but ultimately I appreciate that they leave games like KRZ and 13 sentinels that people are passionate about
  • Extra videos around the GOTY talks themselves are missed but it feels like that would require a much bigger period of GB going dark and also not quite as fun out of the office/outside of the holidays
  • The list feels like a really good encapsulation of the site and its tastes

Thank you all for really putting your heads together and making something I enjoyed every second of.

Best wishes to Ben, I know the community rarely made it easy but you had such a great perspective and could really articulate what made certain games great. And you could always find the laugh.

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mclubberlang

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Edited By mclubberlang

Much better GOTY this year than recent years. Would have liked to see a few more categories but appreciate this would have been difficult but liked going back to the old category format and loved having it live.

Also what a top ten. I thought last year wasn't great for games, but looking at this list, it was actually pretty great.

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mellotronrules

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@av_gamer said:

@aistan said:
@takanu said:

Always a joy to watch, thanks for the week!

TLOU2 GOT WHAT IT DESERVED.

It sure did. Vinny was the hero we needed.

As far as TLOU2, it got its due with its share of awards from many sites, and the main annual awards show. The game and Naughty Dog are fine. And it made plenty of money, despite the pointless backlash.

i'm glad vinny decided to take the noble sacrifice and grant alex that freebie :-P . the recognition probably means more to KRZ anyway.

joking aside- i had an incredibly meaningful experience with TLOU2, but it probably had no business being on giant bomb's top 10. that room full of fellas clearly didn't have the same passion for it- and if they had- they probably would/should have made the case for it throughout the week. so ultimately i think it's the appropriate call. they're still incorrect, though :-P

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strijd

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They still come up on my video feed on my pc and Apple TV as ready to watch. But they refuse to load because they’re not actually done processing yet

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frankiebeanz

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Having 1 person vouch for a game is not a site list and not being able to tell that person that can't happen and that person not excepting it isn't correct at all.

AND THIS IS WHY YOU HAVE A PERSONAL LIST

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andrewf87462

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Having 1 person vouch for a game is not a site list and not being able to tell that person that can't happen and that person not excepting it isn't correct at all.

AND THIS IS WHY YOU HAVE A PERSONAL LIST

I have to respectably disagree. Surely if a member of staff feels strongly about a game and are able to passionately put forward there case for it making the list, then it should make it.

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andrewf87462

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Really enjoyed this weeks GOTY content. They ended up with a really epic top 10 list. All of the discussions this week have been well informed. All the best for the future Ben.

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MetalFace

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The thing I'm most happy about this year is that Jan was a full participant in the conversations that were being had. Previous years he had to focus so much on producing that I feel he didn't get to say much. But this year he definitely shined.

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Eribuster

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Jan, with the full-ass-anime game carry. <3

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Dryker

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Dropping The Last of Us was bold, but given the temperature of the discussions was the right thing to do. Criminal, but strangely the right thing to do.

One helluva year in games. One helluva Game of the Year.

As always, Ben, a well articulated defense of the games you loved; your absence will be felt. The science of fighting may slip into a new dark age.

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RimTiggins

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Vinny making concession after concession to try and keep TLOU2 in the top ten, only to be worn down at the last was rough to watch. At least he went down swinging I guess.

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darro

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First of all, I was happy they brought back the categories rather than just going through the games that came out in 2020, as I just never really enjoyed that change and preferred the category format and even though it was only 2 per day, the discussions were fun and probably the first GOTY discussions I enjoyed on the site since 2016.

And it was surprising to see that their game of the year matched my own in Hades since that never happens because none of their GOTY from 2012-2019 were in my top 10 whatsoever since 2011 was the last year we both had Skyrim although I retroactively have changed it to Dark Souls since then but at the time it was. Ori was also my number 4 as well and I was happy to see it on there.

I've only played 4 games in the top 10 (Hades, Ori, Spiritfarer and Animal Crossing) but I plan to play the rest over time especially 13 Sentinels and Kentucky Route Zero and to go back and finish Spiritfarer, as I only played it for a few hours.

I have been pretty much out of Giant Bomb for a good while now. Dan leaving at the start of 2020 was a big blow though to be honest and I watched bits of their live streams here and there but that was it. Watching these videos this past week has kind of got me wanting to come back and just listen/watch more of the content again.

Anyway, I am rambling on at this point so kudos to this week and let's just hope 2021 is better overall.

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mfnick

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Jan - Thank you so much for highlighting the games when they’re being discussed! Really helps me as I often miss the game name and then when it’s being talked about sometimes I realise it’s a game I’d love and have no idea what it’s called!

Genuinely, thank you so much.

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X4N

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I can't believe Alex got his #3, Kentucky Route Zero, onto the top 10. Invisible Inc. Was Austins #1 and Dream Daddy was Abby's #2, but that was a HUGE mistake.

I love, LOVE how they recognized 8 of Alex's 10 games were on the final list.

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Humanity

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Great GOTY this year. As others mentioned the format switch is a welcome change. I know they were a bit stubborn in sticking with it before but hopefully this positive feedback will help them understand it was the right move.

As for the list itself ehh at this point I come for the fun and in-depth discussions more than any list jockeying. I appreciate that they were all open to talking full spoilers as that’s what makes these conversations so fun to get a completely no-holds barred discussions on games they were passionate about. Ultimately the list itself is as usual a convoluted mess of ridiculous concessions and stubbornness winning out over common sense. I guess in its own way that’s also the fun of it to see what bizarre monstrosity comes out the other end. Glad to see they almost completely stopped trying to tear games apart and kept the conversation positive.

Good show everyone.

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Edited By someramguy

Surprised this year of all years accidentally wound up being the Ron Funches and Jason's revenge arc, even considering in a lot of ways it was the Year of Navarro, but I welcome it.

Really liked the format of the first culling being a separate podcast. Made this a lot tighter feeling than it is some years, plus I think getting to do it from home kept everyone in a good mood even when the 11th place cut could have potentially gotten really ugly.

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Roadshell

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@frankiebeanz said:

Having 1 person vouch for a game is not a site list and not being able to tell that person that can't happen and that person not excepting it isn't correct at all.

AND THIS IS WHY YOU HAVE A PERSONAL LIST

I have to respectably disagree. Surely if a member of staff feels strongly about a game and are able to passionately put forward there case for it making the list, then it should make it.

But Alex wasn't even passionate enough about the game to put it into his top two. They let him put Spiritfarer on the list without argument and a bunch of Alex's other favorites as well, he could have taken this one L easily.

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iboshow

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When are we getting Giantbombs GOTY list?

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GLOK1132

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Thank you, Ben. You brought a lot to the site and you will surely be missed.

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zoofame

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Going back to the old format worked out well. I hope in the future they can do this in time for the holiday break since recording remotely means they won't have to travel or commute. More varied categories and some more aggressive pruning would have helped move things along and bring more games into the mix. Overall the discussion was a return to form.

I don't understand what the "Games that Hang" category was all about. Was it for games that were good but not good enough for the top 20? Are they better than the ones that got cut from the top 10 in the final category? Seemed like a waste given they already did three other podcasts (Bombcast, Beastcast, and Hot Spot) of winnowing down the list of every game they played.

Mostly I'm just bummed about how the final category went down. Seeing Alex get 8 of his 10 and then still demand to keep others' picks off the list was pretty shitty (flashbacks to 2016). It was especially bad with the flippant way Jeff and Ben were arguing against a game they barely played. It sounded like Twitter leaking into the podcast. Also the fact Jason got railroaded yet again like he's a second class part of the group. You could have just posted Alex's as the site list and recorded some fun group videos with the dozen hours that would have saved.

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pencilBERN

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@zoofame: I never comment on here but how that went down was not pretty. Kudos to Vinny and Brad articulating well about what made Last of Us 2 fantastic, sorry about your treatment dudes. That game's combat was some of the funnest gameplay this year. Never a chore, incredible design. They were objective. I hate to say it but I lost a lot of respect for Alex this year, he was not a team player and far from objective.

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MaikeruWiruson

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@benpack I will miss your maniacal laugh and your pineapple shirt most of all. I'm glad you wore it for your last day! Safe travels, brother o7.

Side note: Giant Bomb pineapple t-shirt? I'd like that to happen.

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threeOCT

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JUSTICE FOR BLENDERS

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Humanity

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@pencilbern: it’s a time honored tradition that each year someone will get their way. There was that time Brad filibustered to exhaustion until he won. There was the time Jeff wouldn’t budge on Mario Maker despite most of the staff not really caring much about it. This year Alex got his dues and who knows maybe next year Vinny will stand his ground but I think he’s too nice of a guy for that.

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Bezerker85

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I like that Ben's two modes are breathing into mic or so far away you cant hear him.

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midsummerstorm

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I gotta be honest, the last two years of Game of the Year left me feeling like maybe I didn't really have the energy or the interest to listen to these anymore. But you turned it around! This year's content has been really enjoyable, and I have to thank you for that. I, personally, think that ranking anything (movies, books, music, videogames) is a fools errand, and that what we should really strive to do is to celebrate the great things we enjoyed during the year. Bickering about what game should be number 3 or number 5 makes little sense to me, nor do I like the idea of people arguing "my game is better than your game", or worse "my experience was more meaningful than your experience". I think you managed to keep that to a minimum this year, and concentrate on what you enjoyed (or what moved you) about the games you wanted to put in the list, so thanks for that. Here's to a better 2021!

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rassnapp

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Really enjoyed the return to form that GOTY had this year, fun format and discussion in difficult circumstances. Huge shout out to Jan who has been killing it on the technical and production side but also really coming into his own as one of the strong voices on the site. Only critique to all is maybe encourage Jason to use his voice and perspective even more (and listen to him when he does).

Ben, I really enjoyed what you brought to the site, you will be missed, good luck out there!

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ohhi_itsjoe

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@unastrike, I appreciated your celery joke. haha.

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John_Wiswell

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Once again, props to the whole crew. A lot of years somebody will get targeted for being "too aggressive" or something, and then the rest of the crew never get the praise they deserve. This year everybody brought a good atmosphere and interesting thoughts. I liked that they were largely considerate of how each other felt. And when they did knife each other's picks, they managed to be funny about it.

Great work, everybody. Thanks for the fun discussions.

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stise

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Giant Bomb GOTY 2020 Best Moment or Sequence Award

Runners-up:

- Jeff's Tony Hawk gamefeel backstab

- Vinny and Alex earnestly choking up when describing Spiritfarer's impact on them

Winner:

- Jan (with Vinny assist) successfully getting 13 Sentinels on the list, and then effortlessly working it from 10 to 7. Call him Mr. Overtime baybee!!

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teslacoil21

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@99bajakid: Absolutely. I respect the choice, because that ending just ruined the entire characterization of Ellie for me.