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The HotSpot - Episode 393

It's time to rank our GB game of the year lists and picks over the last ten-ish years.

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Jan. 15 2021

Cast: Jeff, Brad, Vinny

Posted by: Vinny

In This Episode:

Game of the Year Edition

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188 Comments

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AzureGale

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Edited By AzureGale

My favorite games are the games that deserve Game of the Year and everyone else is a dumb loser

jk

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ht101

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SAINTS ROW THE THIRD GOT ROBBED!!!!!

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EvilMonkeySlayer

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@ht101 said:

SAINTS ROW THE THIRD GOT ROBBED!!!!!

Saints Row got robbed? Bloodborne never even got listed! 😢

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Undeadpool

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Haven't watched it yet, but THIS IS AN INCREDIBLE CONCEPT FOR A PODCAST!

Cannot wait.

@ht101 said:

SAINTS ROW THE THIRD GOT ROBBED!!!!!

AGAIN!!!!!?????

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L1fef0rm

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Best ending. Toejam and Earl. Return to home planet Funkotron.

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L1fef0rm

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Game of the year 2020 was Tetris Effect. I don't take into account release year.

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ThePickle

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Edited By ThePickle

really the awards peaked in 08. thats a fact.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQPtAYV5wFE

doesn't let me embed :/ but this is the Soulja Boy Award for Games to Play When You Drink and Get Drunk or Smoke and Get High, a category they really need to think about bringing back

p.s. GTA IV got robbed!

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stone321

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This may be my favorite podcast episode of the last couple of years. I'm old?

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jeremyf

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I like what they said at the end about this being a "warmup" for next week. Maybe the salt will be less intense?

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NottJim

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1:06:10

The moment when everyone realises GTA V did not even make the top 10 list.

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Conflict

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Thank you guys so much for going back to the old format, I looked forward to it every year and the last two years just weren't great. If there was one thing that could pick me up after such an awful year a 2011 style Giant Bomb GOTY is definitely the thing.

It's like seeing a friend you haven't seen in a long time. I love categories and debates, hopefully it's like this next year too!

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allprox

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This was such a good podcast. It felt like the culmination and ultimate justification for investing so much time in constructing these silly GOTY lists every year. The kind of podcast you might have hoped they would end up doing eventually, to give it all meaning, but they never would because that would just be stupid, right?

The one thing I'm taking away from this before they go into next week is that I think they should be far more ruthless with what they end up putting in the bottom 5 of the staff top 10. These placation picks so folks get their horse in just leads to weaker lists. I know it probably won't happen but I'd love to see the gloves come off a little more. Those lists from the last 5 years have games in them that they know don't hang compared to some of the things that were left off. Maybe a smaller staff will let that atmosphere come back.

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Atlas

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@nottjim: From what I remember, they were determined to assess the product as a whole rather than just focus on the singleplayer, and Jeff hated (hates?) GTA Online.

A reminder that you can love the GB personalities without loving their taste in or opinions on games. I'm used to Jeff shitting on games I really care about, but Vinny picking holes in Breath of the Wild and the way he described the content in Skyrim actually hurt my soul a bit. My personal GOTY wasn't even mentioned on multiple occasions - Vinny and Brad listed like 20-25 games from 2015, and not one of them was Fallout 4? That's just...wrong.

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Dan_CiTi

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Edited By Dan_CiTi

@theoriginalatlas: Giant Bomb infamously criticized that game. Jeff had a significant tirade about how broken it was on consoles at launch. While I myself did not have huge technical problems with it on PS4, I just found the game personally underwhelming myself despite the handful of advances from FO3/NV. As far as the others on the site, the general take was "eh it was an okay Fallout game" as I recall and Jeff being so upset with Bethesda shipping yet another broken game basically buried it.

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shoeroo

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Edited By shoeroo

Brad keeping up that good fight with Breath of the Wild

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Atlas

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@dan_citi: There have been multitudinous times when Giant Bomb has been quite down on, or at least didn't go to bat for, games that were GOTY contenders elsewhere, or did really well on community lists/rankings - they brought up The Witcher 3 specifically and were almost apologising for the fact that nobody except Vinny liked Dark Souls in 2011. But many of those games at least got a mention, they were acknowledged. Fallout 4 wasn't.

I know what Jeff's stance on FO4 was and I fundamentally disagree with it, just as I disagree with his hot take on Skyrim being the root cause of every broken game shipped since November 2011. I'm obviously personally biased because I didn't give a shit about how the game launched on consoles because I was playing on PC, and while I had technical issues they didn't stop me from loving the game. And I wasn't really into GB around that time (dropped out around early 2015, came back 2017) but I've gone back to one of their FO4 discussions and Austin was willing to go to bat for that game. My point was that I think it's a game that deserves a mention, but yes I do understand there was some extra context.

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mistergrieves

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Breath of the Wild, Brad. YES.

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Humanity

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Remember when Saints Row 3 got robbed.

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ak1mbo

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The Lesson: The best time for GOTY is two years later.

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mikachops

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Replaying Breath of the Wild in master mode atm and it is indeed one of the best games of all time.

Battlegrounds still deserved to win its year though.

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NameRedacted

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Re: Uncharted 2

I'll just leave this here: https://www.giantbomb.com/articles/giant-bombs-game-of-the-year-2009/1100-1821/

People like to clown on the Uncharted series, in no small part because EVERYONE has tried copying their formula to some degree after UC2's release. But Naughty Dog did it first and best; and later perfected it with The Last of Us.

Another amazing thing to remember about UC2 is Naughty Dog made Uncharted 2 in just 2 years. They made the first Uncharted (Uncharted: Drake's Fortune) in 3 years, start to finish (including building the game engine, IIRC) in 2007 and released Uncharted 2: Among Thieves in 2009.

Nowadays, an AAA action-adventure game of this type would easily take about 5 years.

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LavenderGooms

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Thanks, now i'm mad all over again that Horizon Zero Dawn wasn't even on the site's top ten list that year.

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Typographenia

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This episode is making me laugh so much

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quasiconundrum

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Edited By quasiconundrum

Wow, so many terrible Skyrim takes. And Breath of the Wild? Jeff & Vinny being so dismissive of those games (which are both widely considered among the best games ever made) just makes them sound either intentionally contrarian or completely out of touch with the broader sentiment.

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RoyalGhost

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Curufinwe

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It takes a special videogame website to leave every one of these games off their GotY top 10 lists.

Demon’s Souls

Dark Souls

Dark Souls 2

Bloodborne

Dark Souls 3

Sekiro

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SirPsychoSexy

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Edited By SirPsychoSexy

Awesome show. Vinny and Jeff vastly underselling BotW. Not my favorite game by any means, but it was utterly groundbreaking. Nothing since has come close to building an open world experience as deep or sparked that same child-like curiosity.

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Curufinwe

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There’s nothing wrong or difficult about the end of Uncharted 2. My wife who barely plays third person shooters at all, had no trouble completing it on Normal. But every time Jeff is bad at a game, he blames the game and calls the game bad.

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Y2Ken

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As the kind of ridiculous person who relistens to all the old GotY podcasts usually about once a year, this was the perfect podcast for me (aside from the bit where I could recall basically every game they were fishing to remember, but I can't hold that against them haha).

@allprox: I don't necessarily agree on individual passion picks making for a "weaker" list - the point was always that this is GB's list, not some objective judgement, and I believe the original thought that was put forward the first time it came up (and several times after that) was that it was more interesting to include games one or two people on staff truly loved than games which everyone could agree, "yeah, that was pretty good I guess." Otherwise you end up with a list of accepted "good games" but far less personality to the final top ten.

I'm also overjoyed that categories are coming back. I appreciated the desire to give every game its spotlight that led to the past couple of years (and I still enjoyed those shows) but they ended up feeling like Bombcast compilations more than GotY deliberations. Plus categories let you really dig in on some specific areas (both serious and silly) that might not always be considered, and I think that often leads to more interesting and/or entertaining discussions.

Regardless, I can't wait for next week! As always it's less about the actual results for me; I just love going along on the ride with the crew.

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mozzle

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This is definitely a top ten podcast episode of the year

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Lasslinthar

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I really love the Hotspot. The chemistry between the guys is so great.

Really looking forward to next week, but the guys "kinda shitting" on some of these picks in absence of the people who put it there, given the amount of blood sweat and tears went into these feels a bit shitty and I am pretty sure they were holding back a lot worse... still fun, just goes to show that the site could do with a little more diversity now that so many of the young whippersnappers have flown the coop...

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killwanye

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Cant wait for Jeffs full playthrough of Outer Wilds on the site with Brad. A great way to celebrate the greatest game of the year game.

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TheLoyalTraitor

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Persona 5 not even mentioned in the relitigating. Robbed once again. o7

Not to mention every From Soft game.

Seriously though, really fun podcast. Can't wait till next week.

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scottieh

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Edited By scottieh

The Mario Maker thing still kills me! That is the GOTY debate I still remember the most because of how mad I was. Literally NO ONE besides Jeff and Dan loved that game. They made it GOTY of the year when 2 PEOPLE loved it a lot and everyone else thought it was okay at best.

Also the Tetris Effect year was really dumb. I remember that one vividly also. Everyone was just worn out and Tetris Effect won by default.

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rorie

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rorie  Staff

@aistan: it was on my list! Some say it might have even been the top entry...

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astrophyle

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Loved this episode!

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Ben_H

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Edited By Ben_H

I agree with Jeff. Oblivion is better than Skyrim.

edit: Right after that they talked about Telltale Games and how they got too big too fast. That makes me think of DONTNOD, who showed up and immediately outdid the Telltale formula with Life is Strange but now appear to be making the same mistakes Telltale did. DONTNOD now has at least 3 or 4 teams across multiple offices. Though at least they're doing some games that aren't just the same narrative game over and over again.

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AV_Gamer

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Edited By AV_Gamer

First of all, great pre-GOTY show with ranking the overall list the website has done.

Now on to that list:

2019 imo should be at the bottom as the worst list, not number 3. Tetris Effect winning was really laughable and a low point for the whole GB staff. But then the whole GOTY event was also pretty bad.

Yes, Saints Row 3rd was robbed, especially given how Betheseda haven't gotten better at releasing games that are not broken at launch, which Skyrim was.

Horizon Zero Dawn not making a top ten list is even a bigger crime than Saints Row 3rd.

I respect, and understands Brad's love for Zelda: BOTW, but its not the greatest adventure game ever made.

Mass Effect 2 being number one still holds today. Say what you want about Bioware, but that game is a genuine classic, then they soldout to EA and the rest is bad history.

People are wrong about GB, most people on the site don't like the latest GOW for some reason, not The Witcher 3, which doesn't make any sense. Both games are amazing in what they do.

No matter what happened to TellTale games, the first Walking Dead still deserved to win GOTY that year, and I would personally vote for it again. It's story was unmatched.

And yes, Batman: Arkham Asylum holds up better than Uncharted 2 and I love both games.

Why no other game developer did the Nemesis system is truly baffling and tragic. Warframe does have a version of it, but its no where near as good as in LOTR.

Oh, yeah. I was thinking about getting Mario Maker 2 since I missed out on the original, but hearing they are shutting down the original games servers, which is way too early, and the sequel not being as good. I think I will pass.

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mellotronrules

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Edited By mellotronrules

personal hot takes: Hitman is not as fun to play as it is for them to stream for the site; and jeff saying Nier over Zelda BotW is pure insanity. also Mario Maker- nuh uh, son. Metal Gear Solid V- hasn't aged great; it all feels homogenous.

also- i generally agree that Horizon Zero Dawn and Doom 2016 remain criminally underrated.

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zoofame

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I absolutely love the discussion in this episode. It harkens back to the golden age of the Bombcast ca. 2011-2016. I hope we get to see more of this in the years to come.

On the historical review aspect, this really cements just how lackluster the years since 2013 have been in terms of video games. There were certainly some amazing stand outs like Hitman, Doom, Control, Outer Wilds, etc. but when it comes to putting 10 together for a year-end list there is a lot of padding.

Overall my opinions are closest to Vinny with a little Brad mixed in to taste. It was really fun to see how time has weathered some games while bolstering others. It's also fun to hear distinct "oh yeah that was definitely an Alex pick" meta commentary.

Over the summer I re-listened to all the old Bombcasts. The whole Witcher 3 saga is still somewhat fresh in my mind. As I recall, Jeff played it first and immediately bounced off it because of the sluggish / heavy momentum of the controls. Brad then proceeded to put it off once word of a patch started circulating, and then it became this running joke the rest of the year about different games getting patches for months on end with everyone just waiting to play different games "the way it was meant to be played". By the end of the year nobody had put significant time into it, and thus was born the many follow-up memes about staff spending all year not playing new games and then regretting it in December.

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rocketraccooncmro

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Brad is right BOTW is revolutionary, Vinny's objections are all things that are designed to reinforce the feeling that you are exploring the wild, and are mild annoyances. Jeff hates open world games, he shit talked every single one that came up. If you like open world games there's just no reason to give credence to someone who doesn't like The Witcher 3, Skyrim or BOTW.

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sicamore

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It takes a special videogame website to leave every one of these games off their GotY top 10 lists.

Demon’s Souls

Dark Souls

Dark Souls 2

Bloodborne

Dark Souls 3

Sekiro

There are full playthroughs of half of those games on the site. That is more prestigious than a place on the top 10.

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sa_drone

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Welp, now I want a "game of the generation" talk after Jeff mentioned it.

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Avioto

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It's crazy how uninspired the choices for Skyrim and Uncharted 2 were. Pretty generic mainstream games that you would never expect to be even in the running for GOTY on a site like GB.

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zanzibarbreeze

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Beautiful episode

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zinkn

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We are right and everyone that thinks diffrently can go fuck themselves - Jeff.

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superfriend

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Edited By superfriend

Jeff with the hottest retroactive takes. Not looking forward to this (last) years GOTY at all.

Edit: It's all of them. Holy shit. AC: Brotherhood better than 2? No chance in hell. You guys should play those games again.

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PuuberZ

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Love watching people get salty over the PUGB GOTY pick.

No other game that year had staff members jumping out of their chairs with excitement.

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avantegardener

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Edited By avantegardener

2009, phenomenal year for games IMO.