Man, it sure has been a year of ups and downs, huh?
You'll have a lot of people claiming that 2013 was a year of no one outstanding game that rose to the top of anyone's list and I agree with that sentiment only insofar as I don't think there was only one. Everything in my top five was amazing for me and they're games I'll probably take with me for different reasons through 2014 and beyond. I think our perception of what "Game of the Year" means has changed this year; the things we want and are used to are somewhat rote now. How do you really compare clear visions like Brothers and Gone Home to AAA epics like Bioshock Infinite and The Last of Us? For me, for the first time in making these videos, I had to also consider how the games made me feel and whether or not they're just simply fun.
Don't get me wrong, the quality of the game, the amount of fun I had playing it, those were still top concerns, but they weren't the only ones. I also had to really consider whether a game that gets good, really good, a few hours in, is really Game of the Year. Or a game that I got tired of playing but really enjoyed up to that point should be Game of the Year, either. The list I have in this video is the result of agonizing for literally weeks about something seemingly so trite yet feels like it matters greatly to the person making it.
As with every year (except that one really crazy one), I didn't get to every game of note, but this is probably the first year I legitimately felt bad about that. I did attempt to try everything important, but ultimately I had to leave games like Tearaway on the cutting room floor because the only thing I felt about it in the 20 minutes I could dedicate any time to it was that I look like a dork with my face in the sun. There are even games I played and finished after finishing the video that I had to really consider going back and putting in to my list, but ultimately this serves as a snapshot of my gaming tastes at the time and it had to be locked, otherwise it would never be finished.
The top three could be moved around in basically any order and the top five are some of my favorite, most interesting gaming experiences I've had this decade, much less this year. We should all get on our knees and thank whatever deity of gaming that made it so hard to pick a single best game of the year because it makes an industry so dependent on stagnation as a status quo actually interesting again. I hope 2014 makes it just as difficult.