The results are finally in! Unfortunately, I haven't had time this year to do the banners and ribbons that I usually do. If I get some time later, I'll stealth edit them in (:ninja:), but for now you'll have to make due with text.
10. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
The Assassin's Creed series has never been unpopular here at Gamers with Jobs, but the last few entries to the series have tested fan loyalties by feeling more than a little rushed and incomplete. Not so this year's entry, Black Flag, which seems to have won over nearly everyone who played it with its smart pirate theme, beautiful vistas, and well-realized sailing.
9. Rogue Legacy
The first of our smaller budget indie games, Rogue Legacy actually ranks much higher on this list if you rank things solely by raw votes. This roguelike platformer will undoubtedly make another appearance on people's list next year when console gamers finally get their hands on it.
8. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Additional Prize: Handheld Game of the Year
Since I've been doing the rankings, no handheld game has ranked in the community's top ten, but if any game would, it would be this sequel to the SNES classic A Link to the Past. Featuring innovative dungeon designs, crisp action, and a brilliant re-thinking of the series' signature item-based progression, A Link Between Worlds was a crowning achievement among a strong line-up for the Nintendo 3DS.
7. Saint's Row IV
Given this community's ravenous, pink-donged obsession with all things Saint's Row, I'm shocked (shocked!) to see Saint's Row IV managed to super hero its way into the top ten. Maybe it was the usual over-the-top gameplay that did it; or the emphasis on pure fun over a more straight-faced, serious experience; or maybe it was the unrivaled glee of entirely gratuitous nuclear strikes. Something did it, anyway.
6. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
No other game in this list was called out by posters as often as this one for the personal, emotional impact it had. It released earlier this year with little fanfare and without the usual pre-release hoopla we've come to expect, but its popularity grew by word of mouth and soon it was breaking hearts and bringing tears to gamers of all stripes. Perhaps it was this lack of fanfare that made it feel so much quieter, so much more personal, than other, bigger games that also aimed for the heart.
5. XCOM: Enemy Unknown/Enemy Within
Additional Prize: Classic Game of the Year
It's hard to say whether this game rose as high as it did because of people only now discovering the original release or because of the widely-praised expansion/re-release Enemy Within, but the triumphant XCOM reboot is not only our #5 pick but also our Classic Game of the Year. As with our previous Classic picks, Arkham Asylum and Saint's Row the Third, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see this one rank highly next year, as well.
4. Gone Home
Additional Prizes: Indie Game of the Year, PC Exclusive of the Year
As with our #6 entry, Brothers, Gone Home evoked strong emotions in its players from nostalgia to dread and back. It pushed the boundary of what many of us think of as a game and raised the bar for environmental depth and storytelling. As a console gamer, if there's any game I read about or talked about this year that made me want to build a gaming PC, it was Gone Home.
3. Tomb Raider
Tomb Raider isn't a franchise that has ever fallen completely out of favor with our community, but it's been a long time since it was beloved. But this year's reboot changed that with beautiful visuals, Uncharted-like gameplay, and a protagonist many were happy to cheer for. Many of you will be pleased to know that despite their announced plans to focus more on mobile and tablet games going forward, Square-Enix has made sure there's another Tomb Raider in the works.
2. The Last of Us
Additional Prizes: Console Exclusive of the Year, Most #1 Votes
Here's a fun fact: The Last of Us topped nearly three times as many lists as its nearest competition (and our Community Game of the Year). It appeared on 42 lists in total—the same as #3 pick, Tomb Raider—but more than half of those lists ranked it as the overall Game of the Year. It's impressive to see a console exclusive ranked so highly, but especially one that was exclusive to not only consoles in general but to a single platform specifically.
Community Game of the Year: Bioshock Infinite
Additional Prize: Most Votes Overall
Hotly anticipated and highly controversial, Bioshock Infinite was ranked on more lists than any other game but was also called out more than any other for dishonorable mention. Its story, themes, characters, and politics will be hotly debated for years to come, and it's our community's top pick of the year.
Because we allow people to vote for classic games as well as newer releases, with no limitations by platform or budget or genre, we end up with a huge list of games that people loved enough to rank in their ten best for the year. This year we had over 370 games that received at least one vote, but there were five of those games that jumped out at me because someone ranked each one their #1 pick of the year, but then they didn't appear on any other lists, this year or last.
They run the range from AAA to ultra indie. Maybe you played them and didn't like them, or maybe you had never even heard of them, but these might just be the hidden gems of today and the cult classics of tomorrow:
- Broforce, Eldon_of_Azure's Game of the Year
- Problem Attic, 4xis.black's Game of the Year
- Long Live the Queen, erdah's Game of the Year
- Final Warrior Quest, garion333's Game of the Year
- Dead Rising 3, MilkmanDanimal's Game of the Year