Community Game of the Year: The First 10 Years - Results!

1. Portal (USA, Valve Corporation)
2. The Walking Dead (USA, Telltale Games)
3. Portal 2 (USA, Valve Corporation)
4. Fallout 3 (USA, Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
5. Dragon Age: Origins (CAN, BioWare/EA)
6. Mass Effect 2 (CAN, BioWare/EA)
7. Rocket League (USA, Psyonix)
8. BioShock Infinite (USA, Irrational Games/2K Games)
9. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (USA, Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks)

I left off the only one I haven't played (DA: I).

I think of Inqusition as being the NPC game. The main plot is dull as dishwater; I didn't even believe it was over when it was over. (I thought it had to be an illusion or something, it couldn't have been that straightforward and easy.) Didn't enjoy the ending, because I was waiting for the other shoe to drop.

The conversations you could have were great, and the landscapes were lovely. But the plot sucked, and Leliana should have been in prison, not still at your war table.

Okay then, here goes!

#1... The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (USA, Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
The first Elder Scrolls I ever played. I remember picking this up in a bargain bin at Best Buy a long time ago, maybe 2007 or 2008. I installed it, and just... MIND - BLOWN. This was the game I'd been waiting for since I played Baldur's Gate 2 back in high school (had a bit of a gaming hiatus because of med school, long story). I can still remember with crystal clarity that sense of awe and wonder when I emerged from that sewer into Cyrodiil (funny story, I didn't even know what mods were at the time). And the rest, as they say, is history. I went back and picked up Morrowind. Eagerly awaited Skyrim which I played just days after I came home with my first son (even played as I nursed, now that's hardcore gaming, guys). The Elder Scrolls have taken up such a huge part of my life since then, and it's all thanks to Oblivion.
Also Sean Bean and Patrick Stewart. 'Nuff said.

#2... Mass Effect 2 (CAN, BioWare/EA)
Anyone who knows me will know enough that Mass Effect is another huge part of my life. Others have said it before me, ME1 was a masterpiece but failed in some respects (ah, that inventory... I both love and hate it). ME2 was just spectacular. Much tighter, great characters (I love you, Grunt! Oh and Garrus too. :D), a phenomenal soundtrack. My own complaint was that I didn't get enough Kaidan.

#3... Portal (USA, Valve Corporation)
Portal... Wow, now that takes me back. Once upon a time, I was young and wary of Steam. Then someone gifted me the Orange Box, and I forgot about all that. Portal kinda blew my mind as well. It's just such a big part of gaming culture now, I don't think I need to defend my choice, here.

#4... The Walking Dead (USA, Telltale Games)
A lot of people tend to forget just how important this game is to the adventure genre. Sure, point and click isn't dead, but until Telltale came up with this story driven formula, well... we'd been stuck in a rut of sorts. And it's not that often we get a black man as the protagonist (I'm not talking about GTA...). This game was just that important, and oh so very poignant.

#5... Dragon Age: Inquisition (CAN, BioWare/EA)
Loved this game just so freaking much. It was everything I'd hoped for and more. Heck, I've been waiting three games to romance Cullen (true story, he caught my eye from my very first DA:O playthough as an elven mage in the Tower).

#6... Dragon Age: Origins (CAN, BioWare/EA)
It had its flaws (those cringe worthy sex scenes, seriously!?!?), but it was still pretty amazing. And sparked my literary imagination in a way few games have since.

#7... Portal 2 (USA, Valve Corporation)
A worthy successor to the first installment, for sure, and I had huge fun playing the coop with my best friend.

Those two games I really didn't like all that much:
#9... Fallout 3 (USA, Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
I've tried, I really have. Especially since I knew Liam Neeson was voicing the Dad, but... I couldn't even get out of the Vault, I just didn't get pulled in.

#10... BioShock Infinite (USA, Irrational Games/2K Games)
I really wanted to like it, I really did. I was really impressed by the intro, how it looked, and then... It got gruesome, and really put me off. I'm a bit puzzled by this, because I really liked the first Bioshock, and I love the world, I loved the radio play the GWJCC did two years ago. But BSI just didn't click with me. Worst than that, I was really put off by the racism and the gore in that first encounter after the mock play and just never went back to it.

And on the "game I didn't play" list:
Rocket League (USA, Psyonix) - Please don't yell at me, I'm just not big on multiplayer.

And sorry Clocky, I didn't realize you weren't the one doing the community GOTYs before.

garion333 wrote:
shoptroll wrote:

Have you tried Wadjet Eye's stuff? They're pixelly, but the in-house games tend to be much more story focused with less emphasis on inventory shenanigans.

Nope, I haven't, but Technobabylon is high on my list and The Shivah has been on my list for years. I think it's high time I give em a go.

You really should. I highly recommend the Blackwell games for starters.

Eleima wrote:

#1... The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (USA, Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks)

That's the first number one pick for Oblivion. It was good at the time! Seeing it pop up again and again in this thread is making me want to re-visit the Thieves Guild quest...

Eleima wrote:

My own complaint was that I didn't get enough Kaidan.

I can definitely go along with this one!

Eleima wrote:

Heck, I've been waiting three games to romance Cullen (true story, he caught my eye from my very first DA:O playthough as an elven mage in the Tower).

Wait, who was Cullen again? He wasn't the guy hiding in the closet, was he? (Hilarious encounter!)

Eleima wrote:

#9... Fallout 3 (USA, Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
I've tried, I really have. Especially since I knew Liam Neeson was voicing the Dad, but... I couldn't even get out of the Vault, I just didn't get pulled in.

This game doesn't even start until you get out of the closet..er, I mean the Vault! If you didn't even get that far, at least, then no, you didn't try hard enough.

I really need to try this precursor to Portal 2. I wonder if my going in with the highest of expectations is going to hurt the experience, as oppose to those who went in with next to none, or even none at all. It's difficult to impress as much with an established act. It's also difficult to follow another that was exceedingly well received (as was Portal 2 by me). Playing in reverse may flip my views. Then again, some say it was writing and the length of the game that hurt the sequel. I can forgive those elements so long as a game plays really well. I felt Portal 2 played really well, and I digested the story and the humour quite well (with no predetermined areas of where it should, or should not go, nor how).

I also need to get back to The Walking Dead! I made a start on it way back when, only to stumble with my decision making. It was too morally mind bending to make a choice. I agonised. I felt the need to go back and make the opposite choice. I then felt I needed to go back once more to stick with my initial gut choice. I ended up wanting to see all outcomes before making a choice, which defeats the purpose (for me). I could not navigate a path through. I had to call it a day. I'm now a little more decisive. Maybe it is time.

I envy those folks who were able to enjoy Oblivion. I dearly wanted to. I tried a few times, only to have the levelling system break the game on each occasion. It seemed much more interesting than Skyrim, which I grew somewhat tired of even though it worked for the most part (stupid PS3 save file glitch).

Cullen was the young Templar who watched over your Harrowing, and you run into him later in the Prologue as he's standing guard in the corridors. Once the game proper gets going, and you return to the Circle as it's under attack, he's the one trapped in the illusion right before you hit the last level with Uldred. I think I might have some old screenshot... *digs through over 600 screenshots, can't find it, download DA:O again on Origin to launch and take screenshot later*

Gravey wrote:

That's the first number one pick for Oblivion. It was good at the time! ;)

Ya DAMN STRAIGHT it was!!! And I will fight all you goodjers who placed it last. Pistols! And swords! Dawn!

Eleima wrote:
Gravey wrote:

That's the first number one pick for Oblivion. It was good at the time! ;)

Ya DAMN STRAIGHT it was!!! And I will fight all you goodjers who placed it last. Pistols! And swords! Dawn!

We'll use the ancient dueling rules of Tamriel. Both combatants shall stand back to back. A neutral party shall count to three. At the count of three, both duelists shall turn and then run wildly backward while spamming attack. Parties may bunny hop to increase their Agility. The duel continues until both parties are out of range, one party collapses from boredom, or someone pulls a hamstring.

1. Mass Effect 2
2. Portal
3. Bioshock Infinite
4. TES Oblivion
5. Dragon Age Inquisition
6. Dragon Age Origins
7. Fallout 3
8. Rocket League
9. Portal 2
10. The Walking Dead

Opinion: Very large range of quality here from my perspective. Mass Effect 2 might be my favorite entertainment thing ever (unless that's ME 1), while TWD is one of the worst games I've ever played (I gave up after episode 2, which was both very predictable and very frustrating).

Edit: I made a few changes after remembering the cluster flop that was Fallout 3's ending.

Eleima wrote:

Cullen was the young Templar who watched over your Harrowing, and you run into him later in the Prologue as he's standing guard in the corridors. Once the game proper gets going, and you return to the Circle as it's under attack, he's the one trapped in the illusion right before you hit the last level with Uldred. I think I might have some old screenshot... *digs through over 600 screenshots, can't find it, download DA:O again on Origin to launch and take screenshot later*

Gravey wrote:

That's the first number one pick for Oblivion. It was good at the time! ;)

Ya DAMN STRAIGHT it was!!! And I will fight all you goodjers who placed it last. Pistols! And swords! Dawn!

The problem is if you duel us all and level up too quickly with Pistols and Swords as your primary skills, everything else is going to out-level your minor skills...

Gravey wrote:
Eleima wrote:

#1... The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (USA, Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks)

That's the first number one pick for Oblivion. It was good at the time! Seeing it pop up again and again in this thread is making me want to re-visit the Thieves Guild quest...

It was so good at the time. Sadly, it had a couple of things going against it. One, the successor to Morrowind was always going to have a tough row to hoe with TES fans. And putting it in the Imperial Province and then having the heart of the empire be mostly a ghost town as well as having mostly-similar ecosystems everywhere made it all feel like there was little differentiation no matter where you went. Second, the auto-leveling was messed up at launch and they could never ever figure it out (well at least as long as I played). The game needed serious modding to make the challenges in the world feel appropriate (cf. scrub bandits with glass armor and ebony weapons). Third, the main story line was dumb as a box of rocks and had holes a league wide.

However, despite it flaws I love it to death. I liked the terrain and opportunities for exploration. The poor main plot actually allowed me to explore without worrying I was "missing something" by not doing it (I mean, if no one else was going to get all concerned about rifts opening up all the place, why should I?). From the forests in the north-west to the swamps in the south, the foothills in the east and the mountains in the north, I loved tromping through all of it. Basically, the same way I played Skyrim.

Also, this was the first game I went off the deep end modding up and it will always have a special place in my heart for that.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I'm glad I'm not the only one with a crush on Scout Harding.

Loved Scout Harding. Was hoping for that romance but sadly no.

Budo wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:

I'm glad I'm not the only one with a crush on Scout Harding.

Loved Scout Harding. Was hoping for that romance but sadly no.

I initially just thought that she was intimidated by the clumsy flirting of my Lady Qunari. Was sad to hear that she wasn't available at all.

Clocky, I couldn't possibly fight you!

tboon wrote:

However, despite it flaws I love it to death. I liked the terrain and opportunities for exploration. The poor main plot actually allowed me to explore without worrying I was "missing something" by not doing it (I mean, if no one else was going to get all concerned about rifts opening up all the place, why should I?). From the forests in the north-west to the swamps in the south, the foothills in the east and the mountains in the north, I loved tromping through all of it. Basically, the same way I played Skyrim.
Also, this was the first game I went off the deep end modding up and it will always have a special place in my heart for that.

Right there with you. I basically had the Amulet of Kings in my pocket the entire time. Until I decided to just power through the main quest. But my favorite Cyrodiil is the one without all those gates.

I will say I loved the seaside village of Anvil. It'd be a nice place to visit.

Running Man wrote:

I will say I loved the seaside village of Anvil. It'd be a nice place to visit.

I had to look it up, but I do remember that being one of the nicer towns. It's curious to me how few memories I have of specific towns in Oblivion but could rattle off a dozen Skyrim or Morrowind locations. But I don't want to open that can. I have very fond memories of Oblivion, mostly for the Thieves Guild questline which was ridiculously fun.

That's so funny, because I can describe every town in Cyrodiil, from Bruma in the north, Skyrim's foothold in the Imperial Province, to Leyawiin in the south, the first taste of the Black Marsh. Seedy Bravil with its Skooma dens ans marshes full of mosquitoes. Seaside Bravil with its ocean breeze and handsome head of the Fighters Guild chapter (don't ask). Cheydinhal, the doorway to Morrowind, full of Dunmer, it almost reminds you of Mournhold. And then there's Skingrad, oh-so-Imperial Skingrad.
Yeah, they say you never forget your first Elder Scrolls game...

Eleima wrote:

Yeah, they say you never forget your first Elder Scrolls game...

It's true, and I still haven't forgiven Oblivion.

Daggerfall was my first followed by Morrowind, but I remember the distinctions of all those lovely towns as well. I have a long-running vanilla Oblivion game on the 360 and have a no fast-travel rule, so my character spends a great deal of time in all of these towns, checking herself in at the Inns when she arrives and spends at least a day just strolling about and taking in the town's atmosphere. Her primary residence in in Skingrad, so naturally spends a lot of time there too, placing keepsakes just right and organizing books.

Oh and main quest? What main quest?

Eventually she'll get around to it!

Morrowind was my first and it's pretty well engraved in my memory. Skyrim is the most recent and the one I love the most. Oblivion is the middle child. But Bonus kindly gifted it to me the other day, so it might be time for that re-visit. I heard the Gray Fox needs some help…

Here's my list...

Best isn't just game play or design for me, because a lot of these games are older, my list is based largely on emotional resonance.

1. Dragon Age: Origins
2. The Walking Dead
3. Dragon Age: Inquisition
4. TES IV
5. Rocket League
6. Fallout 3
7. Mass Effect 2
8. Portal
9. Portal 2

I'm refraining from a #10, as I bounced off of that game really hard.

This one is mine:

2006: The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (USA, Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
2008: Fallout 3 (USA, Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
2009: Dragon Age: Origins (CAN, BioWare/EA)
2010: Mass Effect 2 (CAN, BioWare/EA)
2014: Dragon Age: Inquisition (CAN, BioWare/EA)

2015: Rocket League (USA, Psyonix)
2012: The Walking Dead (USA, Telltale Games)
2013: BioShock Infinite (USA, Irrational Games/2K Games)
2007: Portal (USA, Valve Corporation)
2011: Portal 2 (USA, Valve Corporation)

Finished 1-5 but 6-10 held 0 interest for me, I did try them though.

Here's my list:
1. Dragon Age: Origins
2. Portal
3. Mass Effect 2
4. Portal 2
5. BioShock Infinite
6. The Walking Dead
7. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
8. Fallout 3

Didn't play: Dragon Age: Inquisition, Rocket League

I guess I should really get around to playing Inquisition considering that Dragon Age: Origins has the top spot, huh?

badchicken wrote:

This one is mine:

2006: The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (USA, Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
2008: Fallout 3 (USA, Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
2009: Dragon Age: Origins (CAN, BioWare/EA)
2010: Mass Effect 2 (CAN, BioWare/EA)
2014: Dragon Age: Inquisition (CAN, BioWare/EA)

2015: Rocket League (USA, Psyonix)
2012: The Walking Dead (USA, Telltale Games)
2013: BioShock Infinite (USA, Irrational Games/2K Games)
2007: Portal (USA, Valve Corporation)
2011: Portal 2 (USA, Valve Corporation)

Finished 1-5 but 6-10 held 0 interest for me, I did try them though.

so which are 1-5 and which 6-10?

Don't know if it's too late to vote, but here's my list anyway.

1. Mass Effect 2
2. Dragon Age: Origins
3. Portal 2
4. Portal
5. Rocket League
6. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
7. BioShock Infinite
8. Dragon Age: Inquisition
9. Fallout 3
10. The Walking Dead

1 and 2 are in my personal top 10 of all time. Numbers 8-10 I hardly enjoyed at all.

The referee has added two days of stoppage time to the clock. I'm not back to work until Tuesday, so let's have more rankings in the meantime if anyone else is game.

Thanks for putting this together, Gravey. Looking forward to the results.

Thanks Gravy, looking forward to seeing how this shakes out.

Thanks to everyone who took part! We got 51 responses, and the game that stands above all others for the decade 2006-2015 is:

IMAGE(http://cdn.akamai.steamstatic.com/steam/apps/400/header.jpg?t=1447890222)

The four-hour singleplayer puzzle game, the added value from The Orange Box, the student project, Portal beat the biggest EA and Bethesda could throw as the number one pick for the most respondents and ranking on the most lists. This should surprise no one in retrospect, and even at the time instant-classic status for Valve's bundled dark horse was undeniable. In a medium with the cultural memory of a faulty stick of RAM, GLaDOS and Chell have been a huge success, and so Portal is with GWJers.

Not far behind in second place is Mass Effect 2. ME2 and Portal rose to the top early and stayed there throughout. A bit further behind comes Dragon Age: Origins and, with not much between them, Portal 2. No matter how I compile the results—weighted votes, median rank, average rank—the top four stay unchanged.

Appearing on fewer lists than the top four, Fallout 3, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Rocket League and The Walking Dead make up the middle of the rankings, regardless of how I calculate them (they're listed here according to weighted votes). Yes, Oblivion came out on top of Rocket League, but only slightly thanks to having been played by more respondents.

At the bottom are BioShock Infinite and Dragon Age: Inquisition, suffering the most from (among other things) comparison with their forebears. Dark Souls II and The Last of Us will never forgive. DA:I also appeared in only half the responses, the lowest-showing GOTY of the ten.

The results are largely unsurprising, but quite interesting nonetheless. You can take a look at these sparklines to get an idea of the rankings, and if you're interested in seeing how all the votes fell with some heat maps, you can click the spoiler. Full disclosure, I learned how to make sparklines and heat maps in Google Spreadsheets, so this exercise has been doubly-rewarding for me.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/9Yn6l05.png)

Spoiler:

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/34Vj6mS.png)

Thanks again for all your input. See you again in 2026!

Another heart-breaking loss for Mass Effect 2.