‘2012 GOTY List’ Preview, And How ‘Top 10’ Lists Killed My Parents

[Hey folks! Just want to say that I got a pretty big article coming up next week, so I decided to post this one instead since I don’t like to keep folks hanging. By the way, don’t take this article too seriously, enjoy the read!]

Yep, it’s almost here folks! That time of the year where every critic, internet commentator, and that fellow with a ‘Doritos’ stained t-shirt writes up their ‘Best of the Year’ list! It’s almost like a tradition, just having people type up their lists before the end of December with the excitement that someone’s gonna agree with them 100%. And that no one will ever have anything else to say! Of course there is the final step, which is constantly shoving down your blog down someone else’s throat.

Laptop Work by Jakub Krechowicz

Nothing says holiday season better than someone arguing over why ‘Medal of Honor: Warfighter’ wasn’t in their ‘Top 10’ list.

So this year I decided, well shit, I might as well get started on mine. And as it turns out, there is actually a surprising amount of stuff to talk about in terms of what came out this year. But that I will save for my actual ‘Best of the Year’ list. For right now, what is it that makes a ‘Top 10’ list? Is it that sexy font you use or the anticipation that builds with each game?

Well, I’m gonna be very controversial here by saying I think ‘Top 10’ lists are just blatant gimmicks. Sure not all of them are, but for the most part they are just used to garner attention without even leading to reasonable discussions. Often when I see these lists I always expect the list itself to be talked about more than the actual games. In fact I don’t even like listing out my favorite games of this year by using a scale that goes up to 10. Because from what I see and believe, people always talk more about the top 3 rather than the entirety of the list.

Personally I rather just not use a rating scale or even have a countdown that starts from 10. Hell why can’t it just be 5 or 7? Sure odd numbers look weird, but at least it’s a lot more original and honest than most of the stuff I see on the net. Point is I think ‘Top 10’ lists are becoming really stale and typical. And no, ‘Top 10’ lists did not kill my parents, but my ex-wife did cheat on me with a ‘Top 10 Best Soup Recipes’ list (it was very awkward).

As for what games deserve to go on a ‘Best of the Year’ list? Actually that’s more up to your own personal taste than anything else, obviously though if you put ‘NeverDead‘ and ‘Amy‘ on your list then clearly you’re just asking for it. Now this is just me, but…I don’t see the reasoning behind putting ‘Halo 4‘ or even ‘Black Ops 2‘ in the top spot. It’s just that these lists, at least to me, should showcase games that deserve the attention. Games such as ‘Journey‘ and ‘Dishonored‘ that not only have a broad appeal, but have that sense of originality to them.

Not saying that these games should be placed very highly on your list, but show some love to the developers is all I’m saying. Like ‘Assassins Creed 3‘ is fun and ‘Borderlands 2‘ is really good, but they’re still sequels that are just improving the formula rather than doing something fresh and different. Also I think people need to be more strict on shooters simply because we’ve seen everything that this genre can squeeze out, and as neat as class systems are – that doesn’t necessarily make it a great game unless there’s more to it. It’s a very in-depth argument that I’ll probably explain more in the near future, but don’t make excuses just because it’s a popular franchise. Explain yourself, display your reasons behind your choices, and do it in a clever way.

Here’s an example of what not to do:

#1 Mass Effect 3 –

Mass Effect has a great story with amazing characters. I especially like Vega the most, he helps a lot in combat. The story in here is really dark, innocent people get killed and it’s up to Shepard to save them. The story is great, it has sci-fi characters like the Krogans that look like frogs gone through nuclear reactor. It is great game with a great story.

I give Mass Effect 3, 5 stars.

Notice how this person that I did not made up, I swear, used the phrase it “it has a great story” without even telling us what it’s even about or what even makes it great? Also notice how this person says he likes Vega the most, thus making his entire review invalid! Okay I’m kidding, but this is the type of stuff I’m talking about. Look, I get it, story is now becoming an important factor in games these days, but it’s even more important to describe how the gameplay mechanics are. And if you’re not the biggest expert on story structure and character development, that’s fine, but be honest with yourself.

So whether you’re making a ‘Top 10’ or ‘Top 5’ list, it’s always important to explain why you believe these games are important. Now if you’re making a ‘Top 10’ list of the best games of all time, well, good luck with that pal! Ha!


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