1. Winter Voices: Episode 3: Like a Crow on a Wire; Episode 4: Amethyst Rivers (20)
2. Rift (15)
3. Bastion (10)
4. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Patch 4.3: Hour of Twilight (5)
5. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (5)
6. Portal 2 (5)
The videogames that made the top of my list either had to make a significant contribution to videogames or change the way I think about games. Portal 2 and Skyrim are undoubtedly great games; however both sequels are derivative of their previous incarnations. Portal 2 makes up for it with a co-op mode and Skyrim through the variety of unique experiences it offers.
Patch 4.3 finally gave causal World of Warcraft players the opportunity to play an easier version of recently released end game raid (25 person groups) content. It’s a huge victory for causal players. For the first ever time they got to kill a new boss in the first week, just like all the hardcore players.
I partially blame Rift for that change in WoW. Rift allowed for great individualization of play styles, whereas most MMOs penalize you for switching roles. Rift took everything I love about MMOs and made it better.
Bastion blew me away with its art, constant amusing narrative, and fun game play.
If insanity is repeating yourself and expecting a different result, then Winter Voices has driven me blissfully mad. Filled with ambient music and moody lavishly executed water colour backgrounds, Winter Voices is one of those rare games that weasels its way into your heart and makes you come crawling back for more. I’ve spent two to four hours trying to figure out a good strategy for a single fight and I still come back for more. It’s a real time strategy game where you fight struggle to survive against memories and forces of nature. However, the part that will drive you to tears in frustration is the instability of Adobe Air, translation errors, and constant bugs. But somehow, I could see past all the flaws and it made realize that I desperately wanted this game. I really did. Unfortunately, it will never be a finished game as the developer, beyondthepillars, has filed for bankruptcy.
(Minecraft didn’t make the cut because I simply didn’t get around to playing it. I know, I am a horrible person.)
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