Ballots: Kevin Nguyen


1. Portal 2 (25)
2. SpellTower (20)
3. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (10)
4. Monsters Ate My Condo (10)
5. L.A. Noire (10)
6. Groove Coaster (5)
7. You Don’t Know Jack HD (5)
8. Frozen Synapse (5)
9. Dungeon Defenders (5)
10. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (5)


I mostly play video games on PS3 or iOS, which makes it tricky to pick a year-end top ten. How does one compare the triple-A production of Uncharted 3 to the abstract, sonic charms of Groove Coaster? But I realized my favorite games are merely the ones I talked about the most. I raved to every English-speaking person with an iPhone about the simple genius of word puzzler SpellTower; L.A. Noire, though deeply flawed nearly to its core, became the focus of some of my favorite conversations about agency, interaction, and Mad Men; I even re-enacted puzzles from Portal 2 for people, which might explain why 2011 was also “the year of dates ending poorly.” Contrast that with the handful of enjoyable-but-forgettable games I played this year, like Little Big Planet 2 and Deus Ex: Human Whatever Blah. The only game I talked about a lot this year that didn’t makemy list was probably the one I went on about the most—Catherine—but I was usually complaining about how miserable it was.

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