What was your favorite game this year?

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A screenshot of Jazzpunk, which I think is a good game.
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What's a good game? — R.M.

Well, R.M. Um. Do you mean, what defines a good game? Or do you want examples of good games? I think Portal is a pretty good game. I think C&C Red Alert is also a good game. Those are unrelated. Look, are we talking about recent games? Recent good games that you might want to play? I've been pretty into Dragon Age: Inquisition lately, and we've reviewed and recommended lots of good games this year.

It's an odd question, R.M., but one that I actually struggle with a lot. You could say, "Well, is it fun?" But what a thoughtless way to describe a game. "Fun" is just a word we use when we can't describe why we like what we're doing. It's generic enjoyment. And why should the goal of a game be to be "fun" anyway? You asked a big one, R.M.

There's lots I look for in games, in varying degrees: a coherent vision, meaningful interactivity, art and design that complement each other, fearlessness. I like newness. I like storytelling that involves me, lets me tell my own stories through systems.

I could go on, but instead, I'll pose the question to the commenters here: what makes a good game, and what was your favorite game this year? I'll save my favorite for later (hint: three words, contains a 'G') as we're approaching the end of the year, and within the next few weeks you'll see our Game of the Year awards and personal picks. And I promise I'll answer a proper question next week.


As Executive Editor, Tyler spends a lot of time editing reviews and looking at spreadsheets, and whatever time is left over writing reviews. People joke that he doesn't like 90 percent of the games he plays, but he'll tell you he just has very discerning tastes.


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