Timeline of Favorite Games

psychoapeguy

published on 7/11/2018

Description

Join me through video game history as I gracefully explain which game was my favorite for each year...I may or may not add to this each year going forward. If I do, I'll add to it at the end of each year.

It only includes games I've played...so if I didn't play it, it's not eligible.

If you make a similar list, please send me a link - I always like to look at the preferences of others.


Pong

1972

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If I've got a friend around, I still enjoy playing this game today. It's just simple fun. Who needs fancy graphics when all you need is a pal and some friendly competition?...Unless it involves a bet where the loser walks around downtown Seattle in a dress......Actually, you know what? I hate this game.

Combat (1977)

1977

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This one has the competitive fun of Pong, except with the goal of blowing up your opponent with tanks and jets instead of bouncing a square back and forth. It came packaged with the Atari VCS, buried within the rest of the box's contents, kind of like the chocolate center of a Tootsie Pop...Except without that stupid owl hanging around.

Breakout (1978)

1978

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I never understood why the ping pong players were on the cover of this game when I've never seen ping pong players breaking away at colored layers of brick with their hollowed-out, plastic ping pong balls...But that doesn't matter. This game was awesome and still one that I enjoy playing to this day.

Adventure

1979

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It's ironic that this game is titled "Adventure" 'cause it basically started the adventure genre in video games, and it did so in solid fashion. Oh, and for the record those dragons don't look anything like ducks...They're clearly seahorses. Or possibly Snorks. Yes, I just pulled out a Snork reference.

RUNNERS-UP:
Space Invaders
Asteroids

Pac-Man (1980)

1980

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If the ghosts really wanted Pac-Man dead, why wouldn't they just put rat poison in place of some of those pellets? If ghosts aren't tangible creatures, how is Pac-Man eating them? If Pac-Pig eats everything in sight, is there really a need for him to eat diet foods like fruit? The only thing about this game that isn't questionable is how fun it was when it released. The yellow porker has aged well, too.

RUNNER-UP:
Boxing

Donkey Kong (1981)

1981

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This game is clearly about an inter-species love and video games' first Snidley Whiplash, Mario, trying to weasel his way between those two lovebirds so he can have the lady for himself. You might not see things the same way I do, but if you've played this classic, I'm sure we can agree on at least one thing; this game is quite delightful.

RUNNERS-UP:
Galaga
Ms. Pac-Man
Frogger

7


Robotron: 2084

1982

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Since this came out in '82, I never understood why they didn't just call this game Robotron: 2082...But rather than go 100 years into the future for the title, they had to get all fancy and add two more years. But anyway, this title never really got the love that Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, or even Q*Bert got, but it did inspire Geometry Wars, which in turn inspired waaaaaay too many low-quality iPhone games with similar gameplay...So we've gotta give it credit for that, right?

RUNNERS-UP:
Pitfall!
Q*Bert
Yars' Revenge

8


Jumpman Junior

1983

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Jumpman Junior may have the worst wardrobe in the history of video games (I don't even know where to begin describing and/or making fun of it) but this is the game that introduced me to the Commodore 64 and a game that ensured that even to this day, a C64 is in my house. Video games as a whole looked to be dying by the end of 1983, but Jumpman Junior was a glimmer of hope that if things got better financially for the game industry, the quality of games for the consumers may go up. Or something like that...It sounded smart before I typed it.

RUNNERS-UP:
Seaquest
Chase the Chuckwagon
Jungle Hunt

9


Q*bert's Qubes

1984

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Q*Bert's Qubes did what so many sequels have tried to do and failed; provide an improved and unique experience for the player in comparison to the original. Q*Bert may be vulgar. He may even look like the squeezy part of a turkey baster with legs. But he's also one of the most memorable game characters of the time and starred in one heckuva game here.

RUNNERS-UP:
Pitfall II: Lost Caverns
Tarzan

Super Mario Bros.

1985

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A few years had passed since Mario tried to ruin Donkey Kong's love life and Miyamoto thought it was about time that Mario starred in a new game that pretty much single-handedly made sure that video games were never going to die out. With all of the fitness fads going around the world these days, it's about time we step back and take a look at the overweight plumber that saved a princess. He proved that in life, fat is just fine.

RUNNERS-UP:
Astro Robo Sasa
Duck Hunt

OutRun

1986

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I never really understood what the big rush was in this game...Why am I trying to get to the location at the end in the fastest time possible? I suppose it doesn't matter 'cause it's just plain fun. It's also a game that gives you options. You're at a fork in the road - you gonna go left or right? I often took the third option, driving full-speed into a sign and/or tree to watch the car tumble and roll...And even though it was a convertible, everyone was always safe after the wreck. Thanks, seatbelts!

RUNNERS-UP:
Ghosts 'N Goblins
Alex Kidd in Miracle World

The Legend of Zelda

1987

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This is the first year on here, where I had to struggle to choose my favorite game of the year...And in the end, the gameplay, exploration, and ability to unlock a second game after completing the main quest put Legend of Zelda narrowly past the competition as my favorite game of the year...Even if Link does look like a Seven Dwarfs reject in this game.

RUNNERS-UP:
Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!
Mega Man
Castlevania

Super Mario Bros. 2

1988

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I know I'm in the minority, but Super Mario Bros. 2 is my absolute favorite game in the franchise, even if it wasn't originally a Mario game. Force-feeding a giant, bubble-spewing toad vegetables to kill him is just good plain fun. I really wish Wart would make a significant return to the series sometime in the future. Tossing smiling turnips in his face was just a joy.

RUNNERS-UP:
Bubble Bobble
Metal Gear
Phantasy Star

14


Mega Man 2

1989

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I liked the first Mega Man a lot. I loved the second Mega Man so much that I hung a poster of the game's box art above my bed so it'd be the first thing I saw when I woke up....Alright, maybe that's stretching the truth a tad, but I still adore this game today and try to play through it at least once a year. The level design, the enemies, the music...This game is just tremendous. Maybe that poster-over-the-bed thing isn't such a bad idea after all...

RUNNERS-UP:
Mother
Tetris (Tengen Version)
Dragon Warrior

Super Mario Bros. 3

1990

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This was another really hard year for me to pick a favorite...Even just to pick only three runners-up was hard. But in the end, the Italian plumber gets the spotlight for the fourth time on this list. The game went back to a formula similar to the original Super Mario Bros., but tossed in different bosses, a plethora of new power-ups, and a neat "choose which level you want to complete next" element which prevented the game from being totally linear. I honestly wanted to give this spotlight to another game...But that dang selfish plumber is just too dang good.

RUNNERS-UP:
Phantasy Star II
Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
Devil's Crush

Final Fantasy IV (1991)

1991

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Finally, the mushroom-loving plumber has been knocked off the mountain! Final Fantasy IV, which was later released as Final Fantasy II in the 'States with some dumbed-down difficulty, was a sign that Final Fantasy was a franchise to be reckoned with. And while the previous Final Fantasy games were good, this was the first great entry in the series...Even if a fourth entry of a "final" fantasy doesn't really make a whole lot of sense.

RUNNERS-UP:
Super Mario World
Battletoads
F-Zero

Shin Megami Tensei

1992

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A lot of great games came out in '92, especially if you like RPG's, but when it comes to my preference, nothing else that year could surpass Shin Megami Tensei as my favorite. Summoning demons, fusing them together to make stronger ones, choosing an alignment...They all come together to make one of my favorite games of all-time. To this day, I'm irritated that an "official" translated version hasn't been released in the 'States (except for a quiet iOS release several years ago), though that's probably due to overly-sensitive, religious wieners that'll likely throw a fit at how Christianity is portrayed in the game.

RUNNERS-UP:
Street Fighter II
Dragon Warrior IV
Sonic the Hedgehog 2

18


Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine

1993

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I've played this game more than any other puzzle game...I'm lucky enough to have a mind that works well with it, allowing me to stack up "beans" in preparation of delivering a huge, match-ending combo to my opponent. That being said, I'm still trying to figure out how these are beans when they're clearly slime or gelatin...I'm convinced that the only reason that they're called beans is so they could give this game that ridiculous title...And since Robotnik usually looks constipated, I'm sure his need for bean-supplied fiber can fit somewhere in the Sonic storylines fairly easily.

RUNNERS-UP:
Mega Man X
Sonic CD
Secret of Mana

Super Metroid

1994

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Super Metroid is easily one of my favorite games of all-time...I'd say it's in the top five. The gameplay is phenomenal and was basically the blueprint for Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, an equally excellent game. You know what else is phenomenal? Fighting giant bosses, traversing multiple types of levels, and watching a giant amoeba with teeth suck the life out of a giant brain with eyes atop a t-rex body and being forced to shoot rainbow beams at said t-rex brain thing prior to the life sucking...I'm glad I didn't have to make that last part up.

RUNNERS-UP:
Final Fantasy VI
Super Street Fighter II Turbo
Gokujo Parodius!

Chrono Trigger (1995)

1995

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It's really a shame that this game came out so late into the life of the Super NES. As a result it was made in limited quantities and it wasn't the easiest game to come by, often fetching a decent amount of dinero for even an incomplete, used copy. But it was definitely, and still is, worth every penny. I like to pull a Kevin Nealon on friends when they play this game and quietly screech, "Gonna go back in time!" repeatedly. Needless to say, this game had such an impact on me, whenever I hear the song "Back in Time," I find myself thinking of this game and not that Back to the Future movie that the song was featured in.

RUNNERS-UP:
Suikoden
Earthbound
Virtua Fighter 2

NiGHTS into Dreams…

1996

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NiGHTS was proof that you could have Sonic Team develop a non-Sonic game and make something truly great. I felt like 1996 was a year that the Saturn reigned supreme as far as quality titles go, and NiGHTS was leading the charge. Hey NiGHTS, it's obvious why you're on the Saturn, baby, 'cause you're out of this world. Call me.

RUNNERS-UP:
Guardian Heroes
Super Mario 64
Panzer Dragoon II: Zwei

Final Fantasy VII

1997

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Let's face it, Final Fantasy VII may not have been the first RPG released in North America by far, but it's definitely the one that put that genre on the map out here and probably created more fans of the genre than any other game before or since. I remember the first time I had played this, I was so obsessed with the game that I played for nearly a day straight, then went to work (and simply thought about this game the whole time I was there), and returned home to play for a few more hours until I had trouble staying awake and fell asleep at the controller. Who knew that a game revolving around collecting magical marbles could be so fun?

RUNNERS-UP:
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Saturn Bomberman
Gran Turismo

Metal Gear Solid

1998

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It all started with a demo and my amusement of the screams of "Snaaaaaake!!!" when you died. Then I slowly began to play the game more seriously, and ended up finishing the cliffhanger demo and knew that I NEEDED this game. When I got it, I was not disappointed. To this day, I probably consider this to be my favorite game of all-time, not just for 1998. And for the record, while I love this game, I've tried sneaking around in a cardboard box before...It doesn't work. A box big enough to fit a human suddenly appearing out of nowhere isn't as easy to camouflage as you'd imagine.

RUNNERS-UP:
Panzer Dragoon Saga
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Final Fantasy Tactics

Silent Hill

1999

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True story. I was such a wuss as a kid that when I finally mustered up the courage to buy this game, I refused to play it for nearly a year because I was afraid of the game scaring me. I've matured much since then and there isn't too much that'll make me flinch these days, but that doesn't prevent me from still enjoying a trip back to that little town known as Silent Hill. Besides, there's an alternate ending involving aliens...Which is ironic because this game is out of this wo--...Shucks, I already used that one, didn't I? Then, uh....There's an alternate ending involving aliens...So...It's an alternate way to be exposed to extra terrestrial life, rather than receiving an anal probe...Eh, that'll do.

RUNNERS-UP:
R4: Ridge Racer Type 4
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater
Final Fantasy VIII

Chrono Cross

2000

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As much as I like Chrono Trigger, I've always liked Chrono Cross more. I was obsessed with this game and was determined to see every ending and recruit every character...Which I've done both on multiple occasions. I still find it weird that the main character has a Russian name, blue hair, and sports a doo rag...But who am I to judge?

RUNNERS-UP:
Skies of Arcadia
Sin and Punishment: Successor to the Earth
Final Fantasy IX

Grand Theft Auto III

2001

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I honestly didn't think that Grand Theft Auto III would be that good in the months leading up to its release. Boy, was I wrong. Not only was it good, I had a very, very hard time putting it down. And when I did, it was fun watching my roommate play as he'd approach things a different way than I did, but still get the job done. This wide-open world seemed to have limitless possibilities...AND you could pay a hooker, then murder her and take back the money you paid her. For some reason politicians hated this game...But I think they were just jealous that they couldn't do that in real life...Especially that one Governor dude from New York from a few years back...Bet he's real jealous.

RUNNERS-UP:
Conker's Bad Fur Day
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
Castlevania: Circle of the Moon

Suikoden III

2002

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The third Suikoden game is one of those rare titles that I appreciate more with age. When it first came out, I thought it was fun, but wasn't overwhelmed by it...Now, I just love everything about it. The art style, the music, the ability to recruit dozens of characters, the multiple storylines, the extra bonus chapter you unlock for finishing the game with all 108 Stars of Destiny...It's just wonderful. Plus, you get to name the Flame Champion at the start of the game...So, if you want everyone raving about how Prof. Poopskull was the Flame Champion that saved the Grasslands, it's within your ability to make that happen.

RUNNERS-UP:
Metroid Prime
Kingdom Hearts
Animal Crossing

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

2003

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To this day, I'm still happy that Nintendo made this game exactly the way that they did. I honestly enjoyed the child-friendly style and cel-shaded, cartoon-like graphics. They tried something new and different and I applaud them for it. To the snobs that refused to play this game because it was "too kiddy" for them, I've really got one thing to say to 'em - grow up you whiney babies...and considering this was over 15 years ago, you probably have....well, good.

RUNNERS-UP:
Beyond Good & Evil
Panzer Dragoon Orta
Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly

Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

2004

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This game is the third entry in the main Shin Megami Tensei series, and it's a beaut. It's got that "Gotta catch 'em all!" feeling that Pokemon games give, but with catching and fusing demons as your goal, rather than collecting wild animals for you to fight to the death with. The storyline here is fairly basic and not too flashy, but it's enough to compliment the excellent gameplay and very enjoyable combat system. Plus, I don't think there's any other game where you can both battle and team up with a skeleton wearing a matador outfit. That fact alone gives this game top honors for 2004.

RUNNERS-UP:
Katamari Damacy
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Fable

Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King (2005)

2005

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Dragon Quest VIII is a mix of what RPG's used to be along with a bunch of touches to make it also work in the present. The end result was fantastic...A 70+ hour adventure complimented with an interesting story, memorable characters, tremendous graphics, and beautiful musical score. It's also full of British accents...And if there's anything I've learned from the History channel it's that British accents make everything seem more important.

RUNNERS-UP:
God of War
Resident Evil 4
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

2006

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I still seem to be in the minority in that I don't think of this game as an RPG, but rather an adventure game with RPG elements. I'm not, however, in the minority in thinking that this game is absolutely amazing. My favorite aspect of the game is that I had put over 100 hours into this gem before I realized that I hadn't even started the main quest yet. I was too busy doing side quests and just plain exploring that I lost myself in this game's world....I also spent WAY too much time boxing with the wildlife. You haven't lived until you sneak up on a deer and KO it with a single, knockout punch to its anus. I've lived many-a-time.

RUNNERS-UP:
Suikoden V
Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
LocoRoco

Fire Pro Wrestling Returns

2007

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A wrestling game is my pick for 2007? No, Fire Pro Wrestling Returns is far more than a wrestling game, it's an addiction. The amount of customization that you can do in this game boggles the mind and transforms this from just a game to a fun-to-watch simulator, allowing you to book and watch dream matches. The 500 empty slots for custom wrestlers (along with the 300+ wrestlers already in-game) ensures that you won't easily run out of room for making everyone you want. This isn't Smackdown vs. Raw and the casual wrestling fans may not like the steep learning curve, but for diehard wrestling nerds, like yours truly, this is our pocket protector and nasaly voice...For those of us who lack such desirable traits.

RUNNERS-UP:
BioShock
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3
Rogue Galaxy

33


Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

2008

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I had very high expectations for this game...And Hideo Kojima not only went above and beyond them, he shattered 'em into millions of teeny, tiny pieces. The fan service in this game was amazing, and the fact that all the loose ends from the three previous games all seem to come together and get answered here just adds to that. I can't think of a better way for Solid Snake to go out than here in Guns of the Patriots...Though, if his corpse was stuffed in a cardboard box and set out to sea to sneak by the fishies swimming around, that'd be a pretty awesome way to go out, too...But a little demented....We'll put a teddy bear next to the box. Yup, that's better.

RUNNERS-UP:
Fallout 3
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4
Mega Man 9

34


Street Fighter IV

2009

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I've always been a big fan of the Street Fighter franchise, and Street Fighter IV looks radically different from previous entries, yet still stays as easy and fun to play as Street Fighter II. In fact, going off of my memories as a kid, I was performing special moves almost right out of the gate. Yes, Seth may be a big ol' boogerlips, but the rest of the game is absolutely fantastic and proved that the Street Fighter franchise wasn't dead just quite yet. Oh yeah, and a fat guy is in this one. He's fat and loud. And he looks like that dude from Mythbusters...Except fat. He must be tough.

RUNNERS-UP:
Borderlands
Resident Evil 5
Excitebots: Trick Racing

Heavy Rain

2010

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Heavy Rain is one of those rare titles that just sucked me in from beginning to end. The way the game's story morphs ever-so-slightly based on your actions and decisions just makes it fun to go back and play through again and again just to see how differently things might turn out. It's also got a senile old lady in it who you have to try to get some information out of...Slapping her around isn't an option, but shoving an origami dog in her face is...And honestly, forcing origami on people is the way the world should be...Except for when you do so after murdering them. That's just wrong, which is why it's such a treat to bring the jerk in this game that does it to justice.

RUNNERS-UP:
Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey
Deadly Premonition
Red Dead Redemption

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

2011

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Skyrim...Sounds like some sort of urban slang, doesn't it? "Man, those rims are so fly, I'm gonna call 'em skyrims!" Oh yeah, I dabble in the street lingo. I live on a street. I drive on a street to get to work. I'm with it, yo. Anyway, Skyrim, in my humle opinion, wasn't quite as good as Oblivion, but still fantastic. My main problem with the game was the lack of a hand-to-hand skill to level up and strengthen...So my dreams of being Mike Tyson while one of those dragons was Little Mac, didn't quite become the reality I was hoping for. That said, Skyrim is still a fantastic 100+ hour adventure that seemed to give birth to me shooting arrows in the private areas of people just so I can use the line, "Is that an arrow in your crotch or are just happy to see me?"

RUNNERS-UP:
Dead Rising 2
Pokemon Black/White
Mortal Kombat

37


The Cat Lady

2012

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If it weren't for my self-enforced rule of not including remakes/rereleases, Persona 4 Golden would have taken 2012 very easily. But there are rules, and I follow them...like when you chop your arm off in the opening minutes of Cat Lady - that's like a rule. The limb must be removed for the opening credits to roll...kind of like how the severed arm likely rolled. Anyway, like the top runner-up for the year, the Walking Dead, the Cat Lady is an excellent adventure game with gore. What gives Cat Lady the nod, however, is the unique art style, interesting characters, and the fact that I wanted to put a dang PC-exclusive game somewhere on this list, gosh darn it...and it's ironic that I picked a game that isn't exactly "PC" to represent PC games, isn't it? This game stands for yet a 3rd PC, as well - pretty cool. See what I did there?

RUNNERS-UP:
The Walking Dead: Season One
Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Dishonored

BioShock Infinite

2013

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While it saddned me to see the BioShock series leave the underwater utopia known as Rapture, once I laid eyes on Columbia for the first time, I felt like the change in scenery may be a good thing afterall. The floating city provided a wonderful world to explore and while I still prefer Rapture, there's something fascinating about how bright Columbia is visually, yet it's just as dark as Rapture...the darkness just isn't as obvious to see. It also has the songbird flying around most of the game - probably because you'll sing for joy as you play. Personally, I sang like one of the Three Tenors. I'm often described as a young Pavarotti.

RUNNERS-UP:
Spelunky
Shin Megami Tensei IV
The Last of Us

P.T.

2014

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What's this?! A DEMO is my favorite game of 2014?!?! Lay off the question marks and exclamation points, pal. P.T. may be a teaser for Silent Hills, a game that never came to be, but it was also a game (albeit a short one) that had a little bit of a story, an ending, and plenty of psychological creepiness to discover. I don't know how many times I've played through P.T., but it has become a Halloween tradition in my home to play through it at least once. Actually, the tradition created was to play any game that contained a fetus crying in a sink...and P.T. is the only game I know that can fit the bill.

RUNNERS-UP:
Jazzpunk
Hotline Miami
Mario Kart 8

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

2015

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I have mixed feelings about Metal Gear Solid V - on one hand, I absolutely love this game and I put so many hours into doing sidequests and the like. On the other hand, I hate how the story feels unfinished, which is likely due to Kojima leaving Konami before the game was completed. Regardless of a finished story or not, the Phantom Pain is still an amazing game...And a game that allowed me to take one of my favorite screenshots (seen above). There's nothing quite like attaching a sheep to some balloons while simultaneously blowing up a tank in the background.

RUNNERS-UP:
Fallout 4
Mortal Kombat X
Persona 4: Dancing All Night

Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse

2016

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2016 was a strange year - Most of my favorite games were remakes...And honestly, since I like to avoid any news about games I plan on picking up, I thought that Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse was just a remake with added features as well...I was dead wrong. Apocalypse brings you more of what you may have loved from Shin Megami Tensei IV, by continuing the story of SMT4 with some new characters and such added in, along with some nods to the original game. The end result is an absolute joy, especially if you're a fan of the Shin Megami Tensei franchise...Even if the main character has some of the weirdest taste in clothing and hairstyles that I've seen in a game yet. I guess looking like a lawnmower ran over half of your head while napping in the backyard is the hot trend during the apocalypse.

RUNNERS-UP:
No Man's Sky
Final Fantasy XV
Dragon Quest Builders

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

2017

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When I saw that Zelda was going to become an open-world, sandbox-style game, I groaned. I didn't see how that would work well...But, I played it anyway...And I'm so glad I did. Not only did Breath of the Wild surpass all of my expectations, it may have earned itself the title of my favorite Zelda game that I've ever played. Do you want to get everything the game has to offer? Sure, you can do that. Want a challenge, and plan on taking on Ganon right at the start of the game without all of the recommended equipment? Yup, you can do that too. While not having traditional Zelda dungeons to explore was a bit depressing at first, Breath of the Wild proved to be a breath of fresh air for the series. It's like those cans of clean air they sell in China...except a little more exciting to breathe in.

RUNNERS-UP:
Persona 5
Super Mario Odyssey
Cuphead

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