YEAR-END LISTS ARE A JOKE.
The pointlessness of year-end lists astounds me. Every year the videogame journals, writers, newspapers and industry mags all get together and have a big circle J all over the hottest games of the year. Usually, this would be fine. The best games should get put into a compiled list of a who’s who as it were, and as such direct people to games that should be played because of such and such reason.
Does this happen? No. HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I SEEN HALO ON A BEST OF LIST?? Obviously too many, seeing as I used the caps lock and all. Year-end, top whatever and best of lists are a joke. All these lists use for data are sales figures and fan boy forum spewings. One of the best games of the decade was NOT Halo. It was NOT Dead or Alive. When you say game of the century, or game of the decade, it should be something innovative. Something that speaks to the minds of the players, but also that gives the industry something NEW to chew on. Super Mario 64 is a game of the decade. Pokemon is a game of the century. Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter 2, Everquest. How about Unreal freakin’ Tournament? How about Doom, or Wolfenstein 3D? These are all games that gave us something new, something wonderful that has been applied to countless other games. What irks me the most is that the top lists are controlled by the market. Just because a game sells well doesn’t mean its that great. Halo is a shooter. I’ve played it—it was good. Hell it was great, but it wasn’t anything better than Doom was back in the day.
My point is, top game lists should be full of awe-inspiring games, games that push the envelope, games that make us all sit up as a sub-culture and go “woah…sweet…” or something to that effect. Graphics do not a game of the year make. A game of the year would be GTA Vice City, a game of the decade would be GTA3. GTA3 changed the face of games as we know it. We now have so many GTA clones that they are starting to push out other innovative games. Strange how that works, isn’t it? We should stop looking at game companies and game publications for our game choices. Look to your Internet forums. Look to your trusted webzines. Look to anything that actually takes the consumer in mind, and not just the technology or the design. Games made with a lot of love, sweat, tears and pain can still suck. The real test of a game of the century is if people still buy and play it or its predecessors decades into the future.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go back to playing Super Mario Bros. 3 on my GBA SP.