It was a contentious fight: Which game of 2010 was the absolute best of the year? But we've reached a conclusion and have, at last, a clear winner.
You've read why Mass Effect 2 deserves to be game of the year. Also why Red Dead Redemption, Call of Duty: Black Ops and NBA 2K11 deserve the nod. Now it's your turn.
Because I tried to please everyone, my Commander Shepard didn't get laid the first time I played Mass Effect 2. Because BioWare tried to please everyone, Mass Effect 2 could be our Game of the Year.
What makes a game a game of the year?
In another universe, they made a box containing Red Dead Redemption that's just for me. The front is familiar. The back, though, boasts the kind of bullet points I might demand of a great video game:
Sports titles just aren't supposed to be game-of-the-year contenders. Their annualized nature sends the message that this year's game, no matter how great, won't be worth owning in 365 days. If anything could rise above that, it is NBA 2K11.
Selecting the best game of the year should be the result of a thoughtful process, not a rush to the finish line.
As the year wraps up and the last of the big games roll out it's time to start our debate, the debate about what was the single greatest game of the year.
It's been a well-fought discussion: Which game was the hand's down best title of 2009. But all good fights have to end, hopefully with a clear winner.
There aren't many ways that the multimillion-selling Assassin's Creed II can be seen as an underdog, but in a discussion of 2009's Game of the Year, it's the dark horse.
The brilliantly immersive Demon's Souls, unfortunately known better for its brutal difficulty than its rebellious game design, is my choice for the title most deserving of the accolade "Game of the Year."
I think Uncharted 2 was the best game of 2009. By a country mile. Why? Because Uncharted 2 was also 2009's best action movie.