Read Up: Critical Distance compiles a weekly round-up of the best games writing around—and today they published a round-up of some the best games writing of the year. Definitely worth perusing: it's been a fantastic year for games criticism. You might even find a new site or author worth following, to boot.
I had to immediately disregard the list after seeing the author, Eric Swain, list his own work. However, I did read the entire article and my first impression based on the subject matter of the articles and the repetition of certain authors — and the glaring omission of others — is that the list, and the site itself, is more of a cliquish, self-referential advertisement for a certain group of authors who are granted, and in turn grant, authority as "critics" through the cronyism of their own social network. It's the same sort of closed-off, gate-keeping mentality that destroys credibility in any niche genre, publication or field.