Kotaku's Game Of The Year Nominations

Illustration for article titled ​emKotaku/ems Game Of The Year Nominations

The year is finally over. The games have all come out, and boy did we play them. Now, it's time to decide which one wins the honor of being named Kotaku's Game of the Year.

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Here's how we're going to do GOTY stuff in this, the year of 2013. The GOTY conversation will be split into two parts. First, a collection of our nominees, which is the post you're reading right now. On December 30, we'll announce our official Game of the Year pick.

Between now and then, we'll leave the nominations open. A lot of our writers have nominations to make and games to argue for. Before the 30th, each regular Kotaku writer will read the arguments below this post, check out the games they haven't played and make a vote. Whichever game gets the most votes win.

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Readers are welcome to participate in the nomination process. If you'd like to nominate a game that hasn't yet been nominated yet below, please do so! Nothing would make us happier than a reader making a case for their favorite game so convincingly that it gets members of our staff to vote for it.

If you're going to make your own nomination, please first make sure there isn't already a nomination post for the game—if there is, just add your thoughts below. Duplicate posts won't be the end of the world, but it'd be good to keep the nominations as tight as possible.

Once you've decided to write, please use the following template. It's important to follow the template closely, as it'll make it easy for us to pull your comment out and possibly run it on the front page of Kotaku.

IMAGE [Pref 970x546]

Why [game name] should be game of the year: Write your argument. Keep your first paragraph short and to the point.

Platform(s): List the various ways people can play the game.

Everyone ready? Okay. Below, find our nominations for Game of the Year, 2013:

Update 12/26: Nominations are now closed. To vote for the Reader's Choice award, head over here.

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DISCUSSION

kirkhamilton
Kirk Hamilton

Why The Last of Us Should Be Game Of The Year: Welp. Here I am, nominating the game that'll probably be near the top of just about every GOTY list on the internet. What a cliché I am.

(That's fitting, since I spent so much of my review of The Last of Us talking about its thorough embrace of post-apocalyptic cliché. Though for the record, I spent a lot more time talking about how very good it all is.)

This game… this game. I love it not only for its storytelling, its acting and its wonderful music; not just for its wickedly well-done combat and surprisingly great multiplayer; nor for its striking, subtle script and pitch-perfect ending. I do love it for those reasons, but I also love it because somehow, it feels so improbable.

Time and again we critics talk about the chasm between big-budget games and other blockbuster media, about how Hollywood regularly manages to put out hot-ticket movies and TV shows—your Gravitys, your The Lord of the Ringes, not to mention your Breaking Bads and your Game of Throneses—that manage to successfully mix bombastic action with good writing and memorable characters.

Blockbuster games, as evidenced by, well, almost every big-budget action game made in the last ten years, somehow always manage to fall a bit (or a lot) short in this regard. We forgive them their failings and let them lean on the medium's inherent strengths—and games are exceedingly difficult to make, we remind ourselves—but in terms of character development, of thematic writing, of narrative arc… they do tend to fall short.

The Last of Us didn't fall short. It accomplished precisely what its creators set out to accomplish. It was about love and companionship in the face of a world-turned-nightmare. It was about the horror of survival, and about the gnawing fear that accompanies scarcity. It was about loss and coping, about why we choose to continue living when all hope is lost. It will remain a noteworthy accomplishment for years to come, not because any one of its accomplishments was all that remarkable on its own, but because together they made it seem possible that blockbuster games this good might one day become regular—though never ordinary—occurrences.

For that, and for so many other reasons I've already elucidated upon,The Last of Us deserves to be Kotaku's Game of the Year.