Honorable Mention: Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
While the game is just too short and not at all enrapturing enough to get the bronze medal in my arcade GOTY awards, it’s definitely a slightly more emotional time than I expected a video game to provide me with. I was almost in tears at the part where *spoiler character* has to *spoiler* his *spoiler character* *spoiler*. I say almost, mind you, ’cause then a giant griffin shows up and completely ruins any emotional trauma that was built up. Otherwise, it’s a great game and Starbreeze should be proud (of Syndicate).
3. World Series of Poker: Full House Pro
While technically it’s a mess complete with horrible lag spikes and constant crashes, the game itself is a joy for poker pros and wannabe amateurs like myself. The systems it employs are rewarding and keep it a fun free-to-play game that encourages skill, as however long you are allowed to play is determined only by your success at the table, and goddamn is that the kind of incentive that kept me playing three months after the game came out.
2. Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon
In what other game can you throw ninja stars, fight dinosaur dragons with laser eyes and make jokes about blow jobs, with triple A graphics and gameplay to boot? Ubisoft nailed this Far Cry 3 spin-off, retaining the quality and technical finesse of its predecessor while finding room for an extremely funny narrative with a protagonist that flips people off in the midst of fire fights. It’s juvenile, it’s raunchy, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun.
1. The Wolf Among Us: Episode 1 Faith
The Big Bad Wolf might’ve seemed like an asshole when you were a kid, but he makes the best protagonist imaginable in The Wolf Among Us. Every character is a real-world rendition of classic fable characters, and makes for an adventure that skews whatever memories of your childhood bedtime stories you thought you had. Telltale Games took everything that made The Walking Dead episodes great and used The Wolf Among Us to illustrate its mastery of the interactive story-telling genre.