Game of the Year awards are almost never consensus picks. Different gamers like different types of games. Here at Snackbar Games, we have a diverse staff of writers and editors, and between now and the end of the year, they’ll each be telling you, however they choose, about their top ten of ’08. We finish on Christmas Eve with our other new Canadian writer, Chris Lavigne.
In no particular order:
Order Up – With its plethora of terrible minigame collections and abysmal casual games, choosing a Wii game to play sometimes seems like a game of Russian roulette where the bullets-to-blanks ratio has been reversed. Taking a chance with Order Up was rewarded with a very addictive restaurant simulator that restored my faith in Wii kind.
Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People – The humour on Homestarrunner.com stimulates my funny glands like nothing else, so it’s no wonder Strong Bad’s episodic adventures provided some of my favourite gaming moments this year. I could have created my own Teen Girl Squad cartoons for hours. Oh wait, I did.
Fallout 3 – A game that proved having a “main quest” isn’t always necessary as completing Fallout 3’s story left me with a giant feeling of “meh.” My time just randomly exploring the Capitol Wasteland, though, kept me glued to my screen and would have made Fallout 3 a “Best Game of All Time According To Me” contender if so many of the locations hadn’t proved so pointless.
Left 4 Dead – Playing as some people escaping a zombie horde: fun. Playing with friends online against some random, undoubtedly douchebag strangers: more fun. Playing as the zombie horde getting to slaughter the aforementioned douchebag strangers: priceless.
Mario Kart Wii – If there’s a moment in gaming for 2008 that stands out for me as being the most fun, it would have to be every single time I sent a red shell flying into my girlfriend’s kart. It never gets old and Mario Kart never gets not awesome.
LittleBigPlanet – For bringing content creation to the masses with an amazing art style, I hope LBP gets “game of the year” nods from a lot of the media this year. Regardless, it will likely still end up being the game of 2008 with the most long-lasting appeal, the same way Pulp Fiction, GoodFellas and Raiders of the Lost Ark are re-watched more than the Oscar winners of those years.
Rock Band 2 – Though it’s really not different from its predecessor, the inherent wickedness of playing the drums for someone like me who can’t actually play the drums is enough. Guitar Hero: World Tour gets a shout-out for the inclusion of Tool, but Rock Band just feels like a better experience.
Mount & Blade – With the commercial version finally released this year, I got down to playing this “underground” sensation and it’s everything its devoted fans say it is. The mounted combat is absolutely thrilling and storming castles is brilliant. And just when you think you’ve done it all, there’s a platoon of mods to keep it fresh.
Wii Fit – It’s funny how if I tell other gamers I enjoy using my Wii Fit, I’m mocked. But if I tell non-gamers, they’re mesmerized. Whatever. All I know is I’m losing weight and having fun doing it.
Lego Indiana Jones – I almost never finish games all the way to 100%, but Lego Indy had me replaying levels multiple times just to find that one puzzle piece I’d missed the other five playthroughs. That’s either the sign of a great game or the onset of my new obsessive-compulsive disorder.