When the year began, this was the game I was most looking forward to playing. So for it to appear in my Game of the Year list is hardly surprisingly, although its final ranking is perhaps ultimately a disappointment. To me, Bethesda’s reinvention of the Black Isle classic is a glorious failure.7. Fallout 3 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
I loved exploring this carrion world, picking through the senseless ruins and unearthing fragments of a forgotten civilisation or a tube of wonder glue.
I loved discovering locations off the beaten track, away from the defined quest goals, and encountering pockets of fragile hope and desperate tragedy.
I loved the slo-mo VATS close-ups of my character crouched in the shadows in her recon armour, grinning under her stormchaser hat with increasingly sadistic pleasure at each pull of the sniper rifle trigger.
I loved scavenging for bobbleheads and bottle caps and decking out my Megaton shack as best I could.
I loved simply surviving.
I hated every moment I had to speak to someone and expose myself to the inept “moral dilemmas” at the heart of every verbal interaction.
Fallout 3 is Bethesda at their very best – and yet at their very worst. But such is the power and freedom of their design ethos, it’s entirely possible to ignore the latter and just get on with whatever it is you really want to do.