Kotaku's PC Game Of The Year -- The Results Are In!

Two weeks ago we asked for nominations, A week ago we asked you to vote. Now, we're revealing the winners. [Begins drum roll...]

Reader's Choice

And the winner is... The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Well, that's two for two so far, and in a year where quite a few PC exclusives and PC focused games were released — games like The Witcher 2, Portal 2, and Battlefield 3 for example — Skyrim has still triumphed. You could argue that it's a shame a PC exclusive didn't win but, then again, it's hard to argue that Skyrim doesn't deserve the plaudits so jolly well done!

Winner: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Runner Up: Portal 2

Editor's Choice

Mark

Oh bloody hell, I really don't want to choose the exact same two games I choose yesterday for the best console game, but considering the fact that both of my choices yesterday in the Console Game of the Year also came out on the PC, it's pretty difficult not to go down that route. Tragically I barely touched The Witcher 2, and as much as I enjoyed the great PC Indie games released this year, I don't think any of them came close to Skyrim or Portal 2.

Normally I like to try and choose two different games from the readers, to give other games some shine, but in this case I'd just be blatantly lying about my favourite games of the year and I don't want to do that!

So, sorry folks, I'm going to be extremely boring and go for the obvious choices. I know, I suck. Winner: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Runner Up: Portal 2

Tracey

Kan Gao's To The Moon tells a story that is worth hearing. It's delicate, it's touching, at times it is outlandish and funny. My love for it comes from its ability to reach deep inside my brain and gently stroke at the part that is rarely activated by video games — while I am in the game world I am thinking about the real world, while I am watching the main character, John, travel back through his memories to unravel his life and relationships I find myself thinking of my own memories, my own life, my own relationships.

It is mildly terrifying that a game that appears so simple on the surface can pull me so deep into its world while it enters mine. It makes me feel a bit uncomfortable, it's confronting, but it is so wonderful and powerful that I willingly invite To The Moon into my life. For this reason it is my PC game of the year.

Winner: To The Moon Runner Up: Online Mahjong


Comments

    "Runner Up: Online Mahjong"

    This is awesome :-)

      I am pretty clever!

        Really? Online mahjong??? The single-player campaign was AWFUL!!!

          And the limited keybinding options and inability to set FOV just scream console port. For shame, Tracey.

            Y'all are clearly playing the wrong version. It was bananas.

              But was it DX11 bananas? Because we all know it's not a true PC game otherwise.

            On a more serious note, why are so many "MahJong" games that tile matching nonsense?

            Real MahJong involves four players and lots of yelling. How they managed to get from that to what most Westerners know as MahJong is something that truly baffles me.

              Because if they incorporated all that yelling into the online game someone would have to call the cops.

                I'm guessing you don't get on Xbox Live much, although the yelling in MahJong is much more fun. Fewer mentions of "Mexican Jew lizards" and whatnot.

    I feel bad for PC Arkham City. It coulda had class. It coulda been a contender. It coulda been somebody, instead of buggy, which is what it is, let's face it. :p

      Really? I'm 1/3 through my download, was looking forward to B:AC.

        Most people can run it flawlessly in dx9 and a dx11 patch is incoming, but I ain't most people. ;)

          Oh. That's OK then. :) Bring on the Batman!

            Don't mind me either, from the little I've played it's exceptional. I'm only so worked up about it 'cause I wanna play the damn thing. :D

      I've gotta watch "On The Waterfront" again now..

      Love the On the Waterfront there Mr C.

        I thought a movie quote would off set my whining a little. ;)

          But you STILL used a tongue-out face! Reminds me of a line in Once Upon a Time in the West:

          "How can you trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders? The man can't even trust his own pants."

      The moment I screwed around with the cmd prompt to unlock my 3.5 gig of RAM like Arkham City should've been doing in the first place and stopped the damn game crashing every hour or so the game because amazing. But I shouldn't have had to do that shit in the first place.

      With BF3, Skyrim and Skyward Sword to contend with, plus SWTOR coming out soon, I'm not even going to be thinking about Batman (or Assassin's Creed) till next year. Might not be such a bad choice by the sounds of it.

    Thanks for the variety, Tracey. I'll go hunting for to the moon as soon as I have a spare moment.
    Personally, I think we should do console/pc exclusives for the individual awards with an open field including multi-platforms for game of the year.
    Skyrim is a PC game first and foremost and playing it on console is a poor substitute.

      You can get the game here or try the 1-hr free trial: http://freebirdgames.com/to_the_moon/

      It works out to be around $12.70, and I really think it's well worth it.

      Emily Morganti from Adventure Gamers gave To the Moon 4/5 just today too, definitely smacks of quality.

      Judging from the lack of customisation options (nothing above 1080p, really?), lack of DX11 support, lack of Creation Kit (I know it's incoming, but not soon enough), and horrible menu control scheme, I'd say Skyrim was a console game first and foremost, and a PC game second

        Your arguement raises the question; What makes a child, its DNA or its upbringing. At the core of Skyrim is a lineage of PC brilliance. Just because this was developed (and comprimised, in terms of UI, but we're on PC, we have mods yo!) for consoles, does not make it a console game in my eyes.

      "Skyrim is a PC game first and foremost and playing it on console is a poor substitute."

      A good game stands out regardless of its platform. So no, it is not a substitute, it is an alternative.

      But anyhow, it would be a good idea have have a exclusive branch - but with so many games being multiplatform what candidates will one get? The only current excluive I can think of (off the top of my head) is Uncharted 3, Gears of War 3 (though I could be wrong) and Resistance 3.

    I can live with these choices.

    Everyone is different though and so different games will appeal to different folk. If you enjoy it - play it.

    So, any news on Skyrim PC mods yet? *cheesy grin*

    Hahaha, totally called it. Knew this would happen. Who knows how different things would be if Skyrim came out in January instead of November? Well, I guess it partially deserves the awards, it is certainly a great game.

    Shame about poor Portal 2 though. Not to mention all those other very deserving games that I didn't play this year.

    Durrrr Skyrim won. What are the odds.

    I wonder how this would have panned out had this particular popularity contest not been conducted right at the height of Skyrim fever.

    I think the categories need to be shaken up a fair bit for 2012. Do we really need to look at ISPs and Mobile providers? Your ISP is usually whoever is cheapest and available in your area, and most people are locked into mobile contracts anyway. What's the difference between 'mobile' games and 'downloadable' games, given that all the smartphone games are downloaded?

    Too the moon has got to be one of the darkest stories I've 'read/experianced/witnessed' since maybe bioshock.

    Purely of what such an invention, the power to go back and re-write memories, means for humanity. Imagine, just for a moment, that such a thing was possible. That you could go back and just re-write the script, throw out whole paragraphs and chapters, add in new ones. Whats the point of existing if you're just gonna change the journey at the end?

    Your last thoughts of you aren't of 'you' but of 'fanfic you'. You, who did all these great, amazing things, except you didn't. Oh, sure, its given to people on the tail end of the tail end of life, but it just makes everything seem so hollow.

    I walked away from it with a bad taste in my mouth, not because it was a bad story, because its a good story, but because of the connotations presented by it.

    Good choice, Tracey.

    Also, Skyrim PC masterace cawadooty blows.

      Precisely -- it's such an uncomfortable game to play not because it's bad, but because it's good. It's SO good at presenting us with an alternate reality where we can re-write our memories and that's... spooky. There's something a bit Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind to it. I wanted to stop playing because I didn't want to see any more, but I couldn't stop playing because my curiosity got the better of me.

        I must play this game.

        Kotaku, y u no have edit button?

        Is the game long? I have enough games to play right now but I'm intrigued...

          It's short.

    Disappointed not to see The Witcher 2 anywhere for this category. Australia confirmed for casuals.

      I've already put 110 hours into Skyrim, but unfortunately I haven't touched The Witcher 2 yet, so I MUST be a casual gamer, right?

      Why do people have to find excuses for why Skyrim won and X didn't, when it's a great game?

    Well, that was a disappointment.

    Can someone help me out?

    When I turn on the ignition in my car, I just need you to close the garage doors - close 'em up real tight! - and tell the neighbours I've gone away for the weekend; tell 'em I've gone hiking in the mountains near the old farmhouse, behind Wild Fox River. Tell 'em I may be gone for some time.

    Later, in the radiant orange-yellow glow of twilight sunset, you'll hear the engine cut out real sudden. That's what you'll hear: the sound of an engine cutting out real sudden. Don't open the garage door.

    You go to a pay phone near the warehouse behind the old cinema building near the harbour. You call an ambulance. You tell 'em there's been a terrible accident at the ol' Plainview residence. You hang up fast. And you walk.

    You walk away like everything depended on it. You don't look back. You make believe like you don't remember a god damn thing. Like nothing. Not a thing. Nothing.

    Forever in the Wild Fox River Mountains,

    Plainview.

      TL;DR version? You're disappointed so you're going to go kill yourself..?

        Well, Macgarnical, Plainview is dead! Gased himself from here to here!

    Can we have these awards later in the year for the next batch of awards & allow the games time to breathe?
    Would have much better having the awards mid december, that way most big games would have sunk in properly & therefore a clearer decision can be made

    Poor Portal 2 barely stood a chance. Skyrim had just come out when this poll was done.

    Bit disappointing about Skyrim. It's good and all, but the best? Hmmm. I was disappointed with Portal 2 as a game too. :(

      Disappointed in Skyrim AND Portal 2? What was your GOTY, MW3?

      The above is a joke, but what was it? :O

        Deus Ex: Human Revolution

          That's what I voted for too. Even though there were some definite problems, I hadn't been fully immersed in a game world like for some time. Taking in all the little details. Amazing. First game from a new studio too, which always makes me happy. Can't wait to see what they'll do next.

            Another game I really need to finish, I was really enjoying it. It's getting really hard though now, so many guards... been doing a no kill run on the hardest difficulty. And I killed someone like 10 hours in with a robot not knowing that affected the achievement so I'm not even gonna get some shiny pixels to show off!

              I was playing in offline mode and for some reason all my achievements were deleted when I logged into Steam. Not the end of the world. Atleast that's how I sleep at night. ;)

                Ouch! I'd like to know how far I'm in, I've put a decent amount of hours in but only played out one -- maybe two -- boss fights. Wait, yeah, two. Most recently was *SPOILERS* the one in the server room with the woman who is always stealthed. *SPOILERS*. Do I have THAT much to go? Feels like I do.

                  You're probably over half way through if I remember correctly, but it's been a fair while so might not be 100% on the structure.

              My vote as well. Deus Ex is being robbed here (and I say that as someone with just under 100 hours put into Skyrim so far).

              I hope to see some more of these GOTY polls done in late December or January when the initial Skyrim fever has passed.

    Oh come on, Skyrim wasn't THAT GOOD...

    Eh, over skyrim, just couldn't get into it.

    Saints row 3 on the other hand I've put 50 hours into and co-op is amazing. GOTY for me, portal 2 was close though.

    LOL!, YESSSS SKYRIMMMMMMM FTW

    I'll join the chorus: Skyrim's a wee bit overrated, and I think the votes were swung in release week hype. It's no one's fault, I just think that if we had a little bit more time to let the excitement settle that the results may be different.

    Skyrim - in my 10 or so hours with it at least - seems like Oblivion with a new coat of paint and more intuitive UI. The game world is amazing, but the awkward animations, dull AI and monotone voice acting have me feeling that this isn't the GOTY of 2011.

    I've written some initial impressions: http://bitmob.com/articles/skyrim-is-ruled-by-deeds-not-words

    It's a great game, but there isn't anything here that amazed and bewildered me as much as Oblivion did. I'll never forget when I first emerged from the sewers and saw those lush greens, and that frightnening expanse ahead. Skyrim is good, but it's no Oblivion.

    I've already sunk enough hours into skyrim to finish most new games. Well over 40 now and most of that I've been distracted by the insanely awesome world.

    Skyrim is omfg good.

    "Ohh there.. once was a hero named Ragna the Red, who came riding..."

    teehee - after my first few hours of running around in Whiterun, that song bugged the b'jeezuz out of me, so I wander down to the stables to catch a ride to some distant town that I have not visited yet.

    And just as we pull out out of the stables and the screen starts to fade to black, the coachman, under his breath and in a toneless rasp, starts up "oh there once was a hero named Ragnar the Red....." - fade out

    Utterly priceless

    Ehhh. As good as Skyrim is, Portal 2 is just way better than anything else this year.

    *Opinions*

    Really need to give To the Moon a go though. Got a two and half week break over Christmas so hopefully I can squeeze it in amongst all my other backlog clearing gaming.

    LOL Skyrim, Skyrim and an indie game. They only put that indie game there so people wouldn't think Kotaku is being biased and to prevent people saying that other games could've been there too besides Skyrim. But after all I WANT SKYRIM!!!>:(

    Portal 2 was a good game, but in my opinion I can't see it being a Game of the Year. Even if Portal 2 had been released last month and Skyrim released on January 1st I would still easily put Skyrim above Portal 2 as the better of the two games.
    As to whether or not Skyrim deserves a "Game of the Year" award? I know it does for me, but I haven't played every game that came out this year. I still have Portal installed to my harddrive, but a month or so ago I deleted Portal 2 from my harddrive because I hadn't played it since maybe a week after I beat it. Skyrim is likely something I'll be playing for years to come. (I still play Morrowind every so often.)

    Suggestion for next year? Best PC game, Best Console game...and Best Multiplatform game?

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