Game Of The Year

Game Of The Year

So, this is the big one. Which game did you vote as Kotaku game of the year?

Reader’s Choice

Borderlands 2: 12.6%

Wow, talk about a crazy turn of events. I truly did not see this coming. Our results, this year, have been all over the shop. After Far Cry 3 won the best PC game, and Mass Effect 3 won best console game, I half expected either of those games to win. Looks as though the powers of PC and console combined to chose a completely different winner.

Runners Up
The Walking Dead: 11.16%
Far Cry 3: 9.09%

Editor’s Choice

Trials Evolution

Well, at least I’m consistent. I’ve chosen Trials Evolution as my game of the year in Indie/Downloadable, Console and now I’ve decided to make it my overall game of the year.

Trials Evolution may not have been the most important game released this year — both Journey and The Walking Dead will arguably have more impact — but it’s undoubtedly the game I enjoyed most. It’s the game I spent the most time with, the game I was most engaged by. It’s the game that felt most like a game, whatever that even means.

Trials Evolution perfectly represents that elusive mechanic: the skill that’s easy to pick up and impossible to master. Anyone can play Trials, anyone — but getting good at Trials Evolution requires practice. Things that initially seem impossible become workable through practice, and the acquisition of a genuine skill.

Make no mistake — Trials Evolution is brutal, but it’s never unfair. Never. It’s rule set is rigid, but flexible enough to reward creativity. Trials Evolution can be a performance, like shuffling across a tightrope. You can dazzle people in Trials Evolution. There were points where I would show a friend or a member of my family how to complete a certain section of a track, they couldn’t understand how it could be done. They simply hadn’t learned how to do that particular thing yet. Top players have made me feel the same way. How is that possible? How can these things be achieved with just two triggers and an analogue stick.

Trials Evolution has the deepest set of controls I’ve ever used, but on the surface they are so simple. And that is the foundation of one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had as a gamer.

Runners Up

Staff Picks

Danny Allen, Publisher:

Game of the year? Mass Defect? Journey (to vagina mountain)? Pfft… It’s FIFA 13, naturally. Once I found the Legacy Defending option in the wireless controller settings that is. I just haven’t been bothered to get my head around the new Tactical Defending setup – but then again, I’m also the guy who watched an entire season of Mad Men on fast forward. After honing my skills in the new load screen mini games, I’ve schooled (and been schooled by) Serrels – and almost beat FIFA guru Junglist at an EA event. It’s become a Friday afternoon institution here at the Allure offices. And if you want the joy of kicking my arse (and you will), you can find me on PSN @dannytravels.

Ben White, Technology Manager

Battlefield 3
Yeah, I’m that guy. I totally loved Journey, The Walking Dead, Hotline Miami – but every time I sit down after a long day of code, I want nothing more than to grind out to the next unlock.

I was quite late to the game (well overdue hardware upgrade), and was pretty disappointed by the dull, tacked-on singleplayer. The multiplayer on the other hand, is close to my heart.

Other games reward you for being ‘good’. They reward you for practice, persistence and skill. You spend your precious gaming time perfecting your aim, your movement. You become intimate with the intricacies of your arsenal and the environment. If you die, it’s usually because the other player is better than you.

PFFT LOL who has time for that!? (Sure, I sunk 230+ hours into Skyrim, but hey… Skyrim)

Battlefield rewards you for playing the objective. Working as a team, supporting your fellow players. You don’t have to be good at shooting stuff (although it helps). There is very tangible progress – even if you only have time to play a few maps – all of this making it the perfect ‘dad game’.

I give it 10 out of 10 dads.

(Editor’s note: I realise Battlefield 3 came out in 2011, but I’ll allow it because Ben is a sleep deprived Dad and I envy his dense, disheveled beard.)

Luke Hopewell, Gizmodo Editor

For me, 2012 wasn’t a particularly stellar year for games. Everything I played I ultimately found disappointing. There wasn’t anything new for me. It was just boring sequel after boring sequel with the same predictable gameplay that at one point actually made me hate games for a while, leaving me with nothing to do as far as recreation was concerned. That all changed a few weeks ago when I picked up Journey from the PlayStation Store.

You’ve heard so many people talk about the fact that Journey is an amazing game, and all of them are speaking absolute sense. It’s the closest thing I have played to the perfect game in all my life. Very rarely does one of these beautiful, perfectly formed games come along that not only serves to entertain, but also to teach you about yourself and others.

It’s a game that’s fun to play, beautiful beyond measure and incredibly profound. It didn’t take me long to complete, but I still haven’t stopped learning lessons it taught me.


  • The Luke Hopewell guy is a handsome and intelligent fellow with impeccable taste.

    Everyone else is just wrong.

    Fanboys gunna fan.

  • Borderlands 2 would be my GOTY followed closely by Max Payne 3 only because they are the only two games i bought brand new this year.

    Next year should be a bit better with GTA V, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Carmageddon: Reincarnation and Rise of The Triad all on my games radar.

    I might buy Far Cry 3 on the weekend so this might change.

  • So many amazing games. But there’s only one game this year that I recommend to everybody who hasn’t played it, it would be Journey.

    It’s not a game you can spend hundreds, or even tens of hours on, it’s a short and incredibly moving experience that made me realise that games can offer so much more than they currently do. Unlike many other awesome games that I’ve loved but ultimately faded into the background, the memory of Journey is going to stay with me for years to come.

  • I think everybody loves Borderlands 2 (aside from Handsome Jack and the humour) because it draws players together. Rather then like Halo or CoD, which drives them apart.

  • At least this years awards has a lot more variety than the Skyrim sweep last year, I liked Borderlands 2 I should return one day but my shame pile says no.

    • Better hurry up, I got back into it last night and I noticed that players didn’t immediately join the game like they used to.

    • Either play when the DLC drops or get some friends to roll new characters. It’s a game that is meant to be played co-operatively.

  • I’m sorry, but there’s a pretty obvious error in this article. The correct answer was “Journey”. Please fix it. Thanks.

  • So Borderlands is really that good? I must admit I never even glanced at it because the concept of a first person Diablo-alike sounded kind of dull.

    • I hate Diablo like games, but I enjoyed playing it with my brother (who is a Diablo fan). Most people say it’s better in co-op and I don’t think I’d get into it by myself.

      One thing that many people didn’t like was the constant loot comparing, something I loath in particular even in less loot heavy games. My brother loves that stuff so I just let him look through all the loot, he’d narrow it right down and point out anything that I should have a look at for my character build to see if it was an upgrade. He also took care of handling all the quest management and figuring out where we were going, so I could just sit back and enjoy myself shooting things.

      So my advice to fellow Diablo haters is to play it co-op with a Diablo fan.

      • I did exactly this with Gran Turismo 1, 2, 3 & 4 with my older brother. He worked out the cars and I raced them. A great division of the labor!

        • Yeah, I mean, I heard the name floating around but I heard it was just another True Crime game so I didn’t bother investigating, then a friend bought it for me and told me it was amazing, and he was not wrong. It did everything right in my opinion, I tried playing GTA 4 right after and the whole time wishing things in GTA worked more like they did in Sleeping Dogs.

  • Borderlands 2 wins the Reader’s Choice with 12.6% of the vote? I wonder if a better voting system should be use. (Mind you, I’m not criticising the game, just the fact that it was chosen as the winner with a small percentage of the total vote.)

    • It was done by poll with practically every eligible game listed. The vote was always going to be reasonably low and I think every winner this year had less than 20% of the vote.

      The only way to get higher numbers would be to make the voting system a lot more complicated, either by having preferences (which is a pain to count) or preliminary polls to limit the titles that get voted on.

      • Yeah with so many titles you are spot on. The alternative is that Mark comes up with a short list but that is in itself restricting. At least this way the game with the largest proportion wins, and the counting is much easier. At the end of the day, the comments here give me more of a guide to what is good than the result. You can see people passionate about a particular game and as this year was amazingly good, I’m ok with that.

  • Interestingly two of my four choices are up there (Borderlands 2 and Trials Evolution) the other two are Fez for being a fun game with a unique idea and Transformers: Fall of Cybertron for basically being a MP game that has gotten more play in my house than any other (Before this it was BF3 – I agree being a Dad myself, it’s a great Dad Game!) and bear in mind I recently got Black Ops II and Halo 4 and Transformers still gets more action.

    Special mention would have to be Quantum Conundrum which is a great game (and you have John deLancie talking you through it so why wouldn’t it be great) but ultimately it feels too derived from Portal to stand out above my other choices.

    Has 2012 been a good year for games, I tally it up by the number of titles I bought from that year:

    I have 12 games from this year in my collection, 5 of those XBLA
    I have 19 games from 2011 in my collection, 5 of those also XBLA

    Given I don’t tend to waste money on games I think will be shite, on balance 2011 was probably better, although it’s fair to say, a lot more came out in 2011, 2012 had some real dry months in April, then from June to August

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!