So this GOTY talk has reminded me of a conversation I heard on the Bill Simmons Report about the Oscars last year. Bill and his podcast guest, Alan Sepinwall I think, were talking about how the Oscars get it wrong for the major categories. (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, etc.) They both brought up the point that a films, actors, or directors impact can't be properly judged a few months after a films release.
We all know the Oscar travesties over the years, you know classic films like Casino, Goodfellas, and Shawshank Redemption didn't win but nameless films like Shakespeare in Love wins over Saving Private Ryan. A movie that has served as the de facto way to do war movies and has served as the basis for modern videogame FPS. (The last part shouldn't count but still...)
The point of their discussion was that there should be a longer waiting period, they thought five years for films, so that a movies true impact could be judged. Thinking about it I think there is something to that. Would Social Network lose to the Kings Speech if given more time, probably not. As far as games I think two years gives us enough perspective to properly judge a game's impact.
Looking back at 2010 the three best games of that year were Red Dead Redemption, Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Mass Effect 2. At the time I honestly believed that Super Mario Galaxy was the best of those three. It definitely had the highest metacritic score of the three and the most perfect scores. How many gaming websites gave that game a Ten? Red Dead was my runner-up. Loved the way the game portrayed the wild west. The horse riding awesome and the story, with the notable exception of some of Mexico, was awesome. That being said, Mass Effect 2 was the best choice. We still talk about that game today. The characters were more memorable, the missions were more awesome to do, especially the suicide mission, and most of the sidequests were just so much fun to do. It was a game that many of us didn't want to end and a game that many of us replayed several times.