Archive for the 'Game of the Year poll' Category

A Game of the Year 2012 Poll: Results

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

CLICK HERE TO JUMP TO THE PRETTY COLOR-CODED FULL RESULTS

This explanation will look a lot like that of previous years, but:

Every year since 2004 I’ve been hosting this Game of the Year poll for the users of some forums I read. There are a lot of GOTY polls out there, but this one I think is kind of special. Most polls, you’re given a list of four or five options and you’re asked to pick the one you liked best. This poll, people are given a list of a couple of hundred options, consisting of every new game released in the previous year– and asked to rate their top ten or twenty.

This does a few interesting things. First off, we get to see all the information about what people’s second, third etc choices are. Second off, because the second, third etc choices count, people are more likely to vote for the game they want to win, rather than the game they think is likely to win– they’re less likely to engage in “strategic voting”. Finally, because we have all this information, we’re actually able to provide somewhat reasonable rankings for something like the top hundred or so games of last year.

The full results– showing the exact number of voters who ranked each game first, second, third place etc– can be found here. In the meantime, the final results were:

  1. The Walking Dead (3440) *** GAME OF THE YEAR ***
  2. XCOM: Enemy Unknown (3022)
  3. Mass Effect 3 (2730)
  4. FTL: Faster Than Light (2676)
  5. Borderlands 2 (2671)
  6. Dishonored (1625)
  7. Hotline Miami (1551)
  8. Journey (1532)
  9. Diablo 3 (1480)
  10. Sleeping Dogs (1465)
  11. Mark of the Ninja (1436)
  12. Spec Ops: The Line (1352)
  13. Far Cry 3 (1313)
  14. Xenoblade Chronicles (1195)
  15. Torchlight 2 (1191)
  16. Guild Wars 2 (1113)
  17. Frog Fractions (1078)
  18. Assassin’s Creed 3 (994)
  19. Halo 4 (868)
  20. Legend of Grimrock (757)

The numbers in parentheses are the final scores each game got under the poll’s ranking system. Thanks if you voted, and some more elaborate analysis of the results (plus an explanation of the scores) can be found below.

NOTEWORTHY WINNERS

  • GOTY 2012:

    #1, The Walking Dead

  • Top-ranked PC Exclusive:

    #4, FTL: Faster than Light

  • Top-ranked PS3 Exclusive:

    #8, Journey

  • Top-ranked game for a Console Download Service:

    #8, Journey

  • Top-ranked Wii Exclusive:

    #14, Xenoblade Chronicles

  • Top-ranked Browser Game:

    #17, Frog Fractions

  • Top-ranked 360 Exclusive:

    #19, Halo 4

  • Top-ranked WiiU Exclusive:

    #27, New Super Mario Bros. U

  • Top-ranked 3DS Exclusive:

    #36, Kid Icarus: Uprising

  • Top-ranked Vita Exclusive:

    #71, Gravity Rush

  • Top-ranked Smartphone Exclusive:

    #91, SpaceTeam

  • Top-ranked RPG:

    #3, Mass Effect 3

  • Top-ranked “Indie” Game:

    #4, FTL: Faster than Light

  • Top-ranked FPS:

    #5, Borderlands 2

  • “Cult” Award (see below):

    #14, Xenoblade Chronicles

  • Top-ranked H-Game?

    #72, Katawa Shoujo

NOTEWORTHY LOSERS

  • Best game of 2012 which somehow nobody considered to be their #1 pick: #25, Penny Arcade: On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3
  • Worst game of 2012 that at least one person considered their #1 pick: Three-way tie between three games tied for the #260 slot: “Carrier Command: Gaea Mission”; “OFF”; and NCAA Football 13. Each of these games got only one vote, but each of these voters considered it their game of the year.
  • Worst game of 2012: Two-way tie between the games tied for #331: “War of the Human Tanks” and Fingle. Both of these games scored only one vote each, each from someone who considered it their 20th best game of the year.

There were a whole 57 games on the nominations list that no one voted for at all.

ALTERNATE SCORING METHODS

The rankings listed above are based on a version of the Borda count voting method. Each vote cast for a game gives that game a certain number of points. If someone ranks a game #1, that game gets 20 points. If they rank it #2, the game gets 19 points. If they rank it #3 the game gets 18 points… and so on. I have a script that checks a couple of alternate ways of ranking the same data, though.

For example, if we rank games only by the number of first place votes they got, the top three remain the same but the rest of the list changes dramatically, with a whole bunch of indie games suddenly in the top 20. I bolded entries that are different in the first-place-votes count:

First Past the Post

  1. The Walking Dead (70)
  2. XCOM: Enemy Unknown (48)
  3. Mass Effect 3 (33)
  4. Xenoblade Chronicles (28)
  5. Borderlands 2 (26)
  6. Journey (23)
  7. Dishonored (18)
  8. FTL: Faster Than Light (16)
  9. Hotline Miami (15)
  10. Guild Wars 2 (13)
  11. Sleeping Dogs (12)
  12. Spec Ops: The Line (11)
  13. Dragon’s Dogma (9)
  14. Crusader Kings II (8)
  15. Hexagon / Super Hexagon (6)
  16. Halo 4 (6)
  17. Far Cry 3 (6)
  18. Dustforce (5)
  19. Fez (5)
  20. Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward (4)
  21. Planetside 2 (4)
  22. Kid Icarus: Uprising (4)

Most years when I look at the first-past-the-post list a “cult” game emerges that received very few overall votes, but where an overwhelming percentage of those votes were #1 votes (I think of this as the “Persona award”); this year the standout seems to be XenoBlade Chronicles, which was at a pretty okay #14 in the normal rankings but skyrockets to #4 in the FPTP rankings. Also of possible note here are Dragon’s Dogma, which jumped from #24 to #13, and “Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward”, a game I’ve honestly never heard of, which jumped all the way up from #57 to tie for twentieth place.

I also did two more ways of sorting the rankings: an “approval” vote, where nothing is counted except the number of votes a game received (i.e. a first-place and a twentieth-place ranking count the same– all the matters is if the game was on someone’s list); and an instant runoff vote. Your eyes are probably starting to glaze over at this point, so again I bolded the places where these two votes differ from the official rank.

Approval

  1. The Walking Dead (194)
  2. FTL: Faster Than Light (180)
  3. XCOM: Enemy Unknown (175)
  4. Borderlands 2 (171)
  5. Mass Effect 3 (170)
  6. Diablo 3 (110)
  7. Dishonored (106)
  8. Hotline Miami (103)
  9. Mark of the Ninja (102)
  10. Sleeping Dogs (97)
  11. Journey (93)
  12. Spec Ops: The Line (93)
  13. Frog Fractions (89)
  14. Torchlight 2 (88)
  15. Far Cry 3 (87)
  16. Assassin’s Creed 3 (80)
  17. Xenoblade Chronicles (74)
  18. Guild Wars 2 (74)
  19. Halo 4 (60)
  20. Legend of Grimrock (58)
IRV

  1. The Walking Dead (3440)
  2. XCOM: Enemy Unknown (3022)
  3. Mass Effect 3 (2730)
  4. Borderlands 2 (2671)
  5. FTL: Faster Than Light (2676)
  6. Dishonored (1625)
  7. Hotline Miami (1551)
  8. Diablo 3 (1480)
  9. Journey (1532)
  10. Sleeping Dogs (1465)
  11. Mark of the Ninja (1436)
  12. Spec Ops: The Line (1352)
  13. Far Cry 3 (1313)
  14. Frog Fractions (1078)
  15. Xenoblade Chronicles (1195)
  16. Torchlight 2 (1191)
  17. Assassin’s Creed 3 (994)
  18. Guild Wars 2 (1113)
  19. Halo 4 (868)
  20. Legend of Grimrock (757)

FINALLY: PER-FORUM BREAKDOWNS

As mentioned before, this poll mostly exists for a handful of video game forums where some people I know post. Since a few years ago when I started posting the results on this blog, I’ve tried to actually run some extra results, in each case counting only those voters who– as far as one could tell from looking at the logs– had come to the poll from one particular forum or other.

So, here you have it– these numbers aren’t totally accurate because my logging method is not entirely trustworthy, but here’s an approximate by-forum breakdown of these results. Links go to color-coded full listings.

Penny Arcade Forums (306 voters)

  1. The Walking Dead
  2. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
  3. Mass Effect 3
  4. Borderlands 2
  5. FTL: Faster Than Light
  6. Dishonored
  7. Spec Ops: The Line
  8. Sleeping Dogs
  9. Far Cry 3
  10. Diablo 3
  11. Mark of the Ninja
  12. Hotline Miami
  13. Xenoblade Chronicles
  14. Journey
  15. Guild Wars 2
  16. Torchlight 2
  17. Assassin’s Creed 3
  18. Halo 4
  19. Crusader Kings II
  20. Penny Arcade OTRSPOD 3

Tigsource.com (33 voters)

  1. Hotline Miami
  2. FTL: Faster Than Light
  3. La Mulana
  4. Borderlands 2
  5. Spelunky HD
  6. The Walking Dead
  7. Journey
  8. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
  9. Fez
  10. Diablo 3
  11. Legend of Grimrock
  12. Hexagon / Super Hexagon
  13. Call of Duty Black Ops 2
  14. Katawa Shoujo
  15. Dishonored
  16. Lone Survivor
  17. Spec Ops: The Line
  18. Rhythm Heaven Fever
  19. Frog Fractions
  20. Offspring Fling!
Platformers.net (34 voters)

  1. The Walking Dead
  2. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
  3. Borderlands 2
  4. Xenoblade Chronicles
  5. Frog Fractions
  6. FTL: Faster Than Light
  7. Mark of the Ninja
  8. Pokemon Black and White 2
  9. Kid Icarus: Uprising
  10. New Super Mario Bros. U
  11. Journey
  12. Sleeping Dogs
  13. Persona 4 Arena
  14. Dishonored
  15. Asura’s Wrath
  16. Diablo 3
  17. Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy
  18. Final Fantasy XII-2
  19. Torchlight 2
  20. Dustforce
My own personal blog and twitter (48 voters)

  1. Hexagon / Super Hexagon
  2. Frog Fractions
  3. Dys4ia
  4. Journey
  5. FTL: Faster than Light
  6. The Walking Dead
  7. Corrypt
  8. Mass Effect 3
  9. Hotline Miami
  10. Analogue: A Hate Story
  11. Thirty Flights of Loving
  12. Dear Esther
  13. Dustforce
  14. Dyad
  15. Mark of the Ninja
  16. Spelunky HD
  17. XCOM: ENemy Unknown
  18. Borderlands 2
  19. Tokyo Jungle
  20. Botanicula
 

A Game of the Year 2011 Poll: Results

Monday, January 16th, 2012

CLICK HERE TO JUMP TO THE PRETTY COLOR-CODED FULL RESULTS

This explanation will look a lot like that of previous years, but:

Every year since 2004 I’ve been hosting this Game of the Year poll for the users of some forums I read. There are a lot of GOTY polls out there, but this one I think is kind of special. Most polls, you’re given a list of four or five options and you’re asked to pick the one you liked best. This poll, people are given a list of a couple of hundred options, consisting of every new game released in the previous year– and asked to rate their top ten or twenty.

This does a few interesting things. First off, we get to see all the information about what people’s second, third etc choices are. Second off, because the second, third etc choices count, people are more likely to vote for the game they want to win, rather than the game they think is likely to win– they’re less likely to engage in “strategic voting”. Finally, because we have all this information, we’re actually able to provide somewhat reasonable rankings for something like the top hundred or so games of last year.

The full results– showing the exact number of voters who ranked each game first, second, third place etc– can be found here. In the meantime, the final results were:

  1. Portal 2 (6571) *** GAME OF THE YEAR ***
  2. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (6253)
  3. Deus Ex: Human Revolution (4234)
  4. Batman: Arkham City (4134)
  5. Bastion (4094)
  6. Saints Row: The Third (2547)
  7. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (2126)
  8. Battlefield 3 (2071)
  9. Dark Souls (2034)
  10. Dead Space 2 (1681)
  11. L.A. Noire (1639)
  12. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (1515)
  13. Star Wars: The Old Republic (1505)
  14. Gears of War 3 (1447)
  15. Terraria (1421)
  16. Dragon Age II (1411)
  17. Super Mario 3D Land (1261)
  18. Pokemon Black & White (1255)
  19. Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective (1170)
  20. The Binding of Isaac (1164)

The numbers in parentheses are the final scores each game got under the poll’s ranking system. Thanks if you voted, and some more elaborate analysis of the results (plus an explanation of the scores) can be found below.

NOTEWORTHY WINNERS

  • GOTY 2011:

    #1, Portal 2

  • Top-ranked Wii Exclusive:

    #7, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

  • Top-ranked PC Exclusive:

    #12, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings

  • Top-ranked 360 Exclusive:

    #14, Gears of War 3

  • Top-ranked 3DS Exclusive:

    #17, Super Mario 3D Land

  • Top-ranked DS Exclusive:

    #18, Pokemon Black & White

  • Top-ranked PS3 Exclusive:

    #21, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

  • Top-ranked smartphone game:

    #24, SpaceChem

  • Top-ranked smartphone exclusive:

    #48, Jetpack Joyride

  • Top-ranked PSP Exclusive:

    #45, Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together

  • Best FPS:

    #1, Portal 2

  • Best RPG:

    #2, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

  • Best “Indie” Game:

    #5, Bastion

  • Best Game Available Through A Console Download Service:

    #5, Bastion

  • “Cult” Award (see below):

    #42, Dungeon Siege 3

  • Best Browser Game:

    #103, Escape from Puppy Death Factory

NOTEWORTHY LOSERS

  • Best game of 2011 which somehow nobody considered to be their #1 pick: #23, Magicka
  • Worst game of 2011 that at least one person considered their #1 pick: #215, Stronghold 3
  • Worst game of 2011: An incredible three-way tie between #251, Rugby Challenge; #252, “Leedmees” (??) and #253, Fishing Resort for Wii. (Each of these games scored only one vote each, each from someone who considered it their 19th best game of the year.)

There were 22 games on the nominations list no one voted for at all.

ALTERNATE SCORING METHODS

The rankings listed above are based on a version of the Borda count voting method. Each vote cast for a game gives that game a certain number of points. If someone ranks a game #1, that game gets 20 points. If they rank it #2, the game gets 19 points. If they rank it #3 the game gets 18 points… and so on. I have a script that checks a couple of alternate ways of ranking the same data, though.

For example, if we rank games only by the number of first place votes they got, we get a wildly different list, with a different first place winner and lots of games listing that weren’t anywhere near the top 20:

First Past the Post

  1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (141)
  2. Portal 2 (92)
  3. Batman: Arkham City (50)
  4. Dark Souls (41)
  5. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (31)
  6. Deus Ex: Human Revolution (29)
  7. Saints Row: The Third (25)
  8. Bastion (24)
  9. Battlefield 3 (17)
  10. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (16)
  11. Star Wars: The Old Republic (16)
  12. Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective (11)
  13. Gears of War 3 (10)
  14. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (10)
  15. Terraria (9)
  16. Dead Space 2 (8)
  17. Dungeon Siege 3 (6)
  18. The Binding of Isaac (6)
  19. Bulletstorm (5)
  20. Pokemon Black & White (5)

Most years when I look at the first-past-the-post list a “cult” game emerges that received very few overall votes, but where an overwhelming percentage of those votes were #1 votes (I think of this as the “Persona award”); this year actually didn’t have an incredible standout in this category, but I think the award fairly goes to Dungeon Siege 3, which scored a relatively poor #42 in the overall rankings but made it all the way to #17 counting first place votes only.

I also did two more ways of sorting the rankings: an “approval” vote, where nothing is counted except the number of votes a game received (i.e. a first-place and a twentieth-place ranking count the same– all the matters is if the game was on someone’s list); and an instant runoff vote. Your eyes are probably starting to glaze over at this point, so I bolded the places where these two votes differ from the official rank. A small observation: Although these counts usually don’t differ much from the “main” count, this year the IRV list actually looks pretty different to me, I think mostly due to the number of near ties in the official count. Witcher 2 and Star Wars TOR were only within a couple points of each other on the official list; as were Pokemon and Mario 3D Land; as were Ghost Trick, Binding of Isaac, and Uncharted 3 (barely off the list at #21). One more or fewer ballots for any of these games would have changed the rank order. Another small observation: 670 people voted this year. Not only did more than half place some sort of vote for Portal 2, independently counted more than half placed some sort of vote for Skyrim.

Approval

  1. Portal 2 (379)
  2. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (345)
  3. Bastion (267)
  4. Deus Ex: Human Revolution (264)
  5. Batman: Arkham City (247)
  6. Saints Row: The Third (155)
  7. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (134)
  8. Battlefield 3 (133)
  9. L.A. Noire (132)
  10. Dark Souls (120)
  11. Dead Space 2 (114)
  12. Dragon Age II (107)
  13. Terraria (106)
  14. Gears of War 3 (101)
  15. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (96)
  16. Star Wars: The Old Republic (94)
  17. Bulletstorm (90)
  18. Pokemon Black & White (90)
  19. Magicka (90)
  20. Super Mario 3D Land (85)
IRV

  1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  2. Portal 2
  3. Batman: Arkham City
  4. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
  5. Bastion
  6. Saints Row: The Third
  7. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
  8. Battlefield 3
  9. Dark Souls
  10. L.A. Noire
  11. Dead Space 2
  12. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
  13. Gears of War 3
  14. Terraria
  15. Star Wars: The Old Republic
  16. Dragon Age II
  17. The Binding of Isaac
  18. Pokemon Black & White
  19. Magicka
  20. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

FINALLY: PER-FORUM BREAKDOWNS

As mentioned before, this poll mostly exists for a handful of video game forums where some people I know post. Since a few years ago when I started posting the results on this blog, I’ve tried to actually run some extra results, in each case counting only those voters who– as far as one could tell from looking at the logs– had come to the poll from one particular forum or other.

So, here you have it– these numbers aren’t totally accurate because my logging method is not entirely trustworthy, but here’s an approximate by-forum breakdown of these results. Links go to color-coded full listings.

Penny Arcade Forums (516 voters)

  1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  2. Portal 2
  3. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
  4. Batman: Arkham City
  5. Bastion
  6. Saints Row: The Third
  7. Battlefield 3
  8. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
  9. Dark Souls
  10. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
  11. Dead Space 2
  12. L.A. Noire
  13. Dragon Age II
  14. Star Wars: The Old Republic
  15. Terraria
  16. Gears of War 3
  17. Pokemon Black & White
  18. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
  19. Bulletstorm
  20. Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

Tigsource.com (42 voters)

  1. Portal 2
  2. Dark Souls
  3. The Binding of Isaac
  4. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  5. Bastion
  6. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
  7. Terraria
  8. Escape from Puppy Death Factory
  9. Jamestown
  10. Frozen Synapse
  11. Magicka
  12. Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP
  13. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
  14. Dungeons of Dredmor
  15. Hyper Princess Pitch
  16. Treasure Adventure Game
  17. Batman: Arkham City
  18. SuteF
  19. Inside a Star-Filled Sky
  20. Don’t Take it Personally, Babe, it Just Ain’t Your Story
Platformers.net (32 voters)

  1. Portal 2
  2. Bastion
  3. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
  4. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
  5. Super Mario 3D Land
  6. Marvel v Capcom 3
  7. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  8. Mario Kart 7
  9. Batman: Arkham City
  10. Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective
  11. Saints Row: The Third
  12. Pokemon Black & White
  13. The Binding of Isaac
  14. Catherine
  15. Dark Souls
  16. Radiant Historia
  17. Gears of War 3
  18. Bulletstorm
  19. Professor Layton and the Last Specter
  20. Jamestown

Thearcadians.net (27 voters)

  1. Batman: Arkham City
  2. Portal 2
  3. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  4. Gears of War 3
  5. Forza Motorsport 4
  6. Battlefield 3
  7. Saints Row: The Third
  8. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
  9. Dead Space 2
  10. Bastion
  11. Warhammer 40,000k: Space Marine
  12. L.A. Noire
  13. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
  14. Star Wars: The Old Republic
  15. NHL 12
  16. Pokemon Black & White (DS)
  17. You Don’t Know Jack 2011
  18. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
  19. NBA 2K12
  20. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
This blog you are reading right now (19 voters)

  1. Portal 2
  2. Batman: Arkham City
  3. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
  4. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  5. Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective
  6. Gears of War 3
  7. Star Wars: The Old Republic
  8. Bastion
  9. Magicka
  10. Dragon Age II
  11. Catherine
  12. Battlefield 3
  13. Pokemon Black & White
  14. Shadows of the Damned
  15. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
  16. Bulletstorm
  17. L.A. Noire
  18. Atom Zombie Smasher
  19. Total War: Shogun 2
  20. Where’s My Water?
 

A Game of the Year 2010 Poll: Results

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

CLICK HERE TO JUMP TO THE PRETTY COLOR-CODED FULL RESULTS

This explanation will look a lot like that of previous years, but:

Every year since 2004 I’ve been hosting this Game of the Year poll for the users of some forums I read. There are a lot of GOTY polls out there, but this one I think is kind of special. Most polls, you’re given a list of four or five options and you’re asked to pick the one you liked best. This poll, people are given a list of a couple of hundred options, consisting of every new game released in the previous year– and asked to rate their top ten or twenty.

This does a few interesting things. First off, we get to see all the information about what people’s second, third etc choices are. Second off, because the second, third etc choices count, people are more likely to vote for the game they want to win, rather than the game they think is likely to win– they’re less likely to engage in “strategic voting”. Finally, because we have all this information, we’re actually able to provide somewhat reasonable rankings for something like the top hundred or so games of last year.

The full results– showing the exact number of voters who ranked each game first, second, third place etc– can be found here. In the meantime, the final results were:

  1. Mass Effect 2 (8125) *** GAME OF THE YEAR ***
  2. Red Dead Redemption (4887)
  3. Starcraft 2 (3930)
  4. Minecraft (3678)
  5. Fallout: New Vegas (3513)
  6. Super Meat Boy (3205)
  7. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (3006)
  8. Halo Reach (2713)
  9. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (2505)
  10. Civilization V (2444)
  11. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (2378)
  12. Bayonetta (2257)
  13. Darksiders (1967)
  14. Just Cause 2 (1865)
  15. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm (1855)
  16. Angry Birds (1740)
  17. Alpha Protocol (1677)
  18. Call of Duty: Black Ops (1604)
  19. Heavy Rain (1573)
  20. VVVVVV (1523)

The numbers in parentheses are the final scores each game got under the poll’s ranking system. Thanks if you voted, and some more elaborate analysis of the results (plus an explanation of the scores) can be found below.

NOTEWORTHY WINNERS

  • GOTY 2010:

    #1, Mass Effect 2

  • Top-ranked PC Exclusive:

    #3, Starcraft 2

  • Top-ranked Wii Exclusive:

    #7, Super Mario Galaxy 2

  • Top-ranked 360 Exclusive:

    #8, Halo Reach

  • Top-ranked iPhone/Android Exclusive:

    #16, Angry Birds

  • Top-ranked PS3 Exclusive:

    #19, Heavy Rain

  • Top-ranked DS Exclusive:

    #31, Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies

  • Top-ranked PSP Exclusive:

    #64, Valkyria Chronicles 2

  • Best RPG:

    #1, Mass Effect 2

  • Best FPS:

    #4, Minecraft

  • Best “Indie” Game:

    #4, Minecraft

  • Best Game Available Through A Console Download Service:

    #6, Super Meat Boy

  • Best Browser Game:

    #48, Robot Unicorn Attack

  • “Cult” Award (see below):

    #52, Deadly Premonition

  • Best Downloadable Game (XBLIG division):

    #59, Breath of Death VII: The Beginning

NOTEWORTHY LOSERS

  • Best game of 2010 which somehow nobody considered to be their #1 pick: #35, Alien Swarm
  • Worst game of 2010 that at least one person considered their #1 pick: #200, 3D Infinity (This is an XBLIG game; Only one person voted for this at all)
  • Worst game of 2010: #237, Dead Nation (Only one person voted for this; it was their #20 pick)

There were 23 games on the nominations list no one voted for at all.

ALTERNATE SCORING METHODS

The rankings listed above are based on a version of the Borda count voting method. Each vote cast for a game gives that game a certain number of points. If someone ranks a game #1, that game gets 20 points. If they rank it #2, the game gets 19 points. If they rank it #3 the game gets 18 points… and so on. I have a script that checks a couple of alternate ways of ranking the same data, though.

For example, if we rank games only by the number of first post votes they got, we get a wildly different list, with tons of games listing that weren’t anywhere near the top 20:

First Past the Post

  1. Mass Effect 2 (231)
  2. Red Dead Redemption (69)
  3. Starcraft 2 (47)
  4. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (40)
  5. Minecraft (35)
  6. Fallout: New Vegas (29)
  7. Bayonetta (20)
  8. Super Meat Boy (19)
  9. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (18)
  10. Alpha Protocol (15)
  11. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm (15)
  12. Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies (14)
  13. Deadly Premonition (12)
  14. Rock Band 3 (11)
  15. Civilization V (10)
  16. Alan Wake (10)
  17. Halo Reach (10)
  18. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat (10)
  19. Super Street Fighter 4 (9)
  20. Call of Duty: Black Ops (9)

Most years when I look at the first-past-the-post list a “cult” game usually emerges that received very few overall votes, but where an overwhelming percentage of those votes were #1 votes; this year actually seemed to have more “cult” games than normal, but I think the cult award was pretty clearly earned here by Deadly Premonition, which went from a ridiculous #52 in the normal ranking to #13 in the first-place-votes ranking. Also noteworthy here though were Dragon Quest IX (jumps from #31 to #12) and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat (jumps from #37 to #15, tying with Halo).

I also did two more ways of sorting the rankings: an “approval” vote, where nothing is counted except the number of votes a game received (i.e. a first-place and a twentieth-place ranking count the same– all the matters is if the game was on someone’s list); and an instant runoff vote. Your eyes are probably starting to glaze over at this point, and these rankings very rarely differ from the Borda rankings, so I bolded the places where these two votes differ from the official rank. A small observation: 858 people voted this year. More than half placed some sort of vote for Mass Effect 2.

Approval

  1. Mass Effect 2 (440)
  2. Red Dead Redemption (284)
  3. Starcraft 2 (241)
  4. Minecraft (235)
  5. Fallout: New Vegas (217)
  6. Super Meat Boy (210)
  7. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (182)
  8. Halo Reach (177)
  9. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (165)
  10. Civilization V (163)
  11. Bayonetta (155)
  12. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (146)
  13. Darksiders (144)
  14. Angry Birds (137)
  15. Just Cause 2 (135)
  16. Scott Pilgrim vs The World (115)
  17. Alpha Protocol (115)
  18. Call of Duty: Black Ops (115)
  19. Heavy Rain (114)
  20. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm (114)

IRV

  1. Mass Effect 2
  2. Red Dead Redemption
  3. Starcraft 2
  4. Minecraft
  5. Fallout: New Vegas
  6. Super Meat Boy
  7. Super Mario Galaxy 2
  8. Halo Reach
  9. Battlefield: Bad Company 2
  10. Civilization V
  11. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
  12. Bayonetta
  13. Darksiders
  14. Just Cause 2
  15. Angry Birds
  16. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
  17. Alpha Protpcol
  18. Call of Duty: Black Ops
  19. Alan Wake
  20. Heavy Rain

FINALLY: PER-FORUM BREAKDOWNS

As mentioned before, this poll mostly exists for a handful of video game forums where some people I know post. Since a couple years ago when I started posting the results on this blog, I’ve tried to actually run some extra results, in each case counting only those voters who– as far as one could tell from looking at the logs– had come to the poll from one particular forum or other.

So, here you have it– these numbers aren’t totally accurate because my logging method is not entirely trustworthy, but here’s an approximate by-forum breakdown of these results. Links go to color-coded full listings.

Penny Arcade Forums (666 voters)

  1. Mass Effect 2
  2. Red Dead Redemption
  3. Starcraft 2
  4. Fallout: New Vegas
  5. Minecraft
  6. Halo Reach
  7. Super Mario Galaxy 2
  8. Super Meat Boy
  9. Civilization V
  10. Battlefield: Bad Company 2
  11. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
  12. Darksiders
  13. Bayonetta
  14. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
  15. Just Cause 2
  16. Alpha Protocol
  17. Angry Birds
  18. Call of Duty: Black Ops
  19. Heavy Rain
  20. God of War 3

Tigsource.com (39 voters)

  1. Super Meat Boy
  2. VVVVVV
  3. Minecraft
  4. Mass Effect 2
  5. Super Crate Box
  6. Starcraft 2
  7. Super Mario Galaxy 2
  8. Hero Core
  9. Halo Reach
  10. Amnesia: The Dark Descent
  11. Fallout: New Vegas
  12. Red Dead Redemption
  13. Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale
  14. Battlefield: Bad Company 2
  15. Alan Wake
  16. Donkey Kong Country Returns
  17. Limbo
  18. Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies
  19. Alien Swarm
  20. Hydorah
Platformers.net (38 voters)

  1. Mass Effect 2
  2. Super Mario Galaxy 2
  3. Bayonetta
  4. Super Meat Boy
  5. Fallout: New Vegas
  6. Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies
  7. Red Dead Redemption
  8. Minecraft
  9. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
  10. Super Street Fighter 4
  11. Bioshock 2
  12. Robot Unicorn Attack
  13. Tatsunoko vs Capcom: Ultimate All Stars
  14. Game Dev Story
  15. Battlefield: Bad Company 2
  16. Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth
  17. Shin Megami Tensei
  18. Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
  19. Pokemon Heart Gold / Soul Silver
  20. Just Cause 2

Thearcadians.net (27 voters)

  1. Mass Effect 2
  2. Red Dead Redemption
  3. Halo Reach
  4. Battlefield: Bad Company 2
  5. Starcraft 2
  6. Fallout: New Vegas
  7. Rock Band 3
  8. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
  9. NHL 11
  10. Minecraft
  11. Bioshock 2
  12. Limbo
  13. Pokemon Heart Gold / Soul Silver
  14. Monday Night Combat
  15. Angry Birds
  16. Alan Wake
  17. Super Street Fighter 4
  18. Call of Duty: Black Ops
  19. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
  20. Blur

A Game of the Year 2009 Poll: Results

Friday, January 8th, 2010

CLICK HERE TO JUMP TO THE PRETTY COLOR-CODED FULL RESULTS

This explanation will look a lot like last year’s, but:

Every year since 2004 I’ve been hosting this Game of the Year poll for the users of some forums I read. There are a lot of GOTY polls out there, but this one I think is kind of special. Most polls, you’re given a list of four or five options and you’re asked to pick the one you liked best. This poll, people are given a list of a couple of hundred options, consisting of every new game released in the previous year– and asked to rate their top ten or twenty.

This does a few interesting things. First off, we get to see all the information about what people’s second, third etc choices are. Second off, because the second, third etc choices count, people are more likely to vote for the game they want to win, rather than the game they think is likely to win– they’re less likely to engage in “strategic voting”. Finally, because we have all this information, we’re actually able to provide somewhat reasonable rankings for something like the top hundred or so games of last year.

The full results– showing the exact number of voters who ranked each game first, second, third place etc– can be found here. In the meantime, the final results were:

  1. Batman: Arkham Asylum (7772) *** GAME OF THE YEAR ***
  2. Dragon Age: Origins (7019)
  3. Borderlands (5579)
  4. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (4458)
  5. Left 4 Dead 2 (4295)
  6. Assassin’s Creed II (4205)
  7. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (3858)
  8. Torchlight (3792)
  9. New Super Mario Bros. Wii (3386)
  10. Resident Evil 5 (2941)
  11. Street Fighter IV (2576)
  12. Shadow Complex (2460)
  13. Demon’s Souls (2342)
  14. Halo 3: ODST (2104)
  15. Brütal Legend (2008)
  16. The Beatles: Rock Band (1991)
  17. Infamous (1844)
  18. Plants vs. Zombies (1773)
  19. Scribblenauts (1752)
  20. Prototype (1720)

The numbers in parentheses are the final scores each game got under the poll’s ranking system. Thanks if you voted, and some more elaborate analysis of the results (plus an explanation of the scores) can be found below.

NOTEWORTHY WINNERS

  • GOTY 2009:

    #1, Batman: Arkham Asylum

  • Top-ranked PS3 Exclusive:

    #7, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

  • Top-ranked PC Exclusive:

    #8, Torchlight

  • Top-ranked Wii Exclusive:

    #9, New Super Mario Bros. Wii

  • Top-ranked 360 Exclusive:

    #12, Shadow Complex

  • Top-ranked DS Exclusive:

    #19, Scribblenauts

  • Top-ranked PSP Exclusive:

    #46, Dissidia: Final Fantasy

  • Top-ranked iPhone Exclusive:

    #56, Canabalt

  • Best RPG:

    #2, Dragon Age: Origins

  • Best FPS:

    #3, Borderlands

  • Best Game Only Available Through A Console Download Service:

    #12, Shadow Complex

  • Best “Indie” Game? (I’m not even sure I know what that word means.):

    #18, Plants vs Zombies

NOTEWORTHY LOSERS

  • Best game of 2009 which somehow nobody considered to be their #1 pick: #30, Punch-Out!!
  • Worst game of 2009 that at least one person considered their #1 pick: #248, Harvest Moon: Animal Parade (Only one person voted for this at all)
  • Worst game of 2009: #284, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (Only one person voted for this; it was their #20 pick)

There were 17 games on the nominations list no one voted for at all. Also, FIFA 10– which was left off the nominations list by complete accident– probably deserves some kind of special “moral victory” award for the sheer number of people who were upset about its absence.

ALTERNATE SCORING METHODS

The rankings listed above are based on what was originally intended to be an approximation of Condorcet voting, but which I’m told is actually closer to the Borda count. In my Borda-ish voting method, each vote cast for a game gives that game a certain number of points. If someone ranks a game #1, that game gets 20 points. If they rank it #2, the game gets 19 points. If they rank it #3 the game gets 18 points… and so on. I have a script that checks a couple of alternate ways of ranking the same data, though.

For example, if we rank games only by the number of first post votes they got, we get a wildly different list, with the most obvious difference being Batman and Dragon Age swapping places:

First Past the Post

  1. Dragon Age: Origins (134)
  2. Batman: Arkham Asylum (119)
  3. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (111)
  4. Borderlands (58)
  5. New Super Mario Bros. Wii (45)
  6. Left 4 Dead 2 (45)
  7. Assassin’s Creed II (41)
  8. Demon’s Souls (41)
  9. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (32)
  10. Street Fighter IV (25)
  11. Brütal Legend (14)
  12. The Beatles: Rock Band (13)
  13. Shadow Complex (12)
  14. Torchlight (12)
  15. Resident Evil 5 (11)
  16. Halo 3: ODST (10)
  17. Muramasa: The Demon Blade (9)
  18. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II (8)
  19. Red Faction: Guerrilla (7)
  20. Forza Motorsport 3 (7)
  21. Infamous (7)
  22. Little King’s Story (7)
  23. Machinarium (7)

Most years when I look at the first-past-the-post list a “cult” game usually emerges that received very few overall votes, but where an overwhelming percentage of those votes were #1 votes; this year there was no obvious leader in the “cult” category, although the jump in ranking for Demon’s Souls seems pretty significant, and Murasama (which jumps from #37 to #17) and Machinarium and Little King’s Story (which jump from #40 and #48 to a five-way tie for 19th place) seem worth mentioning.

I also did two more ways of sorting the rankings: an “approval” vote, where nothing is counted except the number of votes a game received (i.e. a first-place and a twentieth-place ranking count the same– all the matters is if the game was on someone’s list); and an instant runoff vote. Your eyes are probably starting to glaze over at this point, so I bolded the places where these two votes differ from the normal rankings:

Approval

  1. Batman: Arkham Asylum (438)
  2. Dragon Age: Origins (395)
  3. Borderlands (347)
  4. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (281)
  5. Left 4 Dead 2 (265)
  6. Torchlight (255)
  7. Assassin’s Creed II (247)
  8. Resident Evil 5 (215)
  9. New Super Mario Bros. Wii (213)
  10. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (210)
  11. Shadow Complex (175)
  12. Street Fighter IV (172)
  13. Brütal Legend (148)
  14. Halo 3: ODST (146)
  15. Demon’s Souls (143)
  16. Scribblenauts (141)
  17. The Beatles: Rock Band (133)
  18. Prototype (131)
  19. Plants vs. Zombies (130)
  20. Infamous (126)

IRV

  1. Batman: Arkham Asylum (438)
  2. Dragon Age: Origins (395)
  3. Borderlands (347)
  4. Left 4 Dead 2 (265)
  5. Torchlight (255)
  6. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (210)
  7. Assassin’s Creed II (247)
  8. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (281)
  9. New Super Mario Bros. Wii (213)
  10. Resident Evil 5 (215)
  11. Street Fighter IV (172)
  12. Shadow Complex (175)
  13. Demon’s Souls (143)
  14. Brütal Legend (148)
  15. Halo 3: ODST (146)
  16. Scribblenauts (141)
  17. Infamous (126)
  18. The Beatles: Rock Band (133)
  19. Prototype (131)
  20. Plants vs. Zombies (130)

FINALLY: PER-FORUM BREAKDOWNS

As mentioned before, this poll mostly exists for a handful of video game forums where some people I know post. Since a couple years ago when I started posting the results on this blog, I’ve tried to actually run some extra results, in each case counting only those voters who– as far as one could tell from looking at the logs– had come to the poll from one particular forum or other.

So, here you have it– these numbers aren’t totally accurate because my logging method is not entirely trustworthy, but here’s an approximate by-forum breakdown of these results. Links go to color-coded full listings.

Penny Arcade Forums (767 voters)

  1. Batman: Arkham Asylum
  2. Dragon Age: Origins
  3. Borderlands
  4. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
  5. Left 4 Dead 2
  6. Assassin’s Creed II
  7. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
  8. Torchlight
  9. New Super Mario Bros. Wii
  10. Resident Evil 5
  11. Street Fighter IV
  12. Shadow Complex
  13. Demon’s Souls
  14. The Beatles: Rock Band
  15. Halo 3: ODST
  16. Brütal Legend
  17. Infamous
  18. Prototype
  19. Scribblenauts
  20. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II

Tigsource.com (48 voters)

  1. Machinarium
  2. Star Guard
  3. Scribblenauts
  4. Canabalt
  5. Borderlands
  6. Assassin’s Creed II
  7. Captain Forever / Successor
  8. Don’t Look Back
  9. Dragon Age: Origins
  10. Don’t **** Your Pants
  11. Au Sable
  12. Left 4 Dead 2
  13. Plants vs. Zombies
  14. Small Worlds
  15. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
  16. Torchlight
  17. Blueberry Garden
  18. Glum Buster
  19. RunMan: Race Around the World
  20. Brütal Legend
Platformers.net (45 voters)

  1. Batman: Arkham Asylum
  2. Dragon Age: Origins
  3. New Super Mario Bros. Wii
  4. Torchlight
  5. Street Fighter IV
  6. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
  7. Shadow Complex
  8. Borderlands
  9. Punch-Out!!
  10. Retro Game Challenge
  11. Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box
  12. Rhythm Heaven
  13. Left 4 Dead 2
  14. Brütal Legend
  15. Halo 3: ODST
  16. The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
  17. Red Faction: Guerrilla
  18. Infamous
  19. Demon’s Souls
  20. Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story

Thearcadians.net (26 voters)

  1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
  2. Borderlands
  3. Batman: Arkham Asylum
  4. Forza Motorsport 3
  5. Dragon Age: Origins
  6. Torchlight
  7. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
  8. Left 4 Dead 2
  9. Shadow Complex
  10. Assassin’s Creed II
  11. Halo 3: ODST
  12. Brütal Legend
  13. Trials HD
  14. Infamous
  15. Red Faction: Guerrilla
  16. Street Fighter IV
  17. Battlefield 1943
  18. 1 vs. 100
  19. Ghostbusters: The Video Game
  20. Resident Evil 5

A Game of the Year 2008 Poll: Results

Friday, January 9th, 2009

CLICK HERE TO JUMP TO THE PRETTY COLOR-CODED FULL RESULTS

I’m just gonna copy and paste the explanation I gave last year:

For the last few years I’ve been hosting this Game of the Year poll for the users of some forums I read. There are a lot of GOTY polls out there, but this one I think is kind of special. Most polls, you’re given a list of four or five options and you’re asked to pick the one you liked best. This poll, people are given a list of a couple of hundred options, consisting of every new game released in the previous year– and asked to rate their top ten or twenty.

This does a few interesting things. First off, we get to see all the information about what people’s second, third etc choices are. Second off, because the second, third etc choices count, people are more likely to vote for the game they want to win, rather than the game they think is likely to win– they’re less likely to engage in “strategic voting”. Finally, because we have all this information, we’re actually able to provide somewhat reasonable rankings for something like the top hundred or so games of last year.

The full results– showing the exact number of voters who ranked each game first, second, third place etc– can be found here. In the meantime, the final results were:

  1. Fallout 3 (8780) *** GAME OF THE YEAR ***
  2. Left 4 Dead (6626)
  3. Grand Theft Auto 4 (5032)
  4. Super Smash Bros. Brawl (4321)
  5. Rock Band 2 (3290)
  6. Dead Space (3151)
  7. Gears of War 2 (2942)
  8. Fable 2 (2751)
  9. Braid (2729)
  10. Metal Gear Solid 4 (2666)
  11. Little Big Planet (2520)
  12. No More Heroes (2241)
  13. Audiosurf (2152)
  14. Castle Crashers (2083)
  15. Valkyria Chronicles (2027)
  16. Mario Kart Wii (2014)
  17. The World Ends with You (2000)
  18. World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King (1914)
  19. Penny Arcade Adventures: On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness Ep. 1 (1910)
  20. Sins of a Solar Empire (1850)

The numbers in parentheses are the final scores each game got under the poll’s ranking system. (The scores in general were a lot closer than last year–basically all the rankings 14-18 are within a couple votes of each other!) Thanks if you voted, and some more elaborate analysis of the results (plus an explanation of the scores) can be found below.

NOTEWORTHY WINNERS

  • GOTY 2008:

    #1, Fallout 3

  • Top-ranked Wii Exclusive:

    #4, Super Smash Bros. Brawl

  • Top-ranked 360 Exclusive:

    #7, Gears of War 2

  • Top-ranked PS3 Exclusive:

    #10, Metal Gear Solid 4

  • Top-ranked PC Exclusive:

    #13, Audiosurf

  • Top-ranked DS Exclusive:

    #17, The World Ends With You

  • Top-ranked PSP Exclusive:

    #39, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII

  • Best FPS:

    #2, Left 4 Dead

  • Best RPG:

    #1, Fallout 3

  • Best Sports Game:

    #27, Burnout Paradise

  • Best Game Only Available Through A Console Download Service:

    #8, Braid

  • Special “Cult” Award (see below):

    #26, Persona 4 & #15, Valkyria Chronicles (Tie)

NOTEWORTHY LOSERS

  • Best game of 2008 which somehow nobody considered to be their #1 pick: #33, Spore
  • Worst game of 2008 that at least one person considered their #1 pick: #179, Midnight Club: Los Angeles (Only two people voted for this)
  • Worst game of 2008: #203, Mystery Case Files: MillionHEIR (Only one person voted for this; it was their #20 pick)

There were also ten games which were listed, but which no one voted for at all.

ALTERNATE SCORING METHODS

The rankings listed above are based on what was intended to be an approximation of Condorcet voting, but which I’m told is actually closer to the Borda count. In my Borda-ish voting method, each vote cast for a game gives that game a certain number of points. If someone ranks a game #1, that game gets 20 points. If they rank it #2, the game gets 19 points. If they rank it #3 the game gets 18 points… and so on. I have a script that checks a couple of alternate ways of ranking the same data, though.

For example, if we rank games only by the number of first post votes they got, we get a wildly different list:

First Past the Post

  1. Fallout 3 (182 first-place votes)
  2. Left 4 Dead (109)
  3. Super Smash Bros. Brawl (42)
  4. Metal Gear Solid 4 (42)
  5. Valkyria Chronicles (39)
  6. Persona 4 (39)
  7. Grand Theft Auto 4 (35)
  8. Dead Space (31)
  9. Rock Band 2 (30)
  10. The World Ends with You (30)
  11. World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King (30)
  12. Gears of War 2 (23)
  13. Little Big Planet (21)
  14. No More Heroes (19)
  15. Braid (15)
  16. World of Goo (14)
  17. Spelunky (12)
  18. Sins of a Solar Empire (11)
  19. Fable 2 (10)
  20. Prince of Persia (10)

Every year when I do this there’s some game which scores horribly low in the objective rankings but gets a really startling proportion of first-place votes; last year the standout game in the “cult” department was Persona 3; this year the standout was, interestingly enough, Persona 4, which only got 87 votes at all, placing it at #26 in the overall rankings– but nearly half of those votes, a full 39, ranked it in first place, putting it in sixth place in the First Past the Post ranking above. Tying Persona 4 in the First Past the Post ranking is Valkyria Chronicles, which did a little better in terms of how many people voted for it (117 votes) but which still gets a pretty great cult ranking since one in three of those voters considered it their #1 game. (Honorable mention in the cult category should probably go to “Spelunky“, a wildly obscure but kind of awesome freeware pixel art game released in the last two weeks of December, which came in way down at 51st place in the overall rankings but managed to come in 17th in first-pace votes– with again nearly one-third of the people who voted for Spelunky at all rating it #1.)

I also did two more ways of sorting the rankings: an “approval” vote, where nothing is counted except the number of votes a game received (i.e. a first-place and a twentieth-place ranking count the same– all the matters is if the game was on someone’s list); and an instant runoff vote. Most years I’ve done this the Instant Runoff and pseudo-Borda rankings have been almost the same, but this time there were some interesting differences (with the biggest one being, for some reason I don’t understand, World of Goo somehow jumping a good seven spots in the rankings?!). Your eyes are probably starting to glaze over at this point, so I bolded the places where these two votes differ from the normal rankings:

Approval

  1. Fallout 3 (488)
  2. Left 4 Dead (388)
  3. Grand Theft Auto 4 (325)
  4. Super Smash Bros. Brawl (266)
  5. Rock Band 2 (205)
  6. Dead Space (204)
  7. Braid (187)
  8. Gears of War 2 (185)
  9. Fable 2 (184)
  10. Audiosurf (161)
  11. Little Big Planet (161)
  12. Metal Gear Solid 4 (161)
  13. Castle Crashers (160)
  14. Penny Arcade Adventures ep.1  (176)
  15. No More Heroes (155)
  16. Mario Kart Wii (148)
  17. The World Ends with You (129)
  18. Professor Layton and the Curious Village (128)
  19. Mega Man 9 (124)
  20. Sins of a Solar Empire (122)

IRV

  1. Fallout 3
  2. Left 4 Dead
  3. Grand Theft Auto 4
  4. Super Smash Bros. Brawl
  5. Dead Space
  6. Rock Band 2
  7. Gears of War 2
  8. Fable 2
  9. Braid
  10. Metal Gear Solid 4
  11. Little Big Planet
  12. Castle Crashers
  13. Mario Kart Wii
  14. No More Heroes
  15. World of Goo
  16. AudioSurf
  17. The World Ends with You
  18. Valkyria Chronicles
  19. Penny Arcade Adventures ep.1
  20. Sins of a Solar Empire

FINALLY: PER-FORUM BREAKDOWNS

As mentioned before, this poll mostly exists for a handful of video game forums where some people I know post. Since last year when I started posting the results on this blog, I’ve tried to actually run some extra results, in each case counting only those voters who– as far as one could tell from looking at the logs– had come to the poll from one particular forum or other.

So, here you have it– these numbers aren’t totally accurate because my logging method is not entirely trustworthy, but here’s an approximate by-forum breakdown of these results. Links go to color-coded full listings.

Penny Arcade Forums (806 voters)

  1. Fallout 3
  2. Left 4 Dead
  3. Grand Theft Auto 4
  4. Super Smash Bros Brawl
  5. Rock Band 2
  6. Dead Space
  7. Braid
  8. Gears of War 2
  9. Fable 2
  10. Metal Gear Solid 4
  11. Little Big Planet
  12. AudioSurf
  13. Mario Kart Wii
  14. Castle Crashers
  15. No More Heroes
  16. Valkyria Chronicles
  17. World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
  18. Penny Arcade Adventures ep.1
  19. The World Ends with You
  20. Sins of a Solar Empire

Platformers.net (42 voters)

  1. Super Smash Bros. Brawl
  2. Fallout 3
  3. Left 4 Dead
  4. Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney
  5. No More Heroes
  6. Persona 4
  7. Mega Man 9
  8. Professor Layton and the Curious Village
  9. The World Ends with You
  10. AudioSurf
  11. Grand Theft Auto 4
  12. World of Goo
  13. Dead Space
  14. Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
  15. Metal Gear Solid 4
  16. Advance Wars: Days of Ruin
  17. Little Big Planet
  18. Rock Band 2
  19. Tales of Vesperia
  20. Braid
360Arcadians.net (37 voters)

  1. Fallout 3
  2. Grand Theft Auto 4
  3. Left 4 Dead
  4. Gears of War 2
  5. Rock Band 2
  6. Metal Gear Solid 4
  7. Fable 2
  8. Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2
  9. Little Big Planet
  10. Dead Space
  11. Saints Row 2
  12. Sins of a Solar Empire
  13. Burnout Paradise
  14. Prince of Persia
  15. Valkyria Chronicles
  16. Castle Crashers
  17. NHL 09
  18. Lost Odyssey
  19. Penny Arcade Adventures ep.1
  20. Civilization Revolution

Mechanically Separated Meat (6 voters)

  1. Super Smash Bros Brawl
  2. Professor Layton and the Curious Villiage
  3. Super Street Fighter 2 HD Remix
  4. Mega Man 9
  5. World of Goo
  6. Trauma Center: Under the Knife
  7. The World Ends with You
  8. Iji
  9. Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden Hourglass
  10. Fallout 3

A Game of the Year 2007 Poll: Results

Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

CLICK HERE TO JUMP TO THE PRETTY COLOR-CODED FULL RESULTS

So for the last few years I’ve been hosting this Game of the Year poll for the users of some forums I read. There are a lot of GOTY polls out there, but this one I think is kind of special. Most polls, you’re given a list of four or five options and you’re asked to pick the one you liked best. This poll, people are given a list of a couple of hundred options, consisting of every new game released in the previous year– and asked to rate their top ten or twenty.

This does a few interesting things. First off, we get to see all the information about what people’s second, third etc choices are. Second off, because the second, third etc choices count, people are more likely to vote for the game they want to win, rather than the game they think is likely to win– they’re less likely to engage in “strategic voting”. Finally, because we have this information, we’re actually able to provide somewhat reasonable rankings for something like the top hundred or so games of last year.

The full results– showing the exact number of voters who ranked each game first, second, third place etc– can be found here. In the meantime, the final results were:

  1. Portal (9532) *** GAME OF THE YEAR ***
  2. Bioshock (8004)
  3. Super Mario Galaxy (7968)
  4. Mass Effect (5874)
  5. Team Fortress 2 (5256)
  6. Call of Duty 4 (5051)
  7. Halo 3 (4848)
  8. Half Life 2: Episode 2 (4660)
  9. Rock Band (3788)
  10. Guitar Hero 3 (2968)
  11. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (2948)
  12. Assassin’s Creed (2937)
  13. Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (2605)
  14. World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade (2324)
  15. Super Paper Mario (2215)
  16. Pokemon Diamond/Pearl (2083)
  17. Crackdown (1978)
  18. Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords (1773)
  19. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice for All (1621)
  20. Zack and Wiki (1453)

The numbers in parentheses are the final scores each game got under the poll’s ranking system. (Bioshock and Galaxy were close!, as were Guitar Hero, Metroid, and Assassin’s Creed.) Thanks if you voted, and some more elaborate analysis of the results (plus an explanation of the scores) can be found below.

NOTEWORTHY WINNERS

  • GOTY 2007:

    #1, Portal

  • Top-ranked 360 Exclusive:

    #4, Mass Effect

  • Top-ranked Wii Exclusive:

    #3, Super Mario Galaxy

  • Top-ranked PS3 Exclusive:

    #34, Uncharted: Drakes Fortune

  • Top-ranked PC Exclusive:

    #14, World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade

  • Top-ranked DS Exclusive:

    #13, Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

  • Top-ranked PSP Exclusive:

    #56, Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles

  • Top-ranked GBA Exclusive:

    #100, Legend of Spyro: Eternal Night

  • Best FPS:

    #1, Portal

  • Best RPG:

    #4, Mass Effect

  • Best Sports Game:

    #27, Forza Motorsport 2

  • Best Game Only Available Through A Console Download Service:

    #49, Sin and Punishment

  • Special “Cult” Award (see below):

    #25, Persona 3

NOTEWORTHY LOSERS

  • Best game of 2007 which somehow nobody considered to be their #1 pick: #19, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice for All
  • Worst game of 2007 that at least one person considered their #1 pick: #187, Hammerfall (Only two people voted for this)
  • Worst game of 2007: #208, SNK vs Capcom Cardfighters DS (Only one person voted for this; it was their #19 pick)

There were also five games which were listed, but which no one voted for at all.

ALTERNATE SCORING METHODS

The rankings listed above are based on an approximation of Condorcet voting. In my pseudo-Condorcet approximation, each vote cast for a game gives that game a certain number of points. If someone ranks a game #1, that game gets 20 points. If they rank it #2, the game gets 19 points. If they rank it #3 the game gets 18 points… and so on. I have a script that checks a couple of alternate ways of ranking the same data, though.

For example, if we rank games only by the number of first post votes they got, we get a slightly different list:

First Past the Post

  1. Portal (176 first-place votes)
  2. Super Mario Galaxy (170)
  3. Mass Effect (105)
  4. Bioshock (88)
  5. Rock Band (48)
  6. Team Fortress 2 (44)
  7. Call of Duty 4 (39)
  8. Halo 3 (27)
  9. Persona 3 (20)
  10. World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade (14)
  11. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (12)
  12. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl (10)
  13. Half Life 2: Episode 2 (10)
  14. Zack and Wiki (9)
  15. Uncharted : Drakes Fortune (9)
  16. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Trials and Tribulations (8)
  17. Forza Motorsport 2 (7)
  18. Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (6)
  19. Pokemon Diamond/Pearl (6)
  20. skate. (5)

Every year when we do this there’s some game which scores horribly low in the objective rankings but gets a really startling proportion of first-place votes; this year the standout game in the “cult” department was Persona 3, which only got 78 votes at all, placing it at #25 in the overall rankings– but 20 of those votes ranked it in first place, putting it in ninth place above.

I also did two more ways of sorting the rankings: an “approval” vote, where nothing is counted except the number of votes a game received (i.e. a first-place and a twentieth-place ranking count the same– all the matters is if the game was on someone’s list); and an instant runoff vote. Almost every time I’ve ever done this the Instant Runoff and pseudo-Condorcet rankings have been almost the same, but this time they were actually kind of different. Your eyes are probably starting to glaze over at this point, so I bolded the places where these two votes differ from the normal rankings:

Approval

  1. Portal (537)
  2. Bioshock (473)
  3. Super Mario Galaxy (445)
  4. Mass Effect (336)
  5. Team Fortress 2 (322)
  6. Halo 3 (321)
  7. Call of Duty 4 (314)
  8. Half Life 2: Episode 2 (307)
  9. Rock Band (228)
  10. Guitar Hero 3 (211)
  11. Assassin’s Creed (202)
  12. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (200)
  13. Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (182)
  14. Super Paper Mario (176)
  15. World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade (159)
  16. Crackdown (153)
  17. Pokemon Diamond/Pearl (150)
  18. Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords (139)
  19. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice for All (122)
  20. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl (102)

IRV

  1. Portal
  2. Super Mario Galaxy
  3. Bioshock
  4. Mass Effect
  5. Team Fortress 2
  6. Call of Duty 4
  7. Halo 3
  8. Half Life 2: Episode 2
  9. Rock Band
  10. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
  11. Assassin’s Creed
  12. Guitar Hero 3
  13. Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
  14. Super Paper Mario
  15. World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade
  16. Crackdown
  17. Pokemon Diamond/Pearl
  18. Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords
  19. Zack and Wiki
  20. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl

FINALLY: PER-FORUM BREAKDOWNS

As mentioned before, this poll mostly exists for a handful of video game forums where some people I know post. This year, I decided to actually run some extra results, in each case counting only those voters who– as far as one could tell from looking at the logs– had come to the poll from one particular forum or other. Meanwhile, as coincidence would have it, a few days into the vote one of the posts from my blog– where I had also posted about the poll– got linked by Digg, and as far as I can tell from the logs a group of the Digg users actually clicked over to the next post and voted in the poll.

So, here you have it– these numbers aren’t totally accurate because my logging method is not entirely trustworthy, but here’s an approximate by-forum breakdown of these results. Links go to color-coded full listings.

Penny Arcade Forums (678 voters)

  1. Portal
  2. Bioshock
  3. Super Mario Galaxy
  4. Mass Effect
  5. Team Fortress 2
  6. Call of Duty 4
  7. Half Life 2: Episode 3
  8. Halo 3
  9. Rock Band
  10. Guitar Hero 3
  11. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
  12. Assassin’s Creed
  13. World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade
  14. Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
  15. Super Paper Mario
  16. Pokemon Diamond/Pearl
  17. Crackdown
  18. Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords
  19. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl
  20. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice for All


Platformers.net (73 voters)

  1. Super Mario Galaxy
  2. Portal
  3. Bioshock
  4. Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
  5. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
  6. Super Paper Mario
  7. Half Life 2: Episode 2
  8. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice for All
  9. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Trials and Tribulations
  10. Team Fortress 2
  11. Pokemon Diamond/Pearl
  12. Guitar Hero 3
  13. Halo 3
  14. Mass Effect
  15. Zack and Wiki
  16. Crackdown
  17. Hotel Dusk: Room 215
  18. Wario Ware: Smooth Moves
  19. Sin and Punishment
  20. Call of Duty 4

360Arcadians.net (53 voters)

  1. Bioshock
  2. Portal
  3. Mass Effect
  4. Call of Duty 4
  5. Halo 3
  6. Assassin’s Creed
  7. Rock Band
  8. Team Fortress 2
  9. Super Mario Galaxy
  10. Crackdown
  11. Forza Motorsport 2
  12. Half Life 2: Episode 2
  13. Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords
  14. Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation
  15. skate.
  16. World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade
  17. Overlord
  18. Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
  19. God of War 2
  20. Pac-Man Championship Edition


Digg?!? (16 voters)

  1. Super Mario Galaxy
  2. Portal
  3. Bioshock
  4. Guitar Hero 3
  5. Super Paper Mario
  6. Half Life 2: Episode 2
  7. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
  8. Rock Band
  9. Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
  10. Assassin’s Creed

<— (Incidentally, the 360Arcadians guys’ 21st-place pick was Ratchet and Clank for the PS3, and their 22nd-place pick was Picross DS.)