A Game of the Year 2007 Poll: Results

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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.)

2 Responses to “A Game of the Year 2007 Poll: Results”

  1. Bob Richard Says:

    What you’re calling pseudo-Condorcet is actually the Borda Count. (Borda and Condorcet were fierce rivals in the scientific community in 18th century France.) The two methods don’t have a lot in common, beyond the fact that they are based on rankings (so is IRV).

    On of the (numerous) problems with the Borda method is that it requires every voter to submit a complete ranking of all of the candidates. Otherwise, adding up the scores is unfair to candidates mentioned by fewer voters. In your case, let’s relax that standard and insist that each voter rank the same number of candidates. How many voters in your poll used all 20 of their rankings?

    There’s a similar issue with your approval voting tally. There’s no reason to think that any given voter approves of her 20th choice, only that she has enough knowledge of at least 20 games to form opinions about them. I have, however, seen this problem (trying to infer approval results from a non-approval ballot) in other places — including at least one academic textbook on voting methods.

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