EZA GOTY Inspections and Criticisms

  • GameTrailers/Easy Allies have been putting out GOTY awards since 2007 (I think) and I'm sure that in that time we've all seen the winners and either thought the winner was well deserved or that they must've been smoking something hallucinatory. Anyway I feel like it is time to go through all of the GT/EZA GOTY winners and state what we think about each of them and whether they were deserved or not and which game did deserve the nod that year. In bold are GT/EZA's GOTY and my personal picks will be in bold too. Here are my opinions on each GT/EZA GOTY:

    2007-Super Mario Galaxy
    At the time I was 15 and I really didn't like how Nintendo were catering to casual gamers because I was an ignorant bigot at the time. I knew Super Mario Galaxy looked great but the hype surrounding it didn't attract me to it. I think Bioshock should have won GOTY that year and in some way I still think it should have, but even so Super Mario Galaxy is magical and majestic so it's tough to say whether Galaxy truly deserved the nod-but then Nintendo really did produce a Mario game out of this world so Super Mario Galaxy deserved it.

    2008-GTA IV
    There really weren't many huge contenders to rival GTA IV's GOTY in 2008. Sure you had Gears of War 2, MGS4: Guns of the Patriots, Fallout 3 and Dead Space among others-but GTA IV was the true stand-out so in my opinion that was the right call.

    2009-Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
    There were at least three worthy contenders for GOTY in 2009-Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and Batman: Arkham Asylum. In my mind Batman: Arkham Asylum wins narrowly from Uncharted 2: Among Thieves with Modern Warfare 2 more likely to be scraping the top 10 because I thought the amount of great PSP games were far more worthy of GOTY contention than MW2 despite its brilliance and how it upped the ante and doubled down on the game-changing MW.

    2010-Mass Effect 2
    Mass Effect 2 for many people is the zenith of the trilogy and the perfect RPG to delve into and struggle to break out of. Mass Effect 2 was deserving of massive kudos and plaudits but there were many other contenders that were gunning for GOTY that year-and many of them deserved it more. Red Dead Redemption, Fallout: New Vegas, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Heavy Rain, God of War 3 and you can even make way for little Limbo or if you felt like God of War: Ghost of Sparta set a new benchmark for the PSPs potential you could pick that or of course MGS: Peace Walker. In my mind I'd pick Red Dead: Redemption because its wild west jaunt was oh so gratifying and the payoff was absolutely remarkable.

    2011-Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
    2011 was one of the most stuffed years in videogames with great games coming out in a continuous and unrelenting stream. Contenders this year besides Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception included Skyrim, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Batman: Arkham City, Portal 2, Dirt 3, Forza Motorsport 4 and Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Yet I believe GT got it spot on this year although Skyrim was very very close but just one look at Stowaway in Drake's Deception is enough to make you believe it deserves GOTY.

    2012-X-Com: Enemy Unknown
    2012 was a really difficult year to find a GOTY. You had stand out games like The Walking Dead Season 1, Journey, Borderlands 2, Far Cry 3, Assassins Creed 3 and Mass Effect 3-but all of them couldn't convince GT to give them the nod. They gave their GOTY to X-Com: Enemey Unknown, a game in a genre I find difficult so it's apropos that I wouldn't choose it as my personal GOTY. Instead I think Far Cry 3 earned it this year because it made Far Cry far more enjoyable than it ever has been and Vaas was one of the best villains out there that gamers couldn't get enough of.

    2013-The Last of Us
    Another year with far too many great games, 2013 really came down between two phenomenal but oh so different experiences. It's either GTA V or The Last of Us and it was a might close tussle but The Last of Us won out for GT-whereas I believe GTA V deserved it. Other greats from this year included Rayman: Legends, Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag, Bioshock: Infinite, Tomb Raider, DMC: Devil May Cry and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.

    2014 was a rather low-key year for videogames despite some great releases peppered in there. Mario Kart 8, Bayonetta 2, Far Cry 4, Middle Earth: Shadow of War, Alien: Isolation, Dark Souls II and a few others made 2014 a tough year to give the GOTY nod too. I haven't played Hearthstone but I don't think it's a good omen to have a card game win Game of the Year honours as horridly biased as that seems. My pick then ought to go to Mario Kart 8 for being a brilliant Kart Racer that does almost everything right to excite.

    Another year where two games stood atop the heap. Bloodborne and it's gritty and inspired march through death certainly looks brilliantly gothic and has amazed many players with its ruthless difficulty and excellent bosses. On the flip-side you have The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt- a game with swathes of eloquent scenery, mature storytelling, deep and likeable characters-a world that you can get lost in and be absorbed by for hours and hours on end. I much prefer The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt because I cannot tolerate really difficult games although I really dig Bloodborne's style and aesthetics-but The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt does an awful lot to pull you in and keep you playing even if the combat is an acquired taste. Other heavy hitters this year include MGS V: The Phantom Pain, Until Dawn, Rocket League, Batman: Arkham Knight and Fallout 4.

    2016-The Last Guardian
    The year where GameTrailers morphed into Easy Allies and a year of perhaps their most contentious GOTY to date. The Last Guardian spent years upon years in development limbo and when it came out many didn't think it lived up to the years of waiting and Trico's AI became a source of jokes, but there is no mistaking its artistry because it does look lovely. Other huge contenders this year include DOOM, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Overwatch, Inside and Dishonored 2. Personally I thought this year was the year of DOOM because there were concerns before the game released about its quality-then when it came out it was absolutely awesome and gory delight.

    2017-The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
    In many gamers' minds 2017 was about one game that stood head and shoulders above everything else-The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. When the Nintendo Switch launched in March it came with an almighty reason to go out and own a Nintendo Switch and many to this day see it as the best Nintendo Switch game. I, however prefer joy in my videogames over frustrations and weapon durability so Super Mario: Odyssey is my pick but What Remains of Edith Finch and Persona 5 come so close. 2017 was a great year for Japanese games with the like of Yakuza 0 and Nier: Automata as well as Persona 5 making a huge splash on western shores. Horizon: Zero Dawn, Cuphead, Resident Evil 7 and Wolfenstein: The New Colossus also made a great impact in 2017.

    2018-God Of War
    Much like 2017 it seems like 2018 was all about one contender and that was God of War-but actually it had Red Dead Redemption 2 gnawing at its heels. God of War is exemplary and a true Playstation classic, a huge but amazing departure from previous God of War games that is worthy of every accolade it has garnered....except my own. Instead I give GOTY to Spider-Man for managing to be so much damn fun and one of those rare games that really does live up to the immense hype that it had garnered before release. 2018 may not have had the most games released but when it comes to picking a GOTY 2018 has to be the hardest year to date- a few very excellent and worthy contenders and you can't go wrong with any of them. Quick mentions to other great games of 2018 like Forza Horizon 4, Assassins Creed: Odyssey and Super Smash Bros: Ultimate.

    2019-Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
    I'm not going to lie I had a salty kneejerk reaction when the Allies rewarded Sekiro their Game of the Year-but when I play it I can see why they gave it the nod over Resident Evil 2-but I still believe Resident Evil 2 deserved top honours. Resident Evil 2 is probably the best videogame remake yet and it's superbly terrifying and horrifying in a way the series hasn't series since the original PS2 release. When you have Mr X pursuing you whilst you're constantly getting your hands dirty fending off hordes of undead and other monstrosities-that is the pure essence of survival horror right there. 2019 had notable great gems like Control, Death Stranding, The Outer Worlds, Devil May Cry 5, Untitled Goose Game, Sayonara Wild Hearts, Super Mario Maker 2 and A Plague Tale: Innocence.

  • 2014, 2016 were pure insanity. A mix of fanboyism and straight up insanity. All the other years seem fine even if they don't always reflect my personal choice.

  • @jdincinerator said in EZA GOTY Inspections and Criticisms:

    GameTrailers/Easy Allies have been putting out GOTY awards since 2007

    I can't find the video, but apparently this was the GameTrailers GOTY for 2006:

    -Gears of War
    -Guitar Hero II
    -Rainbow Six Vegas
    -The legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Winner)

    2005 GOTY:
    Youtube Video

  • @Phbz If you think 2014 was about fanboyism, then you haven't heard the stories about how that pick came to be. It was literally a matter of nobody wanting to pick Hearthstone, but people less into it like Jones basically going "You guys have literally been playing and discussing this game every day nonstop all year," in a if that's not GOTY what is manner.

    Also, I think gatekeeping genres from major accolade status in general is a widespread problem with the gaming space. Yeah, one of the biggest digital Card Games ever maybe deserves to actually be recognized as GOTY instead of automatically disqualified for not being a graphical / technical showpiece that's likely also Action Adventure, because that's what wins GOTY 98% of the time. Even though there's so many other genres like Racing that can get snubbed every single time, even if they make the crowning achievement of their genre in a year with nothing but mediocre entries in other genres. I guess Racing games just have to figure out ways to make their player cry if they want to be GOTY huh? Fuck GOTY norms. I don't like Hearthstone, especially today, but I definitely wouldn't say 2014 Hearthstone didn't deserve to be recognized.

  • @mbun Pretty sure I've heard Ben saying he was the one pushing for it and that he kinda regrets it. Kind of irrelevant anyway, just my opinion. I love that other genres get recognition, a predatory card game not so much IN MY OPINION.

  • I definitely agree with the "GOTY norms" needing to be challenged because it is bullshit that certain types of games don't get counted as GOTY contenders because they are either of a certain genre or the publication's staff didn't sink enough time into a racing game (if any).

    I recall Ian arguing last year for the 2019 GOTY discussion that The Outer Wilds does things that haven't been done before and pushes gaming forward. I haven't played that game, but the point stands in that "pushing gaming forward" is a good qualifier for GOTY, but again, that's ultimately subjective as all hell. The 2009 GT GOTY was Modern Warfare 2 and you can definitely argue that it pushed online multiplayer forward, but you can also argue that it was a refinement of the prior entry in the series and nothing more. Tough to say.


    In regards to the GameTrailers GOTY's over the years, I think they've always done a good job of at least drawing attention to A LOT of different games before issuing a winner, but I feel like that 2009 was weird in giving Modern Warfare 2 every category (Best PC, 360, and PS3 Game) as well as GOTY.

    I think that was another case of "well you're addicted to it, so it must be GOTY, right?" but maybe not pushing boundaries or creating new systems in a way Batman or Uncharted 2 did. It was a great game, and I think GT took way too much flak for that decision, but I don't think getting addicted to COD for months necessarily means it's the best.

  • There's more I want to say about this but I can't focus my thoughts right now, so I'll just say three things:

    • I love The Last Guardian, but I think the technical issues that it had should have disqualified it from being GOTY. The framerate can be so atrocious on base PS4. Also, Uncharted 4 got snubbed! :p
    • Far Cry 4 winning best shooter of 2014 is straight up disgusting. Wolfenstein The New Order wins that easily, and I would personally put it as GOTY.
    • It's kinda hard for me to criticize MW2 winning GOTY now, because in hindsight the multiplayer is very impactful to a ton of people out there, but on the other hand everything else the game offers are not nearly as good, and there's way better games in 2009 imo.

  • @phbz said:

    Pretty sure I've heard Ben saying he was the one pushing for it

    It was the year of Bayonetta 2, so doubt that's completely accurate.

    and that he kinda regrets it.

    It was the year of Bayonetta 2, so I'm sure that's completely accurate.

    I love that other genres get recognition

    They usually don't, least not as GOTY. They'll get thrown lesser categories, which is still just as insulting, if not more so in cases of certain categories like Best Family Game.

    predatory card game

    You can label any collectible card game as this. It is easier just to say you hate Hearthstone, which is fine. I think most people today do, but restrospect is easier than making decisions at the time.

    @DIPSET It is pretty lame when one game sweeps lots of categories around GOTY as well as it, but it also feels appropriate sometimes. Then other times you have crap like TLoU Part 2 taking Best Narrative when a large portion of the fans of that game hate that aspect of Part 2 but it wins anyways just because most "dramatic".

    As far as Modern Warfare 2 goes, I think the legacy of that game has cemented how much it deserved what it won that year, even if you're not wrong about building on the games before it, but that also applies to tons of games, even new series that built upon experience the devs got from previous unrelated games you don't think about as much.

    When it comes to the addictive aspect of a game pushing it for GOTY, I think you have to lean in an analyze why it is addictive. If it is simply addictive because it is fun to play and really does what it does exceptionally well, that shouldn't be a knock against it. If it is just the kind of game you play a ton because it is easy to, but there's not much substance behind what you're doing, of course that's not as "worthy" of spotlighting.

  • I don't know if I agree with any of the ones I played out of those. Bloodborne I can see an argument for. Maybe.

  • @mbun It's possible that you're right regarding Ben. But it's irrelevant, I said the game was picked out of fanboyism and insanity because 1) many of the allies are Blizzard fans 2) because in my opinion that's a silly pick for goty. I just don't see it. That's kind of the point of this thread...

    But I have to say, I despise Blizzard for how exploitative their game design philosophy is, so I'm very biased. I don't think there's a single developer I have such low consideration as I do for Blizzard.

  • @phbz said:

    1. many of the allies are Blizzard fans

    Looking back at that list, most of the allies are also From Software, Nintendo, Rockstar, Sony Santa Monica, Team Ico, etc. fans, so I don't think pointing that out means much unless you're going to leverage the same argument against ALL their GOTYs.

    1. because in my opinion that's a silly pick for goty. I just don't see it.

    No matter what wins GOTY every year, people are going to come out the woodwork wishing it was another game they're more attached to (the Uncharted 4 salt is eternal) and disagreeing with the one that won, even if they have no experience with that game and don't even know how it stacks up to their favorite. That's just GOTYs. Nobody plays everything, and everyone ends up with different affinities for and levels of attachment to different games.

  • @mbun If the allies picked Resident Evil - The card game (TM) I would say the exact same thing. Probably picked out of fanboyism and insanity.

  • 2020- TLOU2 was bad.
    Shouldve been something else.

  • Banned

    How the hell did Last Guardian win over Doom? I mean, don't get me wrong, I loved TLG, but fucking Doom.

    Also, it is downright despicable that Control didn't win 2019. I'm about 13 hours deep in the game and it has mindfucked it's way into my top 10 games of all time. Unless there is some monumental dropoff in quality near the end, I don't see my opinion changing.

    @mbun I think you are mistaking a vocal minority of disgruntled chuds for "a large portion" of fans. Literally no other game came even remotely close to presenting as compelling and complex a narrative as TLOU2 did.

  • @shoulderguy This was a top 10 Game of the Year games not awards as such.

  • TLG >>>>>>> DOOM

  • @dipset I haven't played TLG and I still agree.

  • @el-shmiablo said:

    I think you are mistaking a vocal minority of disgruntled chuds for "a large portion" of fans.

    No, you're definitely waving away criticism because of the controversy before launch, but plenty of people who went through the game also weren't happy with the direction of the narrative.

    Literally no other game came even remotely close to presenting as compelling and complex a narrative as TLOU2 did.

    I know you didn't play much else in 2020, so I'm just going to hard disagree instead of saying more.

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  • By the way as we discuss goty, and TLoU2 both in critics and people's choice impressive numbers.


    Award Totals

    The Last of Us Part II - 261
    Media Outlets: 170 | Readers' Choice: 91

    Hades - 53
    Media Outlets: 50 | Readers' Choice: 3

    Ghost of Tsushima - 50
    Media Outlets: 39 | Readers' Choice: 11

    Animal Crossing: New Horizons - 25
    Media Outlets: 24 | Readers' Choice: 1

    Cyberpunk 2077 - 25
    Media Outlets: 10 | Readers' Choice: 15

    Final Fantasy VII Remake - 20
    Media Outlets: 19 | Readers' Choice: 1

    Doom Eternal - 12
    Media Outlets: 12 | Readers' Choice: 0

    Half Life: Alyx - 9
    Assassin's Creed Valhalla - 4

    Microsoft Flight Simulator - 4
    Ori and the Will of the Wisps - 4
    Yakuza: Like a Dragon - 4
    Immortals Fenyx Rising - 2
    13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim - 1
    Demon's Souls - 1
    Dreams - 1
    Kentucky Route Zero - 1
    Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales - 1
    Persona 5 Royal - 1
    Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin - 1
    Spiritfarer - 1
    Tell Me Why - 1
    Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 - 1