What we played: Our 2007 Game of the Year picks

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2007, we hardly knew thee. For this week’s “What we’re playing,” we’re reflecting on our personal favorite games from this past year. Looking through the list, you’ll see lots of the well-known favorites, including Mass Effect, Super Mario Galaxy, and Rock Band. If we had to lock ourselves in a room and fight over our official office pick for GOTY, I’d venture to say it would end up being between the Orange Box or Bioshock. If you’ve been following this blog, or playing games this year, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

As for the format for our rankings, there really isn’t one…I’ve let folks at the office format their lists as they please. If you’d like, feel free to share your picks in the comments section.

On to the lists…

Ryan Ashford: 1) Team Fortress 2 2) Portal 3) Gimme Friction Baby 4) Super Mario Galaxy 5) Call of Duty 4

Shannon Bailey, Programmer: 1) Persona 3 2) Rock Band 3) Rogue Galaxy 4) Mass Effect 5) Eternal Sonata

Jonathan Bilodeau, Graphics Programmer:
1) Mass Effect 2) Bioshock 3) Puzzle Quest 4) Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass 5) Blue Dragon

Daryl Brigner, Level Designer: Portal, Call of Duty 4, Rock Band, Crysis, and Super Mario Galaxy

Angela Browder, Associate Producer: 1) Puzzle Quest 2)Crackdown 3)World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade 4)Bioshock 5)The Darkness. Honorable Mentions: CoD4, Eets: Chowdown, Super Mario Galaxy

Joel Burgess: Phase (iPod), S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Orange Box (PC), Halo 3, Call of Duty 4 (PC), Mario Galaxy (Wii).

Ashley Cheng, Producer: GOTY (tie): Portal, Rock Band, Bioshock. Biggest Surprise: The Witcher. Personal Fav: Mass Effect.

Nate Ellis, Design Intern: 1) Bioshock 2) Assassin’s Creed 3) WoW: The Burning Crusade 4) Puzzle Quest – DS 5) Guitar Hero 2 – 360
Games that didn’t get considered because I haven’t played them yet: Super Mario Galaxy, Rock Band, Metroid Prime, Orange Box, Zak & Wiki.

Chris Esko, Systems Programmer: 1) Bioshock 2) Orange Box 3) Mass Effect 4) Super Mario Galaxy 5) Puzzle Quest
Honorable mentions: Halo 3, Assassin’s Creed, Rock Band, Bomberman Live, God of War 2, Metroid Prime 3, Overlord

Matt Grandstaff, Community Manager: 1) Bioshock 2) Portal 3) Super Mario Galaxy 4) Everyday Shooter 5)Halo 3. Honorable Mentions: God of War II, Call of Duty 4, Rock Band, Contra IV, Ratchet and Clank Future, Uncharted, Phantom Hourglass.

Ricardo Gonzalez, And the Nominees Are: 1) Bioshock 2) Portal 3) Psychonauts 4) Fallout 5) The first half of Guitar Hero III on Hard

Pete Hines: Game of the Year: I haven’t finished playing any number of games that probably would make my list (Mass Effect, COD4, Rock Band, Mario Galaxy, etc) so it’s silly to rank a top 5 until I get to all those, but in no particular order I have: Carcassone, Puzzle Quest, Portal, Bioshock, Halo 3, Picross, Rayman (Wii), and Jeanne D’Arc.

Craig Lafferty, Producer: 1) Bioshock 2) Call of Duty 4 3) The Orange Box 4) Rock Band 5) Pac Man C.E. Honorable Mentions: Halo 3, Crackdown, Madden 08, Peggle, Skate

Tim Lamb: Call of Duty 4 all the way

Michael Lattanzia, QA: (Top 5 in no particular order) Monster Hunter Freedom 2, Hellgate: London, Rock Band, Civilization 4: Beyond the Sword, Orange Box. Honorable Mention: Super Mario Galaxy (I don’t have a Wii yet to play it), BioShock (didn’t have time to play it, but I liked what I did play), Lord of the Rings: Online, and probably several others that I can’t think of at the moment.

Dan Lee, Artist: 1) Call of Duty 4 2) Picross DS 3) Persona 3 4) Crackdown 5) Eets: Chowdown
Honorable Mention: Stuntman: Ignition

Nathan McDyer, Associate Producer: 1)Orange Box 2)Bioshock 3)Skate 4)Crackdown 5)Neo Geo Battle Coliseum

Aaron Mitschelen, QA: 1) LotRO 2) Soul Nomad and the World Eaters 3) Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 4) Crysis 5) World in Conflict

Matt Ouzounian, Quite Active: Orange Box, Mass Effect, and Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer

Phil Nelson, Additional Pylon Constructor: 1) Rock Band 2) First 5 Hours Of Assassins Creed 3) Hitman: Blood Money[I was late to the party] 4) Portal 5) Bioshock

Gary Noonan, Character Animator: My choice for Game of the Year ’07 would have to be…. Um…. (ok, I just sat here for the last 5 minutes staring and thinking and nothing really comes to mind)…. Uh…. Ok, how about DiRT. Total underdog but I think I put more time into that than I did anything else all year and I totally enjoyed it.

Emil Pagliarulo: My Game of the Year has got to be Call of Duty 4. Pure military gaming awesomeness distilled down to its purest form. From a development standpoint, that game is so polished, tight, and fast, it makes my head spin. Other favs – Portal was awesome, I really dug Assassin’s Creed, I’m still playing and loving S.T.A.L.K.E.R., and from what I’ve played of the Witcher so far, it’s easily my RPG of the year.

Nate Purkeypile, Vertex Villain: 1) TF2 2) Super Mario Galaxy 3) Portal 4) Rock Band 5) Civ 4: Beyond the Sword

Dan Ross, QA:
1) Portal 2) Civ 4: Beyond the Sword 3) Bioshock 4) Team Fortress 2 5) Rock Band
Honorable mention: Can I say Fallout 2? I only actually played all the way through this year, so it still counts right? Right!?

Megan Sawyer, Art Chick: 1)TES IV: Shivering Isles on PC 2) Pokemon Diamond on DS 3) Rock Band on XBox 360 4)Guitar Hero 3 on XBox 360 5)Puzzle Quest for DS & Xbox Live. Honorable mentions go to Catz 2 DS, and MySims for the DS.

Orin Tresnjak, Graphics Programmer: 1) Crysis 2) Portal 3) Super Mario Galaxy 4) Forza Motorsport 2 5) Phantom Hourglass
Honorable Mentions: Orcs & Elves, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, Team Fortress 2
Probably Good Games I Haven’t Played Yet: Mass Effect, The Witcher, World in Conflict, PGR4, Zak & Wiki

Michael Wagner, Marketing: 1)Orange Box 2)Halo 3 3.)Supreme Commander 4.)Bioshock 5.)Call of Duty 4
Fred Zeleny, Random Title Generator: 1) Portal 2) Super Mario Galaxy 3) Rock Band 4)Team Fortress II 5) Mass Effect

Reader Comments

  1. Okay, my pick for TOp 3 games this year :

    1)The Witcher, for being probably the best RPG since Vampire Bloodlines

    2)Bioshock, for good story (for a fps) and just incredible art design and atmosphere

    3)Stalker, for one of the best environments ever created for a game, and therefore perfect atmosphere as well (and gameplay was good, too :) )

    COD4,Crysis,Kane&Lynch were not bad, bud they just rehashed COD2,FarCry,Freedom Fighters, respectively.
    Anyway, nice to see that Emil appreciated The Witcher, because I really think that this game had something a lot of others don’t..for example the scene at Shani’s home…perfect.

  2. Apparently, “The Man” is trying to censor me. Either that or I didn’t respond in time. But that’s ok, I was able to dive into my “sent items” folder, and recover my entry. Fight the Power!

    Dan “The Center” Geske, QA: I think the only thing I’ve played that’s been new this year has been NCAA Football 2008. Even so, it still gets my vote. Every time I play it, I find something new to do, or something that I wanna do (like beat USC with Stanford. It’s harder to do in a video game than in real life, apparently, unless settings are at JV, and you get no respect that way). Personally, I’d also have to add Lords of the Realm in there, even though I don’t think they’re eligable, due to the fact they’re nearly a decade old. Actually, is there a “GOML” (Games Of My Life) category?

  3. I’m glad Orin Tresnjak mentioned quake wars enemy territory, now that’s a good game!!… difficult to master, but a really good game once you get the hang of it.

  4. I am not a big gamer, but this year I got a few surprises… First Warhammer 40K: Dark Crusade – I am sooo deep into WH40K :) ; second comes Assassin’s Creed, definetely an excellent gaming experience. Last comes Oblivion GOTY, that has given me loads of fun… I am already over 70hrs of gametime, and had the game for just a month!

    Merry Xmas & Happy New Year everybody!

  5. Gimme Friction Baby? Does the local police department know about this?

    I’ve only got one ’07 game and it’s Witcher. I’m happy with it. :)

  6. Gimme Friction Baby was on my list because it was an extremely simple, extremely addicting game which I spent far too much time on. I loved Mario Galaxy and CoD4. They were both extremely solid games, but the replayability was very little, and that’s why they got ranked lower than GFB for me =).

    Sometimes the simple ones are the ones that catch your eye as well. I will admit that nowadays decent graphics are generally needed to attract an audience, but GFB did it for me with a black rectangle and white circles. VERY simple. I highly recommend everyone try it.

  7. My top 3 is;

    1. The Wither.
    This is without doubt my pick for the game of the year, rarely have I played such a great game. I must admit that this game could easily become my favorite game of all time, even surpassing Morrowind.
    Bethesda all of you guys should play this game, this is what rpgs are all about!

    2. The Orange Box.
    Portal, do I need say more?

    3. Assassin’s Creed.
    I was afraid that it might have disappointed me, because of my high hopes for the game, it would be Oblivion all over again, over hype can kill anything. Luckily I wasn’t. it was great fun.

  8. My picks

    1. Mass Effect- for the most beautiful and well composed story, with a great arch and action, the vast amount of greatness this game holds is amazing! This game is like a movie; and a good one at that.

    2. Call of Duty 4- ever since I have bought it I have been hooked, the epic story-line, while short, it rocks, and the multiplayer will keep you playing for as long as your eyes stay open.

    3. Bioshock- this game really is a masterpiece on so many levels, the story and the drama, it is so… twisted! Because of this it is a MUST PLAY. :P

    4. Orange Box- I wish more people got into this box, as then I would have had more people to play with on it, but still the greatest deal in video gaming history… nuff said.

    5. Halo 3- Halo how I had so much high hopes for you, and how you kicked me in the heart, but seriously Halo had WAY too much hype and I got sucked into its vortex, it was a good game, but not even close to the hype, a sturdy campaign that finished the fight and warmed my heart but the multiplayer was boring other than forge, it is basically Halo 2.5 multiplayer.

  9. 1. The Witcher (so far and I’m only in Chapter 2).

    2. Bioshock. Art deco never looked so good (and intentionally bad and blown up).

    3. Shivering Isles. It’s longer than some games being released today so I count it as a game.

  10. Sorry, but I don’t “get it” when it comes to The Witcher. Sure, the dialog choices are nice, but the combat feels very forced and clunky. The “Bone’d” CCG is nice…