At last we have arrived. You came, you played, you voted. Here's the list we've all been waiting for. ladies and gents, I give you the Dealspwn Community Top Ten Games of Last-Gen!
NB. We've added in the vote tallies for this one so you can see just how close things were. Games ranked 1st got 30 pts, 2nd had 29 pts etc.
10. The Walking Dead (206)
What we said: Through masterful writing, some of the best voice acting that this industry has ever seen,and moody soundscapes and a strikingly emotive and communicative art style, The Walking Dead provided the storytelling experience of the year with five superbly wrought episodes that forced us to make hard choices time and time again, and care more about a bunch of virtual characters than many of us do about things here in the real world.
What we said: Bethesda have managed to meet, and perhaps exceed, the expectations placed upon the fifth entry in the series. With so much freedom to play the role you wish to, and a huge area to explore, those looking for a deep medieval fantasy experience will get their money’s worth with this one. As far as we're concerned, Skyrim is the pinnacle of the RPG genre.
8. Mass Effect (208)
What we said: It's been over half a decade and we still can't get over what happened on Virmire.
The two sequels would refine the action and remove many of the mechanical problems that plagued the first Mass Effect (deletion is not the same as fixing or even improving), but no other RPG (bar one) comes close to touching BioWare's outstanding space opera. One of the greatest interactive storytelling experiences of all time, the plot was expertly crafted in the first game and unfolded perfectly, paced to perfection, and with an ideal foil for Shepard in Saren Arterius -- a visible, relatable villain. But even more than the story, we fell in love with this universe, the characters and races therein. Mass Effect captured the wonder of going out into the unknown, uncovering long-hidden secrets about the past, discovering new civilisations, and learning something new about universe every step of the way.
7. Batman: Arkham Asylum (210)
What we said: I could nit-pick about the game’s sometimes clumsy controls, the often hazy objectives and monotonous boss-fights, but it would be harsh to do so. Loose threads in a world-class tapestry. Rocksteady, before now virtual unknowns, have created a game of such polish, with refined mechanics, rewarding progression and an engrossing universe. They’re destined to be remembered as the first developers to truly realise the Batman experience.
6. Assassin's Creed 2 (219)
What we said: Assassin's Creed 2 is a superior sequel that improves on the original in every conceivable way. Whilst the challenge becomes astoundingly casual after a few upgrades, the huge amount of varied optional missions and content make for a lengthy, addictive and rewarding experience. We'll do our best to save you money, but you'll need a lot of time to witness everything that Ezio's adventure brings to the table.
5. Dark Souls (220)
What we said: Demon's Souls fans will find more of the experience they loved, with a few new game mechanics to keep things fresh, while new players will be immersed in a beautiful world and one of the best representations of sword-based combat that gaming has to offer. Prepare to die.
What we said: Mass Effect 2 is a stunning achievement for BioWare. Not only does it provide a shining example of an ideal sequel, but it further broadens our perceptions of what an RPG should be. The combat is excellent, the graphics are impressive, and the characters are both idiosyncratic and sympathetic. Prepare for it to eat up your life as there's no way you'll just play it once.
3. Fallout 3 (230)
What we said: Fallout 3 isn't perfect... but sometimes, a flawed game demands a perfect score for simply being impossible to put down. Bethesda have once again demonstrated their mastery of the openworld RPG genre by delivering an experience that provides unparalleled depth, replayability and barefaced choice- which will keep gamers coming back for more long after their first playthrough. Technical issues aside, Fallout 3 is a tremendous achievement that deserves your attention, your money... and most importantly, your time.
2. Portal (257)
What we said: Portal surprised us all by arguably being the Best Thing inside the Orange Box...and that box contained Half Life 2! But it also starred one of the finest video game characters of all time: the wonderfully passive-aggressive mainframe GLaDOS. Portal also had one of the finest, funniest end credit scenes largely thanks to a certain song about cake by Jonathan Coulton. Bizarre mind-games, the unrequited, childish love of an intelligent machine, the promise of baked goods and therapy sessions and forging friendships with a painted cube made us do more than just think...it made us laugh too.
1. Bioshock (290)
What we said: Irrational created the most memorable game world of the generation in Rapture, and left you to pick your way through its dilapidated bones, discovering its history at your own pace. The lack of direct choice (or the illusion of it) -- that is to say, the apparent absence of morality-driven narrative divergences -- didn't matter. Bioshock played with the nature of control and discovery, using exposition to give colour and depth to the horrors you'd witness, and then turning everything on its head.
Rarely have three words proved so absolutely devastating in any story across any medium. Bioshock isn't just a video game classic, it's a milestone in interactive fiction.