There’s a tradition in the medium of videogames, recognizing the best of the best games year after year in Game of the Year ceremony. Rated G is no different. Every year we pick ten games, five a piece and choose one as our game of the year.
Below are our picks since the podcast started in 2015.
The Witcher is series that has continuously has gotten deeper and more expansive with each entry. Based of a book series, it encompasses everything that an action open world game should be. Deep story and dialogue options, engrossing quests and solid combat mechanics among other things. Although the game had a rocky start on consoles, CD Project Red was committed to putting out frequent patches to fix bugs, performance and add additional content for the game. What it is today is a top gaming entry worthy of game of the year.
Nathan Drake and Sully are back for another outing in Uncharted 4. A fitting end for Drake’s story and worthy of our 2016 game of the year.
Debuting on both the Wii U and a launch title for the Switch, Breath of the Wild takes the series back to it’s roots. So much so the game was prototyped on a modified version of the original Legend of Zelda. We praised it’s open world design and exceptional efforts to guide you to where you should go without actually telling you. Being able to scale any mountain, chop down trees to create makeshift bridges and go anywhere you can see is an amazing feat. They thought the game embodied the essence of what a Zelda game is and should be. Exploring a vast countryside just like young Miyamoto did when he was a child. It was a close race between Zelda and Mario in 2017, but Breath of the Wild just eeked out the win in the end.
Sony Santa Monica took on the task of rebooting a beloved franchise that arguably had gotten a little stale at this point; a major task indeed. They’ve created new combat mechanics and a new story while simultaneously keeping ties to the original series in story and combat options. There’s more new than old and it’s refreshing to use the new Leviathan Axe to take down enemies and huck across the frozen wastes to hit far away targets. As far as the story goes, the bonding between Kratos and Atreus is touching story. One of a father and son, where lessons are taught through experience. Where grieving and introspection happen as a backdrop to ripping the demons apart in gruesome combat. We were very high on this game and it was a close race between Red Dead Redemption II and this but ultimately we had to give it to God of War in 2018.
Death Stranding made waves in 2019, splitting games into two camps. Fans who praised innovative story and unique gameplay loop and those who found it a tedious slog through the United States. The joke being the game was a package delivery simulator. We found the game’s beautiful visuals and wild narrative rise above it’s gaming competition. While combat and world traversal may feel a bit clunky and awkward, it’s Kojima’s story that is the driving force to engage the player and help reconnect the U.S. Even though this game divided gamers, we thought it was worthy of game of the year.
The level of detail in Ghosts of Tsushima is off the charts. So much so we made it our game of the year in 2020. From the subtle change of winds to show where the next mission is located to the Kurosawa inspired black and white filter, Ghosts of Tsushima really hits the mark in the world building department. The game really engrosses you into the world of the samurai; combat feels authentic with encouraging the player to wait for the appropriate opening. This can be accomplished by parrying and dodging attacks to get the advantage to switching up your stance to handle a particular type of enemy. And it’s not just the combat they get right, the narrative really pulls you into the game and keeps you invested till the end.
A unanimous decision from Rated G in 2021, Psychonauts 2 is a gem of a game and rose above strong competition. A long awaited sequel from fans, Tim Schafer’s Double Fine studio second Psychonauts game was worth the wait. Everything has been improved from the original, from the new psychonaut powers to the more nuanced story writing, this game is a 10 from beginning to end.
Back again in 2022 is Kratos’ next outing, God of War Ragnarök. The combat has been completely revamped, Atreus is given much more agency and new weapons enter the mix to make this one of the best entries of 2022. We loved the variety in the locations and it’s gripping story. The only knock we can say is the same from the first one, the crafting mechanics have got to go. Otherwise it’s a solid entry in the franchise worthy of game of the year.
The only game you can beat on your lunch break. The only game that Dan will defend to the death even though it’s only medicore. And the only game ever to have been nominated three years in a row, the Order 1886 is the stuff of legends. We nominated it in 2015, 2016 and 2017. What started out as a meme has now been enshrined into the Rated G hall of fame, we celebrate the Order 1886 and at least one half of Rated G is really hoping for a sequel.