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What Makes A Game Of The Year?

Sackboy We're just coming out of the time of year when all of the major game journalism publications choose a vaunted Game of the Year to hold up high for praise.  2008 was stellar year for gaming, so how is it possible to take a list of all of the games released last year and whittle it down to a single title that stands above all others?  The debate lasted quite a while behind the scenes at Kombo as all of us on staff stated our cases with lists of nominees followed by a vote.  The results were close.  Too close, in fact; three games wound up in a near-tie.  It was decided that there would be a run-off vote for those three games, and once again the staff stepped up to throw support behind the final nominees: Metal Gear Solid 4, Fallout 3, and LittleBigPlanet.  I thought that the ensuing debate was so interesting that I compiled it all into a massive staff roundtable discussion article, and you can read the result over at Kombo.

Choosing a single Game of the Year was not an easy task for 2008, and the first round of voting ended in a near three-way tie. Due to the close results, it was decided that a run-off vote would occur between the top three games from the initial voting results. The final round nominees were LittleBigPlanet, Metal Gear Solid 4, and Fallout 3. While Sackboy and friends eventually came away with the honor, the other two games did not go away quietly. we don't usually share our internal discussion with all of you out there, but there was some fantastic chatter about what makes (and does not make) a true game of the year that we believed you may have an interest in reading. Here is how the debate unfolded behind the scenes as the Kombo staff set about choosing 2008's Game of the Year.

Everybody made some great points and in the end it seems that most were satisfied with how the vote came out.  There were some especially fantastic arguments made in support of LittleBigPlanet (which eventually won the honor of Game of the Year), but what struck me is that those who voted for Sackboy all had a different reason as to why that game stood above the others.  It just goes to show once again that LittleBigPlanet is whatever the players make of it.