With the new year, I thought I’d just quickly post a list of my favorite games I played over the year. This isn’t meant to be a list of “the best” games — if anything, it’s a testament to the impossibly-many exciting, challenging, beautiful games being made each and every day. I played about 250 games this year — which is not a lot compared to many people (cough cough Jupiter Hadley), but was a lot for me — but many weeks (and a solid month-and-a-half) went by when I didn’t play a single game, returning to my itch.io account with “99+” notifications of games I knew I couldn’t get to.
It seems silly to create a “best of” when I routinely miss out on what my favorite developers are excited about, let alone the unspeakably-numerous games I never see or hear about. And, of course, so much of what goes unseen or spoken of is tied up in privilege and norms that make it that much harder for marginalized developers to get noticed. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t celebrate the things we do experience; but remember to continue seeking out avenues you’ve not visited before. Play things you’ve never heard of, things that won’t get played otherwise, things that catch your eye and a couple that don’t.
In any case, here are the games that struck a chord with me. Not all of them came out this year (in fact, most of them didn’t). They’re listed in the order I played them in.