The Onion’s AV Club has just released editor’s picks for top six games of the year. You might think that’s an odd number for a list, but even more peculiar are some of the picks. It starts out with big hitters like Bioshock and Halo 3 at the top, and then quickly descends into obscurity, with completely unexpected titles such as ‘Jets N Guns’ and ‘Pacman: Championship Edition’ while titles such as Super Mario Galaxy remain suspiciously absent.
Despite this editor’s opinions on the competency of the AV Club’s editorial staff, you have to give them credit for their number one pick: Portal.
Much has been made of Portal’s innovative gameplay and pitch-black sense of humor, but the game’s core strength, one that all its best points spring from, is that it’s subversive. At every turn, it forces players to rethink what makes a game great. There are no sweeping alien vistas or eye-popping cutscenes. Every minute of the game is played from the perspective of a nameless, voiceless female prisoner trapped in a drab but deadly testing laboratory. There are no items to collect, skills to upgrade, or quests to achieve. And most importantly, the heroine never wields a weapon. She redirects her captor’s destructive impulses with the non-violent confidence of an aikido master. When we follow her trajectory from guinea pig to free woman, it’s like we’re throwing off chains of our own.
Hit the break for the full list.
6. Jets ‘N’ Guns: Gold
5. Pacman: Championship Edition
3. Halo 3
2. Rock Band