The editor writes: Although we’ve presented our games of the year in different ways over the years, the Eurogamer team has always compiled the list and chosen the ultimate game of the year by voting among ourselves, as this seemed the fairest way of doing it. But this year, we decided that approach wasn’t working any more.
As our personal gaming habits and the video game landscape have changed, several flaws have appeared in the voting system. One was that it would over-represent games that we enjoyed playing in the office together, like FIFA or Overwatch. Another was that it would under-represent certain genres, like PC strategy games or racing games, that were only played by one or two members of the team. The most serious was that it got muddled between the games that were our personal favourites, and the games we, collectively as Eurogamer, thought were best.
This year, curation was the keyword. We compiled the list through discussion instead of voting, with the editor’s decision being final on what made the cut, and with the focus being on building a well-rounded picture of the year rather than picking personal favourites. The list was shortened from 50 games to 30 games to increase its focus and make the choices more meaningful. And the list isn’t ranked any more. The ranking was a natural byproduct of the voting system, but trying to impose one after the fact exposed how arbitrary it is in such a diverse medium: how do you choose which should be ranked higher of two excellent games of entirely different species – say Return of the Obra Dinn and Super Smash. Bros? It seemed meaningless.