After reflecting on my gaming life with my (more or less) complete list of Game of the Years from the year I was born up to 2015, I noticed a few things. Random things. Random things that must be statistically categorized.
To be more specific, the following are some random and fun (in my mind, anyway) statistics in regards to the games, series, and platforms involved with my Game of the Years. I originally was going to include these at the end of that aforementioned list, but already spent enough time writing it and wanted to move on.
Anyway, here are some finer details and random factoids regarding my selected games and runners-up. Because why not?
Series with the most Game of the Years
The Super Mario series has claimed the most Game of the Years from me with five winners: Super Mario Bros. 3 (1990), Super Mario World (1991), Super Mario RPG (1996), Super Mario Galaxy (2007), Super Mario Galaxy 2 (2010).
The only other series with multiple winners are The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong, Super Smash Bros. and Banjo-Kazooie, which have two each.
Platform with the most Game of the Years
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System and PC house more of my personal Game of the Years than any other platform, with five each. Though it should be noted that the Super Nintendo winners were all exclusives in their original release, whereas two of the PC winners were concurrently released on Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.
The platform with the second most winners, somewhat to my surprise, is the Playstation 3, with two exclusives (Uncharted 2 and Ni no Kuni) winning in their respective years, along with the previously mentioned multiplatform games, for a total of four. The Nintendo 64 and Wii tie for third place, with three winners each.
Another surprise I found out about myself is that, despite my general love of handheld games, I guess I’m not as invested in them as their console counterparts, seeing as no handheld games claimed a Game of the Year, and only nine appeared as runners-up (Pokemon Red & Blue, Pokemon Gold & Silver, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, WarioWare Twisted, Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story, Mario Kart 7, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds and Animal Crossing: New Leaf).
Does this mean those are my favorite handheld games? Not necessarily. But it was an interesting tidbit that I couldn’t think of many others I would list. Kind of makes me sad. I should play more handheld games…
Developer with the most Game of the Years
Somewhat unfairly, Nintendo claims the most Game of the Years. I say “somewhat unfairly” simply because “Nintendo” is a rather broad description of the various development teams at Nintendo.
Six winners are labelled as being developed by “Nintendo,” while the two Super Mario Galaxy games by Nintendo’s Tokyo Studios bring that number to eight. Depending on how you view Super Mario RPG and Donkey Kong Country titles (which I listed under Square, Rare and Retro Studios), that number could go up by three more.
Other developers with multiple winners include Square and Valve with two apiece, and Rare, with three winners.
Undertale, the most recent winner, is the only indie game I have so far given my Game of the Year honor. Shovel Knight and Rocket League were also included as runners-up. So it seems indie games are sneaking their way into my heart.
Series with the most runners-up (Besides Mario)
Not counting the Mario series, whose runners-up can be broken down into different sub-series (Mario Kart, Paper Mario, the platformers, etc.), the series with the most runners-up is Mega Man, with seven: Mega Man 3, Mega Man X, Mega Man 8, Mega Man Legends, The Misadventures of Tron Bonne, Mega Man 9, and Mega Man 10.
The Legend of Zelda and, shockingly, Sonic the Hedgehog each have five runners-up to their name.
Series with a Game of the Year and runner-up in the same year
Mario and Sonic are the only series that have both a winner and a runner-up in the same year. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 is my retroactive Game of the Year for 1994, while Sonic & Knuckles was a runner-up that same year. 1996 sees Super Mario RPG take the cake, with Super Mario 64 also being in the loop.
Genre with the most Game of the Years
Platformers claim an easy victory with a whopping eleven Game of the Years. Though if you consider 2D platformers and 3D platformers as separate genres (and let’s face it, they are, along with fighting games, one of the only genres with enough differences in 2D and 3D to qualify the different perspectives as differing genres), then 2D platformers have seven victors (Mega Man 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Donkey Kong Country 2, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze), while 3D platformers have four (Banjo-Kazooie, Banjo-Tooie, Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario Galaxy 2).
Second place goes to the action-adventure genre with five games (The Legend of Zelda titles, A Link to the Past and Wind Waker, along with Shadow of the Colossus, Okami, and Uncharted 2). In third place is the RPG genre with four titles (Secret of Mana, Super Mario RPG, Ni No Kuni, Undertale).
Kirby has four games listed under my runners-up (Kirby’s Adventure, Kirby Superstar, Kirby 64, Kirby’s Epic Yarn), but no Game of the Years. Hopefully that will change down the road, since I believe Kirby is the only longstanding video game character who has never been in a bad game.
This has me thinking that perhaps I missed out ranking a few more Kirby games as runners-up in the very least. I mean, Dreamland 3, Canvas Curse, and Return to Dreamland were all games I really enjoyed. I may have underrated the little guy, which means I’ve become everything I ever hated.
So there you go. Some random factoids I deduced from my Game of the Years. Hopefully you enjoyed this admittedly-needless-but-hopefully-fun post.
Why not check out those Game of the Years again?