#2: Journey
While Journey didn't break any new ground in the way we play games, it did break ground in the way we experience the journey of playing a game. Oftentimes there's someone to defeat, someone to stop, something to overcome in order to accomplish greatness...but what happens when there's nothing to overcome except the journey itself? What does that mean? Thatgamecompany's Journey is the game that puts players in the position to answer the question via actually playing. The object is to wade through century-torn wastelands in order to ascend a seemingly insurmountable mountain, where salvation waits at the top.

Journey is a short, thrilling, tear-jerking, thought-provoking and engaging game because it doesn't force you to view it as a traditional game. You're not mowing down hundreds of people while claiming to be a good guy; you actually help (or get helped) by nameless others who will come and go from your journey with seamless ambition. There's nothing to overcome but the journey itself.

I thought Journey was a profound experiment in the zen sub-genre, and the timeless, goosebumps-inducing score from Austin Wintory helped put this game into the category of being a historical achievement in the artful realm of video game design. Both the soundtrack and the game are worth experiencing over and over again. A true masterpiece of 2012.

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