Jay Castello
Freelance Writer
jaymcastello@gmail.com
@jayplaysthings

About the Best Game Ever

Which is Undertale, in case you hadn’t heard.

Okay, so probably not really. Here’s the thing, there’s no such thing as the best game ever - it’s subjective. A polling competition on GameFAQs doesn’t actually mean anything.

Looking at the internet over the last few days though, you’d think it meant everything. People were furious that Undertale, a newer game that someone decided is a “SJW” game, beat out Ocarina of Time.

Yeah, that Ocarina of Time. I was surprised too. But it was a very gleeful kind of surprise. It would be easy to make this seem like some great statement about video games and gamers pushing forward into better and brighter things, but really all it boils down to something much simpler, and potentially better: a community of people very simply expressing their love for something. (Also schadenfreude. I will admit to feeling a lot of schadenfreude right now.)

I’d wager that most of the votes for Undertale simply came from its huge fandom, most of whom are just simply fans and aren’t intending to make any kind of statement with their vote. They don’t care that the GameFAQs exploded with talk of vote manipulation, of SJWs, of Undertale not being a “real game”, of its fans not being “real gamers”, of “I don’t care but…” and calling Undertale fans “delusional.” It’s pretty much just fandom doing what fandom does - refusing to be passive about media that they love. It was a bunch of young people giving something to a creation they were thankful for.

Of course they rallied for votes and came out in droves - that’s just how a “democratic” poll works. The poll wasn’t asking which game had more merits, it was asking which one would garner the most support. This isn’t the “death of contests” as I saw someone say. This is how they work, at least when they come in this form.

Undertale’s victory is so great because any indie game could have beaten out the big, nostalgic games that win every iteration of this question but it had to be the “SJW” game of the moment, and most of the voters just didn’t care about the vitriol. People were beating on the proverbial doors in vain and fans just shrugged and went on voting.

On Rise of the Tomb Raider

The Game Awards Census