Back in December, The Escapist began a tournament bracket to see what the community thought was the best game of 2013. Naturally, it being an extended poll of opinions on the internet, some unexpected things were bound to happen. We tapped Publisher’s Club members to pick a game to include in the running, and they selected Papers, Please, the premier customs checkpoint simulator. After a few weeks of voting, the indie underdog was matched against Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us in the final round. What happened then was a virtual throwdown of votes flying from all over the world.
Despite being a small game from a small studio, Papers, Please steamrolled the competition from the outset. It took down XCOM: Enemy Within, a staff favorite, in Round One with ease. In the same round, The Last of Us absolutely trounced Super Mario 3D World.
Round Two wasn’t even close, with The Last of Us squaring off against the wildly popular Pokemon X&Y, ultimately winning by almost 2,000 votes. Papers, Please was simultaneously crushing Blizzard’s RTS, StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm by a similar margin.
Things started heating up in Round Three, however, with juggernauts Bioshock Infinite and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag offering stiff competition. Where Papers, Please beat out Bioshock by 800 votes, The Last of Us narrowly knocked out AC4 by 160, eliciting cries of “Glory to Arstotzka!” leading into the final round.
Round Four looked grim for The Last of Us from the start, with Papers, Please taking and holding a strong early lead. Eventually, The Last of Us closed the gap, and for most of the voting week, the matchup was too close to call. Voting went up to the very last minutes of 2013, and a winner was decided by only nine votes. That’s one of the slimmest margins imaginable, at only .17% of the votes cast. We counted the hanging chads, recounted, and then counted again. The results were just that close, but we have finally reached a definitive verdict.
We’re pleased to announce that the winner of The Escapist Reader’s Choice Game of the Year 2013 is… The Last of Us!
At the start of the Reader’s Choice tournament, we challenged you to create your bracket to see how in touch with your fellow Escapists you really are. Nearly 4,000 of you created a bracket to see how good you would be at predicting the opinions and trends of the community, and then anxiously waited while the voting played out and eventually ended on the last night of 2013.
The top ten brackets won their creators a full year of complimentary The Escapist‘s Publisher’s Club, netting them ad-free viewing and special forum privileges. Watch out for these users. They can totally read your mind.
Congratulations go to:
A big extra special kudos goes to adios who only had one wrong prediction in his or her bracket – advancing Europa Universalis 4 over SC2 in the first round. Look for an extra special badge, adios!
There was a small technical problem with the scoring of each round, so our hamsters had to count the brackets manually. We’re 99% confident in these results, but feel free to message us here if you feel your bracket wasn’t counted correctly and we’ll investigate.
Curious what the staff pick for Game of the Year 2013 was? Check out our GotY 2013 announcement to see our nominees, runner up, and, of course, the crowning of the winner. After reading this, you may not be very surprised …