2017’s All-Star GOTY Spectacular

Better late than never: We asked 25 of the smartest people we know–game developers, critics, professors of theater and history, comedy writers, political journalists, podcasters–for their favorite video game of 2017, and got 20 answers.

Counting Chris and JJ, that’s 27 people and 20 video games (21 if you count an honorable mention).

STARRING, in order of appearance:

Harvey Smith, creative director of Dishonored and Dishonored 2;

Zach Gage, designer of Really Bad ChessTypeshift, and SpellTower;

Simon Parkin, author of Death by Video Game and contributor to the New Yorker;

Brett Douville, lead programmer of Skyrim;

Michael Abbott, theater professor at Wabash College;

Caroline Petit, Feminist Frequency writer;

Chris Remo, Idle Thumbs host and Campo Santo composer and designer;

Daniel Radosh, writer for The Daily Show;

Benjy Sarlin, political reporter for NBC News;

Patrick Klepek, senior reporter for Vice’s Waypoint;

Nina Freeman, level designer for Tacoma;

Nick Suttner, author of Boss Fight Books’ Shadow of the Colossus;

John Davison, founding editor of Rolling Stone’s Glixel;

Bob Whitaker, Louisiana Tech historian and host of History Respawned;

Evan Narcisse, io9 reporter and writer of Rise of the Black Panther;

Steve Gaynor, writer and designer of Gone Home and Tacoma;

Tom Bissell, author of Extra Lives and Apostle and writer on Gears of War 4 and Uncharted 4;

Winnie Song, designer at Square Enix Montreal;

Chris Plante, executive editor of Polygon;

Mike Drucker, comedian and former writer for The Tonight Show;

Theresa Duringer, founder of Temple Gates Games;

Stephen Totilo, editor-in-chief of Kotaku;

Peter Molyneux, creator of PopulousBlack and White, and Fable;

Jon Lovett, host of Pod Save America and Lovett or Leave It;

Ian Dallas, creative director of What Remains of Edith Finch

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“Florence”

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