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:

2016’s All-Star GOTY Spectacular

What was your favorite video game of 2016? We asked 23 of the smartest people we know–game designers, podcasters, YouTubers, journalists, a screenwriter, a playwright–and got 19 answers.

Counting Chris and JJ, that’s 25 people and 20 games in our second annual GOTY Podcast Spectacular.  Plus, intense disagreement about the merits of “The Last Guardian.”

STARRING, in order of appearance:

Jason Concepcion & Ben Lindbergh, hosts of Achievement Oriented;

Chris Remo, Idle Thumbs host and Campo Santo developer;

Austin Walker, Waypoint editor-in-chief;

Carolyn Petit, Feminist Frequency writer;

Nina Freeman, “Cibele” designer and Fullbright level designer;

Theresa Duringer, founder of Temple Gates Games;

Adrian Chen, staff writer for The New Yorker;

Jon Lovett, a Keepin’ It 1600 host, screenwriter, and former speechwriter for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton;

Stephen Totilo, editor-in-chief of Kotaku;

Susan O’Connor, writer for games like “BioShock,” “Gears of War,” “Far Cry 2,” and “Tomb Raider”;

Virginia Heffernan, author of “Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art”;

Clive Thompson, a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, a columnist for Wired, and the author of “Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better”;

Anita Sarkeesian, founder of Feminist Frequency;

Lucy Prebble, playwright of “The Effect”;

Meg Jayanth, writer of “80 Days”;

Helen Lewis, deputy editor of the New Statesman;

John Davison, Glixel general manager;

Gabriel Winslow-Yost, assistant editor of The New York Review of Books;

Jason Killingsworth, writer for Riot Games and co-author of “You Died: The ‘Dark Souls’ Companion”;

Brett Douville, lead programmer for “Skyrim” and “Fallout 4” and Dev Game Club host;

Simon Parkin, contributing writer for NewYorker.com and author of “Death By Video Game”;

Laura Hudson, writer for FiveThirtyEight, Wired and Slate

More ‘Super Mario Run,’ ‘I Expect You To Die’ & Oculus Touch

What happens when a podcast rant about Nintendo turns into a New York Times op-ed. Plus, comparing PlayStation Move and Oculus Touch while playing “I Expect You to Die,” Schell Games’ VR spy puzzler.

‘Super Mario Run’ & ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’

Is Mario’s first iPhone game–and JJ’s first Mario game (!!!)–brilliant, despicable, or both? Plus, our apparently annual review of a new “Star Wars” movie.

’Thumper’ & ‘Westworld’

The “rhythm violence” of “Thumper” is one of the best experiences for PlayStation VR. Does it hold up on a two-dimensional screen? Then, why HBO’s new series “Westworld” is the most video-gamey TV show ever made. And did Chris quit “Clash Royale”?

‘Reigns,’ ‘Bound,’ & Even More ‘Kentucky Route Zero’

It’s special request hour at “Shall We Play a Game?”: We play “Reigns,” the mobile hit billed as “Tinder for monarchs,” and “Bound,” the PlayStation 4 dance platformer. Then we indulge our own desires with Act 3 of “Kentucky Route Zero.”