Portal 2 (PS3/Steam) and Rayman Origins (PS3) continue to amaze me. Both titles, in completely different ways, aren’t just a blast to play… they teach me things about game design and design in general. They are engrossing, masterful works.
Some honorable mentions:
- Super Mario 3D Land (3DS)
- Pushmo (3DS)
- League of Evil (iOS)
- Tiny Wings (iOS)
- Sonic CD (iOS)
- Jetpack Joyride (iOS)
I also thought Sonic Generations (PS3/Steam) was fun, but mostly for the nostalgia. I haven’t had a chance to play Bastion (Steam), Q.U.B.E. (Steam), L.A. Noire (PS3) or Arkham City (PS3) yet, though I’d like to.
I don’t think it’s an accident that most of these titles are portable, with shorter play sessions. When I was in school, I could devote whole weekends to uncovering every unlockable in some sprawling epic. Today, every hour I spend playing games is an hour I’m not making games… or websites, or apps, or whatever.
As an adult, shorter games feel somewhat merciful.