One difficult thing about putting together a GOTY ballot is not letting time bias your choices. It’s like having a get-together where both college and high school friends will be present. “The worlds collide,” and it’s very stressful because you don’t want to neglect anyone. It’s easier to sit and have a drink with your college roommates because you’ve been out drinking with them for the past four years. On the other hand, you spent your childhood with your high school friends.
And that’s something you don’t forget. Regardless of Mass Effect 3’s first quarter release, it hasn’t been forgotten here.
Mass Effect 3 brought us the conclusion of one of the most enthralling and immersive role-playing experiences in modern gaming. On a personal level, it’s hard for me to forget because the first Mass Effect was the first time I’ve been exposed to a Western RPG. And I’ve been hooked on the universe since its 2007 release.
Just like catching up with a childhood friend, you’ll notice that you’ve both changed quite a bit over the years. Yet beneath the changes, you’re both fundamentally the same person with the same common experiences. This is exactly why talking to an old friend can often be a positive experience; there was this unsaid promise that you’ll remember your time together. Behind the changes to the combat and character customization (whether you like it or not), Mass Effect 3 kept the series’ promise to remember exactly like a good childhood friend would. The fact that the series remembered things that I did over the past 5 years gave me a unique experience and made sure that my Commander Shepard truly a different person than your Commander Shepard.
The trilogy may be over, but I won’t forget Mass Effect 3. The series kept improving with each successive title, and it will always be associated with the word “excellence” in my mind.