Here's a hot take that's both more than a little lukewarm and likely isn't all that controversial: I think I preferred Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes to its full-blown follow-up The Phantom Pain.
Editor's note: this article contains strong references to child abuse which some readers may find distressing.
By the basic measures that the phrase 'open world' suggests are most important, the battle between the competing playgrounds of inFamous: Second Son and Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes ought to be no contest. In one camp we have the entirety of Seattle, recreated so that you can pilot yourself superheroically around it, while the other is literally just a camp - a few tents and admin buildings scattered around on a rock in the sea.
The Metal Gear series is 25 while its creator, Hideo Kojima, is now 50. Spending half of your life devoted to a single series takes commitment, and indeed Kojima has frequently expressed a desire over the past decade to part with the franchise that made his name. And yet, he keeps coming back. Again and again. After a while, you have to ask why.
What do you want first: the good news or the bad news? Let's start with the bad, shall we - Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes' main campaign isn't two hours long. For a lot of players it will be even shorter. The good news? After eight hours, it remains fun - if only just.
We've had our say already, and typically we were probably well wide of the mark, so it's now your turn to let us know what games you're looking forward to over the next 12 months. Thanks to all who voted (but no thanks to whoever suggested Pong, and to the handful of people who put forward Half-Life 3, well... I'm sorry). The top 10 are presented in reverse order below - and it was incredibly tight out at the front, with the top result beating out the runner-up by only a couple of votes. We've also included some of your comments, although since the submission form was anonymous we can't say exactly who made which point. Sorry about that - if you feel particularly proprietorial about one of your insights that we've highlighted, tell the world in the comments. Onward!
2014 is upon us, and it promises riches and glory unlike any year before it. With their launches under their belts, the next generation of consoles will, hopefully, show us what they're made of. Virtual reality headsets may make their mark on the mainstream. And with a raft of crowdfunded games due out over the next 12 months, 2014 should tell us whether all that money we pumped into promising projects on Kickstarter was worth it.