Supergiant Games came out of nowhere this year with Bastion. A largely unknown company somehow managed to recreate storytelling, offered a tremendous amount of color to an industry obsessed with brown, and kept narrative-averse players engaged with polished gameplay. The trend most games have followed for over twenty years is: story, battle, story, battle, etc. Bastion fuses these intricate RPG elements together with an omniscient narrator who comments on nearly every aspect of gameplay and change in landscape – all with a raspy voice that's hard not to fall in love with. And although these elements are certainly enough to win awards, what truly makes Bastion great is the way it helps legitimize video games as an art form. In fact, some have said that Bastion's only flaw is that it ends too soon, but like any quality entertainer knows, you've always gotta leave them wanting more.
There wasn't another downloadable RPG this year that could topple Bastion, but there were other quality games. Runic's retooled port of their PC hit Torchlight is fantastic on Xbox Live Arcade... we just hope that they'll bring their sequel to the platform as well.