Who would have thought a modded version of Arma II could do what Day Z has done? Developed by Dean Hall, a New Zealand Army chap with a talent for survival (a broken limb on a training exercise gave him a lot of ideas for how the mechanics in Day Z should work), Day Z is a massive multiplayer open world game set in the fictitious region of Chernarus where players have to survive on a day-to-day basis. Food is important, medicine is crucial, sleep is necessary, and cooperation with your fellow human players – while not essential – will help a lot. Simple enough? Well, you’re also going to have to deal with a zombie outbreak. What a lot of us love about Day Zis how you start off with nothing, you’re just another survivor who wants to get by, and as you put in the hours and scavenge carefully – avoiding other survivors who might just want to put a bullet in you and take your goodies for themselves – you build up to the point where you can stalk the towns and countryside with an assault rifle.This game has inspired journalists and YouTubers to record ‘diaries’ of their survivalist exploits, avidly followed by their respective audiences, and it’s managed to hit a cultural note in perfect tandem with other zombie-related entertainment like The Walking Dead, breathing new life into Arma II. It must have taken Valve by surprise when they saw a little-known three year-old game rocket up to the top of their sales charts. Since the Day Z mod was released, Arma II has enjoyed fresh sales figures in the hundreds of thousands.It’s like Fallout New Vegas‘ ‘hardcore mode’ without the cushiness of fast travel or easy-to-find caches of supplies. Day Z is perhaps the most significant thing to have happened for the PC since Minecraft.
Honourable mentions:- Football Manager 2013, WOW: Mists Of Pandaria, Chivalry: Medieval Warfare.