There are 18 games this year. Let's go! #3 - Neverhood
I've never beaten Skullmonkeys and if I want to maintain my sanity, I won't. Nevertheless, the same people who made that made Neverhood. This is an exciting romp in a giant claymation world. There's very little spoken dialogue...in fact, most of the "story" is told through cutscenes, mannerisms, and whatever, much like Machinarium (which I also thought was brilliant, if a bit short).
The game is hilarious and absolutely ridiculous more often than not, which is a good thing because often the puzzles are obscure or frustrating as they use cartoon logic most of the time. Even still, this is a very interesting and fun title and a great entry. #2 - Toonstruck
Imagine Who Framed Roger Rabbit as an adventure game. No, not THAT one.
I'm saying imagine a game that has an actual character melded into a toon world. That is exactly what Toonstruck is. Toonstruck is the kind of game that, from a conceptual angle, you might believe is going to be crap. You'd be wrong. Christopher Lloyd and all voice actors involved bring excellent talent and dialogue to the table, the puzzles are clever and often hilarious, and it actually has a DECENT ending, which is something that's suspiciously missing from a lot of modern games.
*AVGN - Who Framed Roger Rabbit #1 - Broken Sword - Shadow of the Templars
You want epic? THIS is epic. Broken Sword is hands down one of the longest adventure games ever and is in general brilliantly made. Just like Toonstruck, the voice acting and dialogue is great as is the writing, animations, scenery, music, tension, and virtually everything else. And...you can die in this one! Of course, that's not that big of a deal. There aren't many parts where you can die and it won't set you too far back if you do.
There's also no way to get stuck. All in all, the game is rather forgiving, which is fairly surprising considering this was made by the same guys who did Beneath a Steel Sky. Much like BASS, this is an experience you absolutely cannot pass up. Runner Ups
Sadly, I look at this list and there are really only a few other games I could recommend. The top 3 titles were great, but it feels like those were literally the only strong adventure titles this year. All the same, I certainly won't discourage you from trying some of the runner ups out.
Bud Tucker in Double Trouble
Leisure Suit Larry 7
Lighthouse - Dark Being
Phantasmagoria 2 - A Puzzle of Flesh
Zork - Nemesis
LOOK WHO CAME: