In response to "Storming the Fortress" from The Escapist Forum: TF2 is still one of my favorite games. I usually change games like I change underwear (seriously, every day), but I can always come back and enjoy a few hours of TF2. It's one of the only team games I've ever seen that manages a good balance between teams and classes. There's a class to suit anyone's play style and they can always be helpful to the team. Some people will argue that certain classes require more or less "skill", but I find that all classes require skill, just different skills.
I find the unlocks interesting, though I don't think they've made a major difference in holding my interest (though each new unlock set certainly piques my interest). The new game modes and maps certainly help. I absolutely love payload maps and also find the arena modes enjoyable at times. Even just the small adjustments to classes (like the Pyro's air blast and the engineer's multi-level teleporters and dispensers) has a large effect on class play and strategy, keeping the game fluid and interesting. I have to say, a new class or game mode would certainly draw more of my attention back to this game.
Unlike most people, I play a wide range of classes. Pyro and Engineer tend to be my favorite, though Demoman is coming up. Medic and Heavy are close behind, though I usually choose them as strategic measures (such as when my 12 man team doesn't have a single medic). I'm not great with Soldier or Sniper, but I can manage, and I'm abysmal with Scout or Spy.
All in all, TF2 is easily one of the top games I've ever played and has kept my attention for the longest. It's just plain out fun!
In response to "Mod & Blade" from The Escapist Forum: Finally, some recognition for this masterpiece!
I picked it up around version 0.707 (something like that :S) and I haven't been able to put it down since. It easily stands up to "bigger, better" games like Oblivion and Neverwinter Nights. The flexibility of the game is indeed it's greatest aspect, and I can't recommend Mount and Blade enough!
I bought into the Beta when it was about $12 and change (the version number escapes me). Since then, I've been overjoyed by the community that supports Mount & Blade and overwhelmed by the number of mods that cropped up in response to this game, even though it was an indie game with less than major publicity. The game necessitated an extra hard-drive, solely because there were so many modifications to download and install. Perhaps this is why their joining with Paradox seems to fit so well, as that is a publisher which encourages people to mod their games in much the same way TaleWorlds does.
Thanks for your article, which chronicles what I think is the best story that comes out of M&B, the modding community. Gamers haven't seen this kind of response to a game since Half-Life (and HL2) were put out. I think it is the mark of truly great games that they not only entertain, but also inspire people to improve those games by adding and altering them, and by allowing people to do so.