I created one of those new-fangled Steam curator pages. Here are my comments:
Atom Zombie Smasher – A well-scoped RTS that keeps everything important and nothing else. The bizarro atmosphere helps too.
Brothers – A beautiful experience, and few game narratives integrate their actual game mechanics into the story so well.
Crusader Kings 2 – Requires an upfront commitment, but no historical game has ever made PEOPLE so important.
Frozen Synapse – Because turns can be submitted in any order, this game is ideal for asynchronous play.
FTL – A perfectly paced game, of just the right length to enable consequence (by being short enough) and progression (by being long enough).
Magicka – A hilarious game, especially in multiplayer. Wonderful joy of discovery if the player stays away from walkthroughs.
Mark of the Ninja – A masterpiece in transparency. Exposing the details of a stealth game (as well as limiting it to 2D) creates amazing intentional play.
Papers, Please – Games have immense powers of empathy, and no game does a better job of creating unexpected empathy.
Spelunky – A monument to the ability of video games to create new worlds from scratch; the last game this amazing was Seven Cities of Gold (for its time).
Steel Storm: Burning Retribution – Simply feels great to play; this game gets every little detail of twitch right.
Swords and Soldiers – 2D? 3D? How about a 1D RTS? This game is a lesson in how simplification leaves room for greater engagement with the actual game mechanics.
Thief Gold – Did you know the original Thief is on Steam? Well, the original Thief is on Steam.
Thirty Flights of Loving – Apparently, this game was made by the same guy who made Atom Zombie Smasher. I assume that’s impossible, however, as nobody can be that versatile.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon – Get a few friends together, team up on Terrorist Hunt, thank me later.
Unity of Command – Remarkably accessible for a wargame. The supply mechanic creates an important perspective on the battles.