2012 Community Game of the Year - And the winner is...

iaintgotnopants wrote:
Disappointments:
Hotline Miami - I wish this game would work. I'm not going to do the developers job and make the game work for them.

I has a major sad for you. Putting my rabid fan obsession aside, this game is such a cool little gem with its music, style and noir esthetic.

  1. Crusader Kings II - Perfect. Paradox's games obviously aren't for everyone, but if you like the sort of stuff they do, this game will suck you in for months. I think this is their easiest game to pick up and learn. The fact that it's more of an RPG than the others might be part of that, as you can focus purely on your family to the exclusion of the rest of the world. My first game, spent uniting Ireland from a starting position of 1 county took me ~40 hours. I've since toyed with other nations but haven't found one that's sucked me in like that first game. It'll happen, though, and then I'll put another 40 hours into writing some other family's history.
  2. XCOM: Enemy Unknown - Thankfully I hadn't previously played the original and thus avoided the expectations that seemed to lead to, so I was able to enjoy this game for what it was. My total playtime was around 28 hours for a single playthrough on normal difficulty. That's enough for me to be satisfied with the purchase. I'm hopeful that this will lead to a bit of a resurgence of turn-based games (tactical or not). This is definitely one I'll return to at some point for a try at classic difficulty.
  3. Uncharted 2 - The single tightest gaming experience I've ever had. Sure, it was short at ~8 hours, but that enabled me to complete it over the course of two evenings. The platforming was great, the shooting was thankfully reduced from the first game, and the 'stealth' gameplay was actually useful. A fantastic experience that I nearly put #1 on my list.
  4. Skyrim - Elder Scrolls games tend to suck me in for a bunch of hours over a short period of time and then I'm done with it until the next time the same thing happens. So it went with Skyrim. I put in ~40 hours over a couple of weeks and didn't manage to finish anything. I got a little ways into both the main quest and the mages college, but that's it. I anticipate returning to it in the new year with a new computer and putting in a ton more hours. Maybe I'll even finish a questline or two.
  5. Civ V: Gods & Kings - This expansion pushed Civ V up to even with Civ IV for me. Civ V's implementation of religion is much better than Civ IVs. I wish they would stop trying to put espionage in their games, though. None of them have produced anything interesting and I end up just turning it off if I have the option to do so.
  6. FTL - Dredmor introduced me to rougelikes, and FTL married that genre with a theme that I love. Easily one of my favorite games this year, and would have been my top pick in many other years.
  7. SpaceChem - Fantastic puzzler that I didn't get close to beating due to the difficulty ramping up rather quickly. I did just start playing it again recently, though, so maybe I'll get a bit further into it.
  8. Mass Effect 3 - Mass Effect 1 is my favorite game of all time, so it's disappointing that I only finished this to see how all the stories from the earlier games played out. The ending didn't bother me, and some of the story moments were truly great, but I hate the series' transformation from traditional Bioware-style RPG to Gears of War with magic. I'll also take a wait-and-see approach with future Bioware games, but not because of anything story related or the fact that they forced in multiplayer (which was actually pretty fun, though I generally don't play enough multiplayer to care one way or another) - rather because they're now making games that will make a bunch of money for EA instead of making games that resemble their past creation and appeal to me. I don't blame them, but I am disappointed.
  9. Tropico 3 - I can't believe this ended up all the way down at #9. I'd never put much time into the earlier games in the series, but I was interested enough in city builders and the theme was something I liked so I pick this one up during a steam sale and it far exceeded any expectations I had. The scenarios are easy enough that this is the perfect strategy game for when you just want to relax. My only real complaint would be that the soundtrack was way too short, so there was a lot of repeated music. Luckily that was easy to fix by adding in the music from Tropico 1.
  10. Tomb Raider Anniversary - I'd never played a Tomb Raider game prior to this year, but my enjoyment of the Uncharted series led me back to one of it's influences. I enjoyed the game enough to beat it, which is also enough to get it on this list, but there's really not much special about it other than that. Unlike Uncharted, environmental puzzles are much more important in this game, which on the one hand I enjoy those a lot more than yet more pointless gunplay, but some of them were damn hard and I had to go to the internet for solutions.

Overall, it was a fantastic year of gaming for me. I spent 33 hours on Tropico 3 over the course of a few weeks and was completely addicted to it, and I still had to place it in the #9 position.

billt721 wrote:
Tomb Raider Anniversary - I'd never played a Tomb Raider game prior to this year, but my enjoyment of the Uncharted series led me back to one of it's influences. I enjoyed the game enough to beat it, which is also enough to get it on this list, but there's really not much special about it other than that. Unlike Uncharted, environmental puzzles are much more important in this game, which on the one hand I enjoy those a lot more than yet more pointless gunplay, but some of them were damn hard and I had to go to the internet for solutions.

That's a blast from the past!
Anniversary is probably my favourite TR game. I liked that they didn't feel the need to put in more combat than they did, but also that they made the game as challenging as they did. Exploring those huge spaces (like St. Francis Folly) alone, without any interruptions, creates a special atmosphere I think. If you play the other ones (like Underworld, which is alright) you'll find that they throw in way more combat and make the tombs a lot smaller, so even though the mechanics are the same the game feels very different (it never gets as solitary).

1) Torchlight 2 - I never play a ARPG for longer than 5 hours. Never. This had me going for 25 and was enjoyable every step of the way.
2) Dishonored - Loved the atmosphere,mechanics and characters. More of this please Arkane!
3) Walking Dead - Marred by technical issues but a hell of a ride.
4) Darkness 2

Oh Lord, the pressure's on now. The 31st is the last day? I highly doubt I'll be able to truly get a sampling of anything I receive for Christmas by then, which is a shame because I got my brother a game for Christmas that I know I'm interested in and might want to put on here. Blast.

I'll take that time to figure out my list of games I've already played. I've actually started to replay some games from earlier in the year and get a feel for them again, and in some ways the charm has worn off a bit while in others it is just as absorbent a sponge as ever. I have a feeling there will be plenty of 2012 games I will want on the list that trying to figure out what's on top will be difficult.

Darn you people.

Props to Blind Evil and Aristophan for mentioning Dragon's Dogma, the Forgotten RPG of 2012 (though considering the lists thus far Xenoblade and Last Story may be more deserving of that title).

1. Dishonored. This one took me completely by surprise. Mechanically, it felt a lot like Thief and I felt the setting was incredibly interesting as well.
2. Skyrim. I'm giving Skyrim the second slot mostly because I keep playing it instead of all the other games in my pile. I'm not normally much for sandbox games, but something about this one really works.
3. X-Com. This has lost out tremendously to Skyrim in terms of play time, but the mechanics are solid and I enjoy the changes that have been made to the fiction. I'd have liked to see a more expansive and free-form mission structure instead of the skirmish mode we seem to have gotten, but I understand why the change was made. Nostalgia may be a factor in it getting such high marks given my relatively low play time compared to other games, but I expect to keep coming back to it as time goes on.
4. Mass Effect 3. The mechanics of this game were the best of the series, and much of the story was quite good as well. I just recently gave multiplayer a try for the first time and it promises to become a new obsession. I almost feel bad for making it fourth, except that I was disappointed with some of the story points and so it gets negative marks from me. Still, as the third in a trilogy this has to be near the top simply for the story payoff.
5. The Walking Dead. This was probably the most effective and affecting story of any game I've ever played. The mechanics were practically nonexistent though, so it loses out a bit in that respect.
6. Dragon Age 2. I really liked the story and the mechanics were really solid. Overall it's one of the best fantasy RPGs BioWare has made despite minor issues I had with certain details. I'd consider putting it ahead of ME3 but for it really being a one-off game in terms of story.
7. Diablo 3. I hated the loot system, scoffed at the story, and loved the combat mechanics to the point where I played through Hell difficulty with my primary character. For this reason alone it has to be on my GotY list.

My winning hand for the year...
IMAGE(http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i183/stevenmack/goty2012_zpsbcfaebd8.jpg)

OH OK...you probably want that in some form of digestable list as well, I suppose....

From top left to bottom right (in no particular order of importance)...

1) The Walking Dead
Do I even need to give a reason - some of the best written characters in any game to date.

2) Risen 2
Something of a guilty pleasure. Best pirate based RPG ever. Falls apart a little in the last hour or so but everything up to that point was a BLAST.

3) Borderlands 2
Better in a LOT of ways than the first game.

4) Dishonoured
The best Thief game since Thief. Played it through TWICE IN A ROW from start to finish, zero kills each time (apart from that one buggy encounter near the end).

5) Dark Souls : PtD Edition (PC)
Ok TECHNICALLY I did play this on 360 but I didn't really sit down and give it any real attention until the PC version came out this year so I'm totally counting it. Lots of reasons why I love this game but the biggest is that it's probably one of the best realized PLACES in any RPG I've played.

6) X-Com, 2012
Not perfect, but as close as you can probably get outside of indie games these days. Just wish it had a version where you could cut out all the nonsense story drivel.

7) Mass Effect 3
Wretched ending aside (made significantly better by the free DLC and less free Leviathan) I've played this through twice and a half already and am seriously considering a marathon run through all three games at some point.

8) Far Cry 3
Just a helluva lot of fun to explore

9) Torchlight 2
Had significantly more fun with this than I did that other game...whatever it was called. I forget.

10) Resident Evil : Revelations.
A controversial choice? Still the best Resident Evil game released this year. Had a hell of a lot of fun with this and recently started a fresh playthrough. Really needs the extra thumstick attachment though to get the most out of it.

Honourable Mentions:
Resonance (great sci-fi thriller graphic adventure), Deadlight (makes me pine for a new Flashback game), Legend of Grimrock (good retro fun), Uncharted: Golden Abyss (enjoyed this more than I did 2 and 3).

Ok these games may appear to be old. That's just because I'm so far ahead of the curve that the games I'm playing appear to be two years old:

1. Portal 2 Such a beautifully crafted game. The environments, the characters and the puzzles.
2. Dragon Age: origins (360 version) I thought I didn't mind the streamlining of RPGs but this is an old school RPG and a beautiful game for that reason.
3. The Walking Dead Decision making has been hard for me in real life at times so a game where you are making life and death decisions moment by moment was edge of the seat stuff for me. For episode 4 I was pleased my decisions were in the majority. For episode five I was even more pleased when they were in the minority. An excellent game.
4. Mass Effect 3 I love this series. Star Wars never worked for me as a universe. Mass Effects does (even with you know who in it.)
5. Dragon Age II I started playing this before Origins. It gave me an interesting perspective on both games. There are things that are vastly superior in Origins and things that are much better in DAII. Looking forward to number 3.
6. Costume Quest Took me back to the olden days of fun, cheeky Adventure games.
7. Brutal Legend The great thing about the forums is that, if a game isn't great, you get to learn all the flaws and will have your expectations taken down a notch or three. When you come to a game like that, suitably prepared, it can turn out to be way beyond what you imagined in terms of fun. Brutal legend was such a game. Rock and/or Roll!

I'll probably be voting for this years games next year.

stevenmack wrote:
My winning hand for the year...
IMAGE(http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i183/stevenmack/goty2012_zpsbcfaebd8.jpg)

Clementine
Creature - Adorable

Granny Is Disappointed

Comfy Work Related Sweater

1. DayZ
2. Dishonored
3. Black Ops2
4. XCOM
5. Medal of Honor 2
6. Diablo 3
7. Guild Wars 3
8. DOTA2

All i have for now

ranalin wrote:
5. Medal of Honor 2

I think we should point out that you mean MoH: Warfighter.

Following on my trend of rarely playing anything until it's been out 9 months, here is my list of belated game experiences:

1. Journey Unforgettable experience and on a very short list of games that I was encouraged to go through again.
2. Guild Wars 2 Amazing what an MMO can do when a subscription is not part of the equation.
3. Civilization V Hey, this game is pretty good.
4. Portal 2 Hey, this game is pretty good too. Heard of it?
5. Botanicula Great art direction, music and whimsy.
6. Fairway Solitaire OK, so it's a solitaire game on iPad. But I keep playing it. So there.

Blind_Evil wrote:
ranalin wrote:
5. Medal of Honor 2

I think we should point out that you mean MoH: Warfighter.

I was going to look through the big list of 2012 releases and see what was absent from anyone's list. I thought HOMW would be missing going by what I judged as it's reception at the time, but someone likes it.

My Top Games of 2012

1) Skyrim: Wow it's awesome. So very, very awesome!

2) XCOM: Enemy Unknown: Love this type of game. Researching cool tech, turn based shooting and squad tactics. It could have been better, but it was a great deal of fun.

3) Mass Effect 3: The ending was a bit meh, but for the most part, this was a really great game and the multiplayer still is a blast!

4) Far Cry 3: Open world awesomeness. And flaming turtles!

5) Saints Row: The Third: You all know why. It's stupid and fun.

6) Mark of the Ninja: Brilliant little stealth action game. Really deserves more of my time.

7) Trine 2: Colourful and delightful. A joy to play.

Disappointments:

1) Assassin's Creed III: Yeah. Wow. What a let down. Had some moments of fun, but man, boring mission design and uninteresting story. This should have been a top game of the year, but instead it failed miserably.

2) Batman Arkham City: Arkham Asylum was so much more with so much less. This game really tried to squeeze too much into the game and it suffered because of it.

3) Torchlight II: It just didn't grab me. Maybe I'll give it a go again in the new year but there are other games that I feel are more worthy of my time.

4) Diablo III: Lag!!!!! Seriously!!! Lag! In a game that I should be able to play offline! Unacceptable!

Honorable Mentions:

I think Battlefield 3 needs to be mentioned for the awesome expansion packs. Aftermath in particular has really livened up the game and is still my favourite multiplayer shooter ever!

1) Persona 4: Golden - For all of the reasons we've heard over and over again. I never played the original, but I'm sure that I'll be taking multiple trips through this story. I knew this was going to end up high on my list as soon as I heard the music on the podcast and got a massive grin. I'm stunned that a JRPG tops my list, but there it is. I'm not sure that this and P3P are the best examples of a classic JRPG, but together they've opened me up to giving them a shot.

2) Crusader Kings 2 - Speaking of games that opened doors for me, CK2 is the first grand strategy I've hung with. It too has encouraged me to go back and give a few other games another shot. This game gave me the chance at crafting an amazing personal story, and is one of a very few games that now live in my "Never Delete" Steam categrory. The concept behind the game is brilliant, but its the amazing execution of the concept that made this an instant classic

3) Persona 3: Portable - I feel a little bad that this game will mean others on my list lose some points, but it was such an eye opening and amazing experience it has to appear here. I encourage anyone with a PSP to give it a try. Those of us with Vitas are likely distracted for some time with P4G, but remember that this beauty exists.

4) The Walking Dead - This may be higher when I can work up the nerve and find the time to finish it, especially given the buzz since episode 5 came out. I've read the comics and I've never seen the show, but I'm going to predict that this will be my favorite form of WD entertainment. Once again, I'm surprised to find an adventure game so high on my list, but there it is.

5) XCOM: Enemy Unknown - Speaking of strategy, XCOM was my first. I was excited to learn that its return wasn't going to be in an FPS form. What a treat that the game was excellent too!

6) Sleeping Dogs - This came of of nowhere for me at a time when I'd just upgraded my PC. The combination proved to be one of the best experiences of the year. I'm a little shocked that an open world game isn't higher on my list this year - it's a sign of the changing times.

7) Mass Effect 3 - Yes, I know - the ending. But I played it long enough after release that I benefitted from the post-launch corrections that made it easier to take. The set pieces in this chapter were amazing, and I got to spend a bit more time with some of my favorite game characters.

8) Catherine - Welcome to the Year of ATLUS. I picked this up during an ATLUS sale, solely based on...well, nothing. I felt like trying something new. Thank goodness I did, since this was not at all what I expected. Plus, it made be give P3P and P4G a try, having tasted what the studio had to offer.

9) Tropico 4 - After watching all the excitement about Sim City 5 early this year, I decided to finally give this a chance to rise from the pile. I finished it and all of the DLC available at the time. By the time I was done, I'd gone from looking for something to fill the gap between now and SC5 to wondering if SC5 could hope to compete with this 'knock off'.

10) Dear Esther - This was a short but special experience. It was also one of the oddest experiences I've ever had as a gamer, when my mother-in-law snuck her head in to see what I was doing and ended up watching me play the whole thing. She's never understood games, but the whole experience opened her eyes a bit to the fact that games aren't all about killing orcs. Thank you Dear Esther for that!

Honorable mentions:
Dishonored - I have only watched someone play, but it looked brilliant.
Rocksmith - I did like it on the PS3, but the performance killed it for me. When I grab it on the PC, it'll likely own me.
Far Cry 3 - Another game I've only seen played, but it will be mine.
Dark Souls - I dove into this for a long time, but when work got in the way I could not easily continue.
Guild Wars 2 - This game proved that I just don't like MMO's anymore. It does so many things better, but I'm just a single player guy these days.

1. The Walking Dead – A lot of people seem to like to exclaim that this isn't "really" a game. Funny, to me it's everything I imagined gaming could be when I started this hobby as a kid.

2. Journey – I got nothing to say that hasn't already been recited constantly. It might have been only 2 hours long but there wasn't a single second that was anything other than magical for me.

3. Mass Effect 3 – It wasn't perfect. The revolving door of characters reminding you of how important you were made for closure that was suffocating, and the sidequests were slight. But the action, adventure and narrative led to a BioWare game being the best entertainment I had with a AAA title yet again.

4. Far Cry 3 – In this generation of every shooter being scripted and linear to a ridiculous degree, I'm glad I seem to get at least one game like this each year. Just relentless fun.

5. Hotline Miami – Just like Drive was the best Michael Mann film he never made, this is like an 8-bit console game in an alternate universe where all developers were required to be on acid while at work.

6. Mark of the Ninja – All stealth games needed was to be in 2D. Who knew?

7. SSX – Kinda let down by the fact that everyone seemed to already forget this title existed, when to me it was a reminder that sports games can actually be fun.

8. The Last Story – As far as I'm concerned, this was Final Fantasy XIII. And Lost Odyssey was FFXII. And that weird trash that had "Final Fantasy XIII" written on it was some experimental project that was never released due to embarrassment that I somehow got ahold of.

9. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning – Artistically it was pretty generic, and the narrative was exhausting to the degree where apparently everyone has an opinion about everything. And yet I mysteriously became addicted in a way I never feel with RPGs.

]10. Jet Pack Joy Ride – Made many minutes at train stations and waiting rooms just fly by for me.

Games that might have made the list if I got to them because they sound completely up my alley: Endless Space, Dishonored, X-COM, Resonance, Sleepy Dawgs

stevenmack wrote:
My winning hand for the year...
IMAGE(http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i183/stevenmack/goty2012_zpsbcfaebd8.jpg)
5) Dark Souls : PtD Edition (PC)
Ok TECHNICALLY I did play this on 360 but I didn't really sit down and give it any real attention until the PC version came out this year so I'm totally counting it. Lots of reasons why I love this game but the biggest is that it's probably one of the best realized PLACES in any RPG I've played.

Ok, I think I missed that part in Dark Souls. I'm sure I would have remembered that .... chest.

Also, awesome, awesome graphic!

1) Halo 4 - Just an amazing entry into the series. Really pulled me back in after the so-so ODST and the retconfest of Reach. Love the new Spartan Ops mode, and the multiplayer is as solid as ever.

2) Torchlight 2 - Nothing incredibly innovative here, but god DAMN is it fun. Finished one playthrough and already well into a second with no signs of stopping.

3) Diablo 3 - Not quite as good as TL2 in my opinion, but still a solid lootfest. Don't really understand what people's issue with it is, but I suspect overreaching expectations to be the primary suspect.

4) WoW: Mists of Pandaria - Really a great comeback after the (in my opinion) mess that was Cataclysm. Rarely a day goes by where I don't at least log on and see what's going down in my guild, and it's even got me raiding again.

5) Mass Effect 3 - The series has been a favorite of mine for awhile, and this one changes nothing in that respect.

6) Dishonored - A great, original IP that I can honestly say wins me over. Would have been higher if it were somewhat longer, and had more options for varied playthroughs.

My Top 10

  • Bioshock 2 + Minerva's Den (PC) - Great writing, great art direction, great production and a sprinkle of Ayn Rand, who I read the crap out of this year.
    "Look, Mr. B, it's an angel!"
  • Dishonored (Steam) - Without the soul-crushing savegame bug, this would have ranked on #1, but alas, Arkane. "Think you'll get your own squad after what happened last night?"
  • The Walking Dead (PC) - Definitely the best written game of 2012. I don't get why it's criticised for the mechanics, since they are a logical and well executed evolution of the Point'n'Click Adventure genre. "You're just a scared little girl. Get the f**k over it."
  • The Witcher 1 (PC) - Very rough around the edges, but brimming with enough charm, challenge and quirkiness to keep me engaged all the way through. I hadn't enjoyed an RPG this much since Gothic 2. "Want a beating, stranger?"
  • Assassin's Creed 2 (PS3) - I was left with mixed feelings after playing AC1. I liked what they were trying to do, but there was just too much repetition throughout the game. AC2 is the superior game in every aspect, although I could still do without the present day bits. "I thought I was beyond this. But I'm not. I've waited too long, lost too much. Requiescat in Pace, you bastard!"
  • Borderlands 2 (PC) - I was very luke-warm about BL1. Unengaging, multiplayer broken, bad console port, unbalanced classes, little to no replay value. BL2 remedied all of those and makes it a great co-op experience. Not to forget, Handsome Jack is definitely the best written character of 2012. "It's cute that y'all think think you're the heroes of this little adventure, but you're not."
  • Enslaved (PS3) - This game a bit out of nowhere for me. Compared to the mechanically similar God of War 1 and Uncharted 1, it's definitely my favorite, due to the dystopian setting, eye-candy graphics and unique interplay between the three protagonists."Now, Pigsy, how did you... pick up a name like that?"
  • Deus Ex: HR - The Broken Link (PC) Deus Ex: Human Revolution was my second favorite game in 2011, but it had it's flaws. In the short time Eidos Montreal had too churn out this DLC, the clearly learned from a couple of their mistakes and were sensible to valid criticism. Gives me high hopes for their next project, Thief 4. "You the cruise director? Because I've got a complaint."
  • Guild Wars 2 (PC) - I am still quite unsure as to how to rate this game. It was engaging, it was well produced, it did so many differently, but in the end it turned me off for the same reasons all MMOs before it have. Too little content taking too much time. I wish them all the best. "Here lies Elise. Her passing came as a surprise to us all, including her incompetent doctor."
  • RAGE (PC) - As an id software fan of the Quake generation, I woulda never though I would rate one of their game only as "competent". They should have focused on the tech and mechanics and hired another studio to do the actual content. The possibilities of a 50h game crammed into less than 20h. Then the first DLC 14 months later and still no mod tools in sight. id software needs to employ someone with business sense. "I think we have made poor decisions on this all year."

Honorable mentions

  • WoW: Mists of Pandaria (PC) - I am always impressed how Blizzard manages to make WoW feel "new" with each new addon. Although I cancelled my sub after 6 weeks, I will definitely check out the next addon again. "I believe an individual can have an enormous impact on the world."

Dishonorable mentions

  • Diablo 3 (PC) - After ten years in production and with real competition like Path of Exile, Borderlands 2 and Torchlight 2, Diablo 3 looked really bad. Unnecessary always-online DRM, profit-oriented RMAH, playing self-found impossible and world randomization at a minimum. Probably the least played Blizzard game on my end ever. The following patches were too little, too late. "You were defeated the moment you surrendered to this madness."
  • Mass Effect 3 (PC) - BioWare handled ME3 poorly. That the leak happened was unfortunate, but people would have still bought the game regardless. Instead they poorly rewrote the ending, made a rush job out of it in production and then replied to the complaints of tens of thousands of fans with some BS about artistic integrity. After they had changed the leaked ending to guarantee sales/profit. The second company I lost a lot of respect for this year. "Stand amongst the ashes of a trillion dead souls and ask the ghosts if honor matters."
  • Dear Esther (PC) and Thirty Flights Of Loving (PC) - Thanks for reminding me that I for one do not care for pretentious, artsy games. "Dear Esther. I have found myself to be as featureless as this ocean, as shallow and unoccupied as this bay, a listless wreck without identification."

Can I vote for stevenmack for game of the year?

Luggage wrote:
Dishonorable mentions
[*]Dear Esther (PC) and Thirty Flights Of Loving (PC) - Thanks for reminding me that I for one do not care for pretentious, artsy games. "Dear Esther. I have found myself to be as featureless as this ocean, as shallow and unoccupied as this bay, a listless wreck without identification."

Have you played Dear Esteban? A pretentious artsy game made by dudes who hate pretentious artsy games.

Here is my list which is of course, the definitive list:

1. Diablo 3
2. Torchlight 2
3. Farcry 3
4. Guild Wars 2
5. F1 2012
6. Halo 4
7. Forza Horizon
8. The Walking Dead
9. MLB The Show 12
10. Elemental: Fallen Enchantress

Lots of near misses like Assassin's Creed 3, NFS: Most Wanted, Hotline Miami and Black Ops II. But this is my list and I'm sticking with it!

kuddles wrote:
[b]5. Hotline Miami – Just like Drive was the best Michael Mann film he never made, this is like an 8-bit console game in an alternate universe where all developers were required to be on acid while at work.

Kuddles. Let's get a room and make out. Why? Three things you mentioned.

1) Hotline Miami

2) Drive

3) Michael Mann

4) BONUS: Yes, this is the movie that could have had M. Mann's name on it.

My Top 5

  • Xcom: Enemy Unknown (360) - Friend loaned it to me, and boy am I glad he did! Great game, have the final mission of my Normal/Ironman playthrough planned for tonight!
  • Borderlands 2 (PC/Steam) - played it for 62 hours according Steam and I'm not done yet, no further explanation needed I'd say. Currently making my way through the DLC, which I'm not feeling as much as the main game though, really want to play this in coop some more, played most of it by myself.
  • Deus Ex: HR - The Broken Link (PC/Steam) - More content for my favourite game of 2011!
  • Painkiller: Black Edition (PC) - How did I miss this back in the day? Great fun if you just want to unwind after a long day. Best served in 30min chunks (of flesh) or less. Don't know why I like this, but not the Serious Sam series.
  • Portal 2 (PC/Steam) - Played the SP last year, the coop levels this year, which are just as good, even without the story. More coop DLC please Valve! (Or maybe I should check out the best levels in the workshop?)

Disappointments

  • Torchlight 2 (PC/Steam) - Played and loved the first one to death, but even after sinking in plenty of hours into the sequal, I never enjoyed it as much. Really looked forward to the coop, which I played with up to 3 friends, but it was so chaotic, it became a - run into the fray - die - respawn - repeat - affair. Plus a lot of waiting until everyone had their inventory sorted out, ugh.
  • Dear Esther (PC/Steam) - Ok, I payed only a few bucks for it, but it didn't do anything for me besides look kinda nice. Did not understand the praise, at all.
  • Hitman: Absolution (PC/Steam) - The response to this game is very mixed; some reviewers loved it, others not so much. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I lost interest after the 2nd level. Whereas I kept playing (and re-playing) the levels in previous Hitman games.
  • Forza Horizon (360) - Became quite bored with it after about 4 hours. Not enough variation in the environments and still felt a little too clinical, which of course is Forza's style, but I hoped they turned up the crazy somewhat for this open world racer.

My 2013 Top 5 Games of 2009/2010/2011/2012
aka. games I hope I'll actually start playing in 2013 and really look forward to...

  • Orcs Must Die! 2 (PC/Steam)
  • Mark of the Ninja (PC/Steam)
  • Persona 3 Portable (PSP)
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum (360)
  • Darksiders (PC/Steam) - it was in the Humble Bundle and i heard it was actually any good...

I have not had this much trouble sorting out a list of my favorite games in a year since... well, probably ever. The first eight (yes, EIGHT) of this list are so awesome that if you ask me on a given day of the week, my list would likely sort out in a slightly different manner. And ten didn't even give me room to list all the games that I think genuinely deserve callouts for awesome design and fun.

Despite the guff I've seen written about 2012 being a "disappointing" year in gaming, I think this has been a stellar year for gaming. The problem is that it's been a disappointing year if you're looking for HUGE OMG EVENT GAMES. But if you're looking for a year chock-full of low-key but incredibly awesome games full of quality enjoyment, 2012 has been quite generous.

1) Crusader Kings 2
This one has been a contender for my GOTY nom since I first fired it up and spent an evening getting lost in the politics of families, vassals, and succession wars. Add in the top-notch mini-expansions that Paradox has provided us before the game is even a year old, and I think I have to give them the nod for my top game of the year. It's been one of my most played, and I still get a huge kick out of seeing what crazy sh*t is going to happen next.

2) Civilization 5: Gods & Kings expansion
At first blush, this expansion was rather a letdown given how long it spent baking in the oven. But the more I played it, the more I began to appreciate the many, many minor changes along with the new systems (religion and espionage primarily) that they added to the game. In the end, it's turned out to be an expansion that I would put roughly on par with the stellar Beyond the Sword expansion for Civ 4, and the shot in the arm that Civ 5 so badly needed.

3) Mass Effect 3
Despite the problems with the ending, the majority of this game was one of the most satisfying sci-fi experiences (yes, this includes movies, tv, games, etc) I've ever had. Bioware's creative team on this one put together one hell of an Act 3 for the Mass Effect saga, and almost every individual story thread that I had followed since the first game was brought to a highly satisfying conclusion during the course of the adventure. The final desperate chapter of the game as you bring the assembled fleet to Earth and then hit the ground in London was -- for me -- genuinely pulse-pounding and I couldn't put the game down. The experience of playing through such a well-crafted trilogy over the course of several years was a unique one in my gaming history, and it's a genuine pity that the final 5-10 minutes managed to drop the ball through a poorly-conceived and unnecessary plot "twist." I'll admit, were it not for that, this might've taken the #1 spot on my list, because as I already mentioned, my top 8 are so closely packed it's hard to sort them into any kind of order.

4) Dragon's Dogma
This game came out of nowhere and somehow resulted in an absolutely brilliant mash-up of Monster Hunter, the Elder Scrolls, and some crazy additional ideas. The Pawn system was genuinely inspired, and I enjoy finding interesting-looking pawns to hire for my party. Some of the fights that you can get into, particularly out in the wilderness when you've got multiple enemy types stumbling together in a crazy fracas rolling across the countryside, are like nothing else I've ever experienced in gaming. The sheer amount of customization in both skills and gear is impressive, and the game's relentlessly unforgiving difficulty makes me smile. Bravo, Capcom. Bravo.

5) Xenoblade Chronicles
Oh, if only this could be played on the Wii U with upscaled graphics resolution and anti-aliasing. Despite the limitations of the Wii, this is one gorgeous and massive game, with a fantastic soundtrack that rarely gets tiresome (only certain tracks), an outstanding cast of characters (including two leads who avoid the JRPG trap of getting too emo), and tons of exploration, much of it optional. This game alone would justify the purchase of a Wii to me.

6) Persona 4 Golden
This may be my favorite port in gaming history! Atlus did a bang-up job on this one in every possible way. I don't have much to add beyond the standard notes about how much fun it is to get to know Inaba and its inhabitants, plus the core dungeon-crawling gameplay is fun as ever, too.

7) Kingdoms of Amalur
Another surprise for me, this ended up being one of the games to eat up lots of time. I still haven't finished it, and probably never will, because the fun for me is in exploring every nook and cranny of the game, doing every quest, playing around with gear and crafting and character builds and so on. A great soundtrack, interesting setting, and beautiful art direction make this a fun game to just chill out with.

8) XCOM
Firaxis has a magic touch, with two games in my top ten this year! I really dig the customization of setting up your squad, and the only complaint I have about this game is that I can see where there's a shortage of random elements that will make it less replayable than I would hope. Beyond that, though, it's a genuinely top-notch entry and tons of fun!

9) Legend of Grimrock
I still wish this had been a turn-based game more in the vein of Wizardry, BUT once I got used to it being a real-time game and learned how to play it that way, I found it a lot of fun. Lost my game-save in a rebuild of my OS, so haven't actually finished it, but will get back to it at some point to actually play all the way through. Some sadistic puzzles and nasty enemies make this a very satisfying challenge through as far as I had gotten!

10) Guild Wars 2
I tried repeatedly to get into Guild Wars 1, and it just never truly clicked with me. This one is an improvement towards my enjoyment in every single way. Such an amazing abundance of content, and so many player-friendly features (rather than the usual mmo approach of seemingly punishing players); other mmo developers can learn a lot of lessons from Arenanet's work here.

[edit]Honorable Mention: Uncharted (yes, the FIRST one) - played it for the first time this year, and holy crap, that was awesome! Truly awesome! They should've made an Uncharted movie instead of Kingdom of the Crystal Crapfest. Great stuff, and I look forward to continuing the series.

I started with a list of 10, but when it came down to it I wanted to put down games I finished or in the case of non-story games, games that I really really liked, so I stuck with 5.

My top 5:

1. Borderlands 2 - The most memorable video game characters and v/o in a long time for me along with very tight gameplay. I actually like playing both SP and MP.

2. Diablo 3 - Over 300 hours played says this has to be on my list. Mindless fun, and the game just feels good. I know its been debated to death, but the "philosophical" issues others mention haven't impacted the way I play the game. Error 37 was a mess, yes, but other than that I can't think of any other non-MMO I've sunk anywhere near as much time into.

3. Mark of the Ninja - Awesome time. Great style, and great gameplay. Can play in little bite sized chunks and made me want to replay levels in more stealthy ways.

4. Tribes Ascend - surprised I haven't seen this on more lists, but this is the first F2P game I've ever spent real money on. I put in a ton of hours in the middle of the year. I'll admit I haven't played much in the last few months, but I'm sure the itch will come back and I'll get back into it.

5. FTL - Such a simple little game, yet so much fun. I've beat my head against the wall many a time. Between this, Mark of the Ninja and Hotline Miami, it restores faith that there still is some innovation in the games business.

Games that would be on the list if I had gotten more time with them: Dishonored and Hotline Miami. I'm sure both deserve to be on the list, but I'm just playing through them now and am well under 50% complete on either of them.

Game that I wanted to put on this list: Legend of Grimrock. I had a lot of fun playing LoG. It fell off when I got stuck pretty far in , and had to go to a walkthru only to learn that I dropped a required object but no idea where and it would take me a while to backtrack and find it. I stopped there. I know it was trying to evoke a time when this wasn't uncommon in games, but I'm too old for that now.

Farscry wrote:
Despite the guff I've seen written about 2012 being a "disappointing" year in gaming, I think this has been a stellar year for gaming. The problem is that it's been a disappointing year if you're looking for HUGE OMG EVENT GAMES. But if you're looking for a year chock-full of low-key but incredibly awesome games full of quality enjoyment, 2012 has been quite generous.

I agree. Based on this spreadsheet I'm looking at, I've played 19 games released during 2012 this year. Of those 19, only 3 of them are not immediately worthy of the top 10 spot. Three of them are mandatory for the top 10.

This leaves me with thirteen games for the remaining seven spots, and I can't figure out which ones definitively belong.

Not to mention there are three or four potentially deserving games that I might not be able to play until after Christmas, assuming I get any of them. So I could end up playing a few in a last minute frenzy to figure out if any of them are more deserving.

Teh listness:

1. Mass Effect 3 - Lord, yes, it has problems. I hated the ending. I tried starting up a new game recently instead of using an ME2 save, and I just can't get through it; the squad AI is terrible, the side quests are totally borked and there's no way to track them, and, in a game where you're being constantly reminded "EARTH IS DYING HURRY HURRY", you're effectively running around saving kittens, which makes no sense in-universe. Sure, it's an RPG trope, but it really, really doesn't work here. That being said, there's one reason I don't think I can finish this playthrough--it's not "my" Shephard. I have no connection to this character, and she (THERE IS ONLY ONE TRUE REDHEAD FEMSHEP HERETICS) doesn't have the relationships that I'd grown to value over the course of the earlier games, and certain characters aren't there on this playthrough that I kept alive on the earlier ones. The issue is that I had such a strong connection with the way that I played the earlier games that I can't just start anew; it's not just a game, it's the third chapter in a story that I've spent hundreds of hours on, and that's the value of this game for me. I'm 42, and I was moved to tears six times by my first playthrough of ME3. SIX TIMES. While the overall package didn't work, the setpiece moments were done so incredibly well that it was one of the most moving media experiences of my life. Oh, and beyond that, I've spent almost 300 hours on the multiplayer, which alone would make this my GOTY.

2. Minecraft (XBLA) - It's behind the PC version no mods stupid console blah blah blah blah blah I can sit on the couch and play it with my kids. My son's a genius at this game. Best $20 I spent this year.

3. Skyrim - I got this in 2012, and, well, it was great, but I never finished it. I finished Oblivion three times, but maybe I leveled out my abilities too quick or whatever, but I stopped playing this.

4. Splinter Cell: Conviction - It was new to me in 2012. I hate "you get seen, you fail and/or die" stealth mechanics, which led me to avoid Splinter Cell games in general, but I picked this up for less than ten bucks and utterly loved it. Great mechanics, good mix between stealth and gunplay, and hilariously bad voice acting. Played through it a couple times. My deal of the year.

5. Borderlands 2 - One of my most-anticipated games ever. Meh, unfortunately. Liked the first playthrough more or less, but I've had to kind of force myself through both DLCs so far. I think a larger-than-usual part of the game is based on humor, and it's just not that funny the second time around.

I don't think I can do more than five; 2012 was the year of ME3 multiplayer for me.

ccesarano wrote:
Farscry wrote:
Despite the guff I've seen written about 2012 being a "disappointing" year in gaming, I think this has been a stellar year for gaming. The problem is that it's been a disappointing year if you're looking for HUGE OMG EVENT GAMES. But if you're looking for a year chock-full of low-key but incredibly awesome games full of quality enjoyment, 2012 has been quite generous.

I agree. Based on this spreadsheet I'm looking at, I've played 19 games released during 2012 this year. Of those 19, only 3 of them are not immediately worthy of the top 10 spot. Three of them are mandatory for the top 10.

This leaves me with thirteen games for the remaining seven spots, and I can't figure out which ones definitively belong.

Not to mention there are three or four potentially deserving games that I might not be able to play until after Christmas, assuming I get any of them. So I could end up playing a few in a last minute frenzy to figure out if any of them are more deserving.

I'm with you - after making my list of Top 7, I then recounted how many games I actually played during 2012, and its under 15. I'm not even counting games on iOS, but that feels...low...to me.

Of those 15, most were released this past year, but yet only 6 made it to my Top 7 list :/

I pulled down the games I enjoyed most (that I had played for the first time this year) off Backloggery and it came out to exactly ten!

1. Journey A beautiful experience. Certainly the most emotional I've been at a video game this year. I'll remember this one for a long time.

2. Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance I can't help it, I just love Kingdom Hearts, and this was a great entry into the series. I loved the utter mindscrew craziness at the end, the lovely Fantasia world, and the return of Birth by Sleep style combat.

3. The Binding of Isaac This came out last year but I played it for the first time this year and couldn't put it down. I have played this game so much. It's just the perfect game to play over and over again, seeing what your Isaac turns into each time.

4. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Rhythm game + Final Fantasy music = must buy, so it's a good thing this actually turned out to be awesome.

5. Ico I played this classic for the first time this year, after getting the Ico / Shadow of Colossus HD release for Christmas last year. What an absolutely beautiful environment. This game suffers from clunky, unnecessary combat and occasional control hiccups, but the game largely succeeds at what it's trying to accomplish. Bonus points for making the "escort quest" actually work.

6. Ascension The best card game adaptation on iOS. One of the best games on iOS period. Simple to learn but I'm nowhere close to mastering the strategy.

7. Fairway Solitaire And on the other end of iOS card gaming, there's this. I played this so much. How, and why, is a really simple solitaire game peppered with awful golf jokes so good? I don't know, but I've put a silly amount of hours into this game.

8. Borderlands 2 I'm not finished with it yet but this game is really fun -- a huge improvement over the original Borderlands, just like I wanted. The humor and characterization are much better, the environments are more varied, the combat is satisfying. Oh, and there's a million little chests to open.

9. Paper Mario: Sticker Star This is going to end up being one of those bizarre niche games that a handful will remember fondly while the rest of gamers go "bwuh?" Not quite an RPG, not quite a platformer, not quite a Metroidvania, but containing elements of all of these, it doesn't really fit neatly into a box. But it is fun and full of immensely creative touches, including several hilarious and weird happenings.

10. Rhythm Heaven Fever Fo' sho'.