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GAF Games of the Year 2012 - Voting Thread, now closed. Thanks for all the fish.

Chip N Chance

Jul 30, 2009
1. Mass Effect 3 ; Honestly this was the most time I've spent on a game this year, with obviously most of those hours spent on multiplayer with my friends. My only real gripe with the single player was that it was wrapped up a little too nicely for a story thats as deep and vast as the Mass Effect universe is.

2. The Walking Dead ; Sometimes going into a game with no expectations works out for the better. TWD was the best example of just that. I knew nothing about it going into Ep1 and was completely shocked as to what i just played. It was the first time I've participated in episodic gaming, so it will always have a special place in my heart.

3. XCOM ; Xcom is easily the most invested I've been in a game this year, emotionally and strategically. Im beginning to think that turn based strategy is my favorite genre of games.

4. Journey ; A common trend between my top four games are ones that emotionally grabbed me, with Journey obviously being no exception. Maybe thats just where im at in my life, that id rather have style over substance. Who would have though that the most subtle form of online play would have one of the biggest effects on me this year. On a technical level this game is a triumph. From the sand deformation to highest draw distance ive ever seen, Journey managed to visually shock me in ways that i havent been in years.

5. Assassins Creed 3 ; Every year one game comes around that scratches my OCD itch, and every year its an Assassins Creed game. Couple more feathers and ill be 100%!

6. Black Ops 2 ; Ive sort of written CoD games after MW3, but was still drawn in to Blops2 because of how much i loved the first Blops campaign. It wasn't nearly as grabbing as the first, but maybe that was because i really value the Vietnam War as a setting for film. Having now gotten the campaign over with, ive been roped back in to the CoD online scene again. Somthing i havent been invested in since MW2.

7. Super Mario U ; This game has a special place on my 2012 games list in the same way that Mario 3D Land did last year. Its a game i play every sunday durring football using the gamepad only to go back and collect all the star coins. Super Mario World for SNES is my favorite game of all time, so anything that reminds me of that game is ok in my book.

8. Trials Evolution ; Kind of the complete opposite of what my top four are. Its all mechanically driven and has no hint of being anything els. Its a game i can i zone out to at night while also listening to podcast.

9. Max Payne 3 ; Max Payne 3 is my type of story telling. To be honest, Rockstar games are usually my type of story telling in games. Its dark and sometimes unsettling to play Max Payne 3. Wether its the musical score, grim voice acting and grotesque slow-mo murders, i absolutely loved the way it made me uncomfortable.

10. Halo 4 ; Not a disappointing campaign, but definitely a disappointing story. Humanizing Master Chief is the dumbest and most awkward thing I've ever seen in a FPS. But beside all that, the dynamic battlefield that Halo is known for is still here, campaign and competitively.


Sep 26, 2010
1. Journey ; This is the highest achievement in interactive media. An experience anyone can relate to and derive meaning from regardless of their past. Although the concept seems simple on paper do not expect the template to be mimicked well in the future.

2. Dustforce ; Expertly crafted action platformer that doesn’t waste your time with hidden collectibles or drawn out battle encounters. The stages are designed to have a continuous flow from beginning to end. The scoring system is smart and penalizes you for playing the game incorrectly.

Master Nairb

Sep 2, 2011
1. Zombie U - Wii U ; Hands down my favorite game of the year due to it being very unique to the type of games I normally play. The Wii U is on a fast track to becoming my favorite system of all time...I know that sounds crazy...but I have almost every video game console released since 1992 and I can't remember having so much different types of fun all on one console. I love scary games but haven't been able to be scared since Silent Hill 2. This game should only be played alone, in the dark, and at around 2 in the morning.

2. Halo 4 - XBox 360 ; I haven't played a Halo game since I was 16 and on the original X-Box. The mechanics are just as tight as I remember and still blow away every other shooter that has clowned Halo. The graphics are stunning but what really blew me away was by how many new weapons and enemies I've never seen were scattered throughout. The story makes no sense whatsoever but I like the relationship between Chief and Cortana...plus, she is hot. I don't care what anyone says...Cortana is hot! Multiplayer is surprisingly fun as well ... where have I been for the last 10 years.

3. Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition ; I just got this game for Christmas and have not left my basement yet. I normally don't like fighting games but this one is so addictive because of the mass amounts of characters, customizations, and levels accessible right when you first put in the disc. The Soundtrack to this game is awesome and might warrant a trip to Japan to pick it up.

4. Max Payne 3 - PC ; I did not play Max Payne 3. So why is it on my list? Because I watched every second of my wife playing this epic shooter. I was so amazed by the level of character development Max had in this game due to the amazing voice and motion capture. This was like watching a movie so if you haven't played and still want too - pick it up.

5. Walking Dead - PS3 ; Just finished this because every one was talking about it. I enjoyed it but felt the PS3 version I played was so choppy and loose that I almost turned it off around Episode 2. I'm glad I did not because the middle episodes of this game are very special. The game looses it's appeal towards the end when you realize the end-state is not truly player picked and the payoff is rather weak but the character decisions in the middle are so unique I won't forget playing this one for a while.

6. Journey - PS3 ; Quick and unique. These are the type of game moments I wish I could enjoy more. Do I think Journey is the coming of a new technical dawn? No! Do I think Journey is the first game to capture emotion with multiplayer gameplay. No! But do I think Journey is overrated? NO! I had the right amount of amazement in this short adventure. This game is the perfect game to let non-gamers play so they can see how far games have come since we were kids.

7. Jaws Revenge - IOS: Hothead Games ; I left America for a 3 month vacation this year and did not play any games during this summer. When I returned all I had was my little iphone and a downloaded game called Jaws Revenge. Too much gruesome fun. It's so easy to eat people and it's even easier to spend over twenty hours in a downloadable game that no one has probably heard about.

8. NintendoLand - Wii U ; Who has not played this yet? Who I ask? Not all of the minigames are fun and most are so simply designed only my family members are enjoying them. But this game does what it is supposed too which is introduces everyone to the Wii U. I love watching our plaza grow and grow with chaos. And I also love watching people who never play video games having fun with them.

9. Nano Assault Neo - Wii U ; It's Geometry Wars meets Mario Galaxy. Colorful, fast, and insane. So insane I can only get to stage three of level one. My wife and family members however are crushing this game and having a blast doing it. You can download it from the eshop for 10 dollars and you won't be disappointed. Another fun party game that showcases the different types of fun you can have on the Wii U.

10. Silent Hill: Downpour - PS3 ; Don't laugh, I've only played 10 games this year and Silent Hill Downpour is by far the worse. Terrible frame-rate and glitches ruined this experience for me. But if only they were able to spend a few more months polishing those limitations before releasing it - I honestly think this could have been at the top of many gamer's list. The overall story is good and there are some extremely creepy, unique, and imaginative set pieces throughout this game. Unfortunately, it's obvious the publishers only wanted to cash out and did not care about quality. I was hoping this was going to bring Silent Hill back...ha ha ha. I guess I'll stick to the movies.


Jan 19, 2010
  1. The Secret World ; A single player game turned into an MMO: brilliant writing, zero grinding and can be soloed from start.

  2. Rocksmith ; The evolution of Rockband\Guitar Hero. Hoping for Rocksmith 2 they'll give more freedom for customization and more options, it's a great learning program disguised as a game.

  3. Hotline Miami ; Great soundtrack, trippy gameplay.

  4. The Darkness II
  5. Binary Domain
  6. Sine Mora
  7. Journey
  8. Dishonored
  9. Dust: An Elysian Tail
  10. NeverDead
x. Analogue: A Hate Story
x. Asura's Wrath


Jan 9, 2008
No love for some of the indie hits this year?
Well I discounted all games I didn't finish, so Fez, Mark of the Ninja and a couple of others automatically got excluded, although they might well be better than some on my list. I did include Dear Esther though.


Jun 23, 2012
I'm from the US but I imported Pandora's Tower. Also I imported Xenoblade last year, so I guess I'll make that my 2011 pick.

Here's my list:

1. Rhythm Heaven Fever ; Best game in the best rhythm series of all time. The minigames were more off-the-wall and memorable than ever before and the localization was flawless. The audio and visual upgrades went a long way to improving the game, as well.
2. Gravity Rush ; Brilliant gravity mechanic that sold me on the Vita instantly. Flawless controls, amazing art style and likable main character also contributed towards making this one of the best handheld games ever. The game didn't quite realize its full potential, but it was about 96% of the way there.
3. Crashmo ; Sequel to my 2011 GotY. It's lacking a bit of the beautiful simplicity that made Pushmo one of the greatest puzzle games of all time, but aside from that it's every bit as brilliant, fiendish and endlessly playable and replayable as its predecessor.
4. Monster World IV ; Almost forgot about this one! Long considered to be one of the crown jewels of import-only gaming, this game did not disappoint when it was finally translated and released to the Virtual Console this year. Although it lacks the open-endedness of some of the previous Monster World/Wonder Boy entries, it more than makes up for it with its likable protagonist, tight controls, excellent dungeons, and unique mechanics. Few games can match the feeling of embarking on a grand adventure that it imparts. Thank you Sega for finally giving US gamers the chance to play this!
5. Paper Mario: Sticker Star ; I was caught off guard a bit by the shift from traditional RPG towards something which more closely resembled an old-school adventure game, but it pulled it off beautifully. The sticker system is perfectly balanced and the game's puzzles were clever while still making perfect sense.
6. Rabi Laby 2 ; This virtually unknown DSiware exclusive represents puzzle-platforming at its finest. With two characters needing to work together, each using their distinct abilities to reach the stage exit, the designers packed an impressive amount of depth and variety into the game's puzzles. The time trials gave the game tons of replay value, as well.
7. Mutant Mudds ; Pretty much a standard, no-frills platform shooter, but the execution was so flawless that I couldn't help but be impressed. The 3D effect really helped bring the game to life, and was extremely useful in helping distinguish between the foreground and background layers. Also, DAT MUSIC.
8. Fluidity: Spin Cycle ; The sequel to one the best downloadable games of the generation was just released this past week, but I feel I've put enough time into it now to judge it properly. After I got over the initial shock of the game running at a lower framerate than the original, I found that it was every bit as charming, clever and unique as its predecessor. The levels which featured full 360° rotation were an absolute revelation, and the more "traditional" puzzles were excellent as well.
9. Pandora's Tower ; It's a shame that so many US gamers are missing out on this gem. With its excellent visual style, inventive mechanics, flawless pointer controls, and outstanding dungeons and boss battles, this was a worthy send-off for the Wii. (It was also much better than the overhyped Last Story.)
10. Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack ; This is another game which employs a unique set of mechanics to great effect. It was clearly designed to take advantage of the Vita's control features, but I found it worked just as well on the PC using keyboard + mouse controls. It wasn't the most difficult game, but it was a fun and laid-back romp which still provided a decent challenge if you wanted to collect the gold medals. The 1950s motif complemented the game perfectly.

2011. Xenoblade Chronicles ; Everything about this game, from the massive world, to the story, to the gorgeous artwork, to the mindblowing soundtrack, to the battle system, to the sidequests, to the insane amounts of depth and customization, was just completely stunning. It's also a perfect showpiece title for Dolphin. I don't know what this says about me, but I really hope that some truly awful things happen to the person or people who thought that this game shouldn't be released in the US.

x. Rhythm Thief & The Emperor's Treasure ; I love rhythm games and I love Professor Layton, so what's not to love here? While the story was a bit predictable, the production values were top-notch and the rhythm games were a blast to play, and complemented the Layton-style adventuring perfectly.
x. Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy ;
x. The Pinball Arcade ;
x. Code of Princess ;
x. Sine Mora ;
x. Resident Evil: Revelations ;
x. Kid Icarus: Uprising ;
Jan 28, 2010
1. Resident Evil: Revelations ; probably, my second favorite Resident Evil ever, and surely my favorite among the new ones; I loved the chapter structure, I loved the new characters, and I loved every single minute with it; oh, and I loved the Raid mode.
2. Rhythm Heaven Fever ; I didn't dislike the touch screen of the DS entry, but buttons are waaaaay better for Rhythm Heaven; OST, once again, is top-notch.
3. Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance ; bigger and more complex environments, and personally I loved all new Disney worlds; Fantasia world is unique in how it combines musique and actions.
4. Mutant Mudds ; hard but entertaining; I really liked the OST.
5. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy ; as a big Final Fantasy fan, I couldn't put this game in the year-end chart! One of the few games where I actually bought DLC.
6. The World Ends With You Solo Remix ; the best game on DS, the best game on iPad.
7. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 ; I found this entry much better than 6.
8. Picross e ; the perfect game to stay always on my 3DS.
9. Xenoblade Chronicles ; I played this last year but still, one of the best jRPG of this generation.
10. The Last Story ; not as good as Xenoblade, but I appreciated the ideas Sakaguchi tried to put here, especially gameplay-wise.

2011. Ghost Trick ; Shu Takumi in its best.


Oct 2, 2009
1. Dishonored ; A beautifully designed game, one that borrows elements from numerous giants of the stealth genre while still feeling unique, smooth and and cohesive. Fantastic level design, visually intriguing and varied world, the best First Person movement this side of Mirror's Edge. The plot was weak both in its twists and the way it was delivered, but Dunwall itself was a wonderful place to explore, thanks in part to the Heart. A modern classic.

2. Max Payne 3 ; I still play through MP1 & 2 regularly because the combat is so fun, and this game was no different. I already beat it 3 times on different difficulty levels and will probably keep revisiting it on Steam. The gunplay is just so tense, brutal and satisfying. I wasl also impressed by ho Rockstar made that game their own, actually giving Max an emotional arc instead of having him moping through the all game. Incredible soundtrack too.

3. Journey ; Really beatifully crafted poem about human relationships and how we make our way through life. Most interesting use of online since Dark Souls and some breathtaking visuals.

4. Assassin's Creed 3 ; They absolutely nailed the setting and how fun it was to traverse it, and as such I had more fun just wandering around this world than any others this year. Uneven in its myriad of sidequests (the naval combat was exhilarating, the economy unnecessarily complex), but I admire and salute the ambition for a yearly franchise.

5. Persona 4 Golden ; Justified the 250E price tag on its own: perfectly suited for handeld, the use of bright primary colors really shines on the OLED screen. The characters are more likeable than in Persona 3 and Inaba feels like a real place. I'm 25 hours in and not in a hurry to finish it.

6. Far Cry 3 ; They've carefully extracted the highs of FC2 and put it in the world of FC1. The missions were not great but fucking around in the jungle, even at a sub 23 FPS, gave me some of my most memorable moments of the year (including dodging at the very last second a flaming truck full of pirates that had exploded on one of my mines).

7. Trials Evolution ; I didn't really stick with the original on XBLA but loved the diversity of tracks in this one. Incredibly elaborate multiplayer tools and track editing tools too.

8. Gravity Rush ; Artistically, the most memorable game of the year for me. That artstyle + music combo made flying around the city such a delight. The combat was simple but mostly adequate, and the characters reminded me what I often love about japanese sensibilities. Only game I platinumed this year too.

9. Hotline Miami ; Blazed through it in a couple of days but this one really made an impression. I'm not even sure it's a really good game but it went for something special and nailed it.

10. The Walking Dead ; They did a pretty great job in a fairly rigid structure, both in term of the engine, the IP and the resources they had. I kind of lost any emotional investment I had with the characters fairly early on, when I realized they were going for a specific grim, depressing tone (similar to the Game of Thrones and Walking Dead TV shows) and there was nothing I could do as a gamer to change that.Their goal was to make me feel bad regardless of what I did, and as a result I felt disconnected from the whole ting. I also think they achieved that at the expense of making the secondary characters feel like real grounded human beings, instead they were there to be mirrors for the player, reacting vehemently to his decisions in sometimes really disingenuous ways (e.g.:
that girl shooting the other one in Ep. 3
). Still, an interesting experiment.

x. Fez ; Didn't finish it yet but enjoyed what I played. Can't wait to dive into it more seriously later on.
x. Chivalry: Medieval Warfare ; Very polished melee based MP, I wish Mount & Blade and these guys would team up to make the ultimate medieval game.
x. Call of Duty: Balck Ops 2 ; I've only played through the campaign once, but props to Treyarch for acknowledging that this franchise needs to take into account some of the criticisms that it has received since CoD 4. More open level design and an interesting choice-based narrative structure. As always, I'll probably get seriously into the MP in a few months.
x. Papo & Yo ; One of the most interesting downloadable experiment of the year, the puzzle solving wasn't nearly as mediocre as I was led to believe and the subject matter was unique.
x. Theatrythm: Final Fantasy ; I only completed one FF but played through all the modes of this game except for the dark notes. Safe for a few UI choices, a really expertly done rythm game that's both fun on its own and a nice tribute to one of the franchise's constant strength throughout the years.


Oct 1, 2010
1) X-Com: Enemy Unknown; A fantastic reboot that shows how to do (almost) everything right. I loved many decisions made, but the decision to keep the squad small needs to be highlighted, it helped modernize the classic franchise while keeping that X-Com attachment to your recruits as they live or die. I played it again and again and again.

2) FTL- Faster Than Light; I picked up this fantastic game late but it didn't stop me from enjoying this gem. It's un-intrusive in the best possible way, allowing you to tell your own story as you journey through space. It's also brutally difficult and frequently forces you to make tough tactical decisions. You'll never feel safe jumping into an unkown sector, and that's ok.

3) Civilization V: Gods and Kings; Catapults Civ into 2012 while introducing badly needed features. As many mentioned, this is the game Civ V should have been on release, but a year late isn't too late for me.

4) The Walking Dead; Visual novel storytelling at it's best. A great game to play together with a friend, talk through choices as they happen and see how you did versus everybody else.

5) The Secret World; The Best new MMO that nobody played. The setting is refreshing in a genre dominated by Fantasy and Space-Fi tropes.

6) Diablo 3; A flawed choice, to be sure, but this is still my co-op go to game even after it's shaky release. The combat is fluid and refreshing. If only certain weaknesses had been addressed prior to release, particularly the cringe worthy story it would be much higher on the list.

7) The Darkness 2; Scratched my itch for a linear first person shooter early in the year, a fun romp that didn't overstay it's welcome. When I first played it I wondered if it could have been 5-10 hours longer, but later I realized that it was perfectly good at that length.

8) Spec Ops: The Line; Another single player first person shooter that doesn't overstay it's welcome, has a decent enough story and doesn't try to be something it isn't -- a CoD killer.

9) Mark of the Ninja; Distills stealth to it's core essence and makes you feel badass all the while.

10) Borderlands 2; Great co-op shooter and the best of what BL1 offered, but a minus ultimately because it just isn't as fun without 3 other human beings.

x. Torchlight 2; deserves an honorable mention for the effort involved.


Feb 26, 2009
1. Persona 4: Golden ; Atlus has taken what was already a fine jrpg and made it even better. These changes are subtle, but the end result is another level of polish to an already outstanding game. The presentation is top notch, the additional story elements are great, the writing is superb, the music is amazing, and the battle system coupled with the demon fusion is probably the most progressive battle system in any jrpg to date. This may just be the best jrpg in the last 10 years.

2. Journey ; No other game this year transported me to another land like Journey did. No other game this year had quite the "OMG" moments like Journey did. And no other game this year had an ending with the impact of Journey.

3. Forza Horizon ; Couple a great handling game with beautiful visuals and you've got me. Forza Horizon handles open world racing the right way. Once you're in a race, you're in a closed circuit race. No wondering which way you're supposed to go or having to rely so much on a way-point marker. Having to do any of those things in an actual race is incredibly distracting, and Forza solves this problem. Just an all around fun game that happens to look incredible.


Feb 1, 2011
1. Hotline Miami - the blood, the killing, the stabbing, the shooting, it's all so cool.

2. Far Cry 3 - Best-designed open world I've ever played, always something fun to do - the first time I've seen pacing used well in open-world game design.

3. SSX - a really fun game, slick presentation and great trick system.

Looks like somebody really understood that game.


I can't *believe* these lazy developers keep making file sizes so damn large. Btw, how does technology work?
Apr 25, 2011
I think I may play around with the order - and I'll add descriptions in a bit. But I want to at least start toying with my list.

1. Mass Effect 3
2. Journey
3. Halo 4
4. Gravity Rush
5. Forza Horizon
6. Kid Icarus Uprising
7. Max Payne 3
8. Xenoblade Chronicles

The Technomancer

card-carrying scientician
Jun 18, 2009
I've got a few more to play before the 19th (mostly Hotline Miami and Virtue's Last Reward), may end up making some minor changes to this list

1. Kid Icarus: Uprising; Holy crap, this game came out of nowhere. I thought it looked interesting at first reveal, and I ignored it for the rest of the pre-release period. I practically bought it launch day on a whim, and I was blown away by the most original Nintendo game since Super Mario Galaxy. The presentation is amazing, the amount of content and collectables is jawdropping, the replayability of each stage is insane. This is one of the best action games I've ever played.

2. NintendoLand; I don't even own a WiiU and this game makes the top of my GOTY list. For the past month Friday Night Magic: the Gathering nights at my friend's place have transformed into NintendoLand nights. Metroid Blast, Mario Chase, Luigi's Mansion, Battle Quest...we've poured hours into all of them, having a complete blast the entire time. Plus when we're all doing something else and one person gets bored they can start the Donkey Kong or Yoshi games and we'll all have fun watching them.

3. Rhythm Heaven Fever; Not sure what to say about this one other then its amazingly fun, there's a crazy amount of content, and I just have this huge smile whenever I'm playing it.

4. FTL; Amazing soundtrack, and the concept is so good. I've put a lot of time into this game, its great for a half an hour here or there if I want to try and make a run, and I love how different every attempt turns out.

5. McPixel; This is the best, most stupid game ever.
More to come...


Sep 11, 2010
1. Journey (PS3); Yes, Mario requires more skill. Still doesn't change the fact that this game moved me like no other game has and is one of the few online experiences where playing it with strangers was not only great, it was probably better than if you had played it with a friend.

2. Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance (3DS); It's probably no secret that I'm a huge Kingdom Hearts fan. Dream Drop Distance takes the crazy-ass fun battle system even further than BBS. At first I didn't feel the Pokemon system was something that I'd enjoy, but after playing a while and figuring out what to do and not to do, it's become a lot more bearable. All-in-all, this is yet another showcase of Square Enix's Osaka teams skills. Oh, and it has what is probably the best KH OST, the collaboration with Shimomura, Ishimoto & Sekito since BBS is one of the most glorious things as far as VGOSTs go.

3. DJ Max Technika Tune (Vita); DJ Max continues to dominate the hardcore rhythm game genre, this time being a hardcore version of Ouendan instead of a more traditional button-controlled music game (not that Ouendan is easy on its hardest difficulty levels, but Technika is on a completely different level). A great selection of music (though, not a fan of KARA), surprisingly high production values & great gameplay that offers a lot of challenge yet never feels completely impossible, just something that you need more practice in.

4. Gravity Rush (Vita); A Miyazaki-esque world, fun main character and exciting gravity-mechanics make for what is one of the best open world games ever. For me, it never gets old just flying & dropping everywhere The game isn't without its faults. Retrying challenges is too slow & the combat is a bit repetitive, but if you try to use all the skills that you can during battles (not just mashing buttons for the basic combo or doing flying kicks, but throwing shit around & performing all those superspecial attacks), then it's not too bad.

5. Wipeout 2048 (Vita); It's Wipeout. Done well. On a portable. It's hard, but oh so satisfying. Loading times are a bit long & it's only 30fps, but it's still perfectly playable.

6. Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy (3DS); This is how you make a rhythm/music game that fits the source material. Everything in this game is a huge love letter to Final Fantasy. Great gameplay, big enough selection of music (could be bigger, still some of my favorites missing from the DLC yet they've seemingly stopped doing any DLC for it) and a lot to do/unlock. I've played it on/off quite a lot since Summer and I still haven't done everything in the game. Hopefully this won't be left off as a one-off, but will be followed by other Theatrhythms from different series or composers. I'm a bit biased, but Kingdom Hearts/Yoko Shimomura would be perfect for this. The KH games has the same kind of diverse range of music (from dramatic to plain out silly) as the FF series, even if it's not nearly as old. And Yoko Shimomura has also done all kinds of stuff from Street Fighter II to Legend of Mana.

7. Borderlands 2 (PS3); A surprisingly well written (in a funny kind of way) and addicting "hack 'n slash" FPS RPG. Perhaps a bit too bloated, but it's so much more polished than the first game that I don't mind.

8. Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward (Vita); Love visual novels and the Zero Escape franchise is probably the best completely serious one I've played (with Ace Attorney taking the cake on the "serious but has its funny bits too"). Virtue's Last Reward is a better game than its predecessor, with harder puzzles & some improvements to the branching of the paths in the storyline.

9. Darksiders II (PS3); This too, is a bit bloated a sequel, but it's still the only worthwhile alternative for Zelda during this generation on HD consoles (if we don't count Okami HD), with a superior combat system to boot.

10. Lumines: Electric Symphony (Vita); I suck at this game. I'm not ashamed to admit it. But... I still love it. One of the most amazing block-dropping puzzle games ever. I'd probably rank it higher if I was better in it and got even more enjoyment out of it.


Nov 16, 2006
Well I discounted all games I didn't finish, so Fez, Mark of the Ninja and a couple of others automatically got excluded, although they might well be better than some on my list. I did include Dear Esther though.
Fair enough, although I was more referring to FTL and Hotline Miami. Thought at least one of those would be right up your alley.

And Spelunky. Always Spelunky. :p


Nov 13, 2009
I'd love for this to be a WiP post, but there is every chance that I just won't get around to playing those few games I have left in any meaningful way that will affect this lineup. So with that said, here is my Top 9 of the Top 10 list:

1. Journey ; Oh boy, what a great little experience this is. I have one anecdote that goes against the grain however, and this is as good a place as any to share it.

After I had played through it twice I impressed upon my partner that she give Journey a go. So she did, with me helping just the tiniest bit on some platforming sections, otherwise I stayed mum during the adventure. Eventually she made it to the very end of the game
where you are zooming up towards the heavens
and she fell off the updraft, crashed through a mountain and promptly broke her Journey. I restarted at some point in the snowy tundra and finished adroitly thereafter, however the damage was done and my partner did not care very much for her Journey experience, finding it altogether too frustrating to control and perhaps I was a little onerous in expressing my joy before she played it.

So that's the other side of the Journey coin.

Nonetheless, I enjoyed this game immensely, met many companions nearly all of whom were Japanese and yet our coop experiences were flawless, and Journey will be the first game I fire up on my new HT setup in the new year. Just superb.

2. XCOM: Enemy Unknown ; 23 hours of solid gameplay had right here, all on easy/normal difficulty. I bought it based purely on Jintor's sublime "Let's Play" thread and incessant chatter at Giantbomb. Probably the best full price purchase I made this year, and given I haven't yet dared played on any of the higher difficulties I probably haven't yet got my full monies worth out of this purchase. Great game.

3. The Walking Dead ; That this sits at number 3 speaks volumes about the 2 games above it, because truthfully this is has been the most talked about game in my household (I played it on PC and then bought it for iPad so my partner and I could play it simultaneously). I played it across multiple evenings around the time episode 5 came out. I found that I was wearisome, drained and worn out after each game session. And yet The Walking Dead has a very dark current of humour throughout which sits comfortably alongside with the other emotive states it conjures across the 12-odd hours I played it for. Indeed I belly-laughed from some genuinely funny or touching moments and I bark-laughed at many horrendous moments (like the salt-lick). I probably also exclaimed 'what the fuck!? more times playing this then I did while playing through XCOM. Terrific ending also. I can't wait for whatever next season brings.

4. Borderlands 2 ; It's more Borderlands! It's a better Borderlands! Borderlands!

5. Natural Selection 2 ; I kind of suspect this will receive very few votes elsewhere this year, which is a great shame. The original Natural Selection was by far the best mod ever made for Half Life and it has always bummed me out that Counter-Strike received all the accolades instead. The combination of RTS and FPS has never been as (success)fully realised as it is here. It is closer to the Aliens universe than any game (except perhaps the original AvP from many moons ago). Whether you prefer alien scum or Marine superiority there is a 'class' and a role for you to play here. Terrific, terrific game.

6. I Am Alive ; Played it on PS3 but would have to be a better game on PC. Nonetheless, I Am Alive is a sensational game and yet another download-only (or primarily downloadable) entry on this list. Before Clementine there was Mei and she is every bit as great in fulfilling this role. Before zombiepocalypse there was The Event. Unforgiving gameplay (and occasionally unfair, but hey, dealwithit.gif) which tickled me pink at every turn. Also, a ripper ending.

7. Spec Ops: The Line ; To complete the trifecta of games that got under
peoples noses (Journey and The Walking Dead being the other two) here is the sublime Spec Ops. The shooting is good fun. The sand is good fun. The story wonderful and more importantly wonderfully told. And the ending (regardless of which one you subjected yourself to and if you knew it was coming), sublime.

8. Tribes: Ascend ; The only F2P game I have given money to, and by extension the only game I have ever paid for DLC for. So that has to count for something, right? Great competitive shooter that's easy enough to get into but has depth (and speed) that every other current shooter can only dream of.

9. Diablo 3 ; Best loot game out there. I've logged maybe 5 minutes in multiplayer and many, many hours in single player and have enjoyed pretty much every moment. It's the Goldilocks of the clickety-click genre.

10. Tiny and Big: Grandpa's Leftovers ; Bought it for a pittance and is a real gem at any Steam sale price. Just a delightfully honest game.

x. Super Monday Night Combat ; Man, the first game was just about my favourite Xbox game and certainly my favourite multiplayer game on Xbox. The changes SMNC brought to the table are not at all to my taste (it's all about bots and lanes and other DOTA-inspired crap, and not the pure man-on-man experience that MNC was) but despite that, I still really enjoyed the couple weeks I put into this earlier this year on PC and thus it earns a mention down here.

x. Binary Domain ; With any luck I'll find a spare afternoon or two in the next fortnight to finish Binary Domain and that may well see it shift into the top 10 list. Having only played a little of it to this point means it merely receives a honourable mention.

x. Legend of Grimrock ; Where the hell did this come from? What a little beauty of a game. If it had made it to iOS so I could devote more time to it, it may very well have made it into the top ten.

2011. Batman: Arkham City ; Finally got around to playing it this year on my PC. Great fun, quite beautiful to look at. 22hr played with only a little side content dallied in. Looking forward to the Bat's next adventure, ideally on next gen hardware.


There is a fairly common theme among games 1, 2, 3, 6 and 7 on my list, as I'm sure it is on many other lists. For all the weak points of 2012 (Wii and 360 are packed away (for good) in their boxes in the shed for the first time since I've bought them), I've had a fucking fantastic year in gaming.


Jan 12, 2011
1. FTL: Faster than Light ; Super addictive and challenging with a scifi setting to boot, this was easily my favorite game of the year.
2. Torchlight II ; Better loot that D3, more randomization and more interesting character builds. Best dungeon crawler in a long time.
3. Borderlands 2 (PC) ; Played through the entire game co-op and loved every minute of it. The writing is consistently funny and the characters are absurd, but enjoyable.
4. Dishonored (PC) ; I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this game, as I'm not usually a stealth fan. Loved the art and aesthetics of the world, and the skills and weapons are so much fun to play with.
5. Call of Duty: Black Ops II (PC) ; Very interesting single player with choices that affect the ending. Multiplayer introduced some cool changes, and is as addictive as ever.
6. Diablo 3 ; Amazing game the first time I played through with 4 friends, but I got tired of it fairly quickly. Sold my gear for $500 or so and moved on, but I'll be back.
7. Planetside 2 ; Played this in beta a ton, and dabble in it now. Amazing scope and technologically impressive engine makes for a game unlike any other.
8. Spec Ops: The Line (PC) ; Despite some questionable gameplay choices, I thought the story was interesting and the characters were believable and relatable.
9. Chivalry: Medieval Warfare ; Nothing beats decapitating two opponents with one blow from your halberd. This "First Person Slasher" was a great fast-paced take on medieval combat that I had a blast playing.
10. Max Payne 3 (PC) ; As a fan of the first two games, I really enjoyed the new take on Max in this game. Some of the tightest controls and best TPS gameplay ever made this a very solid game.
x. Far Cry 3 (PC) ; I'm still playing through this, but I love the island and the amount of things to do.
x. The Walking Dead (PC) ; I have only finished the first episode, but so far the writing and characters are superb, and do justice to the complex source material.

2011. Saint's Row the Third (PC) ; Finally played this, and it's just a pure, unadulterated fun. The insane missions and crazy things you can do in this game have yet to be topped.


I got grudge sucked!
Feb 20, 2007
1. The Last Story; Maybe an odd choice for number one, but ultimately I have to pick a game that I felt most satisfactory with from beginning to end. I liked the characters, the plot is not particularly original but it doesn't trip over itself, the game is the perfect length, the battle system is fun. My complaints about the title were pretty minor.

2. Dragon's Dogma; One of the most most fun games I've played this year. The big monster battles were classic, the general combat was just a lot of fun. I liked the pawn system, the story takes an interesting shape towards the end and post game content is always nice. My biggest problem was lack of enemy variety and the map was much much smaller than you'd think.

3. Mass Effect 3; The ending, while admittedly poor, just didn't bother me and I came to terms with what Mass Effect was going to be as opposed to what people hoped it could be. I had only played KoTOR prior to this. The combat was improved, the missions are well paced, I felt that gameplay wise they did a pretty decent job in balancing what worked in the first two games.

4. The Witcher 2; I've only done one playthrough but I really enjoyed the game. I think TW2 does a decent job in filling in new players on the first game and the previous stories without some overtly contrived flashback scene. However, it doesn't quite hold up to the sacred cow status that PC gaf gives it. I don't think any game could live up to that hype. Still, its excellent in its own right and every 360 owner should play it.

5. The Walking Dead; It was a great experience for a week and it sticks with you. Its nice to see the game get the attention it is, even if the hype is overblown. The characters are really well done in general, but TWD suffers from some of the same problems that other "choice" games do like ME and Heavy Rain. Some of your choices have no real effect on the story, you're going to point B one way or another, The problem is there isn't much of an actual game here so there is no reason to replay it to make different decisions.

6. WWE 13; Now this is an odd choice and anything THQ/Yukes/WWE related is typically poorly received. However, I think the best types of yearly iterations celebrate what they are, the sport or activity they represent, and Attitude Mode does this pretty well. Being a big wrestling fan during this time, it was fun to relive some of the big moments of that time. Some glitches and bizarre or specific in match goals temper the fun a bit. But, it has Gangrel!!!

7. Fez; Honestly, I didn't care much for Fez's second playthrough since its a lot of codes and deciphering. The codes were based on a nursery rhyme I'd never heard of so off the bat I just didn't care. The first playthrough was a lot about old school platform style discovery. The atmosphere and the soundtrack are great and there's nothing better than discovering a new area from a door you previously missed.

8. Dust An Elysian Tale; This is a well done Metroidvania style game that I enjoyed much more than I thought I would. Its a shame some won't play it due to the animal characters. I miss the days where people were apprehensive to play games with these characters because people assumed it was too kiddy.

9. Journey; Just a really unique albeit short experience. Great atmosphere.

10. Warriors Orochi 3; Okay I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel here, but I had a lot of fun and spent a bunch of hours playing this just to unlock the characters. Its a Musou game, what else can be said?

HM 1: Kingdoms of Amular: Reckoning; I've played about 25 or so hours of this and I enjoy the combat a lot, its well made but its missing....something to really tie everything together. It feels a bit generic at times. It would have helped had it not been sandwiched between Skyrim and DD.

HM2: None. I have Halo 4, Dishonored, ACIII, X-Com, Far Cry 3, but I haven't played any of them yet.

2012's game of last year: Skyrim; Honestly, this would probably be my GOTY but I got it Christmas day 2011, but I put 130 hours in this fucker. I'm well aware of the game's short comings but to me, its exactly what I expected.


erotic butter maelstrom
Dec 15, 2008

1. FTL: Faster Than Light ; Simple but elegant presentation, deceptively captivating content. As a rougelike, it strikes a perfect balance of skill and luck. Whether you succeed or fail miserably, every journey in FTL is one to remember.

2. Chivalry: Medieval Warfare ; Bloody and brilliant swords and shields combat. As a mutliplayer focused game, it's fairly standard in it's structure, but the first person melee combat is delightfully violent and supremely satisfying. Chivalry is not complex. It won't blow your mind. It doesn't redefine shit. But it is some of the most fun I've had with a game in 2012

3. Hotline Miami ; An intensely psychedelic hyperviolence simulator. What's not to love about that? But Hotline Miami is more than just a cool "experience", it's a tightly designed and addictive top down action game that taps into the primal part of your brain.

4. Lumines: Electronic Symphony ; An accessible but challenging score-attack block puzzler with one of the greatest and most eclectic licensed soundtracks ever. Both an incredible audio/visual experience and a damn good puzzle game. A long session of Voyage mode will leave your eyes dry and your mind blown.

5. The Walking Dead: A Telltale Games Series ; Choice driven, post-apocalyptic adventure gaming. I don't give half a fuck if TWD is a game or a non-game, it's a bleak but compelling interactive story that may not branch as wildly as one would hope, but allows the player to imprint themselves on Lee and his actions. TWD pulled off the nearly impossible feat of making me genuinely give a shit about the plight of videogame characters.

6. XCOM: Enemy Unknown ; Heartpounding tactical combat with a side of basebuilding simulation. It's amazing how XCOM can make turn based combat so much more intense than any real time firefight I've experienced a game. But it just wouldn't be the same if I wasn't commanding a group of custom made troops that my imagination has lended personalities and histories to. XCOM also earns bonus points for turning me on to a genre I've until now ignored.

7. Dragon's Dogma ; Monster-hunting open world goodness: no demotivating treadmill scaling, daunting but rewarding exploration, a varied and actually enjoyable real time combat system, and the clever pawn system which adds a pseudo-online twist to the single player experience. There's a lot of room for improvement if Capcom moves on with the series, Dragon's Dogma makes my list for being a welcome change of pace from the last few high profile open world RPG's.

8. Mark of the Ninja ; Razor sharp stealth action. The word "polished" gets thrown out a lot, and often just means "the absence of crippling bugs", but it's a title very fitting of MotN. Every detail from the art, to the interface, to the controls and animation are smartly and efficiently designed. It captures all of the great things about the stealth genre, while avoiding all of the frustrating things that also come with it.

9. Tokyo Jungle ; Like a lost, hidden gem from the Dreamcast area. When it was still OK for a game to make no fucking sense. Tokyo Jungle grabbed my attention with it's zany premise and held it with it's fast paced, super 'gamey' survival action.

10. Fairway Solitaire ; The perfect casual/smartphone game. I could play it in a two minute sessions just as easily as I could lose an entire day to it. It takes the familiar but timeless concept of solitaire and combines it with golf themed elements which add a unique and dynamic challenge. The basic goal is to clear all of the cards on screen, each one left standing when your deck runs out is +1 towards your score. The core game is endlessly entertaining, and supported by a slew of content and unlockables, as well as alternative modes and daily tournaments. It may be simple in concept but it's every bit as engaging as any fully fledged, big budget videogame.

Honorable Mentions:

x. Scribblenauts Unlimited ; A playground for your imagination. Unlimited was a refreshingly lighthearted and silly diversion after a year full of dark and violent games. It features by far the best controls and interface yet in the series, and Steam workshop support is a huge bonus. It would be a GOTY contender if it wasn't so ridiculously easy, the more challenging puzzles of the past entries are greatly missed.

x. Far Cry 3 - FC3 features a big and beautiful island populated by pirates and all sorts of tropical creatures ready and willing to murder and/or eat you. exploration is fun and it has a lot of sandbox appeal. it's a shame that it's so focused on overplayed, trendy game design elements like crafting, loot and xp. the complete lack of tension compared to the previous games hurts, too. Ubisoft could have had something really special here if they were willing to take a few risks instead of playing it so safe.

x. Max Payne 3 - MP3 is a top notch third person shooter. But it's also a uninspired gritty crime thriller with laughably overproduced cutscenes. It's fun but it's doesn't belong in the same conversation as the first two games.

x. Super Hexigon - it's amazing how 30 seconds in SH can feel like 1 hour of real time. original, hynotic and hard to put down.

x. Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational - great golf mechanics and course design, challenging skill curve, charming presentations and lots of content.

x. Joe Danger 2: The Movie - not quite as good as the first, most of the new vehicles aren't as fun as the bike and levels are more linear, but it's still a damn good 2D puzzle platformer. sadly underappreciated.

x. Rayman Jungle Run - the best touch screen platformer I've played. automated, but not automatic. manages to replicate Origin's stunning art and smooth performance.

x. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 - a dumb, fun ride with the same mindless but oddly exciting multiplayer that I've played on and off for years. I enjoyed this game quite a bit but it's really hard to give up a top 10 spot to the Madden of FPS games.

x. Mass Effect 3 - another dumb, fun ride. I don't think I've ever had such polarizing feelings for a game. I love the high stakes tension, reuniting and parting ways with beloved characters, the monumental scale and production values. I hate the linearity, the lack of ambition (outside of production values), the cynical aspects (From Ashes as DLC), the botched ending, and of course fucking Kai Leng. it doesn't deserve a top 10 spot but it is one of my more memorable experiences of the year

x. Doptrix - my go-to smartphone time killer. it's a unique twist on tetris where you fling and rotate shaped blocks to clear a board. simple but it gets it's hooks in you.
Mar 1, 2010
Cornwall, UK
1. Nintendo Land; this would be my number one choice even if it consisted only of Donkey Kong's Crash Course
2. Rayman Jungle Run; fantastic platformer. the fact that this has influenced Legends speaks volumes.
3. Journey; a life changing experience, even if there's not much "game" to it.
4. Fallblox/Crashmo; who would have thought they'd outshine Pullblox/Pushmo with an even better puzzler?
5. Kid Icarus Uprising; sublime gaming, an experience worthy of a home console.

2011. Driver San Francisco; super smooth 60fps, excellent handling. A real arcade droving experience the like I have not seen since Vanishing Point on the Dreamcast.


Jan 9, 2008
Fair enough, although I was more referring to FTL and Hotline Miami. Thought at least one of those would be right up your alley.

And Spelunky. Always Spelunky. :p
I haven't played either yet. Although indeed, FTL certainly looks like it'll be a significant time sink in the future. I've been trying to clear my backlog most the year, so I've played less than I'd like. In reality, I've been tempted to just cut the list to top five, because below that, I don't really care about those games at all. In fact, I'm going to do just that.


Jan 27, 2009
1. Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward ; A much improved game overall than 999 with the ability to jump around the timeline and different puzzles for each path.
2. Journey
3. Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland ; Not quite as good as Totori, but it is a satisfying conclusion to the Arland trilogy of games that brings everything together.
4. Diablo 3 ; Playing the game up to Inferno with buddies was really great.
5. Rhythm Thief & The Emperor's Treasure ; Nice variety of music minigames connected by a fun story.
6. Street Fighter x Tekken ; I feel like this was Capcom's attempt to make a fighting game similar to cvs2 with the focus on footsies and lack of wakeup mixups. Unfortunately, the game also added a lot of mechanics that didn't work well together (aggressive damage scaling and generous life regen) or were useless (pandora). The game is much more fun to play than it is to watch since it's easy to identify why you lost and to learn from mistakes than ssf4ae.
7. The Walking Dead
8. Persona 4 Arena
9. New Super Mario Brothers 2 ; A solid Mario game and nice change of pace from Super Mario 3d Land.
10. Gravity Rush


Aug 21, 2010
1. Dishonored; The variety of gameplay mechanics, an indulging world, topped with some excellent level design made this my GOTY. I never encountered a dull moment with the freedom available in the game to carve your own personality into the character and see how the world reacts. I admire what Arkane has achieved. I was starting to lose interest in FPSs. This is just what I needed.

2. Journey; Probably the most beautiful game I have ever played. By the end I was enthralled in the surroundings, motions and of course the uplifting soundtrack by Austin Wintory. Simply Mavellous!

3. SSX; I grew up an SSX fan so I naturally could not wait for the release of this. It's fast, exciting and modern. I feel the EA team have done this franchise justice to the previous gen SSX games.

4. Tekken Tag Tournament 2; Got this game at release and still haven't put it down. Feels like the most complete Tekken since Tekken 3. Online is massively improved and quite addictive. It really has motivated me to practice.

5. Hotline Miami; Devilishly good! So badass and psychedelic. Like eating some sort of fattening delicious ice cream cake, that you were supposed to share around but you couldn't stop yourself once you started.

6. Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit; I always love Criterion's work. Stunning design with that 'Gotta Go Fast' gameplay. Some really nice choices of cars to and a progression systems that insists you try them out.

X. Call of Duty:Black OPS 2; An improvement over some of the muck Activision has put out over the past few years.

2011: Sword and Sworcery EP; Wonderful game, beautiful soundtrack.


Neo Member
Mar 25, 2012
1. The Walking Dead ; Only Journey came close to this for me, and only briefly as Journey is so short, loved every second of TWD.
2. Journey; The final half hour climax of the game is the best experience I've had in many years
3. Closure ; Surprised me, really inventive
4. Gravity Rush ; The only reason to own a Vita at the moment, liked it a lot
5. Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 ; Preferred it to fifa this year, the online master league is great
6. Tokyo Jungle
7. Starhawk
8. Sound Shapes
9. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
10. The Unfinished Swan

Spieler Eins

Sep 18, 2011
1. Lone Survivor ; I love classic survival horror and the guy who made this game really managed to capture the genres' essence (Silent Hill in particular), despite the (well done) 2D looks, but also brings a clever new addition with the whole apartment- and cookery elements.
2. Zombi U ; It's FPS looks, goofy name and my general distrust in Ubisoft almost kept me from buying this game. Hence, I was really surprised that this is not only a full fledged horror adventure, but also a good one. Mixing Metroid Prime-esque elements with survival horror combat in which every zombie can be a threat, the Dark Souls element and implementation of the Gamepad make this game truly great. Despite some lacklustre graphics if you're nitpicking, presentation is equally good and to my surprise, I got really nervous during several gameplay sessions and even fell for some jump scares. There's some room for improvements, but especially for a launch game this is an amazing accomplishment and easily the biggest reason to own a Wii U right now.
3. Paper Mario Sticker Star ; This is not the Paper Mario 3 I've been waiting for, but Super Paper Mario done right. It's not an RPG, but an Action Adventure in the vein of the first Zelda games, which gives you an objective that you have to solve with very little handholding and hence lots of focused exploration (in which you are provided with much freedom) and clever puzzle design which can be challenging but equally rewarding. The soundtrack with its jazzy undertone can be fantastic and the attention to detail and humour in its graphical presentation is outstanding and for the first time in the series fully utilizing the paper looks.
4. Project Zero 2 Wii Edition ; Despite a slow first hour, this game just continues to get better through its 10 hours and encourages several playthroughs. This remake offers a new perspective in the vein of Resident Evil 4 compared to the original, but obviously keeps all the horror and adventure elements which make the survival horror genre good.
5. Resident Evil Revelations ; This game takes several modern action aspects of Resident Evil, but mixes it up with classic gameplay that consists of exploring, little ammo, minor puzzles thrown in and more classic environments that resemble the mansions from the old series. Sadly, it's still too storyheavy but makes up for it with an addicting online RPG part.
6. Tales of the Abyss ; My first time playing a version of this game. As usual for the series, the combat system is very enjoyable but I've also enjoyed soundtrack, art direction and story - even though it's quite different and some might have trouble getting used to the characters, but I had my fun.
7. Kid Icarus Uprising ; Even though gameplay isn't perfect due to controls that belong on a home console with Wiimote options and flight sections that are quite shallow compared to other shooters of its kind, you can't help but be entertained due to production values, attention to detail and the sheer amount of enjoyable content that was packed into this, including probably the best soundtrack of the year.
8. Liberation Maiden ; A downloadable title from Grasshopper Manufacture that not only has a wacky style and good production values (relatively), but surprisingly solid gameplay to back it up for once.
9. Pokemon Black/White 2 ; I haven't played the first BW, so I enjoyed this new urban scenary, however it was the first Pokemon game I haven't played with others simultaneously, so I've sadly lost interest in the endgame despite lots of content.
10. New Super Mario Bros. U ; It's NSMB, it's fun, but doesn't really do anything new. The Wii game felt quite fresh after the underwhelming DS game and brought new elements to the 2D Mario formula, this game enhances on those and finally improves the art design slightly.

2011. Super Mario 3D Land


Aug 15, 2010
Puerto Rico
1. Borderlands 2; Most fun I've had playing a Co-op game, we laughed, screamed at each other for not sharing weapons but most importantly had a blast with it at the end of the day. The writing in this game was amazing IMO, I can't remember the last game that made me laugh out loud more than once.
2. Halo 4; I've been a fan of Halo since Halo 2 and I was scared that after 343 took over the Halo franchise they would fuck it all up. It was a relief after finishing it and playing a bit of multiplayer to know that 343 did an amazing job with Halo 4. This ended up being my favorite Halo title since Halo 2.
3. Assassin's Creed 3; It wasn't as good as Assassin's Creed 2 and Brotherhood but it was still a blast to play. Connor's story was great but Desmond's was disappointing.
4. New Super Mario Bros. U; Mario platformers never disappoint me, they are always fun and finally Mario in HD!!!
5. The Walking Dead; This was my first time playing this type of game, the story was amazing and kept me glued to the controller.
6. Mass Effect 3; Played this after the ending DLC came out and was not disappointed by the story, great story and atmosphere.
7. NBA 2k13; This is my most played online game of 2012, playing matches online is just so damn addicting.
8. Diablo 3; First time playing a Diablo title and this type of genre, was very fun and I can't wait for the expansions in the future.
9. Max Payne 3; BULLET TIME!!! PILLS!!! BRAZIL!!!
10. Paper Mario: Sticker Star; This is my favorite 3DS title to date, the paper effects with 3D on were great and finally made me switch my 3D slider on again since Super Mario 3D Land and Kid Icarus. I wasn't very upset this lacked the RPG mechanics of PM:TTYD but I hope the next one revisits them.


Nov 3, 2009
1. Persona 4 Golden ; Though I have not finished the main story, at 70 hours in, I can tell that Persona 4 Golden is going to be my most memorable gaming experience of the year. The story showcases an impressive cast of characters dealing with their personal problems, while wrapped up in an intriguing murder mystery plot. This remake retains the fun battle system and the unique open-ended gameplay of the non-dungeon segments, while making a number of necessary improvements, such as fixing balancing problems that the original had and changing systems like the Shuffle Time and Fusion to offer more player choice and less randomness. New features, such as the Online integration, skill cards, and the bonus content in the form of "TV listings," are worthwhile additions to a game that's already jam-packed with content.

2. The Walking Dead ; I generally don't care much for zombie games, so it's a shocker to me to see a zombie-themed game place so highly on my list. The Walking Dead deserves the accolades, because it has one of the most impactful storylines around, due in large part to the major role that choice plays in the proceedings. True, its limitations are obvious if you look at a walkthrough and see how most of the choices wrap up to similar conclusions, but the game manages to keep the smoke and mirrors up long enough for you to still feel like your choices are having an effect on the characters, particularly when some characters bring up how you've been treating them during moments when you need their help with something.

3. Sleeping Dogs ; This is another shocker for me, as I only somewhat enjoyed the original True Crime, never played the sequel, and still remember hearing about the ill-boding development hell this title went through. As an open-world game, Sleeping Dogs succeeds in a variety of areas while surprisingly remaining technically sound. Of note is the focus on hand-to-hand combat - it's not as good as the Arkham games, but it works well enough, with a nice variety of moves and some hard-hitting environmental finishers. It also succeeds in providing a Hong Kong that feels alive, with plenty of activities, colorful designs, notable locations, and memorable vendors and NPCs (e.g. Minor NPCs who have conversation story arcs, "My Curry Fish-Balls will blow your mind!" "A man who never eats Pork Bun is never a whole man!"). It does have some issues that keep it from shining brighter, as the end-game tends to focus more on gunplay and dead-end subplots, and the simplistic Drug Busts activity (As Yahtzee said, "You pick the guy in the suit. Same guy, every time." Some detective work with the footage would have been nice). As a bonus, the game looks gorgeous on the PC with the high-resolution texture pack and runs smoothly, even on modest hardware.

4. XCOM: Enemy Unknown ; Firaxis actually managed to do it, they were able to revive X-COM as a turn-based strategy game. Yes, it is a different type of strategy - instead of hiding, there's a focus on finding cover, flanking enemies, and avoiding being flanked by an enemy - but this new strategy system still works well at encouraging squad tactics, smart use of powers, and careful movement, as your troops are very fragile. Outside of the missions, it's closer classic X-COM, with researching, engineering, facility-building, monitoring, and intercepting, though it's been streamlined so that, for example, you monitor other continents through satellites, instead of building more bases. It was also somewhat annoying that you couldn't freely recruit scientists and engineers, as you can now only get more through mission rewards and building the appropriate facilities. In a nutshell, although this reboot makes some compromises for streamlining purposes, it captures the spirit of the original, and manages to make it comprehensible and fun to a newer audience.

5. La-Mulana ; If the original La-Mulana was a Metroidvania tribute to MSX games, then this remake is like a 16-bit era version of those games. While the original was famed for its punishing difficulty, this one rebalances it somewhat to make it a bit more palatable to newcomers (e.g. adding new characters to give more hints, changing a few puzzles to take advantage of the improved graphics, and reworking the cartridge system to remove the tedium from that part). Make no mistake, the game is still a big challenge, but it's a more palatable challenge than the original. The improved graphics, with well-animated large sprites for the bosses and SNES-style effects like scaling, are wonderful, and the redone music manages to maintain the spirit of the original's great soundtrack.

6. Ys Origin ; At first, the idea of a Zelda-esque RPG that takes place entirely in one big multi-themed dungeon was off-putting. Yet, Ys Origin manages to overcome that little disadvantage with thrilling fast-paced gameplay, a great storyline that changes depending on which of the 3 characters you play as, and an excellent soundtrack. As you tear through enemies and bosses, the seemingly disadvantageous concept actually works well by eliminating a lot of unnecessary filler, as it swiftly gets you back into the action.

7. Binary Domain ; This game will probably go down as one of the worst first-impressions of all-time, namely with that incredibly silly first trailer. That's why it was such a surprise when the game's story turned out to be an entertaining mix of 80s action movie dialogue and some interesting philosophical concepts. However, the real star of the show is the gameplay, which enhances the standard cover-based shooting fare by throwing in comprehensive voice commands, dialogue choices that influence how squadmates react to you and how developed they are as characters by the end, and most notably, a damage system that focuses on individual limbs. In other games, headshots are just used as a way to conserve ammo. In Binary Domain, headshots are an essential part of your strategy, as it causes the enemy robot to fire on its robot associates and become a priority target for said associates. As for the game's true ending, let's just say that it's definitely good enough to make it worth increasing the relationships with your squadmates to the required levels.

8. Spec Ops: The Line ; Another surprise of a shooter, as this one actively tries to subvert the tropes established by other shooters. The story is the main attraction here. It deals men who start off with good intentions, but eventually descend into madness after making major errors. That descent is handled with extremely well, with the characters becoming visibly desperate and less formal in their dialogue. It's a game that takes issues like the consequences of violence, inflated egos, and PTSD very seriously, and some of the choices that you have to make in the later parts enhance that experience tremendously.

9. Hotline Miami ; From its main gameplay activity, a murder "puzzle" game, to its thumping soundtrack and trippy Acid-filtered retro artstyle, this game will leave an impression on you in many ways. It's up to you to decide which order to take the rooms of mobsters out, utilizing fists, melee weapons that you find on-site, guns that enemies may carry around, and even doors. It's also up to you to find the best timing to attack each room, as being even a mere second off could mean the difference between taking out the three guys patrolling the room and taking a pipe/shotgun blast/dog to the head. You'll need to restart frequently, but the fast-moving action makes this very palatable, and the randomness of the enemy reactions means that you'll always be on your toes. If anything, this game is slightly held back by the sometimes-poor hit-detection and some noticeable bugs.

10. Prototype 2 ; This probably won't appear on many lists, but to hell with that, I had a blast playing it. Then again, I enjoyed the first game back when it was released, as despite its noticeable flaws (unlikeable hero, confusing sub-plots, some poor storyline missions), it still succeeded at making your character feel like a super-powered badass who could run up buildings, slice through tanks, and disguise himself whenever he needed to be stealthy. To Prototype 2's benefit, your character still feels like a superpowered badass, albeit with better-balanced powers, so the Whipfist doesn't dominate again. Heller is also a bit more sympathetic than Mercer, since he at least has a clearer quest in mind than just "I WANT VENGEANCE!" and actually shows some concern over preventing possible civilian casualties. Admittedly, it does feel a lot like a "safe" sequel to Prototype, with improved visuals, a reworked upgrade system, and a few new powers (Tendrils and Bio-bomb are awesome to use due to their effects on the surrounding environment). Still, it came across as a fun experience that I would recommend trying if you can snag it for a good price.

x. The Last Story ; Sakaguchi's latest epic has been quite divisive - it seems like one side loves it very much and the other completely abhors it. As you can guess from its placement in this list, I'm in the former camp. The gameplay is a blast, as it looks at its real-time battles with a puzzle-solving attitude. It gives you a chance to plan out your strategy, scout out the environment for potential effects or enemy weaknesses, sometimes it allows you to draw out enemies and stealthily take them out, and most importantly it gives you a unique "Gathering" power that enables you to easily tank enemies to give your fragile spellcasters enough time to hit their weak element and/or provide support. Eventually, the game even provides the "Gathering" power with even more abilities like a command view, and a "burst" that causes various effects on enemies. The equipment system is another high point, as the game has you constantly thinking about which weapons to bring into the situation, since each weapon has different elements and different bonus effects on certain actions.

x. FTL: Faster Than Light ; As a fan of other space-based rogue-likes such as Flotilla, this has been an exciting experience so far. I've quite enjoyed the battle system, as its focus on targeting rooms/systems of ships has led to an incredible variety of potential strategies for you and your enemy. Much like in Flotilla, the randomness of the events is both a blessing and a curse, as sometimes it feels like you'll only win if you get the right sequence of events to give you the best ship, systems, and/or crew, but at the same time, it adds tension and excitement to the choices that you must make. Should I help the disease-infested colony? Help the stranded potential crew member? Buy the teleporter or a bigger missile? The randomness makes it so that the answer depends on your ship's situation, which really does make every trip feel different, even when the ship is the same.

x. Assassin's Creed 3 ; After all of the hype, this was quite a disappointment. It was ridden with bugs and issues, though I was fortunate enough not to experience some of the worst bugs. It also had some annoying filler segments (The ship in sequence 1, the whole prison segment) that either add nothing to or detract from the game's flow. Some of the income-generating side activities (e.g. crafting, trade routes) were overly confusing and/or poorly implemented compared to the passive method used in past games. The much-hyped focus on fighting through large-scale battles to reach an enemy general was the Da Vinci Flying Machine of this game, meaning that it only happens once and is never used again. And yet, despite all of these flaws, I still had plenty of enjoyment with this game. Unlike last year's AC: Revelations, this one actually feels like they made some major changes, took some risks - they expanded on the core gameplay with some interesting ideas that need work in execution. I enjoyed the new moves, particularly the running assassinations and the Tree-climbing mechanics (though they really should have made it less linear by letting Connor climb up any tree rather than only certain ones). I spent a lot of time with the hunting, since each hunting trip felt like a bunch of mini-assassinations - you lure your target over to your tree, then pounce when they get close. The hunting was great, but the real star activities were the naval battles, which felt tight, controlled simply, and generally fun. The reworking of the contract and courier activities into general quests was a nice step by eliminating the trudge back after each delivery, though it would have been better if they took a page out of Saints Row The Third's book and had you identify or lure out the targets once you reached the target area. As for the story, it has some big flaws, especially at the end, but it is worth noting they did manage to bring back something good from the original: villains who are not simple maniacal tyrants. In other words, ACIII's Templars seem more nuanced than the Templars from the Ezio trilogy. Much like the first game, they have reasons behind their actions, they clearly believe that they are doing the right thing for the world, and most importantly, they have some part of their plan that shows that said belief has grounding. When they announced first showed off ACIII, I expected that it would be at the top of the list, instead, due to its array of problems, it has to stay at the honorable mentions part of this list, saved by the fun hunting and naval battle segments.

x. The Darkness 2 ; It's short, but at the same time, a fun romp. There's nothing quite like "quad-wielding" guns and Darkness powers in a colorful comic book-style world, using said powers to affect the environment or take out henchmen. It also helps that the story is intriguing, focusing on Jackie dealing with the death of his girlfriend and his status as head of a crime family, while questioning his sanity (thanks to The Darkness). Give it a try, if you're looking for an FPS with a unique "flavor" to it.

x. Analogue: A Hate Story ; Another short one, but if you're a fan of Christine Love's games, then you know that there's a powerful story here, possibly among the most memorable storylines of the year. The overarching setting deals with you finding out about what went wrong on a lost spaceship, by reading through the crew logs with the help of the ship's AI companions. The main plot, however, involves the crew, who from their logs, regressed into an extremely patriarchal and superstitious society. One perspective involves a "fish out of water" character who lived during that time, and was forced to conform to that society's rules. You start to realize that although the crew believed that they were "civilized" compared to their ancestors, there were serious problems underneath the surface that contributed to their end.

x. Uncharted: Golden Abyss ; It might not be from Naughty Dog and its setpieces are not as high-impact as its mainline brethren, but it's still an enjoyable adventure. Despite being a launch title, it's by far the best-looking handheld game around, pushing out console-caliber graphics at a surprisingly smooth framerate. It has tacked-on "hardware feature" elements - they're annoying at times, especially the woefully overused charcoal rubbings, but to the developers' credit, the tacked-on elements at least work as intended, without causing very many headaches.

2011. Super Mario 3D Land ; Since I didn't get a 3DSXL until this year, I didn't get a chance to play it when it first released. What a shame that was, because this is probably the best Mario platformer in a long time, and a fine showcase for the system's 3D features. I particularly liked the seemingly-random level themes. Some would call it a disorganized level order, but it's a refreshing break from the stale "Now here's the Fire World, now here's the Desert World, etc." formula that has plagued the "New" series - I found myself excited to see what surprises the next level would hold. What is perhaps the most exciting aspect comes much later, after you beat the game the first time, a sort of "Second Quest" is unlocked. This second set of levels tweaks the existing levels in either minor or major ways - one level may have a new condition, similar to the Comets from Galaxy, while another level might be completely redesigned. This unlock manages to surprise you all over again.


Jan 24, 2009
I probably wrote too much, but these lists are my way of paying respect to the developers for making awesome products, even if they don't see my comments.

1. Journey ; It’s easy to speak hyperbole when discussing Journey, but that’s because it honestly deserves the highest praise. Similar to Jason Rohner’s 2007 indie title Passage, Journey is an allegory to the physical and spiritual journey of life itself. Nothing short of ambitious, Journey accomplishes everything it sets out to do. The beauty in this game is not only in its art design, but in thatgamecompany’s ability to subtly convey their message, allowing players to infer whatever they want from the game. Some believe that the silent companion causes different outcomes for the player and influences the overall enjoyment of the game, but I believe that to be the point. In life you can meet total assholes who leave you in the dust, but sometimes you meet patient people who try to help you out. Actions speak louder than words, and the silent companion only proves that, as you can infer so much about a partner’s personality through their movements within the game. Removing the microphone somehow makes this multiplayer even more intimate and personal. Literally everything about this game is abstract and refreshing in comparison to all other games released this year, and in many other years. It proves that giant budgets and copycat formulas aren’t necessary for emotionally investing, successful games. I put the least amount of time AND money into Journey out of all the games on my list and it still gave the most lasting impression. And even if you strip away the underlying meanings and universal themes, there’s still a beautiful, inviting world here that’s as easy to get lost in as it is to look at. The soundtrack is fantastic as well, but most already know that. The people who say that Journey “isn’t a game” are being foolish. Something like Journey can’t exist if it “wasn’t a game” because this experience can’t be created on any other medium. Journey is a game, and a damn perfect one at that.

2. XCOM: Enemy Unknown ; I’m young. I didn’t even know XCOM was an established gaming series before I heard about this entry. I think it says a lot that Enemy Unknown easily invited me into the franchise. It isn’t polished and a bunch of people have had major problems with it (not myself), but those same people still end up clocking dozens of hours into the game. It’s an extremely smart and calculated game that doesn’t require extreme smarts and calculation from the player. That doesn’t mean the game is easy, but that it’s easy to get involved and lost in. I don’t usually play strategy games, and this game has me regretting my past ignorance of the entire genre! Simply put: play this game.

3. Hotline Miami ; A puzzle game disguised as a stylized top down action game, Hotline Miami has the same addictive qualities of another download only game, Super Meat Boy. I spent most of my time with Hotline Miami waiting around corners, hiding behind doors, and standing completely still. Although I wasn’t moving, I found myself completely tense, watching the AI’s every movement. I didn’t mind being patient due to the game’s excellent, albeit overrated soundtrack. Hotline Miami is frustratingly difficult, which makes the over-the-top violence all the more rewarding. There’s not much to say, this game is dripping with atmosphere, and it’s just freakin’ cool.

4. Forza Horizon ; Probably my surprise of the year. I purchase racing games biannually, and I almost always turn to Need for Speed because it's forgiving and accessible. I intended to pick up NFS: Most Wanted, but I kept hearing good things about Forza Horizon. The $15 Black Friday sale was too good to pass up, and I am so glad I took the plunge. Forza Horizon is open world racing done right; the environments are beautiful and varied, racing feels great once you get the hang of it, and there are leaderboards everywhere! I could readily pay $60 for this one.

5. The Walking Dead ; Let’s be real, the best parts of this game never involve inputting commands on the controller. The adventure-style detective work is pretty uninspired and the combat sequences are just stupid because they lack any sort of fulfillment. Pushing one button to cut off a zombie’s head simply doesn’t feel right. But I’ll “be real” again and say that nobody was playing this for its gameplay; they were playing it solely for its story. Telltale has mastered the illusion of choice. Every option feels like it holds weight. The Walking Dead, through its episodic structure and refreshing narrative, has indeed made a special impact on the industry, but I believe that if this game had the polish and budget of a game like Heavy Rain that impact would have been even more special. Still, it's one of the most interesting games I've seen in a long time.

6. Spec Ops: The Line ; I think I respect and appreciate Spec Ops’ message more than the conveying of said message. This is a hard game to define. From one perspective, it’s this brilliant parody of modern shooters, going as far as putting the player through repetitive shootouts to emphasize the point that modern shooters contain boring, insipid gameplay. From another perspective, it’s simply a game that tries too hard. I can’t go into a lot of detail without spoiling everything, so I’ll stop short. At the end of the day, no other shooter has had me thinking so much after finishing, and that’s one of the highest compliments I can give to a game of this genre.

7. NintendoLand ; Nintendo is killing it with local multiplayer. The minigames are pretty fun alone, but NintendoLand really shines when you’ve got four Wii remotes and the gamepad going. I love the aesthetic of this game; the variety of colors only adds to the feeling that you’re playing something excitingly new. A lot of people complained (and rightfully so) about the Wii U’s lack of power, especially in comparison to the upcoming consoles from Sony and Microsoft. I believe NintendoLand proves that, although 1080p at 60 FPS specs are welcome, they aren’t required in Nintendo’s newest system because the games are still so much fun without them.

8. ZombiU ; I’ll be honest: I only played ZombiU for a few hours, but I haven’t been able to get those few hours off my mind. Yes, the animations are repetitive and the combat is a bit lackluster, but what ZombiU exceeds at is excellently showcasing the prospects of a new console. Gamers envision Red Steel advertisements and painful motion controlled executions at the idea of Ubisoft developing a Nintendo console launch title; nobody expected them to even create a competent game after Red Steel, yet here we are with a rather good one. If ZombiU is indicative of the quality of games to come out for WiiU, then I believe that most gamers are writing the system off too quickly.

9. Halo 4 ; Dull mission structure married with a terrible story doesn’t produce an awful game, astonishingly. Halo 4 makes up for a handful of flaws by feeling like a Halo game, and that’s really all that matters. It plays exactly like Halo and the multiplayer is still addictive, tense, and just crazy sometimes. It doesn’t hurt that game is absolutely gorgeous, from art design to outright graphics.

10. New Super Mario Bros. U ; This feels like the 12th entry in the NSMB series, to be honest. The predictable level design and tired mechanics of a side scrolling Mario game should be a chore by now, but I’ve found that not even jaded gameplay can stop a game from being outright fun with people surrounding you. The addition of the gamepad only adds more method to the madness. This game is inherently flawed but I’d be at a loss to name another game that I had more laugh out loud moments with this year.

2011. Shadows of the Damned ; This one was kinda fun, but I really didn't play anything else I liked from 2011 so I sorta have to pick it.I also played Arkham City (disappointing after the first) and the ICO & SotC HD Collection, which doesn't really count.

Games I want to play from 2012:
Mass Effect 3
Binary Domain


Jul 29, 2007
1. Persona 4 Golden ; What's not to love about this game? Improved on the original PS2 game.

2. Resident Evil Revelaitons ; Best 3DS game out there. Superb gyro aiming and it is my favorite RE game currently.

3. X-COM: Enemy Unknown ; Best SRPG this year.

4. Sleeping Dogs ; Loved the little things like Cantonese being spoken with a mix of English from bystanders.

5. Warriors Orochi 3 ; Tons of characters, looked fantastic for a Musuo game. May be the best Musuo game I've ever played. Only drawback was it was digital only in US.

6. Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational ; Favorite golf game and I hate golf.

7. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy

8. Dishonoered

9. The Walking Dead

10. NBA 2k13


Sep 14, 2007
1. Journey ; it moved me.
2. Lumines Electronic Symphony

All other games I played this year were released outside the 2012 calendar year, or were not worthy of listing. Go figure.


Nov 16, 2006
Chivalry seems like such a cool game. Great melee combat, visual style, interesting mechanics. I really wish it and Hawken both had singleplayer campaigns, I'm sure I'd love them.

I haven't played either yet. Although indeed, FTL certainly looks like it'll be a significant time sink in the future. I've been trying to clear my backlog most the year, so I've played less than I'd like. In reality, I've been tempted to just cut the list to top five, because below that, I don't really care about those games at all. In fact, I'm going to do just that.
You are a harsh master.

FTL is already a strong candidate for your 2013's 2012 game of the year. :p


Neo Member
Feb 11, 2008

1. PixelJunk Eden PC ; Maybe this speaks a bit to my disappointment with 2012's releases, but I wouldn't want to take credit away from how good this game is on PC, years after the original PSN release. The mouse controls are simple and work really well (it also has legacy gamepad support), and the artstyle actually impacts the gameplay, allowing for a very open kind of platforming.

2. The Walking Dead ; What it lacks in technical polish or animation, it more than makes up for it with a great interactive story, shaped and influenced by player chosen dialogue and action. Best surprise of the year, without a doubt.

3. Journey ; In the way that Flower was able to empower the player through nonviolent game mechanics, Journey encourages peaceful online interaction with anonymous players through an absolutely beautiful setting.

x. Dota 2 ; Still technically in beta available by invite since last year, Dota 2 is the only game I anticipated going into 2012 (that I also played) that didn't disappoint me. It has an almost mindboggling amount of mechanics and variety, which makes for matches as deeply rewarding as they are hairpullingly frustrating.

2011. Metal Gear Solid HD Collection ; I haven't played Peace Walker, but I had a lot of fun playing MGS2 and 3 for the first time this year. For very different reasons, they're two of the best stealth/narrative focused game experiences I've ever played.


Jun 28, 2011
1. Journey ; An awe inspiring piece of work and one that moved me more than any video game has since my childhood. Journey is expertly paced, has a beautiful artstyle, fitting and gorgeous music, and simply is a delightful package from beginning to end. Also, the experience more than makes up for the simple gameplay and I am enthused that something like this even exists.

2. Spec Ops: The Line ; Yea yea yea, the story is ham fisted and some decisions are not executed perfectly. Gameplay is boring and competent, but nothing special. However, the mere fact that it was presented maturely without treating me like an idiot along with some really great art and a fantastic marriage of gameplay/player choice make it a very memorable romp.

3. Kid Icarus: Uprising ; Uprising is the video game Saturday morning cartoon that actually delivers. Characters are funny, endearing, consistent with their presence and dripping with personality. Controlling the game dampers the overall mood at first, but with some persistence and adaption the controls become kinda second nature (I still would prefer something else). Along with tons of content, a variety of loot, a decent online mode, and broken wrists; Kid Icarus Uprising deserves it spot on my top ten.

4. Katawa Shoujo ; ;_;

5. Crimson Shroud ; Matsuno hit it out of the park with this one. The top notch localization, simple and rewarding chain mechanic, plus a low price make this a must have for the 3DS. Figurines are the main characters and don't move, but it beckons back to those old tabletop games. As an only child who used to love making up stories for all of my toys while parents were occupied with work, this game makes me feel incredibly nostalgic for that pastime. Getting to know all the systems may be confusing at first, but if you are a fan of the man's work you cannot skip this title.

6. Hotline Miami ; Hallucinatory visuals, fast gameplay and imaginative music all bundled into a neat little package demanded a spot on my list. Albeit short, buggy and janky, the overall package left me full with my recent Drive influenced hunger.

7. Sleeping Dogs ; Simply a very fun, fast paced open world game with that John Woo style. Melee combat is finally decent and much more satisfying than you would expect a Batman copy to be. Nothing really extraordinary, however it doesn't do too much wrong and is one of the more enjoyable games this year.

8. The Last Story ; Characters are okay, story is whatever, gameplay has flashes of brilliance, but doesn't do much with it. I like this game more for it's potential than the actual execution. However, enjoyment was squeezed out of this and makes me yearn for a bigger budget version...or just an HD release with a better frame rate.

Disappointments of the year ; Mass Effect 3, Max Payne 3 and Twisted Metal. Ugh


May 27, 2011
1. Walking Dead; This game reminded me how messed up the ending of Star Trek Deep Space 9 was.

2.Torchlight 2 ; Cause Diablo 3 is for suckers.

3.Mass Effect 3 ; I put so much time into these games I just wanted a ending any ending so they gave me 3 or 6. Always choose synthesis.

4.Syndicate ; A remake of a game I never played all the way through but shooting dudes and taking chips out of peoples brains Johnny mnemonic style so good.

5.Hotline Miami ; The music the controls just cool crazy murdering fun.

6.Legend of Grimrock ; I need graph paper maze craziness.

7.Y’s Origins ; It’s like the best Super NES action RPG released on a computer … it’s the future people.

8.Curiosity ; TAP TAP TAP TAP … Cool … TAP TAP TAP ….

9.FTL: Faster than Light ; Space, here is your ship don’t die.

10. Minecraft ; The game my mind would play if I was in a coma


Oct 19, 2011
1. Xenoblade Chronicles ; I loved its expansive story, unique world, musical scores, and not knowing when the game would end.

[2011]. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim ; My #2 game is technically from last year, but I never finished it or reviewed it until this year. I think this is the best TES since Morrowwind, but I wish the developers would have focused more squarely on the PC market. The game wouldn't be nearly as magnificent without the mod community.

3. Kid Icarus: Uprising ; I really enjoyed many aspects of the game, and it's honestly one of the hardest games I've ever reviewed because of its terrible and painful controls. Its extremely cohesive visual presentation, terrific audio design, and humor helped overcome its massive gameplay control flaws and completely disjointed/nonexistent story.

None of my other games that I played would count towards the list, and none high enough ranked that I would want to give points from this year. I did not think this year was strong for games, but do have a title or two that I haven't played yet from this year [Dishonored and The Last Story]

If you care about seeing my personal awards from the games I played; most of which were from 2011 or earlier, please check here!
Dec 11, 2010
1. Spelunky ; I played this game an insane amount after its release, and though I unlocked all the shortcuts, I never even beat it, or found the secret levels.....but the gameplay is perfect. I honestly think if I had to pick one game for the rest of my life, it would be this.

2. Mark of the Ninja ; Also pure technical perfection. Controls like butter. If it also had random roguelike dungeons, just might be at number one. Give me a sequel yesterday.

3. Sleeping Dogs ; Man without pork bun in hand, not whole man! Love this setting, love the main character, love the brutality and the attention to detail in the city streets.

4. Assassin's Creed 3 ; I've loved this whole series, and this is no different. My mind boggles at the negativity towards this game, simply because most of the criticisms leveled at it would be the same for the other games. I shrug it off. I loved the historical storyline and the extreme detail of the world created. The grey nature of the targets was fantastic. I found the Homestead arc wonderful. The stupid bugs are the only unforgivable aspect. The ending is foreshadowed, sorry to those who didn't pay attention(yes it's still stupid). I also love collectathons, natch.

5. Xenoblade Chronicles ; One of the best JRPGS I've ever played, SNES like in its evocation of pure joy and exploration. I hate what most JRPGS have become. This was a breath of fresh air for the 120 hours I poured into it. And since I loved the Colony 6 stuff, it prepared me to love the much easier Homestead missions. I like building communities.

6. The Walking Dead ; Too much has been said about this already. Story and characters that make you believe your choices matter, even if they don't. Gripped me as I waited, month after month. Better than any other zombie fiction source around.

7. Ys Origins ; This game was a revelation to me, such so much fun. I played through all the characters, back to back, enjoyed the story, slight though it is, and then went back to play 1, 2 and Oath. Xseed has a fan in me now.

8. Tokyo Jungle ; Insane creativity mixed with addictive gameplay and solid mechanics. My wife got even more hooked on this than me.

9. Hotline Miami ; Drive was my favorite film of last year, this game was a shooin for my heart. This soundtrack is mindblowing, the game makes me ill, and I still want to play more.

10. Journey ; Work of pure beauty which touched my heart. We need more non violent games like this, and I say that with a straight face while placing it one spot below Hotline Miami. It's just too slight of an experience.

I need to still dig into Secret world more. Start Dishonored, Xcom, Guild Wars 2, FTL, Far Cry 3, Dragon's Dogma. Those might've made the list for sure.


Unconfirmed Member
Mar 31, 2012
1. Kid Icarus: Uprising ; A lovely told story with superb dialogues, an incredible amount of content, beautiful graphics and an awesome soundtrack.

2. The Walking Dead ; This game really made me feel uncomfortable. So many times I regretted the choices I made, yet knowing there is no right decision.

3. Dragon's Dogma ; Although it is rough around the edges, it's atmosphere really captured me to stick with this game. Never forget my first journey through pure darkness.

4. XCOM: Enemy Unknown ; Addicting SRPG x Simulation. It is so frustrating to lose an entire squad in a mission, yet so motivating to see what comes next.

5. Dust: An Elysian Tail ; As a big fan of metroidvania games I quickly felt in love with this game.

6. Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward

7. Borderlands 2

8. Spec Ops: The Line

9. Sleeping Dogs

10. Resident Evil: Revelations


Jul 22, 2006
1. XCOM: Enemy Unknown ; I've updated this list to include this game as my GotY for 2012. Truly a masterpiece, and the rare game that comes around every ~5 years that gets me to play through the whole thing several times.
2. Sleeping Dogs ; I usually dislike sandbox games, so it was a real surprise to find myself actually wanting to finish this one. The storyline is good, the gameplay is decent, the controls handle well (even though it gets repetitive towards the end) and the Hong Kong-inspired areas are beautiful. Lovely game. As it was the first sandbox game to capture me like this, I consider it worthy of my top 3.
3. The Walking Dead ; As much of a fan of point-and-click games that I am, I didn't expect much from this. Boy was I wrong. Enthralling story, great visual comic-ish style, nice puzzles... this game deserves all the recognition it's getting.
4. Binary Domain ; This might as well be one of my favorite shooters in recent memory and of this generation. The corny dialogue gets some time getting used to, but the gameplay and visuals are incredibly done to perfection, and the game length is just right.
5. Torchlight 2
6. Trine 2: Director's Cut
7. Black Mesa
8. Dustforce
9. Rochard
10. Katawa Shoujo

2011. Deus Ex: Human Revolution


Sep 18, 2011
1. Kid Icarus Uprising; Amazing game. Addicting multiplayer. One of the best dialouge I have ever seen in gaming. After playing the game for almost half a year I still hear dialogue that I have never heard before. So much variety in weapons and difficulty.
2. Xenoblade Chronicles;Huge world. Game has a long story with a huge amount of side quest. Pushing 70 hours into the game and I feel like I'm nowhere close to finishing everything. Best JRPG in a long time.
3. Pandora's Tower;Great game that not many people are going to play. Amazing boss fights. Lots of things to discover. My only complaint is a lack of varied environments.
4. The Last Story; Enjoyable combat. Amazing cast of characters. Game is a blast to play.
5. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy; I love music games. Game is challenging and fun to play. Lots of songs that I can play over and over again.

6. Rhythmn Heave Fever
7. Pokemon Black 2
8. Persona 4 Arena
9. Resident Evil Revelations
10.Call of Duty: Black Ops 2


Neo Member
Apr 5, 2011
1. Journey ; This game completely blew away my expectations. No other game on my list even comes close to Journey. I remember going for a walk after completing it, feeling this wonderful sense of joy. I had no idea what I was In for before playing it, I really liked Flower but I wasn't anticipating anything close to what this game turned out to be. Something most people overlook about this game is how re-playable it is thanks to the way the game changes when you have knowledge of how the game plays out and you play with a first timer, guiding them along. Overall I had an emotional and thrilling ride thanks to Journey.
2. Tekken Tag Tournament 2
3. Playstation All Stars Battle Royale
4. Far Cry 3
5. Dishonored
6. Assassin's Creed 3
7. Max Payne 3
8. Pokemon Black & White 2
9. New Super Mario Bros. U
10. Uncharted: Golden Abyss
x. LittleBigPlanet Vita
x. Darksiders II


Jun 20, 2009
1. Kid Icarus: Uprising ; Picking this as my number 1 GOTY is a no brainer. Everything I love about video games is here. Not only my favorite game this year but maybe one of my favorite games ever(?!)
2. Dragon's Dogma ; A very promising new RPG franchise. I was skeptical at first but I'm glad I ended up giving it a shot. It's not perfect but I have high hopes for the sequel.
3. Rhythm Heaven Fever ; Awesome music and a good sense of humor. The definition of "simple but fun."
4. Xenoblade Chronicles ; Easily Monolith Soft's best game, they managed to hit all the right notes with this one.
5. The Last Story ; Neck and neck with Xenoblade. Very cool and unique battle system.
6. Binary Domain ; Almost as good as Vanquish(!). Great gameplay with a pretty good story.
7. Paper Mario: Sticker Star ; Personally I don't mind the reduced RPG elements and I like the big focus on puzzles. One of the best OSTs this year.
8. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy ; A legit fun rhythm game paired with classic FF music. A must-have for fans of the series.
9. Pokemon Conquest ; Editing my list to add this. Sorry FFXIII-2.
10. Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward ; Might rank higher after I beat it?

x. Pokemon Black & White 2
x. Nintendo Land
x. Final Fantasy XIII-2


Junior Member
Feb 27, 2006
Austin, TX
1. Mass Effect 3
2. Halo 4
3. Far Cry 3
4. Dust: An Elysian Tail
5. Borderlands 2
6. Fez
7. Rayman Origins
8 Spelunky
9. Stacking
10. The Walking Dead- Great story, but there is not much game there.


Jun 13, 2011
(I live in Japan and will be including JP only releases)

1. Kid Icarus: Uprising ; An astounding, complete experience. This game wins for being a pure joy from start to finish, from its writing to its design to its depths of content. Well worth the wait.
2. Nintendo Land ; An addicting experience in single-layer becomes an unmissable local multiplayer party game with 2+ players. Simply not done justice with the term 'minigame compilation'.
3. Fire Emblem: Awakening ; Although my first Fire Emblem game, it is a fun game packed with content and characters and brings a welcome freshness to the series (went back and played some older entries after completion). My most-played 3DS game to date.
4. Animal Crossing: Tobidase ; This game, while not altering the formula significantly, does add so much to the Animal Crossing experience and it feels like the first true sequel since the series began.
5. Bravely Default: Flying Fairy ; A fun take on a traditional JRPG, the characters and graphics in this game are what stand out, as well as the social features the game introduces through the 3DS's Streetpass feature.
6. Rayman Origins ; A fun and beautiful 2D platformer, even on the 3DS. Simply one of the best of the renaissance the genre is currently experiencing and the first Rayman game I've actually enjoyed playing.
7. New Super Mario Bros. U
8. Crashmo/Fallblox
9. Zombi U
10. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
x. New Super Mario Bros. 2
x. Mass Effect 3
x. Paper Mario: Sticker Star


Neo Member
Sep 28, 2010
1. Guild Wars 2 ; After spending 2k hours on Guild Wars 1, I was so excited to be able to play the sequel, with all those promises that built huge expectations around the game. In the end, it delivered. The world is fantastic, the combat is fun, the collaborative mindset in which the game puts you is one of the best thing that could happen to an MMO. I love the PvP too (even though, as today, I prefer the early GW1 PvP). I'm restraining myself to play the game (I've played a little more than 100 hours), because if I get into the game, no one will be able to take me out.

2. Kid Icarus: Uprising ; This is one of the best Nintendo game in years. The production value is huge, the amount of content they put into this game is worthy of a home console game. I like everything about this game: the characters, the music, the controls (never had a problem, really), everything. Sakurai has to develop Kid Icarus for Wii U. Please Nintendo, pleeeease.

3. Dustforce ; The best platformer in years, here it is. Once you get the hang of it, it is so fluid and slick to play. That plus the gorgeous soundtrack, it fits the game perfectly. I was the fourth to get the final achievement, so kudos to me D: (yes, if you have read until here, I'm bragging!).

4. Hotline Miami ; Addicting gameplay + holyshitthesoundtrack = a fantastic game.

5. Spec Ops: The Line ; The gameplay is quite average, if not below average, but the story is engaging and well written. This is one of the example where the story alone keeps you playing, because I wouldn't have finished this game if it was for the gameplay alone, really.

6. The Last Story ; Everything seems normal about this game: the setting, the characters, the combat system, the sidequests... The game truly shines because it takes these elements and blends them perfectly. Furthermore, the story, even if it's not the greatest story ever (pretty normal actually), is damn well paced, and keeps you glued to the screen.

7. Quantum Conundrum ; The structure is pretty much Portal-esque, but the gameplay is totally diffent. What I liked is the fact that the game requires some control ability, something that is missing from Portal 2.

8. Dear Esther ; A bit too bloated for my tastes, but nonetheless a rewarding experience. I preferred To the Moon by a great deal.

x. (2011) To the Moon ; Tears. For the first time, I've cried for a videogame. I love it.

These are all the games I've played this year (damn you TF2, DAMN YOU. I love you actually). I haven't played a great deal of games that could have made it to the top 10: Borderlands 2, Dishonored, The Walking Dead, Max Payne 3. I will catch up, I swear! :D


May 7, 2006
1. Binary Domain ; Rewarding shooting mechanics that had me hooked 'til the end, an interesting, well-paced story with the camp presentation of an 80s Scifi movie and a fun cast of characters, with light relationship management elements. The only downside is the whole voice control stuff, which doesn't (really) work and might have been better if it wasn't in the game at all.

2. Minecraft ; This Digital LEGO game pretty much has infinite gameplay for as long as you have ideas and basically is my personal favourite co-op game of all time. The free and frequent updates are also an incentive to keep coming back. Shame that the PC and console versions sadly enough do not allow for cross-compatible multiplayer.

3. Mass Effect 3 ; The end of the trilogy features some great storyarcs that expanded the universe and closed some running plotthreads throughout the series. It has some really good DLC stuff that honestly should have been in the game to begin with and it's kind of scummy that it wasn't. While I'm sure a lot of people will tell you that the ending is the game's weakest part, and while it is indeed underwhelming, the online multiplayer component was even more annoying and distracted from the overall package.

4. Mark Of The Ninja ; While I'm not a big fan of the artstyle, MotN is well-paced stealth game made accessible and fun for the uninitiated.

5. Persona 4: Golden ; This was my gateway Shin Megami Tensei game. It does a great job at walking you through how the world and systems work, which ultimately allowed me to work my way back through the franchise's delicious Gotta Catch 'Em All x social sim hybrid gameplay. A friend of mine and me were trying to rif the dialogue, but it felt like the game was joining in far too many times, which says something about the game's dialogue, though I'm not really certain what. Sadly enough the dungeons feel like a waste of time. Due to their randomly generated nature, they don't really have anything interesting to offer, leaving nothing but to grind for the upcoming boss-battle. The resolution to an otherwise interesting mystery premise, along with lame stretch of final bosses was also a bit of a downer. The game feels several dozens of hours longer than it should have been, which wasn't aided by its many fake-out endings.

06. The Last Story ; It has a strange, yet interesting battlesystem that tried to incorporate your environment into the strategy. There were cute small systems all over the place like items blowing in the alleyways' draft and understood the appeal of the superficial; expanded mechanics to let you play dress-up. The story is sadly enough a bit underwhelming and feels a lot smaller in scope than they had probably intended. This is probably due to the fact that the game seemed to rush through its content a little too often.

7. Frog Fractions ; This makes me feel weird to put on my Game Of The Year list and realise that I haven't really played all that many 2012 games that I thought were all that great or memorable. That aside, Frog Fractions is totally unique and memorable.

08. New Super Mario Bros. U ;
I had a blast playing this in co-op with its smart level-design, excellent difficulty curve and bonus challenges. While this entry looks a lot better than its predecessors, I still don't like the presentation of the New Super Mario Bros series. It feels sterile and I wish they'd mix it up already. Having a limited item storage made managing your items a big pain in the butt too. Also why are there still two toads?! Easily the most inexcusable part of the package.

9. Journey ; Journey has a nice atmosphere and presentation and is meticulously-paced to perhaps its detriment. Playing it in multiple sittings really dampens the experience and I strongly advise people against it.

10. Tokyo Jungle ; Tokyo Jungle is my kind of game. It's not the most polished or high-budget of a game, but has a conceptually insane fresh and adorable idea. It made me wish for another E.V.O. game. (nudge nudge, Square Enix) If you can stomach its repetitiveness, Tokyo Jungle is a game like no other in 2012.

A Human Becoming

More than a Member
Feb 4, 2007
01. Binary Domain
+ Rewarding shooting mechanics that had me hooked 'til the end.
+ Interesting enough story with the camp presentation of an 80s Scifi movie.
+ Fun cast of characters, with light relationship management elements
+ Well paced and multiple endings.
- The whole voice control stuff doesn't (really) work and might have been better if it wasn't in the game at all.
02. Minecraft
+ Digital LEGO
+ Infinite gameplay for as long as you have ideas
+ My personal favourite co-op game of all time
+ Frequent free updates
- PC and console versions sadly enough do not allow for cross-compatible multiplayer
03. Mass Effect 3
+ Some great storyarcs that expanded the universe
+ Some great ways to close running plotthreads
+ Good DLC that contributed a lot to the world
- The aforementioned DLC felt like it was always going to be part of the game and shouldn't have been locked behind a paywall
- Online multiplayer component was annoying and distracted from the overal package
- Weak ending to the trilogy.
04. Mark Of The Ninja
+ Stealth game made accessible and fun for the uninitiated
+ Well paced
+ I always like it when games allow you to take non-lethal methods
- Not a big fan of the artstyle
05. Persona 4: Golden
+ Addictive Gotta Catch 'Em All gameplay
+ Gateway Shin Megami Tensei game. Does a great job at walking you through how the world and systems work, which ultimately allowed me to work my way back through the franchise.
+ Enjoyable dialogue for the most part. Friend of mine and me were trying to rif the dialogue, but it felt like the game was joining in far too many times.
- Dungeons feel like a waste of time. Due to their randomly generated nature, they don't really have anything interesting to offer, leaving nothing but to grind for the upcoming bossbattle.
- Weak resolution to an otherwise interesting mystery premise, along with lame stretch of final bosses.
- Feels several dozens of hours longer than it should have been. Not aided by its many fake-out endings.
06. The Last Story
+ Interesting battlesystem that tried to encorporate your environment into the strategy.
+ Understood the appeal of the superficial and had good mechanics to let you play dress-up.
+ Cute small systems all over the place like items blowing in the alleyways' draft
- Feels rushed and unbalanced at times
- Story is underwhelming and feels a lot smaller in scope than they had probably intended.
07. Frog Fractions
+ Felt entirely original and memorable
- Made me feel weird to put on my Game Of The Year list and realise that I haven't really played all that many 2012 games that I thought were all that great or memorable.
08. New Super Mario Bros. U
+ Had a blast playing this in co-op
+ Smart level-design
+ Good difficulty curve and added challenges.
- While it looks a lot better, I still don't like the presentation of the New Super Mario Bros series. It feels sterile and I wish they'd mix it up already.
- Having a limited item storage made managing your items a big pain in the butt.
- Why are there still two toads?! Easily the most inexcusable part of the package.
09. Journey
+ Great atmosphere and presentation
+ Very well-paced
- Playing it in multiple sittings really dampens the experience
10. Tokyo Jungle
+ Conceptually insane fresh idea for games. Makes me wish for another E.V.O. game.
+ Most adorable game of the year
- Can be quite difficult
- Might be a little bit too repetetive
You need semicolons in front of your comments and they need to be on the same line as the game title. Not sure how to recommend restructuring that.