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

Dance Inferno

Unconfirmed Member
Dec 30, 2008
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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.
Don't you mean "substance over style"? Change your formatting though, doesn't look like your list is going to be counted.
 

SillyEskimo

Member
Apr 14, 2011
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Official 2012 GotY Votes

1. World of WarCraft: Mists of Pandaria ; The best expansion for the best game IMO. MoP is the whole package and what other expansion should aspire to be. It brought back loads of players and seems to have kept their attention so far. The content is coming along at a better pace as well. I hope this is a trend that Blizzard keeps up.

2. ZombiU ; WiiU justified. This game is the best survival horro game i have ever played. Seemless integration of the controller and it's functions capitalizes on the WiiU's full potential.

3. Mark of the Ninja ; A shining example of the best XBLA has to offer. Simple, innovative, and it just nails the gameplay.

4. Halo 4 ; My biggest surprise of the year. It looks and plays like a game should at the peak of a system at the end if it's life cycle. Everything is firing on all cylinders in this game.

5. Forza Horizon ; Just an amazing racing game. The graphics, vistas, and races seemlessly blend into a trancending gaming experience.

6. Xenoblade Chronicles ; This game is the first JRPG this generation that gives me hope for the genere's future.

7. Far Cry 3 ; Skyrim with guns. As crazy or pedestrian as you want it to be.

8. Dishonored ; There's just something about the game that struck me and got me hooked. Nice graphics and style.

9. Darksiders 2 ; Loved the first, like the sequel. I appreciate the shift in gameplay and the combat is much improved.

10. NFS Most Wanted ; Burnout Paradise 2.0. Very fun and beautiful, but too many damn cops.

Honorable Mentions
x. Asura's Wrath ; I've never played a game like it and I doubt I ever will again. Way too flawed to even recommend to 99% of the poeple I know though.
x. Lollipop Chainsaw ; Concept and style are amazing but he actual combat is janky and rough.

2011 Game
Rayman Origins ; This is my kid's Super Mario Brothers. It's one of the most beautiful games I have ever played, the music is great, and difficulty ramps up slowly over the course of the game. Playing this 4 player with my wife and children has created some great memories.
 

Verendus

Banned
Nov 16, 2010
8,579
0
0
Games
1. Journey (PS3) ; A most beautiful game

2. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (PS3) ; Addicting, fun and filled with content.

3. Binary Domain (PS3) ; 80s action meets videogames in 2012.

4. Dragon's Dogma (PS3) ; A daunting experience, but if you try, you will be rewarded.

5. Uncharted: Golden Abyss (PSV) ; The most gorgeous handheld adventure, and worthy of the Uncharted name.

6. Halo 4 (360)

7. Sleeping Dogs (PS3)

8. Dishonoured (PS3)

9. Assassins Creed 3 (PS3)

10. Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale (PS3) ; Disappointing. Sums it up well.
 

RibbedHero

Member
Oct 27, 2010
5,140
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655
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1. Dishonored ; Looking at the rest of the games of the year this is one of the only new IPs, and it was fantastic. Looked gorgeous on PC too.
2. Borderlands 2 ; Love co-op games and this one was fantastic. Lots of fun. Can't vouch for it's single-player quality.
3. Far Cry 3
4. FIFA 13 ; Fun as usual. Tons of game modes, excellent online and feature parity on PC.
5.Torchlight 2
6. Max Payne 3
7. Planetside 2
8. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
9. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
10. Mark of the Ninja
 

Brakara

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Nov 9, 2006
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1. Trials Evolution ; A great game like Trials HD got even better and I'm not sure how they're going to improve on this one
2. XCOM: Enemy Unknown ; Without the gamey base building stuff, this would've been #1, but otherwise an awesome TBS game
3. The Walking Dead: Season 1 ; Got it on the XBL sale for $10, so I haven't finished it yet, but so far it's terrific, and I don't even like adventure games
4. Far Cry 3 ; Fixed all my problems with FC2, but unfortunately added a couple new ones so that it didn't make my top 3 list
5. Spec Ops: The Line ; Loved the story, acting and how everything just literally went to hell
6. Forza Horizon ; I felt Forza 4 was a tad stale, and this shook up the franchise in a right way
7. Halo 4 ; In some ways it's the best Halo game I've played, but still misses out by being "safe" in all its design choices
8. New Star Soccer ; Addictive, addictive, addictive

x. Mass Effect 3 ; Great game, but, man, that ending ruined the whole damn series for me
x. PlanetSide 2 ; Good game, but not a fan of the slow grinding which is meant to push you into purchasing items instead

2011. Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer ; Best multiplayer I had all year
 

Gigglepoo

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Jan 6, 2005
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1. Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition ; Maybe the greatest game I've ever played

2. Journey ; And I didn't even experience the co-op until last week

3. Persona 4 Golden ; Almost 100 hours long and still too short

4. Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward ; Crazy storytelling without any typical video game cop outs.

5. Spelunky ; So evil, yet so brilliant

6. Closure ; Incredible puzzle hook done exceptionally well

7. Mass Effect 3 ; Fantastic end to an ambitious trilogy

8. I Am Alive ; Tense and terrifying in all the right ways

9. Spec Ops: The Line ; Finally a military shooter worth playing

10. Sound Shapes ; Cities is my favorite anything of the year
 

jakeellis01

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Aug 24, 2006
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1. Journey ; Striking, Beautiful, Emotional, loved it! OST was pretty close to perfect, and I never felt so emotional on a game which doesn't have any speech/voiceovers. So innovative and original! GOTY

2. Rock Band Blitz ; Still playing this almost daily, and I'm still impressed that my 1200+ DLC all work with this game. HMX did a good job on how the game transforms all RB Tracks to Blitz mode and work out flawlessly. Rhythm game of the year!

3. The Unfinished Swan ; Made me feel like a child again, story was executed perfectly and game-play was pretty original.

4. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 ; Best. figher. ever. It knocks any other fighter out of the park imo. Impressive online too! Wish I had more time to master this beast of a game.

5. Rhythm Heaven Fever ; I'm into rhythm games as you can see and I thoroughly enjoyed this, I think I enjoyed it even more than the DS/Advance versions. Not as simple as the game looks.

6. Need For Speed - Most Wanted ; hello again Burnout Paradise, Criterion re-delivers!
 

A Human Becoming

More than a Member
Feb 4, 2007
18,587
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0
1. Dishonored
2. Borderlands 2
3. Far Cry 3
4. FIFA 13
5.Torchlight 2
6. Max Payne 3
7. Planetside 2
8. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
9. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
10. Mark of the Ninja
1. Journey
2. Rock Band Blitz
3. The Unfinished Swan
4. Tekken Tag Tournament 2
5. Rhythm Heaven Fever
Just a reminder you need at least one comment. Don't forget to edit it in later!
 
Sep 21, 2006
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1. Spec Ops: The Line; These four could be in any order, I put Spec ops first for having such big balls

2. Planetside 2 ; I put this ahead of journey for techical accomplishment

3. Journey ; I don't really know why this ended ahead of Hotline

4. Hotline Miami; All other truly great games I played last year were not made in 2012
 

bigboss370

Member
Oct 31, 2009
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680
1. XCOM: Enemy Unknown ; Strategy and tactics mixed with cover based gameplay and a compelling action camera. It's just so satisfying to execute impossible feats in this game, and permanent death makes the player more invested.
 

A Human Becoming

More than a Member
Feb 4, 2007
18,587
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1) XCOM: Enemy Unknown ; Strategy and tactics mixed with cover based gameplay and a compelling action camera. It's just so satisfying to execute impossible feats in this game, and permanent death makes the player more invested.
Official 2012 GotY Votes

1. World of WarCraft: Mists of Pandaria ; The best expansion for the best game IMO. MoP is the whole package and what other expansion should aspire to be. It brought back loads of players and seems to have kept their attention so far. The content is coming along at a better pace as well. I hope this is a trend that Blizzard keeps up.

2. ZombiU ; WiiU justified. This game is the best survival horro game i have ever played. Seemless integration of the controller and it's functions capitalizes on the WiiU's full potential.

3. Mark of the Ninja ; A shining example of the best XBLA has to offer. Simple, innovative, and it just nails the gameplay.

4. Halo 4 ; My biggest surprise of the year. It looks and plays like a game should at the peak of a system at the end if it's life cycle. Everything is firing on all cylinders in this game.

5. Forza Horizon ; Just an amazing racing game. The graphics, vistas, and races seemlessly blend into a trancending gaming experience.

6. Xenoblade Chronicles ; This game is the first JRPG this generation that gives me hope for the genere's future.

7. Far Cry 3 ; Skyrim with guns. As crazy or pedestrian as you want it to be.

8. Dishonored ; There's just something about the game that struck me and got me hooked. Nice graphics and style.

9. Darksiders 2 ; Loved the first, like the sequel. I appreciate the shift in gameplay and the combat is much improved.

10. NFS Most Wanted ; Burnout Paradise 2.0. Very fun and beautiful, but too many damn cops.

Honorable Mentions
x. Asura's Wrath ; I've never played a game like it and I doubt I ever will again. Way too flawed to even recommend to 99% of the poeple I know though.
x. Lollipop Chainsaw ; Concept and style are amazing but he actual combat is janky and rough.

2011 Game
Rayman Origins ; This is my kid's Super Mario Brothers. It's one of the most beautiful games I have ever played, the music is great, and difficulty ramps up slowly over the course of the game. Playing this 4 player with my wife and children has created some great memories.
Format it something like this.

The reason I keep pestering people is I want everyone's vote to count. Democracy, ho!
 
Feb 28, 2009
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Year was pretty mediocre, so these would all probably be at least 5 places lower on a normal year. Even my number 1 doesn't feel very much like it, but ah well some years are like that I guess.

1. Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward ; Crazy continuation of the sleeper hit, 999. Puzzles were a lot more tolerable and the revelations came at a much more frequent pace compared to its predecessor. I personally don't share this board's hatred of storytelling in video games in general, but this still stands above many and proves it's a valid medium for that.

2. Tokyo Jungle ; This is the most addictive game I've played in a VERY long time. Such a ridiculous concept combined with simple, accessible gameplay made this feel like an old arcade game, and I'm not even a giant fan of those. And of course, there were so many damn tense moments which will never be identical to another's since each playthrough is different. Who knew there could be so much depth in a game about animals surviving and eating the shit out of each other.

3. New Super Mario Bros U ; Even if NSMB fatigue has set in, this is still one of the best designed 2D platformers in existence. The Super Mario World of the New series, this just has everything necessary for an excellent Mario game and then some. Had it not been released less than half a year apart of NSMB2, this would have had much better reception.

4. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy ; Square Enix definitely could have done more for the 25th anniversary of their premiere franchise, but as far as a single game goes, it's definitely worthy. The series is praised for its music, so couple that with a damn addictive and well-designed Elite Beat Agents-esq rhythm game and you've got yourself something special.

5. Ys Origin ; Just like Oath in Felghana, this is the epitome of the ARPG. Fast combat where skill trumps leveling, incredible bosses, great level design; it's got everything necessary.

6. Fire Emblem: Heroes of Light and Shadow ; It's Fire Emblem. Don't think I need to say much past that. Just another entry in one of the first major SRPG series with the same great combat and a few small additions to set it apart from other entries. Frustrating for the OCD gamer, but oh so satisfying. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

7. Asura's Wrath ; More fun to watch than it is to play. Fortunately, it's REALLY fun to watch. Like experiencing an epic, high-scale battle shounen anime (or Gurren Lagann), but with some interactivity thrown in. While I definitely do not support Capcom's incredibly bullshit move of making the final chapter DLC, I'm going to judge the product rather than the circumstances surrounding it, and this was definitely right up my alley.

8. Lollipop Chainsaw ; Now this is a Grasshopper game. Hilarious, snappy dialogue, memorable characters, fun bosses, and hit or miss combat. For me, the combat was a hit. Comboing zombies into oblivion was damn fun once the system opens up a bit. Almost felt like a spiritual successor to No More Heroes, but even MORE risque and grindhouseish in its writing.

9. Final Fantasy XIII-2 ; The sequel to my GOTY for 2010. While it is tough to support Square's decisions with this unwanted sub-series, if they keep making them I'll keep playing them, and probably like them too. Combat is still fun, and the added ability to actually do shit outside of battle and cutscenes was a welcome change. Noel is also a pretty cool dude.

10. The Walking Dead ; The fact this is winning so many GOTY awards is pretty damn weird to me. I'm one of the guys touting the whole "media outlets should pay attention to non-AAA games too" guys, but now that it finally happened, I can't help but feel this game shouldn't be the one to start it all and it seems unearned. That being said, this was still a damn good emotional story-driven game. A more subdued, less over the top, depressing zombie game felt very fresh, which for some odd reason is a very underused concept in all mediums. Can't really say much for the gameplay, but that's fine because the story carries it. I'll keep my eyes on the sequel.

x. Journey ; Didn't feel the same sense of attachment that everyone else did for this game. In fact, I'd consider it a massive step down from Flower. Still though, it's damn beautiful and shows Jenova Chen still has the ability to make people emotional with his games.

x. Kid Icarus: Uprising ; The angelic archer returns, this time in a unique shoot-em-up/beat-em-up. Despite a VERY inaccessible control scheme, this game is damn fun on both the ground and in the air. Surprisingly enough, it even has some pretty good writing. I wouldn't be against a sequel happening, though I'd hope the controls are a bit different.

2011. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked ; I honestly think this is the only 2011 game I played this year. Wasn't bad, though the ending I got didn't really sit right with me and I doubt any of them would.
 

subversus

I've done nothing with my life except eat and fap
Oct 26, 2009
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1. Endless Space; I haven't been hooked that much since Civilization II.

2. Far Cry 3; a perfect shooter

3. XCOM; tons of turn-based fun

4. Sleeping Dogs; an open-world game that doesn't take itself seriously.

5. Planetside 2 ; nothing matches its scale

6. Dishonored; a perfect immersive sim but it needs to be better at story deparment

7. Natural Selection 2; a brilliant FPS-RTS hybrid

2011. Arkham City; couldn't stop playing it.

Honorable mentions:
x. Tribes Ascend; dat speed
x. Max Payne 3; dat graphics


that is it. I have played other games but they were just ok or good. Also I haven't played a number of good games. Will catch up this year probably.
 

zoku88

Member
Dec 25, 2006
19,492
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2011. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor ; I honestly think this is the only 2011 game I played this year. Wasn't bad, though the ending I got didn't really sit right with me and I doubt any of them would.
Which ending did you get?

I thought the Gin ending was pretty good.
 

Ferro

Member
Sep 11, 2007
123
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1. Dishonored; this the type of game I really adore, so it was no surprise that I enjoyed it as much as I did. The only problem was that the levels were too segregated from each other, which lead to an overall lack of cohesiveness to the world.
2. Walking Dead; while the gameplay isn't great the story totally makes up for it
3. Xcom enemy unknown
4. Spec Ops: the line; I didn't really care about the meta story regarding military shooter ( I don't really play military shooter, so part kind of went over my head) but I thought it succeeded in telling an actual horror story, and that was enough for me.
3. FTL
6. Thirty flights of loving; not much to say about expect to say that it's only game (that i played) that applied cinema editing techniques effectively
7. Sleeping Dogs
8. Journey; it was alright, not mind blowing like it was for some other people, but definitely a fine game. ( I liked flower a lot better)
9. Asura's Wraith
10. Darkness 2
 

Dantis

Member
Apr 18, 2012
15,693
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1. Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward ; I wasn't convinced that they could top 999's plot. As it happens, I was right. Even so, it was still head and shoulders against pretty much every game plot out there. Some of the best twists I've seen in years. Huge game too. Very impressive.

2. Project Zero 2 ; A remake from the ground up of one of my favourite games of all time. The new (Deliberately hindered) gameplay was interesting, and the new cutscenes and whatnot were neat, but the new graphics really pushed this for me. All-Gods Village was darker and more oppressive than I would have thought possible, and it showed that Shibata still knows what he's doing when it comes to horror. A shame that it didn't get more praise, but I'm glad for its release, at least.

3. Dead or Alive 5 ; I've been a DOA fan for years and years, and this summed up pretty much everything I like in the franchise. It's still the most fluid fighter out there, and I just find it genuinely fun. The story mode was complete gibberish, but so sincerely executed that I really enjoyed it. Adding two original songs from Lotus Juice (Of Persona 3 fame) to the soundtrack was an excellent match-up also.

4. The Unfinished Swan ; This is the game I was hoping Journey would be. It was quirky, fun and smart, and the poignant story was excellent. The final chapter was one of my highlights of the whole year.

5. Uncharted: Golden Abyss ; It's Uncharted, what's not to like? Closer to Uncharted 1 than 2 or 3, this really remains the benchmark for how far the Vita has been pushed.

6. Pandora's Tower ; The most overlooked of the Rainfall games, and it's a damn shame. A very cool action adventure.

7. Binary Domain ; A few years ago, I pretty much stopped playing shooters. This is the most I've enjoyed one in years.

8. Dishonored ; Did not expect to like this game. I started chapter 1 and thought little of it. Somewhere during chapter 2 though, it all clicked into place and I blasted through it. Shame that it drops in the third quarter, but the first half is strong enough to carry it.

9. Halo 4 ; I think this is the Halo game I always wanted back when Halo 2 was released. I wanted a game with a little more plot, and a little more sci-fi. It was great to move away from the Covenant story, which I felt was getting more and more self-indulgent and more and more silly. Not a fan of multiplayer, but I don't play shooters online any more anyway.

10. Persona 4 Golden ; Persona 4 is probably my favourite game ever made. I listen to the soundtrack all the time even now, and I follow developments within the series almost religiously. Unfortunately, I had high hopes for this re-release and they were misplaced. For me, the new content ranged from "Meh" to "OH GOD THIS IS AWFUL". Fortunately, the original game is in there completely intact, and it is still just as glorious as always. Even if it's looking a bit rough nowadays.
 

DiscoJer

Member
Sep 26, 2009
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1. XCOM: Enemy Unknown ; It's seriously dumbed down from the original game (combined with a Michael Bay-esque presentation), but it's still basically X-com at its heart, which is the greatest game ever made
 

Speevy

Banned
Jun 26, 2004
62,861
1
0
1. Journey ; This was a truly remarkable experience.
2. Hotline Miami ; Fun gameplay, definitely a "more than meets the eye" game.
3. Dishonored ; Neat kills.
4. Tokyo Jungle ; Who doesn't want to play as a dog?
5. Rhythm Heaven Fever ; Cool rhythm mechanics.

This list just about all I can remember playing from this year.
 

erpg

GAF parliamentarian
May 10, 2009
15,206
1
0
Ottawa, Canada
1. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed ; It's the best kart racing game I've played in over a decade. A great portable experience (a race takes 1 or 2 minutes), and nothing from the console version (which I also enjoy) is missing. I haven't taken it out of my Vita in weeks, and I'm probably going to rebuy it as a digital version just so I can keep it around when I start going back to other games.
2. Journey ;
3. Guild Wars 2 ;
4. Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention ;
5. Persona 4: Golden ;
6. Darksiders 2 ; Guilty pleasure. I'm absolutely in love with the game's aesthetic and I've had a ton of fun with the simplified, but very malleable combat. Possessed weapons = best feature in a loot game. Ever.
7. The Walking Dead ;
8. Dead or Alive 5 ;
9. Papo & Yo ;
10. Tribes: Ascend ; It's a free to play game, but I purchased items in-game equivalent to 1/3 of what I spent on Halo 4 (20$ of weapons and skins). And I played it for nearly 7 times as much.
 

Apath

Member
Aug 4, 2009
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1. Halo 4 ; Wasn't spectacular but I didn't play many games this year that came out this year.
2. Wipeout 2048

I wish DOTA 2 counted. That would be my GOTY. I also wish my Persona 4 Golden didn't get canceled by Newegg so I'd actually have the chance to play it.
 

goldenpp72

Member
Nov 29, 2005
14,369
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1. Kid Icarus Uprising; Spectacular writing, energetic cast and unique gameplay, tons of meat and modes, if the controls were better on foot it would be about as close to perfect as you can get.
2. Dust: An Elysian Tail; While not a perfect game (hated the character art, and the combat/balance was unbalanced but fun) it's about the best game on XBLA and one of the only games to make me feel like I got a SNES caliber game on a digital platform, truly spectacular and I hope for more from this dev.
3. New Super Mario Brothers U; Really strong level design, fun boss fights and some challenging final levels. The balance wasn't perfect and the lack of new level themes and music was a drag, but it's a good way to (hopefully) end the NEW series.
4. Paper Mario Sticker Star; While the game is definitely not as whole feeling as TTYD, it excels in other ways and was a great experience from start to finish.
5. New Super Mario Brothers 2; The return of the raccoon tail made this a different experience, like above the lack of new themes was a drag and I feel a lot of burn out now, but I had a great time with this.
6. Mass effect 3; Yeah the ending itself was disappointing and other problems were there, but some of the spots were truly depressing in an intended way and the overall finale still felt complete to me.
7. Max Payne 3; This game has a lot of problems, but I felt compelled to finish it and enjoyed it a lot despite them.
8. Halo 4; Not as refreshing or exciting as I hoped, but still a competent Halo game.
9. Resident Evil Revelations; Not the best balanced game, but an interesting merger of the old and new style.
10. Resident Evil 6; What can I say, I had a fun co op experience with it despite all its laughable issues.
 

h3ro

Member
Aug 15, 2007
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1. Forza Horizon ; The visuals. The soundtrack. The experience of driving a winding, undulating road with the bright sun peaking out, momentarily blinding you as it peaks out from behind the Rocky Mountains. Amazing.

2. Borderlands 2 ; More borderlands. Can't go wrong with that.
 
Feb 17, 2010
6,723
0
710
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www.doddscientifics.com
1. Xcom ; I loved the original back in the day and while this is different it still hits all the same nerves that made me love that one so much. I've spent over 100 hours with it so far, all in single player.

2. LittleBigPlanet Vita ; The best version in my favorite series this gen. They took the concepts of LBP2 and blew them out... and the Vita specific features worked and were fun instead of tacked on gimics.

3. Hero Academy ; I have played this game every single day since last winter/spring. The async multiplayer never, ever gets stale.

4. Far Cry 3 ; There are things that annoy about this game but what it does right is unparrelled. The open world, the crafting, the takedowns, the graphics (im on pc)... it's just so fun to play. Many times I've started this game and played 3 hours without doing a single quest.

5. Dragon's Dogma ; Dragon's Dogma raised the bar for what a WRPG can be, surprising since it was made in Japan. It wasn't perfect but it kicks the crap out of skyrim and amalur. The combat was so, so fun.

6. New Super Mario Bros U ; My favorite mario game since Mario 64. I think that's all there is to say about that.

7. FIFA ; I am not a soccer fan by any stretch of the imagination but FIFA this year hooked me and 100+ games into it I still love it as much as I did on day one. It's gorgeous, it plays great, the season mode is tons of fun, the MP is a blast as well. I lose more than I win, usually a recipe to make me dislike a game, but the fun keeps me coming back.
8. Uncharted Golden Abyss - Started slow for me. I thought it was a pretty average game for the first couple hours. I wasn't disappointed by that... average was fine. But once you hit close to the halfway point the game just takes off. The characters become more three dimensional, the combat starts to click and the exploration is amazing. It's not better than UC2 or 3, but it's in the same conversation... and that's amazing for a game I played in bed and on trips.

9. Persona 4 Golden ; I never played the PS2 version so this is all new to me. An obviously huge step up from P3P. This game is a lot more fun than it sounds like it would be. High school relationship/club simulator with RPG combat in a world that is really bland? Um, well, somehow that's completely awesome.

10. Walking Dead ; Episode 2 was farcial, some of the drawn out segments in the middle of the other episodes where you played point and click adventure game for 30 minutes felt forced. But at the end of the day (and the game) your attachment to lee and clementine is second to nothing ive ever experienced in videogames before.
 

Shane86

Member
Jul 7, 2011
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1. Journey ; just an amazing unforgettable experience.

2. Persona 4 Golden ; My GOTY of 2008 with extra content IN MY POCKET.

3. Mark of the Ninja ; I'm a sucker for stealth games and this is one of the best I've played.

4. Sleeping Dogs ; Most satisfying hand-to-hand combat in any game and some fantastic story arcs.

5. X-com Enemy Unknown ; Never played OG X-com but I'm a huge Civ fan and this is almost as addictive.

6. FIFA 13 ; would be a lot higher if the career mode didn't ship with several game breaking bugs

7. Max Payne 3

8. WWE 13

9. Far Cry 3

10. UFC Undisputed 3

x. Walking Dead ; Near the end of chapter 1 so can't add it to top ten.

x. Assassin's Creed 3 ; enjoyed playing this but the tutorial is 5 hours long and the ending seemed like it was cooked up in 5 minutes, really bad.

2011. Super Mario 3d land ; Got an XL for Christmas and am loving this, best since Galaxy 1.
 

A Human Becoming

More than a Member
Feb 4, 2007
18,587
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0
1. Xcom - I loved the original back in the day and while this is different it still hits all the same nerves that made me love that one so much. I've spent over 100 hours with it so far, all in single player.

2. LittleBigPlanet Vita - The best version in my favorite series this gen. They took the concepts of LBP2 and blew them out... and the Vita specific features worked and were fun instead of tacked on gimics.

3. Hero Academy - I have played this game every single day since last winter/spring. The async multiplayer never, ever gets stale.

4. Far Cry 3 - There are things that annoy about this game but what it does right is unparrelled. The open world, the crafting, the takedowns, the graphics (im on pc)... it's just so fun to play. Many times I've started this game and played 3 hours without doing a single quest.

5. Dragon's Dogma - Dragon's Dogma raised the bar for what a WRPG can be, surprising since it was made in Japan. It wasn't perfect but it kicks the crap out of skyrim and amalur. The combat was so, so fun.

6. New Super Mario Bros U - My favorite mario game since Mario 64. I think that's all there is to say about that.

7. FIFA - I am not a soccer fan by any stretch of the imagination but FIFA this year hooked me and 100+ games into it I still love it as much as I did on day one. It's gorgeous, it plays great, the season mode is tons of fun, the MP is a blast as well. I lose more than I win, usually a recipe to make me dislike a game, but the fun keeps me coming back.
8. Uncharted Golden Abyss - Started slow for me. I thought it was a pretty average game for the first couple hours. I wasn't disappointed by that... average was fine. But once you hit close to the halfway point the game just takes off. The characters become more three dimensional, the combat starts to click and the exploration is amazing. It's not better than UC2 or 3, but it's in the same conversation... and that's amazing for a game I played in bed and on trips.

9. Persona 4 Golden - I never played the PS2 version so this is all new to me. An obviously huge step up from P3P. This game is a lot more fun than it sounds like it would be. High school relationship/club simulator with RPG combat in a world that is really bland? Um, well, somehow that's completely awesome.

10. Walking Dead - Episode 2 was farcial, some of the drawn out segments in the middle of the other episodes where you played point and click adventure game for 30 minutes felt forced. But at the end of the day (and the game) your attachment to lee and clementine is second to nothing ive ever experienced in videogames before.
1. Journey - This was a truly remarkable experience.
2. Hotline Miami - Fun gameplay, definitely a "more than meets the eye" game.
3. Dishonored - Neat kills.
4. Tokyo Jungle - Who doesn't want to play as a dog?
5. Rhythm Heaven Fever - Cool rhythm mechanics.

This list just about all I can remember playing from this year.
Come on guys. Use a semicolon, not a dash.
 
May 8, 2012
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1. Hotline Miami ; lovely game
2. Binary Domain ; the story is actually ok
3. Diablo 3 ; had some substantial amount of fun with it
 

zlatko

Banned
Dec 17, 2009
17,687
0
0
The Walking Dead. Great game, and it had me choked up towards the end. I was a big fan of Heavy Rain, so getting another game that follows a similar gameplay approach with a focus on story really clicked with me. Best 12 bucks I spent all year. Cannot wait for the next installment!

Halo 4. Haters going to hate, but I keep putting this game in and racking up the hours in the multiplayer. I hated this years CoD, and found Halo 4's MP offerings to be the best in the entire series for me, and my favorite FPS MP experience since CoD4. The SP was also fantastic and had many memorable moments. Spartan Ops sucks, but 2 out of 3 key elements being great ain't too shabby if you ask me. Spartan Ops has a great story going on, but the missions themselves are just dull aside a few.

Diablo 3. More haters and more hating, but I have easily lost close to 200 hours this year to Diablo 3. It was my first Diablo experience and I had a blast with it. The game keeps getting better and better, so props to Blizz for continuing the support. I can't wait for the first expansion!

Tekken Tag Tournament 2. I'm not a big 3D fighter player, or Tekken head, but this game delivers in so many ways. Incredible net code, well balanced, tons to unlock and customize with, and just an all around blast. I hope Capcom looks at this game for their next Street Fighter...well at LEAST the netcode offering.

Borderlands 2. I wasn't big on the first, but the second won me over. While I may be in the small boat who doesn't like the co op for the game because it distracts from the story, the SP content here is incredible and it's rare a game actually makes me laugh. Good job GearBox.

-----

I played a few other games this year, but really didn't have time to delve into things like I had years before. To be honest this year sucked in surprise hits aside from Walking Dead for my tastes. Sad there wasn't a RPG worth mentioning aside Xenoblade Chronicles which sadly I didn't have the time to complete. I guess D3 is a RPG too, but not the kind I have in my head that I look forward to every year.
 

Zefah

Gold Member
Jan 7, 2007
42,523
20,837
1,635
1. Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition (PC) ; I should call this Dark Souls: Durante Edition, because it probably wouldn't occupy this slot without Durante's fixes. Regardless, the additional content they added is great, and being able to play this game in high resolution at 60fps on the PC is an absolute joy. I think Dark Souls on PS3 was my favorite game last year, but I enjoyed the PC version with the extra content even more this year. Absolutely amazing game, and I look forward to the sequel.

2. Dragon's Dogma ; I'm a sucker for fantasy RPGs, so that alone had me in love with this game from the start. I wish the story was better and there were more interesting towns to visit, but overall, this game was a blast to play, with some excellent combat and dungeon delving. It was just a great time to run around the world with my party of medieval fantasy characters and take in everything while battling some awesome-looking monsters.

3. Binary Domain ; What a great title to come out early this year. I played it on the PS3 and then later on the PC and loved both times through the game. I never bothered with any of the voice command stuff, and by the sound of it I was better off. I loved what they did with the story, and really enjoyed all of the characters and the interactions you could have. The shooting was extremely satisfying, too, and it was just a really tight and exciting adventure. I was surprised to see this come from the same guys who put out Ryu Ga Gotoku of the End just a bit earlier, since that had such cruddy shooting mechanics.

4. Persona 4: The Golden ; I actually just started this a week ago, but I can already tell it's an awesome game. I put about ten hours into the PS2 version back in 2007, but I got sidetracked and never returned. I love how they've kind of brought this version up to date. It's a very slick port with some great visual upgrades, too.

5. Dishonored ; It didn't quite live up to the expectations I had for it, but it was plenty of fun all the same. I think it got a little to easier in the latter missions, and could have benefited from a more entertaining story, but the gameplay was sound and I loved the atmosphere and world they crafted. I hope they get a chance to continue this series.

6. XCOM: Enemy Unknown ; Lots of fun. I enjoyed just about every minute of the 30 hours I played through the initial campaign on Normal. I then tried a few missions on Classic and moved on. I wish there was more unit/enemy variety and especially more randomization with the environments. Hopefully we'll get a meaty expansion for this someday. I'd have ranked it higher, but after I stopped playing I never had much desire to go back, so here it is.

7. Mass Effect 3 ; I just played through this a few days ago, so I was able to experience the extended ending along with From Ashes and the Leviathan DLC in my first playthrough. My experience through the game was great. I wasn't a big fan of Mass Effect 2 after loving the original Mass Effect, but I think they got the shooting tight enough this time around to justify going the shooter route. I still wish they'd do a more tactical or RPG-like take on the game, but oh well. I really enjoyed seeing my story wrap up and getting more Mass Effect lore. The game felt kind of rushed and low-budget in many areas, though, so I can't rank it much higher than this.

8. Diablo III ; A major disappointment for me, but I still dumped around 100 hours or so into it on multiple characters. It's polished to a fine shine and very satisfying to kill monsters, so it certainly has that going for it. There are also a ton of problems with the game, though. Juvenile story and Power Rangers dialogue, lack of environment variety/randomization, and worst of all: boring-ass loot made even worse by the fact that you're only gimping yourself if you avoid the Auction House. It's unfortunate that the game turned out this way, but it's still good fun to go run around smashing fiends, so it made my list.

9. Sleeping Dogs ; I got sidetracked and haven't finished this one yet, but I really like it. I'm playing on the PC, and it's absolutely gorgeous. So far the game is a ton of fun and it has a compelling story with some interesting characters. I look forward to completing it in the coming weeks.

10. Assassin's Creed 3 ; This one was also a major disappointment for me, but I still had a good time. There are a ton of problems with the game and it feels terribly disjointed at times, but goddamn if they didn't create a compelling world for lovers of the revolutionary America setting. I really enjoyed just wandering around and taking in the atmosphere. Unfortunately, I feel like the actually downgraded the combat and movement from previous games, which felt more intuitive and like I was actually in control. I hope they take a hard look at those things with whatever the next entry in the series is. Also, fuck that ending. Oh well, still a neat game.

Note: I didn't finish Asura's Wrath or Journey, and haven't played much (if any) of Borderlands 2, Far Cry 3, Mark of the Ninja, Hitman: Absolution, or Syndicate despite all of those being games I'm very interested in.
 

Haeleos

Member
Oct 31, 2007
2,646
64
1,220
Ontario, Canada
1. Journey ; This game, more than any this year, pushed the medium forward and showed that great stories can exist in games and that games are ready to mature. The surprise of co-op, the attachment I developed for the silent protagonists and the peerless art direction all worked together to bring tears of joy to my eyes by the end.
2. Tribes: Ascend ; The best FPS experience I've had since Tribes 2. I was all but ready to give up on the genre until this game came along.
3. Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown ; Sadly, the world's best fighting game is also the world's most overlooked one. I think it has a lot to do with the very clinical art style, but underneath that is the world's most refined and balanced fighting game.
4. Hawken
5. The Pinball Arcade
6. Hotline Miami
7. LEGO Lord of the Rings
8. XCOM Enemy Unknown
9. Torchlight 2
10. Super Hexagon ; How do you even...
x. Borderlands 2 ; An all around better game than it's predecessor, but it's reliance on an outdated quest system and weak character design kept it off my list.
x. Dishonored ; This would have made my list if it wasn't for its glaring balance issues. After the first hour, there is nothing in the game that poses a challenge and the excellent world design wasn't enough to save it.
 

JBuccCP

Member
Mar 23, 2008
3,230
0
755
1. Journey; This game achieved what it set out to do perfectly. Like many others I somehow developed a connection with a nameless stranger with only the most basic forms of communication. When we got separated during the final segment I spent 10 minutes looking around for him. I hope you made it bro!
2. Mark of the Ninja; Even stealth-hating heathens like Platrick Klepek seem to like this game. It must be doing something right.
3. X-Com: Enemy Unknown
4. Mass Effect 3; Harumph...yeah I kind of want to eliminate this game on principal. For the shitty ending, and for the terrible way they handled it and the dlc. But I really enjoyed everything leading up to that ending more than most things this year.
5. Far Cry 3; I'm kind of surprised I have this so high. The story ends up being a whiff and many of the main missions were frankly shit. I think it all changed when you get the wingsuit. It made even assaults on outposts that went horribly wrong fun when you could dive off a cliff to escape. And diving off the top of a mountain and landing perfectly right on the top of a tower was probably my biggest "Fuck Yeah!" moment this year.
6. The Walking Dead; I don't think this is the game-writing masterpiece or the beginning of some big change in video games others do, but it is a really enjoyable story with a nice cast of characters.
7. New Super Mario Bros. 2; that was neat, do something actually new now please?
8. Diablo 3
9. Sleeping Dogs
10. Tribes: Ascend; I burned out on this quickly, probably because I'm really tired of grinding in mp games, but the mechanics are really something.

This year felt pretty weak for me. Everything after number 3 I had at least one big issue with and I was really reaching for 10 games. I've still yet to play FTL or Thirty Flights of Loving which I have on Steam so they may change things.
 

Bgamer90

Banned
Mar 20, 2007
20,961
0
0
1. Halo 4; While I liked the previous Halo games this gen, I've never really been hooked to them. I would basically stop playing them after only a few weeks. Halo 4 breaks that chain. I'm highly addicted to the multiplayer. On top of that, the game looks absolutely amazing for a game running on a seven year old console. It's really the only game of a "AAA" nature that was released in 2012 that actually met & exceeded my expectations.

2. Forza Horizon; Best racing game of 2012. Cruising around in the open world is just as fun as actually competing in the events. The game looks amazing as well. I'm really interested in the future of this series (this is, if there will be a sequel).

3. Dust: An Elysian Tale; I LOVE THIS GAME. So amazing. The style and animation looks like a cartoon in motion and the combat system is so smooth. This game also brought me back to when I was younger during the 16 bit days. Very enjoyable.

4. Fez; Wonderful game. Made me feel like a kid again playing platform games during the 16 bit gen. Really neat puzzles, good music, and good art style.

5. Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing Transformed; Hands down the best kart racing game released in the past 10 years. There's more creativity in just a handful of tracks in Sonic Racing Transformed than there are in pretty much all of the recent Mario Karts.

6. SSX (2012); I'm a big SSX fan so I was really looking forward to this game. The single player deadly descents mode was a mixed bag. Some events were fun but others were just really annoying. I don't understand what the track designers were thinking when it comes to some of the (holey) tracks. The game is a blast in terms of multiplayer though and I'm pretty sure that I have spent more than 100 hours playing it.

7. Kid Icarus: Uprising; Very impressed with this on the 3DS. Very polished game and is one of Nintendo's most original exclusive titles in a pretty long time.

8. Super Hexagon; Very hard but very addictive as well. Modern minimalist style and easy to pick up and play. It's really a perfect fit for iOS.

9. Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012); Pretty much a blend of 2005's NFS Most Wanted and Burnout Paradise; Game is enjoyable but the single player was a bit disappointing and lacking. I expected more from an open world game. The online however is a ton of fun and is probably the most fun I've had with an arcade racing game in terms of online play since Burnout 3.

10. Trials Evolution; Very fun game with a lot of replayability. I could literally spend more than a hour trying to beat someone's time.
 

padlock

Member
Feb 2, 2011
736
0
480
1. Diablo III; I wasn't a big fan of the auction house, and the game initially had some balance problems, but the actual combat was fantastic. A real joy to play.

2. Borderlands 2; I never played the first one, so franchise fatigue didn't really affect me.

3. XCOM: Enemy Unknown; Loved the game, but was disappointed in the the number of bugs, and how long it took firaxis to fix them.

2011. Rocksmith; Very well executed, apart from the horrendous menu system.
 

jett

D-Member
Jun 6, 2004
98,875
9
1,765


1. Double Dragon Neon ; Fantastic retro throwback, not just for the genre but the 80's decade. Crisp, weighty and responsive controls coupled with awesome visuals and earblasting soundtrack, it's the most fun I've had this year. Actually, playing it with a buddy over a couple of beers is even more fun.

2. Dishonored ; Cool visual style and really fun, "emerging" gameplay, with great use of stealth. I recently played and was disappointed with Bioshock, and to me this game delivers what I thought Bioshock would: super varied gameplay that effortlessly mixes super powers, melee and gunplay.

3. Journey ; It didn't quite get me that feeling that Flower gave me, but it nearly got there. Extremely memorable experience, it's really a piece of art that could only be delivered through this medium. The use of multiplayer is truly the work of genius.

4. Darksiders II ; Unreservedly the best Zelda game not made by Nintendo. For my money it improved on the original on every way. FILLED with dungeons, and the swordplay is surprisingly deep and engaging, probably the top western action game in that respect at the moment. Jesper Kyd's soundtrack is the true Assassin's Creed OST of the year.

5. The Walking Dead ; Tell Tale's first home run, for me. The ending is predictable and the emotional manipulation was too obvious for me to actually feel anything, but everything before episode 5 is top notch and my favorite "point and click" adventure since the classic days, probably.

I've played more games but I don't really care to list them. :p
 

dave_m123

Member
Nov 24, 2010
556
0
0
1. XCOM: Enemy Unknown ; Strategy and tactics mixed with cover based gameplay and a compelling action camera. It's just so satisfying to execute impossible feats in this game, and permanent death makes the player more invested.
Amazing game, got it on Christmas day played 12 hours so far and its brilliant. When in the middle of a mission and things start to go wrong its so tense and then you turn it about in the nick of the time.

Frakking Chrysalids and Cyberdisks :)

Not felt this tense in any game I've played for ages.
 

LuuKyK

Member
Mar 18, 2012
13,914
0
0
Brazil
1. Final Fantasy XIII-2 ; People will call me biased but whatever... I defintely loved the game. It had a very compelling plot, with two lead characters who were actually pretty good even if people hated both Noel and Serah when they were first announced, an improved version of the already good battle system from XIII, fixed the things people complained about in the first game and had one od the best OST's from the last 5 years or so.

2. Warriors Orochi 3 ; I'm a huge fan of Dynasty Warriors and having never played a Orochi game I have to say I was surprised. It is addicting as hell! A great game with hundreds of characters (literally) with their own weapons and moves (some very creatives move sets there, I have to say). Graphics and OST are surprisinly great as well.

3. Persona 4: The Golden ; Managed to play it for a week or so after borrowing my friend's Vita. I couldn't actually finish it, but I did play it on PS2 back in the day, so at least I played enough to notice the upgrades and everything else they included. It looks great, the new intro is very good and based on what I played Marie seemed like a very interesting character.

4. Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland ; I'm a big fan of the series and Meruru did not disappoint, in fact it improved on everything based on what I played of Totori. Also props to Gust for delivering so many good games these last years. Can't wait for Ayesha.

5. Mass Effect 3 ; I love this series too. Despite the hate the ending gets I really think it was not that bad. It was not amazing but it was decent enough. Had lots of fun with the actual game, even if it was not better overall than ME 2 or 1 I still think it was good enough to be in my top 5.

6. Guild Wars 2 ; One of the only online games that managed to entertain me for more the one month. The lore and story are great, the cities and characters are amazingly done. A great game imo.

7. Theathrythm Final Fantasy ; Music from final fantasy + rythm game = awesome. Nothing more to say.

8. The Walking Dead ; Great story, very touching and charming game overall. Nice to see the adaptations are getting better and better.

9. Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2 ; MUCH improved battle system made the game much better than the first one. The story is still funny, and the gamindustry plot is pretty clever imo. I like it a lot.

10. Sound Shapes ; Its all about the music. And its great at that. The platforming really was secondary to me, but it was still very responsive overall, despite some really irritating/annoying repetitive sections. I really like this create and share games though.
 

Chet Rippo

Member
Jan 20, 2010
27,983
0
690
Minnesota
www.neogaf.com
1. Kid Icarus: Uprising ; Extremely fresh and fun game, my only wish is that there was more! The soundtrack is amazing, and the characters are charming.
2. Katawa Shoujo ; I had no idea what I was getting into when I started this game up, but I came out of it with so many feelings. Really good for coming from a bunch of nobodies from the internet. The Music is incredible too.
3. New Super Mario Bros. U ; The better of the 2 NSMB that came out this year, and right now might come out as my favorite 2D Mario game ever, though I will let time sink in and play it more before I officially claim that.
4. Paper Mario: Sticker Star ; Not exactly what I wanted, but a very fun game. The Puzzles are pretty ingenious and the soundtrack is great!
5. Harvest Moon: A New Beginning ; The best Harvest Moon in a long time. Love the characters in this one.
6. Nintendo Land ; I was actually surprised at how good this game is. The music is excellent too!
7. Pokemon: Black 2 version ; Nothing amazing here, but for basically being a 3rd version, they really shook it up quite a bit.
8. Halo 4 ; I thought it was better than Reach.
9. New Super Mario Bros. 2 ; Not as good as its Wii U counterpart, but it was still really good. Liked it more than the first NSMB
10. Soul Calibur 5 ; Create a Soul, boob slider at maximum. Let the jiggling begin!
x. Tales of the Abyss ; This game would have probably charted higher, but since it's just a port, I decided it would have been a little unfair for it to take a higher spot.
x. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 ; The Wii U edition's additions are pretty awesome.

2011. Otomedius Excellent ; Why was I not informed of this game sooner? I love it, scantily clad robot girls and all.
 

Duke Togo

Member
Jan 27, 2007
5,577
0
0
1. XCOM: Enemy Unknown ; Just an awesome that they were able to make this more addicting than the original one. Loved every minute.
2. Journey ; I only played it through once, but that was all I needed.
3. Persona 4: Golden ; This game saved my sanity on many a long flight last year.
4. Gravity Rush
5. Tokyo Jungle
6. Mass Effect 3
7. Fifa 13
8. Syndicate
9. Hotline Miami
10. Endless Space

Overall I found it was a bit of a letdown year, compared to 2011's wealth of great games like Dark Souls, Deus Ex, and Skyrim.
 

SleazyC

Member
Oct 18, 2006
3,261
0
0
Boston
1. Journey ; Don't think I've ever had such a flood of emotions hit while playing a game. Just a joy to experience with a highly intuitive multiplayer aspect built in.
2. The Walking Dead ; Taking writing in games to the next level. That Telltale was able to make me feel so attached to the main characters is an immense achievement in my eyes.
3. Hotline Miami ; A brutal game. Fast and fun, it reminded me a bit of Dark Souls in that I didn't care that I died because death was my stupid fault and I could see how to avoid future deaths. Amazing soundtrack too.
4. Dishonored ; I hope more developers look at this game when trying to incorporate or build their games on stealth mechanics. Fresh game in a unique setting whose story fell short of making this something very special.
5. Xenoblade Chronicles ; One of the best JRPG's released in the past 10+ years. All other Japanese RPG developers need to take notes.
6. Far Cry 3 ; Came out of left field. Just like Dishonored was a fresh take on stealth gameplay I felt this game (and Sleeping Dogs) make me excited for open world games again. Story could have gone in a much more interesting route but the gameplay kept me coming back.
7. Endless Space ; A 4X game that hooked me when I generally am not interested in the genre. Had hours upon hours of fun playing this with friends.
8. Sleeping Dogs ; GTAV has to do a lot after Far Cry 3 and this game.
9. Resident Evil: Revelations ; Please Capcom, more games like this and not like RE6
10. Spec Ops: The Line ; Bland gameplay but the writing and story is amazing.
x. Gravity Rush ; Cute characters and great new IP that came up a little short in some areas.
x. Dust: An Elysian Tail
x. Binary Domain

2011. Terraria
 

The Hermit

Member
Jan 13, 2006
12,896
74
1,350
35
2012 could be one of the best years for me gaming related ( have a very good PC, iPhone a Ds and $$$) but I had very little time. The result: played a huge amount of games through portables but most of my HD backlog grew. So most of the games I played this year were old Classics and some nice indie games.

That being said, I am actually surprised mu GOTY would be a phone game instead of a high value DS or PC game.

1- Super Hexagon ; The premisse is simple; survive for at least 60 seconds. never expected that I would finish a game that first killed me in 3 seconds on the easiest stage... And love every single tenth of second of it. Simplistic yet pretty, insanely hard but never unfair. Amazing and addictive soundtrack. It was a game made for the phone, considering how quick is to retry or beat the stage. Can't wait for Terry's next game...And i though that VVVVVV would be his masterpiece.

2- Kid Icarus Uprising; The best 3DS game bar none. I feel so bad when people only mention its controls, but few say that after you master it, the story ,music and graphics are stellar enough to make Pit's return a Nintendo's classic.

3- Walking Dead; After so much praise by, well, everyone, I had to check it and yeah its as good as an interative story can get. Very good and sad history. Too sad sometimes actually.

4- Zero Escape: VLS ;I loved 999 and never expected a proper sequel, so this is quite q surprise. Not as good or shocking as 999, but a very nice game

And that's it :(
I still have to plow through, Dark Souls (20hrs in), Binary Domain, Crimson Shroud, Far Cry 3 Max Payne 3 Sleeping Dogs (10hr in) not to mention a lot of games from the past years.

Besides Dark Sould I doubt my list would change so much, so well there's that.

2011- xenoblade

Worst of 2012- Diablo III
 
May 9, 2011
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This list is going to make me look like a Nintendo fanboy (and to be fair, I am XD), but most nominations I either haven't gotten my hands on yet (Halo 4), or I just purchased them from the holiday Steam (or Origin, in ME3's case) sale and haven't gotten around to them. My propensity to play the previous year's worth of games after the year-end sales tends to save me a lot of money, but it doesn't do me any favors in GOTY voting... XP

1. Kid Icarus: Uprising; The most incredible and genuinely unpredictable campaign I have ever enjoyed in my adult years. The gameplay is so fun and creative, elevating third-person action shooting by releasing the shackles of realism and convention. The amazing item system does what I think TF2 initially tried to do, but wildly better, and the multiplayer is the most fun I've had online this last year outside of Dota 2. Oh, and the controls were impeccable (come at me, bro)

2. Xenoblade Chronicles; I feel like this is what a FFVI era JRPG would look like realized in three dimensions with modern conventions. Amazing locations, superb gameplay, and just all-around entertaining. It's not without its shortcomings, but I want to give Xenoblade and Monolith the nod for what they've achieved for JRPGs.

3. Paper Mario: Sticker Star; After my disappointment with Super Paper Mario, Sticker Star manages to elicit a return to traditional RPG Mario while flipping everything upside-down with the sticker system. The level system was an incredible means of game progression in an RPG system. And from an aesthetic perspective, I just love how Sticker Star embraced the "paper" theme more than any other title.

4. Nintendo Land; A genuine surprise for me, as I was expecting (like everyone else) a somewhat uninspired minigame collection, but in the back of my head I kept wanting to believe it would be something more. What a pleasant surprise! Co-op Metroid Blast and Battle Quest will stand as some of my favorite multiplayer experiences this year.

5. New Super Mario Bros. 2; Expert level design, if not a little uninspired in the aesthetic department. Coin Rush was a fantastic addition, especially with StreetPass. I only wish the coin collection mechanics were a bit better embraced outside of Coin Rush (and the gimmicky "million coin" goal).

6. New Super Mario Bros. U; Still finishing up the Star Coins on this one, but another incredible Mario game. However, it didn't feel like there were any major innovations, but I haven't had the opportunity to play multiplayer with the GamePad yet. This is the first New Super Mario Bros. game where I felt... satisfied, after finishing. (As in, "I've fully scratched my itch for old-school 2D Mario for the near future".) Here's to hoping for a major departure on the next big Mario game...

...I'd like to save the last four slots in case I finish up any of my Steam games or Virtue's Last Reward, but I doubt that'll happen in time for the deadline. (And if I had the resources to play them, I bet Journey and MoP would be up there, too...)