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


Aug 23, 2008
The ass end of the earth.

1. The Walking Dead ; Only game to ever make me cry.

2. Journey ; Great experience all around. It's emotional without a single word of spoken dialog.

3. Mass Effect 3 ; A vague ending didn't sour my experience on this great little game.

4. Far Cry 3 ; Not so much Skyrim with guns. I have that mod on Skyrim XD. It did a much better job with Assassassin's Creed game mechanics then the last AC game.

5. Halo 4 ; I've never been much of a Halo guy. Only played the single-player and loved it.

6. Dishonored ; Deus Ex meets BioShock meets Thief meets Half-Life meets my wallet.

7. XCOM Enemy Unkown ; One of the most fresh games this year.

8. Asura's Wrath ; "Over the Top" the game.

9. Spec Ops: The Line ; Really memorable story in a fairly standard shooter

10. FTL ; Makes you feel like a space captain before everything goes to hell.

Honorable Mention

X. Hotline Miami ;

X. Mark of the Ninja ;



May 24, 2012
1-Xenoblade Chronicles: Best JRPG of this gen, what a great ride.
2-Resident Evil Revelations: Best RE game since RE4. This game put both RE5 & RE6 to shame
3-ZombiU: Horror genre back to the map. Hard and entertaining.
4-Call of Duty: Black Ops 2: what a suprised. I was so tired of CoD games. I skipped 3 games until this one. Well done and MP is rock solid.
5- Transformers: Fall of Cybertron: I love this underrated game. Fast, deadly and with a fun MP.

Edit: I don't have 10 games for this. Does my list still count?
Dec 28, 2010
Manchester, England
Way too early for me to vote. This should be interesting to read though, I can't really guess what will win unlike most years.


1. Resident Evil: Revelations ; This is how to get Resident Evil right, with a great amount of horror and action. Overall the game is the most intense horror I’ve played on a handheld.

2. Tales of Graces F ; The most important part is the battle system and the game delivers brilliantly here, the emphasis on ‘titles’ (hundreds of them!) unlocked during side quests and story events allow the characters to be greatly personalised.

3. Final Fantasy XIII-2 ; The ‘Historia Crux’ time-travel is a fun non-linear structure, encouraging players to take their time with the varied game play, including monster recruiting, quizzes, cards, Moogle throwing, Chocobo betting and paradox clock puzzles.

4. Mass Effect 3 ; This sequel concentrates more on set pieces than its predecessors; we see cities being levelled by the Reapers…these scenes are spectacular and yet they do not upstage the characters. If the game simply ended with the reapers killing everyone, I would have accepted that because the journey was so good along the way.

2011. Saints Row: The Third ; Like many people it was picked up during the Humble Bundle charity sale on Steam. You can play a toilet, you can summon zombies and you have to do a mission when a tiger is in the passenger seat. Basically this is the Blazing Saddles of sandbox games.

There are still a few titles I need to catch up with, such as AC III and Sleeping Dogs but these are my favourites within the dead line.


Jul 28, 2007
1. XCOM: Enemy Unknown ; Best example of a how to modernize an old franchise I have seen. Keeps the amazing experience of the original alive.

2. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition ; Besides Xenoblade probably the best RPG I have played this generation. Loved the story and the dialogue and I was impressed by how well the game was ported to the 360.

3. The Walking Dead ; When it comes to pure storytelling there was nothing better this year.

4. Mark of the Ninja

5. Dishonored

6. Hotline Miami ; It might not have been the best game for me this year, but it definitely had the best soundtrack.

7. ZombiU

8. Tokyo Jungle

9. Endless Space

10. Far Cry 3 ; Would have ended up higher on the list if it wasn't for the poor console performance and the disappointing story.


Jul 27, 2009
1. Dark Souls: Artorias of the Abyss DLC ; The Artorias fight itself was awesome and I probably helped 100 people defeat the dragon. A few hours in Dark Souls was better than any other game released this year.

2. Halo 4 ; the only new game released this year with an ending that I completed. As high quality as any Halo title and I loved most of the visual design. Story was kind of dumb.

3. Borderlands 2 ; a solid game, usually fun. I only played about 20 hours so far and all of it co-op. Need to find more time to play.

4. Uncharted: Golden Abyss ; nothing extraordinary just a fun take on the formula and a good way to break in the Vita. Not yet actually finished and probably will over the holiday. I tend to play this when I travel.

More to come maybe. This year was all about the back log + Dark Souls. I also played Demon Souls for the first time this year which consumed many hours.


Asks questions so Ezalc doesn't have to
Mar 26, 2007
I'm going to premise this with the following: As Xenoblade was my GOTY last year I've decided not to be redundant and put it here again, because I'm sure people are tired of me lashing it with tongue baths as is.

1. Atelier Meruru – PS3 (US); Atelier Meruru may not be quite as amazing as last year’s Atelier Totori was, but it borrows all of the right ingredients I loved about its predecessor’s gameplay and does nice things with it. A lovely aesthetic and wonderful music (the one area where it does surpass Totori IMO), and a new mechanic that allows you to build structures with various activity/stat bonuses in any order (assuming you have the Development Points) keeps things fresh. Additionally, it makes triggering specific flags for characters scenes more forgiving, allowing you to trigger them by being in a nearby area rather than in the precise area. A fine way to close out the Arland trilogy. Patiently awaiting Atelier Ayesha.

2. Katawa Shoujo (PC); For me, this visual novel came completely out of nowhere and blew me away. I was not expecting to like this game at all based on its origins and premise, and would never have tried it if it weren’t free and highly recommended by trusted Gaffers. What I found was a touching story with very three dimensional characters presented with a lot of love, care, and above all, taste. It really treats is subject matter respectfully but is never heavy-handed in its presentation. What could have easily turned into a distasteful wank game that treats disabilities as a fetish was instead a story of growing up, finding love, and learning to accept one’s self and the cards they’ve been dealt in their lives.

3. Kid Icarus: Uprising (3DS); Nintendo revisited an IP they haven’t touched in over twenty years and delivered a remarkable reintroduction to the characters of Pit and Palutena. The game features the most incredible difficulty scaler I’ve seen in a videogame that actually encouraged me to get better and better with each play-through. Combined with the best 3D visuals I’ve seen on the platform, an INCREDIBLE musical score (OST of the year by far), and quirky humor, this had Game of the Year potential from the get go. The only reason it isn’t is because of the controls. I got used to them, sure, but this is a game who’s planning was clearly designed for (and confirmed in an Iwata Asks segment later on) the Wii. Pointer controls and this game would have been as perfect as it could possibly be.

And again, dat OST!!!

4. Spec Ops: The Line (PC); I’ve been a fan of Zero Punctuation pretty much since the beginning, even when he’s completely bashed games I love to death. But this was the first game I ever bought because of a Zero Punctuation review. Spec Ops: The Line may be the most important game released this year, a profound examination of the Hero paradigm as presented in nearly every videogame and a harsh condemnation of the Modern War shooters that have taken over the market. Green lighting this game took balls of steel, and I congratulate Take Two games and Yaeger studios for making it. The game itself is only ho hum, but the story, oh the story.

5. Hatsune Miku and Future Stars (3DS); I’m not going to convince anyone here this is a good game. And largely, it isn’t. But it’s the most adorable game I’ve ever played, and for me, that counts for quite a lot. I wasn’t intending on buying a Japanese 3DS, but for this game’s cuteness, it was worth it. But I’d never recommend it to anyone else here on GAF. Unless they had a Japanese 3DS. And loved cute. A lot. Yes.

6. The Last Story (Wii); The Last Story is a very interesting counterpoint to Xenoblade, my Game of 2011. Where Xenoblade was huge, epic, expansive, and overflowing with stuff to do, The Last Story is considerably shorter, but more personable. The game tries to make its one location (Lazulis Island) filled with life and personality, and does a fairly decent job in that. The battle system is more complex than Xenoblade’s and requires more thought about where you fight and how to use the environment around you, though this comes at the cost of nearly every battle being a scripted affair. The music is quite good, but not quite as memorable as Nobuo Uematsu’s peak efforts. Frame-rate problems can be distracting as well. But despite its flaws, The Last Story has an irresistible charm that kept me playing until the very end.

7. Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward (3DS); This was a difficult one to rate. Like The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword last year, I wanted to rank this one much higher. It was a great follow up to 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors, one of my all time favorite visual novels. The characters were enjoyable, the story was intriguing (and still is), and the puzzles were hard. But like The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, it has a bug. A major bug, one that’s actually worse than Zelda’s (because Zelda’s was eventually patched), that can completely corrupt one’s save file on the 3DS and force the player to start over. There’s simply no excuse for it, especially considering the length of the game (around forty hours). While it is avoidable if you follow this guide, where Zelda fell from 3 to 6 in my rankings last year, Virtue’s Last Reward falls from 2 to 7. If you have a Vita, however, it does not have this problem and it’s the best game on that platform (but do play 999 first). But I have a 3DS, and while I never fell victim to the bug it was frustrating constantly thinking about it as I played, and others have felt its impact.

8. New Super Mario Bros. U (Super Wii); While I didn’t hate New Super Mario Bros. 2 as much as some of my friends did, I definitely preferred Mario’s debut on Super Wii more. The levels felt more carefully designed, the controls felt a bit more spot on, and I like the Squirrel Suit’s unique take on flight in a Mario game. I love the return to the Super Mario World style map, and Miiverse integration. But the lack of ability to play with a Super Wii Gamepad in multiplayer is an odd omission, as is no Pro Controller support.

9. Tales of Graces f (PS3); While many people complain about the slow beginning where you play as the main cast when they were younger, I felt this really helped the story tremendously by providing proper context for the tale that later unfolded. Combined with the best battle system the Tales of series has seen, and it's a winner!

10. Resident Evil: Revelaitons (3DS, misspell intentional); I really wish we could retroactively go back in time and name this Resident Evil 6. While it definitely has some flaws, it’s much more true to the spirit of the series and is just a much better game overall. Despite the story feeling disjointed at times, I much prefer the slower pace and scary atmosphere presented here than the actual Resident Evil 6.

HM. ZombiU (Super Wii); ZombiU reminds me a lot of the first Assassin’s Creed. Not that they share anything in common as games aside from being developed by Ubisoft, but that they made me feel the same way. When I played the first Assassin’s Creed this year, my feeling was “An interesting idea, but it needs another game to really work out the kinks, which is probably why Assassin’s Creed 2 was so well received.” The same applies to ZombiU. There’s a fantastic concept here, and incredible potential for a new survival horror franchise that actually involves scares and survival. But it needs another go to build off of this starting template and fix some of the clumsiness of the execution. Assuming Ubisoft is willing to do for ZombiU what they did for Assassin’s Creed, ZombiU2 (snirk) could be an incredible game.


Oct 19, 2004
Los Angeles, CA
Will the PSN version of Machinarium be eligible?
Yes. Just as Limbo PS3 was allowed last year because it released late on PSN, Machinarium will be as well.

What about DayZ? It has a proper release coming sometime next year, but I doubt it will ever be as relevant as it was this summer.
No. Just as DOTA 2 and Diablo 3 beta were not allowed last year.

Question. Do games available for the first time in English, even unofficially count? Want to know if Fire Emblem 12 is valid since a translation patch just released.
This is Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem? Yes. Just as Mother 3 was allowed when it got an english translation patch.


Mar 11, 2011
1. Mass Effect 3 - I didn't even imagine the ending was considered "bad" by some until I read it on Gaf. The game oozes quality, from the visuals, to the OST and refined gameplay. I felt like it was a more than fitting conclusion to the epic series.

2. X-Com Enemy Unknown
3. Xenoblade Chronicles
4. Torchlight II
5. Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP
6. Closure
7. Rayman Origins
8. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
9. Sine Mora


Aug 1, 2009
Way too early for me to vote. This should be interesting to read though, I can't really guess what will win unlike most years.

Yeah, I think that I've only played eight 2012 releases total so far. I've spent more time going back and working on older games (The Binding of Isaac, Ghost Trick, Bayonetta, Final Fantasy V, Bulletstorm...), which is finally starting to cut into my backlog.
Sep 24, 2011
  1. Binary Domain
  2. New Super Mario Bros. 2
  3. New Super Mario Bros. U
  4. Nintendo Land
  5. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
  6. Trine 2: Director's Cut
  7. Planetside 2
  8. The Secret World
2011: Minecraft
Oct 8, 2009
1. Guild Wars 2
It has to be this game. It is quite simply, the most brave persistent online world I have seen since Star Wars Galaxies, almost a decade ago. But unlike that game, GW2 is exceptional. It's not without flaws, and like all great online games it's best played with good people.

2. Planetside 2
The game has done, what people said couldn't be done. They have created a real feeling of war in a computergame. PS2 only scratches the surface of what MMOFPS games can become, but for now - its guuuud.

3. Max Payne 3
I felt his plight, and his payne. It's not all bald Max. There is still New York Max in there, and that part is great too.

4. Hotline Miami

5. Sleeping Dogs
Cute overworld game. The next game needs to opt the anty but it was a good tryout. Martial Arts elements save it from being boring.


Fallen Xbot (cannot continue gaining levels in this class)
Jun 7, 2004
rayman origins was this year!? oops, off to edit my list

Oct 22, 2008
9) Tales of Graces f (PS3)
While many people complain about the slow beginning where you play as the main cast when they were younger, I felt this really helped the story tremendously by providing proper context for the tale that later unfolded. Combined with the best battle system the Tales of series has seen, and it's a winner!

The kid arc was really peoples complaints? I thought it worked well and kind of wish it lasted a bit longer. It really felt like much flowed well together, a good tell of friendship, courage, and determination there as well, and even some mystery.


bish gets all the credit :)
Sep 25, 2005
My list isn't ready, but it's going to be year of the downloadable game.


Apr 4, 2007
1 - Max Payne 3 ; Liked the character, the settings, the visuals, the mechanics... Liked it a lot.
2 - Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D ; I had never played it before. It is now one of my all time favorites and it played perfectly on the 3DS.
3 - Motorstorm: RC ; I cannot believe this is a portable game. So polished and tight controls.
4 - PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale ; Another polished and fun game (where it counts who cares about ugly menus).
5 - Rayman Origins ; Another excellent vita game. Better than Mario in most regards.
6 - FIFA 13 ; Incredible gameplay which is all that matters...
7 - Gravity Rush ; Pretty nice world and a showcase for the vita.
8 - Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning ; Really liked the gameplay and the looting aspect.
9 - Sleeping dogs - Batman combat, nice looking city.
9 - New Super Mario Bros. 2 ; Fun while it lasted. Really short unless you did the coin rush which I didn't.


Jul 27, 2010
I have a question: Will Jak & Daxter HD Collection and Ratchet & Clank Collection will be disqualified from contention (like God of War Origins & ICO/Shadow of the Colossus Collection was last year)?

I'll have a list ready at/near the deadline. There's been more digital downloads and handheld releases that are really good compared to 2011 & 2010 IMO (Dustforce, They Bleed Pixels & Mark of the Ninja will have a place on my list).


Jul 10, 2012
Derry, Northern Ireland
1 - The Walking Dead: A few have tried, but Telltale has really nailed the episodic structure for games (not even Valve could do it right somewhat). But that's not the point. What it did was provide such a rich story that is so brilliant. And for someone who hasn't watched the TV show or read the comics, it really is something brilliant.

2 - Journey
3 - Mass Effect 3
4 - Forza Horizon
5 - Trials Evolution
6 - Max Payne 3
7 - Sleeping Dogs
8 - Call of Duty Black Ops 2
9 - XCOM: Enemy Unknown
10 - Gravity Rush
x - Far Cry 3
x - Halo 4

I'll come back to this to add more comments when/if I get a chance.


May 9, 2011
1. The Walking Dead ; Easily the best and one of the only few true highlights of a massively depressing and terrible gaming year. I know there are a lot of people with the rather disappointing view that this shouldn't win because "it's not a game", yet most AAA games that will get picked by these people in place of this has equally shallow gameplay. They try to focus on linear story telling but they have the writing talent of a 14 year old who's only writing because he's bored in science class. Walking Dead does what almost no AAA can do, tell a good story and one that doesn't insult my intelligence. No other game this year stuck with me and made me think about it like this did.

2. Crusader Kings 2 ; An insanely deep and addictive character based game that lets you rule a dynasty like few games attempt. It's enhanced by an event system that can make pretty humorous but intricate things happen at times when you're least prepared. Murder your sister and her kids if you want, or sleep with her if that rocks your socks. Watch out for your midget brother or he might try to steal your kingdom from under your nose. You can die out of nowhere and your 5 year old daughter can have control of your entire kingdom. Anything can happen.

3. Mark of the Ninja ; This really impressed me as I initially passed it off as another indie/arcade title that Gaf hyped up to high heaven. But it really is the best pure stealth game released since 2006. Tons of different paths in every level and different skills that you can only unlock by exploring the environment and completing optional objectives, so it rewards you the more you do and the better you play.

4. Xcom Enemy Unknown ; One of the more interesting strategy games to release in recent years. The combat part of the game is a bit simplistic for my tastes although on higher difficulties it does get pretty hard and random but combined with the base management that makes you make extremely tough decisions with limited supplies it turned into a really great game.

5. Spec Ops: The Line ; A very late addition to the list as I just finished playing it on christmas day. This is one of the more unique TPS shooters I've played this generation that wasn't called Uncharted. It's an extremely brutal military shooter that allows you to do truly terrible things under the guise of the greater good but at the same time it taunts the player with loading screen messages like "are you having fun yet? Do you feel like the hero?". Watching the main character's mental state gradually degrade through the game was another unique and impressive feat.

6. Uncharted Golden Abyss ; It's the best looking game on Vita and while the story and pacing aren't on par with Naughty Dog standards Bend still did a really nice job at putting the Uncharted experience on handheld. Almost nothing from the game was neutered or taken out to fit on Vita and in fact they greatly enhanced the collectibles portion of the game over Naughty Dogs'. Each collectible has a description or mini story behind it and many of them have a minigame that utilizes the Vita's many features (or gimmicks depending on how you look at it). It's a much more intriguing system than just walking to a spot and picking it up like you do in ND's Uncharteds.

7. Sleeping Dogs ; This only came on to my radar shortly before this year's E3 and it mostly delivered on what it promised. It did not have enough side content but it was a very solid GTA-like game with the best melee system of those kinds of games.

8. Borderlands 2; I don't feel like this has as much replayability as the first game did, partly because the first game was so unique at the time but I greatly enjoyed my first time through. Handsome Jack was a really good villain and kept me entertained for most of the game. The guns feel and sound a lot better and the loot system is a bit better than the first game's.

9. Gravity Rush ; Another surprise for me as I was not expecting to like this much. I got it for free from playstation plus and was blown away by the art style and how much detail is packed into the cities in this. The gravity mechanic was tough to master but rewarding once I learned it. Really underrated game on here.

10. Dishonored ; This barely makes my list because I had insanely high hopes for it and it turned out to disappoint in almost every way. The stealth is sub par, the difficulty is non existent, the level design is trash outside of a few levels. That being said it's still a solid game in its own way, just a bit disappointing considering the people behind it. If this wasn't the worst year in gaming history then it likely wouldn't have made my list at all.

Honorable Mention

Far Cry 3- Even though the game is only good for 1/3-1/4 of the time it lasts it's still pretty fun. Doing most of the content in the game is fun for the first few times, the game's problem is that each type of content in the game goes on 20 or 30 times.
Sep 14, 2011
1. Xenoblade Chronicles ; When you combine a great story with memorable characters, great voice acting (English and Japanese), a fun combat system, an incredible soundtrack, and set it in a vast, beautiful world, you deserve GoTY. Xenoblade is truly an amazing game that lived up to the hype.

2. DoTA 2 ; Icefrog and Valve joined forces and they make a great team.

3. SMITE ; Combining the MOBA genre with action gameplay is quite a feat. Hi-Rez has a rather sketchy track record, but I really hope they get it right in terms of balance and support this time around. But, for the most part, SMITE has been a joy to play in 2012.

...I don't have anything more for this list. ;_;


May 23, 2011
Melbourne, Australia
1. Halo 4; It has its back end issues, but being more of a single player guy, 343 basically nailed it. Stunning visuals and they perfected the feel of Halo. Great campaign with plenty of variety. I actually love the MP too.

2. Mark of the Ninja; Possibly the best 2D game I've ever played. Its the game I literally dreamt about playing as a kid. what I thought games would be in the future, no joke. Not sure I've ever been so overjoyed playing a videogame.

3. Dust An Elysian Tale; beautiful hand drawn visuals and a surprisingly engaging story with gameplay that rewards exploration

i didn't play much new this year.


May 8, 2009
1.The Walking Dead ; Surprise of the year for me, amazing experience and so depressing. :(
2.Mass Effect 3 ; Flawed ending, but still a thoroughly enjoyable game.
3.Devil Survivor 2 ; Great RPG.
4.The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (360) ; Great RPG.
5.Assassin's Creed 3 ; Not the best in the series (that's Brotherhood) but fun.
6.New Super Mario Bros 2 ; Good platformer.
7.Dishonored ; cool game.


Unconfirmed Member
Dec 12, 2007
1. Sleeping Dogs; Reminded me of the fun I used to have with GTA.
2. Dragon's Dogma; Definitely the biggest surprise of the year. Would have been number one if it wasn't for the technical problems.
3. Atelier Meruru
4. Borderlands 2
5. Under Defeat HD
6. Lollipop Chainsaw
7. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
8. Tokyo Jungle
9. Pandora's Tower
10. Akai Katana Shin


Jul 19, 2007
1. XCOM: Enemy Unknown ; Playing on ironman, at least. I'm not sure if I would've liked it so much on normal but experiences like meeting a Berserker for the first time and having him tear apart all my best guys in a turn, sending me right back to the start, was great.
2. Spec Ops: The Line
3. FTL: Faster Than Light
4. Hotline Miami
5. The Walking Dead
6. Journey
7. Far Cry 3
8. Black Mesa
9. Rayman Origins
10. Dishonored

2011. Avadon: The Black Fortress


Nov 7, 2011
Oh good, deadline's still a ways off. I have to finish Walking Dead, among other things ;_;


Jun 6, 2012
1. Kid Icarus Uprising ; Absolutely incredible game, in my top 3 games of all time. The characters, the gameplay, the multiplayer, the acheivements, the 3D. Gorgeous game that everyone should play.

2. Gravity Rush ; I love Kat so much. In a normal year this game would probably easily get my vote for GOTY, but KI:U is so incredible. Feels like an Anime and plays like nothing I've ever played before. It has lackluster moments, but the overall experience makes me forget them instantly.

3. Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward ; I recently finished this game. Oh my god. What an experience, just an amazing story.

4. Playstation All Stars Battle Royale ; This game is so fun with friends, just a blast. I'm happy that Sony has their own Smash-type game and I feel it works so fluidly. The singleplayer is alright, but I feel the years of play time I'll have with this until the sequel (or at least the next smash) make it deserve this No. 4 spot.

5. Resident Evil: Revelations ; I almost forgot about this one! Fun little game which really shows off the 3DS' muscle and ability to create suspenseful envioronments

6. The Walking Dead ; Ehhh. It's my Number 6. I didn't get the overwhelming hype for this game, it's great, but it's not AMAZING.

7. Rayman Origins ; Fun little platformer. Good game, but the swimming sections bored me to tears. I'm also not a fan of not being punished for my deaths.

8. Rhythm Theif and the Emperor's Tresure ; Nice characters, medium game. I'm happy to put it on my list.

9. Pokemon Black/White 2 ; Same pokemon formula with a little less class. It feels like the worst pokemon game, which still makes it a fun distraction.

10. Wipeout 2048 ; I'm not sure if I actually enjoyed this one, but I've spent quite a few hours playing it so there must be something to it.

2011 LTTP
Zelda Skyward Sword - What an incredible game
Jan 15, 2006
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
1. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning ; The game is too easy but it looks great, has a big open world to explore, great combat, decent story, and lots to do. I almost forgot this came out this year but looking back it was easily the most fun I had with a game. It's a shame the studio had to end the way it did.
2. Assassin's Creed 3 ; The game has a lot of technical issues and Connor isn't as interesting as Ezio was, but the homestead building, frontier exploring, and naval battles make it my favourite AC game so far. A lot more polish and there would be no contest for GOTY.
3. Mass Effect 3 ; The ending was disappointing, the side quests were embarrassingly bad, but it's still Mass Effect and the series is easily in my top 5 for this gen. It's certainly the best playing ME game and the multiplayer is actually quite good.
4. XCOM: Enemy Unknown ; I never played the original games but the demo got me hooked. One of the best strategy games i've ever played and a level of preparation required that few games ask of you.
5. PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale ; The game needed another few months of work as the menus/interface are poor and roster is a bit disappointing. However, the characters that are included are good, stages are great, and gameplay is rock solid. Completing everything takes a while but there isn't much variety in the modes. It's a good start so hopefully Superbot gets a chance to make a great sequel because the foundation is really good.
6. The Walking Dead ; One of the best adventure games i've played. I love the books and the TV show and the game does a great job of creating another worthy story for the franchise. The characters and writing are fantastic and provided some of the most shocking and emotional moments I've had as a gamer.
7. Halo 4 ; It's Halo. I'm not into it as much as I was during Halo 3 but it's still a solid FPS series that rarely disappoints. Played it a bit safe but the multiplayer is still a great time.
8. Persona 4: Golden ; I don't have a Vita but Persona 4 is one of the best games ever made so have some free points for the improved port.
9. Twisted Metal ; A worthy sequel to Playstation's longest running series. A bit disappointing that they took the focus away from characters/story and focused more on the vehicles but the gameplay is solid and multiplayer is some of the most fun you can have online this year.
10. Nintendo Land ; Can't really think of anything else I played this year. I guess my 1 hour with Nintendo Land will have to do. It's alright I guess. Needed online play.


Jun 4, 2011
1. Dragon's Dogma ; The sense of adventure, warped story at the end, and variety in gameplay make it a hard one to top for me. Love it.

2. Far Cry 3 ; It's like like playing a game like Uncharted in first person, only you are allowed to go off in to an open world full of danger and do what you want. Super fun game.

3. Journey ; More than a game for me. It makes me think about the trials, tribulations and beauty that can be discovered on the journey of life. It also made me a firm believer in quality over quantity, despite the fact that I still love my big, open world games.

x. Dishonored ; Have to mention this for the sheer variety in gameplay, and the immaculate first person perspective it offers. An amazing game that very much deserves to be in the conversation.


Apr 11, 2011
1. Max Payne 3 - As a hardcore fan of the originals back when they both first released, I'm one of the very few that believe R* really hit it out of the park in terms of taking Max into their own hands and crafting their own unique vision for him. It's the best looking and most fun TPS I've ever played, the acting is superb and the soundtrack is phenonmenal.

2. Sleeping Dogs - It completely caught me off guard, but once I heard most of the team was behind making R*'s "Bully" I was onboard completely. The corrupted world of Wei Shen sucked me right in and became the third Platinum trophy I've ever obtained, along with setting world records to certain missions. It was a perfect way to end the summer.

3. Binary Domain - My first jump into Nagoshi territory and what a blast this turned out to be. A perfect example of under the radar sci fi goodness that was missed by too many and played by too few.

4. Lollipop Chainsaw - I've been a Suda fan since Killer7 and his games have never once disappointed me. LC was so refreshing and the 90ish satirical look at the zombie apocalypse through the eyes of a truly out of the ordinary female lead was a great change of pace.


Feb 25, 2010
Ok, here we go, like in the other threads, this is WIP
update 1: ok, I knew Analogue was gonna make it to my list, so rushed through it and there it is.
update 2: banners up!
update 3: thanks to GiantEnemyGoomba for pointing out I had fucked up the format



Two things I've noticed about my GOTY list. The first would that there's a lot of negatives made in all of the games' explanations. That's basically because I've been disappointed by all the games I was excited for, except Dark Souls. Dishonored and X-COM didn't live up to what they were trying to modernize, and there just wasn't enough good in the year, for the list to be full of praise and joy. I've been fortunately surprised by many games I didn't expect to love, like Spec Ops, Hotline Miami, etc., but my dreams of a good Max Payne 3 and Mass Effect 3 were shattered and Dishonored just didn't (couldn't) live up to my hype.

The second thing is that there's a lot of story focus into my picks. I've realized that while this year has been disappointing in many aspects, I've found myself experiencing love, dread, friendship, camp, surrealism, guilt and more. And I've left out so-called emotional games like Mass Effect 3, Max Payne 3 and The Walking Dead because for all their strengths (or lack of thereof, in Max Payne 3's case) I think they conveyed their stories in a disingenuous way and are just movies in disguise. The ones that stuck, though, like Hotline: Miami, Alan Wake and Spec Ops, deserve all the more praise for blending traditional and unconventional storytelling and doing it with excellence.

The List

1. Dark Souls (PC) ; Another great Souls game, made even better by perfect 60 FPS, 1080p and amazing DLC. The design is refined to perfection, the bonfire system is one of the most clever mechanics in modern game design, solving literally everything that was wrong in Demon's, while enhancing the experience tenfold. The Souls series remains to be the most exciting thing to come out of this generation and like I said a million times before, developers, please copy the Souls' series design sensibilities!

2. Spec Ops: The Line ; Spec Ops: The Line is a very important game, like Dark Souls is for difficulty and sense of mystery and exploration in games, an exponent that AAA videogames are capable of tackling difficult subject matters and to do it with a great amount of ethics and confidence. It represents so much for games I just can't help but be marveled at it.

3. Hotline: Miami ; Just what an indie experience is supposed to be: smart, subversive, thought-provoking, insane. Soundtrack of the year, and a hell of an adrenaline-rush. RockPaperShotgun was right, Hotline: Miami makes you feel like a god.

4. Lone Survivor ; Twin Peaks meets Silent Hill, with a soundtrack to make Akira Yamaoka jealous. Just like Hotline: Miami, it gets all the indie requirements right, but it tumbles a bit on some annoying sections, and unlike Hotline: Miami, it just doesn't fully live up to its potential.

5. Alan Wake (PC) ; Twin Peaks meets Max Payne, again proving that like mayo, Twin Peaks goes with everything. In a year in which we actually saw Rockstar misunderstand everything about Max Payne and crash and burn it to the ground, I was relieved to find out that Max's spirit was still alive and well in Remedy's Alan Wake. The pacing is broken at spots, but it's bursting with personality and the story is super engaging.

6. Analogue: A Hate Story (PC) ; Can't believe it took me a whole year to get around playing this, having loved Digital to death. Once again, Christine Love writes really powerful, smart, touching, impressive stuff. Hate Plus, I dunno how I feel about that, but I continue to have high expectations for everything she pulls out.

7. X-COM: Enemy Unknown ; The gameplay loop worked in 1994, it still works in 2012. Streamlining did it more good than bad, but bugs, balance issues and inconsistency on its mechanics meant it's not really up there with the original. It's the best X-COM we could've gotten in this day and age, and hopefully a sign of things to come, specially in face of crimes against nature such as the Syndicate FPS.

8. Dishonored ; I'm unfortunately disappointed with Dishonored. I wanted to love it, I really did, but something about it didn't quite click with me. In any case, it's what passes for a modern incarnation of Thief, and that's reason enough to be commended. I just want to go through it again, and find out how to love it.

9. The Darkness II ; This game surprised me, big time. There's an actual sweet love story in between all the carnage and gore, and it's just so refreshing to watch, it completely made the game for me. But the carnage and gore do make for some fun, and the length is just fine, with a suiting ending, even if it's a cliffhanger. It's unfortunately a weird half-interesting half-banal affair, with systems that go nowhere (upgrading, co-op) and an overall scaling down from the original game. I have zero tolerance for sequels with crippled ambition.

10. Binary Domain ; Sheer dumb fun, listening to Big Bo cheese everything he says and does, and watching robots get torn to threads just triggers all my good endorphins. You exhaust it in a playthrough and that's about it, but it makes for a hell of a weekend.

x. Stacking ; I liked this game in paper more than I enjoyed its implementation. It's my favorite from Double Fine's downloadable extravaganza, but I feel it didn't encourage me to experiment enough, or that experimenting wasn't as fun as I hoped for. Also I just adore the aesthetic.

2011. To The Moon ; Sadly and to my surprise this came in 2011 instead of 2012, so as much as it pains me, no prize for Saint's Row: The Third. To The Moon is a beautiful game that deals with loss, regret, love, friendship, dreams, loneliness, autism, and it does it in just like two hours. And it's confident and manages to also be funny and have a terribly charming pair of protagonists, and it's made in freaking RPG Maker. Amazing.


Apr 27, 2008
Subscribed. I'm going to make my list after Christmas, and let's just say that this will be the Year of the Anti-AAA.


Jan 19, 2008
1. Diablo 3 ; no definitive GOTY for me this year, but this is the best of the bunch
2. Halo 4 ; gorgeous
3. Mass Effect 3 ; I hope the next game is more RPGish and less shooter
4. Journey ; a unique experience
5. New Super Mario Bros. U ; hopefully a sign of great things to come on the Wii-U
6. Wipeout 2048 ; how can Sony shut this studio down? grrr
7. Uncharted: Golden Abyss ; can never get enough Drake


Oct 19, 2005
1.) World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria - Their best expansion yet.
2.) Mass Effect 3 - What a great game, so much complaining about the end *shrugs*.
3.) Borderlands 2 - best cel shade game ever, loads of fun.
4.) Halo 4 - most graphically impressive game of the year.
5.) Diablo 3 - loved it until I found I had to buy my loot.
6.) The Walking Dead - Best Tell Tale game yet.
7.) XCOM: Enemy Unknown - Fun but brutal.
8.) Dishonored - Surprised by it so far.
9.) Mark of the Ninja - Best downloadable game of the year by far.
10.) Dust An Elysian Tale - Really impressive for one guy to have done.


Sep 21, 2009
The Burning Desert
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Don't call it a comeback. I've been filling Mutons with hot plasma for years.
This is how you modernize a beloved series and not alienate the original fanbase.
Even the completely secondary multiplayer is thoroughly enjoyable. G.O.T.Y.

Mark of the Ninja
So, you want to be a ninja you say? Don't believe the Ryu Hayabusa hype!
Here's how it really goes, if they see you, you're already dead.

Soul Calibur 5
An epic return to form. Great Netcode, Expansive character editor, excellent offline and online.
Marred only by the overly expensive and prematurely truncated editor DLC.

Tekken Tag Tournament 2
A fitting end to this Tekken cycle, here's everyone, playable in every way, from everywhere.
Bonus points for the huge FU to paid DLC by Harada.

Sine Mora
Here's an indy doing it all right. Even the subtitled Hungarian adds to the narrative oddity.
Since Konami doesn't seem to care about Gradius any more, here's the next best thing.

Kinect Party
Fun, distilled, and free for a limited time.
Apr 12, 2011
Cleveland, OH
Glad I can mention a few. As I never can settle on only one GOTY.

Dragon's Dogma - The sense of adventure, warped story at the end, and variety in gameplay make it a hard one to top for me. Love it.

Far Cry 3 - It's like like playing a game like Uncharted in first person, only you are allowed to go off in to an open world full of danger and do what you want. Super fun game.

Journey - More than a game for me. It makes me think about the trials, tribulations and beauty that can be discovered on the journey of life. It also made me a firm believer in quality over quantity, despite the fact that I still love my big, open world games.

Edit and number the picks


Feb 17, 2012
Will post my list later but I'm disappointed I can't put DayZ on it,

It's easily the second best game I've played all year and the one I've spent the most amount of time on by far


Neo Member
May 20, 2011
One of the worst years in gaming for me, personally...

1. THEATRHYTHM: Final Fantasy - Favorite aspect of any game is it's music (when it's good). Majority of my favorite tunes over the years have come from Nobuo. This was a no-brainer purchase and in fact the reason I purchased a 3DS this year. 70+ hours later and all the DLC purchased, it's also a no-brainer GOTY for me.
2. Borderlands 2 - More Borderlands. More variety of environments. More personality. Had it just been more of the same, it probably still would have been my #2 GOTY.
3. Mutant Mudds - One of the most satisfying feelings I had all year was when I finally completed a stage I'd been attempting to beat ~50 times prior. Only to repeat the process for the next stage.
4. Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance - Best combat in the entire series. And once you get the hang of all the other "systems," it becomes far more entertaining.
5. New Super Mario Bros. 2 - I really just feel like I need to at least make a top 5 for this year. And even though this was more of the same and was 100%'d within a week (never got a million coins though), it was still a lot of fun.

LTTP: Super Mario 3D Land


Nov 7, 2011
I haven't actually played that many new games this year.

1. Spec Ops: The Line ; This is how you do a videogame narrative people. The combat is frustrating, horrific, elegant and stylish all at once. The game dares to take the absurdity of the modern shooter and place it within a context that lifts the veil on the misplaced notion that shooting can ever be a productive, or healthy, way of resolving the narrative disequilibrium. Perhaps the most interesting videogame narrative since Silent Hill 2.

2. Journey ; Really sensual experience. Kind of like Slimy Spring Galaxy turned into a two-hour game. Loved the replayability of it. The first time I was the uninitiated liability being guided by the seasoned player. By my fourth time round I was now the teacher. Loved the scarf/upgrading/flying/collectibles/secrets too.

3. Halo 4 ; Great fun. The pacing was a bit uneven at times and I had no idea what was going on but I enjoyed the characters. Beautiful game as well. Perhaps more-so than Journey. Lets hope 343 have the balls to stick with their guns and we don't get Halo 5: The Search for Spock.

4. Kid Icarus Uprising ; Nintendo continues to do their own thing. And I can't help but love them for it. What a rich and wonderful game. It also proves that they do have the capability for great voice acting direction post Metroid: Other M.

5. Black Mesa ; Straight-up enviable work from a rag-tag team with little cash-flow. The fact that it took nearly a decade to be made and still came together so well is really admirable. Enjoyed the revisions and changes the team made too.

6. The Walking Dead (Episodes 1-3 so far) ; Less of a game than Journey, but thoroughly engaging. Not a fan of illusionary choice systems though and sometimes the options at your disposal aren't so transparent in regards to dialogue, interfacing etc.

7. Mass Effect 3 ; Aside from the absolutely putrid ending and some other questionable story choices I remember thinking up until the last hour or-so that this was a pretty great game. Definitely the best of the trilogy when considering the games as third-person shooters. Unfortunately the ending has put me off returning to do the trilogy over as Fem-shep as I had planned before.

2011. Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Slick.
Super Mario 3D Land - Not as good as the galaxies, but still a pretty darn great game.
Resident Evil 2 - Kind of get the hype I guess. Still think REmake is the best of the traditional Resident Evils.
Flower - Really dug this.
Vagrant Story - Slow. Although I've come to expect this from Matsuno.