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


Nov 16, 2006
Cheesemeister and his parser are harsh masters. If you were too lazy to make a comment, didn't bother to read the OP, are too stupid to follow instructions, deliberately ignored them or just plain old forgot and made a mistake in formatting - GAF doesn't want your opinion counted.

boom. I approve.

Well, technically, because of the "as possible" clause, unless you have some keyboard limitation that prevents you from typing semicolons, it's doubtful that anyone who made that mistake followed it "as closely as possible".
:lol out-semantic'd


May 20, 2009
Gaf usually has parity with the media outlets on these issues which isn't surprising since this voting is basically a popularity contest and the media generally picks the most mainstream and most popular games of the year. Their coverage often encourages people to try games out as well, increasing the player base for those titles by their own work. Thus, those games that are played by the most people will stand the greatest chance to win the vote.

Gaf will often prop up the odd title that's overlooked by most places, though, and actually going through the thread you can find some interesting titles that might not otherwise be covered elsewhere.

The thing is, TWD and Journey may be big for downloadable titles, but they are still relatively niche. The gaming media this year hasn't been going with what's most popular else we would be seeing ME3, AC3, BLOPS2, ect. winning all of the awards.

I will agree that the media has been heavily endorsing downloadable/indie titles all year which would explain their rise in popularity among those that frequent gaming media sites or listen to their podcast's.

T.M. MacReady

Aug 23, 2007
1. Journey ; When I look back on this whole generation, Journey will be the game I tell everyone they need to play. An incredible achievement.
2. Dishonored; A better Assassin's Creed game than all the Assassin's Creed games managed to be.
3. Need for Speed: Most Wanted
4. Assassin's Creed 3
5. SSX
6. Wipeout 2048
7. Spec Ops: The Line
8. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
9. Tekken Tag Tournament 2
10. Sound Shapes
x. Borderlands 2
x. The Walking Dead

2011. Infamous 2

Unfortunately missed out on Far Cry 3. Didn't get around to it, busy holidays.


May 29, 2012
1. Max Payne 3; By far the best gunplay i have ever encountered in any shooter, physics and animation are taken to another level by Rockstar. Wonderfully detailed graphics, incredible sound (Health!!), Max oneliners and a decent story complete the experience.

2. Journey; Just a beautiful game.

3. Trials Evolution; Pure old school fun.

4. Binary Domain; The robot enemies are the star of this game, extremely satisfying to blow them to pieces. I like the goofy characters and the style in general, decent gameplay overall.

5. X-Com Enemy Unknown; I play on easy, have no idea what i´m doing and get owned by the aliens try after try. Still can´t stop. Top game.

6. Halo 4; Incredible graphics for a 360 game, top notch controls and shooting mechanics, fun multiplayer and solid campaign.

7. The Unfinished Swan; Hit a nerve, enjoyed the style and the wonderful music. A bit short.

8. Dishonored; Only played a few hours so far but i like what i see, beautiful artstyle, the sneaking and the combat are fun.

9. Ghost Recon Future Soldier; Enjoyed the combination of stealth and action.

10. Metal Gear Solid HD Collection; Yeah it´s just an HD update, but still, it´s MGS so it has to be on my list, love the series to death.


Jun 1, 2011
Depends on the person, but from an "official" point of view, yes, it's fine. If you played 10 hours of XCOM and it was the best 10 hours of a game you played this year, no reason not to vote for it.

I do have a few games I played a decent amount that I'll put in since I don't have 10 finished games anyway. Thank you for the response.

(Sadly I haven't got around to XCOM yet.)


May 20, 2009
01. Persona 4: Golden; Worth buying a Vita for, even if you already played the original and watched the Endurance Run.
02. SSX
03. Persona 4 Arena
04. Mark of the Ninja
05. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2
06. Resident Evil 6
07. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy
08. Dishonored
09. Dyad
10. Assassin's Creed 3: Liberation

2011. Deus Ex: Human Revolution


Oct 19, 2010
Sample Ballot
Please follow this format as closely as possible. This lets us avoid significant problems with the parser.

1. Game A ; Your thoughts on Game A.
2. Game B ; Your thoughts on Game B.
3. Game C ; Your thoughts on Game C.
4. Game D ; Your thoughts on Game D.
5. Game E ; Your thoughts on Game E.
6. Game F ; Your thoughts on Game F.
7. Game G ; Your thoughts on Game G.
8. Game H ; Your thoughts on Game H.
9. Game I ; Your thoughts on Game I.
10. Game J ; Your thoughts on Game J.
x. Game K ; Your thoughts on Honorable Mention Game K.
x. Game L ; Your thoughts on Honorable Mention Game L.

2011. Game M ; Your thoughts on Game M from 2011.


nel e nel

Dec 6, 2010
Girls can be bros too!
1. Borderlands 2 ; This comes in at the top almost more because of the sheer amount of time I've put into this game, and have continued to do so since I recently purchased the season pass. The work they've put into the DLC is pretty mind-blowing as well. I can't believe how large Pirate Booty is, and there are still 2 more to come.

2. Mass Effect 3 ; I'm in the same mind as Brad Shoemaker, where I'm recognizing the series as a whole (a la the Oscars with Return of the King) instead of just this installment. Feelings on the ending aside, Bioware attempted something extremely ambitious and I feel for the most part were very successful.

3. The Walking Dead ; Only 3 episodes in, and while I see all the mechanical problems that I've heard/read about, it's still a great experience, and I am eagerly looking forward to finishing the story. (and possibly starting a fresh run making different decisions)

4. Silent Hill: Downpour ; What a pleasant surprise! Having never played any Silent Hill games, I really didn't have any compass for which to gauge this title. It seriously piqued my interest in the franchise, but unfortunately the problems with the HD remake collection will have me waiting for the next installment.

5. Assassin's Creed 3 ; Similar to Mass Effect, this is again more of recognition of the series so far than just this particular release. Sure, it lacked the level of polish the previous releases had, but the core gameplay of parkour and stabbing was still intact and super fun. My feeling is that this title suffered more from a change in leadership with Patrick Desilets' absence than anything else. Add to the fact that the series has not experienced the same jump in quality like it did between 1 & 2, and I think it underwhelmed a lot more than it should have.

6. Alan Wake's American Nightmare ; I loved the original Alan Wake so much, and this was a great example of how 'more of the same' is NOT a bad thing. I quietly wonder if Remedy had released the original as a series of downloadable episodes if they would have beaten Telltale Games to the punch.

7. Deadlight ; A great little 3D sidescrolling puzzle platformer, reminiscent of Shadow Complex (minus the Metroid/Zelda backtracking to unlock inaccessible areas). Some slightly unorthodox control scheme choices makes for some mild frustrations here and there, but all in all a well done story and a fun game.

8. Asura's Wrath ; Just finished this one up this morning (minus the DLC episodes), and wow, what a wild ride. So angry. So bombastic. So awesome.

9. Binary Domain ; I had way more fun with this than I probably should have. It had all the makings for a mediocre 3rd person shooter experience, but somehow the whole ended up being greater than the sum of its parts. The over-the-top dudebros, the squad system, the upgrading system and the great story twist at the end made for a super fun experience that I would highly recommend.

10. Syndicate ; A really fun game that I think was marred by what seems to be typical gamer backlash against reboots of older, beloved games. This was another one that looked to be a 'meh' kind of experience, but actually ended up being a lot of fun, especially considering the well worn futuristic corporate dystopia milieu that the game was set in. I think if more people had played this, they wouldn't have been as butthurt about Mass Effect 3's ending. (Yeah, it was pretty bad.) I'm also sorry there wasn't more people playing the multi-player, it was great fun that petered out too quickly.

2011. Catherine ; In all fairness, this should probably be up around #4, but I the rules are the rules. The way that Vincent's behavior in the 'real world' was reflected in the nightmare sequences was brilliant. Really, an almost perfect example of gameplay feedback loops.


May 4, 2006
San Francisco
Syndicate was this year? Holy shit.

Just got it last week and have been really digging it. Need to try the co-op mode, but the campaign gunplay/breaching alone is good enough to warrant at least a honorable mention.


Nov 18, 2004
1. Kid Icarus uprising ; An instant Nintendo classic
2. XCOM: Enemy Unknown ; As good as the original
3. Xenoblade chronicles ; Best jrp ever?
4. Mark of the Ninja
5. New super mario bros u
6. Nintendo land
7. Borderlands 2
8. Halo 4


Feb 1, 2007
The frontrunners are the same as those in all the other media GOTY lists: Journey and The Walking Dead. Aggregate GAF is no different than any other major outlet. I think IGN and GAF even had the same GOTY three years in a row haha.

The alignment of IGN's and GAF's tastes has been blowing my mind for at least a day now.


Sep 20, 2009
meant to catch up with games over the christmas/new year but haven't been in the mood so have come to terms that i'm going to have to settle with these games.

1. journey ; beautiful piece of minimalist storytelling elevated by the novel brilliance of its wordless multiplayer which created a connection with another player that i've never had before and used the medium in a very clever way. team ico-esque in their absence.
2. kid icarus: uprising ; the kind of fresh and original feeling game that nintendo should be doing more of. filled with personality in its writing and stage designs, tons of content, lots of freedom to mess around with and while the difficulty curve with the controls is steep, when you learn them the ground combat is very fast paced and entertaining and the starfox rail stuff is excellent throughout.
3. velocity ; takes the snappy gameplay of a 2d vertical shooter and redefines it as part shmup part action platforming game part puzzle game and it's brilliant. filled with variety, a wealth of design ideas and so much content for the price. there's a lot of interesting story based games this year but this is great just for its gameplay design
4. gravity rush ; sorta a more than the sum of its parts type thing here. yeah there's problems with it, but the stunningly beautiful ghibli-esque fantasy world was so enjoyable to spend time in, the traversal mechanics so entertaining and the main character kat so well realized and unlike most protagonists in games i was hooked. reminded me how much i love the ability of games to transport me to a place.
5. binary domain ; excellent combat thanks to the nice controls, amazing enemy designs with how they react to being shot at by falling apart and the strategic aspects of that dismemberment creates a more open feel for this genre. marry that with characters like cain and big bo that are so much fun and a well done sci-fi setting and it's hard not to love it despite the few rough edges.
6. lumines electronic symphony ; had good times returning to this puzzle favourite. looks and sounds amazing on the vita and the changes to the gameplay reduced the stress of previous games by making it easier to reduce the size allowing me to focus on being absorbed into it. it's amazing how this can make a three hour train journey just dissapear.
7. super hexagon ; simple arcadey twitch perfection that burned the music into my brain forever. my favourite aspect was how it ramped up the speed and made going back to these previously insane levels seem so relaxed and easy. controls let me down occasionally though as i missed the screen and i stopped after a couple of weeks.
8. the walking dead ; i'm not quite as enamored by this as the rest of the gaming world but i certainly enjoyed it, particularly the expertly crafted episode 3 and it's rare to see character writing in a game quite this good. lee and clementine were so well done.
9. ziggurat ; the other twitchy ios game i was addicted by this year. if i'd heard before that tim rodgers was to make a game the last thing i'd have expected was a concise gem like this focusing on nailing a few fundamentals with its amazing charging system, smooth aiming and clever ramp up of enemy types. few moments in gaming this year matched the bit when the sun hit the middle of the hill, the music changed into a really rocking number and you felt in control of the emerging chaos.
10. sound shapes ; an annoyingly slight game single player but its highs are so good that it's hard to dismiss. aesthetically just amazing, man i love the look of the game, with some good platforming moments, the highlight being the first beck level which i've come back to so many times.

2011. bulletstorm ; this game is such a fucking rush. the speed is absolutely wonderful, the guns all feel amazing and it's surprisingly beautiful. it's also a very tightly constructed in single player and the trick shots encouraging you to mess around keeps things fresh throughout. can't believe it took me so long to play it.


Illness is the doctor to whom we pay most heed; to kindness, to knowledge, we make promise only; pain we obey.
Apr 27, 2006
1. Journey ; The only game this generation to make the most out of the hardware and infrastructure technological advances has granted us. One of the few games that couldn't be achieved before this generation and it does so flawlessly.

2. Max Payne 3 ; The best soundtrack since Vice City and the best action game since Red Dead Redemption. At its lowest it's just a really good action game; at its best it's one of the most intense action game I've played.

3. Middle Manager of Justice ; This year's iOS game. Double Fine nails the f2p genre with charm, wit and excellent art direction.

4. Tokyo Jungle ; It plays as a big joke on the apocalypse-games of recent times. It's hard for me to explain why I like this so much, maybe it's because I'm "in" on the joke.

5. World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria ; A huge step up from Cataclysm which was a disaster... hah. It was really fun leveling again. Raiding is fun. 5-mans are fun. Heck, I've even tried some PvP and that was fun. The master is back in the swing.

xx. There were a ton of "good" games but none I feel like mentioning as GOTY-material. Mass Effect 3, Unfinished Swan, The Walking Dead, Super Hexagon, Sound Shapes, etc. All good games but none that I feel deserves a place among the truly good. I'll be called out on this for including a WoW-expansion pack in the top 5 but I stick by it.

2011. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim ; If not for any other reason than 200 hours and counting. I can't put this down. I'm addicted.

A Human Becoming

More than a Member
Feb 4, 2007
At this point there is a low probability of this changing unless I play more XCOM and Zero Escape. If I remember I'll add more comments later.

1. Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward
2. Mass Effect 3 ; As much as people like to hate on this game for it's ending, I still think it's the best in the series. The shooting is superb, in the same league as Uncharted and Gears of War, unlike Mass Effect 2 which had mediocre gameplay. I really liked how story arcs throughout the series finished up nicely. War readiness or whatever it's called was implemented well, even though I dislike how much you need to do extra if you didn't play the multiplayer. It was much less contrived than the loyalty missions in Mass Effect 2. The biggest surprise was the multiplayer, which I expected to be half assed. The "horde" mode was more fun than I expected. I had a blast playing with my friends and random people online. I didn't play many "AAA" games released this year, but I'm glad I did this one. It's an experience you can't create with a low budget.
3. Hero Academy
4. FTL: Faster Than Light
5. The Walking Dead
6. Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance
7. Mark of the Ninja
8. Kid Icarus: Uprising
9. The Political Machine 2012
10. Sleeping Dogs


Feb 10, 2006
Sheffield, UK
1. The Walking Dead; Following on from the abysmal Jurassic Park you could have been forgiven for thinking that Telltale Games would drop the ball yet again with the game adaptation of 'The Walking Dead' graphic novels. That couldn't be further from the truth, Telltale Games have crafted one of the most emotive, heart-wrenching pieces of gaming where your 'choice' actually has an impact on the outcome. Sheer brilliance.

2. Far Cry 3; After the mixed opinion that greeted Far Cry 2, Ubisoft took the series back to it's roots, placing the setting of Far Cry 3 on a seemingly idyllic paradise island, yet again. All is not as it seems, which becomes apparent in the opening scenes of the game following an ill-fated sky dive with the introduction of one of gamings most unhinged, crazed and memorable antagonists of recent times in Vaas. Combining stealth, shooting, exploration, free-form gameplay and cinematics to great effect, Far Cry 3 almost wins my game of the year just for the setting that they allow the player to explore; providing the opportunity for multiple memorable experiences in a world that seems to be bustling and full of life, you're not only the hunter, you are the hunted, whether by the pirates or the wildlife that inhabits the island and it's surrounding waters.

3. ZombiU; The game that started out as 'Killer Freaks from Outer Space' ended up becoming one of the games synonymous with the launch of the new Nintendo Wii U console, and for good reason. You the survivor are tasked with finding out what is going on at the epicentre of a zombie outbreak in London, guided by a man known only as the 'Prepper'. A welcome return to proper survival horror ZombiU is no visual behemoth nor feat of technical prowess, but it works very well. One of ZombiU's best features was the utilisation of the Miiverse bringing your friends fallen protagonists into the game as zombies in the area they died (which you could then batter to death for their loot). Tense, sparse, clunky (to good effect) wonderful use of the gamepad and a world full of untold terrors Zombi U is a fantastic experience recommended to all fans of survival horror.

4. New Super Mario Bros U; What more do I need to say? It's Mario in HD, for the first ever time (unless you play on the Dolphin emulator) and it looks spectacular. Featuring that same wonderfully paced gameplay the series is renowned for, New Super Mario Bros U. refines the Mario we all know and presents it in a wonderful and unique manner through fantastic use of the Wii U Gamepad in multiplayer and the ability to play off-screen with no concessions visually (except a resolution dip due to the gamepad screen resolution). NSMBU is one of my games of the year and one my girlfriend won't mind me sitting there playing for hours as I don't have to hog the TV.

5. Halo 4; A return to the world of the Spartans and specifically the Master Chief, a new threat arrives in the guise of the Prometheans whose very appearance affects the balance of the universe. Halo has always had a wonderfully solid single-player experience and that is the same here, 343i have crafted another fantastic experience. Multiplayer is where the fun lies for me personally and Halo 4 has afforded me some wonderful gaming sessions with my friends which since becoming (apparent) adults we can't all crowd around a tv in the same room like we used to with the original.

6. Spec Ops: The Line; Another cover-based squad shooter is released, groans to follow. Except this game is based on the excellent book 'Heart of Darkness' (on which 'Apocalypse Now' was also based), what follows is although operating under the guise of a derivative shooting experience, is without a doubt one of the most striking and memorable experiences in gaming. Certainly the best gaming experience that focuses on delusions of grandeur I have ever been lucky enough to partake in. Definitely recommended.

7. Sleeping Dogs; Sleeping Dogs is a beautiful game, one that immediately strikes a chord with the player with how fantastic, rich and vibrant a digitally realised Hong Kong looks. Combine this with fantastic voice-acting, a well delivered plot and hugely diverse gameplay. Sleeping Dogs is a game highly recommended if you need something to scratch that itch when it comes to ultra-violence, slick visuals, compelling gameplay and a well crafted experience overall.

8. The Witcher 2; The Witcher 2 is a triumph, one that manages to tell an epic fantasy tale, that deals with adult themes and nudity, and one that makes no apologies nor excuses for how it delivers this experience. A visually astounding game, and one that surprised me by even being released on the rapidly ageing Xbox 360. There are few RPG experiences that even come close to the scale and the finesse that this title is blessed with.

9. Trine 2; A beautiful gaming experience from Frozenbyte, following on from the fantastic Trine, Trine 2 takes what was good about the previous game and dials it up the 'Nth degree. Featuring visuals that usurp its predecessor, incorporating gameplay elements from the previous game and that's not all, Online Co-Op and three player co-operative compliment the proceedings. Also of note is the fantastic Wii U port of the recently released Trine 2: Directors Cut, quite possibly the best version of all featuring fantastic utilisation of the Wii U Gamepad, it's also on sale on the Nintendo eShop for £10.99 until the beginning of January 2013, which is an absolute bargain. A shoe in for Game of the Year for fans of the platforming genre, and one that encourages team-work online or off... a stunningly beautiful journey.

10. Nintendo Land; The game that could arguably be a better pack in than Wii Sports, NintendoLand creates the Nintendo experience in the guise of a theme park were Nintendo ever to decide to build one, this would be it. A homage to all of Nintendo's biggest and most beloved IP's, NintendoLand creates a party gaming package that harks back to the old skool arcade experiences Nintendo used to provide, to great effect. A beautifully designed and intoxicatingly brilliant gaming experience that stays with you long after you put down the Wiimote or Wii U Game Pad. Simply brilliant.


May 11, 2009
An interesting year in games, 2012 was marked by the launch of the Vita and Wii U, the decline of the military first person shooter genre and perhaps one of the weirdest console transition periods in recent memory.

The 3DS finally came to life with a great lineup, while the Vita launched strong but held no momentum. The PS3 and 360 saw their fair share of releases but none of the exclusives really grabbed my attention.

A quick legal note, I need to mention that I work to Electronic Arts but these opinions are my own and do not reflect the company in any way.

1. Far Cry 3 ; In a world of tight corridor filled military shooters, Far Cry 3 stands far above them with its open world approach. The transition from confused weakling to jungle badass is gradual yet empowering. My only gripe is the story never reaches its full potential after a shift in plot when reaching the second island.
2. Sleeping Dogs ; Sleeping Dogs troubled development cycle sounded like the game would be a disaster yet when I reached the end of the game it quickly became one of my favorites of the year. The emphasis on melee combat help it to stand out from so many other open world games and the Arkham Asyulm-esque combo system works so well when mixed with the brutal takedown objects.
3. The Walking Dead ; In an industry obsessed with instant gratification and explosions, the slow and methodical nature of The Walking Dead stands out that a strong narrative experience can trump even the largest of explosion laden scripted sequences. Featuring some of the strongest and well developed characters this year, watching them change over the course of the year and how they would react to my decisions was a joy.
4. Gravity Rush ; My current favorite Vita game, Gravity Rush was a beautiful 3D adventure. While the story feels rushed near the end, the mysterious world and excellent soundtrack more than made up for its shortcomings. While the manipulation of gravity takes some time to get used to, gliding around and defeating enemies felt great.
5. Kid Icarus: Uprising ; The first game shown for the 3DS made its long awaited debut this year and it delivered in spades. Featuring an excellent story mode and some of the best character banter this year between Pit and Paulentena. The only issue I had with the game is I never felt the on foot control scheme worked well for me making the platforming sessions a pain.
6. Persona 4: Arena ; I never though a fighting game would make any of my best of the year lists but Persona 4 Arena had the right mix of fan service along with a fun fighting engine. I cannot emphasize enough how much auto combo helped me a lot in the beginning as I learned how to play and master the combos.
7. Journey ; It's all about the journey in Journey but that's all that needs to be said about it. A short game (and why its not higher on my list) Journey has the user experience a wide variety of emotions in scenarios in its limited time. Highly based on the multiplayer by interacting with other users the ending is something that needs to be experienced to truely appreciate this game.
8. LittleBigPlanet Vita ; LittleBigPlanet returns on PSVita and feels just a fully featured as its console counterparts. Featuring excellent use of all the Vita's features LBP Vita is another excellent showcase for the console.
9. XCOM: Enemy Unkown ; A late entry XCOM finds the right balance between tactical action and management simulation as you wage war against the alien menace. From the mysterious council
10. Mass Effect 3 ; The controversial finale of the Mass Effect series was still a solid game. While many unnecessary oversimplications were made to the exploration side of the game, the shooting side was vastly improved and battles flowed a lot better than before. Also seeing the final results to many overarching plotlines felt like they had a nice payoff versus the ending to many other series this generation.

x. New Super Mario Bros 2 ; A solid Mario adventure, it doesn't reinvent the formula in any significant way but delivers a solid and refreshing platforming experience.
x. Uncharted Golden Abyss ; The perfect game to show off the power of the Vita it's a portable Uncharted adventure. It captures the feeling of its bigger console cousins very well and while not every touchscreen command is welcome, the other gameplay systems are copied so well that it was my favorite Vita game until Gravity Rush.
2011. Saint's Row 3 ; I finally managed to beat SR3 and its crazy nature and take no prisoners attitude reminded me that sometimes games don't need to be super serious or 'realistic' to have fun.


Jun 7, 2004
This year was seriously really hard. For me it was an incredibly strong Nintendo year, as I realized after sitting down and thinking about my favs. Still, I hadn't even had a chance to play New Super Mario Bros. U, which I'm looking forward to.

1. Kid Icarus: Uprising ; Quite simply my favorite experience of the year. The music, the characters, the exciting scenarios, and wonderful writing all came together. Hats off to the team!

2. Xenoblade Chronicles ; This is, for me, the chrono trigger of the generation. Polished RPG with characters you enjoy, a world you want to explore. Also some of the craziest scope and incredible music. I think Kid Icarus slightly edges out the OST in this game, but both are incredibly good.

3. Nintendoland ; What an amazing party game. They involve many friends in the same room, a cool new way to play, and a focus on out-of-game communication that heightens the game experience. Some of the best couch fun with friends you can have with a game, period.

4. Journey ; Excellent stuff from start to finish!

X. Spec Ops: The Line
X. Hotline Miami


Nov 17, 2006
1. Kid Icarus: Uprising ; Fun, hilarious, and packed with content. Sakurai and his team managed to make a game that took a classic franchise from the 8-bit era and turned it into a fresh and innovative experience for 2012. Superb job!
2. Pokemon Black & White 2 ; It's a familiar formula, but it's polished to the core. There are so many hours of content and the strategies of Pokemon battling are unlimited.
3. Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale ; A fun and addicting game that I have already sunk many hours into. It seems simplistic, but there are tons of interesting strategies in FFA, 2v2, and 1v1 for all of the characters that makes its depth shine.
4. Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
5. New Super Mario Bros. U
6. New Super Mario Bros. 2
7. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
8. Paper Mario: Sticker Star
9. LittleBigPlanet PSVita
10. Pokemon Conquest
Nov 24, 2012
1. Dark Souls (PC) ; A beefed up and mightier version of 2011’s best game. So unbelievably unforgiving yet eternally addictive and rewarding, I imagine this is what child birth is like for women.

2. Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown ;

3. Binary Domain ;

4. WipEout 2048 ;

5. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 ;

6. Akai Katana ;

7. Lumines Electronic Symphony ;

8. Journey ;

9. Dragon’s Dogma ;

10. Fez ;

x. Botanicula ;

x. Lollipop Chainsaw ;

2011. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword ;


Jul 28, 2007
Right, stalled on this for long enough, lets go! :D

1. Hotline Miami ; top down arcade shoot-em-up action drenched in atmosphere and with the best gaming soundtrack of quite possibly the last decade. Trippy, visceral and most worryingly, fun.

2. The Walking Dead ; storytelling in gaming done right, TWD is narratively tight- an emotional rollercoaster with choices that will suck you in the same as a good book.

3. Trials Evolution ; building on the madness of the previous game, Evolution felt like literally that. Taking the game outdoors and making it bigger with new settings, scenarios and skill games, it really was one of the most generous XBLA titles ever.

4. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 ; or, Tekken: Greatest Hits. Featuring the biggest roster ever and building on the juggling/bound system TTT2 is a collection of everything quintessentially Tekken from the last decade and brought head first into 2012.

5. Journey ; beautifully abstract yet still emotionally identifiable, Journey was a delight to play through and proof too that sometimes the best stories we make can be our own.

x. Borderlands 2 ; not on the list, if only because i'm still playing through. Loud, colourful and so much fun, Borderlands 2 is everything good about the first game, but refined.
x. Minecraft (XBLA) ; technically not a new game but a port, albeit one done right. New console commands, easier instant multiplayer and comfy couch gaming; all of it reconverted me.

2011. Rayman: Origins ; the best 2D platformer in years and a sad reminder of what was once gaming's biggest genre. Origins is fast and fun introducing some new ideas for the tried and tested platform level clichés but doing so accompanied with an upbeat soundtrack and some stellar animation.


Apr 22, 2009
1. Mass effect 3; even though the RPG elements weren't as diversified as i hoped, it is still easily the best game i played this year.
2. Risen 2: dark waters;
3. New super mario bros. u;
4. Trine 2;
5. New super mario bros. 2;
6. Nintendo land;

2011. The elder scrolls 4: skyrim; unfortunately i couldn't play it last year, so i was very happy to finaly be able to play it. Great game, great great game!


Nov 16, 2006
timetokill, you've got the stats, right? How was the turnout in previous years (in terms of people participating).


Oct 6, 2012
1. Mass Effect 3 ; Apart from enjoying the original ending I loved the gameplay and the way it concluded the series.
2. Borderlands 2 ; Insanity with friends, enough said.
3. Mark of the Ninja ; Stealth gameplay was perfect and rewarding even if you were playing non-lethal.
4. Dishonored ; Even if I thought of Bioshock and Half-Life 2 the entire time I played it I was glad to have a brand new world to immerse myself in.
5. Fez ; Quirky, thoroughly immersive puzzle game that leaves me smiling whenever I play it.
6. Halo 4 ; The Chief's legacy continues.
7. Dustforce ; The best pure 2D action platformer I've played in a long time, with a fantastic soundtrack.
8. Okami HD ; Ranked low because its a re-release, but it's easily one of my favorite games even to this day.
9. Journey ; Beautiful and moving, if not a little bit overhyped.
10. The Walking Dead ; Here because it remains unfinished, but incredible nonetheless.

Dion Blaster

Feb 2, 2012
This is hilarious, even on this page about half the votes won't count. My faith in people's reading comprehension is at an all-time low.


Jun 19, 2012
List up to 10 games, in order from 1 to 10. Follow the format below (you don’t have to be absolutely perfect, but you do need to follow the general rules: you must number your entries, must have comments follow your game nomination on the same line, etc.)

Only two comments on this page won't be counted

A Pretty Panda

fuckin' called it, man
Jul 5, 2010
List up to 10 games, in order from 1 to 10. Follow the format below (you don’t have to be absolutely perfect, but you do need to follow the general rules: you must number your entries, must have comments follow your game nomination on the same line, etc.)

Only two comments on this page won't be counted



Oct 19, 2004
Los Angeles, CA
timetokill, you've got the stats, right? How was the turnout in previous years (in terms of people participating).

Last year the thread was 2380 posts long, and 1264 votes were counted. Note that's generally because of the amount of non-voting posts, not because most of them weren't counted.

884 posts last year came in the last week of voting. That's ~37% of the posts in the last week. I expect it to perhaps be more dramatic this year.


Sep 13, 2007
Brooklyn, NY
1. Dragon's Dogma ; It is the definition of a diamond in the rough. No other game this year has matched the sheer exhiliration of lighting yourself on fire and riding a griffin into the sky while simultaneously burning and stabbing him, nor has any other game this year matched the terror of trekking through the pitch black night with nothing but a lantern to help you see a few steps ahead of you. It really is one hell of a gaming experience, and I weep for those that were turned away by the jankiness of it all. Also, the story takes an amazing turn near the end. What a game.
2. Hotline Miami
3. Persona 4 Golden
4. Journey
5. Dark Souls (PC)
6. WipEout 2048
7. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
8. Uncharted: Golden Abyss
9. Far Cry 3
10. Twisted Metal ; Excellent gameplay, but marred by a horrible singleplayer campaign and network issues. Should have been higher, but alas..

x. Thirty Flights of Loving
x. The Walking Dead ; I'd love to rank this higher, but I was hit by the save bug that halted my progress. Fuck you, Telltale.
x. Spec Ops: The Line ; excellent story. Shame the gameplay isn't nearly as good.
x. Zombi U ; Real survival horror is hard to find these days, but this game is a solid effort in the genre. Late-game events prevent this from being on the top 10, though.


Aug 22, 2011
Didn't think much of the turnout for this year. I'm not even sure I played ten games (certainly not ten that deserve to be on the list). So here's what I am able to come up with.

1. Dark Souls ; And now I can understand what all the fuss is about. There is something incredibly rage inducing yet equally rewarding about this addictive action/rpg. Its hands off approach to teaching you is also rather welcome in a market full of long tutorials. It loses points for using that god awful Games for Windows Live but still manages first place.

2. Xcom: Enemy Unknown ; Never played the originals but this game is incredibly enjoyable. Expect to hate your useless soldiers after three consecutive missed 80% shots. Ironman mode is a must.

3. Natural Selection 2 ; Haven't plugged a lot of time into this but what I have leads me to feel this is my new Team Fortress 2. Going to be sinking a lot of multiplayer hours into this strange shooter/strategy hybrid. Edit - This game is even more complex than I first thought. The amount of co-ordination and teamwork required for higher level play is pretty astounding and the commander roles add a third layer to the game. What's even more fascinating is the different playstyles of the two sides. Marines are an incredibly well designed group based tactical shooter while the aliens feel like you're playing an action-stealth game. There are quite a few maps to select from and they feel incredibly well balanced. And I can't even begin to tell you about the look and atmosphere. There is nothing like entering a darkened room covered in alien overgrowth with all your marine buddies flicking on their flashlights scanning every nook and cranny for some unseen lurking enemy. It is really an astounding multiplayer game.

4. The Walking Dead ; Excellent writing and story but horrible choice and consequence. This isn't Alpha Protocol which is a shame since the format could have made your choices really impactful.

5. Crusader Kings 2 ; This is Europa Universalis III meets the Sims. Which is good since I love EUIII but after an unfortunate event this year I can't bring myself to load it up anymore. Would probably be higher but it will definitely take 20+ hours before I even have an idea of what I'm doing in this game.

6. FTL: Faster Than Light ; An excellent rogue-like with perhaps a bit too much reliance on chance and an unnecessary final boss fight. Captaining a ship has never been more enjoyable.

7. Civilization V: Gods and Kings ; I was really disappointed with the initial release of Civ V but this expansion has added so much that it's actually brought me back to it. Not as good as IV but a lot more enjoyable than I was expecting. Catherine is still an asshole.

8. Legend of Grimrock ; Beautiful old school dungeon crawler that perhaps goes on a bit too long for what it is. Definitely a great homage to early PC gaming.


Sep 17, 2012
Looking back I can not think of many stand out games that I liked. 2012 was almost the year I fell out of love with gaming. Anyway this is the best list I could compile of games I kind of enjoyed:

1. Spec Ops : The Line ; I only just got it today in fact and I am enjoying it quite a bit, the story is interesting and I cant wait for it to all unfold.

2. Farming Simulator 2013 ; I have played this game for ages, there is just something about it that keeps me coming back for more.

3. Euro Truck Simulator 2 ; Another sim, There is nothing quite like driving along dark European motorways in your tricked up Truck listening to Jimi Hendrix. I love this game.

4. Hotline Miami ; This game was interesting, it played and looked wonderful. The standout though being the soundtrack, I listen to it all the time.

5. Total War : Shogun 2 - Fall of the Samurai ; Love Total War I can play it for hours on end this expansion was top notch and worth the £12 I paid for it.

(This is where I start to struggle)

6. Sleeping Dogs ; I didn't play much of it but it was a game that I had fun messing about and driving around in. As soon as Eminence Front by The Who came on I was sold.

7. Diablo III ; It gets a lot of flak but I enjoyed it with my brother.

8. Football Manager 2013 ; Love Football Manager I would feel bad not to include it. It constantly improves on its predecessor and keeps me coming back for more.

9. Dishonoured ; When I first played it I enjoyed it but I got kinda bored, still one of the better games of the year.

10. Planetside 2 ; I didn't enjoy it personally but I am impressed by the technical aspect, its nice to see devs push the boundaries every once in a while.

Honourable Mention 1 : Far Cry 3
; It was a good game but it ran terribly on my PC. Not my fault my PC is more than capable to run it, not to mention on my 1440p monitor the minimap is almost in the middle of the screen. Gameplay wise it was fun, its just a shame I can't enjoy it.

Honourable Mention 2 : Borderlands 2 ; It never felt as fun as the first Borderlands did and I don't know why. It felt so boring and the humour forced and just overall horrible. I ended up only half liking it.

GOTY 2011 : Deus Ex : Human Revolution ; The last game I really had fun with. It plays how you want it to play and that is an admirable feature.


Sep 8, 2010
I want to urge people to stop trying to remind others how to properly format their list. As far as I'm concerned, the more tossed votes due to lack of any effort to read, the better the list will be. I don't really care if the people who come in and say "Halo and CoD are the best games ever tied for first on my list!!!!1" are counted.

Edit: That is not to say I think votes for Halo or CoD are bad votes. I was speaking about a lack of formatting (and yeah, making a lazy generalization about people being dumb and liking first-person shooters*).

*... I, too, like first-person shooters.


Jun 11, 2005
Los Angeles, California
1. Dragon's Dogma ; Best 'nights' in gaming history. Pawn system is unique and favorably implemented. Storytelling was effectively sparse (and poorly plotted). Loved the way it wrapped around though. Sequel please.
2. Zombi U ; Risky and interesting. The game stressed me out in the best possible way.
3. Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper ; Favorite Musou title ever
4. I Am Alive ; Overlooked and novel.
5. Risen II ; Love the pirate theme and exploration. Deserved a lot better reception (too bad about the combat).
6. Little Inferno ; One of the best non-game games ever. Best presentation this year.
7. The Last Story ; Best pacing in a JRPG since forever
8. New Super Mario Bros. U ; !
9. COD: BLOPS II ; Wii U version GamePad play from my bed.
10. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning ; Haters whatever - game was huge and a decent time-waster.


Aug 22, 2011
Now I'm paranoid I did my ballot wrong...

Honourable Mention 2 : Borderlands 2 ; It never felt as fun as the first Borderlands did and I don't know why. It felt so boring and the humour forced and just overall horrible. I ended up only half liking it.

This was my exact feelings on the game as well. The multiplayer was top notch and what got me through it but a lot of the game just really irked me. If my friends weren't playing it, I probably would have abandoned the thing five hours in.


Feb 14, 2012
1. The Walking Dead ; This game made me cry more than I have in a long time. Just listening to the final credits theme now can be enough to make me choke up a bit. If that doesn't qualify it for game of the year, I dunno what will.

2. Katawa Shoujo ; I'm still a little baffled by how well this turned out, given its subject matter and place of origins, but here we are. Another game that got me to actually feel emotions in my cold black heart, and actually had a positive impact in my life by getting me back on the treadmill.

3. Dishonored ; This game might have been made specifically for me. Deus Ex HR style mechanics with a neat magical twist, a steampunk setting, a unique art style, good atmosphere, and lovecraftian underpinnings. The main story was somewhat average, if inoffensive, but it was saved by everything else being so strong.

4. Journey ; Did a lot of neat things I don't think I've seen before, and it wins the "Dark Souls" award for multiplayer that I actually don't hate and think contributes to the overall game. The mechanics and atmosphere work together to contribute to a unique feeling. Plus, on a more superficial note, the game is super gorgeous. That sliding sequence.

5. Persona 4 Arena ; These characters are among my favorites, so I would have liked this game no matter what. I don't know enough about fighting games to say this with any authority, but the mechanics seem pretty good too.

6. XCOM: Enemy Unknown ; I get a vibe from XCOM that I rarely get from AAA games anymore, and that pleases me. I have yet to play it below Classic Ironman, and as a result I have yet to get very far into a game before the meat grinder effect sets in, but I still keep trying, so it seems to be doing something right. Pity the poor souls under my command, for they are not long for this world.

7. FTL ; Simple and genius, I'm still shocked no one has tried this style of ship management games before. Like XCOM, I have yet to win, but part of the fun is in sending crew after crew to their deaths.

8. Devil Survivor 2 ; I've never met a Shin Megami Tensei game I haven't liked, and DS2 is no exception. Still not a huge fan of the art style of the Devil Survivor games, but the strong mechanics and fun characters make up for it.

9. Torchlight 2 ; I still have a soft spot for Diablo-style games, even if I don't play them as much as I used to. After not picking up Diablo 3 for a number of reasons, Torchlight 2 seems to be filling that niche for me going forward. Makes for a good game to play while listening to podcasts.

10. Sleeping Dogs ; I've never been huge on open world games like GTA, but the style and fun melee combat helped sell me on it, and I'm glad I gave it a try!

X. Xenoblade ; I enjoyed my time with it, but I wasn't really sold on the whole MMO style action RPG, and I've lost interest and stopped playing twice. Still probably worth mentioning though.

X. Skullgirls ; It made for a pretty good intro to the fighting game genre, but it just didn't really stick with me long enough to make the cut.

2011. Deus Ex: Human Revolution ; I didn't end up buying it until the very tail end of last year and didn't play enough of it until mid-2012, and damn was it good. It introduced me to a whole new type of game, leading me to Alpha Protocol and Dishonored. Not to mention it's pretty rare to see a game use its sci-fi setting to do anything beyond making an action movie where the enemy troops are bug people.


Jun 7, 2004
1. Sleeping Dogs; An amazing combination of characters, gameplay, graphics and story that left me wanting much much more. Finally an open world game done right-- bring on the next gen sequel.

2. X-COM: Enemy Unknown; TBS isn't dead! Hurray! Great game that captures the spirit of the original, unfortunately was quite buggy at release.

3. The Walking Dead; There were two games that are on this list due to strength of story and characters. Walking Dead definitely has less in the way of actual "gameplay" than Spec Ops, but perhaps this helps it become a stronger experience overall.

4. Spec Ops: The Line; A great though familiar story combined with average and sometimes mediocre gameplay. The themes, detail and thought put into the narrative make me surprised it got published at all in this shoot-bang era. Nolan North's voice acting really brings it home.

5. Forza Horizon; Just about the perfect racer for me. Racing is fun and all but cruising and exploring are great additions to the car porn genre, all done in a technically masterful package. I hope it gets a sequel in next gen (and weather effects!).

6. Mark of the Ninja; Amazing game that makes you feel like a motherfucking ninja! Not sure why it took 30 some odd years of video game history for someone to make something like this but I'm glad it has finally arrived.

7. Halo 4; 343 stepped up to the plate, delivering a damn good Halo game. Too bad the narrative requires you to keep the wiki open in a browser window to make sense of (and even then…).

8. Mass Effect 3; Yeah the ending sucked and was pure narrative idiocy, but overall it was a great ride to cap off the ME trilogy.

9. Dragons Dogma; Yes, you can have great action in an open world. Capcom's quest to be western has shown us all along what western action rpgs are missing: the action.

10. Diablo 3; A lot of backlash seems to have formed around this game, but I put so many hours into it that it couldn't be all bad right? Overall it was pretty much what I wanted in a Diablo game-- quick clicking addictiveness. It doesn't really get fun until the higher difficulties though.

x. Far Cry 3; Amazing gameplay, poorly structured campaign and story. In some ways the exact opposite of Spec Ops, it could have been a contender, it could have been someone.

x. Hotline Miami and Super Hexagon; Damn I suck at twitch games but these are so stylish and addictive it's hard to put them down.

2011. Dark Souls; So good. Glad I finally got to play it on the PC.


Sep 11, 2004
1. Hotline Miami; A tight, incredibly unique experience that I keep thinking about despite the game's short length. The genius integration of its incredible soundtrack and psychedelic aesthetic really puts this one over the top for me. I'd die a hundred times and take out my frustrations with the type of murderous rampage that can only be achieved in a flow state. It's my #1 spot because I got the impression that it's a labor of love, that the developers made the game they wanted to make without compromising to appease an audience.

2. Far Cry® 3; Probably the best looking game I've ever seen, which is impressive considering it's a fairly massive open world. An amazing sense of body awareness and your psuedo-super human abilities make the islands feel like a big playground in a lucid dream. This impressive use of first person perspective carries over to the driving as well, where rough terrain will affect your trajectory and view in what feels like a convincingly realistic manner; it's the closest you can come to tumbling a jeep off a cliffside without hurting yourself. I'd love to try this in 3D. I didn't like any of the QTEs and some of the story missions weren't the best, but overall this game is pretty amazing. Despite the bad story Vaas is one of the most memorable characters in a long time. Any problems with the game I have are minor nitpicks because the core gameplay is done so well.

3. The Walking Dead; I was surprised that I liked a point and click adventure game so much, and a zombie one at that. This was the first game I've ever played that I actually cared about my character's relationship with others. It thus immersed me in a way that I've never been in a game before. When I get really into a TV show, I marathon it, and Walking Dead met the same fate once the story started to pick up. Anyone upset over a "non game" being on people's GOTY lists should look at the rest of their lists and realize that we like non-non-games too. It entertained me as much or more as my other favorite games this year, and I see no valid reason to exclude it. I'm happy there's a massive variety of genres each with great games to enjoy.

4. Chivalry: Medieval Warfare; This has the best melee combat I've ever seen in a first person game. I put much more thought into each encounter than simply trying to line up a headshot before my opponent does the same. Are my team mates around? Ok, it's probably not a good idea to swing my zweihander horizontally and put them in as much danger as my enemy. You can wait for a big swing and punish. You can feint your attack and trick your enemy into blocking too early. You can throw an axe into the back of someone running away from you. You can charge an enemy fort with your whole team screaming at the top of their lungs. It doesn't rely on killstreaks or other similar reward mechanics. It's incredibly fun, even if I'm total shit at all but a couple of the classes. There's a ton of depth and complexity to the combat, and as a result scoring a kill in this game is nearly as satisfying as winning a PVP match in Dark Souls. It's my go-to multiplayer game this year.

5. XCOM Enemy Unknown; Ok, I'm terrible at this game and I'm nowhere near beating it. Nonetheless the game has me in its grasp and I love it. Managing your resources/research etc is a cathartic opposite to the incredibly intense battles. It definitely feels like a game you can play "wrong" and have to restart, and restart I have, but I'm more than happy to keep learning about the intricacies of this game. I'm new to this genre as well, but I'm already feeling like this experience will be hard to top. It is a breath of fresh air after all of the action games I've played this year.

6. Sleeping Dogs; I bought this on Steam mainly because of the graphics...I didn't like the demo much. And while it does look beautiful, I stayed for the driving, combat, and even the story. In GTA games I typically fall into the trap of just messing around shooting rockets at hospitals and not really focusing on the story because, while always well presented, comes with the caveat of really annoying missions. Sleepy Dogs isn't like this. There's not a big focus on guns, so I wasn't really tempted to shoot up the streets for the hell of it too often. That's not to say the shooting isn't good -- it is, and the story is well paced with some memorable firefights. The focus lies instead more on its Arkham-esque combat, which in its familiarity works well here. Might as well copy from the best.

7. Dishonored; this year's version of Bioshock, for me. Although it didn't quite have the same impact, it was still a lot of fun. Most of the areas are pretty massive and offer several ways to reach your objective, many of which are not obvious but you can still discover them naturally and intuitively; it feels far less formulaic than scanning a room in Deus Ex HR for yet another vent to climb through, for example (I love Deus Ex HR, just making a comparison). This is largely because blink makes you feel like you're breaking the level design-- but in a good way. It mixes stealth and action very well and I didn't mind having high chaos while also completing some non lethal objectives and enjoying a nice selection of the many choices available.

8. Super Hexagon; I didn't think an iOS game would make my GOTY list but Super Hexagon is a pretty perfect game to play on the toilet! It seems impossible at first until you "get" it. Not that I have any great high scores or anything, but I got a couple of friends into it to compete high scores which made all the difference. This is a game that directly alters my perception of time passing. What is a second? It can feel like a long time in Super Hexagon.

9. Mark of the Ninja; I don't think I'm too far in this game - I just got the spike mines. But the perfect controls, ability to pause time and fantastic level design have me hooked. If anything, this might move up my list when I beat it.

10. Hitman Absolution; It's my first Hitman game, so I can't compare it to the others, but I loved stalking my targets in a huge crowd, dropping cars on them, and just shooting them in the face. Also, this game might have the best textures ever.

2011. Portal 2; It's as smart, funny, and fun as I'd hoped.

(all on PC except Super Hexagon)
These would be on my list if we could choose more than 10:
x. Spec Ops: The Line
x. Journey. It did not make quite the same impact on me as it did for others, but Journey is still special nonetheless.
x. I still played Dark Souls far more than any game released this year, and like it more than any of these other games, but i voted for it last year.