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

Mar 27, 2012
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1. The Walking Dead ; The story was as good as it gets. Some might argue how much of a "game" it is but nothing had me this hooked.

2. Borderlands 2 ; Improves on the original in just about every way.

3. Far Cry 3 ; Love exploring the world and trying to figure out how I want to tackle the missions. Love Vaas.

4. Halo 4 ; HaloGAF hates it but the campaign was fun and the multiplayer was an improvement over Reach despite the obvious bad ideas 343 implemented.

5. Journey ; Short but sweet and the co-op was an unexpected surprise

6. Alan Wake's American Nightmare ; Mr Scratch was awesome now give me AW2

7. Mass Effect 3 ; One of the most disappointing games I have ever played but yet it had great moments and the multiplayer was fun.

8. Double Dragon Neon ; Fuck IGN

9. Max Payne 3 ; Very good shooter but I still miss Remedy

10. Forza Horizon ; Second Favorite racer this gen. Surprised it didnt sell better.

x. Hotline Miami ; Dat soundtrack

2011. Dark Souls ; I wasnt expecting to like this but the hype is real and I became addicted
 
Nov 8, 2008
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1. New Super Mario Bros. U; It's Mario in HD. I really don't think 2D Mario gameplay can get any better and thankfully Nintendo didn't mess with it. The main game is more charming than ever though many take issue with the aesthetics. The HD is simply gorgeous, which makes exploring some of the best level designs in the series that much better. Instead, it simply added a plethora of new modes that build off that rock-solid foundation. Challenge mode rewards skill and supplements the challenge of the main game (which is itself rather formidable, maybe even too hard for Nintendo's casual audience). I'm a good Mario player and even some of the low ranking challenges are almost too much for me. Boost mode is a neat twist on the multiplayer action introduced in NSMB Wii, allowing very inexperienced players to participate in a meaningful way yet simultaneously allowing incredible speed run possibilities for vets. Miiverse was implemented gracefully and I enjoyed seeing little handwritten scrawls about secret exits spiky goombas, etc. The only real issue I had with the game was the soundtrack. The Bah-Bahs aren't offensive to me like they seem to be for some people, but such a beautiful looking game really deserved a better, fresher soundtrack, but all Nintendo's composers were apparently working on Nintendo Land.

2. Xenoblade Chronicles; Wii's swan song and a fantastic RPG. The vision of the game was massive, and the art, deep almost overwhelming combat system, and the music (THE MUSIC) all lived up to it. I'm not a big RPG guy, but Xenoblade really succeeded in creating a world I wanted to spend time in.

3. New Super Mario Bros. 2; The black sheep. Maligned from the beginning and hated for existing, this was just a great Mario game that's quietly gone on to stretch its legs and sell millions while introducing a fantastic new Coin Rush mode in addition to a fine traditional main game. I've got 70 hours sunk into this bad boy in large part to Coin Rush.

4. Tekken Tag Tournament 2; I bought it for the crazy Mario costumes and Mushroom mode, but I've only played 50 hours of it since it also happens to be a fantastic, deep fighter. I think the controls and systems are needlessly complex like in many fighters, but the great soundtrack, graphics, and characters have won me over.

5. Call of Duty: Black Ops II; Another series/genre I don't usually play regularly, but I'm really glad I gave this a shot. Campaign was meh, but who plays blops for that? Multiplayer is fantastic as always (especially off-tv play) and I love the pick 10 system. It's really a great approach to class customization. I haven't even scratched Zombies.

6. Kid Icarus: Uprising; Great music, great characters, tons to do, looks great....so-so gameplay. Still a fantastic IP revival that needs to see a Wii U sequel of some sort.

7. Nintendo Land; Dat soundtrack.

8. Rhythm Heaven Fever

9. The Walking Dead


x. Metal Gear Solid HD Collection; The mother of all HD collections. My most played in 2012. Such a great value.

x. Resident Evil 4 HD; Only played a couple chapters back on the GC. I realize now I almost missed out on one of the most finely tuned, eminently playable games ever. Definitely part of the canon.

x. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney; Lots of fun, great game for iOS. Now where is my HD collection?

2011. Ghost Trick; Another great iOS game. Glad I picked it up since I skipped it for DS.

Still Shit. Skyrim PS3; Still not fixed, no DLC.
 
Nov 27, 2005
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1. XCOM: Enemy Unknown ; I love XCOM because it doesn't get bogged down with a ton of stats, skill trees, or different mechanics in the name of "depth". It restrains itself in a way a lot of strategy games don't. The combat is relatively straight forward which allows for flexibility in encounters without things going off the rails. The best lesson to be learned from XCOM is how to take what's great about a less popular genre and present it to a more general gaming audience.

2. The Walking Dead ; When people talk about designing games with a story, this is the first game that should be discussed. They do such a good job of making each decision you make feel organic. Where most games will telegraph an important decision, TWD will tuck something into a conversation that may come back to play a role later in the story. Also the story is awesome.

3. Guild Wars 2 ;
4. Mark of the Ninja
5. Fez
6. Mass Effect 3
7. Dishonored
8. Super Hexagon
9. Assassin's Creed 3
10. FTL
 
Aug 3, 2012
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1. TellTales: The Walking Dead ; I think any other year this probably wouldn't win GOTY. That said, this game was indeed a touching journey, a journey that was unparalleled in 2012. The characters, the writing, the overall narrative was just all top notch. Easily the best Tell Tale game to date, and probably one of the best example of what can be achieved in the video game medium in terms of writing, and character development.
 
Aug 15, 2010
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1. Resident Evil 6 ; Capcom certainly stepped up their game from Resident Evil 5 with this sequel. Unfortunately, they didn't entirely focus on one part and it resulted in a incoherent mess. Despite having better gameplay, the game got several mixed reviews. It was not the case for me though, i overlooked its shortcoming and it ended up a solid game indeed. Have spent about 50+ hours on this game so far.

2. Journey ; A beautifully crafted world, with spectacular art style and heart touching co-op gameplay - Journey is unlike anything we have seen so far.

3. The Walking Dead ; Tell Tale games have learnt a lot from their mistakes in the past and we can clearly see they upped their level in this game.

4. Far Cry 3 ; Having never played any Far Cry game before, i was pleasantly surprised by this title. It was everything that Assassins Creed 3 lacked - bigger, better and more fun.

5. Dragon's Dogma ; Capcom finally ventured into the Action RPG with this entry. It had first class game play and kick-ass boss battles. The only thing it lacked was in the story and lack of fast travel.

6. Asura's Wrath ; A total anime style game with a brilliant plot and fantastic loveable characters - Asura's Wrath is CyberConenct's best release yet.

7. Binary Domain ; Loved the story and characters. The gears of war styled gameplay was pretty basic but still the upgrade system + character choice made the experience memorable to say the least.

8. Sleeping Dogs

9. Xenoblade Chronicles

10. The Last Story
 
Jun 17, 2011
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1. XCOM Enemy Unknown ; Nothing this year was as tense as scanning in XCOM. "Come on baby, just three more days!" That's right, a menu is the most tension I felt in a game all year. No decision was harder than choosing which abductions to respond to, knowing full well the panic that would be caused in the areas you did not respond to. Moving my squad around, knowing each move could be our last, was a complete and utter thrill. XCOM also managed to get me attached to my squad, even if they had no real personality to speak of. RIP Vixen and Zulu, squaddies like these held more meaning than just experience and level, as shown by my frequent visits to the memorial. (fucking LOL at the bagpipes, gets me every time)

2. Syndicate ; Starbreeze does it again. One of the best first person games I've played in years, plays great, feels great, looks great. While the story may be nothing to write home about, the game captures the feel of cyberpunk extremely well. Playing as Miles Kilo (a great fucking cyberpunk name) and wandering either the grime filled streets or the hyper-clean Syndicate headquarters was a beautiful experience. Using your guns, slo-mo and real time powers makes the combat flow perfectly, and Starbreeze gives the player a good feeling of heft to the movement and melee attacks. Combined with a fantastic co-op mode, Syndicate is one my favorite fps' this gen.

3. Max Payne 3 ; Immensely satisfying gunplay, stylish cutscenes and great voice acting (holy hell has Max's VA come a long way from MP1) comprise one of the great tps' of this gen. Not to mention how damn fine this game looks, the Euphoria engine continues to impress. But the praise must continue, Health brings to the table an extremely impressive soundtrack that simultaneously captures the feel of game and how you are performing. The gameplay is extremely rewarding (use free aim people) and challenging and ceases to be fun only when the game throws the most heavily armored soldiers against you. Throwaway multiplayer and lack of bullet time 2.0 are the sole reasons this game is not number one on my list.

4. Sleeping Dogs ;

5. The Walking Dead ;

6. Far Cry 3 ;

7. Mark of the Ninja ;

8. Fez ;

9. Mass Effect 3 ;

10. Assassin's Creed III ;

will fill out the rest later.
 

Eppy Thatcher

God's had his chance.
Jun 18, 2011
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1. Dragon's Dogma ; Looking forward to finally getting my hands onto this game and imagining what I was gonna be doing ended up falling short of the actual game itself. Engrossed in this world where progression felt real and tangible and it started with you under the thumb of every creature in the world. Eventually you saunter up to a Chimera, run your sword through it's skull and roll it to the floor like a puppy. Your magic destroys rooms full of people. Commanding true forces of nature you call down meteors that don't appear from your hands... or a hole in the ground. They come from space. And. Wreck. Shit.

It's easily my most played at right around 300 hours. The connection I feel to the world from walking it's paths and forests time again is like coming home. From scary and foreboding in the middle of the day to comfy and empowering in the middle of the night. Everything just feels right.
You even learn to love the market keepers. Even if it is for masochistic reasons it's a rare and special thing. Just a fantastic experience through and through.

2. Journey ; The best multiplayer experience of the year without a doubt. Just as flow and Flower before it, Journey is able to effortlessly take me away from whatever is in my mind and bring me some temporary peace. That fact it does this even better when you get to play with someone online is a feat of modern gaming/art. The first night I played the game someone found me (they are now on my friends list) in the 2nd level and made their way through the game with me in it's entirety. Their robe was red but full of intricate designs mine lacked and his knowledge of the levels and his ability to teach slowly and patiently through a game with one true mechanical way of communicating was a joy to be a part of of. Easily the best last level of any game i've played this year. Fantastic controls and a wonderful sense of freedom in the movement. Emotional, beautiful beyond belief and truly original.


3. Far Cry 3 ; I knew that I would like Far Cry 3 I just had no clue how much. The first time I stalked 3 guys till they were in just the right spot so I could jump down on the first, cut the seconds throat and then stab the third i was hyped. Then a 4th guy was standing in the door way... can I stab him? YES! Now take his gun and BAM BAM! .. oh.. well there were two more guards on the other side of the bushes. Who knew?!
I didn't hate the characters as some did... i in fact enjoyed (almost) all of them. It holds the third spot for most time spent playing as well. Pushing 50 hours and the only thing that stopped me was my backlog. Fantastic progression from 2 even considering the drastic and somewhat uncalled for drop in difficulty. The HUD coulda been cleaner as well but that's a small complaint in a mostly fantastically fun game. And fuckin SAM THE MAN is the best sidekick character in a game for years.

4. Borderlands 2 ; The runner up for most time spent and what can i say other than borderlands continues to be the shit. It's nothing drastically different or off the norm for Borderlands but they got the formula right so the only real next step was cleaning it up and making it longer. The guns look better and are for more distinctive between each other and any other games guns. Hilarious writing, great visuals and some seriously addictive gameplay. It's my new go to game for my Loot Whoring fix. Anxiously waiting on substantial dlc that will raise the lvl cap and let me make Zero a real threat!

5. Gravity Rush ; The first game in a long loooooooong time that made flying feel right. And good and special and powerful. Like Pilotwings back in the day I could start this game up and not stop for hours just gliding through the skys like it's a normal day to be a god of gravity. Loved every second of the game and still plan on going back to hit up every gem around.

6. Max Payne 3 ; All the shooting and death along with hilarious acrobatics of pistol madness was exactly what I was expecting and needed. Easy to feel dangerous. The animation was stellar. Music was great. Really tight and polished package as I would expect from R*.

7. Metal Gear Solid HD Collection ; What really needs to be said anymore about what a great experience these games are. Technical masterpieces in their time the HD keeps them looking fresh and sharp on my Vita screen. All the right cues are there to ring nostalgia in my head every 10 minutes while I play. I'll always love these games to the core of me and it's no different here.

8. FTL Faster than light ; Me and a co-worker convinced most of our team to pick this up off steam. We all universally agreed that FTL should be packaged in with the new employee packets to test decision making skills. Separating the men from the boys is what FTL is all about. In a time where really truly hard games are coming back to the masses this was one of them that didn't find a time to pull back and give the player some slack. It's do or die from the beginning to the end and that's what is so special about it.

9. Hitman Absolution ; We always hope for new game in an amazing series to come along and change hit all the right notes and make all the right waves in the perfect spots to bring us back to the spot we love in a new way. Absolution may not have been the heavenly dream of old school Hitman fans but it was gorgeous. The challenges are there, the death is visceral and options oh lord the options. Something I hadn't expected as well - the gunplay in the game is soooooo tight. With excellent audio on the guns, great hit detection, perfect feeling blood and tight controls for shooting (especially sniping) hitting a new level for the first time has never felt so right. Sneak till spotted, fake surrender, slaughter. In that order.

10. Assassin's Creed 3 ; My investment in the series and love of the free running brought me back while other design choices and some progression issues kept it from climbing any further up my GOTY list. Connor was the most neutral of all the main characters in the AC series and I'm not sure how much that helped (considering the subject and their anyone can be a secret evil bastard mandate) or if his lack of strong character traits made him just feel kind of dull. The killing, the smoothness of the animation, and the gunplay was done suprisingly well made actually playing the game a continued excellent experience. The wilderness was especially fun especially when you were given ample chances to ambush larger groups of soldiers. That feeling of dominance when you quickly cut through 8+ men using their guns on them before gliding up a wall and disappearing into Boston fog.


x. Wipeout 2048 ; It's Wipeout. Anywhere and beautiful and fast as all holy hell. Sound barrier says wut.

2011. Shadows of the Colossus HD ; The chance to play through this game, cleaned up and on my big screen was more than worth a double dip. So wonderful.
 

Dance Inferno

Unconfirmed Member
Dec 30, 2008
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I ended up playing/beating quite a few more games, so I'll probably have to edit my list in the next week. Finished up The Walking Dead last week and have been playing a ton of Civ V Gods and Kings. I might even try to beat Specs Ops this weekend since it's not too long.

The race is on!
 

Burning Justice

the superior princess
Aug 20, 2011
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1. Kid Icarus: Uprising ; Awesome gameplay, both in the air and on the ground, genuinely funny characters, and excellent replay value, thanks to the unlockables. What more needs to be said?
2. Xenoblade Chronicles ; The story and RPG mechanics in this game were awesome, not to mention the vast, open fields.
3. Borderlands 2 ; Loved this game. Improves on the original in just about every way.
4. Ys Origin ; My first Ys game, made me a fan of the series. The boss battles in particular are amazing.
5. The Walking Dead ; Decided to download the first episode on 360 when it was free, not really expecting much. But the engrossing story and likable cast of characters drew me in.
6. Pokémon Conquest ; Also wasn't expecting much from a crossover like this, but I ended up sinking so many hours into this game.
7. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed ; Not even a big fan of Sega, but I AM a big fan of kart racers, and this is one of the best. The track design is really good.
8. Halo 4 ; Really, really like the multiplayer. Much better than Halo: Reach.
9. Scribblenauts Unlimited ; Had lots of fun spawning objects and messing with the object editor.
10. Resident Evil 6 ; I have some frustrations with it, but overall, I enjoyed my time with this game.
2011. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky ; I didn't actually vote in 2011, so I'll remove this if I'm not allowed to vote in this category. But as far as "awesome 2011 games that I played in 2012" go, this one easily springs to mind.
 
Jan 4, 2012
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1. Kid Icarus: Uprising ; 50+ hours. The freshest game of the year. A game happy to be just a game. The music, the characters, everything about it is joyful. The controls are snappy (Spin it like a globe!), original and interesting to master. The replayablity is huge. The weapon fusion system is addictive and the adaptable difficulty system a brilliant idea. With this game, Sakurai enters my list of game directors to follow. If you look at most posts from this thread, the game either earns the top-spot of their list or doen't appear at all, which tells me if you have played it, it's almost guaranteed to be one of your favorite games this year.

2. Crashmo ; 30+ hours and I haven't finished it yet. Best puzzle game of the year and genius game mechanics. Coming up with a new puzzle concept in 2012 is quite an achievement IMO. Mr Iwata, I ask for an Iwata Asks about this new franchise!
This game should be frustrating but thanks to the rewind and reset buttons everything is painless and fun.

3. Nintendoland ; 45+ hours and I still have a lot of things to see. The most fun local multiplayer of the year. Mario Chase, Luigi's Mansion and Animal Crossing are the stars of the show and all three of them are laugh out loud funny. I haven't experienced that much hilarity since Mario Kart. The plaza, Miiverse and the easter eggs are awesome and recreate the feeling of the Arcades of the 80s. Special mention for the soundtrack which is very catchy and the opposite of the crap heard in NSMBU.

4. Mark of the Ninja ; The best 2D stealth/platform game possibly ever. This game is to 2D what Batman Arkham Asylum was to 3D. The level of interaction in this downloadable game puts most AAA games to shame this year. The controls are smooth as butter. The biggest compliment I can say is that it controls like a Nintendo game. The art-style and animation are fantastic. It really feels like a Saturday morning cartoon. The number of options you have to tackle your foes is very impressive for a 2D game.

5. Trine 2: Director's Cut ; One of the most beautiful games I've ever played. I couldn't believe my eyes sometimes. Very fun in co-op and some very clever puzzles.

6. Dishonored ; So nice to see a quality new IP this late in the gen. Albeit short, Dishonored deserves a spot for its cool art-style and world, a very agile main character, open level design and original new game-play mechanics like Blink.

2011. Portal 2 ; What hasn't already been said about this game? It's a masterpiece. Everything is crafted wonderfully. Compared to most co-op games, the co-op experience is really CO-OPERATIVE and extremely well designed.

Other games I've played this year but don't deserve a spot:

- Paper Mario Sticker Star: Best art-style of any Paper Mario yet but the bosses and puzzles are 100% trial and error. Very bad design. A guide is mandatory to avoid frustration. The combat is fun but not strategic enough, not being able to select your enemies is a huge omission. Still, I had some fun with it.

- New Super Mario Bros. 2: I am done with this series.

- New Super Mario Bros U: I am really done with this series.

- Picross e: it's Picross, it's good but nothing new.

- Quantum Conundrum: Some interesting puzzles but nowhere near Portal's. Samey environment and crappy narrative/humor.

- Uncharted 3: It's from 2011. A good ride.

- Dust: An Elysian Trail: Didn't bother to finish it. Combat system is too simple and repetitive as is the pseudo exploration. Yet huge kudos for its creator and the titanic work involved.

- Max Payne 3: Uninteresting story, slow-ass character and zero replayability thanks to the boring cut-scenes. My disappointment of the year.

- The Walking Dead: Very good story and very memorable characters. Not really a game though. Very weak technically.

- Mass Effect 3: More Mass Effect. It was entertaining and the story was strong enough to bother continuing.

- Resident Evil Revelations: Good graphic on 3DS but silly story and the gunplay/item management/monsters were all weak. Too much backtracking as well.

- Beat the Beat : Rhythm Paradise: More of the same. Too few 2P games. Too many songs were not catchy. I had more fun with the DS iteration.

- Dylon's Rolling Western: I was bored by the end of level 2. Extremely repetitive and boring.

- Rayman Origins: 2011 game sorry. Good platformer but lacks variety and becomes repetitive if you want to access the final level.

- Fez: Intriguing concept and fantastic art-style. But no real exploration or interesting puzzles kill it. This is not a Metroidvania. No interest whatsoever in the meta game.
 
Apr 15, 2012
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1. Kid Icarus: Uprising ; An absolute gem and my favorite Nintendo game since Super Mario Galaxy 2. It encompasses everything I love about video games: charm, character, and most of all, fun. I was lucky enough to not have control scheme issues like a significant amount of people did, and was able to enjoy the game to the fullest. In addition to the great level design, the game also features a great cast of characters, charming visuals, and amazing writing; the localization effort rivals that of Paper Mario. The fairly meaty single player is given tons of replay value in weapon fusing, difficulty settings, and accomplishment boards. Overall, the game has become one of the must-haves for the 3DS, and I can see myself replaying this multiple times in the future.

2. Far Cry 3 ; This one came out of nowhere. I was expecting a nice distraction to keep me occupied until new games release. Instead, I got an extremely unique experience that I had a blast with. I found myself choosing to hunt or capture outposts rather than continuing the main quest. That is something no other open world game has compelled me to do. When a game can capture my attention in a way no other one has, and I have a blast while doing it, it deserves recognition.

3. Halo 4 ; Although I was expecting this to be #1, - it is after all my second favorite series (Mario) - I was still very pleased with what I received. The singleplayer has left me wanting more, and I'm still enjoying multiplayer. I was a bit worried about the changes 343i was making, but in the end I felt like they were necessary to allow the series to evolve. I am looking forward to the sequel, I think the franchise is in good hands.

4. New Super Mario Bros. U ; What a breath of fresh air this was after its mediocre 3DS counterpart! The better level design, lack of a gimmick and updated artstyle have turned a potential cash-in into my second favorite 2D Mario behind SMW. Another big factor in this ranking so high is Challenge Mode. These tests of Mario skill are very well designed and not just a simple afterthought. Golding all of them is no easy challenge either. In addition to being a great game in itself, the title has me ready to see Nintendo HD. Although obvious signs of heavy Wii development are present, the clean look has me excited for the coming months.

5. Paper Mario: Sticker Star ; Full of charm and character; this may not be the type of game everyone was hoping for, but it's definitely a quality addition to the 3DS library. Aside from some trial-and-error design, there's not much I disliked. The battle system had me attempting to get into fights despite them not being needed, the puzzles were challenging enough to be satisfying, and as always, the writing was topnotch. It's no TTYD2, but after 100%'ing the game, I'm not sure it needed to be.

x. Nintendo Land ; After the awful E3 showing this game had, I feel it needs to be commended for being a surprisingly fun and deep package. The game has really impressed me with what I've seen, and I'm looking forward to putting more hours into it. It's my lack of playtime that can't justify getting any points.

2011. Portal 2 ; I can't believe I didn't play this last year. Complete with mind-bending puzzles and overflowing with character, this has jumped up to one of my favorites of all time. Would have easily topped Skyward Sword as my GotY 2011.

This year was spent mostly clearing the backlog, so that's it!
 
Aug 5, 2012
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1. Journey ; Words can not express how this game made me feel by the end if it. Then when I realized that the person who had followed me was another player blew my mind. Nothing quite like it.

2. The Walking Dead ; If Journey was the best game of the year, TWD was the best told story. I can literally say that I have never felt so heavily invested into characters like this since Heavy Rain. I would consider myself a strong person but this game made me bawl like a baby. Amazing.

3. Super Hexagon ; Pure addictive fun.
 

Semblance

shhh Graham I'm still compiling this Radiant map
Dec 2, 2004
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1. Dragon's Dogma ; Dogma is some wild ish. Look at the Devil May Cry gone fantasy combat system. Fire off an arrow and guide it right to a cyclops' eye. Summon a tornado on top of a gang of lizard monsters. Or gut-punch a goblin in the air, splash him with explosive powder, then light his ass up. The kooky characters that populate the world and the story that moves along when it feels like it are understandably not for everyone, but I found this stuff too silly to not like. There were Elder Scrolls ambitions here, but they took a very wrong turn somewhere and ended up with something clearly insane and, frankly, more enjoyable. Like, right from the hype theme song alone, you know this ain't any old sandbox adventure. This isn't even mentioning the post-game content, climbing over dragons, or the absurd romance bit. God, this game is so damn Capcom. After over a hundred hours logged, something I never do for any game these days, there was only one spot Dogma could possibly take. Shine on, you crazy diamond. Shine on.

2. Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown ; The rich keep getting richer. Been with VF since day one and I'm still blown away by how much Sega can eek out of three buttons. This is a game with depth. Depth and flow. No other manfighter moves like this. Every fight feels like it can just suddenly end - damage is high, not absurdly so, but it's enough to keep you on edge even at full health. You never know when a spinning woooosh kick will connect with your face, leaving your opponent to either set you up for a new combo, juggle you out of the ring, or pin you up against a wall and rob you of your health bar. It is that rush you get when you dismantle someone that really works for me though. No other series in the genre makes you feel like such a beast when you're on the offense and your opponent can't keep up.

3. Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition ; Boy, am I glad I waited to play this on PC. For the obvious reasons, even if those obvious reasons needed help from Durante, but also because it took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out how on Earth I was supposed to descend Blighttown. I fell, and fell, and got invaded and kicked off, then fell some more. I'm dumb. Attach that to a 15fps framerate and I'd have sold the game. Which would have been an enormous loss, as Dark Souls really is something special. It's so carefully constructed. The way sections weave around and connect back as you progress doesn't get enough praise. Brilliant level design. The Demon Ruins / Lost Izalith / Gwyn's Ashtray Playground (forgot the name, fuck it) outro was rather unfortunate, but I broke it up by going through the Artorias of the Abyss content. Relentless boss fights, haunted scenery, subtle but effective storytelling, delicious secrets. How was this stuff left out? DS is uneven, but man, its peaks were as thrilling as anything else last year.

4. Analogue: A Hate Story ; Equally cute and cruel. Christine Love got my imagination running with Analogue, putting my own images to the dead and their tragedies as I read through letter after letter. Though never gratuitous, she isn't afraid to hammer the player with some incredibly ugly reveals. The mysteries here are carefully wrapped and slowly peeled back too, making everything hit that much harder. Love does flirt with some anime tropes, but there was little else I could see through. I struggled a lot with this. With describing it without giving too much away, with explaining well enough why it registered so much with me, but also with where to put it on my list. So many action-flavored games and I value that sort of thing way more than a visual novel, even if this one is uniquely structured and different from its peers. I had to include Analogue though. It wasn't being left out.

5. Tokyo Jungle ; This game is a trip. Kind of an action game, kind of a stealth game, kind of a platformer, all set in a kind of sandbox environment. Kind of! Although the campaign is surprisingly good, Tokyo Jungle really works best in survival mode. It looks simple, but you'll be at for a bit. You have to learn the city's layout, objective and item spawn points, and how to deal with deadlier animals. Some you can take out, some you can't, some you really shouldn't go near but attack anyway only to realize he has a gang behind him. It's always a risk. This is all to get up to that 100 year mark, which is essentially game over even though you can keep going. TJ feels like it was plucked from the early 2000s. It'd rest on your shelf right next to Samba de Amigo and Katamari Damacy. Maybe because you can put a schoolgirl outfit on a polar bear, maybe because you can smang females for extra lives, or maybe because it looks only marginally better than those games. Not sure. Effortlessly charming and quirky as hell, TJ's addictive and a joy to play.



6. Binary Domain ; Binary Domain is delightfully dumb. The cast is lovable with a neverending supply of silly one-liners that had me seriously cracking up. Mechanically though, this TPS is actually pretty sharp. Enemy placement is smart, it feels fresh battle to battle, despite not having a lot of enemy types to work with. Dismemberment isn't just gratifying - unload on a robot's head and watch it disintegrate, bits and pieces flying all over the place with each bullet - it's also a key tool. You can handicap enemies, blowing out legs to keep them from storming you (they'll still slink around though, be careful). Gunplay feels extremely tight, too. Strikes just the right balance between "realistic" heft and the more arcade-y variety of shooters. All this and hard mode is a finely tuned, honest challenge, because Nagoshi loves me so. Favorite moment? The gorilla boss. A hulking monster who isn't too tough. Until he enrages. Strings of ground punches come out alarmingly fast and are always just right behind you, no matter how fast you run. That is a hell of a fight, and this is a hell of a game.

7. Akai Katana ; Nobody does STGs like Cave. Their work shines. Akai Katana really shines. The scoring system, while taking a little to get used to, is clever. The mechanics are unsurprisingly airtight, and you're given some neat stuff to work with (the 'pushback' system is particularly cool). The art is super lush, pretty. Both the amazing character portraits and the backdrops. Think it was the fourth stage where you start out underwater and end up above the clouds. Beautiful. Music though, wow, is it bad. A Guwange-ish soundtrack would've worked so well here. Still, I can't be mad at a Cave shooter, especially one where bosses summon in warships.

8. Ys Origin ; Listen, no other game in 2012 did bosses like this. Tick the difficulty up and your ass will be whipped. They are all of the old-school learn my patterns fast, sucka variety. You will die, and die a lot, but there isn't a single "cheap" attack to be found here. Random example, the giant centipede fight. It tosses poisonous spores, drops lightning bolts while crawling around a tower, spits lightning while on the ground, then eventually goes into wheel mode and tries to run you over because why not. There's a ton of bosses here, and pretty much any of them could be selected as a highlight. The character designs and story are awful, but the latter isn't obtrusive, at least. Multiple characters, fat-free pacing, flawless controls, and excellent Japanese buttrock also help make this an exciting action adventure. A Link to the Past on HGH.

9. Tribes: Ascend ; 100 miles and gunnin'. Maybe I'm just getting older, maybe they're just sucking more so than ever, but competitive FPS doesn't do much for me these days. Thankfully, Tribes: Ascend exists. Sneak into an enemy base and slap sticky grenades on some dumbass' back, blow up his generator after he dies, then restealth and wait for the next goofball to roll in. Or ski down some snowy mountains, giving chase to the dude who just grabbed our flag. Puh-TUH ... ching! This Thumper DX don't play, son. Tribes almost feels made for me. The varied classes, the speed, the big maps, the goofiest voice commands for me to spam since Counter-Strike (yes, this is important). The XP stuff being so slow to accrue is kinda gross, keeping this from being too high on my list, but I found myself addicted to a multiplayer shooter for the first time in ages.

10. Sleeping Dogs ; It's Grand Theft Yakuza with Arkham Asylum's combat and Infernal Affairs' script (although it's a lot closer in tone to The Departed, admittedly). There's even a vault over cover and shoot in slow-mo mechanic, ala Vanquish. Basically, Sleeping Dogs doesn't have a single original idea in its entire head. That's okay! It's all pretty well executed. The combat system is a bit less automated and has a satisfying crunch to it, so I kinda prefer it over the Batmans, even if it's still too easy. The cast is a fun, lively group, lead by my favorite main character all year, Wei "Wei Shen, motherfucker" Shen. The city, if a bit small for my taste, is gorgeous, atmospheric, and a pleasure to drive around in. Hong Kong is perfect for this sort of thing, so much so you wonder how we only got to it now. I could nitpick the ending or the lack of a decent electronic station, but it's all good. Glad Squeenix went dumpster diving for this one.

x. Katawa Shoujo ; More sincere and delicately handled than any 4chan-spawned game involving disabled girls has the right to be. There's a genuine warmth here that made me happy. One VN was enough for my list, but this was still adored and appreciated. Bonus points for A) Hanako (◡‿◡✿) and B) Fripperies.

x. Torchlight 2 ;
Oh God loot.


x. Resonance ; Wadjet Eye are consistently dope. Here's another ace point and click none of you played.



2011. Catherine ; Real quick, shout outs to Yakuza 4 and Hard Corps: Uprising. Not just two of last year's finest, they're also two of the best from each franchise. Manly games for manly men, and I, naturally, missed out on the manliness. But my 2011 pick goes to a game I did play, if only for a bit. Back near its release, Catherine just didn't "click." Found Vincent to be something of a clown, found both girls too extreme to be likable, found myself having zero fun. I had a suspicion I didn't give this a fair shake though, and hey, here we are now. Catherine is a fantastic ride. It is extremely rewarding to conquer these daunting stages. Completing puzzles hasn't been this gratifying for me since, well, ever. That includes Portal 2, which I gave my top pick to last year. There was always a smile on my face after reaching the top, a total "I did it!" feeling. So few games hit you with an honest challenge, and even fewer feel this satisfying to beat. The story, too, whoa. So many yo, whaaat moments, and this time, I ate it all up. Catherine is now a favorite of mine this gen. Full C route all the way, by the way~

Last year's list. Having played much more of 2011's games my vote would be very different now. Way more even with Western v. Japanese stuff and Deus Ex being erased altogether. I played the majority of what I wanted to from 2012 so I doubt I'll look back on this and regret my picks, but who knows. If I made any mistakes anywhere feel free to call me out. Will fix this post up tomorrow. I need a drink right now though.
 
Jan 23, 2010
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Didn't play much this year, but here goes:

1. Mark of the Ninja
2. Diablo III ; A game I ended up wasting like 300 hours of my life on even with it being a very flawed game in many ways.
3. FEZ
4. Sleeping Dogs ; Good but not as great as some people will have you believe.
5. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
6. Trials Evolution
 
Nov 10, 2007
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I'm going to post this now and fill in the blanks -- it's incomplete but I'm going to continue to fill it in this afternoon.

There are so many games I didn't get around to playing yet (Dishonored, X-COM, Mark of the Ninja, etc), but I don't believe in forcing myself to play games -- my free time/peace of mind is to0 precious to turn into "work" -- so I'll just list my Top 10 so far, and edit it by the cutoff date, if it changes:

1. Kid Icarus: Uprising ; Without a doubt Sakurai's masterpiece, the crown jewel of the 3DS, and the best game Nintendo has released in years. The controversial controls work incredibly well once you acclimate to them; whipping about the camera with a quick flick of the stylus and tapping again to stop your cursor on a fast-moving target is tactile and twitchy in an exhilirating KMB sort of way. Level traversal and combat has an excellent rhythm and flow, with the on-foot stages being the star of the show. The characters, dialogue, and voice acting are on par with Valve's best, and the art direction strikes a perfect balance between "charming" and "cool," with some of the most stunning autostereoscopic 3D effects on the system, and a staggering sense of scale. In fact, the sheer scope of the game is unprecedented for a portable action title: Twenty-five chapters spanning three story arcs, enough for a trilogy of games in itself. Then you add to this 100+ weapons, each with several unique attacks; a near-infinite number of weapon mods to craft; 99 levels of difficulty centered around the brilliant risk-reward mechanic of gambling your in-game currency; 300 in-game achievements with prizes attached to them, as well as picture puzzles that fill in as you complete them; 400+ 3D figurines with Pokedex-style entries to unlock, including special ones people are -still- discovering via promo card and the Augmented Reality minigame; perhaps the best original sountrack to EVER grace a Nintendo game, composed by an all-star team of Japan's finest composers; an addictive multiplayer suite where you can really put your custom weapons through the paces, with a great training screen while waiting for the game to start; strong StreetPass and SpotPass support; and so much more. KIU is simply incredible, on every level. A once-in-a-generation game, and it knows it. People who pass it up are passing up Nintendo's finest offering in ages.

2. Sleeping Dogs ; The first open-world game I've played with a story that was truly compelling from start to finish, married to mechanically sound and varied missions that matched the narrative's deftly paced momentum. The Arkham-style free-flow combat and over-the-top environmental kills made for incredibly satisfying fights, and the leap-out-of-cover-and-into-slow-mo shootouts were incredible -- there's nothing more satisfying in games than seeing all of your foes drop dead the moment normal time resumes. Add to this top-notch arcade-style car handling, very organic free-running chase/escape sequences, and a world that is so warm you can't help but want to inhabit it for hours at a time, seeking out each of its myriad collectibles. I loved listening to the idle chitchat of the NPCs, getting takeout at the food stands on each corner, and simply milling about the crowds with the dedicated "slow walk" button, soaking in the sights and sounds and admiring the best rain effects in videogames. The attention to detail in this virtual Hong Kong makes for an exquisitely immersive experience. We need more Wei Shen, and more Sleeping Dogs.

3. Hotline Miami ; Stealth, action, puzzling, score attack -- this game executes perfectly on all of these elements, and all at once, so seamlessly and effortlessly that all you see is the sum of its parts. You're drawn into a clockwork construct of punishment and progress, all driven by a surreal dream-like haze of pulsating neon and '80s-esque techno-trance, this sense the game is playing you just as much as you're playing it, with mysterious interludes in apartments and pizzerias and VHS stores that serves more to unnerve you than as a breather between killing sprees. Those killing sprees are the star of the show, though: One hit, one kill, for you and your enemies, which makes flinging open a door, knocking an enemy unconscious, throwing an axe at another enemy and then kicking in the fallen foe's face all the more brutal. And then you're blown away by a shotgun-wielding enemy rounding the corner off-screen, and you jump with the bone-crunching splatter of your internals combusting, and the accompanying rumble in your controller. And then you try again, instantly. And again. And again. Hotline Miami is a smoldering gem of pure, raw, concentrated gameplay -- unfettered in its focus, inspired in its vision, and masterful in its execution.

4. Resident Evil: Revelations ; I played through the campaign twice, once on the original 3DS, and again on the XL. It's clear to me this is the best Resident Evil since RE4, and I may in fact prefer it. The pacing is impeccable, with great foreshadowing of horrors to come, and a refreshing back-and-forth between moody, thoughtful exploration and balls-to-the-wall action, all culminating in the single most chilling and effective end-game sequene in a "new school" Resident Evil. The plot is without a doubt the absolute best the series has ever had to offer, with tons of twists and turns, likable characters, and lots of developments both at the micro level (the immediate plight of any given character) and the macro level (global terrorism, shadow agencies, behind-the-scenes conspiracies, etc). I loved the nautical creature designs and inspired BOWs, such as the gluttonous Scagdead and the knight-like Scarmiglione; I loved the opulent setting of the Queen Zenobia, and the action-packed asides in Terragrigia and the snowy mountains. The controls were tight and precise, always reliable, and the mechanics offered surprising depth -- a thoughtful evolution of RE4's stop-and-pop gameplay and focus on zoning, liberating it just enough with increased mobility in strafing and dodging. Tripping enemies or stunning their arms to set-up melees was very deliberate and satisfying, and the simple act of shooting an enemy had a solid sense of impact, especially in Raid where you clearly see your weapons whittling away their life bar. Speaking of Raid, what a brilliant addition: You and a friend co-op your way through missions lifted from the campaign, leveling up and earning loot that you mod with weapon perks. Going online, it's a great opportunity to showcase your skills, in a friendly environment with none of the pressure of Merc's time limit. And with three difficulty levels and about 20 levels, including Ghost Ship, which gives you the entirety of the Queen Zenobia to explore as you please, Raid keeps delivering, hours and hours after you've finished the campaign. Oh, and did I mention this game has GameCube-caliber graphics and sound, with immaculate attention to detail and some of the most impressive autostereoscopic 3D on the system? You just want to reach in and touch the game world, it's so immersive. Between this and KIU, the 3DS becomes a must-own system and the best portable to date, for my tastes.

5. Nintendo Land ; This is not a minigame collection. This is an anthology of full-blown arcade games that would be classics individually in any other era. Together in a theme park setting with all the bells and whistles of HD, their old-school design philosophy still shines bright. Mechanically airtight, robust in content, and polished to perfection, they reward skill and patient observation -- and prove the mantra "haste makes waste," punishing inelegant players with a merciless difficulty curve. But like any good arcade game, when you fail, you pick yourself up and try again. Nine of the 12 attractions can be played in single-player; six of the 12 support multiplayer. Both modes are superb, and tied together by a magical hub world you can populate with animatronics unlocked in a pachinko minigame that serves as your main incentive for collecting coins at the various attractions. The hub also puts Miiverse integration to great use, filling the plaza with the Miis of other players who share their thoughts (and drawings, and scores) with you in passing, creating the sense of a living, breathing space. The graphics are incredibly beautiful, all glowing colors and handmade textures like quilted cloth, painted metal and wood. There is an amazing variety of attractions, utilizing the GamePad and concept of asymmetrical gameplay in ways subtle and not, but always effective. The perfect start to the WiiU, and hopefully a sign of similar innovation and craftsmanship to come.

6. Alan Wake ;

7. Resident Evil 6 ;

8. New Super Mario Bros. 2 ;

9. New Super Mario Bros. U ;

10. Dear Esther ;
 
Aug 12, 2007
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1. Far Cry 3 ; My opinions varied all over the place while playing this. I quit and restarted from scratch more times than I can count, frustrated by an ill-designed skill progression system, overpowered crafted items, and so on. However, I kept returning again and again because I was convinced there was a good game buried beneath the surface. After introducing my own artificial set of "rules" (honed over a dozen separate false starts), I finally got it just right. Once I did, my experience with this was like no other game this year. The sense of discovery, exploration, and (after tweaking) challenge made this a viable successor to its lofty predecessor. I really didn't expect this to be my GOTY. But the more time I've spent with it, the more I'm convinced it's the only possible choice for 2012. I held off posting my list just to be sure. But there's no need for me to wait longer. It's the right answer.

2. Journey ; This is a game all about intuitive game design. It communicates through actions and environments. It tells a story with a very light hand, allowing you to "intuit" a complete history and dramatic arc. You react to and communicate with a partner in intuitive ways, attempting to "read" one another's intentions through their actions and indefinable sounds. A great experience that gets at the heart of the gaming experience.

3. The Walking Dead ; I started playing this on a whim when the first episode came out. Like everyone else, I had been consistently underwhelmed by Telltale's prior work. But something about the visual style and voice acting hooked me in that first episode. I had no idea what I was in for through the next four episodes. I didn't know then that I'd be surprised in dozens of ways that I never expected a game could surprise me.

4. Max Payne 3 ; Yet another surprise. I played this late in the year. I am a huge fan of the first two games, and I thought there would be no way that another studio could do justice to the series. But not only did they prove themselves equal to the task, they managed to turn the game into a meta-commentary on the entire series. Max's obsessions and anxieties used to bleed into the world around him, but in this installment, he is faced with the prospect that maybe the world isn't merely an expression of his ego. And that's the most anxiety-inducing experience of all for him... and for gamers.

5. Botanicula ; This was the year I learned to stop trusting professional game reviewers, and this was the game that solidified that discovery. Beautiful visuals and music and sound. Great puzzle design. Likable characters. Combines the best of the rebirth of point-and-click adventure games with the best of 2D indie platformers. It's a bit of a hybrid, but also something else entirely new and unique.

6. Mark of the Ninja ; The first couple of levels didn't do this game justice, so it took a while for the rhythm and tone of this game to sink in. But when it all locked into place, it was like some mad amalgam of Metroid, Thief, and Ninja Gaiden. More please.

7. Super Hexagon ; As with many others, this is the first iOS game to make my end-of-year list. Game design shrunk down to milliseconds. The subtlety emerges over time and within time. It's there at the smallest level. Gives whole new meaning to what "small" game design can be.

8. Dyad ; Tutorial-as-game. I've always suspected this was true of most games: that a game is all about "learning" mechanics and systems, and then demonstrating mastery of what you've learned. But in Dyad, you never stop learning. There is no point of mastery. It masters you.

9. Fez ; As a game of exploration and discovery, Fez is unmatched. The first "half" of the game is filled with wonder and beauty. The second "half," however, takes a detour into indulgent bad puzzle design. Decoding is not puzzle solving, nor is it at all integrated into the game itself. But thankfully, the first part of the game is absolutely joyous and makes up for its ill-conceived "puzzles." Ignoring the long tail, the first half of this game is a joy and a wonder.

10. Sound Shapes ; Not at all what I expected. I bought a PS3 just to play Everyday Shooter, so I was very excited to see what Mr. Mak had cooked up next. My only gripe about this game is that there isn't more. Once you beat it, that's pretty much it. Once you finish the challenge rooms, that's it. Once you complete the rhythm challenges, that's it. But its high points are very high indeed. One of the few cases where I think DLC would be a good thing.

x. Hotline Miami ; Any game with Sun Araw's music gets an automatic honorable mention. The game itself was neat and fun. But left me feeling a bit unsatisfied and hollow afterward.

x. Trials Evolution ; An iteration on an already fantastic formula. More of the same. But more is good.

2011. Rayman Origins ; Best platformer in recent memory. The competition isn't even close. They simply don't make games like this anymore. Can't believe it took me so long to try it.

Two things stand out to me from this year's list. First, there are a lot more small games than in the past (only two $60 AAA games on my list). Second, even among the "best" games, there are some major flaws. An interesting year, but not necessarily a great one. "Transitional" is the word I would use to describe 2012.
 
Nov 10, 2007
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Neiteio you shouldn't include the 2013 US release of Anarchy Reigns. (I just assume that is how you are playing it judging by your posts.)

Also I was wondering if there would eventually be a list with both RE6 and RE:R on it, lol.
I'm playing Anarchy Reigns in 2013, but I figure it counts because the game released originally in 2012 in Japan, no? I really want to give it props.

Ditto for Alan Wake, in a different way -- came out for another platform originally, but I played it on PC this year.
 
Sep 21, 2010
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I'm playing Anarchy Reigns in 2013, but I figure it counts because the game released originally in 2012 in Japan, no? I really want to give it props.

Ditto for Alan Wake, in a different way -- came out for another platform originally, but I played it on PC this year.
I think the OP might explain it better than I can, but basically you are playing a 2013 game with the US version of Anarchy Reigns. This wouldn't be the case with the Japanese version aka Max Anarchy (even if imported). The difference is not the same as a game releasing on a new platform. In the end, you still will only be able to vote for it/list it once ever.

Not like you can't give it props next year.
 
Nov 10, 2007
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I think the OP might explain it better than I can, but basically you are playing a 2013 game with the US version of Anarchy Reigns. This wouldn't be the case with the Japanese version aka Max Anarchy (even if imported). The difference is not the same as a game releasing on a new platform. In the end, you still will only be able to vote for it/list it once ever.

Not like you can't give it props next year.
It's weird with games like this or, say, Catherine, which saw its release in English-speaking territories on different years (2011 for U.S., 2012 for Europe, irrc). It's a bit unfair to the game since the votes will be split accordingly. Hmm...
 
I'm playing Anarchy Reigns in 2013, but I figure it counts because the game released originally in 2012 in Japan, no? I really want to give it props.

Ditto for Alan Wake, in a different way -- came out for another platform originally, but I played it on PC this year.
By this logic, would you disqualify Layton for coming out in a previous year in Japan?
 
Nov 10, 2007
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By this logic, would you disqualify Layton for coming out in a previous year in Japan?
No, what I'm saying is, if the game came out in different territories in different years, you should be able to vote for it in whichever year you wish, regardless of the year you played it in.

I mean, Anarchy Reigns came out Jan. 8. It was out in Japan in, like, July. English-ready and everything. I didn't import, but I'm playing this game that has technically been available for half of 2012, a mere week -after- 2012. Why can't I vote for it for 2012?
 
Jun 7, 2004
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I don't play games very much anymore, and when I do, it is mostly older titles. That said, I did play some new 2012 titles this year:

1. Kid Icarus: Uprising ; The quintessential game for the 3DS. There is a ton of value here. From the multiple difficulty levels, to the very fun multiplayer, to the AR cards, this game seems to have it all. Let's hope we don't have to wait another 20+ years for Pit to return!

2. Paper Mario: Sticker Star ; Mariachi Shyguys!
 
Jun 23, 2010
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EDIT2: Well fixed my post as per the rules.

1- Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed; I personally love it when a game awes me as I keep advancing in it, and this game pretty much did just that. It's the most fun kart-type racing game I've played in years, the last one I enjoyed so much was Crash Team Racing.
I strongly recommend anyone who is looking for an offline multi game to pick it up, it'd be a great game to play at get togethers and the like.

2- Skullgirls; Completely forgot this game got released this year. Great animation and good gameplay, Cerebella for life \m/

3- Tekken Tag Tournament 2; Pretty much the FG with the most content of any fighting game released this year.

4- Punch Quest; An epic quest of punching legions of undead and orcs with uppercuts and dash punches

5- Rayman Jungle Run; A fun running game on the iOS.

6- Double Dragon Neon; A fun and simple beat'em-up harkening to the classic days of its genre, with awesome music, visual design and hilarious moments to boot.

7- Street Figher X Tekken; I like the combo options this game offers, but sadly the damage scaling limits that. Looking forward to the upcoming update later in January.

8- Dishonored; While the game offers many impressive ways to kill enemies I played through it in a Pacificst Stealth playthrough...or at least I tried. I'm not a fan of First Person view games, but enjoyed the game for the most part.

9- Final Fantasy XIII-2; FF13 was a Prototype, 13-2 felt more like a JRPG. The combat is improved and I really like the soundtrack for the most part. This game shines more in gameplay than story.

10- Shinobido 2; Fun for a while but some missions are annoying, and sadly the gameplay is rather repetitive.
 
Is it ok to post pictures of the games? If not i will remove them.


1. The Last Story; This game did everything right for me. This is the first game in a long time i didn't manage to put down. Had so much fun with it that I could play up to 8 hours a day. I haven't done that in a long time. The story is kinda cheesy but that is why i love it. Combat is fun too and has a bit of strategic depth to it. But most important for a game i have to love the characters and this one surely made me care for the whole team.

2.Rhythm Thief and the Emperors Treasure; Wow this is the Sega i am looking for. Amazing music with fun throwback classics to Space Channel 5 and Samba de amigo. Fun mini games and the 3d cut scenes look amazing. Cute story. And make use of every part of the 3ds.

3. Paper Mario Sticker Star; The best Paper Mario game since the series debuted on the n64. This game is like an old adventure game and i love it. The game doesn't hand hold you and you need to discover everything on your own. The 3d is AMAZING in this game, really feels like i am looking through a box. love the combat and the charming world.

4.Resident Evil Revelations; I haven't played Resident Evil 6 and i loved 5. But this is my favorite Resident Evil game since 4. Haunted settings and a nice story. but the best part was the raid mode. I also have been playing borderlands but this was so much fun with a friend gun looting and killing bosses. the final raid level is where it's at can replay that level so many times.

5. Dead or Alive 5; I love the fight mechanics and levels in DOA and this one is no exception. Like the addition of Virtua Fighter characters and the new characters too. The only thing i was a bit disappointed about was that the stages weren't as good as previous DOA's and the music Also. But the fighting and the fun to be had with friends make more then up for it.

6. New Super Mario Bros U; This is the game that make you grab the Wii U. Its 2d Mario at its best. Its what you expect from a Mario game, platforming at its finest. Also it has a nice challenge( not that hard) was a bit disappointed that you can't control a character with the Wii U pad in multiplayer.

7. Xenoblade; I am probably one of the few people who rank last story higher than Xenoblade and that is for a good reason. This game has way to many choices and way too many Quest. But the world and the music are amazing. I also kinda got tired of the battle system after about 20 hours.

8. Virtue's Last Reward; Mixed feelings about this one Loved the puzzles in this game. But the story wasn't as good as 999 it didn't manage to grab me and most of the plottwist were way more predictable then in 999. Also while i love the flowsystem it removed all the tensions from the AB game. didn't like the outcome just jump back and replay it. you didn't had to stick by your choices and that is one of the most important things in a Visual Novel the choices you make. Still i had some nice mindblows and loved the puzzles.

9. The world Ends With You Solo Remix; Can't help it i love TWEWY. I prefer the DS version. But this game is so deep for a mobile game that i loved to play it again and experience it all over on the train to school. The new battle system also made the game more of a different experience then on the DS.

10. Dark Souls Prepare to die Edition; This was a totally new experience to me the constant fear of having a epic boss just around the corner to waste you in a couple of seconds. The world wasn't that amazing nor the combat, nor the story But what made it stand out for me was the experience. for the first time since Metroid i felt alone on a world also the discover the world fibe and the non hand holding was great. I like how you can discover at your own pace.
 
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Changed up the order of my list (which is kinda arbitrary to me anyway) to give more props to Chivalry. What a cool game. It's cool reading this thread, looks like there's still some great games from this year I haven't played / need to play more. Lots of indie titles on people's lists.

7. Super Hexagon ; As with many others, this is the first iOS game to make my end-of-year list. Game design shrunk down to milliseconds. The subtlety emerges over time and within time. It's there at the smallest level. Gives whole new meaning to what "small" game design can be.
This is pretty much exactly what I wanted to say about Super Hexagon but better articulated.
 
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1. Dishonored ; this game kinda blew me away, loved the graphics and the gameplay. Stabbing a dude has never felt so good. This was kind of the Bioshock sequel i wanted strangely, great atmosphere. Sound design was overdone in places, but other places sound was amazing " enhanced eyes!"

2. Sleeping Dogs ; goddam dem pc graphics is good. borrowing batman combat is smart even if its not as deep, driving is alot of fun as well. dose graphics.

3. Far Cry 3 ; goddam dem pc graphics is good. brilliant in alot of respects, disapointing in alot of respects, but overall a pretty great game, good gunplay and exploration. hopefully the director of 2 can direct 4 tho, but with this game being more a success i expect more dumbing down for the next sequel :(

played alot of older games and havent finished some others so thats my votes.
 
Mar 4, 2012
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1. Journey ; Journey is one of the few games where you're not playing a game anymore. You're experiencing something, something special. Like every other Journey though, this experience is all about reaching its destination. You don't have to reach that destination alone either, because random strangers will join you in this journey and that makes it all the better. This is because you'll have to rely on basic human instinct. You can't message eachother and you don't know eachother's intentions. That's probably the beauty of it. I realised this the hard way when I played the entire game with a random stranger, only to see him "die" (logging off I take it) near the end of the game.
During the credits, I found out his PSN was something like xX_K1ngR3DEMPTI0N_Xx



2. The Walking Dead ; Like Journey, The Walking Dead is another impressive feat for what I used to consider "just downloadable games". It's impressive that a simple point and click game can create such a strong bond with the player and the characters in the game. Heck, I don't think I've ever been as emotional attached to any other (AAA) game than when I played The Walking Dead. It truly deserves this spot.



3. Hotline Miami ; I attacked the very first enemy by surprise, smashed his skull in and took his weapon... only to throw it at the head of a second enemy who just appears to enter the room. I quickly run to that same enemy, pick up his shotgun and enter the next room. In just milliseconds, I shoot both enemies in that room. The gunshot is loud enough to attract the entire building. Groups of enemies come storming at me, but I'm prepared. Hiding next to the door, I massacre them. All of them. All of this happens in a matter of seconds, there's not even time to think this through, but I don't mind. Oh, I don't mind at all. This is brainless killing at its best. The soundtrack only elevates it to an even higher spot.



4. Chivalry: Medieval Warfare ; This game is worth it for the combat-system alone. I don't think I've ever played a medieval game where swinging around a sword was this fun. It's just so....satisfying. Slicing up enemies is like slicing through butter. It feels so natural, it feels so easy, yet the system can be very complex if you want it. Making use of the feint system, battles can get very interesting and exciting.



5. World Of Warcraft: Mists Of Pandaria ; I can probably count my friends who still play WoW (beyond the first expansion) on one hand. I don't blame them though, because a lot of people probably agree the glory days of this game are long gone. Still, I enjoy the current WoW and it's newest expansion, Mists Of Pandaria. If you look beyond the "lol pandas", there's actually a decent expansion hidden beneath. You actually have stuff to do compared to Cataclysm and the game still feels "fun". The new zones also feel fresh and full of inspiration, something I missed in the previous expansion.



6. Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition ; I must admit, I've played Demons Souls before so the concept of Dark Souls is not exactly new to me. That being said, it's been a while since I've played the first game and Dark Souls is the perfect game to re-introduce that same scary and ruthless feeling from the first game. As usual, Death is always around and you never feel safe (although the addition of campfires helps a little). Adrenaline constantly flows through your body and the satisfaction when you finally kill that one certain boss/enemy is probably one of the best feelings you can get out of videogames in 2012.



7. Call Of Duty Black Ops II ; Yeah, I know. Not the most popular game to mention in a GOTY list, but I really enjoyed this one compared to the Modern Warfare franchise. Black Ops II actually changes things around, even in the SP. I really enjoyed the custom loadout, the more fleshed out villain and the strike force missions. I really did. MP seems to be more of the same though with a few improvements here and there. I know the entire CoD franchise gets a lot of hate, but I can't dismiss the fact that Black Ops II has a huge load of content for 60$, and it doesn't even have an online pass or anything. I'm proud of Treyarch.



8. Assassin's Creed III ; Not as good as Assassin's Creed II, but slightly better than Assassin's Creed: Revelations.



9. Sleeping Dogs ; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnhuI-pXzJc



10. Uncharted: Golden Abyss ; It did what it had to do. It's an Uncharted game on the go, nothing more and nothing less. The good part about this: it's a very decent game and there's little change between the PS3 games and this Vita game. It feels like a true Uncharted game. The bad part about this: It felt like "yet another uncharted adventure" at times and the story felt a tiny wee weaker than the other games.



2011: The Witcher 2 ; I missed out on this game in 2011 and I'm very glad I eventually picked it up in 2012. It's an amazing game and it deserves all the hype and ratings it got. The graphics really are amazing and the combat system felt so good, especially since it combined enemies who proved to be a worthy challenge while still keeping it fun. Simply put, I loved the entire experience this game gave me and I wish I played this game back in 2011, because it would have been my 2011 GOTY.
 
Aug 8, 2008
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I'm not going to go as overboard with my nominations as I did last year, but I've spent a significant amount of time with around forty or so new releases from 2012. I feel like I can provide a list of ten noteworthy favorites without too many qualms, even if there are still a handful of games I haven't yet been able to play:





1. Persona 4 Golden ; Though I'm only around 1/4 of the way through, P4G seems like a surprisingly expanded P4. It doesn't shed what made P4 special and generally handles its new content tactfully, minor pandering aside. Many tweaks and additions enhance what was already a fantastic game, though some of its inherent shortcomings like lackluster dungeon design are still an Achilles heel. Food for thought: Tales of Vesperia displaced vanilla P4 as my 2008 GotY. The opposite situation holds true this year with Tales of Graces coming in below P4G for me. And one of the RPGs I was most looking forward to finally playing in 2012, Xenoblade Chronicles, a GAF favorite, left me feeling terribly disappointed. I find the way things turned out pretty interesting.



2. Tales of Graces ƒ ; Lackluster presentation and story aside, Graces is a joy to play, bearing one of the most thoughtful battle systems I've seen in games of its kind. Graces has issues: it's strikingly linear, it takes too long to get going, its story is pretty bland, its cast isn't the best, its visuals underwhelm, and its short music loops are often maddening. Basically, it just can't hold a candle to other, more well-rounded games in my eyes, Vesperia included. But its amazing battle system--a Tales-ized evolution of Star Ocean 3 and 4's crowning mechanics--is difficult to criticize, standing as yet another example of why many turn-based RPGs are terribly overrated.



3. DJMAX TECHNIKA TUNE ; TUNE's an iffy departure from the button-based Portables: franchise-standard additional content (like Club Tour, missions, and extra button modes) is trimmed in favor of more focus, and Technika's intrinsic accessibility sacrifices some note chart complexity. Despite the changes, I've played TUNE to death and eagerly await the next DJMAX release. Out of all the rhythm titles I've spent time with this year, TUNE's easily the most successful--intriguing albeit somewhat nerfed note patterns (that help create strong song identity), proper arcade philosophy (snappy, jubilant presentation with little fluff like unnecessary screens to sit through), and legitimate player feedback (actual sound processing for notes instead of the lazy, overlaid chimes you get in THEATRHYTHM or Project DIVA games, for example) continue to keep the DJMAX series a cut above the rest.



4. Dragon's Dogma ; DD is a little rough around the edges, but there aren't many games that offer experiences quite like it. Many people understandably either love it or hate it. It's familiar yet foreign, and the parts that make up its patchwork form range from poor to exceptional in quality. You'll see shades of Demon's and Dark Souls, Morrowind, Shadow of the Colossus, Monster Hunter, and a few other Capcom franchises. If you value spectacular combat and the spirit of adventure above all else, this game's awkward, questionable elements aren't enough to overshadow what it does better than some of its inspirations. There are a few games I completely adore (like Dark Souls) with sequels in the works, but the prospect of Dragon's Dogma 2 is by far the most exciting to me: it has so much unrealized potential.



5. TEKKEN TAG TOURNAMENT 2 ; TTT2 will likely remain one of my favorite 3D fighting games for years to come. I'm incredibly pleased with the effort put into this console release. I have very fond memories of the original TTT, both in arcades and at home with the PS2 version, yet TTT2 instantly eclipsed it in terms of design and sheer fun. The console port isn't perfect, but it's feature-packed and utterly brimming with content. Within the realm of fighting games, TTT2 deserves a special GotY mention even simply for the handling of its DLC alone. Welcome back, Tekken.



6. BlazBlue: Continuum Shift EXTEND ; With Chronophantasma on the horizon, I decided that I needed to catch up. I couldn't keep being mad at Arc for EXTEND after buying CS's overpriced character DLC, right? I popped in the disc, and, as it turns out, I'm still very much in love with BlazBlue. I thought Calamity Trigger was excellent for a brand new IP and have slowly grown to love BB's quirks even after being a Guilty Gear fan for so long. I've spent more time with other fighters on this list (and some that didn't make the cut like VF5FS, PSASBR, SFxT, and Skullgirls), but I don't feel like I need extensive playtime to validate my opinion of this particular BB entry. I'd also like to point out that, aside from the distracting audio problems (compression, clipping, home button glitch), BBCSE on the Vita is largely faithful to its console counterpart. I've double-dipped on so many fighters because of that handheld and will gladly continue to do so when such incredible ports keep coming out.



7. Kid Icarus: Uprising ; KI:U is a loot-driven hybrid of arcade-style rail shooting and intense on-foot action. It's one of the few games to ever make me wish I were a righty. Dubious controls and design choices aside, KI:U is one of the freshest, most meticulously detailed creations to come out of Nintendo in recent memory. Though many of its elements are drawn from games that already exist, it's a game that absolutely should not be missed. Its top-notch audiovisual presentation, addictive loot system, unique weapons, smart intensity slider, and vast wealth of auxiliary content offset spotty handling, bland level design, poor platforming, and flying segments that discourage ABXY movement. With proper third-person shooter controls, KI:U could potentially become an all-time favorite. Games like this one and Dissidia are slowly making my wish for a Phantom Dust 2 irrelevant.



8. Dead or Alive 5 ; DOA5 brings back some annoying stuff from DOA:D, neglects my favorite things about a few earlier DOAs, and...makes fighting the best it's ever been for the series. I can't say that DOA5 has completely dethroned DOA2U for me in terms of single-player content, but I do know that the sum of DOA5's mechanical refinements make it the most fun to play. Movement is vastly improved, CBs (along with other tweaks) mitigate problems with mounting a safe offense, holds are toned down, and characters have more options. If only the rest of the game were up to DOA's lofty standard because the costumes, music, and stages sorely underwhelm. I thought I would be fine with DLC, but I've realized that I just want all that shit in the game to begin with. Naturally, I'm incredibly excited for DOA5+ in March.



9. Persona 4 ARENA ; P4A's existence boggles my mind, but its quality rings clear on all fronts. Its RPG roots no doubt spurred an emphasis on innovative accessibility. P4A is very much an Arc System Works fighting game, oozing influences from the developer's past efforts in addition to a few outside inspirations, but it's also the biggest attempt yet to capture a wider audience. Some genre mainstays are overhauled, while others are streamlined for the sake of accessibility. These innovations take some time to get used to, but they give P4A a very unique feel. I also found the game's robust story mode to be surprisingly competent as a fan of P3 and P4, even if content seemed recycled at times. Though I prefer some aspects of P4A to BlazBlue (particularly the pace of fights and Persona management as a Bridget/Carl/etc. kind of player), I have to be honest and say that I'd rather spend my time with the latter, at least until P4A matures a bit more.



10. New Super Mario Bros. U ; NSMBU is easily the best NSMB thus far. Everything's improved in one way or another, though, admittedly, barely anything about this series actually feels 'new' anymore. I wasn't in a rush to play another NSMB so shortly after NSMB2, but I'm pleasantly surprised by NSMBU. Mario's movement, something that's always bugged me in the NSMB series, finally seems like it's where it needs to be. For some reason, he feels quicker, lighter, and more responsive than usual. The Miiverse integration is cute, and the extra modes make the package feel more well-rounded than other NSMB games. And even if most of the music is just as boring as ever, the upgraded visuals are quite welcome.







x. LittleBigPlanet PS Vita ; LBPV is a game that should come bundled with every Vita--it's an incredibly polished system showcase. Give it a shot, even if you don't like LBP. I respect the original LBP and everything it stood for; I just don't like how it controlled. Its DLC and major sequel, LBP2, added new mechanics to make everything more fun, but Sackboy's core movement, what I wanted tweaked the most, seemed untouched. Well, LBPV changes that somewhat and actually feels a little better to play. Its Vita-specific features are also integrated well (for the most part), and the novelty of having a full, uncompromised LBP experience in the palm of my hands is irresistible. The story levels are wonderful, and the soundtrack took me by surprise.



x. Dishonored ; Dishonored is so, so special when it hits its stride, but a few things come off pretty undercooked. Having played through the game twice now, I think my biggest beef with Dishonored is that it doesn't do enough. I want to jump up and down on it to squeeze more whale juice out. I want more powers, enhancements, weapons, upgrades, missions, stealth mechanics, boss fights, story tidbits, and heart secrets. I just want more. Some other components could've also definitely been more agreeable (like the way replaying missions is handled, lack of NG+, quirky mechanics and AI, poor textures, etc.). Still, it's a pretty special game, one worth playing even if you're not the biggest fan of stealth.



x. Binary Domain ; BD's gunplay is solid if unspectacular, but the game's biggest strengths lie in what sets it apart from many other shooters on the market. Its amusingly apt title explains everything: the game is essentially a high-concept shooter about the dichotomy between humans and robots, complete with a story that handles moral ambiguity better than most. I've played more accomplished shooters, usually from Western developers, but that's exactly what makes BD so refreshing--its Japanese pedigree is readily apparent in every aspect of its design. Yes, the game could've done without some ill-conceived elements, but other touches like an abundance of boss fights (many of which are animal-themed, speaking directly to the MMX lover in me), gachapon-esque upgrade machines, and the piece-by-piece destruction of enemies are welcome breaths of fresh air.
 
Jan 24, 2010
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1. Dark Souls (PC version) ; I am glad I could finally play this game. The gameplay is what it matters, and it feels like an old 8 bit game today. Lots of secrets, and no hand-holding. I like that it is non-lineal, and you can just go your way and find out how to progress... my GOTY, despite some technical flaws.

2. Hotline Miami ; Fun distilled to its most pure form, god-like gameplay and lots of replayability. It reminded me a lot of Super Meat Boy, and the soundtrack is superb as well. You will be in trance while playing this game.


3. Counter Strike Global Offensive ; CS is back, and this time it feels more like the original. There are some nice additions, like proper matchmaking and new (shorter) gameplay modes. Ultimately, what makes it so good it is that respects the classic formula and keeps it simple. Best multiplayer experience of the year, a blast playing it with friends.

4. XCOM: Enemy Unknown ; A nice tactics - rpg with also a bit of strategy... it is a blend of lots of genres, but it is very polished. I didn't play any of the originals, but this game rocks for a TRPG fan. Lots of depth and decisions to be made that can bite you back sooner than you expect... The graphic style is superb, and at the same time it is quite optimized. I think I'm going to replay the hell out of this.

5. FTL: Faster Than Light ; A roguelike like no other, where you command your own spaceship. What more can be said? It is not hellish complicated like most space games, and each run feels different. The battle mechanics are great, trying to defend and repair your own spaceship while attacking as fast as you can the enemy. Lots of unlocks and the difficulty is quite hard. I have not even completed the game in normal!

6. Puzzle & Dragons ; This is what I was expecting when smartphones appeared. A proper game with depth, adapted to mobile. I love the concept of match 3 + collect "pokemon", and I'm still hooked. The biggest flaw is the grinding, but since the gameplay is a match 3 you can still enjoy it!


7. The Walking Dead ; Some people say this is not a game, and I guess they have not played Visual Novels. Very good story, with characters that evolve, good drama, and nice decision handling. There is only one ending, but the path to it is what it matters, this game has no replayability.

8. Katawa Shoujo ; I had not played Visual Novels for a while, and GAF told me to play this... I loved it. Very good writing, loveable characters and art. Some deep conversations in the game that I loved.

9. Planetside 2 ; A battlefield like MMO in an open world, with lots of localizations unlocks and everything... this game feels like a real war, in the future! There are 5 classes with different specializations, vehicles and aircrafts, and some special leader skills. I loved swarming through an enemy base in a 100 vs 100 battle (or even more). The downside is the bad optimization, I could not get my friends to play this since they ran at low FPS. If you have a good PC, try it!


10. Torchlight II ; A very good alternative to Diablo III, with gameplay in mind and more depth. Way more polished than Torchlight I, and with online multiplayer this time! The classes are quite different to each other, and you can experiment with your own builds thanks to the formidable skill-tree system.

2011. Gemini Rue ; This year has been a good year for point n click adventures, and this game has managed to be the best out of all. A superb story, both in narration and depth and with a proper end, good puzzles and unique graphics. Buy this NOW.


Is it okay to put images?
I did not have too much time this year to play, so I tried to be picky. I still managed to play lots of games, specially multiplayer ones to keep in touch with my friends. Weird list, but I wanted to share :)
 
Jun 2, 2009
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1. Borderlands 2 ; The saving grace of a pretty barren year of gaming. An improvement over the first game, and it does what few other games did for me this year, it makes sure you're always having fun.

2011. Skyrim ; Didn't get a chance to really dive into it last year, but it surprised me how good it was. Has the typical Bethesda bugs and broken gameplay which really irk me, but you can really forgive it for what it does bring to the table. Such a huge world with so much to do, a compelling story, and the modding community is amazing. I just wish big games like this could be more polished. I'd still put Skyward Sword as my Game of 2011, but Skyrim has really impressed me and is a close 2nd.


Honorable Mention: Dota 2 ; (I know it doesn't count for anything)
I never really understood games like Dota. I just didn't understand the appeal. But after trying it, this game has really grabbed my attention for the entire year and was the one that has broken a 4 year obsession with Team Fortress 2. Once you get past the difficult learning curve and put in 10 hours you can get really hooked. It's almost scary how deep this game drags people in. The fact that you can see yourself improving is very rewarding, and the amount of excitement a tense close game can bring to the table is really something else. On the other hand, the joy of winning and the pain of losing really bring out the best and worse in people, but I can't fault the game for making people passionate, that's one of the best things about it. When this game is fully released it's going to take off in a big way if Valve can market it right.
 
Jan 23, 2012
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1. Spelunky ; With the randomized levels, the balls-hard difficulty and the optional goals, this game has kept me busy for the better part of 2012 and will continue to do so far into 2013 (and possibly beyond). Without a doubt, the best game of 2012 in my view.
2. Trials Evolution ; I wasn't very good at the original Trials HD, but I actually got the hang of this one. The instant restart was put to too much use.
3. Rayman Origins ; On the Vita this platfomer looked absolutely stunning, it played marvelous as well.
4. Forza Horizon ; Surprisingly good and too much stuff to do. Simply excellent.
5. FTL: Faster Than Light ; Why wasn't a Star Trek game created based on this? Lovely.
6. Mass Effect 3 ; The end of Shephard and I enjoyed the ride.
7. The Walking Dead ; #ForClementine
8. Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack ; I really liked the little blob
9. Alan Wake's American Nightmare ; The original had better setpieces, but I really enjoyed the story.
10. Fez ; Who doesn't love a little Fez?

x. Thirty Flights of Loving ; The weirdest 15 minutes this year.
x. Dear Esther ; a soothing experience, quite enjoyable. It shows what the interactive, instead of game, medium can do.

2011. Deus Ex: Human Revolution ; A beautiful crafted world, where the questions on human interaction with technology are just below the surface of this game. Absolutely loved the music as well.
 
Dec 16, 2008
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1. Far Cry 3 Fantastic open world, graphics and gunplay. Story being a bit less hamfisted than usual was just icing. Amazing how much you can get wrong as long as the meat and potatoes gameplay is right.

2. Max Payne 3 I fall into the group that loves the old Max Payne games as well as the new one. Just everything about it is great. Only gripe is being able to skip cutscenes on later playthroughs.

3. Dishonored BioThief. Good enough for me.

4. X-COM Great fun and great agony.

5. Dark Souls Prepare to Die A good ol' "game you play with strategy guide on your lap". Haven't had that feel since PS1/N64 days.

6. Binary Domain Gears of Japanese giant robots. Good enough for me.

7. Spec Ops The Line Tired gameplay, cool story.

8. Deadlight It doesn't hold up for the entire game, but the first 20 minutes give off some great vibes in the first 30 minutes.

9. Sleeping Dogs Grand Theft Arkham style combat. Good enough for me.

10. Borderlands 2 Great start but it did not manage to motivate me much once other Fall game started coming out.
 
Sep 7, 2011
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1. Kid Icarus Uprising ; The almost-perfect comeback of a forgotten series. Great soundtrack, graphics, story, and really fun dialogues, with an unbelievable amount of content to be collected/discovered. A true master piece.
2. Mass Effect 3
3. Sleeping Dogs
4. Binary Domain
5. Spec Ops The Line
 
Sep 9, 2012
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I wish I could have made this a more polished list, but I only recently gotten my account activated and don't have much free time until the deadline. Will be edited with some descriptions later.


1. FEZ; I had the privilege of going into this game blind and discovering for myself what FEZ was actually about. Saying more would be spoiling the game.
2. Virtue's Last Reward; Despite the story being somewhat hindered by being the middle chapter of a trilogy, it still dropped enough jawdropping mindfucks to make it high on my list.
3. Katawa Shoujo;
4. Game D ; http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_llop0dsyl41qh2gyyo1_500.gif. Also, the Nirvana DLC is NON-NEGOTIABLE, download that if you haven't already.
5. XCOM: Enemy unknown;
6. Spec Ops: The Line ;
7. Awesomenauts;
8. Kid Icarus: Uprising;
9. Lone Survivor;
10. Halo 4;
x. 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors; Because it was officially released in Europe that year, 999 is my true #1 pick for 2012. I don't consider it a 2012 game though, so I've put it in the honourable mentions instead.
x. The Walking Dead; Haven't completed it, but judging from what I've played so far it would have made it to a good place on my list.
x. Botanicula; Same as above.
x. WWE '13; I've got no idea if it's good or not, all I know is that the Video Game Championship Wrestling streams are some of the best entertainment I've had all year.