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

Mar 10, 2005
50,827
0
0
www.theimrankhan.com
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?
January 8th 2013 has the very distinct quality of not being 2012.
 

AJTsuki

Neo Member
Jan 2, 2012
183
0
0
1. Kid Icarus: Uprising ; KI:U is the deepest game I've played all year, offering a clever take on difficulty which both broadens the gameplay and provides a experience playable by any skill level of player. Unlike many of the main contenders for GOTY, it runs smooth and glitch free, no crashes, or save file worries, or framerate issues, providing fantastic play right out of the box (proving it can be done). It also contains an extraordinary amount and variety of content - in game and out - from multiplayer battles, to real world AR battle cards, to hundreds of in-game collectibles, to weapon crafting systems. Challenging, engaging, humorous and beautifully rendered & scored, it is a masterful creation.

2. Botanicula ; This game is simply wonderous. A point & click for all ages, imaginative and well-designed. Beautiful in imagery and sound. Every time I stumbled upon a new critter, my smile grew and my eyes widened until my face ached with giddy pleasure.

3. Spelunky ; I have never laughed so much, or enjoyed watching, a game character die over and over again. Brilliantly, gruelingly simple.

4. FTL: Faster Than Light ; Have rogue-likes finally gone mainstream? I hope so. Permadeath for everyone! Ummm, you know what I mean. Another brilliantly simple game that lures you in to late nights trying to make it as far as you can...

5. Fez ; This game had me running around looking for pen and paper so I could crack a cryptogram -- for that alone it deserves to be on this list. Add a fascinating world, a soundtrack to obsess over and puzzles, puzzles, puzzles, and you have something particularly great.

6. New Super Mario Bros. 2 ; Because every time I grab a coin and it makes that ba-ding sound my heart flutters with joy, and there are sooooo many coins.

7. Code of Princess ; Pure pick up and play fun.

8. The Walking Dead ; Heard the hype, didn't believe the hype. I'm really tired of zombies. Then I finally played it and couldn't stop. Forget the zombies, the story is fantastic, and gut-wrenching, and heart-breaking. And maybe a little too real.

9. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy ; Got me to play a music rhythm game. I never play music rhythm games. Oh, yeah, then there is all that wonderful music! Run, Chocobo, run!

10. Legend of Grimrock ; Old school in a shiny new package. Love the customizable difficulty.

x. Pokemon Conquest ; Proving that Pokemon could have conquered the distant past as easily as the present.
x. Analogue: A Hate Story ; Games can tell meaningful stories.
x. Dear Esther ; I'm still thinking about this one.
x. Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword ; Hack, slash, think, repeat.
x. Waking Mars ; Always nice to stumble across something different, especially when it is clever and well made.

2011. Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective ; Charmed me with it's story and funky animations --
and especially it's ending
.
 

Olorin

Member
Dec 9, 2008
574
0
0
The Netherlands
www.dibblez.com
1. Kid Icarus: Uprising ; The characters, the story, the gameplay, the multiplayer modes and all the little extras. This game has everything.
2. Little Inferno ; I finished the game, then I did every single combo, then I watched 4 Let's Plays of it. Such a beautiful, satisfying, funny, moving game.
3. Nintendo Land ; Five player multiplayer is absolutely amazing.
4. New Super Mario Bros. U ; I really don't know which NSMB I liked best this year. Both were great, but they were released too close together.
5. New Super Mario Bros. 2 ; I really don't know which NSMB I liked best this year. Both were great, but they were released too close together.
6. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy ; I'm not a Final Fantasy fan, but this is still a very well crafted rhythm game with some clever ideas.
7. Paper Mario: Sticker Star ; Very disappointing, but still fairly enjoyable. Miyamoto needs to let Intelligent Systems do what they do best and not tell them to remove the story and characters.
8. Pokemon Conquest ; This seems like a good idea, but almost every part of the game feels like it could have been better.
 

Kusagari

Member
Dec 29, 2005
47,637
0
0
Gainesville FL
1. Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward ; The game improves upon it's predecessor quite a bit. The way they tied the gameplay in with the story felt seamless through the use of the flow system. The story might not be as memorable as 999's, but it's still a crazy ride with twists galore.
2. Sleeping Dogs ; Sleeping Dogs reminds me of my 2011 GOTY, Saints Row: The Third, in that it's just pure fun. There are definitely problems with the game and little things that annoy me, but the game is a blast to play and screw around in. The story is surprisingly good too and Wei is a badass protagonist.
3. The Walking Dead ; I have never been a fan of Telltale, so I went into this skeptical. Well boy did they prove me wrong. In the end your choices might not really matter, but the game makes you believe and care regardless. This game is about your experience and journey to the ending - and what an ending it is.
4. Borderlands 2 ; An improved Borderlands is what I wanted. An improved Borderlands is what I received.
5. Spec Ops: The Line ; Yes, Spec Ops gameplay is pretty generic. Yes, it's a short game. But none of that matters to me. Spec Ops story achieved something that very, very few games have ever done. It made me think. And after it was all over, it made me do something I've never done after a game. Question myself.
6. Tales of Graces F ; The story and characters definitely leave a lot to be desired, even if I would argue some people exaggerate how bad they are. Regardless, the gameplay in this is smooth like butter. Bar none the best combat system that has ever graced a Tales game.
7. Mark of the Ninja ; I hate stealth. I really hate stealth. Even in Metal Gear Solid, I usually give up on attempting to be stealthy within an hour. Mark of the Ninja made me love stealth and for that it should be triumphed.
8. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy ; The game is an orgasmic experience for fans of Final Fantasy. The ultimate fanservice game if you will. It helps that the rhythm game it's wrapped around is quite competent and fun as well.
9. Persona 4 Arena ; It's truly amazing that this game even exists. Who would have ever thought of this combination before it was announced? The fact that the game turned out so well, and that the attempt to streamline the game for fighting game newcomers feels so seamless, is a real credit to Arc Systems Works.
10. Katawa Shoujo ; The fact that a visual novel made by guys from 4chan is on any lists probably highlights the absurdity of this year. And yet it deserves to be on here. The game feels more human than most visual novel's and it's handled with a delicate care you wouldn't expect from its handlers. The only nitpick I have is that some routes are clearly better written than others, which really keys you in that every scenario had a different writer. But in a way that adds to the charm.
 

Nicktock

Neo Member
Aug 23, 2012
116
0
0
LA Area
1. The Walking Dead ; This game changed me and I hope it will change the medium. I learned my choices are much more powerful when they effect relationships more that anything else. By removing mechanical consequences from story choices and having the best writing and voice acting, I cared so much about this game's explicit narrative more than any other.
2. XCOM: Enemy Unknown ; A nearly perfect game mechanically. A master class in game design. Best emergent/implicit narrative this Gen.
3. Dishonored
4. Mass Effect 3
5. FTL: Faster Than Light

2011. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
 

Dambrosi

Banned
Jun 7, 2004
6,740
0
0
Liverpool, UK
1. Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown ; Easily the most refined and polished version of the pioneering 3D fighter yet, and if it weren't for the abundance of fluff in Tekken Tag Tournament 2, I'd also say the most complete fighter ever made. As it is, though, I still prefer VF5 as a player, for its unparalleled depth and capacity for surprise comeback victories against even the strongest opponents. The game's balance is supreme, and makes every character viable - not something you can say about Tekken or Dead Or Alive. Plus - £10? Can't argue with that!

2. Ys Origin ; This game rocks my world - it's that simple. A stripped down, streamlined action RPG with the emphasis on action and the benefit of three different styles of play - one character carries a huge axe and plays like a Gauntlet character, another magic wielder plays like someone out of Mercs or Ikari Warriors, etc. It's also kinda hard, a quality which I've begun to appreciate a lot more due to the influence of a certain game by From Software. Also, as someone else said above me, they don't make bosses like these anymore, and that's a crying shame.

3. Ys: The Oath in Felghana ; For many of the same reasons as Ys Origin above - heavily action-based, no bullshit, just a long-ass quest, lots of loot and upgrades, huge bosses to kill, and a nice storyline to interact with. Although more of a traditional jRPG than its sister title Origin, it still distills all the necessary parts of the jRPG formula into a smooth, coherent experience, bereft of fluff and focused on gameplay - and that's awesome.

4. The Last Story ; See my Ys: Oath entry for my feelings on this game - they're almost the exact same, except for the fact that TLS is in 3D throughout, has an arguably better story, a complex but rewarding battle system, and does still have cutscenes popping up in the most inconvenient spots. But you can skip them, so no worries. Besides, with a wonderful cast such as this, it's actually fun to watch them bitch, flirt, and play off each other like a group of long-time friends and comrades should. Yeah, I think that's the game's stand-out feature - the interplay between characters feels real, unlike a lot of story-driven games.

5. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 ; As you'll have read already in my Virtua Fighter 5 entry, I feel that TTT2 is the most complete and feature-filled fighting game ever released, but not the most balanced or playable - actually, that's neither of those titles, but I'll come back to that later. That, however, is not to say I don't rate the latest Tekken entry as something special - at the very least, its existence reassures me that the spark of genius that made Tekken 5: DR the classic it is didn't snuff itself out with the intensely flawed Tekken 6. In fact, that seems to be a "thing" with Namco Bandai fighting game series these days - at the beginning of this gen, they released two very flawed and sadly average fighters (Tekken 6 and Soul Calibur 4), only to come back a few years later with two utter blinders one after the other (Soul Calibur 5 ranks up there with SC2 for me, even in its plainly unfinished state, and that's high praise coming from me). It's just...there's so many different characters, and they are all different now, unlike in previous Tekken games, where new characters would amount to little more than reskins with slightly modified movesets. With that quantity and variety comes imbalance, true, but you'll still find a very tournament-worthy fighter here, which is why I'm so happy to see it replacing its retarded big brother on the EVO roster.
I'm voting for Guilty Gear btw, fuck Ponies and Smash.

6. Binary Domain ; Speaking of characters who interact with each other well...I honestly do believe that this game is better than Gears Of War, at least in the way shooting feels and satisfies the player - and a lot of that comes from the way the cybernetic enemies react to fire and injury. Blowing one grunt's head off, only to see it blindly firing at its own squadmates is laugh-out-loud funny the first time you do it, but becomes a vital tactic later on, and seeing red grunts crawling tenaciously towards you, nade in mouth, even though their legs are missing (!) is simultaneously creepy and admirable, giving you the impression that these guys will stop at nothing to kill you and your motely crew of international wetworkers. Add to that the need to keep your allies' trust, easily upgradable weapons and passive abilities, XBOX HEUG bosses, and a surprisingly cohesive and entertaining story, and you have probably the best cover shooter of 2012...

7. Spec Ops: The Line ; No, it sure doesn't beat BD as a cover shooter, but it does contend with it in terms of how the story affects the player as they play through it. Yes, the game cheats - there's sometimes no way to avoid doing certain unsavoury things, and the game is basically just one straight line to the end, without any chance to deviate from the chosen path or turn back. Oh, but that end, dear reader, and those feels. Hopefully, if you're a CoD kiddie and you make it to the end, it'll make you think a little about why you spend your free time shooting virtual foreigners to virtual death on virtual battlefields, and how dehumanizing that is - to you.

8. Borderlands 2 ; I only bought this because I could get it from Green Man Gaming super-cheap on pre-order (for like £7, no kidding), and I still don't feel like I've played enough of it yet. You see, I played more of the original Borderlands than was perhaps healthy, mainly because of the constant juggling of different guns and elemental effects, which was great fun on its own - never mind the flaccid, soul-crushingly disappointing final boss and ending, or the DLC expansions, some good (Dr. Ned's, General Knoxx), some best left avoided (Mad Moxxi). Either way, when I was finished with all that, I never wanted to touch the game again. So, here I am, hoping for BL2 to shake up the formula and do something different with the concept, and what does it do? The same exact thing as last time, only this time, you're a new guy doing it! That's not to say that I'm not enjoying the trip, though - the humour has improved, as have the characters, and the gunplay and customization are as engaging as ever. That said - is it just me, or are the guns not as interesting this time around? That said, I just got a triple-barreled mortar cannon that shoots out giant flaming balls of instant death, so maybe I'm speaking too soon.

9. Under Defeat HD ; Thank you, Based G.rev, for this delectable morsel from the Dreamcast's last days. The best (and hardest) helicopter shmup ever made. Still a looker, too, and better than Akai Katana for sure. Now bring out BorderDown HD!

10. Maldita Castilla ; That's right, it's a freeware game from a Spanish bedroom dev, so what? Does that somehow make it unworthy of sitting alongside the AAA blockbusters and indie luminaries on the rest of this list? I say "Hell Naw!" Especially since retro auteur Locomalito, who also created the awesome Gradius-inspired Hydorah, has this time around crafted a masterful homage to the classic Ghosts 'N'Goblins series, just set in medieval Spain and infused with local legend. I was surprised at how closely it resembles an actual CPS-1 arcade game during play - it even has video effects like scanlines! Of course, none of that would be any good if the core game was bad, but thankfully MC sticks to the classic formula while adding its own twists, such as a cart-riding sequence where your stalwart group of knights are constantly besieged by harpies, or the fact that if you continue more than four times, your character "loses his soul", which may affect the ending. Overall, a really cool package, and all for the miraculous price of FREE!

x. Botanicula ; I own this, but haven't played it much because I don't really like point-and-click adventures. That said, what I did play exuded a charm and playfulness that delighted the senses and tickled the artsy part of my brain. If I'd played more of the game, it might have made the list. No; it would have, no doubt.

x. The Walking Dead ; I haven't played this, nor do I own it, but I have seen it streamed in its entirety, and I gottsa say - those feels, man, those feels. The whole thing is an emotional rollercoaster from beginning to bloody depressing end, and nearly all the characters were wonderfully written and realised, especially Clementine, the least annoying little girl in all of video games. Lee, though - Lee, my man, if you existed in real life, you're the kind of guy I'd want watching my back in a zombie apocalypse. Respeck knucks.

2011. Dark Souls ; Yeah, you've all been there. The only reason this wasn't my Number 1 pick is that I've been exclusively playing the PS3 version, since I don't own the PC version yet. This addiction only got worse once the Artorias Of The Abyss DLC came out - I was on that like a Special Infected on fresh survivor brains. Though I'm taking a rest from the game now, I'm sure I'll be back once I've bought the PC version and applied Durante's patch for smooth 60fps goodness, mmmmmmmm.
I still think that some parts of Demon's Souls are better, but eh, it's a toss-up.
 

Berto

Member
May 19, 2010
1,471
1
0
Lisbon
pixelhunt.wordpress.com
1. The Walking Dead ; The Walking Dead is a deeply flawed game, however it was also a very emotional one and honestly I rate very highly a game that manages to affect me emotionaly. Lee and Clem were very well written and I cared deeply for them in the 10+ hours the adventure lasted, if it wasn't for them The Walking Dead wouldn't have been the same.



2. Journey


3. Spec Ops: The Line


4. Dear Esther


5. FTL: Faster Than Light


6. Hotline Miami


7. Sleeping Dogs


8. Botanicula


9. Black Mesa


10. Mass Effect 3
 

MiamiWesker

Member
Apr 26, 2006
19,611
1
1,180
1. Mass Effect 3; Easily the best game I played all year. By far the best gameplay in the series with many of the best story moments. Ending was not great but the rest was.
2. X-Com
3. LittleBigPlanet Vita
4. Halo 4
5. Resident Evil Revelations
6. Resident Evil 6
7. Dishonored
8. Walking Dead
9. ZombiU
10. NintendoLand
 

lamaroo

Unconfirmed Member
Sep 21, 2012
21,080
0
0
1. Kid Icarus: Uprising; totally insane, and I love it. Absurd amount of content.
2. Call of Duty: Black Ops II; 70+ hours of gametime, haven't even touched the single player
3. Trials Evolution;
4. Trine 2;
5. New Super Mario Bros. U;
6. NHL 13;
7. Xenoblade Chronicles;
 

Neiteio

Member
Nov 10, 2007
54,439
4
0
I get the feeling that half the entries won't count due to wrong formats. Guys check the OP before posting!
The irony is there's an example of an invalid ballot right above your post, lol.

Lamaroo, you need to have a semicolon after each game name, or it won't count.

Side note: I'm not sure how the tallying program works, but if some people write, say, "Kid Icarus Uprising" instead of "Kid Icarus: Uprising," would it still count, or will the absence of a colon cause trouble? This goes for any subtitled game -- many games don't actually have subtitles on the box logo and so I wouldn't blame people for thinking of the title without the colon. I used colons in mine since the game list on Pg. 1 had them that way, but I wonder if the program is that finnicky?
 

Riposte

Member
Sep 21, 2010
27,716
0
640
videogames?
twitter.com
I was thinking of making a thread where I suggest people make their top 10 list their homepage for the year (assuming they don't already have one). That's what I do and I was hoping more people did it. It would help me find people with similar tastes (or very different taste if they are making a blind recommendation to me). I get the feeling if I did it would just be ridiculed as asinine lol.
 

Neiteio

Member
Nov 10, 2007
54,439
4
0
I was thinking of making a thread where I suggest people make their top 10 list their homepage for the year (assuming they don't already have one). That's what I do and I was hoping more people did it. It would help me find people with similar tastes (or very different taste if they are making a blind recommendation to me). I get the feeling I did it would just be ridiculed as asinine lol.
It's a neat idea. I'm not sure it's completely telling, though; I'm sure my list would be quite different if I had more game time to get around to other titles I was anticipating but will have to shelve until 2013. Plus, one should take into account the fact people may like the same game but for different reasons. :)
 

Neiteio

Member
Nov 10, 2007
54,439
4
0
I was thinking of making a thread where I suggest people make their top 10 list their homepage for the year (assuming they don't already have one). That's what I do and I was hoping more people did it. It would help me find people with similar tastes (or very different taste if they are making a blind recommendation to me). I get the feeling I did it would just be ridiculed as asinine lol.
Whoa, I just checked your Top 10 (what's there so far) and it's really well-done, but do you list your picks in the proper format with semicolons and such somewhere so they'll count as actual votes? I was only able to skim it -- will read in-depth later -- but in skimming I didn't see a semicolon version that will actually count when everything is tallied up.
 

Riposte

Member
Sep 21, 2010
27,716
0
640
videogames?
twitter.com
Whoa, I just checked your Top 10 (what's there so far) and it's really well-done, but do you list your picks in the proper format with semicolons and such somewhere so they'll count as actual votes? I was only able to skim it -- will read in-depth later -- but in skimming I didn't see a semicolon version that will actually count when everything is tallied up.

My current list is from last year. I include the eligible list at the end.
 

Neiteio

Member
Nov 10, 2007
54,439
4
0
My current list is from last year. I include the eligible list at the end.
Whoa, -completely- overlooked that, lol. I was just slowly realizing those were 2011 games in there (I think for some reason I saw UMvC3 and thought it came out this year).
 

zethren

Banned
Mar 24, 2009
5,822
0
0
1. Journey ; Everything about this game is gorgeous. I love that I can pick it up and beat it in one convenient sitting whenever I get that itch, and every time I do I still experience the same wonderment I did the very first time. While not my "favorite" game that I have ever played, I consider it to be one the best games I have ever played.

2. Halo 4 ; A great way to pump energy back into the franchise, I think. I am so happy that 343 is dipping into the extended fiction for this new trilogy, which is something I've always wanted Bungie to do more of. The Forerunner story is my favorite aspect of the Halo lore, and to further explore it in game is great. The multiplayer is also quite fun, but it still feels a bit too much of a departure from what made the multiplayer of Halo1-3 special.

3. Fez ; Fantastic visual style and unique gameplay upon an old school formula. I loved just traveling deeper into the strange world for hours, finding new pathways and hidden puzzles. Just a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it.

4. Mass Effect 3 ; Say what you will about the ending, which I agree was weak compared to the previous iterations in the series, but I think the overall game was very very good. It may bottom out the list as my least favorite in the trilogy, but it's still a Mass Effect and was still great. Haven't touched the multiplayer...so eh?

5. New Super Mario Bros. 2 ; Good classic Mario platforming. Very fun. What more is there to say really?

6. FTL ; Bringing back memories of the good old Oregon Trail, with a Sci Fi spin. Very challenging and very fun. Great music as well, which I feel should be mentioned.

7. Diablo 3 ; Though not as good as Diablo 2, Diablo 3 was still an enjoyable experience for what it was. It lacked that addictive quality of the previous games, which will be/has been its downfall in managing to maintain the same quantity of fanbase as D2, but managed to maintain a relatively classic Diablo feel even 11 years later.

2011. Catherine ; Absolutely fantastic. The story and characters were the right kind of quirky, the visual style was entertaining, the puzzles were challenging and found enough variety in the different block styles to keep it interesting, and it was just overall a very enjoyable game at its core.
 

Neiteio

Member
Nov 10, 2007
54,439
4
0
Glad to see quite a few people discovering Catherine. I replayed it this year, one year after I first played it, and damn is it good. Easily one of my favorite games this generation.
 

nbthedude

Banned
Dec 30, 2011
4,606
0
0
1) X-Com - Even people who don't think they would like this style of game shoudl give it at least a few hours. It is an amazingly streamlined and cinematic strategy game that works well with a controller. That is alone is a miracle but the game is great too. It has a very addictive "one more turn" mechanic and the combat frequently keeps you on the edge of you seat. It's brilliantly balanced.

2) Far Cry 3 - This game has gradually been moving up my list. It is the first open world game I can think of that does stealth right. Using your camera to "tag" enemies and track their movements is brilliant. And mechanically, it is one of the most sound games of the year. Everything from the shooting to the swimming to the vechile controls just feels really good. And the open world feels dynamic and alive with all sorts of interactions between wildlife and and enemies on a regular basis. The storyline isn't amazing, but for what it is, it is well told. Even if you dislike the main characters (and I do too) that doesn't mean they aren't pretty competantlyl realized stereotypes. And the game avoids being overly convoluted or over the top the way most game narratives are. Unlike many, I also thought the last few missions were great. I kind of found myself scratching my head about what critics who complained about the game "falling apart" were even talking about. It's pretty much the same game with the same great mechanics throughout. Nothing crazy happens to send it off rails. It's extremely polished throughout.

3) FTL - I think this game deserves more recognition that it is even given and I admit that it has been given alot. It feels incredibly pure from a mechanical stand point and fresh. I don't know any other game that approaches combat the way this game does but yet it has an elegant simplicity. And the rogue like elements make it so that each session feels totally unique. I'll probably never beat the game but it is a classic in the sense that I will probably still come back to it years from now. I doubt that is even true of most of the games on this list.

4) Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition - Had I not already played 90 hours on the 360, this would be higher on my list. Still I got sucked back in with this release adding another 40+ hours and still have yet to complete it. It is the definitive Dark Souls experience and Dark Souls itself is, for me, probably a decade defining game. It is a game I am positive I will come back to twenty or thirty years from now. I can't say that for certain of many other games on this list.

5) The Walking Dead - Walking Dead has steadily moved lower in my estimation as I distanced myself from the experience, but it is still an extremely important step in the evolution of gaming narrative. The fact that it focuses more on defining relationships than world changing events to drive it's narrative makes it feel a lot more personal and impactful than most games and it is indeed one of the best if not the best written games I've ever played.

6) Dishonored - Fast action stealth games are rare. The only other game that imploys a mechanic like this successfully that I can think of is the recent Batman games. It's a stealth game where you feel like the predator rather than the hunted and the tools you are given to play in the world open up your options in some fantastic ways. The narrative also has some nice subtle touches that make the world and the relationships seem more fully realized. They are not in your face but they are there if you look for them. It is all around an elegantly designed game.

7) Legend of Grimrock - Grimrock really captures what is great about traditional "dungeon crawls" and that is the sense of exploration and the dread of the unknown. Most games of this lineage have now become loot grinds but that is not at all what Grimrock is about. It is more about intimidating enemies, devious traps, clever puzzles and secret passages. And ultimately I find that way more appealing than the kill, sell, buy, kill endless loop.

8) Frog Fractions - Yeah it is kind of a "one trick" pony in the sense that it is a deep rabbit hole of genre throwbacks all wrapped into one but it is a pretty fun trick. For the forty minutes I played it, I was pretty enthralled and entertained.

9) Hitman Absolution - This is my first Hitman game and I have come to appreciate the Rube Goldbergian style of gameplay. It is more of a light puzzle game than anything else, but it's a enjoyable one. It's heavily scripted open world is frankly kind of charming and unique. It has stealth elements but it plays like no other stealth game I've ever played and it doesn't hurt that it is often legitimately funny. (I'm gonna gets me some snow! Cause when your the King of China Town," sings the douche bag as you lead him to his death).

10) Thirty Flights of Loving - I actually don't like this game quite as much as Gravity Bone but I appreciate what it is doing a lot. Very cool narrative technique, sleekly presented gameplay concepts without filler or double dipping.
 

Grief.exe

Member
Jul 11, 2012
43,857
0
0
Denver
backloggery.com
1. Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition ; I missed out on this game in 2011 because I don't own a console. I've been anticipating this game since before it was announced, following the rumors since before it came up on Facebook or the Australian gaming magazine.
The wait was more than worth it. This game surpassed my every expectation for an excellent, deep, action-RPG, that requires skill and critical thinking. Already have beaten it 4 times, made a PVP character, have 140 hours logged, and all of the achievements earned. Can't wait for Dark Souls II.
2. The Walking Dead ; Great interactive story that came to a very satisfying conclusion. The whole experience was phenomenal. My only complaints are chapter 2 dragged on a little bit and the smoke-and-mirrors choices (though this can be a good thing), these are fairly minor complaints.
3. FTL ; Another Rouge-like, but this time in space. In 2011 I poured hours and hours into Binding of Isaac. Picked this up during the Autumn sale from their website and it quickly became my new addiction and have been playing ever since.
4. Chivalry: Medieval Warfare; This game right here. If you have friends and you guys want to have fun, pick this up. One of the best, party games in a long time. Get together, have some bears, and chomp up people on the internet, and most likely each other, since friendly fire is on. Fun will ensue.
5. Planetside 2 ; Has a long way to go until its perfect, optimization issues, balancing, and more zones, but can be great fun right now. Apparently a lot of optimization issues and balancing are coming in a patch very soon.
6. Max Payne 3 ; Just picked this up on Amazon and played through it. Great gameplay, story, and polished throughout. Maybe not a perfect Max Payne game, but a great game nonetheless.
7. Hotline Miami ; What an interesting little game. Once you get the gameplay down, it can be really fast paced and incredibly fun.
x. Spec Ops: The Line ; Great story and experience. The combat, gameplay, and controls really pulled this game off of the GOTY list though. I have to put it on honorable mention.
x. Sleeping Dogs ; I just picked this one up on the last Steam sale. Haven't had a chance to play it yet, but I guarantee it would have been on my GOTY list. Placed it on my Honorable Mention until I get a chance to play it.
x. Far Cry 3 ; I haven't actually played Far Cry 3, Dishonored, or Mark of the Ninja because I couldn't afford them. But I guarantee they would be on my GOTY list. Placed them on my Honorable Mention until I can afford them.
x. Dishonored
x. Mark of the Ninja

Games that would have made my list:
Day Z
DOTA 2


Didn't actually play any games I didn't play in 2011 in 2012. Games like Deus Ex: HR, Witcher 2, and Dark Souls are some of my favorites of all time. (Played through Dark Souls for the first time this year on PC).
 

ecierif

Member
Sep 12, 2007
422
0
0
1. Kid Icarus: Uprising ; The controls are a bit uncomfortable, but the content, production values, and mechanics are all high quality. The level design and rail/3rd-person shooter structure, alone, would have made it a solid game, but the dozens of weapons, powers and difficulty slider provide unexpected depth and value. It feels somewhat like a 3rd-person shooter evolution of Sin & Punishment: Star Successor, though the rail shooter portions never reach that game's heights (and without the remote and nunchuck, I doubt I would want them to try to match the intensity of S&S). Design and controls would likely have benefited by being made for a console, but they're pretty good as is.

2. Paper Mario: Sticker Star ; Mixing adventure, RPG and puzzle elements works well and feels fresh. The large amount of brief, varied levels provides a lot of fast-paced, interesting content, especially for a game of its length. A few puzzles' solutions are too obtuse or have strangely limited solutions, there's an occasional lack of direction, and there should be a manual save in addition to the autosave.

3. Final Fantasy XIII-2 ; This also has a disappointing opening, but it quickly becomes one of the more fun JRPGS of recent years. The story isn't great, but it's wacky and entertaining with a surprising ending. Unlike most JRPGs, it's fast-paced and fairly short with a lot of side missions. One (thankfully brief) area has an absurdly high encounter rate, and the puzzles are simplistic and annoying (especially if going for 100% completion). The Colosseum, a nearly completely pointless area unless you buy DLC, is very disappointing considering that arena battles were standard features of several Final Fantasy games prior to the DLC era. Overall, I am fondly reminded of Square's more inventive games from the 90's/early 00's.

4. Resident Evil 6 ; It makes a horrendous first impression and is less polished than previous RE games, but it's pretty good when considered an overly ambitious shooter that happens to feature RE characters. Several features are questionable or unbalanced (such as the vehicle sections, and the initially cool boss fights that seem to never end), but most of the game is a varied, creative mix of action scenarios with an large roster of enemies. The series shouldn't continue in this direction (the structure of Revelations is more engaging while incorporating elements of both old and new RE), but I wouldn't mind Capcom making other shooters in the same vein, except with more focused, less cinematic design.

5. Dragon's Dogma ; The battle system, classes and pawns provide more options and depth than the average action-RPG. Fast travel is not implemented well and quest design is unimaginative, making exploration and backtracking often feel like work. When the game is good, it's really good. The final boss and endgame are intense and very satisfying.

6. Pandora's Tower ; (NOTE: Imported, I'm in the US.) I'm surprised this is so ignored (well, maybe not because it didn't sell well and wasn't released in America, and few imported due to mediocre reviews and lack of interest). It's a solid action-adventure game with an interesting story, an interesting combat system, dungeons with light exploration and puzzles, and bosses that make you think. Some enemies are kind of annoying, and the Majora's Mask-like time limit can be annoying during the more complex dungeons.

7. Dishonored ; The character's primary power makes exploration feel unique and allows the level design to be more vertical than most games. The balance of the powers feels a bit off, with the player able to abuse certain powers not far into the game, but I still enjoyed exploring the dystopian setting and evading/killing enemies in creative ways. It may better suit those who approach it as a sandbox rather than looking for a hardcore challenge.

8. Resident Evil: Revelations ; The mix of an old-school RE setting with missions featuring new-school RE action is a nice idea. Unfortunately, the portions resembling new-RE are generally average, lacking much of the creative enemy and scenario design of RE 4-6. Like Kid Icarus, it would likely benefit from the expanded power and control options of a console.

9. Sound Shapes ; The level design and music are occasionally great but mostly decent. Some community levels offer unexpected challenge and sounds. The unlockable modes are fun and clever, though one's design is too random. It's one of the more fun "art" games.

10. The Last Story ; The single city setting and brief missions keeps the pacing fast while allowing a bit of exploration. The difficulty is strangely balanced. It's too forgiving for most of the game, while steeply rising at the end. It would have been great if more of the game featured that later challenge and more creative boss battles.



x. Mark of the Ninja ; I'm far from finished, but so far it's one of the most fun stealth games I've ever played. The numerous checkpoints and quick loading minimize frustration, encouraging me to go for the types of challenges that I generally ignore in stealth games.

x. Borderlands 2 ; The level design was more interesting than the first game's, featuring a wider variety of settings and missions. Enemy encounters toward the end felt a bit too long, but that could relate to me playing alone and/or not using the best weapons.

x. Darksiders II ; A pretty good Zelda-like adventure. Dungeon design is lacking; the early ones feel too similar, while the more inventive ones often end too quickly. One disappointing, but brief, portion of the game belongs to a completely different, and unwelcome, genre. The increased weapon and armor variety enhanced combat. Some dungeons and puzzles were brilliant. If more of the game met their standard, Darksiders could stand alongside Zelda and Okami.

x. SSX ; The courses were varied and sometimes insane, in both good and bad ways. The wingsuit was a great addition. The deadly descents concept was fun but flawed. Some hazards added interesting challenges while others caused frustration and needlessly complicated the design of otherwise fine courses.

x. Tokyo Jungle ; Traveling the city feels like a chore after awhile, but the concept and writing are unique and amusingly bizarre.

x. Forza Horizon ; The open world, art design, customization and slightly more arcade-like driving made this one of my favorite racing games this generation. Unlocking free fast travel was annoying, especially since those events seemed more demanding than the main events. I preferred the sense of speed and handling of Need for Speed: Most Wanted, but its structure and pursuit events could be improved.

x. Far Cry 3 ; The main missions were well designed, but the side stuff was repetitive and often hindered progression. Uncovering the map was a copy of one of the more annoying features of Assassin's Creed. Too much of the inventory was locked at the beginning. The side missions were generally fun and often took you to interesting locations, but they're a bit too similar and not very rewarding after awhile. But it's fun and well presented, and the numerous abilities and weapons provide a number of fun methods to handle situations. I liked being sneaky with a silenced sniper rifle, or running in with a flamethrower and explosives, or getting up close and using the different takedowns (or combinations of the above and more).

x. Sleeping Dogs ; The missions and gameplay were more fun than those of most open-world games, and the ability and leveling systems added a welcome feel of growth. The fighting was decent, but what really surprised me were the exciting gunfights. Running around chaining headshots and activating bullet time was very satisfying and well executed. The main game is paced well and doesn't wear out its welcome. Side content seemed a bit underdeveloped (like the awkward conclusions of the dates, or the samey drug busts).

x. Mass Effect 3 ; The gameplay was good but may have lost its novelty for me. The story, especially the ending, was disappointing, but the subplots were more satisfying. ME2 left a greater impression. Its episodic nature felt like a collection of brief, interesting side quests compared to ME3's more cohesive, but disappointing, quest, and I felt more engaged by the franchise at that time.

x. Assassin's Creed III ; The homestead and meatier side quests were some of the best of the series. The story features a number of interesting ideas, characters and plot twists. The sailing quests weren't amazing, but they looked cool and felt novel. The main quest is one of the worst in the series, feeling more unfocused and boring than usual. Traveling the frontier is tiring. And like Mass Effect, the ending was lame. Game writers don't seem to know how to write satisfying endings for these sagas. It feels like the series is in a continual decline, with its makers not taking note of what worked in AC II and Brotherhood.



2011. Super Mario 3D Land ; If I played it in 2011, this might have been my GotY. Like much of the Galaxy games, it's fast-paced, varied and imaginative. The level design and difficulty balance exceeds that of much of the New Super Mario Bros. series, lacking their early game lulls. The perspective and momentum work but occasionally are not ideal. Unlocking the real final level requires too much repetition, but I didn't mind too much because the game was so good.
 

Moral Panic

Member
Jul 3, 2012
4,428
0
0
1. Journey ; Perfection.
2. Dark Souls (PC Version) ; My favourite franchise is now on PC. With Durante's mod is a beast of a game.
3. Katawa Shoujo ; Designed by committee but the vision was not lost and we got to see how amazing people can be when they come together to create something.
5. Final Fantasy XIII-2 ; Fixed most of the problems that FFXII had. Last boss was really fun.
6. Gravity Rush; Fun, but flawed.
7. Kidō Senshi Gundam SEED Battle Destiny ; Decent Gundam game. Am from UK (is import).

2011. Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together; UK release last year
 

Adam Prime

hates soccer, is Mexican
Sep 1, 2008
10,145
0
0
Austin, TX
www.neogaf.com
1. Xenoblade Chronicles; best JRPG since the PSX era. My personal favorite JRPG of all-time

2. Kid Icarus Uprising; One of the best portable games ever made!

(3). Virtue's Last Reward: I'm retroactively adding this game to my list. Right up there, maybe surpassing, Ace Attorney as the best visual novel video game. Amazing story, awesome puzzles.

4. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy; everytime I'm ready to be done with this game, I play another ten hours. There's a constant stream of things to unlock and the music from the entire series is just sooo... good!

5. The Last Story; Wii got some classics this year. This game sits right behind Xenoblade as one of the best JRPGs that I've played ever. Excellent combat, interesting story.

6. Resident Evil Revelations

7. Street Fighter x Tekken

8. Double Dragon Neon


2011; Super Mario 3D Land
 

REV 09

Member
May 14, 2005
4,936
0
0
South Carolina
1. Assassins Creed 3; I think I had a very different experience with this game than most people. For starters, I played it on PC, so I had no technical or framerate issues. I also played it around christmas after most of the glitches had been patched out. I think AC3 may have one of the best worlds of any game that i have ever played. The world and game is gorgeous on PC. Connor's story was an excellent and interesting weave through history. The Desmond stuff played fine, but his sections have always been a sideshow for me. The naval stuff was amazing. The animations were top notch. Climbing through trees was exhilarating. The combat was the best that the series has had. The side missions and Homestead content was almost always meaningful and actually voiced by identifiable characters. Best AC to date for me.
2. Max Payne 3; I didn't expect much from this game. I wasn't a big Max Payne fan before, but I love Michael Mann films. MP3 felt like playing a Mann film to me. The gunplay was amazing...some of the best in the genre. I honestly didn't think Rockstar could deliver gameplay this good. I loved how grounded and normal Max was as a character. He wasn't a hero; he was just a guy trying his best with the cards that he had been dealt.
3. XCOM: Enemy Unknown; The gameplay was phenomenal. I didn't think a turn based game could have me so much on the edge of my seat. I do wish the story was better though.
4. Halo 4; Best looking 360 game. Revived Halo mp and was the best mp game of the year. Spartan Ops was a letdown though and the campaign's encounters lacked the grand scope of prior entries. Still, the story telling, though convoluted, was a step up for the series. Overall, i like where the series is headed and think that it's in great hands with 343.
5. Borderlands 2; BL2 is just fun. The writing was some of the best all year.
6. Mass Effect 3; An epic mixed bag. The game had some of the best moments in the trilogy, but still managed to disappoint on some levels. The ending wasn't great, but my biggest letdown was how the great ME2 characters were handled. Still, the game played great and had a surprisingly good mp.
7. Diablo 3; My first Diablo. I'm not a big loot guy, but I finished a playthrough with all 5 characters. The lore was fantastic, but the story sucked and the writing was abysmal. The game shines for it's attention to detail, especially in the animations. Unlocking new skills and mixing them up was the highlight for me.
8. Far Cry 3; I wanted to love this game, and I did love parts of it, but the premise of Brody's transformation was a bit too much for me. FC3 was one of the best stealth games that I have played mostly due to how satisfying the bow is for silent kills.
9. Transformers: Fall of Cybertron; The campaign was a big improvement from the original and the mp was still great fun.
10. Trials Evolution; Trials is still one of the best downloadable games on the market. The early levels are a blast to fly through, and the later levels will test your skill and your mind.

x. Forza Horizon; An interesting mix for racers and definitely a success, but it needed something to make it rise to the next level. More pleasant than exciting.
x. Dishonored; Looked great. Played great. However, it was just too short and somewhat small in scope. The story was throwaway as well.

2011. Battlefield 3; Battlefield Premium has been a big success for me. All the map packs and post launch support has continued to make BF3 my go to military shooter.
 

A Human Becoming

More than a Member
Feb 4, 2007
18,587
0
0
I haven't even played 10 games from 2012, this is sad. Trine 2: Director's Cut is the one on the Wii U right?

1. Kid Icarus: Uprising - totally insane, and I love it. Absurd amount of content.
2. Call of Duty: Black Ops II - 70+ hours of gametime, haven't even touched the single player
3. Trials Evolution
4. Trine 2
5. New Super Mario Bros. U
6. NHL 13

Honourable(?) mentions:

Fez - Thought it was going to be more platformer than puzzler, haven't touched it since the first time I played.

That's every single game I played from 2012. My Laptop died or else I'd have at least a few more PC indie games on there.
1. Mass Effect 3 - Easily the best game I played all year. By far the best gameplay in the series with many of the best story moments. Ending was not great but the rest was.

2. X-Com

3. LittleBigPlanet Vita

4. Halo 4

5. Resident Evil Revelations

6. Resident Evil 6

7. Dishonored

8. Walking Dead

9. ZombiU

10. NintendoLand
1. The Walking Dead ;

The Walking Dead is a deeply flawed game, however it was also a very emotional one and honestly I rate very highly a game that manages to affect me emotionaly. Lee and Clem were very well written and I cared deeply for them in the 10+ hours the adventure lasted, if it wasn't for them The Walking Dead wouldn't have been the same.

2. Journey ;


3. Spec Ops: The Line ;


4. Dear Esther ;


5. FTL: Faster Than Light ;


6. Hotline Miami ;


7. Sleeping Dogs ;


8. Botanicula ;


9. Black Mesa ;


10. Mass Effect 3 ;
Okay, here goes, for better or worse.

1: Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown. Easily the most refined and polished version of the pioneering 3D fighter yet, and if it weren't for the abundance of fluff in Tekken Tag Tournament 2, I'd also say the most complete fighter ever made. As it is, though, I still prefer VF5 as a player, for its unparalleled depth and capacity for surprise comeback victories against even the strongest opponents. The game's balance is supreme, and makes every character viable - not something you can say about Tekken or Dead Or Alive. Plus - £10? Can't argue with that!

2: Ys Origin. This game rocks my world - it's that simple. A stripped down, streamlined action RPG with the emphasis on action and the benefit of three different styles of play - one character carries a huge axe and plays like a Gauntlet character, another magic wielder plays like someone out of Mercs or Ikari Warriors, etc. It's also kinda hard, a quality which I've begun to appreciate a lot more due to the influence of a certain game by From Software. Also, as someone else said above me, they don't make bosses like these anymore, and that's a crying shame.

3: Ys: The Oath in Felghana. For many of the same reasons as Ys Origin above - heavily action-based, no bullshit, just a long-ass quest, lots of loot and upgrades, huge bosses to kill, and a nice storyline to interact with. Although more of a traditional jRPG than its sister title Origin, it still distills all the necessary parts of the jRPG formula into a smooth, coherent experience, bereft of fluff and focused on gameplay - and that's awesome.

4: The Last Story. See my Ys: Oath entry for my feelings on this game - they're almost the exact same, except for the fact that TLS is in 3D throughout, has an arguably better story, a complex but rewarding battle system, and does still have cutscenes popping up in the most inconvenient spots. But you can skip them, so no worries. Besides, with a wonderful cast such as this, it's actually fun to watch them bitch, flirt, and play off each other like a group of long-time friends and comrades should. Yeah, I think that's the game's stand-out feature - the interplay between characters feels real, unlike a lot of story-driven games.

5: Tekken Tag Tournament 2. As you'll have read already in my Virtua Fighter 5 entry, I feel that TTT2 is the most complete and feature-filled fighting game ever released, but not the most balanced or playable - actually, that's neither of those titles, but I'll come back to that later. That, however, is not to say I don't rate the latest Tekken entry as something special - at the very least, its existence reassures me that the spark of genius that made Tekken 5: DR the classic it is didn't snuff itself out with the intensely flawed Tekken 6. In fact, that seems to be a "thing" with Namco Bandai fighting game series these days - at the beginning of this gen, they released two very flawed and sadly average fighters (Tekken 6 and Soul Calibur 4), only to come back a few years later with two utter blinders one after the other (Soul Calibur 5 ranks up there with SC2 for me, even in its plainly unfinished state, and that's high praise coming from me). It's just...there's so many different characters, and they are all different now, unlike in previous Tekken games, where new characters would amount to little more than reskins with slightly modified movesets. With that quantity and variety comes imbalance, true, but you'll still find a very tournament-worthy fighter here, which is why I'm so happy to see it replacing its retarded big brother on the EVO roster.
I'm voting for Guilty Gear btw, fuck Ponies and Smash.

6: Binary Domain. Speaking of characters who interact with each other well...I honestly do believe that this game is better than Gears Of War, at least in the way shooting feels and satisfies the player - and a lot of that comes from the way the cybernetic enemies react to fire and injury. Blowing one grunt's head off, only to see it blindly firing at its own squadmates is laugh-out-loud funny the first time you do it, but becomes a vital tactic later on, and seeing red grunts crawling tenaciously towards you, nade in mouth, even though their legs are missing (!) is simultaneously creepy and admirable, giving you the impression that these guys will stop at nothing to kill you and your motely crew of international wetworkers. Add to that the need to keep your allies' trust, easily upgradable weapons and passive abilities, XBOX HEUG bosses, and a surprisingly cohesive and entertaining story, and you have probably the best cover shooter of 2012...

7: ...and no, Spec Ops: The Line doesn't beat BD as a cover shooter, but it does contend with it in terms of how the story affects the player as they play through it. Yes, the game cheats - there's sometimes no way to avoid doing certain unsavoury things, and the game is basically just one straight line to the end, without any chance to deviate from the chosen path or turn back. Oh, but that end, dear reader, and those feels. Hopefully, if you're a CoD kiddie and you make it to the end, it'll make you think a little about why you spend your free time shooting virtual foreigners to virtual death on virtual battlefields, and how dehumanizing that is - to you.

8: Borderlands 2. I only bought this because I could get it from Green Man Gaming super-cheap on pre-order (for like £7, no kidding), and I still don't feel like I've played enough of it yet. You see, I played more of the original Borderlands than was perhaps healthy, mainly because of the constant juggling of different guns and elemental effects, which was great fun on its own - never mind the flaccid, soul-crushingly disappointing final boss and ending, or the DLC expansions, some good (Dr. Ned's, General Knoxx), some best left avoided (Mad Moxxi). Either way, when I was finished with all that, I never wanted to touch the game again. So, here I am, hoping for BL2 to shake up the formula and do something different with the concept, and what does it do? The same exact thing as last time, only this time, you're a new guy doing it! That's not to say that I'm not enjoying the trip, though - the humour has improved, as have the characters, and the gunplay and customization are as engaging as ever. That said - is it just me, or are the guns not as interesting this time around? That said, I just got a triple-barreled mortar cannon that shoots out giant flaming balls of instant death, so maybe I'm speaking too soon.

9: Under Defeat HD. Thank you, Based G.rev, for this delectable morsel from the Dreamcast's last days. The best (and hardest) helicopter shmup ever made. Still a looker, too, and better than Akai Katana for sure. Now bring out BorderDown HD!

...actually, that's all I can think of that came out in 2012. This year's been pretty lean as far as GOTY-worthy games are concerned, IMO. I'm purposely not including 2012 games I own/can play but haven't got around to playing yet (Dishonored, Hotline Miami, Legend of Grimrock, Planetside 2, and Sleeping Dogs, amongst others), or any 2012 games I don't own or that I want, but don't have yet (like The Walking Dead, Far Cry 3 or Anarchy Reigns), since this is supposed to be about our personal Top 10 for the year, right? And it would be cheating to include games you haven't played. Right? Right.

As for the Honourable Mentions, well, I've got a confession to make. I actually spent more time on these two games last year than on any of the games on my list. Also, I'm combining them with my 2011 choices, so blow me if you don't like it. Anyway, without further ado...

x: Dark Souls. Yeah, you've all been there. The only reason this wasn't my Number 1 pick is that I've been exclusively playing the PS3 version, since I don't own the PC version yet. This addiction only got worse once the Artorias Of The Abyss DLC came out - I was on that like a Special Infected on fresh survivor brains. Though I'm taking a rest from the game now, I'm sure I'll be back once I've bought the PC version and applied Durante's patch for smooth 60fps goodness, mmmmmmmm.
I still think that some parts of Demon's Souls are better, but eh, it's a toss-up.

x: The King Of Fighters XIII. This here is the best fighting game I've ever played - better than Super Turbo, marginally better than 3rd Strike, arguably better than every KOF game that came before it. Stunning looks and animation, masterful music and bone-crunching FX, smooth and satisfying controls, a wonderfully eclectic cast of pugilists, brawlers, assassins, pop stars, ghosts, demons, and assorted dudes who can juggle fireballs in their hands without burning themselves, and Mai. This game just speaks to the 2D fetishist in me (and by that, I don't mean OMG KINGU IS MAI WAIFU), and gives me hoppe that 2D fighting games as a genre aren't dead just yet. It's a shame that you have to buy the best characters as DLC, but all that's water under the bridge now. I recently bought the download version off of PSN for £6, so I'm happy.
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.
I've managed to list only 8 games from 2012 that I've played, is it OK to list only 8 or do they HAVE to be 10?

Also, what's the verdict on Stranger's Wrath? The game was released during the last 2 weeks of 2011 in Europe and it's an HD remake of an X-box game, would it count?

EDIT: I'll leave my entries in for now and update them later on before the deadline-

I personally wish I didn't have to rank them but gotta follow 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.

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.

Final Fantasy XIII-2;
Where 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.

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

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.

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

Punch Quest;
I like the sound when you punch stuff in this game~

Rayman Jungle Run;
1) X-Com - Even people who don't think they would like this style of game shoudl give it at least a few hours. It is an amazingly streamlined and cinematic strategy game that works well with a controller. That is alone is a miracle but the game is great too. It has a very addictive "one more turn" mechanic and the combat frequently keeps you on the edge of you seat. It's brilliantly balanced.

2) Far Cry 3 - This game has gradually been moving up my list. It is the first open world game I can think of that does stealth right. Using your camera to "tag" enemies and track their movements is brilliant. And mechanically, it is one of the most sound games of the year. Everything from the shooting to the swimming to the vechile controls just feels really good. And the open world feels dynamic and alive with all sorts of interactions between wildlife and and enemies on a regular basis. The storyline isn't amazing, but for what it is, it is well told. Even if you dislike the main characters (and I do too) that doesn't mean they aren't pretty competantlyl realized stereotypes. And the game avoids being overly convoluted or over the top the way most game narratives are. Unlike many, I also thought the last few missions were great. I kind of found myself scratching my head about what critics who complained about the game "falling apart" were even talking about. It's pretty much the same game with the same great mechanics throughout. Nothing crazy happens to send it off rails. It's extremely polished throughout.

3) FTL - I think this game deserves more recognition that it is even given and I admit that it has been given alot. It feels incredibly pure from a mechanical stand point and fresh. I don't know any other game that approaches combat the way this game does but yet it has an elegant simplicity. And the rogue like elements make it so that each session feels totally unique. I'll probably never beat the game but it is a classic in the sense that I will probably still come back to it years from now. I doubt that is even true of most of the games on this list.

4) Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition - Had I not already played 90 hours on the 360, this would be higher on my list. Still I got sucked back in with this release adding another 40+ hours and still have yet to complete it. It is the definitive Dark Souls experience and Dark Souls itself is, for me, probably a decade defining game. It is a game I am positive I will come back to twenty or thirty years from now. I can't say that for certain of many other games on this list.

5) The Walking Dead - Walking Dead has steadily moved lower in my estimation as I distanced myself from the experience, but it is still an extremely important step in the evolution of gaming narrative. The fact that it focuses more on defining relationships than world changing events to drive it's narrative makes it feel a lot more personal and impactful than most games and it is indeed one of the best if not the best written games I've ever played.

6) Dishonored - Fast action stealth games are rare. The only other game that imploys a mechanic like this successfully that I can think of is the recent Batman games. It's a stealth game where you feel like the predator rather than the hunted and the tools you are given to play in the world open up your options in some fantastic ways. The narrative also has some nice subtle touches that make the world and the relationships seem more fully realized. They are not in your face but they are there if you look for them. It is all around an elegantly designed game.

7) Legend of Grimrock - Grimrock really captures what is great about traditional "dungeon crawls" and that is the sense of exploration and the dread of the unknown. Most games of this lineage have now become loot grinds but that is not at all what Grimrock is about. It is more about intimidating enemies, devious traps, clever puzzles and secret passages. And ultimately I find that way more appealing than the kill, sell, buy, kill endless loop.

8) Frog Fractions - Yeah it is kind of a "one trick" pony in the sense that it is a deep rabbit hole of genre throwbacks all wrapped into one but it is a pretty fun trick. For the forty minutes I played it, I was pretty enthralled and entertained.

9) Hitman Absolution - This is my first Hitman game and I have come to appreciate the Rube Goldbergian style of gameplay. It is more of a light puzzle game than anything else, but it's a enjoyable one. It's heavily scripted open world is frankly kind of charming and unique. It has stealth elements but it plays like no other stealth game I've ever played and it doesn't hurt that it is often legitimately funny. (I'm gonna gets me some snow! Cause when your the King of China Town," sings the douche bag as you lead him to his death).

10) Thirty Flights of Loving - I actually don't like this game quite as much as Gravity Bone but I appreciate what it is doing a lot. Very cool narrative technique, sleekly presented gameplay concepts without filler or double dipping.
It never ends.

 

Haunted

Member
Nov 16, 2006
78,207
0
0
steamcommunity.com
1. FarCry 3 - Thank you Crytek
I'm not sure if I'm missing some sort of Konami/Capcom joke here, but Crytek had nothing to do with Far Cry 2 or 3.

They made the original Far Cry, but lost the IP when they left Ubisoft and signed with EA. They're making the Crysis series now, Far Cry 3 was done by Ubisoft Montreal.


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.
Interesting.

Make sure to mention the final number of counted votes in the results OP, I'd love to have them for comparison to previous years.
 
Feb 28, 2009
39,127
0
0
Interesting that this thread is going to end at half the pages of last year's voting thread. Guess that mandatory comment really scared people off.
 

Duffyside

Banned
Sep 8, 2010
5,526
0
0
Interesting that this thread is going to end at half the pages of last year's voting thread. Guess that mandatory comment really scared people off.
Last year's vote ended on page 19. We're on 12 now with still a good amount of days left. I don't think it will be as long, but I was expecting that; no Skyrim, no Portal 2, no Minecraft really. Makes sense to me that it wouldn't be as big.

But it won't be half.
 

tim.mbp

Member
Oct 4, 2009
7,063
0
0
1. Rhythm Heaven Fever ; First word that comes to mind is fun. Really a blast to play solo or with a group of friends on a Saturday night. Catchy tunes and charming visuals keeps the game interesting even after playing the same song over and over. It's great to have a variety of gaming experiences out there including some that aren't encumbered by over complicated controls or long winded narrative.

2. Xenoblade Chronicles
3. Kid Icarus: Uprising
4. Waking Mars
5. Super Hexagon
6. Crimson Shroud
7. Ziggurat
8. Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask
9. The Last Story
10. Fieldrunners 2

2011. Rebuild
 
Feb 28, 2009
39,127
0
0
Last year's vote ended on page 19. We're on 12 now with still a good amount of days left. I don't think it will be as long, but I was expecting that; no Skyrim, no Portal 2, no Minecraft really. Makes sense to me that it wouldn't be as big.

But it won't be half.
Oh you're right. For some reason I thought it was ending tomorrow. 19 registered as a 15 in my mind somehow.
 

JohnDonut

Banned
Dec 5, 2012
282
0
0
1. Xenoblade Chronicles; Easily the best JRPG since ever. It did a few things wrong but everything it did wrong, it did two things right. It'll be hard for any game to top xenoblade, and I'll be keeping an eye out. Xenoblade Chronicles is now the JRPG by with which other jrpgs are now judged. (and frankly, some wRPGs as well)
2. XCOM: Enemy Unknown; It's like the old xcom but better. None of the fat, and all of the protein. Necessary in any gamer's diet who doesn't have an IQ of less than 100
3. Dark Souls; PC version Absolutely stunning combat and atmosphere.
4. The Walking Dead; Taking the comic book and tv and making it into an interactive game in a way that is exciting and not boring.
5. Sleeping Dogs; Not the best story, but executed well, making you care what happens and hooks you deep.
6. Binary Domain; The combat wasn't the best but the squad based TPS is something we need more of, and the storyline and your feelings for your squadmates was unmatched.
7. Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP; The most innovative and charming indie title from this year easily
8. Tales of Graces f; Tales is really evolving and growing into its own, and you can see this for sure in tales of graces f with cool characters and good combat.
9. Dishonored; Getting closer back to the kind of stealth games we need. Listen devs.
10. Final Fantasy XIII-2; A very impressive and needed improvement over the shitpile that was 13.

Honorable Mention:
x. FTL: Faster Than Light; Needed more depth but this easily takes the rougelike crown for quite some time
 
Mar 16, 2010
1,393
0
0
I don't think it will be as long, but I was expecting that; no Skyrim, no Portal 2, no Minecraft really. Makes sense to me that it wouldn't be as big.
I do think that you're correct about this, but it seems weird to me since 2012 felt so much more prolific than most years past in terms of great games throughout the year (as opposed to one or two ballooning periods of huge releases per year). Obviously it hinges on personal tastes, but I certainly had a far tougher time paring down my list to ten this year than last.
 

-Stranger-

Junior Member
Aug 30, 2010
2,119
0
0
Australia
1. Sleeping Dogs ; Wei Shen is an amazing character, a well realized and unique setting, the story is top notch & the gameplay is always fun. The best gaming experience of 2012 for me.

2. Dishonored ; Wow this game totally took me by surprise, i hadn't even heard of it until launch day and i picked it up after reading the raving reviews. This game was a breath of fresh air for stealth games, it offers so many different ways to tackle any task and it encourages experimentation and therefore offers plenty of replay value. If it wasn't for the abrupt ending it would have been number 1#.

3. Journey ; A magical experience, I've finished it twice and both times i teared up at the end.

4. Far Cry 3 ; I'm still playing this but nearing the end, so far it really delivers and even though i enjoyed FC2 this is 100x better.

5. Catherine (AUS Release) ; Us poor Aussies didn't get Catherine until early 2012. It was worth the wait though, ATLUS are geniuses and I'm going to replay this soon.

6. FIFA 13 ; It's definitely the best Soccer game ever made, I've put a lot of hours into this and despite me swearing to take a break from it i keep coming back!

7. Forza Horizon ; This game puts me in a tranquil mood for some reason, the perfect mix of arcade/simulation racing and a beautiful setting.

8. Max Payne 3 ; This was my first Max Payne game, it really gets the blood pumping with it's hectic gun battles in claustrophobic hallways. The story is good as well which is a bonus!

9. Halo 4 ; 343 studios did a great job taking over the series, the campaign is very good although the last couple levels drag on sometimes. The graphics and sound are incredible, the only reason this is so low on my list is because the multiplayer didn't get it's hooks in me, but i am more of a Battlefield man.

10. Paper Mario: Sticker Star ; I'm still playing this, but so far it's a very charming and a well presented game. It adds a nice twist to the usual Paper Mario formula.

[x] - Mark of the Ninja ; Pure stealth gaming at it's best, I'm only early in though.
 

rdrr gnr

Member
Aug 18, 2010
10,509
0
0
1. Journey ; It's the only reason I'm in this thread and making this post. Call it novelty or genuine charm; Journey is a one-of-a-kind experience unmatched by anything else this year. Anyone trying to pigeon-hole this title with established themes of a particular genre is doing themselves a disservice. Yes -- it is a game. And, yes -- it is that good.

2011. Saints Row The Third ; Unfettered, unpretentious fun. The off-brand GTA has finally found its winning formula. Giant purple dildos + VTOL jets = my money.
 

Lingitiz

Member
Sep 19, 2010
9,349
0
0
abrasiontest.wordpress.com
1. Dishonored ; incredible level design, innovative traversal, and a unique atmosphere make this one of the few games this year that I just couldn't get enough of.

2. XCOM: Enemy Unknown

3. The Walking Dead

4. Sleeping Dogs

5. Far Cry 3

6. FTL: Faster Than Light

7. Guild Wars 2

8. Hotline Miami

9. Chivalry: Medieval Warfare

10. Spec Ops: The Line
 

Des0lar

will learn eventually
May 31, 2007
8,144
0
0
Year of the indie for me:

1. Journey ; Journey was simply incredible and felt like a genuine work of art and inspiration. It wasn't so much about the core game experience, but much more about a sense of wonder and friendship. I enjoyed playing through the sandy wastes to reach the mysterious mountain and it was a heartwarming feeling to play this with another person, who probably lives hundreds of miles away, but shares the same experience as me.
We chiped at each other, tried to help each other out, tried to have fun gliding through the sand together. I was devestated when I lost my buddy in the last level and I thought I had lost him forever and needed to finish the game on my own. Reluctantly I flew to the end, when suddenly I spottet him waiting for me there. My day got a little brighter that moment.
Also I will never forget the moment, when a friend was over and played Journey while I was watching. And while he had fun, after probably he was half done, he turn to me and says: "Wait, is this a person playing with me?". As I nodded, I could see how suddenly something changed inside of him. It was a deep realisation that his coop partner wasn't just a dumb AI programmed to follow him, it was a person who activly WANTED to stay with him. Such a great feeling.

2. Hotline: Miami ; A simple, effective, trippy exkperience. Something you can never forget playing.

3. FTL: Faster Than Light ; My first kickstarter game and boy was I suprised. I stopped playing, but the time I was into the game, it REALLY ate all my free time. Great idea, great execution.

4. Rayman Origins ; (PC) Love playing this COOP with my girlfriend on the comfy couch ;)

5. Blacklight: Retribution ; I liked the style and the shooting mechanics of the game. Felt like a good CoD game, without all the bullshit air strikes and whatnot. And it's even F2P.

6. Tribes: Ascend ; Another great F2P title. I was onboard since the beta and loved the fast paced tactical combat. Played many different roles, but flag-runner was still the absolutely best. Few games can match the adrenaline pumping when you're trying to score a flag with 5 enemies chasing you high speed through canyons.

7. Thirty flights of loving ; Very short, but very memorable experience. I really like what the creator has done with the concept of a "story" game.

8. Spec Ops: The Line ; Liked what the developers tried to do, but I never was captured by the story or the characters. Didn't like the gameplay very much. 8th place for effort though.

Honorable Mentions:
X. Dustforce ; Never managed to get far into the game even though I wanted to. Maybe I will give it another shot one day.

2011. Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings ; Just finished this recently and it's a fucking amazing joyride. The last chapter was a bit short and I would have loved a more "open" hub, like chapter 2 in Witcher 1, but it was a great experience nontheless.

Also I am very sad that I didn't get to play The Walking Dead till now, so I can't vote for it. Shame really. Same with Sleeping Dogs and Dark Souls :/
 

CecilRousso

Member
Jun 29, 2008
10,349
0
0
1. XCOM ; Lived up to all the hype. Lost a bit in the strategy but made up for that by adding personality to the soldier, and actually improved the battles. Doesn't replace old XCOM but a worthy entry in the series.

2. Spelunky ; just brilliant game design.

3. Far Cry 3 ; Perhaps the best modern sandbox title so far. Hate uPlay, but really dig the game. Inconsisent logic in the gameworld, but fun to play.

4. Crusader Kings 2

5. Mark of the Ninja

6. Fez

7. Journey

8. FTL

9. Trials Evolution

10. Super Hexagon

Honorable Mentions:
X. Planetside 2 ; Haven't played it enough for it to make the list, but I have seen som really impressive scenes in this.

X. Dustforce ; Best soundtrack of the year. Great graphics. Not quite there with the gameplay though.

X. Iron Brigade ; Great coop title, great and silly humour.

X. Thirty Flights of Loving ; It's not a game, but it was an interesting experiment, that's close to the gaming space.

2011. Gray Matter ; Best adventure game I've played in many years, probably in my top 10 for the genre overall.

2011. The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings ; An RPG that's 2 x 30 hours at least, with no fillers and no grind.
 
Apr 15, 2012
4,331
0
430
It's probably just my bias, but does Kid Icarus have a legitimate shot at ranking high in the list? I'm reading through the thread, and I'm seeing it mentioned a lot. It would be awesome if it ended up doing really well.
 

R&R

Member
May 19, 2005
476
0
0
39
UK
1. Sleeping Dogs ; The definitive open world experience of 2012. Game delivered on all fronts, surely will influence even games such as GTA V. Could have been a bit longer, but thats pretty much my only gripe. Amazing realization of Hong Kong, in many ways a love letter to HK cinema.

2. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (360) ; Amazing port of an already amazing game, one of the best RPG's of the generation. Completed twice (of course ;) )

3. Far Cry 3 ; Managed to fix almost all faults of Far Cry 2 and more. Great locale, interesting story, bit repetitive in some regards.

4. Mass Effect 3 ; Even though ME3 left me wanting more closure for an epic trilogy (new ending helped a bit) it was one of the better games of 2012. Was unfortunately rushed out, could have been so much better...I missed opportunity in many ways.

5. Uncharted: Golden Abyss ; Still the best Vita game, almost complete Uncharted experience on a handheld.

6. Assassin's Creed III: Liberation ; Minor annoyances aside (the biggest being a game breaking bug later fixed), one the best games on Vita. Liked the story and main character more than ACIII.

7. Max Payne 3 ; Great story and amazing gunplay slightly put down by annoying unskippable cutscenes and thus lack of replay value.

8. Assassin's Creed III ; Not the best Assassin's Creed, but some new aspects were really enjoyable (tree climbing, naval battles). Major bugs were and issue though, as were slightly dull city environments.

9. WRC 3 ; In a genre really lacking good games for many, many years, WRC 3 was a welcome new entry. Major improvement from WRC 2, and is starting to get close as a definite rally game. Hoping WRC 4 delivers even more...

10. Journey ; Like many have said, unique experience quite like no other. Could have been longer, also didn't feel the want to replay like many others.

x. Angry Birds Star Wars ; Have put so many hours to this on several platforms, the best Angry Birds so far - good use of SW licence too!

All in all, not the best gaming year by any means, here's to a better 2013!
 

iNvid02

Member
Aug 16, 2009
18,280
18
910
It's probably just my bias, but does Kid Icarus have a legitimate shot at ranking high in the list? I'm reading through the thread, and I'm seeing it mentioned a lot. It would be awesome if it ended up doing really well.
yeah i think so, i predicted this a few pages back for the top five games, maybe a slightly different order

walking dead
journey
xcom enemy unknown
kid icarus uprising
dishonored