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

UrbanRats

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Jun 25, 2009
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Ugh, there are so many titles i've yet to play this year that i don't really feel like voting.
I could muster up a top 10, but missing stuff like Far Cry 3, Mark of the Ninja, Silent Hill Downpour, Spec Ops the Line, Dishonored, Walking Dead etc, would be a shame.
Though i don't think i'll be able to buy and play all these by the 19th of January.
 

pseudocaesar

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Dec 4, 2008
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1. Guild Wars 2 ; nearing 100% map completion, and not even beginning to get bored.
2. Journey
3. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
4. Uncharted: Golden Abyss
5. Dishonored
6. Wipeout 2048
7. Sleeping Dogs
8. Gravity Rush
 

Cheesemeister

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Feb 14, 2005
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Dishonoured: A fantastic return to what gaming should be about, explorative and layered level design basically. Many ways through each level, combined with the powers made the game awesome.

XCOM Enemy Unknown: A game that shows you don't need scripted moments to create emotion. When you're squad is all wiped out within ten min then you'll know emotion. A brilliant game that finally does stratgety right on consoles.

The Walking Dead: I'm uneasy putting this here as Id say it's more interactive novel then game. Even though the gameplay is limited, the times when you can explore are a joy, like you're literally exploring in the comic book. That's the reason I put this here, not because of the story.
Borderlands 2; Great variety with characters, enemies and story.
Witcher 2 (360); Easily one of the best looking and playing RPG's on the system.
Binary Domain; Very Satisfying shooting mechanics and great boss battles.
Max Payne 3; Fantastic gameplay and graphics and they nailed the character of Max Payne
Spec Ops: The Line; Great character development
- Kid Icarus Uprising: great gameplay driven scenario with fun twists, funny dialogs, superb score, beautifully crafted, tonz of environments, big content.

- Nintendo Land: amazing.

- Xcom Enemy Unknown: tactical PC gaming at its best. Love my little soldiers.

- Xenoblade Chronicles: j-rpg redeemed.

- Resident Evil Revelation: it was the right RE to play after the 4.

- The Witcher 2 Enhanced: solid game, nice visuals and it made me read the fr translated books.

- FIFA 13: a lot of my co-workers play it during - our long - lunch time everyday (we even have an internal championship, for those who are not hooked by LOL), couldn't escape the PES > FIFA transition.

- Trine 2 Collector Edition: loving it on my gamepad. I was right to wait without opening my PC retail copy.

I'm sure Dark Souls PC could be in my list but I have to confess I didn't yet found the time to play it.
Will add reasons and beautify my post a little later.

Dragon's Dogma
Final Fantasy XIII-2
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
Dishonored
Borderlands 2
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Magic the Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013
Guild Wars 2
You must number your ballot or it will not be counted.
 

nonnocere

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Oct 15, 2010
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1. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning; I really wanted to see where this series was headed, hopefully it will be rescued. I loved respeccing my character 2/3 of the way through the game and being a badass with a giant hammer.
2. XCOM: Enemy Unknown; Finally, a great turn based strategy game for the consoles and a successful relaunch of a beloved franchise with updated consequential choices in the game and a steep but accessible difficulty curve.
3. Sleeping Dogs; I just rented it for one night from RedBox last night. What a mistake. I should go buy it.
4. Mass Effect 3; The ending rightfully gets grief, but the rest was a love letter to fans with interactions with some of our favorite characters from the first two games (and add-ons)
5. Endless Space; I am terrible at this game, even in single player.
6. Torchlight 2; There's a lot of stuff in here. I still haven't finished my first playthrough as an engineer.
7. Borderlands 2; More of the same with better menus. That's not a bad thing.
8. Elemental: Fallen Enchantress; The series is now moving in the right direction. I've only started a few small skirmish games as I get the feel for it, but strategy folks should dig it.

2011. Dark Souls; And I'll vote for it again next year.
 

Funchameleon

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Apr 26, 2009
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1. Mark of the Ninja ; Stealth gameplay, masterfully executed by an obviously passionate team. MotN simultaneously proved that more traditional stealth gameplay still has legs, and that 2D indie games can revolutionize a mature genre.
2. The Walking Dead ; Solid writing, very entertainingly presented. This is the quite seriously the first game since I was 12 where I've ever cared to know what happens next.
3. Sleeping Dogs ; Not-horrid writing in a package that learns from the failures of open word games and solves them convincingly at every corner. Evolutionary, not revolutionary, but an amazing package.
4. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
5. Borderlands 2
6. Spelunky
7. Trials Evolution
8. Diablo 3
9. Spec Ops: The Line ; Can we please get more games that subvert expectations like this? The categorically average gunplay almost serves the goals of the game. A real gem. Downright beautiful in spots.
10. Dust: An Elysian Tail ; If you can get past the deviantart Furry aesthetics there's a crazy solid metroidvania experience hiding here.

2011. The Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition (PC)

What a year for download-only titles
 

McNum

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Jul 6, 2009
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Is it GOTY time aready? Guess 2012 is just about over. Well, here's my list, which I've been adding to over the year rather than write it all now. It's easier to remember the early good games like that. Like Katawa Shoujo. Anyway, here are my top ten games of 2012! Caution! Incoming wall of text!

1. XCOM: Enemy Unknown ; ALIEN ACTIVITY! If you want to know how to take an old cult classic game and remake/reimagine it, you should look at XCOM:EU and take notes, because this game shows how to do it right. The game has you fight off an alien invasion as the leader of the secret paramilitary organization known as XCOM. You fight the aliens in a turnbased strategy part and a strategic view where you manage your base, manufacturing, research, and try to keep panic from reaching critical levels in the nations that pay your bills. What's interesting is that tactical and strategic decisions influence each other. It's possible to play flawlessly tactically and lose the game in strategy and vice versa. And yes, you can lose the game. Play 20 hours and the aliens win. Game over, try again. The game will not cuddle you, except on easy, and complete defeat is always an option. Most strategy fans should be able to beat Normal, but when the difficulty is Classic or Impossible, especially if you're playing the one-save-only Ironman mode, get ready to see the defeat screen. The game is somewhat buggy, though, and the final part of the campaign is kind of... eh. But overall, it's definitely my favorite game of 2012.

2. Katawa Shoujo ; A visual novel made through online collaboration about a young man with a bad heart going to a school for the disabled, and how he interacts with, befriends, and maybe even falls in love with the other students on the school. It sounds like a recipe for disaster, doesn't it? But what could easily have been a really offensive idea turns into one of the sweetest and most smile-inducing games of 2012, or in case of the bad endings, a real tearjerker at times. The stories in the game are pretty different in tone and style, though, but it seems everyone who plays it has a different favorite, so it works out. Even if you never played a Visual Novel before, I'd recommend giving it a try. It's free, too. Just don't be surprised if you find yourself wanting to start running for exercise after playing Emi's route. That's just a natural side effect of the game.

3. FTL: Faster Than Light ; Or "For The Loss", as it were. You play as a starship on a desperate mission in a hostile environment. Travel eight sectors and fight the boss, or die trying. Usually the latter. FTL is hard, really hard, but it's also fun in a frustrating way. You struggle to keep weapons, shields, engines, and so on powered, crew members alive from the hostile intruders, and for heaven's sake, someone put that fire out! And why is Life Support offline?! Success in this game is both earned and comes down to luck, as FTL has taken notes from some roguelike games in randomness and harsh consequences. There is no saving, except suspend saves. What happens happens and there's no going back. Because the rebels are right behind you. And waiting in ambush in front of you at the next jump. Good luck! You'll need it. It is worth mentioning that a recent patch added a colorblind friendly mode. Which easily earns it a few spots up on my GOTY list.

4. Kid Icarus Uprising ; Pit is back! Over two decades after the original Kid Icarus, Pit returns to battle the evil Medusa and save humanity. At least, it's how the story starts... How it ends and how it gets there is a different, yet very awesome, thing altogether. The game is split between a flying part, which plays much like Sin and Punishment, and a ground part where Pit runs, dodges, and shoots his way through the levels. The game is fast, and exactly as difficult as you want it to be, thanks to a very customizable difficulty selection, but if you want good loot, you need to take a few chances with the difficulty. I need to mention the writing, too, as this game is very well written, and pretty funny. The story has some amazing twists and turns, and all characters get some laugh out loud moments. The game has no respect for the fourth wall, what with Pit asking who this "Kid Icarus" is, and several references to game mechanics and other Nintendo games.

5. Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy ; Say THAT ten times fast. Obligatory title mocking aside, this is one of those game that works far better than it should. Final Fantasy has always had good music, so, really, a rhythm game based on Final Fantasy is not that odd an idea. It works pretty well, you control it via the touch screen where you tap, slide, or hold the stylus on the screen with the music to pass the various levels. However, the game also has RPG elements, where you pick a party of main characters from the Final Fantasy games, and various unlockables, and have them fight or run along to the song you're playing. Your characters then level up and learn new skills hat make it easier to survive in songs, like getting more HP, or make the characters more efficient at slaying monsters. There's a ton of songs in the game, and many more available as DLC. And yes, One-Winged Angel is in the game from the start, in case you wondered. Of course it is.

6. Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams ; Another game on the list that shows how you do a reimagining of an old classic. Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams is a 2D platformer with a twist. Literally. With the press of a button, Giana transforms between her Cute form and her Punk form, but what sets this apart is that the entire level transforms along with her, terrain, enemies, artstyle, and music switches from fairy tale to hell and back again. Which looks rather impressive and is used constantly in the game. The game gives you infinite lives, and then demands you use them. Late in the first world, for instance, there's even a part reminiscent of that dreaded Dam level from the NES Turtles game. The music needs to be mentioned on its own. Like the level, it changes smoothly between a Commodore 64 like chiptune and a metal version of the same song and it does it so well you could swear that the song was just half of each, but no, there are two songs with the same melody running at the same time. All in all, Giana Sisters is a very solid 2D platformer, and it's pretty nice to see Giana break away from being the Mario clone it was initially to something even better. Your move, plumber.

7. Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance ; If you look up "needlessly complicated story", there's a picture of Sora there. And that's really part of the fun. Thankfully Kingdom Hearts 3D comes with a recap and an encylopedia that pops in whenever some reference is made to an earlier game. Which almost makes it worth it to have all the Kingdom Hearts story collected in one place. The gameplay is, well, Kingdom Hearts. With a weird Nintendogs like pet raising system added. The new Flowmotion system lets you use the environment in battle and lets Sora and Riku travel around with superpowered freerunning skills, but it does make some battles a matter of leaping from wall to wall spamming the various invincible Flowmotion moves. It does looks pretty cool, though. Beating up things with a giant key still hasn't gotten old. It is an advantage if you have some knowledge of the Kingdom Hearts story, though, because it does like to toss around names like you're supposed to know them. At least it has the decency to have an ingame glossary and recaps of previous games.

8. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 ; The King of Alliteration Fist Tournament. It's Tekken. It's a LOT of Tekken. It's a celebration of all things Tekken. If you like Tekken, you'll like TTT2. If you're curious about Tekken, TTT2 is a good place to start. Just try not to be overwhelmed by the number of characters. And the free DLC characters that bring the roster up from a lot to "What, REALLY?" Also worth noting: The netcode is pretty impressive, so if you want to fight online, it's a good game for that, too. Basically, it's the Tekken Team at its best.

9. The Sims 3 Seasons ; It's weather for The Sims 3. If you play the game, you'll know why that's such a big deal. In the age of DLC, it's good to see EA still committed to sending out proper expansions, and Seasons is one of the good ones. Gameplay-wise, it doesn't add that much, but the rainy mood and procedural snowfall works really well. Plus, the aliens are back, and they have their probes ready. So, you know, watch the stars... And if you befriend them and get their UFO for a vehicle, well, it has a fully functional laser cannon, if you're in the mood for hunting the most dangerous game. Seasons also integrates fairly well with the other expansions, Supernatural in particular as your supernatural creatures become able to change the weather to something unique, like having a fairy make it rain flowers.

10. Mass Effect 3 ; Just to get it out of the way, yes, I didn't like the ending either. Which is why it's down here in the low part of my list. But everything leading up to the ending? Yeah. That was awesome. Seeing the choices I made in the past two games come back, some in major ways, some... not, and basically turn my Mass Effect 3 playthrough into, well, MY Mass Effect 3 playthrough was just so cool. And they got the combat system down to something pretty fun, no matter if you're the sneaky type or just wants to nova someone in the face. I was only ging to give ME3 an honorable mention, but then the Extended Cut came out, and well, fixed a lot of what I didn't like. The multiplayer is a decent enough horde mode, too, and credit where it's due, the DLC model for the multiplayer is actually pretty smart. All updates are free, but you buy random booster packs, be it with ingame or real money, to get the weapons, classes and items in them.

And my honorable mentions go to:

x. The Sims 3 Supernatural ; Honestly, the witches, werewolves, vampires and fairies can be a bit annoying to play, and fairies are just blatantly overpowered. But then you get situations where the fire department is staffed by a fairy, a human, and the ghost of a woman who burned to death and a local witch creating havoc with her new love spell... However it's not on the list proper as it does come with a few major annoyances, chiefly being the zombies that spawn every full moon. That's 4-7 days ingame. This did, however, create the most awesome, yet terrible, bug in a game this year: If you saved during a zombie apocalypse, it would never end, more or less corrupting your save with infinite zombies.

x. Angry Birds Star Wars ; Use the Red Bird, Luke! Oh, wait, Luke IS the Red Bird... In the category of crossovers that make you go "Wait, what?" but actually work, we have Star Wars as Angry Birds. And it is Angry Birds with Star Wars characters and powers. Like Red Luke being able to use his lightsaber to cut through obstacle, Yellow Han has his blaster, Brown Obi-Wan can use the Force and so on. It's incredibly silly, but it kind of works out. Angry Birds is a tried and true formula at this point, so it's more or less just more of that. With Star Wars. And Pig Vader.

x. Catherine ; While I wasn't that much into it, I'm giving Catherine an honorable mention because it is both a fairly well made game and it is rare to see a game handle midlife crisis and matrimony as themes up front and center like this. Would have been nice to have seen this released in 2011, but you know, Atlus gonna Atlus.

x. Street Fighter X Megaman ; It's a nice idea for a crossover, and fighting the Street Fighters is pretty fun. They fight more or less as they do in Street Fighter. The level design is a bit... eh, though.

x. Endless Space ; I played the alpha and beta of Endless Space and it had some promise, but since I haven't actually played the final version, even though I have it on Steam, I can only give it an x, and not a numbered spot on my list. It's a fairly solid space 4X, with an interesting approach to space battles.

Finally that game from 2011 that I can't believe I waited a year to play, and would surely have had a high spot on last years list. That game is of course:

2011. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim ; I was never much of an Elder Scrolls fan, but i picked Skyrim up on sale. And, well... it did live up to its reputation. And then some. Gone was the annoying level system from Morrowind and it was replaced with a more sensible skill system and straightforward leveling system as well as a huge world with a lot of quests and dragons. Tons of them. Although you do not need many dragons for a ton. Anyway... Best game from 2011 that I missed? Skyrim. Definitely Skyrim. It's not even close.

And that's about it. Changes pending in case of awesome deals at the Steam Sale, but I don't think this will change much. No Sonic game on the list this time for me... Sonic 4 Episode 2 was kind of disappointing. But I am pretty sure nothing will topple XCOM from being my GOTY. Still can't quite believe Firaxis pulled that one off as well as they did...

EDIT: Got to play Kingdom Hearts 3D. Added that, demoted Angry Birds to honorable mention.
 

Riposte

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Two questions:

Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown count? What about Ys: Origin that came out on Steam?

Last year I made an epic-sized two post long list, which only featured my voting list in the second post. Is this still allowed? It is the format I'll be following this year.

Between journey and walking dead getting a ton of votes, it's a good year for "non games". I'm sure certain people on here are thrilled by this :p
I myself just woke up from a dream where I said Heavy Rain 2 was the "Game of The Year for Australia" (I don't live in Australia). I take that as a foreboding premonition. Journey will probably win 1 or 2 in the same way Portal 2 did, because it will get mentioned so much. Meanwhile most big name games were divisive. It is not like it should bother people who disagree though, as the "GAF GotY" list itself is worthless. I'll be fishing for some interesting, descriptive lists though. Most of the time people right a few sentences at most.

Also notice a visible lack of fighting games, but that shouldn't be a surprise to me at this point I guess. I'm convinced outside the cliques found in the big threads, GAF isn't one for fighting games.
 
Sep 2, 2007
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1. Sleeping Dogs ; Bully is one of my favourite games ever, and its creators (and nearly all its workers) did this amazing game, thats is incredibly fun to play, with amazing graphics and really cool characters, and it has motherfucking Wei Shen, nothing more to say about that... I lied, it had a really fun and cheap halloween DLC also.

2. Kid Icarus: Uprising ; This is the way you create a good, upbeat and charming with epic moments story, just like a saturday morning cartoon, and thats an amazing childhood feel. And then the game is addicting as hell and topped to the brims, a staple in Sakurai's work method. But how to forget so many fun characters and villians and the great GOTY soundtrack the game has. AMAZING.

3. Binary Domain ; Another game were the brilliance comes with its characters and interactions with them, had a lot of fun beating enemies with the shooting parts out of the method and all the dialogs with the characters. Big Bo and Cain are true bros. Beated it two times (to watch the good ending and get 100%, something I dont do much more anymore becuase of my backlog).

4. Resident Evil: Revelations ; Best Resident Evil since 4 and the way the saga has to be handle in the future, but sadly is never going to happen. A portable marvel and had a blast with it. And the castillian spanish dub was really good.

5. Nintendo Land ; The surprise of the year, a game that before releasing was hated with a passion by me (I still have some quirks with it becuase the idea of a nintendo theme park could have been much more), but after playing it, is top notch. The arcade games are just incredible and hardcore in difficulty, the graphics are beautiful and the music one of the best things of the package, and thats saying something.

6. ZombiU ; Some bugs and flaws here and there, but they really did it. The dread of playing this game, were you have to be tactic and cautious to survive is there at all times, a coaster ride of emeotions (hate, fear, fun, stress). ZombiU 2 expanding the concept is the way to go.

7. Xenoblade Chronicles ; This is low because it was a last year game in my country, but I played it in 2012, and as it can be counted, I wanted to have it in this list. Simply the best japanese RPG of the whole generation.

8. The Walking Dead ; So why is the game so low in the list? Because, even if it has an amazing and engaging story and incredible characters (Lee and Clem are awesome) the game is still a mediocre puzzle adventure game, and worst of all, I felt it lied to me saying my choices would make a difference. It sure its really well written to look like your choices matter, but that not really the truth. When I knew this in Chapter 3, I didnt felt the same thrilling GOTY sensation for the game anymore sadly.

9. Scribblenauts Unlimited ; Best Scribblenauts game yet, and the most fun. Its a little gem.

10. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy ; It was really fun, I have some quirks with it, but I usually love rhythm games, and this one was good.

x. Mass Effect 3 ; Uh oh boy, one of my favourite sagas destroyed in those infamous 15 minutes. But I still think the game is great, better than 2, and I think the way the companions react to you and the story elements in that moment, depending of how you treat them, is the best yet and a really good way to go if its expand (in any game, becuase I want thinks like that in other games that try to do the same thing but fail). Yes, the ending (and Bioware itself) made me not give any points to what could have been a top three choice otherwise. Really sad.

x. New Super Mario Bros. U ; Another great game, brought down by an element. This time the music. Its the best NSMB game done, its has amazing and tricky modes. But the soundtrack is one of the most pathetic thing ive heard, most of it is cheap, copied directly from other NSMB games, to the point of being changed little or at all, the rest is boring and theres even a disrespectful part to the SMW music in one of the last tracks, something I cant forgive, as SMW OST is one of my favourites ever. Simply put, Shiho Fujii, is the worst composer at Nintendo.

2011. Batman: Arkham City ; After hearing that this game was really short and the ending was bad.... Hey I thought the game was long and the ending good. Also it was amazing playing as Batman and Catwoman TAS.
 

Haunted

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Excellent work as always, timetokill (and Cheesemeister). :)


Still finishing up ZombiU and trying to cover a couple smaller games I might've missed earlier in the year, so the generous 19.1. deadline is appreciated.
 

vareon

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Feb 5, 2007
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Not too many new titles I played this year.

1. Kid Icarus: Uprising; A really, really, crazy game that sadly gets overlooked due to its being on 3DS and the unconventional controls. It's the best game on 3DS right now and it uses almost all of its features. The story is ridiculous, characters lovable, dialogue awesome, weapon fusing and looting is addictive.

2. Kingdom of Amalur: Reckoning; I love the setting and the art style. The story was a bit too cookie cutter fantasy for my tastes. The combat system is good, too. A shame what happened to the developers.

3. Torchlight II; Now this is action RPG done right. It's huge, addictive. And playing with a gun transforms the game into a shooter!

4. Mass Effect 3; Fixes my complaints about 2. Basically the good things of ME1 and ME2.
 

fastmower

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Jan 18, 2012
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1. Journey ; I have never played a game like it. It left quite the impression. One one the only games in my mind that could classify as Art.
2. Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition
3. Dishonored
4. PlanetSide 2
5. Alan Wake
 

Salsa

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just a tip: you can use the
  • command (followed by
  • for each item) to make your list more readable like mine.

    guessing it saves some effort

    • 1 - Dishonored;

      The artstyle is amazing. The world it creates is superb and leaves you wanting to explore more of it. The gameplay manages to get rid of common annoyances in the stealth genre in very satisfying ways. The powers (specially Blink) are genuinely fun to play around with and make you change the way in wich you play games of the genre. It really does feel like a playground at times in wich you just play with the game's systems (limited, sure, since it doesnt try to be an open world experience but rather levels where you decide how to approach, like Deus Ex), wich is something I really missed in games. The gameplay allows the perfection of your skills. This is a game where you actually get noticeably better as you keep playing, and I know it sounds silly but you rarely see something like this (to this degree) in today's empowering games. The ability to pull off crazy stunts/moves once you get really good at it is super satisfying. It also encourages replayability and I had as much fun in my second, non-lethal, unseen, blink-only, low chaos run than on my first (completely opposite) one; maybe even more.

    • 2 - The Walking Dead;

      Almost put this on third since I really really love the game below, but I feel like this deserves the upper spot for being such a different and original experience in a world of same ol same ol. This game's writing is superb in a somewhat overlooked aspect, and that is that it makes you think you had some real, hard input in the direction the story went when in reality you had very little. Your actions throughout the course of the game dont really impact where you end up, how you end up there, nor anything like that, but rather the fate of some of the characters. However, they manage to make you feel like your completely tailoring your own story and that you, as a player, are responsable of everything that happened, and that is as hard as actually fullfiling that goal, but with a third of the budget. I cared for all the characters more than I did for a single character in any game for a while. Ending was truly touching and had the right amount of player input. Just superb work all around, and it was about time Telltale got its due in being recognized as a really talented studio. Now they dont only try to keep a loved-by-few genre alive but they actually evolve it in the best way possible.
      Major props to Telltale. David Cage pipedream done right, maybe he learns something.

    • 3 - Alan Wake (PC);

      One of my favorite gaming experiences this gen. The environments and the mood of the whole game is so engrossing that I was immersed in its world more than in any other game-world this year. The forest was amazing; even though it had a very linear path you still felt as if it just went on forever, great attention to detail and easily one of the best looking PC games out there (doesnt get enough love in this regard). Amazing use of lighting, shadows, sound, the whole deal. I was hooked to the story (beyond considering it good or bad in the end), I was eager to see what happened next and I couldnt stop playing in order to unravel it more and more. I literally beat it in one 15-20 hour sitting. I had a day off sick and I played it all day, non-stop, and I never intended to do so once I started it. I thought the methods on wich the story was told were superb (the chapters, the ending credits/music). It was similar to when you get a whole season of a show and you have to go through it as fast as possible. The fact that I love Twin Peaks and the clear influences the game took from that dont hurt either. I actually enjoyed the combat a lot (wich seems to be an unpopular opinion), I liked the feedback on the shooting, I liked the aiming, I liked the flares, etc. It was repetitive but it just never stopped being fun for me throughout the whole game. Love this game, and cannot wait for dat next-gen Alan Wake 2 (let us dream).

    • 4 - Max Payne 3;

      Yes it has flaws that we've all discussed (specially the unskippable cutscenes), some of wich are baffling, but i'll be damned if it isnt the best-playing third person shooter ive ever played. The gunplay is INSANE. Euphoria/RAGE shining more than ever. The hit detection, the animations, the movement. Everything flows together in an honestly.. surprising fashion. It's one of the best looking games ive played when it comes to seeing it in motion. The story is your usual Rockstar business without much deviation, but the focus on style and visual presentation really makes it work. Michael Mann is clearly the biggest influence here and even when everyone complaints about "movie-like" games I think this is how you do them right. Replace QTEs and cinematic camera angles with gameplay that feels in line with what you'd expect out of an action film without losing control over the character. I know Max Payne has always been about this (with the noir focus, slow-mo, etc) but I feel like they really went for it here, with the OST and all. TEARS kicking in on that airport shootout is something that could perfectly belong in a movie, yet it works so, so well in this game that its one of my highlight gameplay moments this gen. Best soundtrack of the year as well btw.
      A lot of people complained about the cover mechanic and how it didnt play like previous Max Payne games but im dead honest when I tell you that I played it on the hardest difficulty while taking cover maybe ONCE. Mouse & keyboard probably have something to do with it, but it was all about jumping forward in slow motion while getting as many headshots as possible before hitting the ground, like it always has been, and it felt better than ever.

    • 5 - Hotline Miami;

      Game is just oozing with style. The inspirations are obvious (game is basically a dirtier Drive - The Game) but its not like a game attempted to corner that presentation before. The gameplay is frantic and addicting, it makes you want to perfect every level and the quick retries annoy you but dont frustrate you in the same way it happened with something like Super Meat Boy. Second best soundtrack of the year as well, and playing this at night with headphones on at max volume while just retrying levels over and over and getting deeper into its fantastically-told story while smashing heads in with every object you can find really puts you in this weird, dark, violent place that dont many games take you to. You might find that place disturbing but the experience of being there is worth the price of admition alone.

    • 6 - XCOM: Enemy Unknown;

      Fucking XCOM is back, still hard to believe. Game manages to retain a lot of what made the originals special, while still feeling modern and relevant. Its amazing how my silly-named squadmates are probably the characters I cared the most about this year after those in TWD. That feeling of losing someone who's been with you since the beggining in an Iron Man run is something else. Game is properly challenging but rewarding, rage-inducing in the best ways possible, and really statisfying when you're doing good at it. Difficulty in games, remember that?
      Reason its as low as 6 is because its bugged to hell and back, and when you're playing a game where you cant save (meaning Iron Man, playing the other mode is missing the whole point of XCOM), fucking-up because of the game not doing what you want it to do is inexcusable.

    • 7 - Sleeping Dogs;

      Great open world city with good side-activities, Arkham-like combat, inspiration from Hong Kong cinema, great character customization, good radio stations. First game ive 100%ed in a while and I had a blast doing it. Dont really have much to say here since Sleeping Dogs doesnt necesarelly bring anything new to the genre, but rather takes what everyone else did and improves on it by making it much more satisfying to play. The Story was predictable and could have been better, but I had so much fun dicking around and just doing everything I could possibly do that it gets a pass. I still enjoyed the characters a lot, and Wei is one badass motherfucker. Doesnt hurt that the game looks fantastic (specially when raining) either. Riding the fastest motorcycle while dodging cars (and getting that competitive leaderboard times showing up as you do so, another brilliant addition) in the rain and listening to Hudson Mohawke is something that everyone should experience.

    • 8 - Mark of the Ninja;

      Best 2D stealth game ever made period. Super accesible and direct when it comes to give you indications as to wether you're being seen, youre in a line of sight, etc. Something that stealth games (and specially 2D ones) have had a hard time communicating to the player since the genre first appeared. The controls can be a little "sticky" but once you get used to them you're pulling some crazy ninja stuff as if it was nothing. The levels are well designed and the collectables are actually fun to find. The 3 "achievements" per level system is also quite original for the genre and works super well. Keeps you from doing the same thing over and over again in every level. Just a great game, specially if you love the stealth genre.

    • 9 - Super Hexagon;

      Hooray simple games! it basically scratches the itch left after playing Super Meat Boy for so long. They're very different games but they have that same adrenaline rush to them of just wanting to get better at it as fast as possible. Game basically puts you in that zone where you're looking beyond the screen and just playing in some sort of auto-pilot mode. The inputs become extensions of your two fingers and your mind drifts to wherever while you're playing it. Its actually a very zen-like experience beyond the frantic (and fantastic) soundtrack. I'll be playing this in short bursts for a long time.

    • 10 - Spec Ops: The Line;

      What to say that hasnt been said. This is how games should tell stories: by really making you play them. One of the most talked about games this year so I dont feel like going too deep into why I liked it, not to mention its hard to avoid spoilers, but it is something that every person who considers themselves videogame enthusiasts should have played this year.[/indent]
 
Feb 22, 2010
5,835
0
0
1. Persona 4 Golden; This is the salt of the earth JRPG. Nonsensical convolution pursued by archetypes spouting platitudes is replaced by a liberal variety of interesting character dialogue, interaction, and development. This is the best game that I've played all year.
2. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2
3. Persona 4 Arena
4. Dragon's Dogma
5. Final Fantasy XIII-2
6. The Walking Dead
7. Tekken Tag Tournament 2
8. FIFA 13
9. Hotline Miami
10. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
 

d1rtn4p

Member
Mar 11, 2010
1,526
0
0
Tampa, FL.
1. X-Com Enemy Unknown ; What else is there to say that hasn't already been said? The formula works as good now as it did back in 1996. I dumped dozens of hours into this new game and I still get just as exhilarated and anxious every time I start a mission. Sadly, there just isn't enough quality turn-based strategy out there these days and I'm super thankful this game was made.

2. Sleeping Dogs ; Admittedly, I'm an open world fan. I love the Grand Theft Autos for what they were, and I love the Saints Rows for what they are. This game though, is the freshest open-world game I've played since Crackdown. I love the feeling of being a good guy out to save the city, and this game really delivered. The city itself was top-notch quality also, and everything felt very alive. Even after 100% this game, I still can't stop revisiting it from time to time.

3. Hotline Miami ; What a pleasant surprise this game was. After beating it, I immediately went to go back and play through it again. It has the most peculiar, interesting mix of strategy and twitch-based gameplay I think I've ever witnessed. Incredibly addictive.

4. Mass Effect 3 ; Plain and simple: It's not as good as the prior two games, but it's still a good game in its own right. As with everyone else, I thought the ending was terrible. But the 25 hours leading up to that were pure sci-fi RPG/shooter-like bliss for me; In that way that only Mass Effect can deliver.

5. Far Cry 3 ; Best FPS that game out this year. Even though it did get a little repetitive, I still never got tired of launching attacks against outposts. Not to mention that once you unlock a bunch of the weapons and upgrade your character, that you become a complete death-delivering badass of a beast.

Sadly, that its. It's sad because I played a lot more games this year that I wanted to love (and had super high expectations for), but that just fell flat to me.
 

Ros8105

Member
Dec 5, 2008
928
0
850
Netherlands
1. The Walking Dead ; whycantiholdallthesefeels.jpg
2. Dragon's Dogma
3. ZombiU
4. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
5. Mass Effect 3 ; Hated the ending, enjoyed the rest.
6. Dishonored
7. Halo 4 ; Cool, cool. Promethean enemies were a bit annoying though.
8. Journey
9. Asura's Wrath
10. Lollipop Chainsaw

2011. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
 

Trent Strong

Banned
Aug 13, 2009
14,647
0
0
1. Dishonored
2. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
3. Gravity Rush; it has mechanics I've never used before
4. Mass Effect 3
5. Hotline Miami
6. Borderlands 2
7. Mark Of The Ninja
 

HylianScribe

Member
Aug 13, 2006
3,733
0
0
Texas
1. Xenoblade Chronicles; Best RPG I've played this generation. I've said time and time again in some alternate reality where Square Enix realized the potential of Final Fantasy XII that Xenoblade Chronicles would be the real Final Fantasy XIII. Takes the best parts of FF XII and varios MMOs and rolls them into an amazing RPG.

2. The Walking Dead; Can't tell you how many times I've heard games like Mass Effect or Dragon Age put a premium on decision making and character development, but a game that's a fraction as long as those managed to have more meaningful choices with more potent outcomes, both immdediate and long term. I love watching stories unfold, and making them interactive like in The Walking Dead is all the more engaging. This is a great game, and I don't give a shit about its "length" or what makes up the actual "gameplay". Yes, I want other types of experiences, but I'll always have room for games like The Walking Dead if they're executed this well.

3. FTL: Faster Than Light; I already said The Walking Dead pulled off character development and choices better than Mass Effect. FTL manages to outclass Mass Effect in the one department I care most about - being a game about space exploration. Sure it's like space Oregon Trail meets dungeon crawler, but this is a game that proves there's so much enjoyment to be had in failing. Take note detractors of Dark Souls. The stories you share with friends about how your ship ultimately perished, and the mayhem during those final moments -- you just can't get that anywhere else. Tight, easy to use controls and simple design made this easy to get addicted to.

4. Persona 4 Golden; Other than Xenoblade Chronicles, this is the best jRPG of this generation. Yea, this is a re-release, but P4 came out during this generation on PS2 and still managed to outclass nearly every RPG. Now it's touched up for VITA and even better.

5. Journey; So good, and again, I don't care how short this game is. This was such an amazing experience. Would I love a game like this that was longer, hell yes. But I'll take what I can get. And the multiplayer element is handled in such a way that made me so engaged with my anonymous counterpart that I couldn't bear to be parted or finish without them. Amazing visuals and music.

6. Borderlands 2; This is more of what I want out of a game with shooting. Not corridor after corridor being strung along with endless action set pieces. No, I'll take an open world with quests and a focus on traversal and exploration. Playing solo was a bit boring at times, but the co-op is so fun. Plus, WUB WUB.

7. Final Fantasy XIII-2; I did not like Final Fantasy XIII. So many issues with it. XIII-2, stuck within a lot of the same frame work as its predecessor, managed to deliver something different enough that addressed a lot of the shortcomings of the original. I had a hard time finding the will to finish XIII each time I played it. XIII-2 I couldn't wait to find a new way to travel back in time or forward. The extra quests and a slightly greater degree of freedom in how you progress was welcomed. This is what XIII should have been.

8. Resident Evil: Revelations; RE 6 was garbage. This should have been RE 6. A better evolution of the RE4 system, this game showed how to strike a good balance between the action some want out of the new games in this series and the sense of horror and suspense that the older games nailed with their superb atmospheres. Hopefully if/when it comes it comes to HD consoles people will give it a fair shake and see the light.

9. The Last Story; Such a good battle system. I know I got tired of being in the same hub town, but I liked the feel of the levels and how they were more well-crafted than most environments in other RPGs. Additionally, I like the side-chapters that you could miss out on, and the character customization options. Online was a cool thought, but a bit undercooked. I hope Mistwalker gets a chance to improve this formula and make a sequel or new IP using the systems in The Last Story.

10. Paper Mario: Sticker Star; I like that Intelligent Systems tried to shake up the formula a bit with a broader approach to progressing through the game. It certainly still encourages you to move straight forward, but being able to go to various worlds from the get-go breaks up the otherwise linear nature of its predecessors. Though some puzzles are a bit confusing, when the game hits its stride, it's really good. Especially the snow world. There's something about Nintendo and haunted mansions (especially in the snow).

Even though it's not eligible since it was released last year, Dark Souls x 100. I can't believe I missed out on that game. I regret missing out on that, but at least I was saved by its release on PC master race with the resolution fix.
 

Karl2177

Member
Jul 3, 2010
9,343
0
695
1. Borderlands 2; I loved the first one, and the second one hooked me just as much. I also love the amount of feedback that Gearbox has done with the Golden Keys and how quickly the DLC has been released.

2. Minecraft(Xbox Live Arcade); I've played it on the PC, but sadly I don't own it for PC. When it was released for 360, I hopped on board after HaloGAF's recommendations. It feels great on a controller. 4J and Mojang really want the experience to feel good no matter where you are playing it and the support from them both is superb.

3. FTL: Faster Than Light; I don't think I've ever had a game where I dropped this many hours into it, haven't beat the final boss, and am still having incredible amounts of fun. I really do feel like Captain Kirk, ordering my dudes around the ship, and generally commanding well. I've led my Kestral into some tough situations, not all of them I've survived, but it feels good to destroy an enemy ship without taking any hull damage or anything. I'm just too giddy about this game, to put it into words accurately.

4. Syndicate; Interesting premise, but slightly flawed in its execution. It could definitely use a bit better feedback for when the player is damaging an enemy, but it was still fun regardless.

5. Murder Miners(Xbox Live Indie game); The mix of Halo and Minecraft is surprisingly good. Features are still being implemented based on community feedback.

6. Mass Effect 3; After the first mission, it's fairly good up until the last mission. Now, the ending is awful. The opening mission is awful. The worst part about it all was that few of the choices in the previous games mattered in this one. And day one DLC that's vital to the story... For shame. As much hate as I give it there, the multiplayer is fantastic.


x. Halo 4; Graphically it is amazing. But that is where the amazing stops. The gameplay has turned into something that I don't like. The campaign is lackluster. Spartan Ops is good in premise, but this execution of it is awful. There was the DLC debacle and marketing was poor.
 

ScraftyDevil

Banned
Oct 16, 2011
13,462
0
0
The Great White North
www.neogaf.com
1. Kid Icarus: Uprising; Holy crap; where do I even begin. The writing? The gameplay? The multiplayer? The music? Just about everything in this game was pitch-perfect. It gave us one of the best villains of the year in Hades, had some extremely addictive mechanics that kept me coming back, serenaded us with the best soundtrack of the year, and was above all an incredibly fun game. If you have a 3DS, buy this game. If you don't have a 3DS, buy one so you can buy this game. You're getting way more than enough bang for your buck.

2. The Walking Dead; This game emotionally effected me like no other game has. I was attached to the characters in a way that I never even imagined upon booting up Episode 1 for the first time, and they were supported by a very strong (if at times contrived) story and script. This game is also notable for providing the best illusion of choice in any game on the market (come at me, Alpha Protocol and Mass Effect fans) while making me legitimately want to protect the main child character (eat your heart out, Lara Croft). At only $29.99 for the disc, you owe yourself to at least check out this game.

3. Pokémon Black and White 2; The Pokémon series will always be very close to my heart, as the original Blue was the first game I ever played and completed when I was a young'un. I'm happy to say that content and gameplay-wise, these are the absolute best games in the series (screw you Genwunners; these are better). Black and White were already awesome, so how do you improve on them? Add a crapton more Pokémon to the regional Dex (over 150), create brand-new areas and remix old ones, and provide the meatiest post-game content of any Pokémon game to date. A must for PokéFans young and old.

4. Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward; I can't say much about this game without spoiling the wonderfully crafted plot, so I'll just say this: if you've played 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors, this game will be a literary rollercoaster ride. The voice-acting and music are top-notch too, and the game features some of the best and most crafty puzzles in electronic media.

5. Rhythm Heaven Fever; Not many remember this early-February Wii swan song, and frankly, that's a dang shame. It's probably my second-favourite music game of all time (just behind Elite Beat Agents), and is jam-packed full of more goofy rhythmic fun than any other game in the last 5 years. It's really hard to describe most of the madness contained within this gem, so you owe yourself to check some videos out on YouTube. Here are two of my favourites to get you started.

Honourable Mention: Persona 4: Golden; Would be GotY if I hadn't already played it in 2009. Still, it's an even-better port to an already near-perfect game, and deserves every bit of praise it gets.
 

Phoenixazure

Member
Mar 11, 2010
2,723
0
0
1. Persona 4: Golden (PS Vita) ; An excellent update to my 2008 GOTY. I was very hesitant in naming this number 1 but it stood out in both narrative and gameplay in such a great way that the other games have not, so it deserves whatever praise it gets.

2. The Walking Dead (PC) ; While i did play some episodic games before with Sam and Max, TWD was the first I played with the episodes coming out as they were ready. What an amazing roller-coaster the whole experience was.

3. Zero Escape - Virtue's Last Reward (PS Vita) ; The sequel to the amazing 999, I was lucky to play this game right after beating 999 completely, and unlocking each of the different paths was such a crazy addiction to find out more and more of the story.

4. Gravity Rush (PS Vita) ; Not as polished as many other games on the list, but was such a a breath of fresh air with its traversal mechanics, setting, and awesome protagonist. Kat is a star and should be presented as such.

5. Max Payne 3 (PC) ; While the story itself wasn't the strongest of the series, the mood the game put me in thanks to its style, amazing graphics, and awesome soundtrack just made me feel like Max Payne as I was shooting my way through. Pound for Pound, the best Shooting game I've ever played.

6. Journey (PS3) ; It was a very short game, but it was such a unique experience from beginning to end, with some absolutely gorgeous shots that lives up to its title. Its debatable if i wanted more or less, but for what it was, It was top quality

7. XCOM: Enemy Unknown (PC) ; I wasn't fortunate to play the original game when it came out, and my patience has not been as well suited to it as i could've been in the past, the new version captured what i felt XCOM was all about. The progression, customization, and awesome turn based combat made this a hell of a timesink for me this year.

8. Sleeping Dogs (PC) ; An awesome open world game with solid drving controls, a simple but very satisfying combat, and an amazing setting and narrative made this my go to zone out game for driving around Hong Kong, a setting criminally underutilized in games. Wei Shen muthafucka indeed

9. Far Cry 3 (PC) ; While 2 was a much thematically more cohesive experience, 3 was a lot more approachable and fun on a purely mechanical scale. The most fun I had with this game was the hunting aspects, and would spend play sessions hunting and avoiding people, which i would've never thought i would actually do. The way the combat spills out is a lot of fun as well.

10. Dishonored (PC) ; A really solid stealth action game, with a great artistic style and an amazing travesal mechanic. Sadly i felt the game petered out towards the end, but it was an awesome experience i haven't had since playing Deus Ex: HR in terms of stealth combat

x. The Secret World (PC) ; My favorite out of the MMOs i played this year, thanks to a modern setting, clever (yet difficult in more ways than i expected) quest system, and amazing implementation of horror tropes and the like. With the game getting rid of its subscription model, i hope to revisit this game and get back into it, although this year I figured out i wasn't cut out for MMOs as they currently were anymore

x. Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown (PS3) ; The definitive version to one of my favorite fighting games, the new characters added were a lot of fun when i got to play around with them, all in a very approachable price. This year was also the year I found out I'm not as much into fighting games anymore either.

x Need for Speed: Most Wanted (PC) ; A great racing game that looked amazing and allowed me to spend tons of hours just driving around the well designed city. Sadly, it was lacking in too many other areas to edge into my top ten.

2011: Bastion
 

ZealousD

Makes world leading predictions like "The sun will rise tomorrow"
Apr 17, 2007
29,342
1
0
1. Mass Effect 3 ; The fact that the ending to this game got as much vocal hate as it did proves something. It proves that throughout the entire length of this series, Bioware has done a hell of a lot right. If Bioware wasn't hitting the right notes in all of this, nobody would have cared. Mass Effect 3, despite the ending, still manages to be the best campaign in the series. I became very emotionally invested in this universe and the characters of this series, and for very good reason. Because it's fucking good.

2. Darksiders 2 ; I'm a huge fan of Zelda dungeons. This game has Zelda dungeons. Lots, and lots, and lots of Zelda dungeons. No bullshit. Great dungeons, great combat, great art style. It's the full package, and a true gamer's game.

3. Diablo 3 ; Another game that gets a lot of undeserved hate, Diablo 3 managed to blow away its predecessor in the gameplay and style department. Diablo 3's greatest crime is only that its manipulative skinner box principles were less refined!

4. SSX ; This game is just pure fun. It's fun to go fast and do tricks. A fantastic example of a great game where the focus is on pure gameplay.

5. Borderlands 2 ; Butt Stallion. Enough said.

6. Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward
7. Journey
8. Assassin's Creed 3
9. Tales of Graces F
10. Dust: An Elysian Tail
x. Pokemon Black and White 2
x. Fez
x. Rhythm Heaven Fever
x. Lolllipop Chainsaw

2011. Bastion
 

TWILT

Banned
Mar 30, 2012
7,263
0
0
twitter.com
Didn't really play a lot of games this year; spent most of this year catching up on games that came out last year lol. A couple of games here I spent a ton of time on too.

1. Persona 4 Golden; One of my favorite RPGs of all time is even better in this port. I love the new content in this game, and I'm really glad I bought a Vita just for it. Time to reach out to the truth once more!

2. Xenoblade Chronicles; I was blown away by how amazing and deep it was. Fantastic game, and the last great Wii game. Love everything about it. I can easily see why people consider it to be the best JRPG this gen. Behold the power of the Monado!

3. Kid Icarus Uprising; I love how much charm this game has. The game is really fun to play, and has some amazing characters. I love the writing in this game. One of the best portable games ever easily.

4. Persona 4 Arena; I spent tons of hours in this game. Tons of fun, and has an interesting story mode. Fighting game of the year for me.

5. Katawa Shoujo; I wasn't expecting much from this VN, but I was really impressed by how well written it was. Hanako was my favorite character and I had so many feels ;_;.

6. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2; Really fun DS game that was largely overlooked. I still like the first game more, but I spent 100+ hours trying to get all the endings lol.

7. Final Fantasy XIII-2; While the game still has it's fair share of problems, it's still a major improvement over the first game. That and I love beating stuff with my Chocobos.

8. Pokemon White 2; It's Pokemon and I do like the amount of content in this game. I don't like it as much as the first White game though (don't really know why either).

2011. Dark Souls;
 

Alchemy

Member
Sep 1, 2008
8,637
0
0
1. Gravity Rush;
2. Lumines Electronic Symphony;
3. Dishonored;
4. Journey;
5. Civilization V: Gods and Kings;
6. World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria;
7. Torchlight 2;
8. XCOM: Enemy Unknown;
9. Max Payne 3;
10. Tokyo Jungle;
 
Jun 26, 2011
6,107
0
660
1. Gravity Rush; - Keiichiro Toyama = awesomeness that doesn't often get recognized
2. Journey; - Don't stop believin', hold on to that feelin'
3. Uncharted: Golden Abyss; - they ain't ND, but that's not bad for a small team like Bend
4. XCOM: Enemy Unknown; - Many sleepless night
 

theDeeDubs

Member
Jan 13, 2010
2,271
0
815
1. Assassin's Creed 3; I know this game disappointed many, but it was my favorite of the series (and I love the series). The controls were improved upon, and I really liked the climbing more streamlined with removal of the high profile button from the process. The new fighting system took a nod from Batman, which is probably my favorite fighting system ever. The frontier was also amazing and I spent hours just running through the tree canopy stalking animals and red coats. They also added a mode, Wolfpack, to the MP that was great when with a coordinated team. I also don’t agree with the complaints of it being “a buggy mess.” I put over 100 hours into it and only hit two things I would considered bugs.
2. Dragon's Dogma; Coming soon
3. Dishonored; Coming soon
4. Mass Effect 3; Coming soon
5. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (360); Coming soon
6. Binary Domain; Coming soon
7. Sleeping Dogs; Coming soon
8. Resident Evil 6; Coming soon
9. Hitman: Absolution; Coming soon
10.Lollipop Chainsaw; Coming soon
x. Max Payne 3; Coming soon
x. Asura's Wrath; Coming soon
x. Torchlight 2; Coming soon

2011. Saints Row The Third; Coming soon

My GotY list is giving me a hard time this year. #2-5 are really hard to pick and almost a tie with each other. Will hopefully include my thoughts and maybe some order changes when I get time before the deadline.
 

Remk

Member
Jun 8, 2005
825
0
0
I have been playing older games miostly, but I managed to play some real gems released this year:


1. FTL: Faster Than Light ; I am close to 200 played games and still in love with it
2. Mark of the Ninja ; stealth evolved
3. Hotline Miami ; love the LSD trip
4. The Walking Dead ;
5. Spelunky ;
6.They bleed pixels ;
 

Snuggles

erotic butter maelstrom
Dec 15, 2008
39,516
0
730
34
nowhere
www.neogaf.com
I can make a decent top 10 right now but hopefully before the deadline I can spend some time with:

FTL
Crusader Kings II
Planetside 2
Dishonored
Sleeping Dogs
Sound Shapes
Legend of Grimrock
Cargo Commander

Thankfully I already own most of these games on Steam! The problem is just finding the time.
 

CronoShot

Member
May 9, 2012
5,817
0
0
United States
1. Xenoblade Chronicles; absolutely the best JRPG to come out of this generation, and possibly the best game, period. Gameplay, story, characters, visuals, art, all superb. Square, take notes.
2. Kid Icarus: Uprising; if you can get past the controls hurdle, you will find an absolutely incredible game filled to the brim with content. Characters are amazingly well done.
3. Persona 4 Golden; digital crack. The best JRPG released last gen gets even better.
4. Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward; not as good as 999, but still an amazing game in its own right.
5. Dishonored; a great stealth game. Blink makes sneaking around so much more entertaining.
6. Tales of Graces f; while it was a letdown in the character and story departments, combat is by far the best of any Tales game, and possible the best of any JRPG ever.
7. Gravity Rush; a unique game with cool gameplay mechanics and a great main character. Could have been a bit more polished.
8. Paper Mario: Sticker Star; while it's not the glorious return to form for Paper Mario some hoped it would be, SS still provides plenty of entertainment. Sticker collecting was surprisingly addicting.
9. Katawa Shoujo; biggest surprise of the year. Downloaded it off of the hype, and it ended up being a terrific VN. Very well written.
10. Assassin's Creed III; those expecting a jump similar to AC1 to AC2 will be severely disappointed, but AC3 still manages to be a great game, while bringing some new mechanics to the series.
 

psykomyko

Member
Apr 11, 2010
713
0
550
California
1. Dishonored ; A lot has been said about this game in being able to play how you want, but I think the most impressive part of the game and solidified it at the top spot for me was the moment at the very beginning of the game
where you play hide and seek with Emily
. It was a beautiful and genius way of having development of the characters but at the same time teaching you the basic mechanics of the game. It was brilliant.

2. Journey ; Not much needs to be said that has already been said about this game. It's a very beautiful game.

3. Far Cry 3 ; Yeah, its a very flawed game, but I had a blast with it.

4. Diablo III ; Again, it's a massively flawed game, especially in the end game inferno difficulty parts, but I could not put this game down till that point.

5. Halo 4 ; I have a huge soft spot in my heart for the Halo franchise. The single player was okay (Halo 1, 3, and ODST are way better, but it's better then Reach's and 2). The multi-player is an absolute blast, beside some of the small balancing that it needs.

x. FTL: Faster Then Light

2011. Fallout: New Vegas
 

Fjordson

Member
Jul 5, 2010
34,917
1
815
California
1. Max Payne 3 ; a fairly polarizing game on GAF and other places, but I loved it. The bleak tone, the tense atmosphere, the great writing (especially for Max) and the incredible combat all added up to a memorable experience for me. Gunfights feel like they've come fresh out of a Michael Mann movie. Unbelievably brutal, nasty, and loud. Topped off by amazing animation and physics both with Max and in enemies thanks to Euphoria.

2. FTL: Faster Than Light ; Create-A-Star Trek-Episode. Such a charming game that really spoke to the sci-fi lover in me. Catchy music, a wonderful sense of exploration, and a really fun system for running and managing your own ship. Of course the game quickly turns into a harrowing fight for your life when you come across a particularly difficult enemy, but that's the beauty of the game. It effectively captures every facet of classic sci-fi space exploration.

3. Hotline Miami ; Honestly think this game is practically perfect. The visuals, the ambiguous narrative, the controls, and the soundtrack are all perfectly in sync to create one hell of a ride. Super weird, super violent, and pretty fucking hard in some spots, yet absolutely worth playing.

4. Dust: An Elysian Tail ; this was an interesting one for me since it's really a genre that I don't usually play. Sort of a 2D Metroidvania game. But the lush, hand-drawn visuals really caught my attention when watching videos of it before release, and the final product absolutely delivered. Not only is the Metroidvania-esque exploration and unlockables super rewarding, but the combat is a balletic combo-driven delight and the story is surprisingly engaging. It goes places you wouldn't at all expect based on the game's surface appearance. It stays interesting throughout and is pretty dark.

5. Trials Evolution ; like Dust, this is another type of game that I'm not usually into, but the Trials games have me hooked every time. It's hard to communicate why, I'm not even particularly good at them, but powering through (struggling through is probably more accurate) level after level is such a blast. It certainly tests your patience with its difficulty, but the nice physics engine and perfect controls keep it from ever feeling frustrating. And the actual design and style of the various levels is really fun to see as you get further into the game. There's a much greater variety here in that regard than in the original Trials, and I have to tip my hat to RedLynx for that. They've got some damned creative people on staff for them to have come up with some of these levels.

x. Walking Dead ;

x. Dear Esther ; a beautiful...experience I guess you could call it. I want to say game, but there really isn't much "game" to it. Gorgeous visually, interesting narrative, and really unique overall so certainly worth experiencing, but I didn't feel right putting it on my top five. It's pretty short and there isn't a ton of interactivity here.
 

Currygan

at last, for christ's sake
Jul 7, 2012
34,740
2
0
London, England
1. Kid Icarus Uprising ; Years, maybe decades will pass before a portable game will feature such a marvelous mix of pure excellence; everything, from the biggest aerial fight to Pit's toes, has been fine-tuned by Sakurai's usual maniacality. Story, characters, voice acting, graphics, soundtrack, gameplay, secrets, unlockables and customization are brought to the extreme here. My GOTY


2. XCOM
3. NSMBU
4. Fallblox
5. Sleeping Dogs
6. 999 Virtue's Last Reward
7. Pokemon BW2
8. Theatrhythm


2011. Xenoblade Chronicles ; Simply the best RPG I played in ten years. Maybe ever
 

AgentP

Thinks mods influence posters politics. Promoted to QAnon Editor.
Jun 5, 2011
7,458
1,680
990
1. Journey

2. Walking Dead

3. LBP Vita

4. Uncharted: Golden Abyss ; The definition of what I want in a handheld, a portable, quick on and off console experience.

5. Far Cry 3

6. Dragon's Dogma ; Great combat and class system, Skyrim take note

7. Mass Effect 3

8. LBP Karting ; Great karting and all the LBP customization and charm

9. Sound Shapes

10. Starhawk
 

Relix

he's Virgin Tight™
Apr 16, 2007
19,994
0
0
1. The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings ; Didn't get to play this before on PC. Bought 360 version, fell in love with it, life got in the way, replayed the PC version and.... Wow. This game is good. Nothing comes close to it at all. The graphics (they did magic for the 360) the music, the excellent packaging, the game play, the story... it was all so good. So perfect. Top notch game everyone should play.

2. Xenoblade Chronicles ; The mother of JRPGs. In the future, the genre needs to follow the framework of this game. Such a gigantic world, its so fucking magical at times. I am surprised by the Wii though i wanted HD graphics, maybe Dolphin will help me there. Fast paced no-frills battle system that evolves, amazing characters and just... Wow, JRPG perfection.

3. Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D ; Ya ya ya ya 3DS version... I never played the game before. I didn't mind the controllers at all. The story was just gripping, the gameplay was just MGS at its maximum peak and... man this game is fucking good. Like. Why didn't I play this before? It was my to-go commute game for a month or so. Everyone should play it, no matter the version.

4. Tales of the Abyss ; 3DS. Fun fights. Better story than Graces F. Classic Tales gameplay. Wild shit happening. Just fucking fun.

5. Mass Effect 3 ; Still haven't beaten it NOR played the famous ending that I have no idea (really), but the gameplay shows finesse, the story flows much better than that of ME2 and its just... good. I really like the game a lot.

6. Rayman Origins ; Platforming at its peak. Playing Co-Op with a friend made this an even bigger blast. So good.

7. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 ; BOPS2 got me back into COD. I bought all the previous games, but none of them since MW (and in part WAW) hooked me up like this. The MP is fantastic, and I believe most maps are very well designed. I know its not perfect, but its fun and that's all that matters to me. The Campaign was good and Raul Menendez was a truly well built villain.

8. Halo 4 ; Loved the Campaign. More so than Reach which is my favorite Halo campaign. The only is just spot-on. Graphics blew me away, even as a PC gamer with a very high end rig. It was just that good. I think it fell flat in some areas, but Halo 4 is fantastic.

9. Darksiders 2 ; Aaah, DS2. Gameplay is superior to its predecessor, but the story just seems so unfocused and full of shit. At least most of the dungeon crawling is good, but so far I believe it falls short of DS, a game I loved.

10. Tales of Graces F ; I am a Tales fan. Graces F falls short in many areas, but its a fun ride. The combat system is wild but the game is generally fun. I love the series tropes so I didn't mind them. Had fun!


To play list is... Far Cry 3, Hitman Absolution and XCom.

Honorable Mentions
Kid Icarus: Uprising ; I want to like this game. I do. And I like it! Characters are funny! Stages are mind blowingly good! Music is amazing! But the controllers... God the fucking controllers.
 

Semblance

shhh Graham I'm still compiling this Radiant map
Dec 2, 2004
6,026
1
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I have a top ten, but don't have anything written up for it yet. Happy that we have a month to go, so I can take my time and come up with something I'm satisfied with.

Looking forward to Riposte's list. More people should put in effort like he does.
 

Raxus

Member
Sep 17, 2007
39,344
0
0
For the few that haven't played XCOM yet please do before the year ends. It will probably take a spot somewhere on your list, I promise.

Also if VF5:FS can make the lists what about Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition?
 

Narwhal

Member
Sep 9, 2010
65
0
0
1. Kid Icarus: Uprising ; This game came out of nowhere for me. Throughout the story mode, I was completely immersed by its surprisingly deep gameplay, hilarious voice acting, and awesome music. Not only that, but this was also the multiplayer game of the year with its addictive, fast-paced style as well as countless unlockables and customization options that encouraged experimentation. Altogether: best single-player campaign of the year, best multiplayer of the year, and best game OST of the year.

2. Dishonored ; While this doesn't have the greatest stealth mechanics around, it succeeds in making the player feel like a badass. Also, the story leaves me wanting more from this game world.

3. Hotline Miami ; Very fun twitch gameplay with a trippy story.

4. Nintendo Land ; Another big surprise from Nintendo. Probably the most fun I've had with a local multiplayer game in a long time.

5. XCOM: Enemy Unknown ; Solid strategy game.

6. PlanetSide 2 ; Huge battles that are unmatched by any multiplayer game in terms of scale. Great when playing with a good squad.
 

Fjordson

Member
Jul 5, 2010
34,917
1
815
California
This is a pretty varied year as far as releases people really liked, eh? Not many unanimously loved triple-A games. I like it. Already noted a few smaller titles that I need to check out based on votes in this thread.