Kevin VanOrd has the best top 10 list, no over-hyped game in the list if you know what I mean.. But I would exchange Spec Ops with Max Payne in that list.
The GameSpot editors reveal their personal top 10 lists for 2012.
Shaun McInnis, Editor Follow
After building a new gaming PC at the end of last year, 2012 gave me the opportunity to broaden my horizons and begin to really dig into the unique games the PC platform had to offer. And while my consoles gathered dust for long stretches throughout the year, there were still some incredible games on those systems that made it onto my list--as those of you who have already stopped reading this and scrolled down to the number one entry can already tell. First, though, the games that didn't make my Top 10…
My Top 10 Games of 2012:
10. Mass Effect 3
No, I wasn't a huge fan of the ending(s). No, I didn't like how the multiplayer had a tangible effect on the single-player. But you know what? Everything else about the game I loved. I think a lot of people forget that Mass Effect 3 is still a huge game beyond those headline-dominating controversies. A huge, well-made, and deeply enjoyable game.
I have a weird thing with strategy games. I don't play a lot of them, but when I do, I like them to be as absurdly complicated as possible. Crusader Kings II certainly fits that bill, building on the "grand strategy" genre Paradox is known for with a deeper system of diplomatic relationships and family management. Crusader Kings II may have a ridiculous learning curve, but it's so very worth it.
Forza Horizon is pretty much the definition of a chocolate-and-peanut butter situation. I love simulation racing games and I love open-world sandboxes. Combine the two and I'm in heaven. Sure, the "story" was a bit grating--but it was also pretty harmless. The world you explore in those $200,000 sports cars is just so engrossing that it more than makes up for any issues with the narrative.
I'm generally a baby when it comes to difficult games, but there's just something so intoxicating about Hotline Miami that I plowed straight through the entire thing in a few sittings. The music is perfect, the juxtaposition of pixel graphics and intense violence is so strangely compelling, and the action itself almost has a puzzle-solving feel to it. Such a great and singular experience.
6. Far Cry 3
It's funny how Far Cry 2 and 3 are both open-world shooters, and yet I enjoy them for wildly different reasons. FC2 was a harsh, unforgiving world that seemed ambivalent to your presence--whether or not you got by was none of its concern. I loved that about it. Far Cry 3, on the other hand, practically bends over backwards to make sure you're entertained. I also love that. Does that make me insane? Probably. But I've accepted that.
5. Dear Esther
Lately I've developed a greater appreciation for games that play around with the conventions of video games, and what I really loved about Dear Esther was its nontraditional approach to storytelling. I never felt like someone was actively telling me a story; I felt like I had crept into someone's subconscious and proceeded to float through their memories, experiencing one fragmented thought after another in in a disordered jumble of personal recollections. That the world was so beautiful to explore was nice, too, and really added to the dreamlike reverie this game established.
Remember what I said earlier about strategy games? The same applies here. I don't play a ton of them, but for whatever reason I prefer them to be as absurdly complicated as possible. I skipped over League of Legends altogether and jumped straight into Dota 2, partly because Valve is a studio I know and trust, and partly because the allure of its greater learning curve seemed strangely appealing. I'm still not great at it, but I'm having an absolute blast even as I continue to get owned in public matches.
More than anything else, The Walking Dead is a testament to the power of player choice in video games. This is a game that presents you with some truly grim situations, and you have to not only make difficult decisions, but continue to deal with the fallout of those decisions in a never-ending domino game of human interactions. It's a game that takes that familiar element of people trying to preserve their own humanity during a zombie outbreak and adds an element of player agency that makes it exponentially more powerful. It's not "fun" in a traditional sense, but boy is it incredible.
Dishonored is like a time traveler sent to 2012 in order to teach a lesson to big budget action games. It's proof that you can make people care about an original IP as long as you create an interesting world and populate it with fascinating characters. It's proof that you can set a game in the first-person perspective and not make it a shooter. It's proof that you can revive ideas from bygone eras of gaming and make them work--really, truly work--by adding your own refreshing twist. That Dishonored managed to find success in this era of sequels and Call of Duty clones is one of the great stories of the year. Of course, it also helps that this game is just really, really good.
Journey may not be the best "game" I've played this year (that title goes to Dishonored). It may not be the best story I've played this year (that goes to The Walking Dead). But you know what? It was the best experience I had with a game all year, bar none. There was just something so magical and unique about what I experienced in Journey that I'll never be able to forget. I don't know if I'll ever be able to pinpoint what that something is, but it's there and it's deeply resonant.
@666NightsInHell It accepts box 360, PS3, and third party controllers just fine. The game was build ground up for the controls to work with a controller and there isn't a good transition to mouse and keyboard.
Either I'm continuing to drift away from enjoying video games or nothing fun or interesting came out this year. Either way, I'm saddened by it.
This comment has been deleted
@Suikogaiden Games can still be great or memorable yet have flaws to them. Also Chris is the one that reviewed the game and it isn't on his top 10 list.
Look for the podcasts Gamespot Gameplay, they talk often on there about Spec ops and what makes it good. Very good show that gives you insight to the staffs true thoughts and opinions about games.
Don't look at one review and take the number for granted. Compare it to similar games so you get an idea of how much it will appeal to you, then watch a number of reviews/impression videos on youtube. This game obviously appealed more to the person who wrote the article than gamespot's reviewer.
I?m definitely feeling this taking Q3 2013 by storm http://goo.gl/yNmuP
[i]It's also a huge criticism of the many shooters out there that glorify and justify their subject matter.[/i]
its the line of the year ...
1. Deus Ex Human Revolution, like every year since release
3.Max Payne 3
4. Planetside 2
kevin and carolyn sure are my fav reviewers , both of you should review bioshock infinte when released
If anyone ever has a problem with GS review scores, just check out these lists: Some editors don't know how to count to 10.....
Mass effect 3, Dishonored, The walking dead, Amalur, FTL, Xcom, Hotline miami and Guild Wars 2 are my games of the year.
1- The Witcher AOK EE
2 - Max Payne 3
3 - Hotline Miami
4 - Mass Effect 3
5 - Far Cry 3...and what else honestly...
1-Far Cry 32-assassin's creed 33-mass effect 34-saints row the third5-kingdom of amalur reckoning6- Max Payne 37-Sleeping Dogs8-Darksiders II9-Dishonored10- Hitman Absolution
Good ol' Chris Watters! If it hadn't been for him, I would have made a HUGE mistake and passed on Dishonored.
Thanks for that list Danny. As is so often the case I find myself agreeing with you yet again. Max Payne 3 is a real gem of 2012 as is F1 2012. I'll get round to Journey & FTL eventually...
Every blessing for the new year!!
oh Tom Mc Shea like anyone cares what u have to say or like. u are by far the worsr reviewer on game spot. with a new year coming soon i hope u loose your job so u can stop being paid for your bad reviews. i hope all the bad things in life happen to you and only you. pos
@jcwainc Baseless accusations and attacks don't go very far, you should take them elsewhere.
There are many people, myself included, that respect and enjoy what Tom has to say.
@Toysoldier34 its not baseless attacks. look at his reviews then look at the people telling him off. if u like him thats fine but in my and a lot and i mean a lot of people he is the worse reviewer here on game spot. his shinning moment is his the Simpsons review. please understand reviews really dont mean nothing to me cause i'll buy a game cause it looks good to me. but people look at reviews in a means to buy a game. its sad but true (thus why metacritic is a good and bad thing). well i could go on and on but why the kool aid drinking people will believe what they want to. while others will see with eyes open
@jcwainc There is no need to hide behind your keyboard and say things like you have about him that you would never say to a person. It only reflects poorly on yourself.
@jcwainc Boo hoo McShea writes OPINIONS I dont like, boo hoo I am too childish to look for second opinions, boo hoo there was something else my whiny ass wanted to say but the rock between my ears cant hold water.
Happy new year mate, hope everything goes swell for you too this year.
@jcwainc Regardless of how you feel about the work someone else produces, to me, those who wish bad things on others, especially to the severity that you just have, are the worst kinds of people in this world. Nothing he has done is so evil that he deserves to suffer for it, so you seriously need to wake up and smell the roses and stop being so selfish and immature.
@jcwainc Dude, he's just a piss poor reviewer. No need to get personal.
Aaron Sampson had the best description for ME3 being his 2nd choice (besides the fact that he chose Control) lol
Lot's of good games missing: Xenoblade Chronicles, Kingdom Hearts DDD, AC3, Kid Icarus Uprising, The Last Story
@Kenshin0011 We recognized Xenoblade Chronicles in our 2011 awards. Both The Last Story and Kid Icarus Uprising actually do appear on one of these lists!
@carolynmichelle @Kenshin0011 No disrespect but why are there soooo many arcade games up there? I mean come on, people don't even take half the time REAL developers do to make there games. Where is Dishonored, Borderlands 2, AC 3, and so many other GOOD games that people had sweat and blood in to it. I'm just saying that ARCADE games need to be separate from RETAIL games. And by the way, you are one of my favorite reviewers on this website :D.
Hotline Miami is a great example of a game that doesn't have a massive budget and marketing campaign or is even that long. While it may be short it uses every moment to the fullest and is one of the best games of the year.
It is funny that you mention people putting blood and sweat into projects when indie games are often the ones fueled by entirely that. While they may be solid games stuff like Assassin's Creed 3 is being pumped out year after year for money, not because of the passion of its creators and all the blood and sweat they put into making it.
You should look up Indie Game the Movie, watch it and see if you feel the same way. That even smaller arcade games don't have countless hours and sleepless nights poured into their creation.
@Livefantasy7"I mean come on, people don't even take half the time REAL developers do to make there games."
how are they not real developers. If any, they are the real ones. And remember, these lists are "personal perspectives"
I think it's unfair to assume arcade game developers aren't putting in the same time and effort as the teams making retail games. If anything, because of the escalating cost and time required to make successful retail games, we're already seeing far fewer games made each year. If all the development efforts were going into making the next Uncharted, Mario or Halo to put on a disc, we'd probably never have experienced amazing games like Journey, The Walking Dead, Minecraft or Hotline Miami.