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.
Maxwell McGee, Editor Follow
Happy holidays, everyone! In the spirit of the end-of-year season, here's a quick rundown of my personal top 10 games of 2012. Now, you may be asking yourself why such fine games as Journey or Far Cry 3 didn't make the cut. That's because I limited this list to games I'd spent a considerable amount of time with. Thanks for reading, and be safe this holiday season.
This expansion pack for 2010's turn-based strategy game Civilization V introduced a ton of new content into the game. The ability to build and spread your religion gave you a creative and non-violent way to exert influence over your neighbors, while espionage further complicated the drama of global affairs (in a good way). This expansion allowed me to approach a game I had already poured double-digit hours into in an entirely new way.
There are moments of excellence in Downpour that will remain with me for a long time. In my review, I talked extensively about the Hansel and Gretel sequence; another I'd like to mention is the tutorial sequence. While essentially a combat tutorial, this scene's tension, and subsequent brutality, forces you to question the protagonist's motivations within minutes of meeting him. As you learn to fight, you are asked to decide why you fight.
Hotline Miami is an exhausting game to play. I often catch myself holding my breath, not blinking, and sitting rigid in my seat. My eyes seek out every possible danger, while my brain endlessly prioritizes (and re-prioritizes) each new threat. Harsh colors, trippy music, and a wobbly camera add to the anxiety. And only when the last guy falls, and everything returns to "normal," do I realize the stress I've been under. Rarely does a game elicit such a response.
I like how FTL is an ever-changing puzzle. Your goal is always the same, but what you must do to achieve it changes with every warp jump you make. The decision to save money, or spend it; your performance in battle; the acquisition (or death) of a crewmate--each of these can carry a weight great enough to make you rethink your whole strategy. And when you unlock a new ship, or just start a new game, the whole process is randomized and starts again.
Embarrassing as it is to admit, I think I may have independently funded Mass Effect 4 through multiplayer pack purchases alone. And I never did get that sweet N7 Destroyer class, but I'm not bitter. I enjoyed Mass Effect 3, and the entire series, for many reasons: the universe it created, the stories it told, and even the gunplay. I just hope that, say 10 years down the line, these games are remembered for all they did well, and not for the controversies and backlash.
As stated in my review, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is a difficult game; a mean game, even. Its fighting system has been so refined and expanded upon over the years that it leaves little room for error. The lethality of combos in this game approaches that of Marvel vs. Capcom, in which just one touch can be fatal. The character move lists are exhaustive--meaning there's a long road to proficiency, and near-limitless room for improvement. As with any great fighter, TTT2 has a strong balance between execution and mind games.
With so many high-fantasy kingdoms, urban warzones, and faraway galaxies serving as the backdrops for games, I really appreciate the time and effort developer Arkane Studios put into developing the world of Dishonored. The city of Dunwall--with her tins of jellied eels and nautical painting--maintained an impressive level of consistency across the whole of its design. It was a pleasure to explore, and the game felt all the richer for it.
As a new fighting game and not part of an existing series, Persona 4 Arena makes a lot of smart decisions. Its combo system isn't as lethal (unless you have meter to burn) as another entry on this list, allowing for a bit more leeway in battle. The auto-combo system is an easy tool for newcomers to use, and considering this game is based on a successful JRPG series, there might be a few fighting game neophytes drawn to P4A. And the visuals and animation are outstanding. While TTT2 is a great fighter, I've always had a soft spot for Arc System Works' style.
Spec Ops: The Line posed several interesting questions to me, the player. It held up a mirror to an entire genre and asked if I felt okay with what was happening. Did I feel like a hero? Could anything good really come from such violence? In response, the immense body of critical work produced as a result of this game has been a real pleasure to review. When I think back to the games of 2012, I will remember the time I spent in Spec Ops: The Line.
Some games you just need to sit down and play for 11 hours straight. And then play for 11 more hours the next day. And a couple more hours the next. The game's feedback loop of fighting aliens, earning currency, and purchasing upgrades is well-made and hard to resist. With every alien bagged and new weapon unlocked you receive not only an immediate benefit, but a peek at what's to come. One more day. One more turn. It's addictive, without feeling manipulative, and I can't get enough.
@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.
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@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.