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.
Aaron Sampson, Video Producer Follow
I'm not going to lie: as a producer here at GameSpot, I see tons of games every year, but rarely have a chance to play them to completion. With that in mind, here are my top five picks of 2012.
Dance Central still has the smoothest Kinect integration of any game I've seen and has made that piece of hardware more than just a TV ornament in my household. Dance Central 3 is a game that gets gamers and non-gamers alike up and moving, and moving, and moving. Really, you can't cheat this game and you're better for it. My greatest criticism of Dance Central 2 was that it didn't bring enough unlockables to the table, but DC3 remedies that and at the same time introduces some lighthearted party-friendly modes.
This game also has some very interesting difficulty level differences. On the harder modes, not only are the routines harder, but the dancers' attitudes get ratcheted up several notches, making you feel more accomplished once you've sweated your way through a routine many times in order to get those coveted five stars. DC3 is a winner with my family this year.
No, seriously: the online combat in this free-to-play game was superior to Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. It also has one of my favorite movement and cover systems of the year. You can chain both a slide and a dive to get into cover. While in cover you can be prone, crouched, or standing, which means you can take effective refuge behind just about any object, from curbs to pillars. This cover mechanic also gives chest-high walls new depth, as you never know quite where to aim when clearing them. Ghost Recon Online also doesn't go for the regular old class abilities, and the abilities it offers do everything to encourage players away from a simple run-and-gun style, without actually forcing them away from it.
The powers selected for classes in this game encourage some insanely fun team play. For example, a specialist can charge over a capture point after turning on a bullet intercepting system, while an assaulter shield-charges anyone in front of him, while a sniper reveals all enemy positions, and voila, a zone capture succeeds. Speaking of maps, GR Online has one of my favorite takes on conquest mode this year, involving two teams fighting for a center point and then taking the battle past the opposing force two more zones. The unique part of this mode is that the maps can go in two completely opposite directions, giving the levels tons of replayability.
3. Halo 4
343 Industries took Master Chief from a man with no emotion to a man who couldn't express his emotions, and it made all the difference. Throw in Cortana grappling with her own mortality, a doctor devastated by the loss of her life's work, and superb camerawork and animation, and you've got a game that delivered deep emotion in very small spans of time. The type of writing in Halo 4 is the hardest type of writing, the less-is-more variety. Throw in some of the smoothest gamepad controls in the industry, the classic arena style combat, the need for ammo management, and a ton of enemy variety, and you've got a near-perfect package. I'm not afraid to admit that I was not a true Halo fan before. Halo 4 changed that.
Mass Effect 3 is a game about many individual endings, and it saw the passing of characters whose deaths made me feel actual grief. The really fantastic thing about this game, however, is that when I would talk to my coworkers about it, many of them would look back with a blank stare and reply, "That guy didn't die, what are you talking about?" Like Star Wars with its special effects and The Matrix with bullet time, Mass Effect 3 did what few things do: it gave me an experience I had never had before.
That experience was crafted in the old choose-your-own-adventure style. It's not that it hasn't been done before; it's just never been done this well. In the end, the game even gave me what I would consider a perfect ending when I went the control route. Mass Effect 3 also made me think about film differently--I now feel that film is obsolete for telling certain stories, because they can't give you the personal experience this game did. I am looking forward to many more years with this franchise and can't wait to see what Bioware comes up with.
This game is unabashed gun porn and it works perfectly. I swore off MMOs years ago but this game managed to sneak in all the old staples of that genre (including the dreaded fetch quest) and made me love them. At the heart of Borderlands 2 is a Diablo-style random loot system involving guns, shields, and special mods. 99% of loot dropped is normal, but the idea that a powerful enemy could drop a rare or legendary gun really drives players to explore this gorgeous cel-shaded world. The funny thing is that you are aware of the gimmick, but it gets you anyway.
The weapon systems of Borderlands 2 are unique and rooted in the concept of several different gun manufacturers, all of whom offer up firearms that vary in more ways than just fire rate and accuracy. The world of Pandora has also undergone a major upgrade since the previous game; it now has a much higher density and variety of enemies and NPCs, resulting in a landscape that's chock full of tactical decision-making and incredible personality. Having completed my first playthrough with Maya, Borderlands 2 has me feeling like I've only seen a small percentage of what it has to offer.
@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.