I wrote a blog post around this time last year called "Disappointing year?" and listed the major releases that I felt had been a let-down. My timing on that post was poor as I then played my two favourite games of the year (Skyrim & Portal 2) and also played a bunch of very enjoyable ones (Saints Row 3, Gears 3, etc). It drew a lot of conversation (with most people telling me I was mad) and I picked up a few good game suggestions from it. This time I would like to know what games people have thought have really stood out.
To explain, every year for as long as I can remember (certainly in this console generation) there have been 2 games that have stood head & shoulders above the rest (2009 : Arkham City & Uncharted 2; 2010 : Mass Effect 2 & Red Dead Redemption) but this year there has been only one : Journey. There have been lots of games I have thoroughly enjoyed (as well as far too many that have disappointed) but nothing that has blown me away.
What has been interesting to me is that almost all of the standouts have been games that I wouldn't necessarily have expected to enjoy at the start of the year. games like X-Com, Syndicate & Hitman have all been very enjoyable for different reasons. The flipside to that is every sequel to games I have loved have been disappointing. Minorly in the case of Mass Effect 3 (uninteresting new characters & poor ending) & majorly in the cases of Diablo 3 (too much emphasis on loot & nowhere near enough depth re. abilities & skill trees) & AC 3 (frustrating mission structure).
So, my question is : what is the elusive second game that I have missed so far? I was planning on picking up Walking Dead & Far Cry 3 before the end of the year but might have the time & cash to pick up one or two more (or at least put them on a Xmas wishlist).
Thanks in advance.
Update: Thanks for all the suggestions guys. I think I'm going to try Far Cry 3 and Walking Dead before end of the year, put Sleeping Dogs & Dishonored on my Xmas list and then play Mark of the Ninja and Dust in the new year before all the Feb/Mar releases. I will try and check out Spec Ops & Dust sometime next year as well (although I expect the Spec Ops story will be spoiled in the GOTY podcasts - part of the reason why I want to play Walking Dead before year's end).