#1 Edited by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

(Instead of reading my dumb words you can hear me talk about them in this video that I made.)

With the year winding down it's that time to make a top ten GOTY list. It was tough for me to chose an order that felt right for me. There a lot of great games this year too so even games that I loved got cut. With that said, I had a great gaming year so much so that I've made my own top ten list. You can read my thoughts on all of these games or you could just watch the video that I made that explains my choices. Without further adu, here are my top ten games of 2012.

10: Borderlands 2

I'll admit it, I wasn't a big fan of the original Borderlands. The desert area, the mundane story, bad gameplay, and MMO-ish quest system were reasons why I didn't love it as much as most people. I'm surprised that I still enjoyed Borderlands 2 considering that it isn't that different from the original. What made BL2 different to me was the focus in telling a decent story with better characters. Sure the internet humor is still stupid, but there are many moments of actual comedy that made me chuckle here and there. The Bad Ass Rank system, grenades, vastly improved enemy AI and enemy design, and more made Borderlands 2 quite fun. It still has some problems, but I must credit Gearbox in making a better Borderlands.

9: Hotline Miami

Hotline Miami is a lot of things to me. Some words that pop up in my head are violent, viscous, and down right brutal. What makes this game so great is the gameplay which I found to be challenging and rewarding. The soundtrack is still the main highlight to me. This game is amplified by the soundtrack which makes the game great enough to be on my list. The story is interesting, but very vague to me. I'll still respect it as some people interpret it as something more than it is. All I need is the satisfaction of smashing a guy's face in with a baseball bat while kicking his other buddy with a door.

8: Halo 4

I was worried about this game as Bungie wasn't working on it anymore. The rookie dev team of 343 Studios knocked it out of the park with Halo 4. It may just be more Halo to most people, but it's more to me. The graphics are the biggest addition to Halo. How does the 360 even deliver these kinds of visuals? It's unbelievable that this game is being run on a 360. Other neat additions are a ton of new weapons that are a welcome addition. New enemies, better sound effects, a different soundtrack, and a more refined gameplay experience make Halo 4 great. The multplayer is redefined into something different but familiar. All of these additions and the story make Halo 4 one of the best games of this year.

7: Sleeping Dogs

SLEEPY DAWGS. If you would have told me that I'd like Sleeping Dogs enough to be on my list then I'd call you crazy and probably hurt you. I didn't think this game would amount to anything but another dumb True Crime game. Boy was I wrong. Sleeping Dogs makes this list cause it understands what it is. It has great melee combat and decent gun play. The story is okay, while the characters are better than they should be. The voice acting in particular is well done. I just love exploring Hong Kong and seeing how it's translated to a game world. The game is just really fun. I was also addicted with collectables which improved your combat and health. Go get sleeping dogs and support these kinds of games.

6: Dust: An Elysian Tail

Dust is a fantastic game for a number of reasons. The art, the gameplay, the soundtrack, and more make Dust special. This game is also huge for a downloadable game. I spent well over 10+ in this game and had a blast with it. There a ton of side quests and a cool one where you collect different indie game buddies like Super Meat Boy. The furry art style has been something that has been debated on ever since this game came out. I'm not a fan of it but it doesn't detract from the game overall. The story is better than it should be. It is also enhanced by the great voice acting in the game(Fidget is great fuck you) so I love it. it's crazy to think that this game was made by one person.

5: Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 3 is an important game. It is a flawed game overall, but it has the difficult task of wrapping up a great franchise. The Tutchanka mission and other missions in general are great. The gameplay is much improved from ME2 and other new systems are added to it to make it better. I especially like the gun mod system that was absent from ME2. I also really liked the multiplayer and was addicted to it for a while. it's a shame that the side quests and travel map are badly done in ME3. Eavesdropping on people and collecting dumb trinkets while Earth is dying is honestly a terrible idea. Also have mini reapers chase you in the travel map is laughable. The ending was the nail in the coffin for me. it's old news by now so I won't get into it. I just wish we got a better ending.

4: The Walking Dead

Whether TWD is a game or not is not important to me. It's a different kind of game that you have to play in order to understand why it's important. The story telling in TWD is something rare for games. It develops its characters so well that it makes you care about what is happening in the game. The world of TWD is also fully realized as it isn't a story about the walkers but about the human condition. Surviving as a team and being a group is done so well in TWD. The choices are also different from most games. You aren't the master in the this world. The world doesn't revolve around your choices like most games. The choices are mostly used to experience different scenes with different characters and to further explore the characters in the game. The bugs and jank in the 360 version for this game is the reason why it isn't higher on the list. The bad gameplay in it is also another reason. Still, you have to play it.

3: XCOM: Enemy Unknown

It's crazy to think that this classic franchise is finally back from the dead. After the unknown departure of the FPS shooter XCOM it seemed like this franchise would be lost again. Good thing this game came back and made us realize the XCOM formula still works. XCOM is a challenging game with a bunch of systems. It's one part strategy sim and another part turn based combat. It all works wonderfully and is also updated thanks to Firiaxis games. It all makes sense to people that haven't played an XCOM game. Hell, even I beat it so anyone can really. XCOM is a rewarding game that takes to time. You'll lose a lot at first, but eventually you can overcome your enemies in it. I hope to see more from XCOM.

2: Journey

Journey is truly an experience. I know that word is thrown around a lot but I mean it with Journey. It's a beautiful game that accompanies an incredible soundtrack. All of it makes you feel like your in a brand new world with Journey. The world around you is dead while you and a buddy have to get to the peak of a mountain. The journey there is wordless and with no dialogue. This journey is filled with joy, adventure, sadness, and more emotions that are rarely achieved in games. Journey is a remarkable game that everyone should play. It is something that is rarely achieved in gaming and it should be experienced. Go play it.

1: Mark of the Ninja

My game of the year is a stealth game. Those words would probably never be written by me unless the game was Mark of the Ninja. This game is flawless to me. It redeems stealth games to me. It is a brilliant game that feels good, plays good, and is designed well. The mechanics in this game are done so well that it makes stealth fun to me. If you make a mistake in this game it is your fault. Unlike many stealth games that are unwieldy at times. This game isn't. If you mess up, it's mostly likely your fault. The story and characters are better than they should be. The art is obviously great as Klei is a pro at making beautiful looking games. Still, the greatness of this game is surprising to me. I'll be looking forward to what this dev does next. I just want more Mark of the Ninja.

So there's my list! 2012 was a great year for games and this list proves it. Be sure to watch my video at the top of the post. Thanks guys.

#2 Posted by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

Comment.

#3 Posted by klinkcow (257 posts) -

Totally digging the list, makes me want to go get sleeping dogs and Dust right now!

#4 Posted by SmasheControllers (2550 posts) -

I can't for the life of me have Blands 2 on my list, how quickly my opinion changed on that game...

#5 Edited by joshthebear (2700 posts) -

THE WALKING DEAD IS GOTY! GRRRRRRRRRR!

In actuality, a solid list that has a lot of the same games as my own. Although, I do believe Dust: An Elysian Tail should be higher.

#6 Posted by LordXavierBritish (6320 posts) -

I keep forgetting Dust is a game.

#7 Posted by mike28212 (30 posts) -

This is a quality list. I really need to play Dust and Mark of the Ninja.

#8 Posted by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

@SmasheControllers said:

I can't for the life of me have Blands 2 on my list, how quickly my opinion changed on that game…

I can see why. I just liked a lot of the new additions and I finally gave the series a chance to wow me and it did.

#9 Posted by SmasheControllers (2550 posts) -

@Phatmac said:

@SmasheControllers said:

I can't for the life of me have Blands 2 on my list, how quickly my opinion changed on that game…

I can see why. I just liked a lot of the new additions and I finally gave the series a chance to wow me and it did.

After one play-through I felt done, the guns felt less random and thus the need to level felt unnecessary. Even on True Vault Hunter, the game felt dumb easy...

#10 Posted by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

@LordXavierBritish said:

I keep forgetting Dust is a game.

It's a great game!

#11 Posted by UitDeToekomst (714 posts) -

Get rid of The Walking Dead and that is a damn fine list. I would probably drop Mark of the Ninja down a bit, though.

#12 Posted by Little_Socrates (5677 posts) -

You have a handful of my favorite games of the year on your list.

...I disagree on a lot of them as well. Gorgeous formatting, though!

#13 Posted by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

@mike28212 said:

This is a quality list. I really need to play Dust and Mark of the Ninja.

You really do!

#14 Posted by david3cm (635 posts) -

I love people telling you which games do and do not belong on a personal top ten list. Nicely written, reading this makes me want to pick up Hotline Miami.

#15 Posted by csl316 (8675 posts) -

Good list, no insane opinions here.

And Fidget IS great!

#16 Posted by ajamafalous (11994 posts) -

Sleepy Dawgs at #7
 
saddest face

#17 Posted by YOU_DIED (703 posts) -

You might like Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory

#18 Posted by Phatmac (5726 posts) -
@YOU_DIED

You might like Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory

Never been a big fan of that franchise so I probably wouldn't.
#19 Posted by NoobSauceG7 (1247 posts) -

That was fun to listen too. Overall a pretty good list.

#20 Posted by OneKillWonder_ (1746 posts) -

Good list, dude. Haven't played a lot of those, but the ones I have I share some of your sentiments exactly.
 
 But naw, son. Fidget is kind of...not great.

#21 Posted by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

@csl316 said:

Good list, no insane opinions here. And Fidget IS great!

It seems we are the only two people that like her! :(

#22 Posted by YOU_DIED (703 posts) -

@Phatmac said:

@YOU_DIED

You might like Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory

Never been a big fan of that franchise so I probably wouldn't.

I see, which ones have you played in the series?

#23 Posted by Empirepaintball (1393 posts) -

You've sold me on Mark of the Ninja now.

#24 Posted by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

@Empirepaintball said:

You've sold me on Mark of the Ninja now.

Get it!

#25 Posted by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

@NoobSauceG7 said:

That was fun to listen too. Overall a pretty good list.

Thanks!

#26 Posted by h0lgr (908 posts) -

It's a good list, I like the fact that you made a lil' video to complement it. 
I would've liked to see some short gameplay clips but I understand you probably didn't have the time/gear to do so. 
Regardless, it was fun listening to what you had to say about these games, and it was a good choice to include some background music to keep it fresh

 
Kind of inspiring!
#27 Posted by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

@h0lgr said:

It's a good list, I like the fact that you made a lil' video to complement it.
I would've liked to see some short gameplay clips but I understand you probably didn't have the time/gear to do so.
Regardless, it was fun listening to what you had to say about these games, and it was a good choice to include some background music to keep it fresh
Kind of inspiring!

I'd like to capture stuff, but it would be a lot of work and I don't have the gear for that. I'll try to do that next year though!

#28 Posted by laserbolts (5322 posts) -

Nice list I agree that Mark of the ninja is the best game that came out this year. Cant say I agree about Fidget though.

#29 Posted by asian_pride (1654 posts) -

Seen it already, but great list anyway! Borderlands 2 will probably end up on my list. I enjoyed the first one, and I'm getting the same treatment (with a few notable improvements) with this one. Hooray for Sleepy Dawgs, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and Journey!

#30 Posted by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

@laserbolts said:

Nice list I agree that Mark of the ninja is the best game that came out this year. Cant say I agree about Fidget though.

Yeah, not a lot of people are fan of her! Oh well.

#31 Posted by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

@asian_pride said:

Seen it already, but great list anyway! Borderlands 2 will probably end up on my list. I enjoyed the first one, and I'm getting the same treatment (with a few notable improvements) with this one. Hooray for Sleepy Dawgs, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and Journey!

All those games are great!

#32 Posted by Demoskinos (14835 posts) -

Two things...

#1. Can't agree that it was a "weak year" for video games. There's been consistently good stuff out all year IMO.

#2. I still don't get the hype for Mark of the Ninja.

#33 Posted by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

@Demoskinos said:

Two things...

#1. Can't agree that it was a "weak year" for video games. There's been consistently good stuff out all year IMO.

#2. I still don't get the hype for Mark of the Ninja.

Mark is a great ninja.

#34 Posted by Demoskinos (14835 posts) -

@Phatmac: Hey, if ya liked it ya liked it. I just kind of look at it and shrug my shoulders myself.

#35 Posted by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

@YOU_DIED said:

@Phatmac said:

@YOU_DIED

You might like Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory

Never been a big fan of that franchise so I probably wouldn't.

I see, which ones have you played in the series?

Tried out the firs couple and I've only beaten Conviction.