1. Crusader Kings II
It is the perfect game. It still has bugs, of course, and odd design decisions, but I could literally play it for a thousand hours (I have 300 now) and never be bored, due to the combination of Sims esque character driven intrigue, and historically based grand strategy craziness. Want to turn all of Italy Sunni? Want to turn all of Egypt catholic? Want to turn all of France German? ALL THAT AND MORE. Maybe your wife wants to kill your first born because it wasn't born from her, maybe everyone hates you because you're gay (this is the middle ages y'all), maybe you are the best person ever, maybe you want to spread the Gerstmann/Caravella/BUTTZ/(insert your last name here) dynasty throughout Europe. ALL THAT AND MORE. (well okay for that last one you have to have the ruler designer DLC). I could tell stories about the game all day.
2. Hotline Miami
It's a fun game with a poignant message. The message wouldn't work if the game wasn't so fun to play, honestly; but it works because the game is one of the pure fun games I've played in ages. It also has a terrific sense of style; pixel graphics that aren't for the sake of being retro, a terrific soundtrack that bangs and throbs with reckless abandon, a story that can be taken in so many different ways. So good. It also proves that knife > bat.
3. Binary Domain
The gameplay is fine, the story is fine (a little hokey, but whatever), everything is fine, but the characters make this game. The characters are so fantastic, they sell the story so well and they made me care so much. None of the other things are bad by any means, but the characters are the reason this is #3. Big bo isn't just a stereotype, he's your big bro, and neither are the other characters, they grow and they change opinions over the course of the story in such a believable way.
4. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2
A fantastic game, that has a few problems (difficulty being the main one, fuck you megrez/merak fuck you NAME REDACTED and fuck you polaris), but the characters are pretty good overall (except for the stupid tsundere moe character and the asshole character), the addition of the social link structure was a smart one. Game plays well, game has a sweet soundtrack, the less said about floating boobs the better... Still dope.
5. Sleeping Dogs
it just plays really well. Not as bombastic as Saints Row, but a much better combat system. The characters are cool, the story is pretty good (the ending is super abrupt though, it was all like WHAT). Also it looks soooooooooo nice, even on my mediocre computer.
6. Final Fantasy XIII-2
I really liked the open ended structure of it, I really liked the story (I never really liked Noel, but Serah was alright), they made Hope hot and cool (which I thought impossible), the ending was the most amazing thing. Also Caius is probably one of the better antagonists this year, as well as being the best antagonist in Final Fantasy games. Also the gameplay is fine, if a little easy after a point.
The amount of choices and variations in the story are amazing, the dialogue is really sharp and cool, and the art is beautiful. It officially wins my "best VN award" for 2012. Suck it Katawa Shoujo (sorry Video Game King)
8. Persona 4 Arena
The fighting was alright I guess, but the real reason it's on the list is the story which is fantastic, but of course it does not win my coveted best VN of 2012 list because the story barely branches. STILL, Labrys' story alone bumps it up here, it's fantastic and sad and made me care about a goddamn robot girl (sorry Aigis I don't care how much I touch your CPU in a sensual manner I don't care about you)
9. Analogue: A Hate Story
A really interesting thing. A VN that takes place with no other characters besides 2 AI, 75% of the game you are reading logs of this ancient colony ship, but it's super interesting, and really unique.
10. The Walking Dead
Great use of the little girl character type, good story, very emotional. I kinda ruined it for myself by playing part of it over again though.
Or maybe I'm super petty?
(it's probably the second thing)