jakob187's Totally Pretentious 2012 Game of the Year Top 10 List

It's that time of year AGAIN! It seems like a yearly cycle or something where we all get together and make lists as if our opinions mattered or something!

Well, my fucking opinion matters, so I'm doing this again! IT'S GAME OF THE YEAR TIME!

In the past two years, I did Top 25 lists...because fuck Top 10 lists. This year, I'm doing a Top 10 list...because fuck Carpal Tunnel.

I know you all wait in hot anticipation every year for me to pop the cherry on the Game of the Year lists. FRET NOT, for I am right on time this year as well! I've been keeping a running list all year long of what games I felt really defined 2012 as a banner year for gaming. In the past, my choices have been a bit unconventional. For example:

2009 - I picked Assassin's Creed II while the rest of the world was getting down on Uncharted 2.

2010 - I picked Bayonetta when everyone was singing praises of Red Dead Redemption and Mass Effect 2.

2011 - I picked Bastion while the world was swooning over Saints Row The Third and Skyrim.

My picks aren't unconventional just to be unconventional. They are based on what I personally played over the year. In essence, it means this list will have some things that aren't even considered, like Journey and Far Cry 3 (which I'm sure as fantastic games). It's not the end-all be-all of Game of the Year lists. Actually, it is. It totally is. I'm sorry for telling you otherwise.

Anyways, enough babbling. LET THE LIST COMMENCE!

1. The Walking Dead

If you had told me that a point-and-click adventure game filled with cinematic storytelling based on the Robert Kirkman comics that continues the oversaturation of zombies in video gaming would rank at the top of my list, I would've told you that you were fucking high. Nonetheless, The Walking Dead goes above and beyond in so many ways beyond just the game itself. Yes, the story of Lee and Clementine surviving in the wild new world alongside a myriad of supporting characters has its twists, turns, and intense emotional moments. However, I also look at how the game has delivered on all fronts. The gameplay that is present is some good ol' point-and-click adventure done right, the quick-time event moments that show up are played off well, the episodic delivery of the game was a perfect bait-and-hook to keep you coming back, the writing was smart and witty, the graphics worked perfectly with their hand-drawn grittiness fused in 3D models... Literally, the only problem I think most can find with the game are a handful of bugs and frame rate issues on consoles. Beyond that, there is not a single other game this year that I could honestly say deserves this top slot more. Good on you, Telltale, for delivering what is a fantastic breath of fresh air to a beloved gaming genre. As to the continuing argument of whether it's a game or not - people need to get over themselves about it. It's a game in the same way that your beloved Grim Fandango, Day of the Tentacle, Secret of Monkey Island, and Beneath A Steel Sky are games. Fuck off with the stupid arguing and celebrate such a lovely masterpiece of game development.

2. Hotline Miami

Okay, so that last part of The Walking Dead...where I said "there is not a single other game this year that I could honestly say deserves this top slot more?" Hotline Miami is that other game I would say could be in the first place slot. It's a dark, gritty, ultra-violent, fucked-up, over-the-top orgy of everything great about video games. Sure, there are the people digging into the "meaning" of the game. You know what I think the "meaning" of the game is? *baseball bat to the side of your head* THAT is the "meaning" of the game. Okay, okay. That's a hostile statement. Sure, it could be a message about violence in games, but even if we set all that shit aside, Hotline Miami was this surprising came-out-of-left-field indie game that delivered tight controls, bloody fun, and brutal difficulty. It also committed completely to its concept of zany madman-like insanity, which propelled it to its own unique pedestal...that is decorated in decapitated heads.

3. Legend of Grimrock

This downloadable homage to RPGs of yesteryear like Eye of the Beholder still keeps my nerd boner raging all these months later! I loved the game so much that I have dedicated myself to recreating the entirety of Doom in Grimrock's dungeon editor! There's a method to all of the dungeon-adventuring madness, a mystique to the story that unfolds, and a complexity to the combat that I thoroughly appreciated from start to finish. Once the main quest is done, there is still a heavy modding community delivering fresh new adventures on a regular basis, making this one of the most worthwhile packages of the year hands-down. The only...ONLY...reason it isn't higher on the list is because I couldn't trample a guy onto the ground and then gouge his eyes out with my fingers after shotgunning two of his friends in the room beforehand.

4. Guild Wars 2

Many out there will scream "it's the other MMO that launched this year". While there is no denying that Mists of Pandaria finally did right by those of us who loved vanilla WoW and Burning Crusade, Guild Wars 2 delivered in spades on its promises. They broke the holy trinity of RPG gaming up, continue to offer dynamic and massive world events, and the PvP (specifically the WvWvW) is FUCKING I-N-S-A-N-E! If anything, THIS game reminds me of the reason I loved something like Dark Ages of Camelot's realm vs. realm gameplay. Even then, continuous updates have been keeping it fresh since launch, and ArenaNet shows no signs of slowing down. This is definitely a game I'll be playing for quite some time.

5. Torchlight II

With the release of Diablo III earlier this year, a lot of people expected Torchlight II to fall by the wayside, forgotten by the masses. Once Blizzard dropped the ball with Patch 1.03, a mass exodus from the D3 community led people to Runic's sequel. In the time I've played Torchlight II, I feel confident in saying that it is what Diablo III should've been. There are great "open-world" areas reminiscent of Diablo II, the CHARACTER HIMSELF becomes powerful while the gear supplements his capabilities, and the introduction of INFINITE New Game Plus (much the same way as Dark Souls) means that you can finally start a character on the lowest difficulty just for the hell of slashing shit up and then finally end up on the highest difficulties after enough NG+. The classes are a bit more interesting as well, and the online multiplayer setup is vastly superior thanks to solid netcode.

6. Forza Horizon

Forza Horizon took me by surprise. I was expecting to plug the game in, fiddle around with it a bit, then forget about it almost immediately. It has done the exact opposite at every turn. What's more interesting is how Forza Horizon - either on purpose or inadvertently - takes from so many other games that have existed to create a solid product. Random drivers on the road to pull up to and race (Tokyo Xtreme Racer Zero), open-world racing (Need for Speed: Most Wanted), bonuses for driving with style (Burnout), a plethora of things to do in an expansive world (Elder Scrolls), solid customization options both above and under the hood (Gran Turismo, Forza), challenges worth XP towards leveling up in the world (Call of Duty), audio navigation help (Dirt), A FUCKING STORY...that actually has me watching the cutscenes (any game ever), slightly looser gameplay than a simulation game (Need for Speed, Grid)... Literally, this game is such an amalgamation of things that make so many games great, and Playground does an incredible job of meshing it all together to build what I firmly believe is the greatest racing game made to date. It's going to be VERY HARD for a company to build another racing game that takes my breath away like Forza Horizon has.

7. Path of Exile

Path of Exile is still technically in beta, but even that beta has proven to be a fantastic ARPG in a dark world. It also handles a few things in a different way than other games. For starters, there is no currency in the game. If you want to acquire things from merchants or other players, it's all based on a barter system. You trade Identify Scrolls for some potions, some chunks of rare metal for some new gear. There's also the socketing system: you gain whatever skills you use based on whatever gems you socket into your gear, and each of those gems will level up individually based on the XP you gain through combat. The skill tree...OH MAN, THAT SKILL TREE... It's essentially the Sphere Grid from Final Fantasy X, helping to offer THE deepest level of customization ever in an ARPG. If you haven't joined up on the beta for Path of Exile, it's worth every bit of your $10. If you love ARPG games, there's no reason you should be avoiding this.

8. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

It was a sad year for 38 Studios. We all know the woes that the studio went through shortly after the release of Reckoning. Nonetheless, what they allowed Big Huge Games to deliver to us was a great and impressionable RPG. What impressed me more was mainly the merging of combo-based action combat with deep RPG mechanics like Elder Scrolls. Amalur also proved to be a gorgeous world of wonder, harnessing a unique luster. Because of the downfall of 38 Studios, it unfortunately means this was a small trip and glimpse into what could have been. It saddens me, but the game that they released was a fantastic testament to the people who worked on it as well as how to push the RPG genre forward.

9. The Darkness II

Much like its predecessor, The Darkness II kind of came out of nowhere like a gut-punch to the solar plexus. It wasn't just about the solid shooting mechanics, but the surprises that were bestowed upon us. There were skill trees, deeper mechanics, solid enemy AI, slick graphics, a solid villain, and a fantastic ending for fans of the comic books. There were also the emotional moments, made ever so much more impactful by the fantastic performances all around from the voice actors and animation teams. All around, it's sad that this game is going to be largely ignored by so many people in the industry, but it's definitely one of the best games that came out this year.

10. Fez

The level of excitement for Fez was probably the biggest thing I've seen in indie gaming ever. Around its release, Phil Fish said some shit that pissed a lot of people off. Boo-fuckety-hoo. Fish's comments aside, Fez was an astounding feat, a labour of love from a guy that truly loved the world of gaming. Every single thing in Fez was purely fascinating and mind-bending, but what made Fez really stand out wasn't its unique gameplay and beautiful pixel-art. It was its dedication to its own world, the commitment that it offered to build a believable fantasy realm to play around in. I tip my hat to you, Mr. Fish. I hope to see more from you in the future.

11. Borderlands 2

HONORABLE MENTION: I didn't get to play much of Borderlands 2 for two reasons: 1. There were a LOT of games to play this year. 2. I decided that I would wait until next year when all the DLC has been released to get the eventual "here's the version will everything for cheaper edition". Nonetheless, I played to about level 10, and what I played makes me believe it would be a fucking travesty to not include it somewhere on this list. It had everything that you want in a Borderlands game, only done better. The AI is some of the best I've ever seen programmed in the industry, to the point that I tell everyone I know they should play Borderlands 2 at least ONCE to see what GOOD AI programming in games is like. There are shitloads of cool guns, skill trees that show a lot of thought put into it, character customization, better quest development, and fun co-op multiplayer. What I played of it was highly enjoyable. I just could not genuinely put it in my Top 10 because of the limited amount of time I had with it. Nonetheless, I feel like Borderlands 2 could easily be a contender for 2013's 2012 Game of the Year.

47 Comments
48 Comments
Edited by jakob187

It's that time of year AGAIN! It seems like a yearly cycle or something where we all get together and make lists as if our opinions mattered or something!

Well, my fucking opinion matters, so I'm doing this again! IT'S GAME OF THE YEAR TIME!

In the past two years, I did Top 25 lists...because fuck Top 10 lists. This year, I'm doing a Top 10 list...because fuck Carpal Tunnel.

I know you all wait in hot anticipation every year for me to pop the cherry on the Game of the Year lists. FRET NOT, for I am right on time this year as well! I've been keeping a running list all year long of what games I felt really defined 2012 as a banner year for gaming. In the past, my choices have been a bit unconventional. For example:

2009 - I picked Assassin's Creed II while the rest of the world was getting down on Uncharted 2.

2010 - I picked Bayonetta when everyone was singing praises of Red Dead Redemption and Mass Effect 2.

2011 - I picked Bastion while the world was swooning over Saints Row The Third and Skyrim.

My picks aren't unconventional just to be unconventional. They are based on what I personally played over the year. In essence, it means this list will have some things that aren't even considered, like Journey and Far Cry 3 (which I'm sure as fantastic games). It's not the end-all be-all of Game of the Year lists. Actually, it is. It totally is. I'm sorry for telling you otherwise.

Anyways, enough babbling. LET THE LIST COMMENCE!

1. The Walking Dead

If you had told me that a point-and-click adventure game filled with cinematic storytelling based on the Robert Kirkman comics that continues the oversaturation of zombies in video gaming would rank at the top of my list, I would've told you that you were fucking high. Nonetheless, The Walking Dead goes above and beyond in so many ways beyond just the game itself. Yes, the story of Lee and Clementine surviving in the wild new world alongside a myriad of supporting characters has its twists, turns, and intense emotional moments. However, I also look at how the game has delivered on all fronts. The gameplay that is present is some good ol' point-and-click adventure done right, the quick-time event moments that show up are played off well, the episodic delivery of the game was a perfect bait-and-hook to keep you coming back, the writing was smart and witty, the graphics worked perfectly with their hand-drawn grittiness fused in 3D models... Literally, the only problem I think most can find with the game are a handful of bugs and frame rate issues on consoles. Beyond that, there is not a single other game this year that I could honestly say deserves this top slot more. Good on you, Telltale, for delivering what is a fantastic breath of fresh air to a beloved gaming genre. As to the continuing argument of whether it's a game or not - people need to get over themselves about it. It's a game in the same way that your beloved Grim Fandango, Day of the Tentacle, Secret of Monkey Island, and Beneath A Steel Sky are games. Fuck off with the stupid arguing and celebrate such a lovely masterpiece of game development.

2. Hotline Miami

Okay, so that last part of The Walking Dead...where I said "there is not a single other game this year that I could honestly say deserves this top slot more?" Hotline Miami is that other game I would say could be in the first place slot. It's a dark, gritty, ultra-violent, fucked-up, over-the-top orgy of everything great about video games. Sure, there are the people digging into the "meaning" of the game. You know what I think the "meaning" of the game is? *baseball bat to the side of your head* THAT is the "meaning" of the game. Okay, okay. That's a hostile statement. Sure, it could be a message about violence in games, but even if we set all that shit aside, Hotline Miami was this surprising came-out-of-left-field indie game that delivered tight controls, bloody fun, and brutal difficulty. It also committed completely to its concept of zany madman-like insanity, which propelled it to its own unique pedestal...that is decorated in decapitated heads.

3. Legend of Grimrock

This downloadable homage to RPGs of yesteryear like Eye of the Beholder still keeps my nerd boner raging all these months later! I loved the game so much that I have dedicated myself to recreating the entirety of Doom in Grimrock's dungeon editor! There's a method to all of the dungeon-adventuring madness, a mystique to the story that unfolds, and a complexity to the combat that I thoroughly appreciated from start to finish. Once the main quest is done, there is still a heavy modding community delivering fresh new adventures on a regular basis, making this one of the most worthwhile packages of the year hands-down. The only...ONLY...reason it isn't higher on the list is because I couldn't trample a guy onto the ground and then gouge his eyes out with my fingers after shotgunning two of his friends in the room beforehand.

4. Guild Wars 2

Many out there will scream "it's the other MMO that launched this year". While there is no denying that Mists of Pandaria finally did right by those of us who loved vanilla WoW and Burning Crusade, Guild Wars 2 delivered in spades on its promises. They broke the holy trinity of RPG gaming up, continue to offer dynamic and massive world events, and the PvP (specifically the WvWvW) is FUCKING I-N-S-A-N-E! If anything, THIS game reminds me of the reason I loved something like Dark Ages of Camelot's realm vs. realm gameplay. Even then, continuous updates have been keeping it fresh since launch, and ArenaNet shows no signs of slowing down. This is definitely a game I'll be playing for quite some time.

5. Torchlight II

With the release of Diablo III earlier this year, a lot of people expected Torchlight II to fall by the wayside, forgotten by the masses. Once Blizzard dropped the ball with Patch 1.03, a mass exodus from the D3 community led people to Runic's sequel. In the time I've played Torchlight II, I feel confident in saying that it is what Diablo III should've been. There are great "open-world" areas reminiscent of Diablo II, the CHARACTER HIMSELF becomes powerful while the gear supplements his capabilities, and the introduction of INFINITE New Game Plus (much the same way as Dark Souls) means that you can finally start a character on the lowest difficulty just for the hell of slashing shit up and then finally end up on the highest difficulties after enough NG+. The classes are a bit more interesting as well, and the online multiplayer setup is vastly superior thanks to solid netcode.

6. Forza Horizon

Forza Horizon took me by surprise. I was expecting to plug the game in, fiddle around with it a bit, then forget about it almost immediately. It has done the exact opposite at every turn. What's more interesting is how Forza Horizon - either on purpose or inadvertently - takes from so many other games that have existed to create a solid product. Random drivers on the road to pull up to and race (Tokyo Xtreme Racer Zero), open-world racing (Need for Speed: Most Wanted), bonuses for driving with style (Burnout), a plethora of things to do in an expansive world (Elder Scrolls), solid customization options both above and under the hood (Gran Turismo, Forza), challenges worth XP towards leveling up in the world (Call of Duty), audio navigation help (Dirt), A FUCKING STORY...that actually has me watching the cutscenes (any game ever), slightly looser gameplay than a simulation game (Need for Speed, Grid)... Literally, this game is such an amalgamation of things that make so many games great, and Playground does an incredible job of meshing it all together to build what I firmly believe is the greatest racing game made to date. It's going to be VERY HARD for a company to build another racing game that takes my breath away like Forza Horizon has.

7. Path of Exile

Path of Exile is still technically in beta, but even that beta has proven to be a fantastic ARPG in a dark world. It also handles a few things in a different way than other games. For starters, there is no currency in the game. If you want to acquire things from merchants or other players, it's all based on a barter system. You trade Identify Scrolls for some potions, some chunks of rare metal for some new gear. There's also the socketing system: you gain whatever skills you use based on whatever gems you socket into your gear, and each of those gems will level up individually based on the XP you gain through combat. The skill tree...OH MAN, THAT SKILL TREE... It's essentially the Sphere Grid from Final Fantasy X, helping to offer THE deepest level of customization ever in an ARPG. If you haven't joined up on the beta for Path of Exile, it's worth every bit of your $10. If you love ARPG games, there's no reason you should be avoiding this.

8. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

It was a sad year for 38 Studios. We all know the woes that the studio went through shortly after the release of Reckoning. Nonetheless, what they allowed Big Huge Games to deliver to us was a great and impressionable RPG. What impressed me more was mainly the merging of combo-based action combat with deep RPG mechanics like Elder Scrolls. Amalur also proved to be a gorgeous world of wonder, harnessing a unique luster. Because of the downfall of 38 Studios, it unfortunately means this was a small trip and glimpse into what could have been. It saddens me, but the game that they released was a fantastic testament to the people who worked on it as well as how to push the RPG genre forward.

9. The Darkness II

Much like its predecessor, The Darkness II kind of came out of nowhere like a gut-punch to the solar plexus. It wasn't just about the solid shooting mechanics, but the surprises that were bestowed upon us. There were skill trees, deeper mechanics, solid enemy AI, slick graphics, a solid villain, and a fantastic ending for fans of the comic books. There were also the emotional moments, made ever so much more impactful by the fantastic performances all around from the voice actors and animation teams. All around, it's sad that this game is going to be largely ignored by so many people in the industry, but it's definitely one of the best games that came out this year.

10. Fez

The level of excitement for Fez was probably the biggest thing I've seen in indie gaming ever. Around its release, Phil Fish said some shit that pissed a lot of people off. Boo-fuckety-hoo. Fish's comments aside, Fez was an astounding feat, a labour of love from a guy that truly loved the world of gaming. Every single thing in Fez was purely fascinating and mind-bending, but what made Fez really stand out wasn't its unique gameplay and beautiful pixel-art. It was its dedication to its own world, the commitment that it offered to build a believable fantasy realm to play around in. I tip my hat to you, Mr. Fish. I hope to see more from you in the future.

11. Borderlands 2

HONORABLE MENTION: I didn't get to play much of Borderlands 2 for two reasons: 1. There were a LOT of games to play this year. 2. I decided that I would wait until next year when all the DLC has been released to get the eventual "here's the version will everything for cheaper edition". Nonetheless, I played to about level 10, and what I played makes me believe it would be a fucking travesty to not include it somewhere on this list. It had everything that you want in a Borderlands game, only done better. The AI is some of the best I've ever seen programmed in the industry, to the point that I tell everyone I know they should play Borderlands 2 at least ONCE to see what GOOD AI programming in games is like. There are shitloads of cool guns, skill trees that show a lot of thought put into it, character customization, better quest development, and fun co-op multiplayer. What I played of it was highly enjoyable. I just could not genuinely put it in my Top 10 because of the limited amount of time I had with it. Nonetheless, I feel like Borderlands 2 could easily be a contender for 2013's 2012 Game of the Year.

Posted by ZombiePie

I bought Legends of Grimrock on Steam...and then proceeded to not even install it.

I should fix that.

Moderator
Posted by Animasta

I may not agree with your list (actually hotline miami is in the exact same spot on mine so I guess we agree 10%), but I agree with your fuck carpal tunnel platform.

Edited by jakob187

@ZombiePie: You really should, especially if you enjoy the old grid-based first-person RPGs. That game makes me mark out like a muthafucker at how smooth, pretty, and fantastic it is. I still haven't found all of the secrets within three separate playthroughs. I refuse to use any guides for it. lol

@Animasta: I'm sure Far Cry 3 would be on my list if I had played it. Sadly, I have not. That won't happen until at least next month. I still haven't even gotten to touch Hitman: Absolution or half of the games I bought on Steam!

Posted by laserbolts

Nice list did not expect to see Amalur in anyones top 10.

Posted by Nightriff

Fuck your list, no Journey, Asura's Wrath, Spec Ops or Binary Domain, did you play anything good this year?

Posted by gaminghooligan

@ZombiePie said:

I bought Legends of Grimrock on Steam...and then proceeded to not even install it.

I should fix that.

yes. yes you should.

@jakob187: Great list! Even though mine is going to be different, love that you included Darkness 2, it was such a surprise for me! Loved it, and man it even had some cool modes outside of the story to play in. Also on the PC it looked super sharp. Also didn't think the list was pretentious at all duder :P

Posted by BeachThunder

Good to see some Grimrock love :D That game really surprised me (in a good way).

Posted by Bourbon_Warrior

Nice opinions, mine differ. =)

Posted by zombie2011

@jakob187: Forza Horizon is made by Playground games, not Turn 10.

Posted by Colourful_Hippie

There's a nice variety to that list and yeah Darkness 2 needs some love. Some people knock it for its linearity but it still retains the charm of the first game and with better gameplay.

Edited by jakob187

@narujoe93: I was debating on including Binding of Isaac: Wrath on here. However, I decided against it when I realized that my list was ballooning out of control. There originally WERE 25 games on this list, and then I narrowed it down.

Also, I should point out to everyone as I do every year (for some dumb fucking reason): these are the ten best games of WHAT I PLAYED THIS YEAR! I don't own a PS3 nor have access to one, so something like Journey isn't on my list. As I said in the introduction of the list, I'm sure it's a great game. I didn't play it, and I'm not going to misrepresent my list that way.

@Nightriff: Asura's Wrath didn't hold my interest that well (but I'm also not a huge fan of anime in general), Binary Domain didn't grab me like I had hoped it would, and Spec Ops was far too basic of a shooter for me to put it on this list. What I will give all three of those is that they had good stories. Unfortunately, JUST a good story doesn't quite do it for me. I need systems, mechanics, and just...more. The only reason The Walking Dead has impressed me so much is because of the depth in the storytelling. I've done three full playthroughs so far since the release of Episode 5, and it's thoroughly astonishing to me how every little choice can change a slight thing in the way characters will word things, squint at you. There really IS a lot more detail in that game than many people think there is. It's also mind-blowing to me to see those BIG decisions play out differently and see how the story thrusts forward with it.

Essentially, that first playthrough is YOUR STORY. It's the way you KNOW the game to be. Every playthrough after that is almost like playing a "What If?" type of scenario out, and it's crazy to see that stuff unfold.

It is literally without a doubt 100% the best game that came out this year in my eyes. There's a level of depth when it comes to storytelling in it that I just haven't seen from a game in a long while. Beyond that, it has solid adventure genre gameplay from top to bottom.

@zombie2011: I was unaware of that. I just plugged it in and started going without looking back. Props to Playground Games, then. I'll change that in my list. Thanks for the info.

Edited by believer258

I don't think I even beat 25 games this year that I've never beaten before. Maybe if you included games I'd played before (I replay my favorites often).

But for some reason I bought and completed all three FEAR games on PC, in a row, and it's not the first time I've done so. It's not even like I have a particularly high opinion of those games...

EDIT: Anyway, to get this post back on topic I'm trying to come up with a top 5 games I've beaten this year but there are several games left that I want to finish. Meaning I won't actually have one out until January.

Posted by jakob187

@believer258: There are only one or two on my list that I didn't beat. Honestly, I know how I feel about Forza Horizon with the hours I've put into it so far, but I haven't beaten it. I don't need to. It has its hooks in me. Guild Wars 2 isn't really a "beatable" game, but I've gotten to max level and I'm decked out in Exotics (haven't touched Ascended and Legendary shit yet). So...yeah, that's the only two so far.

Nonetheless, I think there are some games that you don't necessarily have to BEAT in order to know how good it is beyond just story stuff. Assassin's Creed 3, Far Cry 3, and Dishonored are three games that come to mind which I'm sure you can play a fair amount of and get a good idea of whether it should go on your list or not. Unfortunately, I haven't even touched any of those three yet...so they aren't on my list. I'm sure they could be if I played them, but at the same time, I've had plenty of time to pick up AC3 and Dishonored...and yet I haven't. That says something to me about how much I WANT to play them versus whether I have ACTUALLY played them. Hell, I can see a copy of AC3 here at work right now that I could easily play...and yet I don't want to. So those things go into my own personal decisions as well.

I won't lie: I take my lists very seriously when I comprise them every year. I just wish I could play more to have a broader scope to the list itself. Every year, it feels very...I don't know, contained.

Posted by FancySoapsMan

The Walking Dead was amazing, probably my #1 game of the year so far (though I suspect Virtue's Last Reward will replace it).

Hotline Miami would be high on my list too. That game makes me really fucking uneasy. The conversations with the guys in the masks are downright terrifying. I LOVE IT

Posted by believer258

@jakob187 said:

@believer258: There are only one or two on my list that I didn't beat. Honestly, I know how I feel about Forza Horizon with the hours I've put into it so far, but I haven't beaten it. I don't need to. It has its hooks in me. Guild Wars 2 isn't really a "beatable" game, but I've gotten to max level and I'm decked out in Exotics (haven't touched Ascended and Legendary shit yet). So...yeah, that's the only two so far.

Nonetheless, I think there are some games that you don't necessarily have to BEAT in order to know how good it is beyond just story stuff. Assassin's Creed 3, Far Cry 3, and Dishonored are three games that come to mind which I'm sure you can play a fair amount of and get a good idea of whether it should go on your list or not. Unfortunately, I haven't even touched any of those three yet...so they aren't on my list. I'm sure they could be if I played them, but at the same time, I've had plenty of time to pick up AC3 and Dishonored...and yet I haven't. That says something to me about how much I WANT to play them versus whether I have ACTUALLY played them. Hell, I can see a copy of AC3 here at work right now that I could easily play...and yet I don't want to. So those things go into my own personal decisions as well.

I won't lie: I take my lists very seriously when I comprise them every year. I just wish I could play more to have a broader scope to the list itself. Every year, it feels very...I don't know, contained.

Yes, there are several games which I can probably bet will or will not make it onto my personal favorites games this year lists, but some (Sleeping Dogs, Chrono trigger*) I would not have had the same feelings about if I'd only played long enough to know and enjoy the systems and mechanics included, so I really like to finish any game with story before passing final judgement on it.

*I should mention that when I do make a "favorite games this year" list, it's going to be comprised of games I completed this year for the first time, not games I completed that came out this year. That's why I didn't call it a "GOTY" list.

Posted by csl316

I don't approve of your methods.

But I do approve The Darkness II.

Posted by ArbitraryWater

Your list and my list are going to look quite different I think...

Though seriously, mad props for putting Grimrock up there. That game is dope. Amalur will probably end up somewhere on my list as well, assuming I play a bit more of it over holiday break.

Posted by jakob187

@ArbitraryWater: The thing that really impressed me about Amalur is that each quest series through the different factions felt quite varied in both opinions and scope of the world. I found myself invested in those storylines, unlike how I felt with the quest lines in Skyrim. The only time I found myself invested in a quest line in Skyrim was when I was forced into being a fucking werewolf in order to continue seeing the story of one quest line, even though that is not the choice that I personally wanted to make for my character. If anything, that pissed me off immensely and made me LESS invested in the game. I still haven't picked the game back up after the first three weeks of its release that I played it. Also, the inclusion of these big decisions meaning significant stat bonuses for your character really cemented those decisions you made in my eyes.

Posted by PistolPackinPoet

Great choice for GOTY. Other than that, I haven't played other than like 10 mins of Bland2

Posted by Video_Game_King

@ArbitraryWater said:

Your list and my list are going to look quite different I think...

For me, it's because I haven't played a single game on this list. Plus I never do a Top 10, anyway.

Posted by Breadfan
Posted by jakob187

@Video_Game_King said:

@ArbitraryWater said:

Your list and my list are going to look quite different I think...

For me, it's because I haven't played a single game on this list. Plus I never do a Top 10, anyway.

You...should probably play some of these games.

Posted by Video_Game_King
Posted by ImmortalSaiyan

Props for The Amalur love. I liked that game, but after a while it lost steam with me. That is because I was playing it like an MMO. Going to a town and doing nearly all quests there.

Posted by wewantsthering

You reminded me that I need to finish Legend of Grimrock. So good.

Posted by tourgen

Yeah Grimrock is a good game. It's interesting to see the games people played over the year and how that determines their list.

Posted by Karkarov

Well gee you can't agree with everyone. Other than including Grimrock and Borderlands 2 I doubt my list would have a single thing in common with yours. The Talking Head certainly won't be on it, much less #1. But then few if any would pick the game I am going to place at #1 (as of right now anyway, still some time left).

Posted by Nottle

@jakob187: Didn't you have a Viewtiful Joe avatar at some point? Of course someone with your taste would pick a superior game like Bayonetta.

Posted by ArbitraryWater

@jakob187: To be fair, even though Skyrim was my number 2 game of last year (after Dark Souls of course), I personally thought that all of the faction questlines were better in Oblivion. The impression I've been getting from Amalur on that front suggests that the faction questlines are the best part of that game, because a lot of the rest of it seems really generic. As I said, I'll have to play some more once I'm done with school for the semester. What I can tell you is that chakrams are awesome and the part where magic/finesse characters replace their defensive roll with a poisonous teleport dash really endears me to the combat, even if setting the difficulty on hard wasn't necessarily the smartest choice thus far.

Posted by Claude

To say pretentious is to be pretentious is it not? Please, you've been around and know your games and how they're played. Nice list. Nice read. Add obligatory nice shit to every fucking thing.

Posted by project343

@Nightriff said:

Fuck your list, no Journey, Asura's Wrath, Spec Ops or Binary Domain, did you play anything good this year?

All this positive talk of Binary Domain recently has me super sad that I skipped out on all the Black Friday sales for it. Reviews were universally negative/middling. Worth it? Some sort of dumb charm in there somewhere?

Posted by Grillbar

wow your list is really interesting there are some that i personally dont understand compared to other games. i diddent even know path of exile was out. and i know pretty much nothing about it so i guess i would have to check it out.

@ZombiePie said:

I bought Legends of Grimrock on Steam...and then proceeded to not even install it.

I should fix that.

and you should be ashamed, that game is so great in every way imaginable imo

Posted by Nightriff

@project343 said:

@Nightriff said:

Fuck your list, no Journey, Asura's Wrath, Spec Ops or Binary Domain, did you play anything good this year?

All this positive talk of Binary Domain recently has me super sad that I skipped out on all the Black Friday sales for it. Reviews were universally negative/middling. Worth it? Some sort of dumb charm in there somewhere?

It's just...like better than you ever would imagine. Like truly funny and lovable characters, then the plot gets really good and interesting and twists and then you want a sequel. I seriously enjoyed it more than Gears of War 3 from last year. It just has the Japanese charm that some games benefit from. Even though I did have some problems with it early on (even came to GB to bitch about it, some of those boss battles, ugh....) by the mid point till the end I couldn't stop playing. It probably will be sadly over looked, hope it gets some love next year by the GB crew.

Posted by Little_Socrates

Another nice list! I think you hit the nail on the head about what makes Hotline Miami so excellent; even if you don't love it because it's an art game, you can become obsessed because it's got airtight gameplay and aesthetic. Even if it's falling to the wayside with me a little bit, it's still excellent, and people should play it.

The Darkness II and Fez are games I don't expect to see on many lists, but I adore the both of them. Fez is probablemente my Game of the Year and possibly my spirit animal. And MAN, the whirlwind rush of The Darkness II is AMAZING!

Posted by Phatmac

Cool list. We don't agree on much but I do love your love for hotline Miami!

Posted by Jumbs

Hello person who almost has my exact tastes!

Posted by Hailinel

Every single item on your list is wrong because I say so!

But really, I can't say anything worthwhile because I haven't played any of those games, and so it would be unfair of me to judge.

Posted by casper_

you've got a couple

Posted by Sooty

I thought this was gonna be the most pretentious game of the year and I expected Journey in all the slots, actually no, Fez'd take up at least 5.

Edited by Tennmuerti

I could respect some of your choices, even if i disagreed with some of them.

Up until KoA: Reckoning, which takes underachieving to a whole new level.

Posted by PillClinton

Huh yeah, Borderlands 2 does have good enemy AI, doesn't it? I think I may have had trouble divorcing that positive quality from the (sometimes frustrating) considerable rise in difficulty from the first. I kinda sorta died a bunch in BL2, or, at least, second winded a bunch, which certainly made it far less annoying. More shooters should incorporate a second wind mechanic. Fuck it if they can or can't justify it within the game's universe.

Posted by HistoryInRust

@PillClinton said:

Huh yeah, Borderlands 2 does have good enemy AI, doesn't it? I think I may have had trouble divorcing that positive quality from the (sometimes frustrating) considerable rise in difficulty from the first. I kinda sorta died a bunch in BL2, or, at least, second winded a bunch, which certainly made it far less annoying. More shooters should incorporate a second wind mechanic. Fuck it if they can or can't justify it within the game's universe.

Does it? I was pretty much able to beat all the bosses in 2 the same way I did in 1. Stand in a spot and hold down Right Trigger. They wouldn't shoot at me and they wouldn't evade fire. They all just took it.

And then I was all like, "Hmph. Yup. This is Borderlands."

Posted by PillClinton

@HistoryInRust: I played the sniper class, which was probably a mistake, as it sometimes left me ill-equipped for close combat with multiple enemies. Long range was stupid easy, though.

Posted by Flacracker

Pretentious game of the year for 2012 is Journey .

Posted by Demoskinos

Kingdom of Amalur is on a list of mine too this year namely topping the most disappointing list. I can't fathom how anyone can tolerate that game.

Posted by Ravenlight

Any list that does not include Katawa Shoujo and Spec Ops: The Line is wrong.

I'm looking forward to the inevitable crossover of the two games as GOTY 2013.

Posted by jakob187

@Nottle: I wear the communist symbol of the Motherland during the holiday seasons in rebellion to all of these Santa Hat-wearing Pagan-worshipping consumerist Christmas avatars. = D