Top 10 be damned. Well, I'm afraid this list is going to be a bit disappointing. The top 2 games on the list are sort of their by default, as they are really the only two games I completed this year that were actually released this year and felt comfortable enough with to put on a top games list. So without further ado:
5. Demon's Souls - Now, I know what you're thinking. What isn't Dark Souls in this spot? Well, if it will make you feel better, just imagine it is. It doesn't make much of a difference, does it? But I haven't played Dark Souls yet because I'm a bad person (and I think it would be weird to play it without beating Demons Souls, which I still haven't done by the way). I really don't know why I like this game, anyway. It's not easy to explain with the English language, so maybe Japanese would work better. ファック。このゲームは狂気です。私は私の人生を憎む。
4. Dragon Age Origins - Yeesh. I got this game for Christmas last year, and played it in January. So I'm going to say it counts. And what a game. I'm not ashamed to admit that I didn't like Mass Effect all that much. My favorite part of the game was actually the beginning, wandering around the Citadel. I thought the narrative tricks Bioware is known for were all rather lame and predictable, and the ending did absolutely nothing for me. So enter Dragon Age, I had pretty muted expectations. And I couldn't have been more impressed. The morality system wasn't dreadfully mundane, the narrative, while not groundbreaking, was engaging and well-told. And it had a pretty satisfying ending.
3. League of Legends - This game is actually the source of where my year went wrong. I put in about 500 hours into this game in 2011 and only recently have been able to 'put it on the shelf' for a bit. I don't want get into a MOBA discussion on why this game's mechanics are better than DotA 2 or HoN, but there is a simplicity and elegance to League of Legends that makes it a damn fun game and one I can't seem to stop playing. Bi-weekly content patching and pretty good balance don't hurt. (We'll make believe Dominion never happened. That mode pretty much blows.) I know I won't be the only person on this website with this game on their list this year. If you don't like it, FINE. I DIDN'T WANT YOU TO LIKE IT ANYWAY.
2. Bastion - I don't like this game as much as others. If I had played Skyrim, LA Noire, Skyward Sword, Battlefield 3, Batman Arkham City, or Rayman, this could have easily been bumped off. It was, or is, a neat premise and the game is easy to play through and complete, and it has a tasteful ending which is the hardest thing to do for video game developers apparently. (Watch a fucking movie, for fuck's sake.) I felt like if this game went on any longer, it would've outstayed its welcome, which is a credit for the developers for knowing when to stop.
1. Portal 2 - This is a perfect video game. Or at least, what I expect a perfect video game to be. The humor was sublime, the puzzles were impeccable, the ending was nuts. Yeah, I understand the argument that it wasn't as good as the first. But Valve managed to make a game that, apart from the fundamental premise, feels nothing like the first. If a book was written on how to make an appropriate sequel to a beloved game, Portal 2 would be chapter one. They didn't try to be cute with themes the first game established. They went beyond and built something grander and different, without ignoring what made the first game great in the first place. I don't know how they keep doing it. Bring on Episode 3, Half-Life 3, whatever. Just keep making games.
So, perhaps if I had played about a dozen other games (To the Moon, Witcher 2, Dirt 3, Ico/Shadow of the Colossus collection, Deus Ex, Dead Space 2, Uncharted 3, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, well let's not get carried away with that last one) my list would be a bit more complete. But whatever, I did my best asshole. Why don't you go take an arrow to the groin.
P.S. Games that will be on my top 5 games of 2012 list: Diablo 3.