This year was a strange one. If we were back in olden times when everything was a disk-based, full-price game this would probably have been one of the worst years on record. Even by their standards, the big studios pumped out too many lazy sequels and games whose better intentions were ruined by the grubby fingers and minds of money men and demographic/marketing obsessed suits. Thankfully the way we consume our face-shooting and platform-hoping is changing and this has opened up a big creative space which is being exploited by all sorts of crazy cats with stories, ideas and wacky obsessions we might not have been able to experience back in the old, controlled and closed of days.
Sadly, however this is not reflected in my list. This year my game playing has been hampered by two things, the lack of a regular job and not having a gaming PC. Not having work has meant relying on trade-ins for my games, which has restricted me from getting some of the good games available on XBLA and more than anything this year has convinced me I need a decent PC. Not for the sweet graphics on things like Far Cry 3, but for all the little games coming out on steam, lots of which might well have made my list. Dear Esther, Hotline Miami, FTL are just 3 I can think of that looked amazing but I never got to try. Mark of the Ninja, and Walking Dead (only played Ep.1) are also games I think might have had a chance had I got round to them.
With that said, here it is.