Best Games of 2012 so far.

1: Journey

I've been a critque of artsy games over the past couple of years. I was raised on brutal platformers and pure gameplay, so I never was emotionally engaged in most games. I questioned the appeal of games such as Flower as they weren't that big of a deal to me. I'm as surprised as you at my utter love for Journey. Perhaps its that Journey actually plays like an actual game or that I finally got the appeal for thatgamecompany games. Regardless, Journey is a near perfect game that doesn't require any thing more or anything less. Well, its almost perfect as my one glaring knock against Journey is its annoying use of Sixaxis for the Dualshock 3. Other than that Journey is one of those games that make me realize all the potential that video games can accomplish. Journey is such a wonderful ride that is mixed with joy, glee, danger, death, and a triumphant rise to glory. You really should play this game as it does so much with so little. It also made me realize the importance of artsy games and why people love them.

2: Asura's Wrath

Asura's Wrath is another game that can simply be described as art. From inspection, people can easily write off Asura's Wrath. I also wrote it off as it mostly showed QTE's and dumb anime shit that I despise immensely. I still wished to try the demo so I could understand what I was making fun of then continue to laugh at a dumb looking game. I didn't expect my jaw to hit the floor after playing that demo, but it did happen. After watching a god man transform into an entity that is bigger than the planet itself I was in awe. I would best describe Asura's Wrath as awesome. The word is overused, but I mean it when I say that Asura's Wrath left me in awe at what I was witnessing. Through out Asura's journey I witnessed a sword that cut the moon, a god that threw planets at me, and oh a weird anime bathhouse scene that is completely random, but necessary. Just play it and see the crazy anime shit for yourself. You won't regret it.

3: The Walking Dead

I've never played a Telltale game to completion. I liked my time with Sam & Max and even Back to the Future. After Jurassic Park's disaterous reception I was begining to think that this trend would continue. I still gave WD a chance as I loved the comics and watched the amc show. I'm here to report that the game easily surpasses the comics and tv show. The games have shown a glimpse of the zombie game that I've always wanted. WD so far has delivered an emotional thrill ride that is mostly you talking to people. The zombies like in the source material aren't the main threat in the world. It is all about the evils of humanity and that is displayed in episode 2. This may be a bit too soon for me to put such high regard in a game that still isn't complete, but you'd be wrong. The Walking Dead has done enough for it to be on my list and for me to finally break my Telltale tradition. I will play all of The Walking Dead and be happy that I did.

4: Mass Effect 3

A game that was probably going to be my main pick for my GOTY. I had a huge addiction to Mass Effect. I've bought books, posters, toys, collector editions, and all the games in the series on day one. My excitement was so huge for ME3 that I even contemplated getting an N7 tattoo on my shoulder. After completeling ME3 that tatttoo won't happen any time soon. The ending has been talked to death so I won't cover that. The ending still feels like an intern wrote his shitty fan-fic ending and replaced that with the original ending. Even after the extended cut I still dislike the endings. The endings aren't why this isn't higher. The quest log is another reason and quests in general. The bare bones content in ME3 is disturbing and a clear sign that Bioware's excellence is fading away rapidly. The relieance on combat is also ridiculous. Just look at ME and then look at how so much has changed. Look at ME's Ash and the new Ash from ME3. Its sad to see one of my favorite franchises be transformed into something unrecognizable by fans such as myself. Still, ME3 has some great moments such as Tutchanka and the Geth conflicts. ME3 is a great game, but it is incredibly disappointing. Mass Effect should have been much more important to this generation, but it fails on several occasions.

5: Binary Domain

Its a fun rope through future Japan. The best aspect of BD is its focus on characters and its Terminator sci-fi story. The game is made by the Yakuze team, so it isn't surprising to hear that. The most surprising aspect of BD is that is plays well and for a TPS, the shorting actually feels good. Also, shooting robots never felt so good. Its a good rental for sure. Just be ready for a crazy Japanese ride.

6: Spec Ops: The Line

A game that I love yet hate. Spec Ops is one of those games that everyone needs to play once. It is honestly the most surprising game of this year. Just think about the delays and look of the game before even thinking about the game itself. The opening doesn't even show how fucked up Spec Ops actually is. Its a game that makes you feel like a villain and doesn't wish to reward you for anything. The world of Spec Op is actively against you and you won't find any solace in Spec Ops. Its a game that tries so many strange things that it deserves to be celebrated. One of these innovations is changing dalogue through out the game. Nolan North's standard reload from the main character turns vulgar the farther on you go in the game. You also kill Americans in this game. Think about how many military games involve you killing American troops. Probably none right? There are other aspects of Spec Ops that deserve praise, but also realize that Spec ops is a terrible game besides its story. The gameplay is awful and even the graphics themselves aren't noteworthy. Still, you should play Spec Ops.

7: The Darkness 2

A game that is on here because I haven't played as many games as I would have liked. The asylum story segments are the main appeal. Too bad the ending is kind of bullshit. It is still a fun game to play for a while.

8: Botanicula

A charming PC adventure game that truly captures laughs and gleeful enjoyment. Go play it and have fun.

9: Max Payne 3

A disappointing game in several aspects. It still manages to be fun in some cases. Props to Rockstar for making Max Payne your own thing now.

10: Fez

I don't love Fez, but I appreciate what it does. I never got the appeal of this game so it won't last long on this list. I had my fun with it, but I didn't make my room like the room from Seven.

About Diablo 3...

I'd love to play it, but my shitty laptop probably wouldn't handle it. I'll play it eventually once I get my PC.

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Edited by Phatmac

1: Journey

I've been a critque of artsy games over the past couple of years. I was raised on brutal platformers and pure gameplay, so I never was emotionally engaged in most games. I questioned the appeal of games such as Flower as they weren't that big of a deal to me. I'm as surprised as you at my utter love for Journey. Perhaps its that Journey actually plays like an actual game or that I finally got the appeal for thatgamecompany games. Regardless, Journey is a near perfect game that doesn't require any thing more or anything less. Well, its almost perfect as my one glaring knock against Journey is its annoying use of Sixaxis for the Dualshock 3. Other than that Journey is one of those games that make me realize all the potential that video games can accomplish. Journey is such a wonderful ride that is mixed with joy, glee, danger, death, and a triumphant rise to glory. You really should play this game as it does so much with so little. It also made me realize the importance of artsy games and why people love them.

2: Asura's Wrath

Asura's Wrath is another game that can simply be described as art. From inspection, people can easily write off Asura's Wrath. I also wrote it off as it mostly showed QTE's and dumb anime shit that I despise immensely. I still wished to try the demo so I could understand what I was making fun of then continue to laugh at a dumb looking game. I didn't expect my jaw to hit the floor after playing that demo, but it did happen. After watching a god man transform into an entity that is bigger than the planet itself I was in awe. I would best describe Asura's Wrath as awesome. The word is overused, but I mean it when I say that Asura's Wrath left me in awe at what I was witnessing. Through out Asura's journey I witnessed a sword that cut the moon, a god that threw planets at me, and oh a weird anime bathhouse scene that is completely random, but necessary. Just play it and see the crazy anime shit for yourself. You won't regret it.

3: The Walking Dead

I've never played a Telltale game to completion. I liked my time with Sam & Max and even Back to the Future. After Jurassic Park's disaterous reception I was begining to think that this trend would continue. I still gave WD a chance as I loved the comics and watched the amc show. I'm here to report that the game easily surpasses the comics and tv show. The games have shown a glimpse of the zombie game that I've always wanted. WD so far has delivered an emotional thrill ride that is mostly you talking to people. The zombies like in the source material aren't the main threat in the world. It is all about the evils of humanity and that is displayed in episode 2. This may be a bit too soon for me to put such high regard in a game that still isn't complete, but you'd be wrong. The Walking Dead has done enough for it to be on my list and for me to finally break my Telltale tradition. I will play all of The Walking Dead and be happy that I did.

4: Mass Effect 3

A game that was probably going to be my main pick for my GOTY. I had a huge addiction to Mass Effect. I've bought books, posters, toys, collector editions, and all the games in the series on day one. My excitement was so huge for ME3 that I even contemplated getting an N7 tattoo on my shoulder. After completeling ME3 that tatttoo won't happen any time soon. The ending has been talked to death so I won't cover that. The ending still feels like an intern wrote his shitty fan-fic ending and replaced that with the original ending. Even after the extended cut I still dislike the endings. The endings aren't why this isn't higher. The quest log is another reason and quests in general. The bare bones content in ME3 is disturbing and a clear sign that Bioware's excellence is fading away rapidly. The relieance on combat is also ridiculous. Just look at ME and then look at how so much has changed. Look at ME's Ash and the new Ash from ME3. Its sad to see one of my favorite franchises be transformed into something unrecognizable by fans such as myself. Still, ME3 has some great moments such as Tutchanka and the Geth conflicts. ME3 is a great game, but it is incredibly disappointing. Mass Effect should have been much more important to this generation, but it fails on several occasions.

5: Binary Domain

Its a fun rope through future Japan. The best aspect of BD is its focus on characters and its Terminator sci-fi story. The game is made by the Yakuze team, so it isn't surprising to hear that. The most surprising aspect of BD is that is plays well and for a TPS, the shorting actually feels good. Also, shooting robots never felt so good. Its a good rental for sure. Just be ready for a crazy Japanese ride.

6: Spec Ops: The Line

A game that I love yet hate. Spec Ops is one of those games that everyone needs to play once. It is honestly the most surprising game of this year. Just think about the delays and look of the game before even thinking about the game itself. The opening doesn't even show how fucked up Spec Ops actually is. Its a game that makes you feel like a villain and doesn't wish to reward you for anything. The world of Spec Op is actively against you and you won't find any solace in Spec Ops. Its a game that tries so many strange things that it deserves to be celebrated. One of these innovations is changing dalogue through out the game. Nolan North's standard reload from the main character turns vulgar the farther on you go in the game. You also kill Americans in this game. Think about how many military games involve you killing American troops. Probably none right? There are other aspects of Spec Ops that deserve praise, but also realize that Spec ops is a terrible game besides its story. The gameplay is awful and even the graphics themselves aren't noteworthy. Still, you should play Spec Ops.

7: The Darkness 2

A game that is on here because I haven't played as many games as I would have liked. The asylum story segments are the main appeal. Too bad the ending is kind of bullshit. It is still a fun game to play for a while.

8: Botanicula

A charming PC adventure game that truly captures laughs and gleeful enjoyment. Go play it and have fun.

9: Max Payne 3

A disappointing game in several aspects. It still manages to be fun in some cases. Props to Rockstar for making Max Payne your own thing now.

10: Fez

I don't love Fez, but I appreciate what it does. I never got the appeal of this game so it won't last long on this list. I had my fun with it, but I didn't make my room like the room from Seven.

About Diablo 3...

I'd love to play it, but my shitty laptop probably wouldn't handle it. I'll play it eventually once I get my PC.

Posted by Phatmac

What are your top games of 2012 so far?

Posted by AjayRaz

neat list! always good to see Walking Dead getting some well-deserved praise. i haven't played many 2012 games so i don't really have a list, but Max Payne 3 is one of the best games i've played this year. one of the only ones, at that.

Posted by MooseyMcMan

I still need to play Asura's Wrath...I'd totally buy it for twenty bones, but it's never that cheap.

Moderator
Posted by Cloudenvy

I was totally planning on yelling at you for making all the wrong choices...But then you list Journey and Asura's Wrath.

God damn you, Phatmac.

Edited by Phatmac

@MooseyMcMan said:

I still need to play Asura's Wrath...I'd totally buy it for twenty bones, but it's never that cheap.

Yeah, it's the best rent every, but I wouldn't pay 60 bucks for it. Still, everyone must play it and see the magic.

Posted by Phatmac

@Cloudenvy said:

I was totally planning on yelling at you for making all the wrong choices...But then you list Journey and Asura's Wrath.

God damn you, Phatmac.

We may have more in common then you think! :D

Posted by BeachThunder

Hm, I think I might have to pick up Spec Ops at some point. I don't know if the gameplay is really my thing, but I'm hearing a lot of positive things about the game's story.

Also, my top 3 (not really that passionate about the rest of the games I've played this year):

Stacking would be #1 if we're counting PC releases that came out previously on console.

Online
Posted by Phatmac

@BeachThunder said:

Hm, I think I might have to pick up Spec Ops at some point. I don't know if the gameplay is really my thing, but I'm hearing a lot of positive things about the game's story.

Also, my top 3 (not really that passionate about the rest of the games I've played this year):

Stacking would be #1 if we're counting PC releases that came out previously on console.

You should if you can buy it for cheap, I do believe that people should check it out as it does some incredible things. It really feels like a game that didn't have any self-restraint and sometimes takes pride in your own despair. Solid list! I've been meaning to check out QC for a while now.

Posted by tallTuck94

I haven't played Asura's Wrath yet which sucks :/ But I agree with the games I have played.

Journey is great, The Walking Dead is amazing, and I highly enjoyed Binary Domain and Max Payne.

I really enjoyed Mass Effect 3 but I think It's because of how I tend to enjoy narratives which is through the strength of characters. When I think of it no game has attached me to characters like Mass Effect has (Maybe Persona 4?). If you look at the arc of characters Mass Effect 3 it's fantastic, look at the story progression and it's horrible. I'd never shed a tear at a game before Mordins death.

The Gameplay of Spec Ops isn't "awful" but it's definitely unoriginal and kind of bland, yet completely serviceable for the story, though that could be your definition of awful lol. The story is easily the most intresting of the year in my opinion, it asks the questions that need to be asked.

Good list dude, except for Fez, even with all it's depth it did nothing for me.

Edited by Phatmac

@tallTuck94 said:

I haven't played Asura's Wrath yet which sucks :/ But I agree with the games I have played.

Journey is great, The Walking Dead is amazing, and I highly enjoyed Binary Domain and Max Payne.

I really enjoyed Mass Effect 3 but I think It's because of how I tend to enjoy narratives which is through the strength of characters. When I think of it no game has attached me to characters like Mass Effect has (Maybe Persona 4?). If you look at the arc of characters Mass Effect 3 it's fantastic, look at the story progression and it's horrible. I'd never shed a tear at a game before Mordins death.

The Gameplay of Spec Ops isn't "awful" but it's definitely unoriginal and kind of bland, yet completely serviceable for the story, though that could be your definition of awful lol. The story is easily the most intresting of the year in my opinion, it asks the questions that need to be asked.

Good list dude, except for Fez, even with all it's depth it did nothing for me.

Yeah, ME3's characters are the main appeal for ME overall. Their arcs have evolved over the years, but it feels like their focus has been tying to appeal to everyone and not their main fanbase. I'm just sick of ME for a while now after the ending fiasco so I may be biased. I just hate that you can't roll in Spec Ops. The shooting is ok, I just feel that the character controls are dreadful to say the least. I still believe that people should play it regardless of its faults. Don't worry, I'll probably take out Fez soon enough with either Persona 4 Arena and Darksiders 2 coming soon. I hope people don't go crazy for Fez in GOTY discussions. I never got the appeal of it in the end. I still like in overall, but some people really love that game. I can see why, but I just don't feel the same way.

Posted by killacam

surprised to learn BD was made by the yakuza team. i never would've thought. might have to give it a try now.

Posted by Phatmac

@killacam: Go for it dude, you won't regret it!

Edited by NekuCTR

I liked Binary Domain up to the point where they stuck me with Faye, the worst character in the game, the unlikable rebel dude, and Cain, who frankly got old FAST! All I want is Big Bo, and Troy Baker. Everyone else can fuck off.

Posted by c_rakestraw

Journey's definitely the year's best so far. Though I suppose that isn't saying much given how few releases from this year I've played (Rhythm Heaven: Fever and Botanicula are the only others). Still, amazing game.

Posted by Phatmac

@NekuCTR said:

I liked binary Domain up to the point where they stuck me with Faye, the worst character in the game, the unlikable rebel dude, and Cain, who frankly got old FAST! All I want is Big Bo, and Troy Baker. Everyone else can fuck off.

Dude really? I didn't mind Faye(got the romantic ending with her) and fucking Cain rocks!! He's a French Robot for crying out loud!!

Posted by Phatmac

@C_Rakestraw said:

Journey's definitely the year's best so far. Though I suppose that isn't saying much given how few releases from this year I've played (Rhythm Heaven: Fever and Botanicula are the only others). Still, amazing game.

I'd probably put RH on here if I didn't sell my Wii before it came out. Oh well.

Posted by Jayzilla

say what you will about SW:ToR's replayability as far as end game goes, but the story lines for all of the classes are pretty great. Tons of hours of game play there. I really enjoyed my time in that game. Journey is awesome too.

Posted by Phatmac

@Jayzilla: Haven't played SWTOR so I can't say anything about it. I dislike MMO's so i probably won't ever play it. I'm still curious about the story that they attempted to put in a MMO, but not curious enough to pay for it. I'll probably check it out when it goes F2P. Glad other people think Journey is awesome!

Posted by NekuCTR

@Phatmac said:

@NekuCTR said:

I liked binary Domain up to the point where they stuck me with Faye, the worst character in the game, the unlikable rebel dude, and Cain, who frankly got old FAST! All I want is Big Bo, and Troy Baker. Everyone else can fuck off.

Dude really? I didn't mind Faye(got the romantic ending with her) and fucking Cain rocks!! He's a French Robot for crying out loud!!

Yes, his character was great, but the repeating dialog aspect hurt him more than anyone else, at least for me.

Posted by Ramone

I've only played 4 games form this year so

1. Journey

2. Walking Dead

3. Fez

4. Mass Effect 3

Posted by Animasta

I got a list! these are the only 8 I've played, but I wanted to make sure I remember what the fuck I actually played so I keep this updated

Binary Domain

Crusader Kings 2

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2

Final Fantasy 13-2

Cinders

Analogue: A Hate Story

Mass Effect 3

Katawa Shoujo

Posted by JEC03

Max Payne 3 for me easily played the demo of me3 didn't excite me like me2 spec ops gameplay didn't seem fun just boring and wasn't challenging no matter how good the story is the gameplay is what makes games fun for me. Max Payne 3 was the only challenging and fun game I played and really enjoyed this year and the sad thing is though it really wasn't even that difficult but by today's standards the bar is low because of all Regen health in games in the last 5 years ect.

Posted by Demoskinos

Binary Domain is on my list as well. Personally I really loved me some Dragon's Dogma too. Final Fantasy XIII-2 is probably still in my top spot. I know I'm most likely alone in that one though.

Posted by Phatmac

@Demoskinos said:

Binary Domain is on my list as well. Personally I really loved me some Dragon's Dogma too. Final Fantasy XIII-2 is probably still in my top spot. I know I'm most likely alone in that one though.

Thanks for reminding me about Dragon's Dogma! I should play that game at some point!

Posted by Phatmac

@Animasta said:

I got a list! these are the only 8 I've played, but I wanted to make sure I remember what the fuck I actually played so I keep this updated

Binary Domain

Crusader Kings 2

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2

Final Fantasy 13-2

Cinders

Analogue: A Hate Story

Mass Effect 3

Katawa Shoujo

I played Katawa Shoujo too, but I don't really think its a game. Am I wrong in thinking that?

Posted by Demoskinos

@Phatmac: Yeah, you should. Its sort of janky and broken in spots but its a game that really has some heart to it.

Posted by Deranged

Interesting list. I have to put a decent amount of time to put together my list, it's been a pretty beefy first half of the year.

Posted by Cloudenvy

@Phatmac: You really aren't, it's a visual novel without any sort of gameplay mechanic.

Edited by Animasta

@Phatmac: it's in the database so it's a game!

I mean analogue is even less a game than KS is but whatever

Posted by Phatmac

@mcderby4 said:

Interesting list. I have to put a decent amount of time to put together my list, it's been a pretty beefy first half of the year.

Be sure to post it on here so we can all see! Once again, congrats on your recent success!

Posted by Deranged

@Phatmac: Will do and thanks bro! Means a lot! :)

Posted by Phatmac

@Cloudenvy said:

@Phatmac: You really aren't, it's a visual novel without any sort of gameplay mechanic.

That's what I'm referring to. Still it is in the database as said.

Posted by MajorMitch

Nice list! I've played 7 of those 10 and really liked all 7. I think if I narrowed it down to 5 for me I'd go with:

1. Mass Effect 3

2. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy

3. Journey

4. Diablo 3

5. The Walking Dead

(6. Rhythm Heaven Fever :P)

Posted by Phatmac

@MajorMitch said:

Nice list! I've played 7 of those 10 and really liked all 7. I think if I narrowed it down to 5 for me I'd go with:

1. Mass Effect 3

2. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy

3. Journey

4. Diablo 3

5. The Walking Dead

(6. Rhythm Heaven Fever :P)

Good list!

Posted by FancySoapsMan

1. Rhythm Heaven Fever 
2. Devil Survivor 2  
3. Final Fantasy XIII-2 
4. Max Payne 3 
5. Silent Hill Downpour 
6. The Witcher 2

Posted by Chaser324

Looking back at the past seven months of games, I'm not sure I can find ten that I've played that really deserve to be on a list. My top five so far would probably be:

  1. Mass Effect 3 - In spite of not quite living up to its predecessor, I still thoroughly enjoyed marching through the stars with Shepherd and uniting the people against impending galactic armageddon. Improvements to RPG equipping/leveling and shooter mechanics were both a step up, and the multiplayer was far more enjoyable than I could've expected (ignoring the more nefarious "pay-to-win" elements).
  2. Max Payne 3 - You have to hand it to the Houser brothers, these guys know how to craft solid crime drama. Maybe they haven't quite made it into the pantheon alongside the Coens and Scorcese, but in comparison to most game writers, they might as well be. I'm not a huge fan of the gameplay or the difficulty spikes, but it didn't detract all that much from an overall great ride down Max's spiraling roller coaster of misery. Amazing soundtrack too.
  3. Diablo 3 - Well...this is certainly more Diablo, which it turns out is a very good thing. I'm not sure I'm thrilled about the MMO grindfest route that games of this sort are starting to focus on more and more, but it's hard to not be amazed by the level of polish Blizzard manages to consistently crank out. There's clearly a reason why their games are able to attract such a massive diehard audience.
  4. SSX - I'm certainly no Sean Coonce, but I do have a strong affinity for this franchise. The original served as a great intro to the PS2 and SSX 3 somehow managed to make me care about high scores again. The new SSX brings back the same silky smooth trick action that I enjoyed in those games along with some great social components. While I think the "survival" elements were largely unsuccessful and a nuisance, I do appreciate that they were willing to try something new.
  5. Fez - If anyone ever finds the notebook where I scrawled out my Fez notes, I'm pretty sure I'll end up committed to an institution. Any game capable of crafting an experience and a mythos that could compel today's lazy follow-the-breadcrumb-trail gamers into digging out archaic pen and paper to decipher its mysteries is certainly one worth taking note of. In an attempt to not sound too much like an indie game snob, I'm going to just end by saying that the soundtrack is great too.

Bonus: The Walking Dead - I feel that putting this on my list right now would be a bit premature considering there are still three episodes remaining, but I like what we've gotten so far out of this flavor of the Walking Dead universe. They've established a great tone/atmosphere and the moral choices are handled better than maybe anything else I've played.

Moderator
Posted by BeachThunder

@Chaser324 said:

Bonus: The Walking Dead - I feel that putting this on my list right now would be a bit premature considering there are still three episodes remaining, but I like what we've gotten so far out of this flavor of the Walking Dead universe. They've established a great tone/atmosphere and the moral choices are handled better than maybe anything else I've played.

Yep, same reason I didn't list it; I'm really enjoying it so far though (even though I still haven't gotten around to finishing Episode 2 >_>). Chances are that, once the game's been fully released, it will be on my end of year top ten.

Online
Edited by Phatmac

@BeachThunder said:

@Chaser324 said:

Bonus: The Walking Dead - I feel that putting this on my list right now would be a bit premature considering there are still three episodes remaining, but I like what we've gotten so far out of this flavor of the Walking Dead universe. They've established a great tone/atmosphere and the moral choices are handled better than maybe anything else I've played.

Yep, same reason I didn't list it; I'm really enjoying it so far though (even though I still haven't gotten around to finishing Episode 2 >_>). Chances are that, once the game's been fully released, it will be on my end of year top ten.

Yeah this list isn't final so I just put it there from what I've played so far.

Posted by Phatmac

@Chaser324 said:

Looking back at the past seven months of games, I'm not sure I can find ten that I've played that really deserve to be on a list. My top five so far would probably be:

  1. Mass Effect 3 - In spite of not quite living up to its predecessor, I still thoroughly enjoyed marching through the stars with Shepherd and uniting the people against impending galactic armageddon. Improvements to RPG equipping/leveling and shooter mechanics were both a step up, and the multiplayer was far more enjoyable than I could've expected (ignoring the more nefarious "pay-to-win" elements).
  2. Max Payne 3 - You have to hand it to the Houser brothers, these guys know how to craft solid crime drama. Maybe they haven't quite made it into the pantheon alongside the Coens and Scorcese, but in comparison to most game writers, they might as well be. I'm not a huge fan of the gameplay or the difficulty spikes, but it didn't detract all that much from an overall great ride down Max's spiraling roller coaster of misery. Amazing soundtrack too.
  3. Diablo 3 - Well...this is certainly more Diablo, which it turns out is a very good thing. I'm not sure I'm thrilled about the MMO grindfest route that games of this sort are starting to focus on more and more, but it's hard to not be amazed by the level of polish Blizzard manages to consistently crank out. There's clearly a reason why their games are able to attract such a massive diehard audience.
  4. SSX - I'm certainly no Sean Coonce, but I do have a strong affinity for this franchise. The original served as a great intro to the PS2 and SSX 3 somehow managed to make me care about high scores again. The new SSX brings back the same silky smooth trick action that I enjoyed in those games along with some great social components. While I think the "survival" elements were largely unsuccessful and a nuisance, I do appreciate that they were willing to try something new.
  5. Fez - If anyone ever finds the notebook where I scrawled out my Fez notes, I'm pretty sure I'll end up committed to an institution. Any game capable of crafting an experience and a mythos that could compel today's lazy follow-the-breadcrumb-trail gamers into digging out archaic pen and paper to decipher its mysteries is certainly one worth taking note of. In an attempt to not sound too much like an indie game snob, I'm going to just end by saying that the soundtrack is great too.

Bonus: The Walking Dead - I feel that putting this on my list right now would be a bit premature considering there are still three episodes remaining, but I like what we've gotten so far out of this flavor of the Walking Dead universe. They've established a great tone/atmosphere and the moral choices are handled better than maybe anything else I've played.

Glad to see other people putting more effort into their list! Good job.

Edited by SJSchmidt93

Spelunky

Diablo III (love/hate relationship)

FEZ

Trials Evolution

Pushmo (edit: turns out this 2011... whatever.)

Posted by Chaser324

@BeachThunder: Episode two ramps things up a lot from episode one. You need to play it.

Moderator
Posted by Skyfire543

I havn't played too may games that were released this year, but I really like Legends of Grimrock, Journey, SSX, and Max Payne 3.

Posted by Phatmac

@Chaser324 said:

@BeachThunder: Episode two ramps things up a lot from episode one. You need to play it.

Man, Episode 2 is fucked up.

Posted by Phatmac

@Skyfire543 said:

I havn't played too may games that were released this year, but I really like Legends of Grimrock, Journey, SSX, and Max Payne 3.

Guess I should try out SSX at some point, huh?

Posted by Skyfire543

@Phatmac said:

@Skyfire543 said:

I havn't played too may games that were released this year, but I really like Legends of Grimrock, Journey, SSX, and Max Payne 3.

Guess I should try out SSX at some point, huh?

The online is no where near as active as it was when it came out a few months ago but if you don't care about the AutoLog style of leader boards or competing with friends then it's still a fun experience.

Posted by asian_pride

I still need to play Journey. Played the demo and kept watching footage but never really understood it. I guess I might once I actually get into it, but yeah. If anybody out there has a PSN card they'd want to give away, I'd be delighted jk jk :P

Asura's Wrath is surprisingly fun, and it's the lone game I have on my 2012 best of list so far. Since the year started all I've been doing is playing catch up with games that didn't come out this year (Saints Row The Third, Dark Souls, etc.) I've yet to play Max Payne 3, Binary Domain, ME3, and Spec Ops The Line. I'm excited for Borderlands 2, Dishonored, and a few more. And even though fighting games aren't for me, I'm quite excited for P4 Arena as well. I just hope I get to play all these games before the worl--err...I mean, the year ends. :P

Great list, btw.

Posted by Phatmac

@asian_pride said:

I still need to play Journey. Played the demo and kept watching footage but never really understood it. I guess I might once I actually get into it, but yeah. If anybody out there has a PSN card they'd want to give away, I'd be delighted jk jk :P

Asura's Wrath is surprisingly fun, and it's the lone game I have on my 2012 best of list so far. Since the year started all I've been doing is playing catch up with games that didn't come out this year (Saints Row The Third, Dark Souls, etc.) I've yet to play Max Payne 3, Binary Domain, ME3, and Spec Ops The Line. I'm excited for Borderlands 2, Dishonored, and a few more. And even though fighting games aren't for me, I'm quite excited for P4 Arena as well. I just hope I get to play all these games before the worl--err...I mean, the year ends. :P

Great list, btw.

YOU HAVE TO PLAY JOURNEY! Like right now!! If you don't think that you'll like it stop thinking that! This is coming from a guy that usually hates arty games like Flower! You better play it eventually! It is so good! I'm also super excited for P4 Arena and will be playing it endlessly! Since the world is going to end that gives you more incentive to play Journey right!?! :P And thanks! :)

Posted by Nightriff

Good write up, waiting for Asuras wrath to drop a bit more in price then I'll pick it up. Also, if you HAVEN'T played Journey. Get on that. It is something special that everyone should experience if they can.

Posted by Hailinel

Asura's Wrath is on this list. This pleases me greatly. Easily one of my top games of the year so far, as well.

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