1. Dragon's Dogma
The perfect Fusion between RPG mechanics, fantasy setting, open world and action adventure combat. No more will shoddy Quick Time Events be acceptable boss encounters. Dragon's Dogma revives the creature/boss fight back to what it should be, fluid dynamic encounters with tons of variability.
The Pawn system is an engaging way to be involved in other player's games without annoying them and the ease of role switching and pawn recruiting makes maximizing the battle system a blast and fresh throughout the game.
The level of interactivity with the environment is high and there are several crafting subsystems to be discovered and explored to help the travel feel like an expedition.
Universally considered its' weak point, Dragon's Dogma's open ended understated story becomes the mind-blowing one of the decade upon its' conclusion. The ending is only so impactful since the story is more implied/ experience by the player than told to the player.
But its the mix of all these elements that make Dragon's Dogma the ultimate Fantasy adventure and so fun to play.
I've been waiting for a game like this seemingly my whole life.
2. The Walking Dead
Finally, finally a game that makes you feel like part of the actual story. While the quality of the plot and player agency are topics of hot debate among gamers, there is no zero question this is a landmark game in taking NPC interaction to a level it's never been before. Never have characters felt so dynamic and responsive to player actions before. You will have to think about how you treat NPCs with a level of care not present in any other game, and what happens to them will affect you.
The impact of the Walking Dead on the gaming industry will be felt for years.
3. Chivalry: Medieval Warfare
Perhaps what will ultimately be the most influential game this year.
Those make believe renaissance faire pitched battles are finally becoming video game reality and I can't be more excited to see it happen.
4. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Brings back Grey Aliens and Strategy games. That's a feat right there. But the key is bringing Valkyria Chronicles like speed, accessibility and modernization to a genre that could use it. XCOM is a blueprint for future strategy games.
Game breaking glitches are all that's holding this back from a top spot contender.
A rare achievement is that game can be fun, feature no real violence and encourage the best kind of co-operative human behavior.
Griefing is almost unheard of in Journey, that alone is a miracle.
6. Sleeping Dogs
Batman brawling + rarely seen and beautifully realized Hong Kong setting = Open World Gaming Gold.
7. Borderlands 2
Does nothing new but executes everything just right with a dash or irreverent topical humor.
No game gets co-op better.
Perhaps the most "fun" game, which is what it's all about.
This is what the Indie game craze is about, Nothi ng like playing a mind breaking platformer. The Revelation is 90% of the fun.
9. Persona 4 Arena
good Story telling in a compelling fighting game? Impossible
until this game.
10. Far Cry 3
open ended beauty, one kick ass character and crafting system outweigh super shallow stereotypes and story.