The most unique gaming/media experience I had in years.
- fascinating art style
- a fitting, subtle soundtrack
- minimalistic, yet refreshing gameplay
- and last but not least; multiplayer mode in a way you've probably never seen before. Your communication is reduced to a bare minimum and you don't even know the stranger at your side. But the two of you have one goal; this journey. And that goal creates quite a strong bond.
3. Xenoblade Chronicles
The time eater of the year.
Xenoblade Chronicles main story is already really really long (like, 50 hours?). Add tons and tons of sidequests and you can easily end up spending 100+ hours playing this. To be honest; the sheer amount of stuff you can do may overwhelm you.
Is this the savior for the J-RPG? Maybe yes, maybe no.
Is it the best RPG I've played in years (since Persona 3: FES)? Oh yes. Combining elements from both the western and the J-RPG into a great package with an exceptional (yet sometimes totally ridiculous) world / story and engaging gameplay, this game succeeds where most of it's competitors fall short.
4. Torchlight II
I love Diablo 2 (yes, 2 as in two, t-w-o, not 3). This is like a modern version of Diablo 2, although with a weaker story. Still superentertaining and my favourite "real" (not counting Journey) multiplayer game of 2012.
5. BlazBlue Continuum Shift Extend
Almost forgot this came out this year :P Not much to say here. I loved Guilty Gear, its over-the-top-style, music and the fighting system. BB:CSE is the spiritual successor. I immediatly felt familiar with the characters and the moves.
Also; this is the only fighting game where I spent tons of hours to complete the story mode with every character available. The story is kinda...weird. But it's still totally worth it, at least for the joke endings. ^^
6. The Walking Dead
If it wasn't for Journey, this would've been my most emotional gaming experience of 2012. The less you know before you start playing this game, the better. Just be prepared for an emotional rollercoaster. You won't just press a button to choose an option, you will feel like making a real, important decision.
7. I Am Alive
9. Tokyo Jungle
Ever felt like playig a pomeranian fighting for survival in post-apocalyptic Tokyo?
Sounds weird? Hell yeah!
But don't be scared by the premise or the outdated graphics; this is actually a great game.
10. Persona 4 Arena
Could've have been way higher on my list. But I didn't get to spend a lot of time with P4: Arena. I enjoyed the few hours, but I'm also a great fan of Persona 3 (not 4, still have to play that one...) and Guilty Gear / BlazBlue.
(Hint: Living in europe sometimes sucks. And yes, the game won't be released over here till 2013. In general, this isn't a problem. But thanks to the one and only regional lock, I can't just play the US version).