To all who might actually read this:
I have to say, ordering this list was difficult. I struggled to really think of ten games that deserved such grand recognition, and really, this list is more like a top six (or eight, tops), with some honorable mentions thrown in for good measure. Maybe it was because I was catching up with older games this year too (You should really play Saints Row 3). This was also a list that made me reevaluate the way I look at games, and my ranking of them. There were games I thought didn't deserve to be on here because of their form, or maybe didn't deserve the spot I ultimately gave them. But really looking at my reaction to the game, the enjoyment I got from them in the long run, shaped the list. I'm a traditional guy: I like third person, single player, story driven games. But I've bent over a little bit this year, and the list reflects it. Maybe the ordering isn't 100% correct, but the remnants of my old gaming habits are slowly fading.
2012 was both the year of the surprise and the year of the bummer. At the beginning of the year, I only expected two of the games on here to be in my tops (and much higher). Every other game was unexpected, and maybe that's why I enjoyed them more.
And just as a disclaimer, here are the games I want to play in the near future but never got to this year, mostly because a lot of these were shaped by the GOTY discussions. I already own most of these games, and the others I'll at least own in the future, even if I never play them.
Dear Esther, Binary Domain, Xenoblade: Chronicles, Fez, Quantum Conundrum (own it, not expecting much though), The Last Story, Papo y Yo, Dust: An Elysian Tail, Mark of the Ninja, The Unfinished Swan, Far Cry 3, Sleepy Dawgz, XCOM: Enemy Unknown
And these are some games that look interesting, and I may check out some time in the future. I mostly didn't include them in the list because they're part of a series I haven't played the past games in, but maybe will one day? Or they were hyped up so much during GOTY that my inherent disinterest was somewhat swayed, but not completely (as say with Dust). Or they just looked kinda cool. These games I may buy and then may play.
The Darkness II, Syndicate, Sine Mora, Max Payne 3, Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward, New Super Mario Bros ( U and 2...shit), Paper Mario: Sticker Star, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, Hotline Miami, Halo 4