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Mikey Neumann's Top 10 Games of 2012

Gearbox Software's Chief Creative Champion lays out his top games of 2012, which, unlike his title, are not imaginary.

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Mikey Neumann is the Chief Creative "Champion" of Gearbox Software which is a fancy-talk way of saying he writes games, makes trailers, and forces dubstep onto the population at large. He has been at the company since 2001 and has worked on many titles including writing all of the Brothers in Arms series, the first Borderlands, and Aliens: Colonial Marines. He also writes comics books and novels which include a Borderlands comic and the first issue just hit shelves. If you want to check out his novels, go over to and start reading online or purchase anything to go for under a buck.

Onto my TOP 10! (Which are in this particular order.)

10. Diablo III

I don't know how this couldn't made it onto my list. We all love Diablo and we got a polished update worthy of the name. I played this for weeks and couldn't resist making a new character and a new build and jumping back into the fray.

9. Call of Duty: Black Ops II

I am terrible at multiplayer in Call of Duty; simply awful. There's nothing more demoralizing than getting epithets hurled at you in whatever homophobic or racially driven flavor preteens are into this week. But Treyarch's games have bots! I can fight bots and actually get kill streaks! That shit is fun.

8. You Have to Win the Game

An indie throwback to the real old-school: CGA graphics, or at least, complex 3D work disguised to look like CGA graphics! Kyle Pittman made this brutal, nostalgic beast and if you haven't checked it out, you should!

7. Worms Revolution

I love Worms. I've loved Worms since the first game. I'd stay up with my best friend and play that game all night. In this version, they finally made the switch to a 3D engine, while keeping the gameplay old school. This game got pretty overlooked, but you should check it out. It's legit.

6. Need for Speed: Most Wanted

Criterion is back, baby! It might be under a different name, and we won't get back to the sheer audacious joy of ramming 18-wheelers full of logs into oncoming traffic to score points like in Burnout 2, but I'll take what I can get.

5. Journey

What a great piece of interactive art. If you aren't stunned by the experience you have old spinach where your heart should be, like Ryan Davis.

4. Halo 4

Very little has not been said about this behemoth and 343's taking of the torch. So, uh, those little dudes that run around all goofy and are still great fun to bash in the head--I bet that they can't even sit in a chair, they're shaped like turnips. Little hobbling grenade turnips.

3. Sid Meier's Civilization V: Gods and Kings

Yes! Any excuse to get Civ V back on the list! I can never shut up about this game because it's the best, and tiny insult hurling children-people just don't have the stomach for uber-defensive turtle-Gandhi culture victory! The expansion added an amazing amount of depth to the experience so I'll be playing this for many more years to come.

2. The Walking Dead

How can you make a list and not mention this gut-wrenching adventure game that proved how amazing episodic gaming could be? Telltale really hit this one out of the park and assembled a great group of writers to pull it off.

1. XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Yeah, I put Firaxis on here twice, right at the top. I want their man-babies. It's the depth of this game that kept me coming back. What a perfect update to the PC classics. Name all your characters after you friends and feel like a terrible person when you get them killed with a bone-headed error in judgment.

(I didn't put Borderlands 2 on here because I think that would have been weird. But I love it and play it all the time--you should too!)