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GOTY 2012

If you would have come up to me on January 1st of the 20-doz and told me at the end of this year Borderlands 2 would be nowhere on my Top 10 games of the year I would have called you a fool. WIth that being said this year was full of surprises for me. I thought Spec Ops would be interesting but wouldn't live up to it's potential, I thought there was less than a 1% chance of me ever playing another game with zombies in it and I thought Forza Horizon was going to be a pile of hot garbage but I was so very wrong.

Being a Game of the Year list, it should go without saying that there will be some spoilers (The Walking Dead) and controversial opinions (Mass Effect 3) on this page. You have been warned.

Honorable Mentions:

Far Cry 3 This game could have been so great. Unfortunately it has one of the worst stories I've experienced in a long while that isn't done any services by the disgusting character's you are trying to save.

Sine Mora Haven't played enough to make a real judgement call, but I like it so far. I'm not sure it could have knocked anything of this list though.

Hotline Miami Second best soundtrack of the year.

VF5 Final Showdown It's just a great fighting game that almost anyone can enjoy no matter their fighting game skills.

Punch Quest Just a fun time waster that deserves a little credit.

List items

  • I don't really know what I can say about this game that hasn't already been said. Everyone should play this game! No other game I have played has had such a profound effect on every other game I play after it as The Walking Dead. Because of all the terrible things that happen to characters in this game, I now look at characters in most games completely differently. No other game has done such a great job of truly humanizing characters as this one. The moment I knew this game would be at the top was the moment Lilly shot Carley. At some point in the heat of the moment I hit the wrong dialog option which was immediately followed by the gunshot. I was so shocked and outraged I pulled the power cord out of my PC because I was certain the button I had hit incorrectly had caused this and at the moment saving a character in a game(!) was more important than the PC I was playing the game on. No other game has even come close to resonating with me in that way. And then when Ben admitted Carley's death was his fault I was looking for any opportunity to have my revenge and gladly dropped him down the bell tower. I guess that makes me a bad person.

  • Apparently modern military shooters can have a good story. Who knew? The places that the developers of this game were willing to go to are a bit astounding. Apparently everyone already knew about the white phosphorus scene but I didn't and had to turn the game off for the night after it happened. While the choices may not be as profound as those in The Walking Dead, this is another game with incredible characters that only get more interesting the deeper you get into the story. The ending was already crazy but it does not even compare to some of the bombs that were dropped on the Gamespot Gameplay Spoilercast for this game.

  • Sometime around October of last year something weird happened to me. Up to that point I had a normal perspective on cars on racing games. I would play a Need for Speed or Forza every couple of years and could appreciate the beauty and engineering of an Italian supercar but I was never crazy about cars. Then a switch flipped. I watched every episode of Top Gear (the real one) and bought a 360 just to play Forza 4. After putting an obscene amount of time into Forza 4 I was just as sure as everyone else that Forza Horizon was going to be incredibly disappointing. I was so wrong! It may not be as crazy as 4 even with all the assists turned off, but it is completely crazy in a different and equally fun way. Horizon is basically all the best aspects of my favorite driving games combined into one incredible package.

  • You already probably know everything you need to know about this game after the gluttony of video coverage it's had on this site. Yes it's another open world crime game. Yes it's another game set in Hong Kong. Yes it's another game where you must infiltrate a crime syndicate.... FROM THE INSIDE! But all of this comes together in way that just worked for me. This game is my GTA IV.

  • This game is an absolute motherfucker! It is the roguelike that I always wanted without knowing that I wanted it. It's a very simple idea wrapped up in a game that not that complex in the grand scheme of things but still an absolute blast to play and you always feel like you accomplished something no matter how short your journey was.

  • Oh yes, Mass Effect 3. The first thing I should say is that the Mass Effect games have always been about the journey and the characters. While some of the missions aren't that great the experiences you have with some of the characters are unrivaled in this industry. Just hanging out with Garrus on The Citadel shooting bottles was one of the best things to happen in a game this year. Now for the ending, oh yes, the ending. Apparently I'm one of the very few people who thought the ending was fine towards the beginning of this year. It's wasn't perfect by any means but for me the things that got you to that point far outweigh the last hour of this game. All the recent talk about Levia-thon has made me a little bit more upset about the ending than I originally was, but it's nowhere near the astrocity message boards made it out to be.

  • Botanicula is just so damn delightful. You would have to have a heart of pure to stone to hate a game with as much personality as this one. The creatures in the world are fantastic and the story is great despite it's simplicity. You might not do that much gameplay wise since it is just a simple adventure game, but this is game that doesn't much more than that to be fun.

  • Think of the craziest anime you have ever seen. Got it? Okay now if that particular show/movie was a jalapeno pepper, then Asura's Wrath is the ghost pepper of the anime world. It's not much of a game since the majority of it is a quick time event and they did rip out and sell the ending by itself, but Asura is just too damn angry in a game that is too crazy to not be on my list.

  • It's more trials, but that's enough for me. It's such a profoundly simple complex, but it has been basically perfected in this iteration. The tracks as still as creative as they are hard, and that's all I really wanted.

  • I wanted to have a game on here specifically for it's music. That spot was originally going to be for Hotline Miami since that soundtrack is amazing but I didn't really enjoy playing it. Then I found Super Hexagon. Not only is the music better than the music in Hotline Miami, which is saying quite a bit, it is also a lot fun to play.