While the level of effort I can summon to playing games seems to dwindle over time, I still got to enjoy some good games (of which I only finished one) in 2012. I apologize if my gaming pedigree seems shallow by me listing demos (oh no, I might actually be a casual gamer) but I'm afraid some of these games might be forgotten in GOTY deliberations due to all the fall release hype.
Remedy is one of few game developers (Rockstar, Obsidian) who can create a believable charicature universe supported by licensed music and great character design. While the plot was pretty mediocre I can forgive Remedy when the combat is as good as third person shooter gets.
If you thought that the Witcher 2 voice acting was asBritish as you could get (in the accent all none brits think every brit speaks) then wait till you hear the scurvy pirates of Risen 2. An action/adventure game coupled with RPG elements where your actions actually affect your gameplay experience and money isn't something you pour out of your ass makes Risen 2 a satisfying experience (*the combat might urk you) and it's not an ugly experience on the PC.
Most simulation titles are just game engines with some strapped on content to hold you over until modders take over. While rFactor 2 certainly qualifies in that category it also has some of the most atmospheric stock content in the most accurate implementation to date of the insane Formula Grand Prix racing of the 60's. Recommended with a racing wheel and sane multiplayer opponents as well as an infinite amount of patience, midichlorians and time.
You can probably put this under the demos that I "enjoyed" (even though I'm ashamed to admit it). This is as close as you can get to european "Traffic Simulator" 2012 and still has impressive graphics and a career system that is quite impressive for the genre. Honk HONK!