Kevin VanOrd has the best top 10 list, no over-hyped game in the list if you know what I mean.. But I would exchange Spec Ops with Max Payne in that list.
The GameSpot editors reveal their personal top 10 lists for 2012.
Jonathan Toyad, Associate Editor Follow
Greetings, and welcome to my list of the best games of 2012. As some in the Southeast Asia region may recall, I previously mentioned my top 3 games from this year on my GameSpot Asia Beat podcast. Obviously, I needed more time to collect my thoughts and figure out the remaining seven, so here we are.
In no particular order, here's a list of games that I either played to death, or that just left a lasting impression on me.
Yes, you can criticize its tacked-on multiplayer and sand-pouring mechanic, but you'd be missing the entire point of Spec Ops: The Line. What we have here is a shooter that isn't afraid to tell its story; one that demonizes war and explores the dark corners a man can head to. It's also a huge criticism of the many shooters out there that glorify and justify their subject matter. While games are usually praised for being fun, this one in particular should be praised for taking a bold step in storytelling, albeit a grim one.
Capcom generally answered my prayers and came up with the brilliant idea of combining bits of Dark Souls, Monster Hunter, and Devil May Cry into one gumbo of RPG bliss. You haven't lived until you've seen a wizard and a ranger hanging onto a cyclops for dear life while pounding its skull and arm to kingdom come. While a bunch of goblins are pelting them with arrows. And a giant drake comes in just as they are out of curatives.
Despite the controversies surrounding it, this fighting game has a place in my heart because it's not every day you can team up a Russian bodybuilder with a grizzly bear, or with a cocksure Korean Tae Kwan Do practitioner. Combining aspects of both Street Fighter (zoning, supers) and Tekken (chain combos, tagging) while splashing in some new elements like gems and cross assaults makes for a meaty fighting experience. I do hope that the 2013 patch gets everyone back to playing this, because I'm having a hell of a hard time finding people to play against.
Some may regard the majority of The Last Story's narrative and character tropes as clichéd, but I call them comfort food. The trials and tribulations of Zael and his motley crew are worth giving a damn about; they shine thanks to their well-defined personalities and rich back stories. I'd even go so far as to say that Syrenne and Lowell's relationship was handled in a more mature and wholesome fashion than most TV shows or movies could hope to achieve. Beyond that, the Gears of War-inspired real-time combat is fresh and addictive, and the 20-hour duration is reminiscent of a time where RPGs did not need to have 70+ hours of padding.
This 3DS title can take the "so good it hurts" award, as I had to take breaks after every two or three missions due to the questionable control scheme for the ground segments. Nonetheless, its fourth-wall-breaking humor, epic soundtrack and frenetic action combine to create a thrilling ride that made me persevere to see it through to its climax.
As a purveyor of fine music, I should not forget about Nintendo's recent entry in the Rhythm Heaven series. Instead of opting for gimmicks like the DS Rhythm Heaven title, the Wii sequel went back to basics with its control scheme. Personally, I'm all for it as long as the wacky scenarios and situations are still intact. The developers upped the ante this time, making catchy tunes out of such riveting situations as a board meeting with pigs, a dance by elongated tap dancers, and an interview with a wrestler that made waves across YouTube.
You might not have believed a stealth game in 2D could work. Klei Entertainment made it possible while also making sure a ninja in a 2D space does what a ninja is supposed to do: sneak and assassinate, not blow stuff up in glorious fashion or go toe-to-toe with Godzilla. In addition to having a good story, the game does a great job of implementing noise and the cover of darkness as things you need to be mindful of. And like any proper ninja, you always look stylish and skillful doing the things that ninjas do.
3. Gravity Rush
I've always been a staunch supporter of new IPs, and Gravity Rush is a game that's important in this day and age. It weaves in huge influences from French comics while also being its own beast thanks to its gravity-shifting mechanic. The game makes simply exploring the corners of its world so much fun as you freefall and float around in style while also kicking bad guys' faces with full-fledged gravity kicks. With its lovable protagonist and lovely score, this game is a huge justification for owning a PS Vita.
I cannot imagine the ungodly number of hours I've poured into this game's multiplayer, re-killing bosses and re-doing stages, either with friends or with random strangers who usually aren't ninja looters of all things purple or orange. It's got great writing, memorable characters, and a main villain who I can safely declare to be the Kefka of 2012, so don't act too shocked if I'm still playing this game and raving about it after the year ends.
Honestly, before this year, the only game that had tugged on my heartstrings was Okami, and that was back in 2006. After seeing Telltale Games' The Walking Dead through to the end, I was in a world of depression. I'm impressed with how the devs presented the story for this game in an adult fashion while generating tension in timed moments of high-stakes decision-making. Between this, Journey and Spec Ops, I feel that story-heavy games are important in the grand scheme of things to elevate this medium we cherish so much.>
@666NightsInHell It accepts box 360, PS3, and third party controllers just fine. The game was build ground up for the controls to work with a controller and there isn't a good transition to mouse and keyboard.
Either I'm continuing to drift away from enjoying video games or nothing fun or interesting came out this year. Either way, I'm saddened by it.
This comment has been deleted
@Suikogaiden Games can still be great or memorable yet have flaws to them. Also Chris is the one that reviewed the game and it isn't on his top 10 list.
Look for the podcasts Gamespot Gameplay, they talk often on there about Spec ops and what makes it good. Very good show that gives you insight to the staffs true thoughts and opinions about games.
Don't look at one review and take the number for granted. Compare it to similar games so you get an idea of how much it will appeal to you, then watch a number of reviews/impression videos on youtube. This game obviously appealed more to the person who wrote the article than gamespot's reviewer.
I?m definitely feeling this taking Q3 2013 by storm http://goo.gl/yNmuP
[i]It's also a huge criticism of the many shooters out there that glorify and justify their subject matter.[/i]
its the line of the year ...
1. Deus Ex Human Revolution, like every year since release
3.Max Payne 3
4. Planetside 2
kevin and carolyn sure are my fav reviewers , both of you should review bioshock infinte when released
If anyone ever has a problem with GS review scores, just check out these lists: Some editors don't know how to count to 10.....
Mass effect 3, Dishonored, The walking dead, Amalur, FTL, Xcom, Hotline miami and Guild Wars 2 are my games of the year.
1- The Witcher AOK EE
2 - Max Payne 3
3 - Hotline Miami
4 - Mass Effect 3
5 - Far Cry 3...and what else honestly...
1-Far Cry 32-assassin's creed 33-mass effect 34-saints row the third5-kingdom of amalur reckoning6- Max Payne 37-Sleeping Dogs8-Darksiders II9-Dishonored10- Hitman Absolution
Good ol' Chris Watters! If it hadn't been for him, I would have made a HUGE mistake and passed on Dishonored.
Thanks for that list Danny. As is so often the case I find myself agreeing with you yet again. Max Payne 3 is a real gem of 2012 as is F1 2012. I'll get round to Journey & FTL eventually...
Every blessing for the new year!!
oh Tom Mc Shea like anyone cares what u have to say or like. u are by far the worsr reviewer on game spot. with a new year coming soon i hope u loose your job so u can stop being paid for your bad reviews. i hope all the bad things in life happen to you and only you. pos
@jcwainc Baseless accusations and attacks don't go very far, you should take them elsewhere.
There are many people, myself included, that respect and enjoy what Tom has to say.
@Toysoldier34 its not baseless attacks. look at his reviews then look at the people telling him off. if u like him thats fine but in my and a lot and i mean a lot of people he is the worse reviewer here on game spot. his shinning moment is his the Simpsons review. please understand reviews really dont mean nothing to me cause i'll buy a game cause it looks good to me. but people look at reviews in a means to buy a game. its sad but true (thus why metacritic is a good and bad thing). well i could go on and on but why the kool aid drinking people will believe what they want to. while others will see with eyes open
@jcwainc There is no need to hide behind your keyboard and say things like you have about him that you would never say to a person. It only reflects poorly on yourself.
@jcwainc Boo hoo McShea writes OPINIONS I dont like, boo hoo I am too childish to look for second opinions, boo hoo there was something else my whiny ass wanted to say but the rock between my ears cant hold water.
Happy new year mate, hope everything goes swell for you too this year.
@jcwainc Regardless of how you feel about the work someone else produces, to me, those who wish bad things on others, especially to the severity that you just have, are the worst kinds of people in this world. Nothing he has done is so evil that he deserves to suffer for it, so you seriously need to wake up and smell the roses and stop being so selfish and immature.
@jcwainc Dude, he's just a piss poor reviewer. No need to get personal.
Aaron Sampson had the best description for ME3 being his 2nd choice (besides the fact that he chose Control) lol
Lot's of good games missing: Xenoblade Chronicles, Kingdom Hearts DDD, AC3, Kid Icarus Uprising, The Last Story
@Kenshin0011 We recognized Xenoblade Chronicles in our 2011 awards. Both The Last Story and Kid Icarus Uprising actually do appear on one of these lists!
@carolynmichelle @Kenshin0011 No disrespect but why are there soooo many arcade games up there? I mean come on, people don't even take half the time REAL developers do to make there games. Where is Dishonored, Borderlands 2, AC 3, and so many other GOOD games that people had sweat and blood in to it. I'm just saying that ARCADE games need to be separate from RETAIL games. And by the way, you are one of my favorite reviewers on this website :D.
Hotline Miami is a great example of a game that doesn't have a massive budget and marketing campaign or is even that long. While it may be short it uses every moment to the fullest and is one of the best games of the year.
It is funny that you mention people putting blood and sweat into projects when indie games are often the ones fueled by entirely that. While they may be solid games stuff like Assassin's Creed 3 is being pumped out year after year for money, not because of the passion of its creators and all the blood and sweat they put into making it.
You should look up Indie Game the Movie, watch it and see if you feel the same way. That even smaller arcade games don't have countless hours and sleepless nights poured into their creation.
@Livefantasy7"I mean come on, people don't even take half the time REAL developers do to make there games."
how are they not real developers. If any, they are the real ones. And remember, these lists are "personal perspectives"
I think it's unfair to assume arcade game developers aren't putting in the same time and effort as the teams making retail games. If anything, because of the escalating cost and time required to make successful retail games, we're already seeing far fewer games made each year. If all the development efforts were going into making the next Uncharted, Mario or Halo to put on a disc, we'd probably never have experienced amazing games like Journey, The Walking Dead, Minecraft or Hotline Miami.