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.
Danny O'Dwyer, Video Journalist Follow
In a year where I struggled to want to complete games, I finished off Hotline Miami twice in a single evening. Sometimes a game just clicks and you find it impossible to put it down. In many ways it reminds me of Super Meat Boy. It's unique and challenging, the controls are responsive, and the game rewards determination. To top it all off, it looks and sounds absolutely fantastic. The levels sway and pulsate in response to your character's actions in a really satisfying way, and the soundtrack alone is worth the price of admission. Hotline Miami an intoxicating experience, and one I've returned to several times since its release. So if a crazed murderer burst into my house and put a gun to my head, I'd have to say Hotline Miami is my favourite game of 2012.
I adore first person shooters but 2012 was the year that broke me--I just can't be bothered to invest time into Call of Duty or Halo anymore. I find them boring, repetitive and uninspired. To me, even the lauded Dishonored felt like a well executed, but ultimately old, idea. So what a wonderful surprise Far Cry 3 was. A solid shooter, with gameplay variety, dynamic environments, an unpredictable storyline, interesting characters and emergent gameplay coming out of its ears. It's an open world game with an emphasis on shooting over role playing, one where you change as a player alongside your vocal protagonist. It's a game where you can set tigers on fire, take psychotropic drugs and squirrel dive off of mountains. If that doesn't get you excited about the future of first person shooters, I don't know what will. Master Chief can't even jump properly.
The third F1 game from Codemasters Racing is the best F1 game I've ever played--Crammond included. I'm not a petrol head by any stretch of the imagination, but I love the sport and F1 2012 enables me to extend that passion past race weekends. This year's edition made critical improvements to the artificial intelligence and driving model and is a much better game for it. Some sections of the sport's fans may cry foul about various less-than-realistic elements, but if you take F1 2012 on its own merits, it's a truly great game. It's an experience that delivers satisfying competition and all the highs and lows associated with it, and a game worthy of the best F1 season in recent memory.
Waking Mars is a game about planting alien flora in caves beneath the surface of Mars. I don't like gardening, I don't even have a garden, and I don't usually stay up until four in the morning to finish this type of game. But Waking Mars' atmosphere and addictive gameplay encouraged me to complete it in a single seven-hour sitting. You play as a scientist who must use the environmental effects of plants to unlock and explore deeper caverns which hold secrets of Mars' past. The environments are believable and striking, while the story and constantly evolving gameplay keep you intrigued throughout. I played it on iPad myself but it's since been released for PC with updated voice acting and HD graphics. Just make sure you don't have work the next morning.
Max Payne 3
Brevity is something I've come to appreciate this year. Though Max Payne 3 isn't short, it was one of the few third-person games that managed to hold my attention until the end. The shooting is brutal and satisfying, Max's monologues are clever as hell and the cinematic dressings are enjoyable throughout. Most impressively, the story helped tie this chapter by a different developer into the existing narrative in a way that didn't make it feel like a reboot. In fact, it felt like the final chapter of a trilogy. Suicide missions pop up in games pretty frequently, but there's little doubt the protagonist will somehow make it out in the end. In Max Payne 3 you really feel like you're watching the last act of a dead man walking. Perhaps the biggest compliment I can pay the game is that not only is in one of my favourites of 2012, but it's also my favourite Max Payne game. Rockstar Vancouver may have died, but at least they went out in a blaze of glory.
Permadeath is such a great mechanic. It forces you to obsess over every tiny decision like it's the difference between life and death. Meanwhile, short games encourage you to experiment. Faster Than Light gives you a spaceship and a goal, and dumps you into an unforgiving universe. What happens from there is up to you and the God of dice-rolls, but every short adventure is memorable. Even with a full crew and a well-armed ship, a single bad decision can lead to catastrophe - and usually a hilarious story to tell your friends. FTL was among the first Kickstarter success stories. If crowdfunding produces more games like it, we're in for a treat.
Journey is a really pretty game, which is just as well because its graphics are just about the only part of the game you can talk about without sounding like a pompous drama student. The rolling sands, melting sun, and pure white glaciers are a joy to behold. As it happens, I was in Dubai the week after I played it, and despite being surrounded by the real stuff, it was the digital sand of Journey that plagued my mind. I couldn't stop thinking about it. The day I returned home I recorded a bunch of gameplay and edited a short music video about how it made me feel. A game with no words has to work very hard to reach you on that sort of level. It's also really pretty.
Best Game of 2012 that isn't from 2012: Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty
Yeah, I know it came out in 2010, but it would be criminal not to mention my love of Starcraft II this year. A group of us in the UK office decided to try it out so we could better understand pro gaming and the video coverage surrounding it. Two months later we were still spending our lunch breaks trading blows and discussing tactics. I now frequently tune into Live On Three and spend weekends flicking through random matches on Twitch. I probably enjoyed it that bit more because I didn't have much experience with real-time strategy going into it. Perhaps my disillusionment with the first-person genre contributed in some way. In any case, I look forward to playing even more next year when Heart of the Swarm finally comes out. Perhaps it'll make it into my top ten of 2013.
Honourable Mentions: XCOM: Enemy Unknown and The Walking Dead
Two games I played this year would probably get into my top ten if it wasn't for crippling technical issues that halted my progress. As a fan of the original games, XCOM was among my most anticipated games of the year, and I played it immediately on release. But an interface bug that trapped me in the menus after every mission put a stop to my game about a quarter of the way through. The other is The Walking Dead, the first chapter of which I've completed twice only to have chapter two load with no graphics. Both are games I adored right up until the point at which I couldn't play them anymore. So XCOM and The Walking Dead are my final two entries: My favourite games of the year that I never completed. Something to look forward to finishing next year.
@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.
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@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.