While the whole editorial staff contributed to our 2012 awards, we wanted to allow everybody the opprotunity to publicly name their personal top 10 games of the year. While many did play the majority of releases in 2012, please remember that unlike our main awards, the editors are not naming the *best* games, but their personal favorites out of the selection they played.
10. Quantum Conundrum
(Multi-Platform, Airtight Games)
A year after the release of Portal 2 came this puzzle-centric gem. I thought there had to be at least one lesser-known game that deserved a spot with the big dogs — and Quantum Conundrum is that game. It was developed by Airtight Games and published by Square Enix. Instead of solving a little table puzzle or trying to warp through walls for some cake, players have to adjust an entire room to reach an exit. Manipulating objects can occur in a few ways and each one creates different effects. Quantum Conundrum is a unique experience that will keep fans of all levels completely entertained.
9. Halo 4
(Xbox 360, 343 Industries)
Beware: sequels ahead. Halo 4 was the highest-grossing installment of the series for a reason: with cinematic quality storytelling, it hit fans where it hurts. A mix of combat with sensitive scenes keep the game moving and players can relate more to this story than ever before. It will be immensely difficult to top Halo 4 in the future, but at least we’ll be keeping busy with the amount of replay content.
8. Far Cry 3
I was not too much a fan of Far Cry 2 (I know, I know). As it was mostly due to the aesthetics, this sequel changed everything. There is so much beauty in the landscapes to keep me entertained. Upgraded gadgets are fun to fiddle with and details in some of the simplest tasks are just outstanding. The open-world is full of wildlife, caves and structures — all of which full of danger. Enemies aren’t too smart, but their leader Vaas is a madman — and a well-developed character with extremely detailed personalities. Making him bad makes it oh so good.
7. Sleeping Dogs
(Multi-Platform, United Front Games)
This game was by no means a sleeper. The mix of brutal action, parkour movements and slowed shooting scenes made Sleeping Dogs quite the success. I enjoyed just how many different ways there were for Wei Shen to dispose of criminals in an environment that holds many secrets. If you don’t feel like going on a mission, taking a stroll around Hong Kong is full of game’s worth of entertainment. I just hope there’s a sequel in the future.
6. Borderlands 2
(Multi-Platform, Gearbox Software)
Since I am such a fan of the first game, it’s only natural to enjoy the next. There is “more” of a lot of things in Borderlands 2: more guns, more violence and more badassery. The steadier storyline is a big plus — going after Handsome Jack instead of killing Skags keeps the game in line. I love wandering around looking for loot, but sticking to the main plot gives players satisfaction knowing Handsome Jack is going down. Even after beating the game, it’s fun trying to complete every challenge and achievement.
5. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
(Multi-Platform, Firaxis Games)
I’ve chosen this game for its unique combination of strategy and action. It’s like playing a board game without the “bored” factor. XCOM takes elements from RPGs, turn-based strategy games and shooters to form a well-balanced revamping of its predecessors. Choosing which soldiers to bring and stats to boost can be a gamble. Since the enemies are unknown, there’s no telling what you’ll encounter out there. XCOM does have a few kinks that could have been worked out, but overall it is fun to play and easy to learn and rewardingly hard to master.
4. The Walking Dead
(Multi-Platform, Telltale Games)
As a fan of the television series I had to check out Telltale’s take on the series. This game is an emotional rollercoaster if I’ve ever seen one. Every time I become emotionally invested in a character, something bad always happens. Despite that, the game’s style and choices had me hooked. I enjoyed each release that kept getting better with every episode. It really gave the game that suspenseful feeling, much like the show. Zombies have made quite the resurgence in recent times but nothing tops the popularity of The Walking Dead in all its forms.
(PlayStation 3, Thatgamecompany)
Journey brought the beauty of video games to a wider audience. It’s easy to get lost in the detailed landscapes or become hypnotized by its magical gameplay. Journey recaptures the spirit of great adventure games from the past. With no dialogue, the only sounds you hear are music and the surroundings, allowing players to fully immerse themselves in this experience. The experience is incredible no matter how many times it’s played, because it’s not the destination that matters, it’s the journey
2. Pokémon Black and White 2
(Nintendo DS, Game Freak)
You can’t ask Jake to decide on top games without including Pokémon. I’m even playing it as I type this. Pokémon have been around for quite some time and a sequel is just what the series needed. Black and White 2 includes new locations, a revamped storyline and the inclusion of some older Pokémon. Because this game takes place a couple years after the first installment, it has given some characters and cities a chance to develop. Every Pokémon game is going to be fun; I’ve been playing for hundreds of hours over the years, but not many are as addictive as this.
(Multi-Platform, Arkane Studios)
A hybrid of various games, Dishonored stands on its own. The mixture of stealth, supernatural abilities and a steampunk future create a unique departure from the genre. With each decision made affecting the outcome of the story, the ending is kept mysterious which makes it all the more appealing. Do things your own way whether that means sneaking around the shadows or wreaking havoc in the open. Dishonored has taken top honors (last pun, I promise) in my book. With DLC coming, it will likely provide more excitement than games debuting in 2013.