The top 10 Video Games of 2012

Tuesday, 18 December 2012 01:49 AM Written by 

The year 2012 is nearly in the books, and with it came a year’s worth of must-play games. Blockbuster titles like “Halo 4” and “Call of Duty: Black Ops 2” sold millions of copies and broke records. Meanwhile, independent games like “Journey,” “Fez,” and “FTL” showed the gaming public that big name publishers aren’t essential in making greatness in the medium. Nintendo released a successor to the Wii in the Wii U, while Sony struggled to establish their Playstation Vita handheld. More importantly, developers released top-notch games that further cemented video games as a bona fide art form.

The captivating role playing games, adrenaline pumping racers, the action-packed first-person shooters, and even the addictive mobile games made it difficult to narrow it down to just ten titles. These are the ten best games of 2012.



10. Spec Ops: The Line

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

Rated: M for Mature

Developer: Yager Development

Publisher: 2K Games

This is a military shooter that breaks the monotonous mold of the standard military shooter. “Spec Ops: The Line” is a shooter with a brain, which is ironic since the story explores the mental affliction of post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s a rattling tale of the horrors of war and how far a soldier must go to follow his orders. Stick to the sobering campaign, and stay away from the buggy and uninspired multiplayer.


9. Borderlands 2

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

Rated: M for Mature

Developer: Gearbox Software

Publisher: 2K Games

This follow-up to 2009’s “Borderlands” was a fan favorite of 2012. Gearbox Software improved upon their shooter-turned-RPG formula and gave it a story with some hilarious writing. “Borderlands 2” is a massive first-person shooter that is best played with friends.


8. Dishonored

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

Rated: M for Mature

Developer: Arkane Studios

Publisher: Bethesda Softworks

New IPs are scarce in today’s gaming world, but Arkane Studios wowed gamers with the new steampunk world of “Dishonored.” It introduced inspired gameplay in the first-person genre that combined stealth, action, and a touch of the supernatural. One of its many strengths is how it encourages multiple playthroughs.


7. SSX

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3

Rated: E for Everyone

Developer: EA Canada

Publisher: EA Sports

EA Canada rebooted the beloved “SSX” snowboarding franchise this year, and it didn’t disappoint. The team put a slightly realistic spin on this high-octane, arcade style sports game, but kept its exaggerated nature. Pulling off a massive “ubertrick” provides excitement rarely captured in sports titles. Its revolutionary multiplayer world also helped put it among this year’s best.


6. The Walking Dead

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC, iOS

Rated: M for Mature

Developer: Telltale Games

Publisher: Telltale Games

This has been a remarkable year for “The Walking Dead” as a brand. The television series expanded its audience yet again, and the video game received virtually unanimous praise. This gripping, point-and-click adventure is a throwback to early PC games. Its script and presentation of difficult choices make it one of this year’s best games. Its bugs and shaky stability keep it from being higher.


5. Halo 4

Platform: Xbox 360

Rated: M for Mature

Developer: 343 Industries

Publisher: Microsoft Studios

A new “Halo” title is always a big deal in the gaming world, but “Halo 4” was especially significant because it was the first of the series to be developed by a new studio. But 343 Industries didn’t disappoint, creating a campaign that was as intense as it was heartfelt. The team also introduced some changes to the multiplayer, attracting new fans while still pleasing the purists.


4. Max Payne 3

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

Rated M for Mature

Developer: Rockstar Vancouver

Publisher: Rockstar Games

Rockstar is one of the hottest publishers in video games, and “Max Payne 3” extends its stellar track record. The sequel to 2003’s “Max Payne 2,” Max is now older and grumpier, yet more driven to take out evil. The story explores Max’s mindset and personality more than the earlier games in the series. “Max Payne 3” adds depth to the franchise.


3. Far Cry 3

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

Rated: M for Mature

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal

Publisher: Ubisoft

“Far Cry 3” was just released earlier in December, but deserves to be included among this year’s greatest games. This open world game is designed to completely immerse the player in the violent-yet-beautiful tropical island and succeeds conclusively. If the local pirates aren’t the biggest threat, the leopards of the jungle or sharks in the ocean certainly are. Welcome to the jungle.


2. Mass Effect 3

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii U

Rated: M for Mature

Developer: BioWare

Publisher: Electronic Arts

The epic conclusion of “Mass Effect 3” put gamers in the suit of Commander Shepard one final time. This time it’s to save the Earth. The game’s quality voice acting, script, and haunting, orchestral score establish a captivating take on the age-old apocalyptic sci-fi tale. The ending to this trilogy is emotionally exhausting.



1. Journey

Platform: PS3

Rated: E for Everyone

Developer: Thatgamecompany

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

“Journey,” the downloadable game for the Playstation 3, showed that a game with no dialogue and minimalist controls could still provide one of the most moving gaming experiences of this generation. “Journey” is a tale of faith and the power of conviction, but could be interpreted differently depending on the player. And that’s part of its genius; it inspires awe without explicit story structure. This, along with the help of a gorgeous art style and brilliant musical score, is what makes “Journey” a giant step forward for video games as a modern medium. 

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