Gaming's Best Things of 2012

What a great year 2012 was for games. Think about it. When was the last time where nearly every major title didn't disappoint? Just about everything I played this year was excellent. Admittedly 'I WASNT DISAPPOINTED" is not the most stunning rubric to judge the year in gaming by, but we gamers are a cynical bunch and grow suspicious at high praise and kind words. Here are my picks for the finest five games of 2012.

5) Far Cry 3

A beautifully rendered, fully explorable tropical paradise filled with pirates, mercenaries and deadly beasts. Far Cry 3 is one of the finest sandboxes ever constructed. Sure the plot is silly, and maybe racist,  and the island feels a little too tame once you clear out checkpoints, but there is always something ridiculously fun to do. Can you ask for anything more?

4) Day-Z

The anecdote generator of the year, this is the game that made me want to start writing about games. Day-Z makes Far Cry 3's island survival look like the Black Card funded vacation it is. Pretty much everyone and everything is out to get you, and if that fails you can always starve/freeze to death. Wee! The zombie-apocalypse done right.

3) Mass Effect 3

Wrapping up Mass Effect was never going to be easy, but the final installment left me feeling very satisfied. Over the course of the game I felt and saw the ramifications of my past decisions. The game is a furious journey to try and save the galaxy I helped shape. The atmosphere of a galaxy at war was presented spectacularly, dark and foreboding but hopeful. A great end to a fantastic trilogy.


A simple remake of the PC classic X-COM UFO Defense would not have been nearly as well recieved as this masterful update. XCOM feels like classic turn based strategy but with all of the updates and conveniences of a modern game. When you find yourself caught up in the drama of trying to bring your team home alive, you realize how special this game is.

1) Dishonored

In a lot of ways Dishonered is as tailored an experience as a Call of Duty game, but you never feel like a passenger in the game. Dishonered empowers you to play it anyway you like. The structure of the story is ridged but you are free to leave as many or as few casualties on your wake as you make your way through this tale of betrayal and revenge. Your actions leave their mark on the city of Dunwall, which in and of itself is a stunning construction. The levels feel more like a place and less like a game environment while providing you with multiple paths to put your powers to work. It's all about choice, and it is my choice for game of the year.

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