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We dissected the top 50 games of 2012 in our January issue. If you won't get the chance to check that out, don't worry – we've gathered reviews and impressions on all 50 right here on Game Informer Online. Whether you like choice-based shooters, story-driven RPGs, or games filled to the brim with loot, chances are you'll see a few of your favorite 2012 games on this list. Final Fantasy XIII-2 "Progression is player-driven, combat is even more entertaining, and an array of other adjustments makes it one of my favorite RPGs from a mechanical perspective. I just want all of that integrated with a story that isn’t laughable and borderline insulting, and that’s where Final Fantasy XIII-2 falters." - Joe Juba
Hero Academy "Once you understand the quirks of each team and the basic strategies of the game, it's easy to get hooked. If you have an iOS device, I can't recommend this gem enough." - Dan Ryckert
Resident Evil: Revelations"The story is interesting with the added bonus of actually being coherent for once, the gameplay feels perfect on the 3DS, and it’s one of the greatest-looking portable games I’ve ever seen..." - Tim Turi
Asura's Wrath"It’s a nice change of pace from other hack-and-slash games, featuring an interesting story that’s not blocked off by insurmountable difficulty." - Jeff Cork
Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack "...the smooth, inviting difficulty curve and constant use of inventive new tricks makes Mutant Blobs Attack stand out in the crowded Vita launch lineup." - Bryan Vore
Mass Effect 3 -- Game of the Year, Best Role-playing, Best Downloadable Content"I guided Shepard across three massive games spanning over 100 hours, and feel BioWare has delivered one of the most intricately crafted stories in the history of the medium." - Andrew Reiner
Journey -- Best PS3 Exclusive"If you’re open to that often nebulous realm of how a game might elicit emotion and the artistic potential of interactive narrative, Journey is an absolute must-play." - Matt Miller
Total War: Shogun 2 -- Fall of the Samurai"Fall of the Samurai, like the original Shogun 2, is good enough that I heartily recommend it to everyone who owns a PC regardless of their experience with or opinion of the grand strategy genre." - Adam Biessener
Xenoblade Chronicles -- Best Wii Exclusive"Xenoblade Chronicles is the first JRPG I’ve played this generation that has me excited for the future rather than simply reminding me of happy memories from my past." - Phil Kollar
Fez -- Best Puzzle"Fez challenges players to think and see in new ways. It’s a puzzle game with genuine moments of revelation and subtlety, and deserves all the acclaim it will undoubtedly receive." - Matt Miller
Trials Evolution"It maintains the fantastic gameplay that made its predecessor a hit, but dramatically improves upon the stages and adds an entertaining multiplayer component." - Dan Ryckert
The Walking Dead"Telltale’s episodic love letter to zombies remains one of the most memorable gaming experiences of the year." - Ben Reeves
Prototype 2"...it’s a rush to abuse your incredible powers any way you see fit. If you’ve stayed away from the first game because of the lackluster word of mouth, don’t hesitate to jump right into the sequel." - Bryan Vore
Diablo III"Whether or not you stick with the game for the long term through Inferno difficulty, I can’t imagine the gamer that wouldn’t have a great time with Diablo III for a trip or two through the story." - Adam Biessener
Max Payne 3"The gameplay doesn’t explore new territory, but delivers a retro charm that fans of the series should appreciate. It’s a new day for Max Payne, and at the same time, a return to his glorious past." - Andrew Reiner
Dragon's Dogma"I left the game feeling that I made my mark on Gransys the way I chose to, instead of being escorted from plot point to plot point. When you’re talking about an open-world game, I can’t think of higher praise." - Jeff Cork
Civilization V: Gods and Kings"Despite the days of playtime I’ve put into the base game, I can’t imagine going back after a few rounds with Gods & Kings." - Adam Biessener
Darksiders II"Like Kratos and Dante, playing as this reaper gives you that amazing feeling of being an all-powerful ass-kicker." - Andrew Reiner
10000000 -- Best Mobile Exclusive"To me, 10000000 feels like a perfect mobile game... I ended up putting nearly eight hours into the game when I finally escaped the dungeon, and it was fantastic." - Kyle Hilliard
Orcs Must Die 2"The near-flawless execution on every level makes the brilliant concepts at the game’s core shine through with perfect clarity." - Adam Biessener
Sound Shapes"Sounds Shapes is an excellent platformer, but the music that progressively fills each stage as you move forward is really what makes the game something special." - Kyle Hilliard
Sleeping Dogs"The experience is worth playing, but the buggy gameplay makes former publisher Activision’s lack of faith in the title understandable." - Dan Ryckert
Dust: An Elysian Tail"Elements of the combat, progression, and art style may have roots in other games, but they weave together in thrilling and unfamiliar ways." - Joe Juba
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron"Even if it’s not the deepest interactive experience, Fall of Cybertron is certainly one of the most enthusiastic and boisterous digital adventures you’ll have this year." - Matt Miller
Guild Wars 2 -- Best MMO"The ambitious and unique retooling of genre conventions reveals a level of thoughtfulness on ArenaNet’s behalf that only the top tier of game developers can aspire to." - Adam Biessener
Mark of the Ninja -- Best Downloadable Game"Tense, strategic, and hard to put down, Mark of the Ninja is one of the welcome surprises of the year." - Matt Miller
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 -- Best Fighting"Even with a somewhat bare-bones online offering, it’s still one of the most refined fighters on the market." - Dan Ryckert
Borderlands 2 -- Best Cooperative Multiplayer"Borderlands 2 surpassed my expectations and stands as a prime example of how to knock a sequel out of the park." - Dan Ryckert
Gateways"My biggest complaint, however, is that Gateways eventually ends. While the length of the game is perfectly acceptable (it took me about six hours), I would've gladly stumbled my way through countless more puzzles." - Jeff Marchiafava
Torchlight II -- Best PC Exclusive"As big of a Diablo III fan as I am, the margin between the two is razor-thin – and I have to give the nod to Torchlight II." - Adam Biessener
LittleBigPlanet Vita"While LittleBigPlanet has clearly settled into a comfortable groove, it’s still one of the best pure platformers on the market." - Matt Helgeson
World of Warcaft: Mists of Pandaria"Visually, Pandaria is a stunning and vibrant land to explore, but there’s no avoiding the fact that the game is beginning to show its age." - Matt Miller
NBA 2K13"Niggling complaints aside, NBA 2K13 puts in another solid performance with its unrivaled broadcast-style presentation, improved online experience, and the best single-player mode in sports." - Matt Bertz
FIFA 13 -- Best Sports"FIFA 13 captures a lot of the passion and pageantry of world football, but beneath the surface its gameplay flaws can hinder the beautiful movements that truly make the sport great." - Matt Kato
Dishonored -- Best Action"When you come face-to-face with the people who wronged you, your only dilemma is deciding which poetic method of elimination will produce the coolest result." - Joe Juba
XCOM: Enemy Unknown -- Best Strategy"Don’t let the “turn-based strategy” moniker scare you off; XCOM is a singular achievement that every gamer deserves to experience." - Adam Biessener
Dance Central 3 -- Best Rhythm/Music"Even with its success, Harmonix makes sure that the formula doesn’t wear thin. Dance Central 3 is more than just new songs and new dances; it’s easily the best entry yet." - Kyle Hilliard
The Unfinished Swan"Similar to Journey, The Unfinished Swan is brief, visually stunning, and more focused on the experience than with testing combat skills or platforming prowess." - Dan Ryckert
Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward -- Best Handheld Exclusive"Virtue’s Last Reward kept me addicted, challenged, and constantly guessing. As the sequel to 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors, it lives up to its legacy and invigorates the graphic adventure genre." - Kimberley Wallace
Assassin's Creed III"...Assassin’s Creed III delivers everything the series has promised, and throws in a little more for good measure." - Matt Miller
Need For Speed: Most Wanted -- Best Racing"Whether you’re dominating your opponents or barrel rolling your way through a race, you’re getting what you wanted – a game, that win or lose, goes all out getting there." - Matt Kato
WWE '13"After playing WWE ‘13, I’m hard pressed to think of a more enjoyable and complete wrestling game in history." - Dan Ryckert
Call of Duty: Black Ops II"Despite some frustrations, Black Ops II is yet another massive, polished, finely tuned entry in a series that shows no signs of slowing down." - Dan Ryckert
Halo 4 -- Best Xbox 360 Exclusive, Best Shooter, Best Competitive Multiplayer"...Halo 4 makes the series feel new again. 343 Industries’ clear affection for the property shines through, leaving me thrilled to join Master Chief for another decade in defense of the galaxy." - Matt Miller
Lego Lord of the Rings"Traveller’s Tales has crafted a wonderful platformer that stands on its own – though the Lego charm and a great license make it even better." - Joe Juba
New Super Mario Bros. U -- Best Wii U Exclusive, Best Platforming"I feared [New Super Mario Bros. 2's] dip in quality signaled stormy skies for New Super Mario Bros. U on Nintendo’s next home console, but I couldn’t have been more wrong." - Bryan Vore
Hitman: Absolution"Devising a strategy, using the environment and disguises to your advantage, and leaving before anyone knows you’re there are the hallmarks of a perfect hit, and Absolution proves Agent 47 is still gaming’s premier hitman." - Jeff Marchiafava
PlanetSide 2"I heartily recommend Planetside 2 to anyone, even players who don’t usually spend a lot of time in online shooters." - Adam Biessener
Far Cry 3"The diverse open-world action, compelling story, and an alluring environment that begs exploration are all high water marks for the series. This is an island adventure all shooter fans should experience." - Matt Bertz
Paper Mario: Sticker Star"Paper Mario: Sticker Star isn’t a brain-bending RPG that requires a working knowledge of spreadsheets... It is, however, one of my favorite Nintendo franchises, and Sticker Star is absolutely worthy of the Paper Mario name." - Jeff Cork
To read more of our coverage of the Top 50 games of 2012, click on the hub link below:
I never saw the point of these articles, you will inevitably not include a game many people like much to their annoyance. Also, a certain ***hole doesn't deserve to have their game on this list.
Halo 4! Halo 4! Halo 4!
I still can't put down Prototype 2. The new game+ is a lot of fun & you can't go wrong with bringing all hell to who stand in your way. I'd say it's an overlooked game that deserves some more credit. Where's Tribes Ascend @ also? That game was such an amazing fast paced old school experience. More need to be like it.
Good list otherwise though. AC3 deserves some awards too.
I made an account today just to tell y'all how much of a sellout you are. Honestly, you gave Mass Effect 3 game of the year??? Hope that bonus from EA feels good.
>worthy of the Paper Mario name
What about Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
I SO WISH DISHONORED WAS #1, I LOVE THAT GAME, I ALSO LOVE DARKSIDERS2
Personally, I thought there was a lot of good games this year. Mass Effect 3 and Halo 4 top the list for me.
No Alan Wake's American Nightmare? I don't know about everyone else but I sure liked that game. Definately in my top games for the year. And Halo 4 definately tops Mass Effect 3 as my GOTY.
So many great games, how does one find the time?
Hey am disappointed I didn't see Madden 2013 on the top 50 games!!!
Hey I am disappointed I didn't see madden 2013 on the top 50 list.