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Normally I write up a "Best of" post for the cream of the
year's gaming crop. However, I only bought three new releases this year.
Everything else was secondhand, on sale, or old. It wouldn't be honest for me
to pretend I know which games are the best this year. I didn't play them.
Instead, here is a list of the five best games I played this
year. It's got a good mix of new content and stuff that some of you played a long
time ago. This list is in no way comprehensive or authoritative. It's
just a couple great games. There's also a nod to the best of television and
film at the end. I'm no film critic, so take it with a grain of salt. Or don't.
Either way works.
Anyway, here are the best games I played this year.
I was initially planning to skip Dishonored. A questionable
new franchise and early reports of short campaign length made it sound like a
poor purchase. Then I saw it in action. Dishonored is a superbly designed game
that allows for a stunning amount of play styles. Whether you're on a Liam
Neeson-type killing spree or as stealthy as a ghost, there are so many ways to
accomplish your goal that the game requires at least three playthroughs to see
everything. Any game that makes you feel this much like a master assassin deserves
I've never played Rayman before this, but after this game
you can consider me a fan. Rayman Origins is an honest-to-God triple-A
platformer that doesn't have the word "Mario" in the title, something we rarely
enjoy. Throw in gorgeous graphics, a catchy soundtrack and stellar co-op and
you've got a great reason to grab a friend for some gaming.
Oh, Civ V... how you lure me back to your sweet nurturing
bosom with the siren song of world domination time and time again. Only you
understand how to balance complexity and understandability. Only you make the
logistics of an empire fun. Only you know how to make a game quite this
addictive. Stop it, you. You've already convinced me to play again.
The Witcher 2 is a difficult game to discuss because it's
hard not to fall into a slush of superlatives. Phrases like "amazing combat
system," "wildly branching story," and "best RPG in years" get thrown around
and then the person listening thinks you're exaggerating. Let's avoid those
phrases and just say The Witcher 2 is a very good game. Now that it's out for Xbox and PC, there's no excuse to miss it.
Team Fortress isn't like other shooters. Where Call of Duty
and Medal of Honor are busy being "gritty," TF2 takes pride in its own silliness.
Want to kill people while wearing goggles that paint the world in rainbows and
flowers? No problem. Want to stab somebody whilst sporting a snazzy top hat?
Step right up. Even better, it's free to play. There's really no reason not to play Team Fortress. Unless you
hate fun. In that case, I can't help you.
Mass Effect 3 was reviled for its ending. This was correct.
The ending was terrible. But even a bad finale couldn't bring down the other
twenty hours of polished gameplay and amazing storytelling. BioWare knocked my
socks off with the story of Shepard's final struggle against the Reapers.
Everything is on the line, and the game never lets you forget that.
What makes Mass Effect 3 even better is that BioWare took
the few errors from ME2 and fixed them. Unencumbered weapon choice, better
teammate AI, and improved customization make the third entry the best in the
series, gameplay-wise. Add that to the kickass new multiplayer mode and you
have one hell of a trilogy-ender. Mass Effect 3 is by far the best game of 2012.
Even with that ending.
I must have looked like an idiot watching the first episode
of The Legend of Korra, sitting there
with a great big stupid grin on my face. I couldn't help it. Seeing the
anticipated follow-up to Avatar: The Last
Airbender was just too awesome. Korra
does almost everything right: It reboots the franchise in a steampunk future
with a new Avatar, new supporting cast, and new villain. The compressed
storyline makes every episode count and gives Korra a focus Airbender lacked.
It's the single best television show I've seen this year, by the standards of
kids and adults.
Yes, this is better than The
Dark Knight Rises. Ridley Scott's quasi-prequel to Alien is weird, creepy, and horrific. In other words, exactly what
we want from a sci-fi horror flick. Exploring distant planets and researching
the strange Engineers creates interesting scenarios. Unfortunately, these
scenarios usually end in a gory fashion. One particular scene in the medical
pod left an unforgettable impression. For great visuals, a decent cast and
strong fiction, Prometheus beats out
So, what did I forget? What were your favorite games this year?
Some good choices sure to cause much complaint. Nice blog.
Mine would be Borderlands 2 and NCAA football 13
I like legend of Korea but no love for the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? As for game of the year Max Payne3 I'm happy to see that Cabin in the Woods is getting mentioned since it is the best movie of the year. The love for Rayman Origins makes me smile since I've always called it the new champion of the genre. Peace
I'd probably keep The Witcher 2 in 2011 (since it came out on PC then and all), but good list. My very favorite game so far is Far Cry 3.