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Top 50 Games Of 2012 Review Roundup

by Mike Mahardy on Dec 10, 2012 at 11:30 AM

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
"’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

"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: