We took a lot of time thinking about which games of 2012 are our favorites. We went back and forth about whether or not we should classify it by console, genre, or an overall GOTY. The more we looked over the games of 2012 the more it became apparent that 2012 wasn’t a great year for gaming in general. Many games we expected to be amazing were just alright, and when you really stop and think about it there just weren’t that many titles with a ‘whoa’ factor. That said, 2012 did have a few great games. That’s why we’ve decided to just name the one (or two) games we felt deserving of the title of the best games of 2012.
This was a hard decision for me because I played a lot of games released in late 2011, and a lot of games in betas that aren’t released yet. A ton of games came so very close for me. Mists of Pandaria was a lot of fun to level and do some raiding, but being more of the same definitely eliminated it from the running. I absolutely loved Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, the only game to come from the tragic 38 Studios, because it was an action RPG that had several neat features, and Borderlands 2 was a really fun co-op experience to play with Graev, but ultimately neither scream GOTY.
I came so close tonight to settling on Guild Wars 2 for my favorite game of 2012, but I just couldn’t do it. That decision had nothing to do with GW2 — it is by far the best MMO I played all year, and one of the best games in general. GW2 advanced the industry down the Buy-to-play path, and innovated a bit with content delivery. In fact, I plan to return to GW2 and begin playing again. I just can’t award it my GOTY.
My favorite game this year has to be… wait for it… Dota 2. Yes, Dota 2 — a game still, technically, in beta. My love-hate relationship with DotA continues. I hate the community, and I question whether or not the MOBA industry is a fad or here to stay, yet I can’t stop playing. Dota has been my go-to game when I’m in a slump, and occupied more hours played this year than any other game for me. Free to play, all heroes, competitive, and capable of killing an hour in the blink of an eye.
I put a lot of thought into my GOTY decision. Despite the year being a little lackluster, there were a handful of titles that made this a difficult decision. I really liked Dishonored, The Walking Dead, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, and Paper Mario Sticker Star. Yet none of those were really my personal favorite game of the year.
To make my decision I looked at all the games that affected me the most this year — not necessarily the ones that were the most innovative or where I spent the most time playing. The two that stood out to me the most are XCOM:Enemy Unknown and FTL: Faster Than Light. I tried to pick between the two, but both of these games were so good, and impacted me to much, that both caused me to (after done playing) seek out more games to provide similar experiences.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown and FTL: Faster Than Light both have a ton of replayability. They are both difficult, and lately as I’ve been getting older I’m seeking out harder games to challenge myself.
So there you have it! Those were our favorite games of 2012. We’d love to hear about the games you enjoyed most this year, and hear what you have to say about 2012′s gaming in general.