Crystal’s Top 5 Games of 2012

This has truly been a long year of great games. I'm still attempting to catch up with what  I bought during the Steam sales. If you are new to gaming and have just bought a console or pc, this is definitely the year to do so. With the gain of great games, we have also dealt with loss in the gaming industry. There have been those that have disappointed and created an internet uproar, while others have allowed us to become emotionally connected to the characters of their stories. Many of these games are huge contenders to be called "Game of the Year" and rightfully so. Here is my list of potential winners for that title.

 5. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Counter-Strike: it's newer. Maps that I had played regularly on Counter-Strike: Source, like Aztec and Dust, are available on CS:GO. It's just fun running around attempting to defuse the bomb or release hostages while an entire team of enemy soldiers attempt to take you out with different types of weapons. I had the joy of playing through the beta, but have yet to secure the funds for a more permanent copy. I've always said I suck at shooters, but this one gives me hope that one day I possibly can survive longer than 2 seconds.

4. Sleeping Dogs

The story was interesting and the karaoke was what got me more into the game. The fight scenes were fun and the combos were awesome to pull off. I have to say that the hand-to-hand combat won me over. The gameplay was familiar and similar to GTA with the missions throughout the city.

 3. Torchlight 2

I had been waiting on this since I finished up the original Torchlight. It has the same kind of gameplay as Torchlight 1, but with a longer campaign and more customization. The major addition was the multiplayer option and I made friends while trying it out. It was awesome during the beta and proved to be stable throughout.

2. Mass Effect 3

Above all, I loved the Mass Effect series. I felt that the story ended the way the writers wanted it to and I was fine with it. I had my moments of thinking that I chose incorrectly or irrationally throughout the game, but was comfortable with the path I chose. I was happy with my character and enjoyed the story. The final showdown with the Reapers didn't disappoint me. I felt that the game gave me overall closure to the Shepard series. I didn't like that I had to download Origin for this one.

1. The Walking Dead

The character and story building held my attention long enough to get me emotionally attached. Each episode not only held its own but created more of a connection with the player because of the choices made. At the end of episode 3, I hated myself completely and blamed myself for thinking that I could have changed the outcome. In the end, this game makes you think about the choices you make on a daily basis. Could you make the tough decision during a zombie invasion?

Honorable Mentions: Diablo III, Dishonored, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Dear Esther