2012 has felt like a year of just biding time to me. There have been some great games this year but all I can feel is this sense of new consoles on the horizon so we have to wrap up our series and put out the last of our ideas before we all try something new. At least that’s how it’s been for me. Last year felt like one of the strongest years in the more recent history of gaming and most of the games I was anticipating for this year were pushed to 2013 but with that being said I still had a lot of fun with the games I played this year so without further ado I give you my top five games of 2012.
5. The Amazing Spider-Man
A movie game on my top five list, who would have thought? I definitely didn’t think that this game would have made my list when it was released earlier this year, especially given the last few Spider-Man games. However the more I sat down and thought about it, I really just had so much fun with this game. Enough fun that I finished everything there was to do and got every trophy in the game. Beenox had let me down in the past and with this game being based on a movie that I thought was just an okay Spider-Man film I didn’t really know what to expect. Well I can say that I was pleasantly surprised.
Spider-Man is a game that is just pure fun. With combat that is very similar to Arkham City I thought the only thing the game needed was some kind of endless combat challenge room. Like most of the other good Spider-Man games the real gem is the swinging and let me say that Amazing Spider-Man had some of the best web swinging in a Spider-Man game to date which made collecting the literally hundreds of comic book covers that much more fun. With a story I thought was a little more entertaining than the movie itself, Spider-Man really stuck with me as just a pure fun experience.
4. WWE ‘13
Easily the best wrestling game since the Nintendo 64 days, WWE ’13 is my addiction of the year. With the biggest roster in wrestling game history and being filled with just amazing customization options I still can’t put this game down. Over the last two years I have gotten back into wrestling pretty hardcore (though not necessarily the WWE but the creation modes help me fix that problem) and since that time I have gone back and played all of the WWE games of this generation and I have to say that WWE ’13 is where they hit perfection. I feel like Yukes could put this series to rest and focus on a new type of wrestling game because this is the pinnacle of the simulation games.
WWE ’13 feels like a giant love letter to the WWE fans who still remember the good ol’ days. Back when The Rock and Stone Cold were at the top of their game and it was still called the WWF even though the game rips dialogue from those old shows and replaces the F and word Federation with blank spots but that doesn’t matter! This game is addicting and the universe mode is still the greatest idea of any wrestling game and I think that WWE ’13 may be the last of these games I get because I doubt 14 could do anything better but I guess like every other yearly franchise we will have to see.
3. The Walking Dead
I don’t even know what to say about this game that hasn’t already been said by everyone else or by the million podcasts we have on our own site. In 2012 we now see and old school adventure game as a game of the year contender and that is just an incredible feeling for the future of video games. I wouldn’t consider myself that emotional of a person but The Walking Dead is one of the few games where I had to try so hard to choke back tears. There has never been characterization in game of this caliber and TellTale has done their best work with The Walking Dead. They simply created the best child character ever portrayed in any media ever and made you want to protect her so much and if it wasn’t for that then this game probably wouldn’t be as impactful as it was for everyone.
Walking Dead is full of morality and gives you just one bad choice after another to make and all of them have significant impact to the story. The game knows exactly how to get to you and even just throwing up little cues could sway your emotions and affect the way you made your decisions or how you felt about the characters. This game gave everyone the opportunity to have their own experience and allow you to share completely different stories with everyone you talked to who had played it. I will always remember this game as the game that brought me to tears with four little words, “Clementine will remember that.”
2. Far Cry 3
I have always been a fan of the Far Cry franchise ever since the first game. I have played them all and while I love the first two games, Far Cry 3 was easily the best in the series. This game has some of the best characters that I have ever seen in a game and even while the best of them was sorely underused, every encounter with Vaas was the most intense and amazing moment in a game this year. While not everyone has agreed with me I thought Far Cry 3 had the best and most interesting story of the franchise and even without all of that, the gameplay alone is enough to make this a game of the year contender.
The world of Far Cry 3 is gigantic and there is so much to do. While I love the story and characters of this game, if I was thrown into this world with no missions to do I could still have hours of fun hunting animals, taking over bases, ambushing driving jeeps, and climbing radio towers to uncover the map. Even the multiplayer in this game is worth the time which is saying something when we live in a world full of Call of Duty like shooters. Far Cy 3 falls short on some of its premises’ but manages to be one of the best games of 2012 and it even pulled in right at the finish line.
1. Max Payne 3
I have waiting so long for another Max Payne game and I was not disappointed. Max Payne is one of my favorite video game franchises and stories of all time. I still play the first two games every year and just get so disappointed that there are no other games of this generation that have that style of gun play. With new developers in the driver seat this time around there are definitely some differences to Max Payne 3 but all in all this game is still fantastic and the most fun I had playing a game this year. It’s a flat out hard game which is great for me as I feel games have gotten too easy and it reminds me of the challenge the first two games presented. The story is fantastic and while it feels like a departure from the last two games I still thought it fit in with Max Payne and was just overall exciting to play and dark as hell.
Max Payne 3 is my favorite gameplay of any game, ever! Nothing is more fun to then diving through the air with two pistols firing at a room full of guys as I down a bottle of painkillers mid-dive. That is poetry in motion if I ever saw it. My biggest problem with Max Payne is the setting of Brazil but you spend enough time in flashbacks and in urban enough environments that it doesn’t even feel like you are in Brazil aside from the people you are shooting at. Max Payne is just a haggard ass broken man who is set out for redemption and you take this amazing journey of watching him fall apart and pick himself back up in the most satisfying gameplay of the year.
Honorable Mentions: Gravity Rush, Assassin's Creed 3, Need for Speed Most Wanted (Vita), Mortal Kombat (Vita), Uncharted Golden Abyss, Syndicate, X-Com Enemy Unknown, Resident Evil 6