We say it every year, but 2012 really was a great year for gaming. I can't remember a year in which so many great games came out. Lately everyone has been talking about The Walking Dead, with its many game of the year nominations and awards. And at least for today you can get the whole series for just $10 of XBLA.
However, I did not play The Walking Dead yet in 2012, so I will not remember the year for that game. However, I will be able to remember 2012 for four of the best games that I have played in a long time. The list of games that I will remember 2012 for, in no particular order is:
Hours Played: 50+
Halo has always been one of my favorite series on the Xbox, while the multiplayer is the reason to buy the game, the story is almost always worth the price of admission. After Halo: Reach I was a little distraught by the direction the series was going, especially in terms of multiplayer. I felt like the whole game was going the route of Call of Duty, when the main draw of Halo has always been that it is different than COD. And many of us hardcore shooter fans want something different (something better). In any case, I ended up beating Halo 4's great story three times, and ended up getting all of the retail achievements. I purchased a fair amount of Doritos just for the Bonus XP and I will likely remember 2013 for this game as well.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Hours Played: 20+
With only 20 hours played, I have barely scratched the surface of this expansive game. I know it came out in 2011, but the game has so much depth that it occupied my thoughts for much of 2012 too. And the DLC keeps coming out and keeps getting better and adding to this already expansive game. The shouts bring a new level of depth to the series and while I haven't tried the Kinect experience yet, I would like to see if it is implemented well. This is one game that I hope to put more time into in the future.
Hours Played: 40+
While the Wii U only just came out a month ago, it has defined my 2012 in ways that are difficult to write. Count me among the believers that the Wii U will revolutionize the gaming industry that the Wii only hoped to imagine. Motion controls are great in theory, but as the PS3 proved, it is difficult to play great games with it. Nintendo realized this and designed the Wii U with games in mind. It shows with one of the best launch lineups in years. New Super Mario Bros U, ZombiU, Nintendo Land and many remakes designed to use the touch screen have allowed great games to be re imagined with the Wii U Gamepad in mind. If you ask me, Nintendo Land is the best launch game of the bunch. It really shows what the Wii U is capable of and sparks the creativity that I have for the system in the future. Miiverse brings the whole experience together, and as the service continues to grow, I see a bright future between Nintendo and the hardcore audience that will demand the best games come to the Wii U.
Mass Effect 3
Hours Played: 50+
Even if I did not play Mass Effect 3, my year would still be defined by it. The controversy surrounding the ending was one that could not be ignored. For better or for worse, BioWare showed the industry that the game designers are capable of listening to the audiences feedback and implementing new features quickly. And I was among those extremely excited for the original ending. To me the game completed a trilogy that I have long held close to my heart, the gameplay tweaks made the game even more fun to play. Although, above the gameplay the world was simply fun to explore and be a part of. The multiplayer was a great addition and I really enjoyed getting to control the different races and see some unique powers and abilities. But the meat of my time was spent in the story mode. Scanning planets, running from Reapers, and enjoying the content that continued to be released kept me in the Mass Effect universe all year. And with the Wii U edition, I plan to play the whole story again.
Well those are my top games of 2012, but what are yours? When you look back which games (or game systems) do you remember playing the most?