You probably can guess #1
My insatiable hunger for tracking and displaying the most revered games of the year will not end. I blame Metacritic. I also blame Metacritic for not doing a proper job in aggregating the best games of the year. While the site does an impeccable job of putting together film, TV and music critics' best of the year lists, the site ignores videogames -- offering up only a very confused list containing the highest scoring games, which includes maligned ports and games with only ~5 reviews.
Each site’s game of the year receives 3 points. In the rare case that there were two winners (ugh), those 3 points were split (i.e. 1.5 points each). I split 4 points among nominees, cutting off nominees to four entries where possible. In the cases where nominees were unranked, I included all nine (or whatever number) and split four points between them (rounded to .4 points each). If a site had more than nine nominees, I didn’t include them at all because having 20 nominees is just silly. In the case that two games had the same number of points, I favored the one with more votes (i.e. those that appeared on the most lists).
15. Black Ops 2: 2.4 (3 votes)
10) 6.7 (5 votes)
"Can you remember when you first found out that the game was going to be set during the American Revolution? There was a good chance that sales of adult diapers skyrocketed as a result. Ubisoft, we salute you." - Complex
9) 7 (5 votes)
"It's a perfect, wordless sci-fi parable - and an elegant comment on the development of video games themselves, expressed in a way only a game could articulate." - Eurogamer
8) 11.1 (9 votes)
"Halo 4 showed that a fresh set of hands couldn’t hurt a franchise so strong and so loved." - GameRevolution
7) 13.5 (13 votes)
"In a medium where narrative threads commonly go unresolved, BioWare should be commended for concluding most of the major sub-plots that were introduced in earlier games in the series." - Polygon
6) 16.7 (14 votes)
"If you are up for a good laugh while shooting things in the face, Borderlands 2 is a worthy game to add to your collection. Soon enough, you'll see numbers popping above people's heads in real life and will feel compelled to search every Porta Potty on the street for cash." - Destructoid
5) 19.6 (16 votes)
"Every part of Dishonored works in exquisite concert, every system complementing the others with a graceful cohesion that speaks of Corvo himself, and of the generosity in freedom and participation Dishonored extends to its players. Few games burst as fully formed from the ether – perhaps Dunwall’s most remarkable achievement is that it feels so inevitable." - Edge
4) 20.6 (15 votes)
"A multiplicity of tactics and paths provide the player with a sense of true psychosomatic and terrestrial exploration. Far Cry 3 is a intrepid sequel that eschews the series's previous mistakes and leans on its strengths with the relish of a practiced hunter." - Slant Magazine
3) 28.7 (17 votes)
"I could accuse developer thatgamecompany of obvious manipulation, warping the environment and the very light to instill emotions within me, but isn't that the point? To master the language of the medium, to be evocative and to make us walk a steep path and then let us savor the views from its peak? In Journey, world building, writing, and design feel like they're the same thing." - Joystiq
2) 29.9 (19 votes)
"The game is deep but intuitive. It rewards planning and focus, it penalizes failure. It requires patience but can still be exciting. It's an easy game to start playing and a tough one to stop. Plus, that music when you're going into battle, always gets us pumped." - Kotaku
1) 38.9 (23 votes)
"I want back the hour of my life I wasted on this game.
FTL: 2.4 (3 votes)
Xenoblade Chronicles received rave reviews, accumulating to a Metacritic score of 92. Yet, it only appeared on one list: Slant Magazine's, which gave it game of the year.
Likewise, Mark of the Ninja and Trials Evolution have 90+ Metacritic scores but only managed to appear on 3 lists.
The biggest shock is our #10 and #9 entries. Assassin's Creed III divided critics almost as much as Resident Evil 6, but still managed to make this list (mostly due to receiving top honors on at least one list). Fez, on the other hand, is one of the most well received games in 2012 in terms of reviews and social media buzz (I can't think of many other games discussed so fervently on Twitter.)
Game Informer: Mass Effect 3
XPlay: Borderlands 2
Gamesradar: Walking Dead
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