The 20 Best Games of 2012

best games of 2012

20 Best Games of 2012

It’s that time of the year again when we reminisce and countdown the best games that left an undeniable impression on gamers and critics. 2012 was a big year with some old favorites reemerging, sequels carrying forward the story and prequels explaining the original plot. Here’s a look at 20 best games of 2012

1. Best Games of 2012: Borderlands 2

 Second installment of the 2009 hybrid action role playing first person shooter game makes a comeback in a big way! The story line is more immersive, intricate and deeply embedded this time around and there is a whole host of new characters aka “Vault Hunters” each with their own background story. There’s a new antagonist who wisely cracks some pretty hilarious anecdotes and one liners, which is sure to keep those with a sense of humor entertained throughout the game. Gearbox Software has really outdone themselves, which is evident by the praise critics are showering over it in each Borderlands 2 review. Currently, there are 3 Borderlands 2 DLC available namely:

  • Captain Scarlet and her pirates booty
  • Mr. Torgue’s campaign of carnage
  • Sir Hammer lock’s big game hunt

Although there are Borderlands 2 cheats available for PC platform, it’s strongly recommended that the game be enjoyed without it!

2. Best Games of 2012: Call of Duty Black Ops II

 No lengthy introduction is required for this juggernaut of an FPS! Conceived by Activision, Black Ops II is the latest installment of the series. Treyarch were at the helm of development for this one and introduced some never featured before elements like non-linear game play and multiple endings that are highly interesting and immersive. Call of Duty Black Ops 2 Zombies mode is another facet of the game that although not new to the series but has undergone revamping as well. It has its own campaign along with a main story and also unprecedented 8 player co-op. Call of Duty Black Ops 2 trailer for zombie mode revealed 3 different modes which significantly vary from each other in terms of gameplay. Call of Duty Black Ops II sold 7.5 million copies in its launching month and grossed $500 million during first 24 days of going on sale, which officially makes it the biggest entertainment launch in history.

3. Best Games of 2012: Darksiders 2

What could be more exciting than controlling one of the four apocalyptic horsemen and battling the denizens of hell while the fate of the entire universe hangs in the balance? Throw in some brain teasing puzzles and an open world filled with dungeons and you’ve got Darksiders 2! This time around, though the protagonist of the game is Death itself which wields two scythes and has a mount named Despair. The puzzles are really meticulously crafted and had me consulting Darksiders 2 walkthrough to figure them out but that doesn’t diminish the appeal of this fast paced and awesome hack-n-slash extravaganza. Most critics while penning Darksiders 2 review have given it overall positive scores praising the platforming elements, depth of story and overall fun element of the game. Gamers that have played the first part would tremendously enjoy the sequel because of the new innovations thrown in by the developers THQ. Darksiders 2 is definitely recommended for all aficionados of hack-n-slash genre.

4. Best Games of 2012: Diablo 3

It’s a game that kick started the point and click genre. One of my most favorite entries on this chart, Diablo 3 made an appearance nearly 2 decades after its predecessor, but the wait was certainly worth it! The developers, Blizzard Entertainment, introduced new and exciting features such as a revamped skill system, online auction house and a very engrossing story line. However, the digital rights management thrown in was a real nuisance to deal with and had me scampering off to read Diablo 3 guide to see if I could get it to work. The Diablo 3 forums came to my rescue as I read how others were also having the same difficulty with the game. However, the game is pure awesomeness and this time around gamers were treated to destructible environments and very intelligent and cunning AI, which makes full use of the environment for tactical purposes. Diablo 3 is highly recommended for all old school gamers who love point and click tactical combats and for players who haven’t yet experienced this awesome series.

5. Best Games of 2012: Guild Wars 2

The world of Tyria is in jeopardy once more as the elder dragons rule continues unabated. Only the guild known as Destiny’s edge has the guts to stand up to their tyrannical rule! This is the premise of Guild Wars 2; a MMORPG which has the unique element of changing its plot depending on a player’s in game actions. This trait may be a staple of RPG games, but as far as MMORPG genre is concerned, it’s unprecedented and that’s what makes Guild Wars 2 so engaging and immersive. Each Guilds War 2 review bears testament to its unique features like crafting. Although crafting skills can be found in other games, Guild Wars 2 crafting is very intricate, detailed and branches out in eight different disciplines, which is so far unmatched by any other game in the same genre. The crafting can become intimidating for a novice player, but thankfully, there are a plethora of Guild Wars 2 forums on the internet where veteran and experienced players are always willing to help out a fellow gamer.

6. Best Games of 2012: Halo 4

If Call of Duty is a juggernaut then Halo series is the great granddaddy of all FPS games on consoles! Microsoft’s Xbox 360 exclusive game is highly acclaimed by critics and gamers alike with most prominent websites praising and deeming it “a bar-raising triumph for the entire first-person shooter genre”, while doing their Halo 4 review. Halo 4 release date was November 6, 2012 for worldwide audience and since then it has sold four million copies and counting! The game follows the exploits of the protagonist called “Master Chief” a cybernetic enhanced super soldier who is battling a collection of alien races named “Covenant” and new to the plot is the addition of another alien race called “Prometheans”. The real beauty of the game is its wonderfully crafted story line which makes the players really identify with the protagonist. The most awesome graphics of the series and gripping gunplay further make this a must play game for all Halo fans.

7. Best Games of 2012: Journey

This is the first entry on this chart that is not produced by a large game developing house! In fact journey is an indie production made for PlayStation 3. The game has a very unorthodox and unique approach towards co-op play as players can’t communicate with each other using the normal in game methods. Journey game soundtrack plays an integral role in depicting a player’s action, as it responds to each move separately. The fact was highly lauded by all critics in their Journey game review. Journey is a perfect example of coming out of nowhere and taking over the scene, as it has been showered with accolades. It’s already the recipient of several game of the year awards and nominated for a 2013 Grammy awards under the category of “Best score soundtrack for visual media”.

8. Best Games of 2012: Mass Effect 3

It’s the third and final installment of Bioware’s opus magnum interstellar space adventure action role playing game! This installment marks the end of the journey of commander shepherd. The Mass Effect 3 ending was the most unexpected and controversial ending in the recent history of video games, which had some gamers praising and claiming it to be very anticlimactic. Mass Effect 3 was truly ground breaking in terms of tweaked battle mechanics, cover system and overall movement of the characters. The AI of the game was very competitive, and devised strategies to flush players out from behind cover making it thoroughly enjoyable. Mass Effect 3 won the coveted best RPG of the year award as well. There is a whole host of Mass Effect 3 DLC available for different consoles and gaming platforms, which will keep the players entertained till Bioware decides to add more to the mix.

9. Best Games of 2012: Max Payne 3 

Yet another trilogy on this chart! Max Payne is the third in line of third person shooter games and has quite a loyal legion of fan following. The third installment of the game sees the protagonist Max Payne a shadow of his former self, who is retired from the police force and has become a substance abuser. All the critics have been raving about the game in their Max Payne 3 reviews and lauded its new take on tone and style.

10. Best Games of 2012: Sleeping Dogs

What do you get when you mix Grand Theft Auto style vehicular action, a deeply moving story with the expanse of an open world? You get Sleeping Dogs which can be termed as a surprise hit of 2012. The game takes the players on the escapades of an undercover cop as he infiltrates the underworld of Hong Kong run by ruthless and barbaric criminals and still tries to hold on to his identity of a law enforcer. Initially, the game was being made by Activision Blizzard but they pulled the plug on it, due to high production cost. Luckily for gamers, Square Enix acquired the publishing rights and released it. The strength of the game is its excellent and deeply rooted story, meticulous details given to character development and of course the game play which consists of a very engrossing combat system and ability to drive different vehicles. Most critics while conducting Sleeping Dogs review praised its amalgamative best elements taken from various games. It is a must check out game for 2012.

11. Best Games of 2012: Xcom Enemy Unknown

Xcom: Enemy Unknown has to be the most unique entry on this chart due to its genre which is a mixture of various other genres. Enemy Unknown is a turn based-tactical role playing strategy video game. The developers of Xcom are Firaxis Games and it is published by 2K Games. It is a remake of all time favorite game “UFO: Enemy Unknown”. The premise of the game depicts earth being invaded by an alien horde, the job of the player is to helm an international team comprised of military individuals from around the world. This team is named XCOM and is assigned the task of defending earth from the aliens. The tactical aspect of the game will have players commanding troops on the battlefield in turn based missions, whereas strategy part will have the players do research and development of new tech from taken alien hardware and POW’s. XCOM received high accolades from all major gaming sites and was bestowed compliments like “Hallmark of Excellence” by critics in their XCOM: Enemy Unknown review. I highly recommend the game for anyone who wants to experience a mix platter of various gaming genres all combined artfully to present a delightful outcome.

12. Best Games of 2012: Walking Dead 

It was a brave move by Telltale games when they decided to make a video game based on the hit TV series “Walking Dead”. The game falls in the point and click genre and is an episodic rendition of the events not including characters from the TV series (the TV series itself is based on the comic series by the same name). Walking Dead is available for all major gaming platforms including the iOS. The plot of the game involves new characters and a new and unlikely protagonist named Lee Everett, who was a convicted killer before the sudden outbreak of the zombie apocalypse. Lee helps a young girl named Clementine and together they assist other survivors to safety. The mainstream characters of the TV series also make a short appearance.

Walking Dead game has been a smash with the critics who couldn’t get enough of the tense emotional content of the game and how it forges a connection between a seemingly cold blooded killer and an innocent girl. The game has rightfully won several top gaming titles and has been nominated as the “Game of the year” by various gaming sites and publications.

13. Best Games of 2012: Tekken Tag Tournament 2

The world of video games has certain unwritten norms one of which dictates that a sure fire way to kill a franchise is to keep releasing installment after installment of it over the years. But, there are some titles that are contrary to the rule! One of those titles is Tekken Tag Tournament 2 which became available for the general masses on September 2012. To the delight of Tekken fans, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 contains every playable character from all the previous Tekken games making it a true behemoth. Players can team two of their favorite characters up or go at it solo. The game has its own albeit short and concise storyline which involves the character Violet kidnapping the members of the Mishima family and making them compete against her robotic creation. Based on the reception the game has received worldwide and critically, it can be termed as a bona fide hit with a metacritic rating of 83/100.

14. Best Games of 2012: Pokemon Black Version 2

Pokemon Black Version 2 is a follow up on the immensely popular Pokemon Black. The plot of the game takes the players to the region of Unova where they can select to play as either the male protagonist Nate or the female protagonist Rosa. They are accompanied on their escapades by their rival, a character named Hugh. Juniper (character from the earlier games) has now become the assistant of Professor Juniper bestows the team with their Pokemon and with it they venture into Unova challenging others and at one point come face to face with Neo Team Plasma. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot as it would be a huge spoiler for those who haven’t tried this immersive and highly addictive game. My advice is to get it as soon as possible, provided of course, if you are a Pokemon fan!

15. Best Games of 2012: Persona 4

Although Persona 4 made an appearance in 2009, it’s included on the list because of its sheer awesomeness and replayability factor. Originally released for the PS2, this is the fifth installment in the Shin Megami Tensei series and falls in the category of RPG video game. The game is a signature JRPG with colorful characters and combats style and received high critical acclaim within Japan and outside it. It enjoys a metacritic rating of 90/100 and was one of the best RPG games released that year.

16. Best Games of 2012: Paper Mario: Sticker Star

Paper Mario: Sticker Star has the distinction of being first in its series that is playable on a handheld device (Nintendo 3DS) and continues the lovable tradition of paper craft style visuals. The game makes the players assume the role of the ever loveable plumber in a paper craft style world where stickers are used for power ups and valuable items. The game is an amalgamation of puzzle solving and doing battles a la signature Mario style against enemies. The plot hovers around Mario going on a quest to collect six royal stickers scattered through the world. For a Mario series game, it has an unusually low rating of 75/100, but don’t let that keep you from playing this interesting and delightful episode.

17. Best Games of 2012: NBA 2K13

Don’t let the cryptic name fool you! NBA 2K13 is a basketball game released by 2K games. The cover art of the game features three prominent NBA stars from different teams and the game is a sequel to NBA 2K12. NBA 2K13 has new innovations to make the gameplay more absorbing and interesting for the players. One of those features is the dribbling which has been adopted from another rival game of the same genre. 2K have decided to go beyond the playing field for this installment as the proceedings beyond the basketball court also get due attention. What players of NBA 2K12 will sorely miss is the historical mode which has been left out. The soundtrack of the game is also mention worthy, as it elevates the overall atmosphere and plays an integral role. The game has enjoyed high critical acclaims and has a metacritic rating of 88/100. The opinion of mostly prominent game websites towards NBA 2K13 has been positive with critics lauding it and claiming it best in the genre.

18. Best Games of 2012: New Super Mario Bros U

This is the second Mario Bros game that has made it to this chart of 20 best games of 2012, and it rightly justifies its place! This game varies from the first Mario entry as it’s a side scrolling platformer which would definitely make the fans of the series nostalgic. The levels are designed retaining the theme of the very first Mario games in mind where the goal is reaching a flag while avoiding hurdles, enemies and hazards on the way. The game allows up to five players to play simultaneously assuming the role of Mario, Luigi and two toads. The plot of the game significantly varies from the routine Mario theme of damsel in distress. This time around the miscreant Bowser has invaded the castle of the princess and using a giant mechanical device hurls Mario and company to a far off land. Mario must now traverse this new world and get back to the castle. The game is good, clean family fun and as pointed out by critics in their New Super Mario Bros U reviews and hailed it as a welcome return to the elements that made Mario such a resounding success in its heydays. Highly recommended for all fans of the Mario series.

19. Best Games of 2012: Lego Batman 2

Lego Batman is a take on the dark knights escapades set in the world of Lego. It’s a sequel to the Lego Batman: The video game and was released for general public on19 June 2012. The game has the distinction of being the first in series (developed by Traveler’s Tale) to actually have dialog. A whole host of DC comic characters are available for the players as Traveler’s Tale have pulled all stops to make this a memorable installment. The plot of the game is really intricate with Lex Luthor making a cross over from Metropolis to Gotham City and aiding Batman’s arch foe joker.

The voice acting is done by some well known actors, which makes the whole experience even more memorable. The game was well received by critics and gamers alike, owing to the new innovations and dialog and enjoys a metacritic rating of 80/100.

20. Best Games of 2012: Madden NFL 13

Nuff’ said!

 There you have it.

The 20 Best Games of 2012.

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