We recently asked El33tonline’s friends and readers to help us form an excellent list of the best, most memorable and important games of 2012, and over three stages of voting, everyone pulled through for us with aplomb.
After whittling down the lists in the first and second stages of voting, we then asked you all to tell us your favourite games included in the provided list, and now that this stage of voting has come to a close, we’re very excited to share the results with you!
What were the Ultimate Games of 2012, as voted on by the El33tonline community? Let’s find out…
El33tonline’s Ultimate Games of the Year 2012!
“Fez is one of those little gems that only comes along every so often – the kind of game that can sweep you off your feet and carry you to far off magical places. It’s totally unique and has charm dripping from every corner. If more games are made with the same amount of detail, care and love, then the world would be a better place because of it.
“The trippy story coupled with the weird and crazy world simply adds to the experience.”
Tied for 19.) New Super Mario Bros. 2
“Mario games are masterful in their pacing, and New Super Mario Bros. 2 is no exception. You can zoom through the game and defeat Bowser in less than four hours, but if you stop there you are missing most of the fun. There are still hidden worlds to find (there are clues provided for where they are hiding) and play through.”
Tied for 19.) New Super Mario Bros. U
“This is not ‘just another Mario game.’ Nintendo have thrown out the Propellor and Penguin suits and added just one new suit, the Flying Squirrel suit, while keeping the Ice Flower and Mini-Mario power-ups. In doing so they’ve gone back to basics in creating the courses with simple running and jumping in mind, but they’ve pumped up the variety in the levels themselves.”
18.) LittleBigPlanet PS Vita
“ LittleBigPlanet PS Vita represents the crowning achievement of the series and ushers in a new generation of platformer that literally puts the game’s world in the player’s hands with fantastic results.”
17.) Forza Horizon
“Forza Horizon may not be cast in the same mould as the previous Forza games, but does a very good job of walking the line between arcade racer and simulation. It retains the beauty of Forza, the drivability of Forza and the fun of an open-world arcade racer. If I have to choose a game that it reminds me of most, it has to be the original Need For Speed from the nineties: beautiful cars in the beautiful countryside.”
16.) Guild Wars 2
“Guild Wars 2 is one of the few games that allow you to enjoy all the benefits of a MMORPG simply by purchasing it once-off. Featuring some of the best graphics yet seen in this popular genre, Guild Wars 2 presents players with a wonderfully realised world that is just begging to be explored.
“If you’ve played Guild Wars to death then this significant passage of time between the two games should result in a decidedly fresh experience due to changes in armour, clothing and weapon design along with the significant advancement of in-game technology.”
15.) Dragon’s Dogma
“The world in Dragon’s Dogma itself is exciting to discover. There are dangers around every corner, some much more intense than others, which means you must always be prepared for the worst. The day is safer than the night – if you get caught out on the road when night falls it can be a very scary experience! Your lantern will help but it only lights up a tiny area around you, and battles with even puny goblins are manic without the light of day.”
14.) Darksiders 2
“Despite being a singleplayer only game, Darksiders II is a thoroughly complete experience and provided me with an epic 30+ hour action RPG adventure through one of the most fully realised worlds I’ve had the pleasure of exploring. While light puzzle elements kept my brain ticking over, the constant introduction of fresh gameplay elements and the challenging, satisfying combat sequences and boss battles were all paced to near perfection.”
13.) Sleeping Dogs
“Sleeping Dogs is simply a must have. The complexity and quality of the game keeps you absolutely enthralled from start to finish and it is well worth the money you’ll spend on it. I think this game is a serious contender for Game of the Year and that there is enough variety in the game to keep almost any gamer happy.”
“Most videogames try to evoke a sense of power in a player but Journey attempts to do just the opposite. It tries to make the player feel small and have a sense of awe for the massive environment. As soon as you step into the world of Journey you will feel this isolation and become drawn into the mysterious world around you.”
11.) Hitman: Absolution
“Hitman: Absolution is streamlined in some areas for newcomers, but has been made more hardcore for experienced gamers, too. It looks fantastic, even with the sun shining off Agent 47’s head, it sounds brilliants with Agent 47 voiced by a South African (yay us!), and the characters have real depth.”
10.) Max Payne 3
“I think Max Payne 3 is going to pick up a lot of awards and it will definitely be up there when the ‘Game of the Year’ is considered. The story mode allows you to immerse yourself thoroughly in the game and the arcade mode allows for instant and intense action.
“If you’re thinking of only buying one game in 2012, add Max Payne 3 to your short list – you definitely won’t be disappointed.”
9.) Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
“Is Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 the best game in the franchise? Is it worthy of the multiplayer crown that the series seems to effortlessly retain year after year? Reservedly, I would say ‘yes’ to those questions but there would be extreme caveats attached to the answer.”
8.) Assassin’s Creed 3
“Presentation-wise, Assassin’s Creed III is an astounding game with amazing characters, an immense and detailed world, and hundreds of extra activities to take part in – fans of open-world games will be able to squeeze dozens of additional hours out of the title beyond its main campaign.”
“Dishonored has worked incredible magic on the stealth-action genre of games and Arkane has answered more than a few questions that other developers have been struggling with, with regards to story motivation and feedback as well as stealth gameplay in general, and the world and characters are deceptive in their intention to intrigue you, resulting in one of the most believable play spaces I’ve ever seen. For stealth fans, and even those mildly interested in the genre, this is a must-play.”
6.) Mass Effect 3
“I wax lyrically about Mass Effect being better than the sum of its parts and the technical bits simply tie together to deliver an experience unlike any other in gaming. This may not be the best of the series for some, but in my book it deserves every accolade it receives. Now protect your save games, and let’s see where the Mass Effect universe takes us next!”
5.) XCOM: Enemy Unknown
“The XCOM series remains truly unique in its blend of grand strategy and tactical combat, and Enemy Unknown is a game well worth the time of anyone who considers themselves a strategy gamer of any kind. In fact, I’d say it’s required playing for strategy gamers – you don’t want to miss this game.
“For others who mostly live in the world of action games, if you’re looking for a change of pace I can’t recommend this game highly enough. It’s a magnificent achievement by Firaxis, yet another to add to their already impressive canon.”
4.) Halo 4
“On your journey in Halo 4 those battlefields will take a variety of forms, from lush jungles choked by immense twisting tree trunks, volcanic terrain fused with glowing, alien structures, vast plains dotted with hills and soaring mountains, and Halo’s traditional cavernous metallic halls, shiny technological passageways and walls pulsating with circuits of energy.”
3.) The Walking Dead Series
“I feel drained now. I have walked this journey with anticipation, with fear and heartache, and with a boatload of surprises. Nobody was safe and they all could die at any second. I feel exhausted, but at the same time I need more. I am sad, but I am also excited.”
2.) Far Cry 3
“Far Cry 3 shines brightly in places that other open-world sandbox games lie dull, exhibiting the very best qualities of this genre by giving you a vast playground to romp through while using mostly any approach you can think of to do so. The game is ripe for emergent stories (a ‘Holy Grail’ of games) as players experiment with their tools and test the limits of the simulation, with tales of marauding cheetahs and movie-like vehicle chases their reward.”
And El33tonline’s Ultimate Game of the Year for 2012 is…
1.) Borderlands 2
“Borderlands 2 is one of the most wildly fun, hilariously imaginative and frighteningly addictive adventures I’ve ever been on. Pandora is a creatively crafted world, filled with colourful characters, distinctive environments, unforgettable enemies… and lots and lots of guns!
“The missions are always varied, always entertaining. Whether you’re delivering birthday invites for Claptrap, rifling through skag poo, surviving waves of enemies in an arena or continuing the serious business of defeating Handsome Jack and saving Pandora, there’s always something to do. With a game world this large it’s important to have variety, not only in the missions, but also in the environments, and 2K Games has delivered on both.
“Borderlands 2 delivers more of the awesome that you came to know in Borderlands. If you have played the original then you will love this game, if you didn’t then you will wonder why not. My advice? Pay a visit to Pandora…you’ll be so glad that you did.”
Thanks to everyone for voting for El33tonline’s Ultimate Games of the Year! We couldn’t have done it without you.