This year was a significant one for gaming with the release of two new consoles (PS Vita and Wii U) along with a number of triple-A titles that pushed the current generation of hardware to its limits. Many of the most exciting games of 2012 were released over the past few months (e.g. Halo 4, Far Cry 3 and New Super Mario Bros. U) so unfortunately I haven’t got around to playing them yet.
I tend to play a lot of games from yesteryear such as PSone survival horrors and DS visual novels so I haven’t had much chance to sample the dozens of quality titles that were released this year besides the ones I reviewed for El33tonline.
You’ll also find quite a few handheld games in my ‘Top Ten’ list because there’s nothing I enjoy more than lying vertical and having an entire gaming experience resting in my hands. Besides comfort, handheld gaming also allows you to pick up from where you left off in seconds – something I hope the next generation of consoles manages to emulate.
Without further ado, here’s my list of the top ten games released during 2012:
Mass Effect 3
I bought this game for a steal (R150) so I didn’t go into the experience demanding my money’s worth. What I got was the kind of action RPG that doesn’t come around very often – one that boasts incredible production values, expertly-directed cut-scenes and a well-written script.
It’s difficult not to get lost in the world and characters of Mass Effect 3, and the game completely held my attention during the 30+ hours it took to complete. You know a game is working when you actively look for side quests to lengthen the experience, and that’s exactly what I did in Mass Effect 3!
The Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition
In my opinion Polish developer CD Projekt RED is one of the top game studios in the world, not only creating amazing RPGs but also acting generously towards its fans by releasing free DLC for its games. The world of The Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition is rich with detail and lore, and the game’s mature themes, sense of humour and non-linear plot are just some of the reasons why it’s one of the best action RPGs of all time. The game also looks superb for an Xbox 360 title and these amazing graphics help to sell the illusion of adventuring in a medieval fantasy world.
Resident Evil 6
As a huge Resident Evil fan, Resident Evil 6 introduced enough new elements to keep me absorbed throughout and it was especially great to see the return of characters such as Chris, Leon and Ada. While some may complain that the series has become too action-orientated, Capcom clearly feels that returning to the franchise’s slow-paced roots will adversely affect sales and this line of thinking is not without merit.
LittleBigPlanet PS Vita
Despite being developed by studios other than Media Molecule, LittleBigPlanet PS Vita is the perfect showcase of what the PS Vita is capable of and is brimming with creative ideas and chuckle-worthy charm. Featuring advanced community features and an endless supply of user-generated levels and mini-games to play, LBP PS Vita is well worth the price of admission. Ingenious level design, dazzling visuals and tactile control options make this one of the finest handheld games released this year, and quite possibly the best LittleBigPlanet title yet!
There have been quite a few short, indie games released on PlayStation Network this year but Journey is undoubtedly the cream of the crop. I really enjoy being able to play through a game in one sitting like you can do when watching a movie, so Journey’s brevity is a blessing rather than a curse in my opinion. Journey evokes uncommon emotions for a videogame, and its stirring, Grammy-nominated soundtrack and breathtaking visuals are food for the senses as you traipse, surf and soar through the desert on a quest to reach the summit constantly beckoning to you from the horizon.
The remainder of my ‘Top Ten Games of 2012’ are as follows:
Tekken Tag Tournament 2
Metal Gear Solid HD Collection
Resident Evil: Revelations (3DS)
Uncharted: Golden Abyss (PS Vita)
The Walking Dead
If you enjoyed this feature, be sure to read the rest of the team’s top picks for most impressive games of 2012 (so far):