With 2012 behind us it’s time to embrace the future, but not before a recap of what (in my opinion) are some of the top games of this year. With a personal penchant towards handheld gaming and JRPG’s there may be a little bias, but that’s the reason it’s called ‘my’ top 10 rather than ‘the definitive’ top 10.
10 – Devil May Cry HD Collection
With the release of numerous HD Collections, 2012 seemed to be the year of nostalgia. Reprising Dante’s original exploits is a blast, despite the games intense difficulty curve. Just how did I complete these as a kid?
9 – Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance
The “Drop” mechanic was atrocious, this almost game-breaking feature was clearly used to lengthen play time. Yet the inclusion of “Flowmotion” made battles incredibly fast paced and fun, matching Sora and Riku’s abilities to those showcased in the series infamous cutscenes.
8 – Ratchet & Clank HD Collection
Maybe it was the year of nostalgia, sorry Q Force despite successfully managing to blend tower defense, platforming and MOBA into a single game, nothing tops the original trilogy and the first game I played on PlayStation 2.
7 – Max Payne 3
It’s certainly not easy to bring an iconic series back into the fray, Duke Nukem and even poor Alice (see Madness Returns) had a tough time with modern audiences. That’s why RockStar’s exemplary effort with Max Payne deserves recognition. The snowcapped streets of New York may be missing, but the typical noir tropes are out in force.
6 – Final Fantasy XIII – 2
If I’m going to give Square Enix credit for one thing, it’s that each title in the Final Fantasy XIII series has been radically different. Final Fantasy XIII-2 broke away from the linearity that plagued its predecessor, embracing Serah as protagonist in a search for Lightning. The series culminates with the release of Lightning Returns this year, watch your doomsday timer’s everyone.
5 – Sleeping Dogs
Activision must be kicking themselves for losing out on one of this year’s best games. Sleeping Dogs follows Wei Shen as he infiltrates the infamous triad group, Sun On Yee and the internal conflict and duress an undercover operative experiences.
4 – Mass Effect 3
Yes the ending was atrocious, but Mass Effect 3 was the fantastic culmination of two games worth of decisions, showcasing Shepard’s climactic finale against the reapers. Multiplayer was a surprisingly welcome addition, with regular updates and free downloadable content.
3 – Gravity Rush
Navigating the steampunk world of Hekseville is easy with Kat’s ability to manipulate gravity. Despite flaws with the combat, the beautiful cel-shaded graphics bring the world to life. With the Vita’s lack of support, it remains Europe’s “must have” game.
2 – League of Legends
League of Legends has been around for a while now, but 2012 heralded the beginning of Season 3, bringing massive changes to the Summoner’s Rift. The biggest impact has been on the eSports scene, popular for live streaming and the massive prize pools. My experience with League of Legends has been fantastic, due to the bonds I’ve built with friends.
1 – Persona 4 Golden
Persona has taken the top spot for the second year in a row, congratulations are certainly in order to Atlus. Whilst Persona 3 Portable dropped you in at the deep end, Golden takes a steady approach, building enigmas and drawing you into the world. The Vita’s powerful specifications means the title hasn’t been toned down, crafting the most definitive version of Persona 4 yet.