GOTY: Mike’s Top 10

You know how we posted GOTY nominations two weeks back, just like we did in 2011? Yeah, ignore that. After talking it over with Jeff last week, we have decided that the traditional way of nominating and awarding GOTY awards is asinine.

Games don’t really fit neatly into categories and forcing discussions to be based around genres or consoles tends to shortchange worthy entries. Moreover, it’s just not how people play games, and certainly not how we at The Unplayables play games. 

So, we are going to be doing things a little differently. Here’s the way it will work: Jeff and I are each going to post an unordered list of our individual top 10 games of the year. We will then air a podcast in the next week or so where we will compare these lists, and we will decide one overall Game Of The Year from them. Simple and honest.

I’m going to kick this thing off by posting my list of 2012’s best games below. These are only in alphabetical order. These are the 10 best games of 2012, in my opinion.

Borderlands 2 – I hated the original Borderlands, so Gearbox kindly went and fixed everything that was wrong with it. A fully integrated (and hilariously written) storyline, combined with more diverse and interesting environments (and mission structure) made this game one of the best experiences I had this entire generation.

Dust: An Elysian Tail – Get over it. This game was great.

Far Cry 3 – I love this game. I have never loved a Far Cry game before. This is all new and exciting and scary. Also, I appreciate how Ubisoft is just making every game Assassins Creed now. Since I like those mechanics, but I am sick of Assassins Creed itself, this works out great for me.

Journey – A metaphysical commentary on the nature of life and death by the guys that made Flower. I should have hated this. I didn’t. I found Journey engaging and moving. The multiplayer aspects were neat, but the real star was the environments and the narrative.

Mass Effect 3 – No, I didn’t like the ending either. I didn’t hate it, it wasn’t great, but it was fine. The rest of the game held some amazing moments, and that gets lost in the uproar. Folks need to recognize: Mass Effect 3 was a pretty great game.

Persona 4: The Golden – I don’t think anything has been more gratifying this year than seeing Jeff get hooked on Persona 4, FINALLY. It was one of my favorite games of all time, and Persona 4: The Golden is an amazing version of it. It is streamlined, quick, flashier, inventive and perfect for playing in small chunks. It is also the best reason out there now to own a Vita.

Sleeping Dogs – Easily the most fun I had with an open world game this year, and maybe the most fun with any game. Everything about Sleeping Dogs, from the story to the driving to the great hand-to-hand combat just worked for me. Also, this was the game that finally got me to hook my PC up to my TV and I haven’t looked back since.

Spec Ops: The Line – What could have been an average military shooter ended up as one of the most interesting games I have ever experienced. The transformation that the player’s character (wonderfully voiced by Nolan North) goes through is remarkable, and the reveals by the end of the game are worth the price of admission.

The Walking Dead – Tell Tale has come a long way. The Walking Dead is a triumph for episodic gaming, for player choice mechanics, and for mature, difficult and emotionally complicated storylines. It is also the best example for why adventure gaming never died. It just evolved.

X-Com – I was never a fan of the original X-Com. It was too difficult for me to wrap my brain around it, and it was terrible at explaining its own systems. You had to read through dozens of pages just to understand what the various buttons on the screen did. This new X-Com is just as hard, but it manages to be an intuitive, engaging experience.

And that’s that: Do you agree? Disagree? I assume Jeff is going to have all sorts of nonsense on his list like Asura’s Wrath or something, so keep your eyes peeled.

About Mike Cantor

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