Even though some of the games we were anxiously waiting for this year, like Bioshock Infinite, got pushed back to next year, we still ended up have a great year of gaming. Whether it was a big budget or an indie game, this year was chock-full of games with excellent stories, amazing gameplay, and fantastic graphics. So what games made the list? Read on to find out.

5. Max Payne 3

Max Payne 3

A slightly older but still emotionally screwed up Max Payne made his return this year in Max Payne 3. Max Payne 3 was the first game in the series that wasn’t developed by Finnish developer Remedy Entertainment or written by the original series creator Sam Lake. Despite those hurdles, the people over at Rockstar Studios did their homework and were able to create a great game that also fits naturally within the Max Payne series. The compelling, gritty storyline, mixed with thrilling firefights and simple controls, makes Max Payne 3 a must-play game.

 

4. Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 3

Let’s forget about the ending for a moment, regardless of your opinion, and remember everything else about the game. Mass Effect 3 nicely wraps up lingering plot points, offers enthralling action sequences, and provides an engaging story with truly memorable emotional moments. Overall, ME3 is an excellent title that could be considered the best of the three, depending on what you thought of the ending and how much you think it negatively/positively affected the game.

 

3. Dishonored

Dishonored

While a story focused on revenge isn’t the most original thing around, it’s everything else about Dishonored that makes it stand out from the rest. There are two things that make Dishonored great: one is that it gives players freedom of choice. You can choose to be as violent, non-violent, or stealthy (and so forth) as you wish. This freedom makes it possible for players to have multiple unique experiences when playing through a level multiple times. The second thing that makes Dishonored great is that each decision you make can noticeably effect how the game ultimately turns out. For instance, if you decide to be too violent, the characters around you will begin to act differently and you might end up with the dark ending. It’s worth multiple playthroughs just to see how the story can differ.

 

2. Borderlands 2

Borderlands-2-Wimoweh-Jungle-Trailer-600x300

Borderlands 2 brings gamers back to the lawless land of Pandora with a whole new set of Vault Hunters looking to end the reign of a tyrant named Handsome Jack. Borderlands 2 was everything a fan could want and more from a Borderlands game. Gearbox realized what made the original game a hit and simply improved the formula. The hilarious writing, non-stop action, and the compulsive need to open every chest guarantees hours of enjoyment.  And let’s be serious, people–how could you not love a game with 96.5% more wub wub?

 

1. Journey

Journey

Journey was one of the most unique games to come out of 2012. The story follows a mysterious wanderer traveling through vast and wondrous landscapes in order to reach the peak of a large, ever-present mountain while avoiding danger along the way. It’s not very often that you find a game as breathtaking as Journey. With gorgeous visuals and a beautiful soundtrack, Journey makes a strong case for why video games should be considered art.

Honorable Mentions:

The Walking Dead

Fez

Far Cry 3

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