With just a day left until we delve into 2013, and what should be a fantastic gaming year, it’s time for us to reveal the top 10 games that tickled the fancy of the NGB team in 2012.
It sounds like a cliche, but it’s been another amazing year, with one top title followed shortly by another. Narrowing down our selection down to just 10 wasn’t easy, that’s why we are going to start off with a few honourable mentions and then reveal positions 10-6. Right, let’s go!
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
(Firaxis Games | Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC)
Toby Ross: It might be easy to be turned off by XCOM’s somewhat shoddy shell, with unappealing graphics and a visual representation which doesn’t always match up that well with what’s going on in the game, but persist past this and you are rewarded by a superb turn based strategy and tactics game – and one which stands up solidly on consoles. It’s a game which forces risks, rewards and painful consequences, developing a powerful connection to your squad members and the XCOM project. It sums to a hugely immersive experience, where every choice counts.
(Ubisoft Montpellier | Wii U)
Aryel Abrahami: Survival horror is back in a big way. It would seem that the genre went into hiding for so long that certain reviewers forgot it existed and, though it should play like Left 4 Dead. Zombi U is a carefully crafted horror experience with an intense atmosphere. Every beep on the radar, every murmur from a zombie sends a shiver down your spine. Zombi U is the reason to buy a Wii U, the use of the gamepad is woven into every aspect of the game which only intensifies the whole experience.
(Visual Concepts | Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U and PC)
Gari Clark: Not only is NBA 2K13 the best sports game on the current crop of consoles, it’s up there for being one of the best of all time. Stunning presentation accompanied by a realistic control scheme all tied up with enough game modes to shake a stick at. NBA 2K13 is without doubt one of the best titles of 2012 in my eyes and anyone that has an even slight interest in basketball should pick this up straight away. Stunning.
There you have a few of our honourable mentions, now it’s time for positions 10-6.
10. Pro Evolution Soccer 2013
(Konami | Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC)
Alan Curdie: A sports titles that has taken up a lot of my gaming time in 2012. Yep, it has its flaws and are perhaps isn’t perfect “out of the box”, but PES 2013 continues to do something right otherwise I wouldn’t keep going back to it. A very interesting 2013 awaits for PES.
Adam Neaves: After playing PES 2012 for a good few months and getting rather frustrated with it, I was not expecting this year’s iteration to be in my top 5 at all. How wrong I was though, eh? Even with boot controversy in Master League and the exclusion of League mode, PES 2013 is the first current generation entry in the series that I can play for countless hours on and not get bored. That special ‘PES’ feeling is back in abundance.
9. Assassin’s Creed III and Darksiders II
(Ubisoft Montreal and Vigil Games | Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U and PC)
Nico Di-Maria: Whilst the game is blitzed with bugs, I still love Assassin’s Creed III. Sure, it starts quite slowly, but once you get past that the game comes alive. Fantastic missions, amazing graphics and a story that could compete with Hollywood blockbusters, Assassins Creed III is a great addition to the series.
Alan Curdie: Maybe it wasn’t everything we wanted and maybe it lost some of what made the likes of Assassin’s Creed II and “Bromance” so good in terms of gameplay and even story, but Ubisoft did cram a hell of lot into this “true” sequel. A bit hit and miss, but I did sink over 30 hours into the game and still have plenty to go back and do… and want to go back and do.
Charles Le Sueur: In an age of first-person shooters topping the gaming charts a few times a year, it was great to see a proper action/adventure RPG make its way up there. Darksiders II has enough action in it to keep even the shortest of attention spans interested. RPG elements allow each player to style Death in which ever way fits their brand of combat, whereas puzzle elements mean that it isn’t just a case of hacking and slashing your way through the game.
Aryel Abrahami: One of the most exciting games of 2012. The colourful dungeons and spectacular combat are back, and better than ever. A completely different protagonist makes Darksiders II a sequel well worth any serious gamer’s time.
8. Halo 4
(343 Industries | Xbox 360)
Asim Tanvir: Like it or not, Master Chief is back. And you know what, it’s great to be back in his massive boots. 343 Industries have done a fantastic job in staying true to the Halo roots whilst adding their own, modern twist to the gameplay. However, whilst there’s no doubt that they’ve freshened the series up a little, those expecting a massive departure from previous Halo games might end up somewhat disappointed. That said, despite the slightly abrupt ending, the campaign is a blast throughout and multiplayer is sure to keep you addicted until the next addition to the series. Simply put, if you’re a fan of the series, Halo 4 won’t disappoint. It’s not a perfect return, but Master Chief is well and truly back. Long live the Chief.
Aryel Abrahami: Halo is back! New boys 343 played it safe for the most part with some classic combat and old enemies, but sprinkled in just enough of something new to make this a Halo game to remember.
Charles Le Sueur: I gave this a place in my top 5 because I feel that 343 Industries have done very well in proving that they can do Halo just as well (if not better) than Bungie. With some new enemies, weapons and improved AI, I am extremely excited for the next entries in the series.
7. LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
(Traveller’s Tales | Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3)
Tom Mills: Taking everything that was brilliant about the LEGO Games, adding real voice actors, better puzzles, and a huge playground outside of the story missions gives you LEGO Batman 2. There’s so much to do that completing the game with a 100% rating seems intimidating, but it’s never tiresome. It’s just really fun. Incredibly fun. It’s just brilliant.
6. Sleeping Dogs
(United Front Games/Square Enix London Studios | Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC)
Adam Neaves: Square Enix and United Front Games have done a great job in creating such a fantastic game, with the in-game combat being my main highlight of an expertly crafted open-world package. Gone are the days of easy fights as Sleeping Dogs’ combat system makes you think carefully about your next move.
Gari Clark: Sleeping Dogs really surprised me if I’m honest as, although I was expecting it to be a good game, I didn’t expect it to grab me and pull me in like it did. Thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish, with varied missions throughout and a huge amount of extra stuff to keep you coming back for more. Brilliant fun, and an overall fantastic title.
Do you agree with our choices so far? Let us know via the comments section below, and be sure to check back later today for our top 5 games of 2012!