In case you're wondering, these ARE all my opinion, and I really would like to hear from readers who have titles they've enjoyed more -- I certainly haven't had a chance to play every title that's come out this year.
For this post, I'm even going to put them in descending order by preference; frequent readers (if such a thing exists) would know that only my 5th slot is considered the "favorite," the rest are in a rather... arbitrary order.
If you're looking for gift ideas this holiday season, I think these would be great. I'll list what system I played them on, but all besides one title can be found on any current gen console.
Well, here goes:
|Mass Effect 3 (X-Box 360)|
While I join the masses in being dissapointed with the ending of ME3 (note: I've yet to play through the DLC ending), I really enjoyed the game as a whole and thought it was a fitting evolution for the series. There were some components of ME1 I enjoyed more, but ME3 fully improved upon the second one and remained exciting the entire time.
If you haven't played a Mass Effect title, I strongly suggest you play through the entire series. It's great Sci-Fi fun and has a really interesting universe built around it. The game play takes a fairly dramatic shift from 1 - 2, but it's mostly for the sake of streamlining.
This game is great if: you enjoy games with deep stories and sci-fi action.
|Batman: Arkham City (X-Box 360)|
A direct sequel to one of my favorite games in general, AC improves on almost everything featured in Arkham Asylum. The atmosphere is the one dramatic change, and I believe it's a matter of preference -- AA was a fairly linear game with mostly enclosed areas and tensions riding on that. AC is a more open world option, my personal preference, which opened it up to a lot of interesting scenery and side quests.
The story for AC is a bit out there, but it's fitting for a comic book character. The gameplay is improved upon, meaning the already amazing combat has gotten that much better. And, as sequels should be, it's prettier than ever.
This game is great if: you like Batman and kicking ass in action games.
|Sleeping Dogs (PC)|
Click here to read my first impression of Sleeping Dogs.
Since my first impression, I've almost finished the game. I did get distracted by other titles, but Sleeping Dogs has easily been one of my favorite games this year. It's similar to a GTA/Saints Row style game, but the story is done much better than anything I've seen from this genre. Also, the action is much, much better. The combat itself is on par with the Batman titles, driving feels awesome, and it is a very nice looking game (on my gaming PC).
This game is great if: you enjoy sandbox games, action titles, or Chinese action flicks.
|XCOM: Enemy Unknown (PC)|
This title was my most anticipated title this year, and it did not disappoint. I reviewed it right after it was released, so I won't harp on it too much more.
If you're a fan of the original game, this is much, much different. It is a streamlined strategy title that stands on its own merits while pulling thematically from the original.
If you've never played an XCOM title, they are strategy games that have a very important resource management portion.
This game is great if: you enjoy strategy titles, grid/turn based combat, shooting up some aliens.
|Persona 4: Golden (Vita)|
Yes, I reviewed this last week. Yes, I'm still obsessed with this game. It IS a port of a PS2 title, but it has been improved enough to feel different and much, much more accessible. I'm coming up on the close of my first play through and am anticipating a run through New Game+.
Not only is this my favorite game of 2012, I'm confidant in saying it has become my favorite game of all time. I fully understand people disagreeing with this, but I'm an RPG fan at heart and this hits me on the RPG game level and, additionally, gets to the reader in me who likes mystery and interesting, humorous characters. Check out my review for a bit more info!
This game is great if: you want a decently lengthy RPG, you love games with interesting stories, or you like your RPGs with some level of replayability.
There were several runner ups, but I'll save them for later down the line in the off chance I do a best game by genre feature for 2012.
Let me know what you think about my list and post your own below!