The GamerSushi Top 10 Games of 2012

2012 was a surprisingly robust year for gaming. While we didn’t quite get the bombardment of sequels to huge franchises that we’ve come to expect, we got a year filled with unique titles. 2012 was filled with strategy games, stealth games, new IPs and a new bar for emotional engagement in our favorite medium. Even the sequels found a way to change the game.

Suddenly, the industry gave us something we’ve been clambering for what has felt like years — some variety. And what a nice change of pace it’s been. So, without further ado, here is our list of the top 10 games of 2012. Enjoy, dudes.



10. Dishonored

Arkane Studios [Bethesda]

Few games can boast a pedigree like Dishonored, with developers from Half-Lfe 2 and the original Deus Ex behind its production. A game like that, even one based on a new IP, can have a lot of expectations and thankfully, Dishonored delivers. The smooth combat, fun, non-punishing stealth and oppressive atmosphere all serve to make Dishonored one of the biggest surprises of the year.

Sleeping Dogs

9. Sleeping Dogs

United Front Games [Square Enix]

While the open-world crime genre is getting played out, Sleeping Dogs gives this formula a shot in the arm by emphasising safe driving over recklessness and smart melee combat over gunplay. As protagonist Wei Shen, gamers travel around a beautifully rendered Hong Kong, toeing the line between undercover cop and Triad bad-ass.


8. Journey

That Game Company [Sony Computer Entertainment]

A symbolic game of exploration and triumph, Journey is truly unlike anything we’ve ever played. Find your scarf-wearing avatar (and maybe an anonymous buddy) in the lowest peaks or braving the coldest and loneliest mountain. Packed full of stunning vistas, a gorgeous art style and one of the year’s most riveting soundtracks, and Journey is a game that simply must be experienced.

Far Cry 3

7. Far Cry 3

Ubisoft Montreal [Ubisoft]

Do you know the real definition of insanity? It’s when you’re stalking pirates through the foliage and a pack of angry birds runs up and wipes out your prey. This is just one of the hundreds of emergent gameplay moments in Far Cry 3. Even though the tone and story range from inconsistent to downright bad, you get to have a wingsuit. And that’s just plain awesome.

Borderlands 2

6. Borderlands 2

Gearbox Software [2K Games]

Borderlands 2 manages to improve on its predecessor in almost every way. It has more visual variety, it has a better inventory management system, it has more guns and — perhaps most surprising of all — it has far more character development. The villain, Handsome Jack, is funny and menacing but definitely far more memorable than the first game’s final boss, and the game is populated with new and returning minor characters that make the strange and dangerous world of Pandora feel lived in. It’s also flat-out hilarious, incredibly addictive and a hell of a lot of fun.

Spec Ops: The Line

5. Spec Ops: The Line

Yager Development [2K Games]

In an industry where violence and war are always a topic, Spec Ops: The Line takes an unflinching look at combat full in the face, warts and all. Even though the shooting is average, the game’s set pieces, writing and messaging catapult it into the top 10 tier. Welcome to gaming’s Apocalypse Now, ladies and gentlemen.

Halo 4

4. Halo 4

343 Industries [Microsoft Game Studios]

343 Industries had the thankless task of picking up where beloved Bungie left off and starting an entirely new trilogy featuring Master Chief and Cortana. They not only proved that they were capable of making a Halo game, but that they could move the series forward in terms of graphics, storytelling and even multiplayer. Whether you think it is the best Halo yet or just an excellent entry in the series, its place in the top ten is unquestioned.

XCOM Enemy Unknown

3. XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Firaxis Games [2K Games]

On the surface, a science fiction strategy shooter doesn’t sound like game of the year material, but XCOM is loaded with surprises. Swift, brutal defeat could be lurking in the shadows just a few tiles out of reach, or the quick decision to take a risky shot could give you the thrill of victory. Firaxis did the unthinkable here — they made a turn-based strategy game into one of the most exciting titles of this generation.

Mass Effect 3

2. Mass Effect 3

Bioware [Electronic Arts]

The penultimate game of this year is the final chapter of BioWare’s blazing sci-fi trilogy. Players guided their Commander Shepard through his or her final trials, taking into account the previous 100+ hours of choice-based gameplay. While the ending falters, strong character moments and addicting multiplayer more than redeems this title.

Walking Dead

1. Walking Dead

Telltale Games [Telltale Games]

There is a moment in Episode 3 of The Walking Dead where a shot rings out and a character is killed. It is so sudden, so startling that it takes you aback — and the game very rarely lets up with these kinds of emotional sucker punches. The Walking Dead pulls you in with its tension and believable characters and then rips your emotions and nerves to shreds as you beg for more. Such an experience can only be called Game of the Year.


And there you have it. Which of these games have you guys played? How would you rank them? What games got shafted? What would you include in your own top 10? Go!

Written by

I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

4 thoughts on “The GamerSushi Top 10 Games of 2012”

  1. I think that’s a pretty fair list. Great choices as well! With The Walking Dead at number one, this really goes to show how well Telltale have redeemed themselves from their previous entries. I just got Halo 4 and I can now say I’m massively impressed. It’s sooo good and for a console nearing the end of it’s cycle, it looks incredible on the 360. If you’d like to party up and play some Halo 4 my GT is Ska For Dummies!

  2. Great list, glad to see Spec Ops so high. Wasn’t impressed with the X-Com demo, but I was not in the mood to take my time so I might want to give it another try soon.

  3. Cool stuff. I’ve only played 10 and 1 so far, but a few others are sitting in the que. The moment you mentioned in the description of Walking Dead was a moment that brutally pissed me off, made me quit the game, scour the internet to see if it was possible to change that situation and it wasn’t. It’s essentially what made me not like chapters 4 and 5 as much.

  4. @Julez,
    Couldn’t agree more.
    As much as I enjoy interactive story telling game, many of the events are way too scripted so you, the player only has one way to go. I get that its the apocalypse and nobody will make it to the end. I just feel that you could thresh it out so maybe I wouldn’t be a jerk to everybody out of necessity.

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