Quantifying or even qualifying these games were difficult. Games like Syndicate had such enjoyable single player experiences that I finished it in one sitting. Other games like Natural Selection 2 had unbelievably cool multiplayer experiences that I could easily lose four hours to without thinking. But, measuring all of my experiences with a single number rating is difficult. Why did War of the Roses make the list but Far Cry 3 did not? Questions like these have an answer, but it is so debatable.I have heard some people say this has been a middling year for games; that a lot of overrated or only decent games have come and gone in the past twelve months. To some this is probably true, but, for me, I think quite the opposite. After changing this list roughly ten times I think I finally have my top ten games, but there are still another ten games I would love to include if I had the chance.

So, I guess with this comes so quick explanations if you will. I will start with number ten and work my way down with short simple reasons why I picked these games.

#10 Syndicate – Xbox 360
Syndicate is a first-person shooter that came out early this year to small sales but good critical acclaim. Based off of a two decade-old series about a dystopian future run by corrupt corporations constantly at war, this premise made for a nice science fiction FPS. Containing character upgrades abound, players could do everything from see through walls to hacking NPCs causing them to fight their allies. It gets number ten for being a well-rounded shooter with plenty of fun to be had.
#9 Chivalry: Medieval Warfare – PC
Chivalry, at number nine, is easily one of the strangest games to ever grace Steam. A first-person, medieval-themed multiplayer game, this titles immediately makes itself one of the most original games of 2012. Battles can take place between 32 players in differing scenarios, like free-for-all or capture the flag. A variety of classes with varying strengths and weaknesses allow for some very unique battles to take place. Chivalry takes a concept and makes it an amazing multiplayer game.
#8 Journey – PS3
Are games art? Journey looked to answer this question by making a game that could be considered art. A grandiose backdrop framed this amazing experience. Whether it was surfing crumbling sand dunes or exploring ruins of another era, Journey created something truly special. This truly unique experience coupled with an entirely new way to play with others set this game as number eight.
#7 The Darkness II – PC
The Darkness II is the sequel to one of the craziest games I have ever played, and one of my favorite games of all time, The Darkness. Taking place after the events of the first game and continuing the tragic story of mob boss/demon Jackie Estacado, you are once again in control of the unstoppable evil known as The Darkness. This title loses some of the insanity of the original, and takes a more linear approach to the game play  Even with these changes it was still great to return to that world and harness the dark powers once more.
#6 Hotline Miami – PC
Hotline Miami is a puzzle game wrapped up in a gore soaked 80’s throwback universe. Playing as a Letterman jacket-wearing psychopath, you are told by various masked individuals to go about seemingly simple tasks. But, these turn out to be setups for various massacres as you try to rip your way straight through rooms full of mobsters. Your tools include various guns, melee weapons, and unique animal masks that improve certain abilities. This game is the equivalent of a fantastic head-trip with a switchblade, and its insanity gets number six.
#5 Forza: Horizon – Xbox 360
Cars, long stretches of road, and a damn good set list opens Forza: Horizon for fifth place. It allows you to take to the open roads of Colorado and enjoy a more laid back Forza experience. The cars are still customizable, both internally and cosmetically, and a robust livery system will have the standard Forza artists back for more chances to make their masterpiece. A thriving community and near-perfect driving controls give this game a long tail for years to come.
#4 War of the Roses
War of the Roses is a historical third-person action game set in a medieval era. Two warring houses are fighting for control of various plots of land, allowing players to pick a side and battle it out online. Containing an extremely realistic combat system where everything from momentum to how your weapon contacts enemies all factor into gameplay, this title is a masterpiece in and of itself. Players can customize their banner and units to include archers, cavalrymen, or your simple knight which all have differing offensive and defensive skills. Overall, a great and underappreciated game that gets fourth place.
#3 Natural Selection 2 – PC
A multiplayer mod that became a full-fledged game, Natural Selection 2 is not your average first-person shooter. Combining gameplay of both FPS and RTS titles, NS2 creates a totally unique experience. Each team gets a commander, who can support and protect other players by creating structures for their team to use. The separate factions, the Marines and Kharaa, both play very differently and really allow for players to try all kinds of possibilities during battle. NS2 is a must buy for all PC gamers, and this indie shooter was an easy choice for number three.
#2 Dishonored – PC
The best first-person shooter of the year and probably the coolest game world since Skyrim, Dishonored was a close pick for game of the year. A well-thought out fantastic and mysterious universe adds to the challenging yet fun combat and traversal mechanics. Playing an assassin blessed by a god who may or may not be a floating whale, sets up this dark and grim tragedy. Dishonored really fleshes out some great characters and unbelievably original environments. This game is a definite must-play for fans of the FPS genre and those who love fantasy/science fiction worlds.
#1 XCOM: Enemy Unknown – PC
Finally, my 2012 game of the year has to be XCOM: Enemy Unknown. A reboot, in a sense, of a classic series that is not afraid to embrace difficulty and make you truly fear your enemies, XCOM is a stressfully brilliant game. Giving you control of a secret multinational organization, you have one mission: save Earth from alien invaders. This game allows for numerous replays and endless hours of turn-based combat, which can easily have you missing five or six hours in an attempt to rid the world of just one more squadron of alien scum. XCOM is a great game that takes cues from old and new titles to create a breed somewhere in between. It is a game made for hardcore fans of turn based strategy, but never looks to overwhelm newbies with complicated systems. The mechanics of XCOM Enemy Unknown are easy to use but difficult to master.

So, those are my top ten games of 2012. Feel free to leave any comments below, and remember, we are watching you, Commander.

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