Revelations played out like a prime-time drama and featured a ton of action on the bite-sized 3DS. You controlled Jill Valentine, Chris Redfield, and a few new characters as they explored the events surrounding the destruction of Terragrigia through flashbacks while also trying to survive inside a derelict ship, the SS Queen Zenobia. The addition of the Circle Pad Pro peripheral helped with the tank-like controls and made for a faster-paced, more visceral Resident Evil experience. This game will be coming to consoles, so maybe you’ll see it on this list again next year?
Angry Birds Star Wars
iOS, PC, Mac, Android, Windows Phone
Angry Birds + Star Wars = match made in mobile heaven. Whether you’re a fan of only one of these franchises or both, Angry Birds Star Wars had something for everyone to like. Birds with the Force, lightsabers, and even ones modeled after our favorite droids helped make this game one of the year’s best mobile experiences. And updates are still being developed, so the action isn’t going to stop anytime soon.
For many PC gamers, Torchlight 2 dethroned Diablo 3 as the king of dungeon crawlers within the past year. Featuring multiplayer modes, new classes, and a crapton of loot, Torchlight 2 had hordes of us clicking endlessly in an effort to get cooler gear. If only our pets in real life acted like the in-game animal companions and could be sent out to retrieve supplies, because then we’d never have to step away from the game.
United Front Games/Square Enix London Studios
PC, PS3, Xbox 360
The Far East crime drama took us by surprise this year with its brutal action, compelling story, and beefy sandbox-style gameplay. Wei Shen’s forays into Hong Kong’s dark criminal underbelly gave us fascinating looks at a setting that we’re not used to seeing in open-world games like this. One of the best things about this title is that it survived development hell, which is a feat deserving of a spot on our list.
Another indie masterpiece to make it onto our list, Fez stands as one of the best puzzle games of the year. This colorful 2D platformer literally turns the genre around by letting you rotate the world to solve environmental puzzles. The graphics are bright, the soundtrack is almost zen-like, and the gameplay is beyond-words-fantastic. Besides, like the good Doctor says, “Fezes are cool.”
Far Cry 3
PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Far Cry 3 let you stab tigers and punch sharks. I mean sure, that’s something that might get the PETA people riled up, but it’s still pretty cool. Going around an island to fight off pirates and save your friends never felt more hardcore than in Far Cry 3. Add in some RPG elements, engaging characters, and an even better story makes this sequel one of the best games of the year.
Guild Wars 2
The new adventures in the world of Tyria were made even better by giving your character a unique back-story. Having to make choices that affected the narrative was a great addition for the game. This was only bolstered by the gorgeous visuals, the fast-paced frenetic action of the combat, and the many different ways you could customize your hero. But perhaps the most appealing thing about Guild Wars 2 was that it offered all of its content without a monthly fee!
PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Mac
The undisputed champion of the shoot ‘n loot genre came back this year, opening up a world of goodies for vault-hunting aficionados. The game packed in four new characters, even crazier weapons, and a stream of downloadable content that never seemed to stop. What truly makes Borderlands 2 one of the best titles out there is the sheer number of Easter eggs that can be found in the game. We’re betting you all sought out the Minecraft stuff on day one, right?
More of an experience than it is an actual game, Journey came to us from the folks who made the joyously atmospheric ‘Flower’. Words fail to describe what can be felt while experiencing Journey, but it’s so good that many gamers shout its praises despite the fact that it doesn’t take very long to complete. Run, fly, or teleport to your nearest PS3 if you haven’t played Journey yet! Then report back to us with your emotional findings.
Persona 4 Golden
The augmented PS Vita port of the original Persona 4 brought better visuals, more voice acting, and a few additions to the story. The game was already a huge hit with JRPG fans when it was first released in 2008, but the bonus content in Golden makes the social sim/dungeon crawler that much better. And because it’s on the Vita, you can takes quizzes, flirt with cuties, and summon monsters while you’re on the go.
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