Game of the Year 2012 Part 1: Genre Awards

While others were hastily preparing for the apocalypse, we here at NoobFeed were too busy deliberating on the best games 2012 had to offer.

By azn_pride, Posted 29 Dec 2012

Game of the Year 2012, Review, Latest, News, Rumor, Preview, Trailer

If you’re reading this, that means you survived the apocalypse. Well, so did us! While others were hastily preparing for the end, we here at NoobFeed were too busy deliberating on the best games 2012 had to offer. There was certainly a multitude of titles that will be etched in our minds for a long time. Some games exceeded expectations and some didn’t, while others just surprised us in ways we never thought they could. 2012 was as much the year of the bow as it is consequential player choices, stealth, and the steady rise of digital downloads. Honestly, it was hard to pick which games deserve the nod. We were forced to choose one over the other and made some painful cuts along the way. Ultimately though, isn’t that what these awards are all about?

But we won’t waste any more time mulling over the fact that some of us are [still] angry over games getting majority of the votes, because we vehemently disagree that those games even deserve those spots. And…I’ll stop there.

We’ll be announcing the winners for genre categories today, get to the special categories next, and eventually, our Game of the Year. So without further ado, here is part one of NoobFeed’s GOTY 2012 awards.

Game of the Year 2012, Review, Latest, News, Rumor, Preview, Trailer

The category for best fighter hasn’t always been the most competitive in recent years, but with some sumptuous sequels and quirky new entries to pick from, there are a few vying for top spot. Each have their distinct play styles, art direction, levels of realism that it was hard to pick. There was much deliberation on this decision, but we eventually landed upon a worthy winner.

UFC Undisputed 3 (360, PS3)
Dead or Alive 5 (360, PS3, Vita)
Soul Calibur V (360, PS3)
Skullgirls (PC, 360, PS3)
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (360, PS3, Arcade, WiiU)

And the winner is…

Tekken Tag Tournament 2

Tekken first hit the arcades in 1994, just as Street Fighter itself was branching out. It was the perfect time to rival a genre giant; truly a breath of fresh air. Tekken has since been a main staple in gamers’ collections, winning an arena full of accolades along the way. Tag Tournament 2 is an amalgamation of all that is good and true about Tekken, allowing us to revel in with 59-man roster. While its single player is lackluster at best, there’s simply no denying its tight controls, solid combat, and overall rewarding gameplay mechanics. It could pass as spin-off, but it feels more like a celebration of its past accomplishments, standing as a testament to all that Namco Bandai has achieved these past two decades. The series may need an infusion of fresh ideas in the near future, but let’s just enjoy the game for what it is and put the fate of this gaming powerhouse aside for now.

Game of the Year 2012, Review, Latest, News, Rumor, Preview, Trailer

The enjoyment of overtaking your opponents by hitting the nitrous or drifting sharp turns at just the right moment never gets old. It is truly a classic style of one-upmanship, but that’s not its only appealing factor. As these titles have proven, a bit of open-world, colorful and intricately designed race tracks, and stylish presentation never hurt anyone.

F1 2012 (PC, 360, PS3)
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (PC, 360, PS3, Vita, 3DS, WiiU)
F1 Race Stars (PC, 360, PS3, WiiU)
DiRT Showdown (PC, 360, PS3)
Need for Speed: Most Wanted (PC, 360, PS3, Vita)

And the winner is…

Need for Speed: Most Wanted

You could say this game is a sequel of sorts to Criterion’s Burnout Paradise. Criterion Games definitely knows how to craft an engaging open world racing game, and Most Wanted is no exception. Most Wanted’s single player campaign isn’t exactly its brightest spot, but where the game truly shines is its robust multiplayer. Speedlists let you participate in five different events against others, and what gives these races an extra “edge” is that players can totally eliminate you from an event, leaving your score frozen for that event. Still, you can exact revenge on them despite being eliminated. Those are just a few moments that make Most Wanted fun, other than taking the cops into a merry chase around the city. The Autolog feature also remains a great addition to the franchise, giving you motivation to take on challenges from people on your friends list.

Game of the Year 2012, Review, Latest, News, Rumor, Preview, Trailer

Even if yearly iteration updates litter the sports genre, every year some of these titles stand out for going above and beyond their measure to provide stellar content. Other features even provide a bold new take on the genre. There’s a good reason why fans flock to their favorite athletic event: These games perfect the adrenaline rush of a sportive atmosphere.

Football Manager 2013 (PC, PSP)
NHL 13 (360, PS3)
UFC Undisputed 3 (360, PS3)
FIFA 13 (PC, 360, PS3, PSP, Vita, 3DS, Wii, WiiU, PS2)
Inazuma Eleven 2 (DS)

And the winner is…

UFC Undisputed 3

Despite THQ crumbling, they released some stellar titles this year that deserved to be commended for the excellent design and care that developers put in to save their beloved publisher. With gripping, edge-of-the-seat action, UFC Undisputed 3 shines atop this list. Not only did it try to rework its own mechanisms to create original and exciting ways to view the blood sport, it also succeeded in a challenging yet fair title that was surprisingly easy to pick up and brutal to master. Despite not landing enough sales and seeing the license go over to EA in the end, UFC 3 combined all the elements necessary for both fighting and sports fans to immerse themselves in the role of an ultimate champion. Its elaborate career mode and close-up, punishing action from within the hexagon kept us swinging for glory; teeth clenched the whole way to the final bell.

Game of the Year 2012, Review, Latest, News, Rumor, Preview, Trailer

There has always been an appeal to proper decision-making, micromanaging troops, and gaining the upper hand against your opponent.  Whether you’re trying to make all your vassals happy, flanking enemy positions or making supernatural monsters fight by your side, there were a fair amount of strategy titles to go around in 2012. Here are the games we remember fondly.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown (PC, 360, PS3)
Crusader Kings II (PC)
Warlock: Master of the Arcane (PC)
Pokémon Conquest (DS)
Endless Space (PC)

And the winner is…

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

There was certainly an addictive factor when it came to performing alien autopsies, upgrading armor, building plasma weapons, and making sure every country’s panic level didn’t reach maximum capacity. XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a classic revival in every sense of the word. It’s got the challenge, the whole meta-game on researching, upgrading technology and managing resources behind it, and the hectic tactical turn-based strategy combat that had you on your toes the entire time. It reprimands poor decisions and rewards skillful and successful play. It is as enjoyable as it is frustrating. The gameplay may not be as in-depth as the original, but it’s got Classic Ironman mode for longtime fans hungry for punishment, as well as something for newbies interested in getting a taste of what XCOM is about.

Game of the Year 2012, Review, Latest, News, Rumor, Preview, Trailer

Sometimes the puzzle genre doesn’t get the praise it truly deserves, with many pigeon-holing them as linear and limiting experiences. With an assortment of those games in 2012, however, it spits in the face of those naysayers with strong showings across the board. It may sound like a cliché, but all the contenders deserve it on their individual merits. However, there can be only one winner.

Fez (360)
Quantum Conundrum (PC, 360, PS3)
Splice (PC, Mac, Android)
Scribblenauts Unlimited (PC, 3DS, WiiU)
Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask(3DS)

And the winner is…


Fez is a unique and enthralling puzzle-platformer five years in the making. Was the wait worth it? You betcha. It almost feels like a throwback to games of decades past with its charming 2D interface, brought into the modern age with picturesque 3D backdrops. Exploration is the name of the game, without the need to worry about life, death or any such tribulations. Don’t be mistaken for thinking this game is an exercise in attendance though, as it tests you robustly with a fully rotatable map, unearthing previously hidden or inaccessible areas, sets of obstacles and platforms that will test both your thumbs, brain-power and observational sense. It’s a compelling air that overwhelms you while searching far and wide for those 32 golden cubes, and it’s especially pleasing picking some up in hard to reach locations. We tip our hats off to indie developer Polytron for doing a splendid job and can only anticipate more good things from them soon.

Game of the Year 2012, Review, Latest, News, Rumor, Preview, Trailer

It’s evident that shooters are generally becoming stale. That said, there are some titles each year that manage to scratch that itch to line up headshots against a seemingly endless horde of mutant bugs, ancient aliens, and misunderstood revolutionaries. The genre isn’t exactly picking up steam, but that hasn’t stopped these games from being entertaining, warts and all.

Borderlands 2 (PC, 360, PS3)
Halo 4 (360)
Call of Duty: Black Ops II (PC, 360, PS3, WiiU)
Planetside 2 (PC)
Primal Carnage (PC)

And the winner is…

Borderlands 2

Other than some slight improvements and interesting additions such as distinguishing between story and optional missions, Badass Rank, and even more guns compared to the original, Borderlands 2 is basically more Borderlands. Even then, that wasn’t enough to stop us from spending countless hours in the game, sidequesting and endlessly hoarding treasure chests in the always turbulent world of Pandora. It’s maintained its appealing cel-shaded look and its somewhat dark, goofy humor, while also giving players an incentive to shoot bandits and hostile creatures with other players for the benefit of getting better loot. Gearbox also went out of their way to address the narrative issue from the first Borderlands. While it isn’t exactly a considerable leap in quality, the story does surprisingly well expanding on specific characters’ backstories, as well as introducing an interesting villain in the form of Handsome Jack.

Game of the Year 2012, Review, Latest, News, Rumor, Preview, Trailer

A well-crafted universe, meaningful sidequests, elaborate dialogue trees, deep leveling system, and more are essential ingredients for making a good role-playing title. You know a game is doing an excellent job when all those factors come together and you’re immersed in its world. By the time you’ve reached the final chapter with high-leveled characters that have the best equipment available, you’ve obviously wasted too much time instead of doing something else. These nominees gave us similar experiences.

Mass Effect 3 (Xbox 360, PS3, WiiU, PC)
Guild Wars 2 (PC, Mac)
Torchlight II (PC)
The Last Story (Wii)
Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii)

And the winner is…

Mass Effect 3

Since 2007, Commander Shepard attempted to repel the Reaper invasion with the destruction of Harbinger; the fall of the Collectors. Now the Reapers have finally arrived and Commander Shepard must unite a galaxy to stand against the monsters from dark space. With an improved combat system, an intricate multiplayer mode, massive worlds to visit, and the effects of your decisions shifting the story, it’s clear that Bioware wanted Mass Effect 3 to be a memorable end for Commander Shepard. Despite the outrage over the ending, Bioware has crafted one of the most elaborate narratives in the history of this medium. The amount of pressure that goes to your mind about the choices you want to make weigh down on you as fate of everyone in the galaxy is decided.

Game of the Year 2012, Review, Latest, News, Rumor, Preview, Trailer

Perhaps the most straightforward genre there is, action games thrive on fast-paced, intense combat, exciting set-pieces, and an overall singular experience. Some may dismiss them as shallow, but upon closer inspection, there’s a layer of depth others just fail to see. There were undoubtedly more than enough titles this year worthy of that description.

Darksiders II (PC, 360, PS3, Wii U)
Shank 2 (PC, 360, PS3)
Mark of the Ninja (PC, 360)
Dust: An Elysian Tale (360)
Hotline Miami (PC)

And the winner is…

Darksiders II

Some of us found the first Darksiders to be a poor rendition of The Legend of Zelda, and weren’t excited about the upcoming sequel. While War’s campaign to clear his name was a tawdry trip of simple puzzles and poor exploration, Death’s adventure to save his brother was, in every way, the opposite. Traveling throughout the environment on Despair and collecting loot in each of the supernatural realms was alluring, especially for those seeking to explore the vast and wonderful world populated with so many paranormal denizens. A large amount of quality quests and dungeons to explore teeming with enemies to perforate makes Death’s quest to save his brother was one worth taking this year.

Game of the Year 2012, Review, Latest, News, Rumor, Preview, Trailer

Adventure games continue to be well and healthy. It’s almost hard to believe the point-and-click variety ever had a dry spell with how popular they are today. Our nominees represent what we think are some of the best the genre had to offer this year.

The Walking Dead (PC, 360, PS3)
Botanicula (PC)
Journey (PS3)
The Unfinished Swan (PS3)
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP (PC, Android, iPhone)

And the winner is…

The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead is a true milestone game. It single-handedly masters the use the episodic game format while also demonstrating how meaningful player choice can and should be integrated. A harrowing tale and riveting characters, punctuated by some of the most intense, difficult scenes to ever grace the medium, along with some of the best writing in the business. The Walking Dead is everything you could ask for and more.

Game of the Year 2012, Review, Latest, News, Rumor, Preview, Trailer

From fighting a centuries-old war between two secret powerful organizations to dealing with triad business as an undercover cop, action-adventure games provided us with some of the most memorable experiences in 2012. Not only that, the games on this list are jam-packed with content that added to the overall enjoyment we obviously had playing them.

Dishonored (PC, 360, PS3)
Assassin’s Creed III (PC, 360, PS3, WiiU)
Sleeping Dogs (PC, 360, PS3)
Retro City Rampage (PC, PS3, Vita, Wii)
Blades of Time (PC, 360, PS3)

And the winner is…

Assassin’s Creed III

From bartender to Assassin, Desmond Miles has acquired the wisdom of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad and the skills of Ezio Auditore da Firenze, and now must prevent the end of the world. A new ancestor, Connor (Ratonhnhaké:ton) has taken the spotlight. Although doesn’t share Ezio’s charm or Altair’s wisdom, he brings a palpable sense of loyalty and honor. As time moves forward, new techniques, weapons, and talents are developed and Connor has an array of choices at hand to tackle any situation, whether it’s sneaking into forbidden territory or disposing of multiple foes. With new, silky-smooth parkour mechanics, cool weaponry, and a vast, open colonial world teeming with naval battles, cinematic chases, and notorious historical figures, it’s hard not to be overwhelmed by the amount of single-player content available. Coupled with an intense multiplayer that has you constantly on alert, Ubisoft has made an incredible package.

Game of the Year 2012, Review, Latest, News, Rumor, Preview, Trailer

It feels like platformers are in a decline recently, mainly because there weren’t a ton that stood out in our minds. The ones that did, however, produced rich experiences that kept us coming back for more. Whether it’s to find hidden collectibles or punish ourselves by taking on the hardest levels, 2012’s best platformers were scarce yet fulfilling in many ways.

Trine 2 (PC, 360, PS3, WiiU)
Trials Evolution (PC, 360)
New Super Mario Bros. U (WiiU)
Mutant Mudds (PC, 3DS, WiiU)
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams (PC, 360, PS3)

And the winner is…

Trine 2

Trine 2 improves on the original by incorporating more ways to influence your surroundings and engaging puzzle mechanics for you to take on. The side-scrolling gameplay is once again split into the three playable characters (wizard, knight, and thief) from the first game. You can definitely choose to go solo, but where’s the fun in that? Co-op further sweetens the deal, because going back to some levels expands on new ways to overcome obstacles with other human players, both local and online. Trine 2 can also be deviously fun in another way by getting your friends angry. On top of that, the game looks amazing. From the remarkable detail and variety of environments to its bright, colorful lighting effects, Trine 2 is an absolute visual treat and one you shouldn’t miss.

Part 2 of our GOTY 2012 awards can be found here!

Also check,

Game of the Year 2012 Part 2: Special Awards

Game of the Year 2012 Part 3: GOTY Winner

comments powered by Disqus

  • NIce picks!

    Posted Dec 29, 2012
  • When I look at the nominees, I see all of them are as good as the winners. Must have been very tough picking the winning titles.
    Posted Dec 30, 2012

  • Good news for Fez fans. The puzzle game is coming to other platforms, according to the developer.


    Posted Jan 01, 2013

  • Awesome, I will have a chance to play it, since I don't have an Xbox. Also, Mass Effect 3? Best RPG? Is it even at this point?

    I kid (kinda). Great choices overall.

    Posted Jan 01, 2013

  • I'd like to join that kidding. No way Guild Wars 2 is more RPG than Mass Effect, amirite?

    Posted Jan 02, 2013

  • I'm disappointed by the lack of Far Cry 3.

    Posted Jan 04, 2013

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Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3, PC, WII, 3DS, Vita, Mobile
Publisher(s): NoobFeed
Developer(s): N/A
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Release Date: 2012-01-01

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