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All Age Gaming’s Personal Top 5 Favorites for 2012

The end of the year is coming fast and soon, which means Game of the Year awards are going start popping up left and right. While All Age Gaming will stick to this annual tradition, we are also going to introduce something else this year: A Persona Top 5 Game list. No ribbons or trophies to those involved, but simple unapologetic opinions by the Writers here on this site about five games they liked, warts and all. Without further ado let’s begin!

Paul Barbara’s Top 5 Favorite Games of 2012

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Forza Horizon

Forza Horizon was everything that I had expected it to be, plus a whole lot more.  With its huge open world and a story to boot, you’ll feel like you’re part of the Horizon festival. Playground Games have truly delivered an awesome racing experience that proves there’s more to racing than just race after race.  It’s a culture, and Forza Horizon is a must buy for anyone who wants to experience every aspect of motorsport racing without feeling intimidated.  Forza Horizon is definitely the best racer in town for 2012, and that’s why it’s got my vote.

Dishonored 

Dishonored was most certainly a great game that truly had emerged from the shadows with very little hype and media attention. It has taken many gamers by surprise with its great story, beautiful environments and unique gameplay. Dishonored’s greatest strength lies in the way you can totally customise your experience depending on your choices between all out shooter or stealth assassin. Dishonored will see you come back for multiple playthroughs and is a title that will provide a large amount of value for gamers. Dishonored truly is this year’s sleeper hit for 2012 and a strong candidate for game of the year. Dishonored is a refreshing experience.

Halo 4

Many gamers have praised Halo 2 as the pinnacle of the Halo experience. This year, we have a new contender and victor as far as I am concerned.  Halo 4 is an absolute masterpiece in every way, shape and form.  343 Industries know Halo inside out, and the final product was one that I as a gamer am proud to play.  From its unique environments, to its ever expanding story arc, Halo 4 will keep you on the edge of your seat for the entire campaign.  This is the most definitive Halo experience yet.

New Super Mario Bros Wii U

Mario is back and doing what he does best, but this time in HD on Nintendo’s all new Wii U console.  As a long serving Nintendo fan, seeing Mario take the next evolutionary step has been extremely rewarding.  The innovation with the tablet and the new ways to play truly deserve credit.  Nintendo’s mascot does Nintendo proud in his latest outing with a real old school Super Mario World kind of feeling.  If you grab a Wii U this holiday, you must do yourself a service and pick up this title, you most certainly will not be disappointed.

Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2 was a massive sequel to the original title that created the shooter RPG genre so to speak.  With Borderlands 2, the Vault Hunters are back in search of a new villain, Handsome Jack.  Borderlands 2 does a great job improving on almost every aspect of the original from the enemy varieties, to the leveling up abilities, challenges, menu design, character design and overall story and its humor.  Borderlands 2 pushes the envelope further again and is a title you don’t want to miss.  Shoot and Loot till your hearts’ content!

Charlotte Grace’s Top 5 Favorites of 2012

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Dishonored

Dishonored was not what I expected but once I had my hands on this great title I was engaged into the story line. The amount of choices and actions you make that can alter what happens in the future is a refreshing change from one basic plot line like in most games. Then there is your ability to outright slaughter everyone or stealthily move around without touching a single enemy. It is definitely a unique title.

Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2 making its great comeback with its sequel was all that everyone was hyped up for. They took everything from the first one and made it bigger and better just as 2k and Gearbox said they would! You don’t want to miss out on this great title.

Assassin’s Creed 3

I thought would be one too many in the series but it shocked me on how the game consumed me into the story. It was not what I expected. The way they tied other cultures and their history into the story line with its plots and twists had me going.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

Black Ops 2 Keeping its anticipation had me hooked onto the campaign. I was hanging onto every thread of the story and the action packed way it kept me entertained was amazing. The choices you make that can alter your ending were a first. Then there is the futuristic multiplayer that they just outdone themselves in. Zombies’ making a comeback is better than ever with the new transit mode making it just that bit more entertaining.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is like a cross between World of Warcraft and Fable. The graphics were amazing and colourful and the story line kept me interested.

Carmall Warburton’s Top 5 Favorites of 2012

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Far Cry 3

A well written (if not a little short), and beautifully designed open-world game which continues to enthrall you the more you play. Random events make for a unique playthrough each and every time. You won’t want to put it down.

Final Fantasy XIII-2

Probably an unexpected or even forgotten choice, Final Fantasy XIII-2 – while confusing at times gave us exactly what we wanted from it’s predecessor. The storyline may have been a little shaky at times in comparison, but the additional freedom and abilities matched with its always stunning life-like graphics make playing it a treat for the sensors and it should receive the praise it deserves.

Mass Effect 3

A controversial choice, more than a few people would disagree with. I don’t believe you can judge a whole game by it’s last 10 minutes of gameplay. While there was some displeasure over the ending, the game itself was a big step for the conclusion of the Mass Effect Trilogy and not a task to be taken lightly.

Halo 4

The Halo series has always been iconic; from its sound track and scenery to its energy swords and vehicles. 343 Studios have earned a great deal of respect for their treatment of such an established (and popular) franchise. Granted, if you’re not a Halo fan, you probably won’t like this one either. Those of you who are, and were worried about the treatment of your beloved game, well rest-assured you’re in good hands and in for a hell of a ride!

Assassin’s Creed 3

AC3 takes the controversial leap removing certain aspects of games previous and adding new experiences. A lot of these are positive additions, adding exciting new elements to the series we love. Putting Connor’s character flaws aside still leaves you with a well-rounded and enjoyable game. It might not match up to previous titles, though this is a purely personal opinion, it is still a highly enjoyable game for the right audience.

Khye Davey’s Top 5 Favorites of 2012

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Mass Effect 3

Going back into the fray to complete the final adventure with Commander Shepherd was the highlight of the year. No other title throws you into such a complete intergalactic world full of inter species politics, inter species loving and kick ass fights. Gameplay was that terrific mixture of suspense and frantic gun fire, your relationships and what you did off the battlefield were as important as ever, and the decisions of previous games affecting your world showed how well the team integrated the story.  Although the ending was a little weird, all the elements that have made the trilogy so popular were present and polished and I loved every minute of it.

Borderlands 2

The unique art design, weapons, humour and variety of missions established Borderlands 2 as one of the great current day RPG/shooters. What really sealed the deal was the Co-op Multiplayer. Being able to have a variety of local and online options, have the game automatically adjust the difficulty and the ability to jump into a mates campaign and then leave were brilliant and pulled off practically bug free.

Far Cry 3

Far Cry did an impressive job of taking you on a journey from an ordinary care free young man to a skilled and ruthless killer of man and beast alike. Its one of the most believable stories as it draws you in with the old ‘how far would you go for your friends’ routine. A stunning open world, far less of the long travel issues that plagued Far Cry 2 and a tailored skill up system that saw you trekking, driving, swimming and zip lining around the island trying to rescue your friends. The whole experience utterly satisfying.

Dragon’s Dogma

Even though there were some issues like the ridiculously long traveling along the same path again and again, the fighting mechanics in Dragons Dogma were excellent and the best part were the epic fights against mythical beasts of yore. From cyclops and hydras, to griffins and dragons there was something for the whole family and I gotta tell you no matter how many times I jumped onto the back of chimera to cut one of its heads off, it never ever got tired.

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron

I am a child of the 80′s and its Transformers. Enough said. On top of that though the game built on the fighting from War for Cybertron to make it more strategic. The levels were more heavily story driven and each level forced you to play as a certain Transformer with their unique skills. In the end this gave the experience much more authenticity. Although campaign co-op was lost, the popular multiplayer survival mode returned which kept you going for hours. Oh yeah and Peter Cullen voiced Optimus again.

Tyler Chancey’s Top 5 Favorites of 2012

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Dishonored

Dishonored is a game brimming with ambition. From the small Arkane Studios came a world so huge and detailed it could have easily been at home as an action RPG. Instead came a relatively short but nonetheless immersive game full of imagination and potential for future installments to come. This drunken whaler of a game sits high and tall as my number 1 favorite game of the year.

Mass Effect 3

Controversial unconventional ending aside, I am still a big fan of the Mass Effect games. Finally ending Commander Shepard’s galaxy-spanning war against the Reapers was always going to disappoint in one way or another. In spite of these expectations, Mass Effect 3 is still a great experience to be had, with plenty of emotional pay off and catharsis in tow.

Telltale’s The Walking Dead

If you told me one of the most powerful gaming experiences released this year would be an episodic, point-and-click adventure game based on Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comic book series, I would have laughed in your face and called you mad. But the year has come and gone, and Telltale’s take on the zombie apocalypse thoroughly rocked my world. The Walking Dead is an unforgettable experience that hits just the right emotional buttons to sit at number 3.

Borderlands 2

Gearbox’s Shoot and Loot FPS/RPG’s sequel is quite an experience to be had. Between the sleaze of Handsome Jack, the antics of the people of Sanctuary, to the level of customization and insanity that can be made with different builds, Borderlands 2 is a game that jokes and engages all the way to the end. Grab some buddies, come and down and join the party tonight.

Spec Ops: The Line

What happens when a development team makes a shooter inspired by Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness that condemns and questions the very reason why someone plays military shooters? You get Yager’s Spec Ops: The Line, an experience that I can’t say is all laughs and explosions, but the experience will stick in my mind for a long time, Cognitive Dissonance and all. It’s a strong indicator of gaming as a medium starting to tell more mature, somber stories, and for that it is one of my favorite games this year.

Well there you have it, the top 5′s of the most prominent writer’s of our site. Let us know your top 5 games of this year in our comments section below or join the discussion and get involved with our site on our Facebook page! And keep an eye out for our very own Game Of The Year Awards in the coming days!

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