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Gaming Illustrated: 2012 Game of the Year Awards

/ Jan 8th, 2013 2 Comments

Gaming Illustrated presents its official 2012 Game of the Year Awards to hand out the hardware to the games most deserving of the honor for this past year. Gaming Illustrated’s Executive Editor, Sean Gibson was joined by all of the site’s Associate Editors – Carl Armstrong, Ben Sheene, Kalvin Martinez, Rachel Gray and Ryan Bloom, to determine which games were better than all the rest for a specific genre. A special thanks goes out to Chance Asue for producing this video!

Fighting

2012 GOTY: Tekken X Street Fighter

2012 GOTY: Tekken X Street Fighter

Nominees:

  • Persona 4 Arena
  • DOA5
  • Tekken X Street Fighter
  • Tekken Tag Tournament 2
  • PlayStation All Stars

Winner: Tekken X Street Fighter
Street Fighter X Tekken combines two of the biggest fighting game franchises into one with stellar results. A modified version of the Street Fighter 4 engine makes combat fluid and beautiful. The game fuses several elements from many fighting games to make it some of the purest player versus player action in 2012. (Ben Sheene)

Mobile + iOS

2012 iOS GOTY: Nihilumbra

2012 iOS GOTY: Nihilumbra

Nominees:

  • Assassin’s Creed Liberation
  • Gravity Rush
  • Ragnarok Odyssey
  • Nihilumbra
  • Persona 4: Golden

Winner: Gravity Rush (Mobile)
Gravity Rush is a prime example of how “console quality” can be achieved on a portable. Not only does the open world and artistic style look and feel tremendous on the go, it is packed with enough content to keep players satisfied for hours. This fresh new IP proved the power of the PS Vita and set the bar for portable games in 2012. (Ben Sheene)
Winner: Nihilumbra (iOS)

Sports

2012 Sports GOTY: NBA 2K13

2012 Sports GOTY: NBA 2K13

Nominees:

  • Madden 13
  • NBA 2K13
  • FIFA 13
  • WWE 13
  • NHL 13

Winner: NBA 2K13
NBA 2K13 is a major step forward for the franchise. MyCareer mode simulates the life of an NBA player more accurately than ever before and the new MyTeam mode is a welcome addition. All that plus the ability to play as the original Dream Team make NBA 2K13 the best sports game of 2012. (Ryan Bloom)

Best DLC / Downloadable Game

2012 GOTY DLC: Skyrim Dawnguard + Dragonborn

2012 GOTY DLC: Skyrim Dawnguard + Dragonborn

Nominees:

  • Skyrim: Dawnguard + Dragonborn
  • The Walking Dead
  • Journey
  • Papo & Yo
  • Mark of the Ninja

Winner: Skyrim: Dawnguard + Dragonborn
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim’s DLCs offered a variety of new content for Dovahkiin to enjoy. Enemies, materials, weapons, shouts, and world/realm contributed to the expansion of an already epic adventure. Hours of additional gameplay and character customization earn these DLCs two thumbs up and a GOTY shout. Ride that dragon on, Dragonborn. (Rachel Gray)

MMORPG

2012 GOTY MMORG: WoW Mists of Pandaria

2012 GOTY MMORG: WoW Mists of Pandaria

Nominees:

  • World of WarCraft: Mists of Pandaria
  • Star Wars TOR
  • TERA
  • Guild Wars 2
  • The Secret World

Winner: World of WarCraft: Mists of Pandaria
Mists of Pandaria weighs in as the best expansion ever released for World of WarCraft. Blizzard did a wonderful job getting back to everything that MMORPG gamers love with a huge new continent, plenty of new gameplay features, tons of new dungeons and raids, plus so much more. World of WarCraft: Mists of Pandaria easily gave the best MMORPG experience in 2012, bar none. (Sean Gibson)

First Person Shooter

2012 GOTY FPS: Borderlands 2

2012 GOTY FPS: Borderlands 2

Nominees:

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops II
  • Borderlands 2
  • Far Cry 3
  • Halo 4
  • Counter-Strike Global Offensive

Winner: Borderlands 2
The reason Borderlands 2 won Gaming Illustrated’s FPS GOTY is because while there were plenty of other great shooters out in 2012, none offered the same sense of story, fast-paced gameplay and rewarding multiplayer experience. While most FPS give you the opportunity to work on teams in a competitive manner and that is satisfying in its own right, Borderlands 2 allows the player and his/her friends to work together for a common goal and a narrative reason. The RPG elements that make up the meat behind Borderlands 2’s gunplay really allows for a massive sense of customization among different players and play styles, so the gameplay feels unique. For these reasons and many others, Borderlands 2 was Gaming Illustrated’s FPS GOTY. (Kalvin Martinez)

Action/Adventure

2012 GOTY Action/Adventure: Max Payne 3

2012 GOTY Action/Adventure: Max Payne 3

Nominees:

  • Mass Effect 3
  • Spec Ops 2: The Line
  • Max Payne 3
  • Sleeping Dogs
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown
  • Assassin’s Creed 3

Winner: Max Payne 3
Max Payne 3 won Gaming Illustrated’s Action/Adventure GOTY because it had some of the best writing in a video game this year. The player was able to feel Max Payne’s regret and self-loathing through his gritty and self-deprecating narration that perfectly nailed the noir feel the series has cultivated. The return and refinement of the series’ hallmark bullet-time leads to some compelling and often strategic gameplay moments; Max Payne 3 shows off just how far Rockstar’s gameplay, controls and mechanics have come since GTA III. (Kalvin Martinez)

Sean Gibson

Sean Gibson

Founder, Featured Contributor at Gaming Illustrated
Sean Gibson was the founder of Gaming Illustrated and served as Executive Editor and lead reviewer from 2002 to 2014. He no longer is affiliated with Gaming Illustrated, but remembers his time with the site fondly.
Sean Gibson
Sean Gibson
Sean Gibson

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