So yes, I'm a tad late with this. Granted, I got Skyrim for Christmas and so that's been mauling my time away like a grizzly outside of Whiterun.
1. Skyrim - The Elder Scrolls IV: Skyrim gets first choice not just because the game is a quality title, it's because it represents the promise and possiblity of all that PC has to offer. The core game itself is the most enjoyable and streamlined (if not the most original) that the series has to offer. On top of a Hero's Journey style main quest, the game has DAYS of additional content and it's easily expandable thanks to a plethora of mods already out on the market. In the works are a Co-op addon, many additional regions, plenty of graphics overhauls, and voice-control / User Interface for spells and menus.
2. Portal 2 - Dear Valve, can you please stop making amazing games? Because my games room is taking a dangerous turn towards a Gabe Newell altar, and that's just creepy. There's no reason not to love, play, or discourse about this quality title. The voice acting is amazing, the animation tip-top quality, and the ending is worth the bathtub of tears I cried and laughed. Mmmm, salty.
3. Batman: Arkham City - Rocksteady games came out with a sequel that's JUST AS GOOD as the original. Who does that!? The quests don't feel contrived, and every single villain contributes to the story, which is remarkable because there's a couple metric tons of them. The combat is thumpy-punchy fun and again they nail the comic-book batman to a 't'.
4. Battlefield 3 - When it comes to men in stylish camo shooting other men (a.k.a. manshoots) no one does it better than DICE. Granted, the game sucks, but the point is that is sucks less than every single other modern day manshoot featuring present-day military hardware. It's also so extremely pretty that EA's switching all of it's games over to the Frostbite engine. The single player lacks the spunky satire of the Bad Company games and takes itself far to seriously to be any good, but that's OK because we really won't be playing any other multiplayer game for the rest of our lives besides this one.
5. Bastion - Sure, indie games are the cool and hip thing to get into, but nothing sells the dream of a small company making something beautiful than Bastion. The stirring narrative mixed with the highest quality voice-acting makes this isometric adventure something you absolutely must play through. The game's not above the higgery-pokery of making fun of itself a bit, but the serious look at world building through the eyes of a character smashing boxes, bibs, bits, and balloons is a swell diversion from mainstream manshoots.
6. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - While the first Witcher was a bit hard to get into, the Witcher 2 fixes most of the gripes with the first game. The series is actually difficult to play through and is wrought with insanely complex and interesting story all throughout. Perhaps the game's greatest achievement is making it's characters of pixelly flesh and bone rather than cardboard: every NPC has depth and intrigue. This is a fantasy world that at glance seems familiar and up close is astoundingly different. The most obvious flaws are the voice acting and reliance on pre-existing knowledge of the world, but that's no worse than Skyrim. Get yourself a quick synopsis of the original Witcher, put on your big-girl panties, and kick some fantasy ass.
7. Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Serious proof that the game industry can completely depend upon outsourcing to make a decent game. Snarkiness aside, Human Revolution surprised everyone in that it was a decent follow-up to Warren Spector's masterpiece. It definitely traded atmosphere for action movie stunts, but all in all the cool story and memorable world make up for the strange boss fights and console-y graphics.
8. Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War II - Retribution - The best RTS released this year, every other developer can go suck it because Relic keeps churning out quality titles. This year's incarnation focuses completely on micro-management, so it feels a bit more like the 40k tabletop counter-part. Since last year's double entries, Retribution has refined the Dawn of War II concept into the pure awesome micro it needed to be. Still a bit harsh on newcomers, it's thankfully buffed up by the fan tooltip pack and the visual goodness that comes with bathing in the blood of the heathen aliens.
9. RAGE - Sorry, I was too busy flirting with Loosum Hagar to finish this blurb. Honestly, RAGE is such a solid title that it doesn't stand out at all except for the fact that it's so PLAIN GOOD. A very linear shooter from id software, it's possibly the most detailed environment I've ever seen in an FPS. Throw in some Mad Max style driving and post-apocalyptic nonsense and this is a game you'll enjoy.
10. Dungeon Defenders - From a tiny studio comes a tiny tower defense that packs way more than advertised. Tons of garishly bright and cartoony levels mixed with an RPG leveling system and an SDK means I'll be playing this game till Kingdom Come.
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood - Another asscreed, this time giving YOU a kick in the buttz.
L.A. Noire - Amazing facial animation hides a moderately lackluster SP experience, but it's atmosphere and filmic sensitivity make it a great playthrough.
Terraria - It's minecraft, in 2D, with lasers. What other reason do you need to play it?
To the Moon - Simple graphics, a deeply interesting and moving story, plus a brilliant soundtrack.
Magicka - The only co-op adventuring game that can ever top Magicka might be Rayman, but that's on console. Spunky, Monty-Pythony Magicka stole a place in my Wizard Hat and Robes.
Dead Space 2 - I'm in space. Space! Also monsters, lasers, space ships, and monsters. Noteably, the one right behind you attemping to turn you into messy goo.
Warhammer 40k: Space Marine - The single-player is blatantly ripped from every mediocre Warhammer fan-fic ever, but the multiplayer is tons of fun.
Saints Row: The Third - It's trolly, it's rolly, and it's just plain stupid. This game acknowledges to it's bare little ass that it's a video game, made FOR FUN. Which it totally is!
Bulletstorm - Spacey-shooty arcade game with a story too good for it's cheesey bang-bang-ness. Very bloody violent gory sexual profanity filled laugh box.
Sonic Generations - The best Sonic game in like... forever. On pc! Wooh!
Serious Sam 3: BFE - It's Serious Sam.
Holy Flying Floatilla of Fartfish Fatman that was a lot of good games released this year!
This post has been edited by cyb.tachyon: 17 January 2012 - 07:40 PM