#5 – Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
I never thought I’d put this game on a best of the year list, but here it is. I haven’t touched the multiplayer or the single player. It’s all about…zombies. I have not put down the controller for a minute when it comes to zombies. I am just about addicted to Tranzit and the other modes in the game. There’s something great about zombies and playing with friends or even random players online that gives you a rush. It’s a fun way to spend the evening and I certainly regret few, if any, of the hours I’ve spent running from hoards and reviving fallen comrades. It says a lot about the strength of zombies mode when I place it in the fifth spot, especially when the other two modes (albeit most likely the two more important modes) collect dust. I’ll say it again…ZOMBIES.
#4 – Borderlands 2
I loved the original. It was guaranteed I’d love this one, only…I never knew how much. This game takes the basic formula of Borderlands and combines it with anime-style characters. Crazy, wild and absolutely insane characters that come straight out of the old Toonami-era cartoons. I got the DLC for the game and can’t wait to dive in to see even more wild, insane characters that entertain me non-stop. Whether alone or with friends, this game is a must-have for anyone looking for some good, clean, gun-crazy fun.
#3 – Mass Effect 3
Talk about a wild ride. I began the journey with Mass Effect many years ago and it all led to this. I took my original Shepard from the first game and brought him to that final moment aboard the Citadel. The story was almost done, I’d made good choices, bad ones, and even some in-between, but it all led to that moment. It was one wild and crazy ride from Eden Prime to Earth, but nothing sealed the deal quite like Mass Effect 3. Amazing set pieces, great characters and development, a future to fight for. I felt like I was there and that my choices mattered. Friends died and I mourned. Enemies were crushed and I felt relieved. The emotional connection with a game, and series, like this is one that can’t be beaten in the end. I will return to the galaxy before long to live it all over again.
#2 – The Walking Dead
If Mass Effect 3 was the main course of storytelling and character-development, The Walking Dead was the appetizer and dessert. From the first moment you set foot in this world, you know you’re in for a different experience. What was just a point-and-click game soon developed into a real life and death struggle. I felt guilty when friends died, knew my choices were the cause, and based all my decisions on my real gut. I forgot I was playing a game and by the end of it all, it’s hard not to separate yourself from these characters. Their worries matter and so do their lives. They may not be real, but the level of care and concern put into each really makes me excited and thrilled for whatever comes next in this crazy world. Also…ZOMBIES.
#1 – Dishonored
Dishonored is just about the best thing I’ve played this year and probably even will continue to be after this year. The city of Dunwall is alive and breathing, though at the same time dead and decaying. It’s an amazing place. The game is unlike anything I’ve ever played and it’s so unique that after first buying it, it took me a long time to put it down. There are hundreds of ways to get into a single area and no way is right and no way is wrong. The game gives you millions of options to assassinate targets, avoid detection, distract guards, and escape alive. You could play through it a hundred times and still end up traveling down a different path than the one you had previously. It’s not going to be long before I pick it up again just to try and play through it a different way or find a different tactic to get through each section of the game. It’s why Dishonored is my game of the year and why I just can’t get enough of this great game.