2012 was a dynamic year for the video game player — we saw many groundbreaking titles released, many hyped games delayed into 2013 and most recently the release of a new console in the Nintendo Wii U.  Being a gamer has never been more satisfying with so many options on the console systems, windows/mac and handheld/mobile devices.  It is truly refreshing to see so many great games come out in the span of a year even if there were plenty of ‘stinkers’ as well.  While it is difficult to get our hands-on EVERY game that has come out in 2012 – we at COIN-OP TV have put together a short list of our FAVORITE video games released in 2012 – hope you enjoy!

ALEX BAUMAN (COIN-OP TV writer/contributor)

BEST – THE WALKING DEAD (Telltale Games) – “For so long zombies in games have been relegated pretty exclusively to shooters. Telltale Games’ wonderfully crafted dialogue driven episodic Walking Dead game turns our preconceptions on their ears.”  Check out Alex’s full review of The Walking Dead Episode 1 here – http://coin-op.tv/?p=5618

2ND BEST – MARK OF THE NINJA (Klei Entertainment) – “The stealth action genre has a long and storied history. It now also has a new benchmark in Klei Entertainment’s Mark of the Ninja.”  Check out Alex’s full review of Mark of the Ninja here – http://coin-op.tv/?p=6728

3RD BEST – UFC UNDISPUTED 3 (THQ) – “A great sequel to a great game, THQ’s UFC Undisputed 3 is this year’s best fighting game.”

JON VENTURE (COIN-OP TV writer/contributor)

BEST – BORDERLANDS 2 (Gearbox) – “Borderlands 2 improves on nearly every aspect that made the first game so surprisingly successful. Frantic firefights, addictive Diablo-style weapon collection and character customization and over-the-top absurdest humor with a four player drop-in / drop-out campaign makes Borderlands 2 the best gaming experience you’ll have on any platform this year.”  Check out Jon’s full review of Borderlands 2 here – http://coin-op.tv/?p=6741

2ND BEST – SCRIBBLENAUTS UNLIMITED (5th Cell) – “An unmitigated guilty pleasure, Scribblenauts Unlimited is an incredibly creative puzzle game where your powers are only limited by your vocabulary. Using a magical notebook, gamers are tasked with helping protagonist Maxwell solve problems by writing words which come to life as items that can interact with the world. While there are easy solutions to most problems, the near endless replay value comes from finding fun ways to get the job done.”

3RD BEST – ORCS MUST DIE! 2 (Robot Entertainment) – “This sequel to the popular third-person action tower defense game sees players teaming up to take on waves of bloodthirsty mythical enemies. Upgradable traps and unique character abilities add to the hours of fun, as do new game modes and endless strategic possibilities.”  Check out Jon’s full review of Orcs Must Die! 2 here – http://coin-op.tv/?p=6268

KEVIN SLACKIE (COIN-OP TV writer/contributor/video producer)

BEST – FTL: FASTER THAN LIGHT (Matthew Davis & Justin Ma) – “A gruelingly hard spaceship simulator that I still can’t put down. Graphically simple, psychologically intense.”‘

2ND BEST – LOLLIPOP CHAINSAW (Grasshopper Manufacture/Warner Bros) – “Killing zombies to Suda51’s great sense of humor was a wonderful time, even if it was short.”  Check out Robert’s full review of Lollipop Chainsaw here – http://coin-op.tv/?p=5899

3RD BEST – PERSONA 4 ARENA (Aksys/Atlus) – “The mythology of Persona joined with the polish of Aksys made this one of the best fighters this year.”

BRIAN BENTLEY (COIN-OP TV writer/contributor/video producer)

BEST  – TORCHLIGHT II (Runic Games) – “An amazing sequel to the 2009 surprise hit.  The world is vastly larger, the skills are greatly improved and it crushes it with online and local co-op. This is a must buy at $20.”  Check out Brian’s full review of Torchlight II here – http://coin-op.tv/?p=6757

2ND BEST – JOURNEY (thatgamecompany/Sony) – “Beautifully crafted and an experience like no other, Journey demonstrates that games are closer to art than you may have previously thought.  While not long, the gorgeous art style, flowing game play and random co-op encounters make each playthrough rewarding and unique.”  Check out Brian’s full review of Journey here – http://coin-op.tv/?p=5159

3RD BEST – ASSASSIN’S CREED III (Ubisoft) – “Ubisoft was wildly ambitious with their final title in this story arc and it shows just how far the franchise has come.  Dropped in a time era rarely used, the vast environments, naval battles and character interactions more than make up for difficulties with some troublesome AI and wonky mission parameters.”  Check out Brian’s full review of Assassin’s Creed III here – http://coin-op.tv/?p=7113

ROBERT WELKNER (COIN-OP TV owner/writer/editor-in-chief/video producer)

BEST – DISHONORED (Arkane/Bethesda) – “When I pick up a game controller I expect to be IN CONTROL of a game and Dishonored does this.  Leave behind any thoughts of following a map or breadcrumbs as this world is so lush and filled with adventuring opportunity you’ll be fighting yourself to ever put the controller down.”  Check out Robert’s full review of Dishonored here – http://coin-op.tv/?p=6876

2ND BEST – MASS EFFECT 3 (BioWare/EA) – “Playing as FemShep was never so much fun – say what you will about the various endings of the game but Mass Effect 3 simply improved upon in almost every gaming mechanic, added multiplayer and best use of the Kinect voice-controls thus far on the Xbox 360.”  Check out Robert’s Mass Effect 3 Omega DLC review here – http://coin-op.tv/?p=7350

3RD BEST SKYLANDERS GIANTS (Toys For Bob/Activision) – “When I was a kid I played with toys often but as an adult I continued to keep on collecting toys looking for a way to play with them – Skylanders Giants helps bring those ‘toys to life’ in a fun fantasy adventure with tons of character and imagination.” Check out Robert’s visit to the Toys for Bob headquarters here – http://coin-op.tv/?p=6925

Thanks for all your support from the COIN-OP TV team in 2012 — keep checking back for a constant stream of weekly updates, gameplay videos and reviews!