Best PlayStation 3 Games of 2012

Best PlayStation 3 Games of 2012

Our highest-rated PS3 games of the year

It's almost time to vote on your game of the year for 2012, so to help you remember which games came out this year (and which of those was any good), we're rounding up our top-ten reviews for each platform.

Remember, this is a list of games we reviewed - we don't get all of the games that come out in a given year, and we typically only get one version of multi-platform titles. But it's a good reminder nonetheless, and it's interesting to see how things shake out at the end of the day.

The PlayStation 3 had an interesting year and that's reflected in this list. Pretty much everything is represented here, including the PlayStation Move, minis, all kinds of genres, and games from both first and third-party publishers. Which was your favorite?

Here's the list:

Borderlands 2

6th equal, with a score of 9

If you enjoyed the first game, then there’s no doubt that you’ll love the second. B2 has the same same bawdy, raucous, fast, and frenzied shooting style, as the first, but with more guns (if you can believe it!), better enemy AI and tactics, and cool new character skills.

Being a sequel and all, in many ways there’s less of a “wow” factor in playing Borderlands 2, despite the refinements and additions that have been brought to the game. That said, it’s difficult to find much to fault with it, at least from a solo-player’s perspective. It’s a hell of a lot of fun.

Read our full review here

Final Fantasy XIII-2

6th equal, with a score of 9

As a direct sequel to XIII, FFXIII-2 picks up only a short time after the final events of the first game.

There are lots of [...] small but significant changes, like the speeding up of the paradigm shifts in battle, or allowing players to change the default cursor location during battle (if you’d rather not go with the auto-battle option every time), and going back to the old way of dealing with weapons and equipment - and these make the game feel much more agile now.

Ultimately, Final Fantasy XIII-2 feels like a smarter version of the first title, with a new storyline added for a ‘sidekick’ character who was always relegated to the sidelines. And the story, that deals with ideas about memory, how relationships change over time, and the bond between sisters, is a refreshing inclusion in the RPG genre. New players may find all the back story and references from XIII a bit confusing, however with the inclusion of a “beginner’s primer” in the menu, there’s no reason why longtime fans of the series as well as complete newcomers won’t get a brilliant gaming experience out of this title. Two thumbs up!

Read our full review here


6th equal, with a score of 9

[...] the beauty of Journey lies in how every element, from the graphics to the audio to the gameplay to a thousand whimsical little touches, merge together to form a whole that will suck you in and leave you entranced.

The environments have obviously been crafted with love. As you move through dunes, onto the ruins of massive buildings in the sand, and beyond, everything feels like it should be there. Exploring every nook and cranny of these places is a joy in and of itself. Whether you’re passing small plaques that might be graves, or leaping over giant broken bridges jutting out of the rock, it all adds a sense of place.

Read our full review here


6th equal, with a score of 9

Wizorb is top-notch, and ideally suited to the platform.

The game looks amazing, managing to pull off a real retro aesthetic that looks (and sounds) every bit as if it was plucked out of the golden age of Super Nintendo, Amiga, or Mega Drive gaming.

If you're hankering for some classic Arkanoid-style action, but would like a game that adds a little depth and removes the end-level frustration, you've found it.

Read our full review here

Wonderbook: Book of Spells

6th equal, with a score of 9

The presentation of the game is very slick and polished. You see yourself displayed on the TV screen, with a wand in your hand, and the animated book of spells open in front of you.

The interface is inventive and fun. You use your wand to interact with the book, and turn the physical pages on the plain Wonderbook in front of you to move to the next page of the animated Book of Spells on the screen. You can also dust the book off with your hands, or tilt it up to tip water off it.

The story was written by JK Rowling herself, and it shows: it feels very authentic. This is definitely not someone else’s clumsy take on the Potter universe.

Book of Spells is absolutely delightful [...].if you are a Harry Potter fan - young or old - you need to give this a look.

Read our full review here

Mass Effect 3

4th equal, with a score of 9.1

At any level there will be enough depth, complexity, subtlety and surprise to keep you engaged. But I’m betting the majority of gamers out there will want as much shooting as storyline - and Mass Effect 3 gives you plenty of that too.

Mass Effect 3 is an excellent title, and a fantastic game. It has everything that gamers want in a solid RPG title. It has an engrossing storyline that links well with its forebears but still offers something new. It has great graphical set pieces, with atmosphere in spades. And it has solid combat that, while being a little rough around the edges, is still worth the price of admission. Bioware’s third installment in the Mass Effect saga is sure to give hardcore fans exactly what they wanted, and it will almost certainly bring a smile to the face of the not so familiar player.

Read our full review here

Need for Speed: Most Wanted

4th equal, with a score of 9.1

Most Wanted is accessible right from the first time you release the handbrake. Exploring the open-world city of Fairhaven in whatever vehicle you chose is mind-numbingly fun. Apart from downtown city streets, there is a varied assortment of environments such as wide highways, bendy mountain roads, narrow alleyways, and a treacherous Industrial area.

It’s hard not to recommend this game. Non-driving fans are going to love the sense of speed and destruction, while petrol-heads have got a great range of cars and a very solid driving mechanic to keep them satisfied.

Read our full review here


3rd, with a score of 9.2

FIFA 13 introduces the usual updates with regard to the latest team data, players, and kits, but alongside the expected stuff are a number of new features. A greater emphasis on multiplayer and online integration [...] including the online World Cup and Club modes. The most noticeable changes in-game are around the enhanced Player Impact Engine (now at Version 2.0) and control scheme, which has enhanced everything from dribbling to first touch and tactical free kicks. This - alongside 500 officially licensed clubs, and over 15,000 players in-game - makes for an impressive package.

[...] FIFA 13 is chock-full of content. The online aspects are so in depth now there is no doubt you could play FIFA 13 for all eternity if you so chose, which really represents excellent value for gamers. The refined game engine is a real improvement on FIFA 12 and shooting is now more of an art, than a random occurrence. There certainly is no better time to get into football videogames, or upgrade from an older game, as FIFA 13 has it all and it does it all bloody well.

Read our full review here

LittleBigPlanet Karting

2nd, with a score of 9.4

I really struggled to figure out why this game would appeal to me more than, say, ModNation Racers, another PlayStation exclusive karting game with a portmanteued word in the title. That was before Sackboy showed up...

Sometimes you’ll be jumping cupcakes, other times you’ll get a top down view of a rampaging dinosaur eating trucks, or be weaving through traffic collecting bubbles.

The stupid grins on our faces, the uncontrollable laughs and the humming of the music long after the race was over, shows that this game is fun right through to its adorable little core.

Read our full review here

Hitman Absolution

1st, with a score of 9.6

Hitman (the character, not the game) is the ultimate killing machine.

Like a shark, but on land, and with guns. He is grey and silent and vicious. But unlike a shark he can stop moving without dying. In fact sometimes he will stop moving and just sit around listening to people for minutes at a time. Then slide by unnoticed or garrotte them and stuff their body in a bin.

Overall [...] it’s an excellent game with an almost Grindhouse film aesthetic to it.

The amazing imagery and huge crowd scenes - which are frankly amazing and make Assassin’s Creed's look dull - give the game a real filmic feeling to it. And remember, you don’t have to kill everyone.

Read our full review here


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Comments Comments (18)

Posted by Sidawg2
On Monday 31 Dec 2012 11:54 AM
#2 is LBP karting?

Amazed that games like Spec Ops the line, max payne 3, sniper elite v2, the darkness II etc etc couldn't rate as high as LBP Karting.
Posted by havicdavis
On Monday 31 Dec 2012 1:39 PM
Wizorb is free on PlayStation's Facebook page (like their page etc) among other games if anyone doesn't have it.Great article.
Posted by FlatPitch
On Monday 31 Dec 2012 1:54 PM
Wonderbook... really?
Posted by KatalystaKaos
On Monday 31 Dec 2012 5:19 PM
@ Sidawg2 & FlatPitch

See the Title and then Subtitle:

Best PlayStation 3 Games of 2012

Our highest-rated PS3 games of the year

So it's based on the PS3 games that garnered the highest score over the past 12 months, not so much a tradition GOTY format as often seen on most sites.

Personally I appreciate the fact that the list contains a couple of title from outside the run of the mill (mostly) shooter lists. Alot of us NZgamer frequenters are family men/women so its great to see two titles on the list that are suitable for the entire family.

Great list NZgamer and Happy New years gaming to all :)
Posted by emetic
On Monday 31 Dec 2012 5:29 PM
It's interesting that there would be a difference between "best" and "highest rated in the reviews" really. But I don't mind; it's good to just have a list which I can look at and check out what I like the look of, based on the review flavour text.
Posted by Timzone
On Tuesday 1 Jan 2013 2:01 PM
A good year but not a great year for the PS3.
Posted by Kegz
On Tuesday 1 Jan 2013 9:07 PM
Hmmm maybe I should play LBPK after all. I've certainly got to get around to Hitman at some stage given how much I enjoyed playing stealth in Deus Ex.

Of course the real GOTY will be settled with the votes soon.
Posted by rhinokiwi
On Wednesday 2 Jan 2013 10:13 AM
Given how much Wonderbook got bagged straight off the bat I was more than a little sceptical when my son bought it for his brother for Christmas. I expected them to get bored after five minutes. But actually they played with it for hours (and then I snuck a turn too!). For what it is (a kids' game) it's pretty impressive.

@havicdavis - Thanks for the tip about Wizorb.

I didn't expect LBP Karting to be that good - must start saving for that one.
Posted by ademorg
On Wednesday 2 Jan 2013 5:32 PM
A few of these games will be on my list to buy in 2013 when they become cheaper.
Posted by sick_wierdo
On Thursday 3 Jan 2013 1:44 AM
Didn't Resident Evil 6 get a 9.6 also? Maybe that was just the 360 version I'm thinking of, but even so, same game, so shouldn't it be 1st equal?
Posted by AudaciousGnome
On Friday 4 Jan 2013 5:27 PM
3 January 2013, 01:44 AM Reply to sick_wierdo
Didn't Resident Evil 6 get a 9.6 also? Maybe that was just the 360 version I'm thinking of, but even so, same game, so shouldn't it be 1st equal?
Same with Fifa 13. It does not appear on the Xbox list of "top" games but appear here......
Posted by dha82
On Monday 7 Jan 2013 12:35 PM
Mean games!! I want
Posted by chapnis
On Monday 7 Jan 2013 12:49 PM
FF XIII-2 and NFS MW are both 8/10 for me. Both solid, fun games but nothing amazing, or any better than their prequels.
Posted by hendrix_nz
On Monday 7 Jan 2013 1:15 PM
LBPK looks pretty cool. Saw that IGN chose journey for game of the year. Might be worth a go
Posted by Kama
On Monday 7 Jan 2013 4:35 PM
1 January 2013, 09:07 PM Reply to Kegz
Hmmm maybe I should play LBPK after all. I've certainly got to get around to Hitman at some stage given how much I enjoyed playing stealth in Deus Ex.

Of course the real GOTY will be settled with the votes soon.
As a sidenote, my favorite stealth games are splinter cell, arkham asylum, and sly cooper- but I can tell you've played that...
Posted by dudemanphat
On Tuesday 8 Jan 2013 10:20 AM
Very weird list. Wonderbook and LBp karting? I dont think i would have pick any of them in my top five (maybe Fifa 13) "Oh but how could you not like Mass Effect 3??" Didnt play it enough to make judgement. As a massive Borderland 1 fan i found BL2 to be too much of the same but will probably get back to it eventually.
Posted by grieving
On Friday 11 Jan 2013 12:07 AM
To those questioning why something is a certain number, review = opinion. Someone may have a different one to yours or another persons. Hence why all game of the year lists may be different. :)
Posted by KravenMore
On Monday 28 Jan 2013 2:43 PM
Amazed that journey didn't score higher than others on the list. That was a brilliant albeit short game. Innovation should surely count for more these days when we're almost over the graphical hype of games and more interested in the story and playstyle.