Best Xbox 360 Games of 2012


By: Alan Bell
Published: Tuesday 1 Jan 2013 11:00 AM
 
Best Xbox 360 Games of 2012

Our highest-rated Xbox 360 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.

While other platforms may have bucked the trend to a certain extent, the Xbox 360 year was packed full of big-budget game releases. As you can see from this list, many of them scored well, too - none more so than our number one, which was the only title to earn a perfect 10 this year and the first since 2010's Red Dead Redemption - our only other 10/10 review.

Here's the list:

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition

10th, with a score of 8.9

This is a game that might sometimes pretend to hold your hand, but only does so while it thrusts a knife in your back. There is a lot of complexity here, as befits a PC RPG: combat is overflowing with tactical options, levelling up provides numerous questions to answer, and the world itself is not exactly a black and white affair that can be traipsed through without thought.

Are you after an RPG filled not only with depth, but meaningful depth? If so, The Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition may be just the thing you’re looking for. The learning curve is steep, and it can be hard to keep up with all the made-up words if you’re new to the series, but it’s all worth it in the end. This is a fun world to inhabit, and the narrative weaved throughout is deeply satisfying. Not afraid of a little complexity? Then get this game.

Read our full review here

Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition

8th equal, with a score of 9

After a massively successful run on the PC, Notch's innovative indie game Minecraft has finally arrived on Xbox Live Arcade, and it's a surprisingly solid port.

Inventory management has been optimised for the Xbox 360's controller remarkably well.

[...] between mining, crafting, and hunting, a quick session of Minecraft can consume hours; you might start playing at 1pm - thinking you will have a quick half an hour session - before you know it, it's 5pm.

Read our full review here

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

8th equal, with a score of 9

Ah, my squad. Although it’s not official I call them the Fighting 307th: Hellbringers. They take my orders on the battlefield, I am the eyes in the sky and each turn it’s my decision as to which actions are the best. Sometimes this means a wild goose chase to the wrong side of the map, sometimes it means uncovering a nest of Thin Men under our noses. Mostly it means a solid series of turns with my team moving methodically across the map, taking cover, keeping watch and keeping eyes and ears alert during the enemy’s turn.

This means every time I head to the Control Room to advance the clock and scan for alien activity, I’m worried that we’ll find something big and I’ll have to send in untested troops against strong enemies. I am their leader and I don’t need more names on the memorial wall.

Read our full review here

Max Payne 3

7th, with a score of 9.1

Gunfights are the main staple of the gameplay in Max Payne 3. But calling them ‘gunfights’ is too crude; instead, what you’ll be witnessing here is more fairly described as ‘gun ballet’. Individually selected bullets will grace the air as bloodied bodies artistically crumple to the floor, like a well choreographed film.

Max Payne 3 features a compelling storyline told through modern-day noir dialogue. The sharp script is backed up with equally sharp voice acting and although the plentiful cut-scenes may soak up a decent amount of game time; few players will complain that they are boring or intrusive thanks to an immaculate level of polish in each. Throughout you’ll notice the level of detail crammed into nearly every facet of the game.

Read our full review here

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

6th, with a score of 9.3

"Compelling", "engrossing", and "heaps of fun" are a few words that spring to mind when talking about Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, but none of them do it justice.

A well thought out and exciting combat mechanic, a beautiful game world and a crafting systems that makes sense. That stuff is all good, but what truly makes this game is the story and the quests. None of the "go there kill 5 of these and come back" filler crap you get in other games. Quests here are plot devices in the story. Side quests have their own little story to tell, while the faction and main plot lines are sweeping and engaging.

Read our full review here

Trials Evolution

5th, with a score of 9.4

Easy to get into, the game is packed with features. The 60 inventive and diverse levels take you from desert battlefields to sewage plants. You can compete in four player races both locally and online, or use the extensive and powerful level creator to build and share levels. It looks fantastic, will have you playing for hours, and just when you think you’re done you’ll find yourself going back for just one more go.

When the dust settles and the engines cool, Trials Evolution is something special. Sure it has a learning curve, but it's also very playable. The track editor is amazing, and there's already a tonne of user created stuff online. Yes, it’s difficult and frustrating, but in the best possible way. And it is simply packed with small, delicate challenges, and truly epic jumps and bails.

So what are you waiting for? Get on your bike and get playing.

Read our full review here

F1 2012

2nd equal, with a score of 9.5

Overall the experience has become more refined, more satisfying, and - in many ways - what I would imagine to be more realistic. It’s very clear from the driving model that simulation fans are not being left high and dry, and Codemasters Birmingham are continually striving to provide an even better experience to fans of the sport, and fans of the title.

F1 2012 is by far the most satisfying, all-encompassing F1 experience yet. From the immersive graphics to the full-on career mode and the brilliant Season Challenge, it’s as though Codemasters have thought of everything. Highly recommended.

Read our full review here

Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013

2nd equal, with a score of 9.5

Magic: 2013 is beautifully implemented [...]. This year’s iteration appears to be slightly flashier in a nice subtle way, and is littered with some stunning artwork which adds a special ‘flavour’ to the Magic universe. The cards are true to real life in the game, and can easily be pulled up for a closer inspection where you can read about what each card does in play. Some of the creatures you can summon, thanks to the amazing artwork, are just awesome to play, and you get a real rush when you have built up enough mana to unleash something special from your hand, such as one of the limited cards.

Magic: 2013 is a blast to play; it's the combination of a wonderfully functional GUI, easy intuitive controls, and brilliant artwork and decks that makes for an addictive formula. It’s not surprising that even as the origin of card based RPG games, it is still finding popularity with so many players around the world.

Read our full review here

Resident Evil 6

2nd equal, with a score of 9.5

Variation is the key to RE6, and it’s shown in every aspect of the game. Like every Resident Evil game, there’s a large selection of guns to find / unlock along your way. There's also variation in the characters you can play as, and in the places you’ll go. But nothing says variation more than the insane amount of infected you’ll be coming to blows with.

What really sets this Resident Evil apart from the previous ones is the presentation. Resident Evil has always had a cinematic feel to it but this takes the series to a whole new level.

If you were left wanting in RE5 there’s a good chance RE6 will satisfy you. There’s a reason you’re being fired at, there are plenty of tense moments and stress, the storytelling is superb, and “zombies” make a return. Resident Evil 6 isn't perfect but it’s still a game that everyone should own.

Read our full review here

Halo 4

1st, with a score of 10

Halo 4 is, quite simply, stunning. Every aspect of the title, from the beginning to the end, is an absolute delight. It looks, sounds, and plays superbly, and 343 have applied their skills with a sure hand.

No game is perfect, and a few little niggles do still manage to sneak their way onto the disk. [...]
None of these things, however, impact the experience in any significant way; none of them take the gloss off what is a truly spectacular game. Of all of the possible results that may have sprung from the circumstances that now surround the development of the Halo franchise, Halo 4 is the most welcome (and surprising) imaginable.

Read our full review here




 

More You May Like

 

Comments (20)

You must be logged in to post comments.

or Register now!
Timzone NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Tuesday 1 Jan 2013 1:42 PM Posted by Timzone
Comprehensive list.
 
 
0
 
Garagerock
On Tuesday 1 Jan 2013 2:53 PM Posted by Garagerock
Must budget for some new games from this list I'm thinking!
 
 
0
 
cortez72 NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Thursday 3 Jan 2013 10:53 AM Posted by cortez72
On Kingdoms of Amalur: Reackoning-

"None of the "go there kill 5 of these and come back" filler crap you get in other games."

I'm just playing game at the moment on PS3. Last night I did a mission where I had to kill 5 trolls and return to the person who sent me on the mission. I then had to collect 6 skeletons from a forest and take them to a grave in a town. In this same town I have a mission to kill 15 spiders and collect their venom for the local healer...

These are examples from last nights play time only.
 
 
1
 
Jakted NZGamer.com VIP VIP
On Thursday 3 Jan 2013 6:00 PM Posted by Jakted
Got me a few of these games. im a ps3/360 guy so i spend tons on money on each. and just got me a vita
 
 
0
 
democracy_savvy NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Friday 4 Jan 2013 1:23 AM Posted by democracy_savvy
the avengers hands down
 
 
-1
 
kmarrt
On Friday 4 Jan 2013 9:05 AM Posted by kmarrt
Halo 4 best of the year for me. First Halo where I havent just skipped through the campaign to get it over with.

Havent played any of the others on the list so might have to have a look at getting a coupley.
 
 
0
 
AudaciousGnome NZGamer.com VIP VIP Silver
On Friday 4 Jan 2013 5:26 PM Posted by AudaciousGnome
4 January 2013, 01:23 AM Reply to democracy_savvy
the avengers hands down
Can i have some of what you are smoking?
 
 
0
 
chapnis
On Monday 7 Jan 2013 12:47 PM Posted by chapnis
RE6 second best game? It wasn't even worth playing...
 
 
3
 
Seraphim NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Monday 7 Jan 2013 4:03 PM Posted by Seraphim
For the most part I agree with this list
 
 
0
 
Kama
On Monday 7 Jan 2013 4:49 PM Posted by Kama
Very happy Max Payne is finally getting some recognition. This list could use a little Jackie Estocado, though...
 
 
1
 
tuftsdude NZGamer.com VIP VIP Silver
On Tuesday 8 Jan 2013 3:50 PM Posted by tuftsdude
Dishonored deserves to be up there^^
 
 
0
 
Eviltoothpicky NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Wednesday 9 Jan 2013 10:25 AM Posted by Eviltoothpicky
I couldn't agree with half of this list unfortunately, but I guess that just shows how much everyone's opinions differ. However I can appreciate the decent coverage of different types or genre of game in here.
 
 
0
 
emetic NZGamer.com VIP VIP Silver
On Friday 11 Jan 2013 12:30 AM Posted by emetic
3 January 2013, 10:53 AM Reply to cortez72
On Kingdoms of Amalur: Reackoning-

"None of the "go there kill 5 of these and come back" filler crap you get in other games."

I'm just playing game at the moment on PS3. Last night I did a mission where I had to kill 5 trolls and return to the person who sent me on the mission. I then had to collect 6 skeletons from a forest and take them to a grave in a town. In this same town I have a mission to kill 15 spiders and collect their venom for the local healer...

These are examples from last nights play time only.
Hmm................ maybe the reviewer missed those particular quests..?
 
 
-1
 
rocketman12 NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Friday 11 Jan 2013 8:41 AM Posted by rocketman12
Halo 4 for sure, got it for my birthday haven't had time to play it yet though.
 
 
0
 
nzapster
On Friday 11 Jan 2013 6:14 PM Posted by nzapster
Halo 4 does not deserve anything near a 10 and this is coming from a hardcore Halo fan. Lost features from prior games, a lot of glitches, poor split-screen performance, abysmal Spartan Ops missions and chasing the Call of Duty multiplayer mean Halo 4 can't reasonably be given a 10.
 
 
0
 
havicdavis NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Friday 11 Jan 2013 9:08 PM Posted by havicdavis
Halo 4, 10 or not... deserves to be at the top of this list. Very good game, 343 should be proud.. In my opinion, outdoing bungie in almost every respect.
 
 
0
 
nzapster
On Saturday 12 Jan 2013 9:36 AM Posted by nzapster
11 January 2013, 09:08 PM Reply to havicdavis
Halo 4, 10 or not... deserves to be at the top of this list. Very good game, 343 should be proud.. In my opinion, outdoing bungie in almost every respect.
@havicdavis
Have you ever tried playing split screen in Halo 4?

Sure Halo 4 is the prettiest Halo so far, but in every other category it is lacking. Reviews nowadays seem to put way too much emphasis on the graphics.
 
 
1
 
hitokirix
On Monday 14 Jan 2013 10:44 AM Posted by hitokirix
halo, max payne, witcher 2 good selection of games shame dishonoured and sleeping dogs didn't make the list they would be worthy of a mention at least
 
 
0
 
Wendyelise
On Friday 18 Jan 2013 8:59 PM Posted by Wendyelise
Halo 4 has to be the winner here. From the very first game to the last game every part of it has you wanting more.
 
 
0
 
Winger Gee NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Thursday 4 Jul 2013 4:47 PM Posted by Winger Gee
RE6 is a great price now- have to add this to my collection sometime soon.
 
 
0