1. Super Mario Bros. U
Super Mario U may not show off the Wii U's new features all that much, but that doesn't stop it being one of the best games of this year. It doesn't deviate too much from the classic Mario formula and it may not be the seismic leap that Super Mario Galaxy was, but it's boasts crisp HD presentation and it bristles with some of the best level design we've seen in a while from this series.
Platform: Wii U | Link: Super Mario Bros. U | Price: £42.99
2. Little Big Planet Vita
LittleBigPlanet may have begun life as one of the PS3's flagship titles, but it's probably the best argument for buying Sony's new Vita handheld. With Little Big Planet PS Vita, Sony's handheld comes alive like never before; the controls provide players with a solid and intuitive platformer to play with, while console features such as the touch interfaces and cameras give them more options in level creation than ever before.
3. Kid Icarus: Uprising
After nearly two decades of lying dormant, Kid Icarus made a stunning return this year, on Nintendo's handheld. The action here moves at a breakneck pace, switching between rail-shooting and hack-'n-slash action - with the odd vehicle section - that hurls colourful enemies and cool boss fights at the player. The story mixes Greek Mythos with Saturday morning cartoons and the look is simply to die for. Easily one of the 3DS's best games.
Platform: 3DS |Link:Kid Icarus: Uprising| Price: £28.49
4. Sound Shapes
Sound Shape is a beautifully simple and clever platformer, which offers limitless amount of playability as it incorporates music into the gameplay - players can even even add more albums by new artists or use the level editor and create your own aural quests. It's arguably a shame that it's limited to the Vita on hanheld platforms as this would rule on smartphones.
Platform: PS Vita and PS3 | Link: Sound Shapes | Price: £9.99
5. Tokyo Jungle
A post apocalyptic beat-'em-up that takes its main inspiration from the film 12 Monkeys, Toky Jungle imagines a world where wildlife has overrun the major urban conurbations and humans are nowhere in sight. The story mode makes an obligatory nod to the exitinction of the human race, but really the main draw here is the game's ultra violent beat downs where the law of the jungle can be applied to any and all situations.
Platform: PS3 | Link:Tokyo Jungle| Price: £9.99
A joyous and challenging platform game with perspective-based puzzle elements thrown in for good measure, FEZ sends players on a quest with just their wits and willingness to leap into the unknown to guid them. This game recalls a simpler, more joyous time in gaming, where exploration and discovery drew players in like moths to a flame.
Platforms: Xbox 360 |Link:FEZ| Price: £6.40, 800 MS Points
This XBLA exclusive may look like a simplistic 2D-side-scrolling Indiana Jones knock off is actually a fiendishly clever and rock-hard platform/puzzler. The genius of Spelunky is that its levels are randomly generated every time the player revisits it, offering near limitless replayability. One of the most challenging - and the most fun games - of this year, provided you can cope with dying. A lot!
Platforms: Xbox 360 |Link:Spelunky | Price: 1200 MS Points
8. Mass Effect 3
BioWare's epic sci fi space opera draws to a close as Commander Shepherd scours the galaxy for allies ahead of his showdown with The Reapers - the sentient ships bent on destroying all life in the universe. The ending divided opinions across the fan base, but the journey getting there remains one of 2012's gaming highs.
9. Need For Speed: Most Wanted
Criterion's new arcade racers combines the car-porn of Forza with the open-world of Burnout Paradise, and the whole experience is shot through with the superb handling of Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit - incidentally, the last time Criterion oversaw an entry in this series. It's not as slick as some racers out there, but its far more chaotic - and far more fun.
Platform: PC, PS3, PS Vita and Xbox 360| Link: Need For Speed: Most Wanted|Price: £20.00
10. Resident Evil Revelations
After spin offs like Mercenaries and Operation: Raccoon City failed to impress, Capcom went back to what they know best with Revelations bringing back the survival horror feel from earlier RE games showcasing what the Nintendo 3DS was truly capable of and delivering a game that would not look out of place if it turned up on the 360 or the PS3.
Platform: 3DS | Link: Resident Evil Revelations|Price: £22.97
11. I Am Alive
One of 2012's sleeper hits, I Am Alive emerged completely from left field to provide one of the best - if also one of the most harrowing - experiences in gaming all year. Filled with a crushing atmosphere of dread, here was a game that actually used its post-apocalyptic setting to take an unblinking look at the evil human's are capable of once social order evaporates, and how even the smallest act of kindess can make the difference between life and death. Utterly essential.
12. New Star Soccer
13. Punch Quest
14. Far Cry 3
A goliath of a game that almost exceeds the efforts of Rockstar's Western Red Dead Redemption in its attempt to create an open-world that doesn't feel taxing. While fast travel exists it's never a chore if you have to go for a short trek in the jungle. On a side note, any game that lets you quad bike up a mountain, swan dive off the top of it and then parachute into the middle of a camp whilst unleashing a wild bear gets our vote.The fact that it contains arguably the most memorable (and best) villain in any game released all year, doesn't hurt either.
15. Halo 4
16. Max Payne 3
Once again Rockstar proved they really know how to spin a gripping, stylish yarnm even if their story is bogged down in a load of drink and drug-addled nonsense. Max Payne 3 is a fantastic spectacle, the soundtrack is up their with that of Drive while the choice of location and old school bullet-time inflected gameplay made this game the perfect summer break. The online multiplayer - which also incorporated the campaign's gritty premise as well as the franchise's signature bullet-time mechanic - wasn't half bad,too.
18. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
20. Spec Ops The Line
Spec Ops: The Line is by no means a perfect game. Its cover-based mechanics are unreliable at times, its difficulty spikes feel arbitrary and occasionally, visual textures look like globs of plastic. But Yager's brutal shooter is worth seeking out because it tells one of the best and most harrowing stories in any game released all year. One part Modern Warfare and two parts Heart Of Darkness, Spec Ops: The Line places players in the otherwordly setting of a dilapidated Dubai and pours horror after horror onto the player, forcing them to question both the protagonists' state of mind, and their own attraction to a genre which offers little besides stacking up corpses.
A puzzler/platformer that takes an unblinking look at adult relationships and the problems that arise when lovers hit a plateau in their plans to build a life together. Gameplay oscillates between barely influencing cut-scenes and rock-hard tower puzzles, requiring lightning reflexes and the ability to think on one's feeth. Catherine isn't to everyone's tastes, sure, but it's hands down one 2012's most compelling games.
22. Diablo III
RPG-nerds rejoice - Diablo is coming back this year and it looks absolutely stunning. All the hacking, slashing, archery and magical shenanigans you loved from the previous games is back in shed-loads for Diablo 3. Although the series used to be confined to PC, it is looking increasingly likely that the third iteration of the top-down RPG will be available on home consoles, as developer Blizzard has hired staff into a console development division for the game.
Platform: PC, Mac| Price: From £32.28 | Link: Diablo 3
23. Borderlands 2
A huge open world filled with beasts and bad guys to kill. Four bad ass characters offering four distinctly different approaches to tackling the hordes of enemies you'll face. Tons of powers and abilities to unlock and a near-endless arsenal of weapons to collect. A rather decent story wrapped around the proceedings featuring some of the funniest dialogue you'll hear all year. It's Borderlands 2 - what exactly are you waiting for?
24. Trials Evolution
The sequel to 2009’s critically acclaimed Trials HD, your objective is still to complete all the obstacle courses, a goal that requires careful throttle control and weight distribution. Four player local and online competitive play is included, but the big addition is the unbelievably diverse track editor which allows players to create their own race tracks and also download and rate other players' creations.
Platform: Xbox 360| Price: 1200MSP | Link: redlynx.com
25. Sleeping Dogs
After a tumultuous development cycle, which involved its original publisher cancelling it, Sleeping Dogs emerged as something of a triumph in 2012. Sure, United Front's open-world adventure borrowed as much from other videogames as it did from Hong Kong cinema, but the way it came together in a cohesive, entertaining whole marked it out as one of the most fun games to play all year - and also one of the best.
26. Assassin's Creed III
Players are new hero and a new setting in Assassin's Creed III, as Ubisoft moves the action from Renaissance Europe to Colonial North America. Players take control of Connor, a half-British, half-Native American who throws his lot in with the American Revolutionaries when his village is burned down by the Brits. The open-world parkour takes a bit of getting used to but once players give themselves over to AC III's lush environments they'll be hurtling through tree tops and leaping off cliffs in no time. The Frontier and Colonial towns are also bursting with side missions and collectibles, ensuring players will return to Assassin's Creed III long after they've completed the main story. It also doesn't hurt that this is one of 2012's most visually stunning games, either.
27. Call of Duty Black Ops 2 review
The COD franchise's sales may have taken a dip this year, but don't let that fool you as Black Ops 2 is one of 2012's best shooters. Its campaign mode is high-octane blockbuster, its zombie mode is zany, cartoon-like fun and the multiplayer is as deep, compelling and addictive as any mode in this genre has any right to be. The haters will always hate, but Black Ops 2 is one of the best and most accessible shooters of its generation and one of 2012’s essential titles.
28. Uncharted: The Golden Abyss
Arguably best and most engaging of all the PS Vita's launch titles, Uncharted: The Golden Abyss ends all question as to whether core gaming experiences can exist on a handheld. As with every entry in this franchise, The Golden Abyss is smartly written, hugely entertaining and chock full of eye-popping set pieces. If you own Sony's handheld, purchasing this is a no-brainer.
29. Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
30. LEGO Batman 2: DC Heroes
Traveller's Tales took its world-conquering formula and went widescreen this year. Players still bash blocks, build objects, beat up foes and solve puzzles in LEGO Batman 2: DC Heroes, but each stage of the game opens up parts of a huge open-map of Gotham City, which they can then explore for unlockable, treasures and more puzzles. LEGO Batman 2: DC Heroes also features one of the sharpest scripts of any game this year. An absolute must for players of all ages.
Platform: PC, PS3, PS Vita, Wii, 3DS, DS and Xbox 360 | Price: From £21.99 | Link: LEGO