Top PC Games of 2012

Wow, who can forget the 2012 London Olympics? Wasn’t it a great time to be British. Everyone thought it would be a huge disappointment, with congestion on the roads, overcrowding on the streets, and underperformance in the arenas. As things turned out, it wasn’t like that at all. It was brilliant.

We like to think that the success of the 2012 Olympic Games in some way spurred on game developers, inspiring them to create the best work of their lives for the PC and other platforms. It also seemed to encourage console releases, with the Wii U, PS Vita and 3DS XL all hitting the market.

Maybe you’ll remember it as the year Risen 2: Dark Waters was released for PC. It would be an odd way to remember the year, consider many better games hit the platform, including Max Payne 3 and Guild Wars 2. Here are the best PC Games of 2012.

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  • 30.

    Sleeping Dogs

    Sleeping Dogs may not offer anything particularly new and certainly nothing groundbreaking, but what it does do is deliver sharp, thrilling and just downright enjoyable action to savour. Much like the Hong Kong cinema it... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 29.

    Darksiders II

    With Darksiders II Vigil has managed to capture a sense of one of the rarest feelings in video games: a genuine adventure. This is a fascinatingly hokey journey. If the opening hours of Darksiders II confuse you, well, I... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 28.

    Transformers: Fall of Cybertron

    Fall of Cybertron sparkles thanks to a decent script, clever characters and the fact it steers well clear of the territory most other shooters are aiming for. There were two types of people born in the 80s; those who played... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 27.

    The Walking Dead: Episode Three – Long Road Ahead

    Telltale Games has done an incredible job keeping The Walking Dead fresh. It's been a longer wait than all of us would have liked, but the third episode of Telltale Games' The Walking Dead is a halfway marker that etches... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 26.

    Battlefield 3: Armored Kill

    Armored Kill is proof that DICE is still the best in the business at crafting these colossal worlds in which to play, and it's an expansion that makes Battlefield 3 feel vital and current once again. After the entertaining... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 25.

    Guild Wars 2

    Guild Wars 2 is beautiful game that runs very well on most mid-spec machines, but the developer needs to rethink its approach to rewarding the game's most devout players. I didn't realise it at first but, like most MMOs,... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 24.

    PES 2013

    PES 2013 manages to do something only the best arcade experiences achieve. It offers playability to those who want to dip their toes in and hardcore techniques for the serious gamer. Pro Evolution Soccer has steadily defined... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 23.

    F1 2012

    The subtle improvements are almost invisible to an untrained eye, but F1 nuts will find immeasurable satisfaction in taming and tuning this year’s cars to performance perfection. Motorsport can deliver incredible drama. So... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 22.

    Torchlight II

    Torchlight II is up there with the best examples of the genre, but Runic Games makes very little attempt to advance the genre beyond what we were already comfortable with a decade ago. Torchlight II is a game that plays by... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 21.

    NiGHTS into dreams

    There's just nothing else quite like NiGHTS. It's called NiGHTS Into Dreams HD but, really, this is a port of a 16-year-old Saturn game, a console which featured less 3D capabilities than the original PlayStation. A modern... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 20.

    The Walking Dead: Episode Four – Around Every Corner

    Despite not giving new and interesting characters the screen time they necessarily deserve, the relationship between Lee and Clementine has never been more pronounced. Walking Dead's last episode left you with a colossal... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 19.

    Borderlands 2: Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty

    Gearbox has shown exactly how DLC is supposed to be done. Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty is an affirming example of the right time, the right place and, crucially, the right content. Borderlands 2, eh? That's probably... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 18.

    Football Manager 2013

    It's Football Manager, and chances are if you liked other ones you'll have snapped this up already or are planning to. The Football Manager carnival is back in town, bringing with it hundreds of new rides and thousands of... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 17.

    Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

    Black Ops II clearly wants nothing more than to pucker up and make out with Paul Verhoeven in a filthy nightclub. While Modern Warfare 3 clearly had a big sweetheart crush on Michael Bay, Treyarch's Black Ops II clearly wants... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 16.

    Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed

    Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed mixes some wonderfully loving nostalgia and ambitious design to create a credible Mario Kart alternative. A worrying and terrifying fact I realised the other day is that those of... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 15.

    LEGO The Lord of the Rings

    Lego Lord of the Rings is still a huge success that's wonderfully adorable and an absolute delight to play. You should never toss a dwarf, not unless you're very brave. Dwarves hate it. It's thoroughly rude. It'd take a braver... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 14.

    Stealth Bastard Deluxe

    By the end of the game you'll be gleefully convinced that the only espionage arsehole is whichever masochistic sod invented some of these bloody levels. This year has seen a bit of a stealth renaissance, with games like Dishonored... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 13.

    Battlefield 3: Aftermath

    Aftermath feels more like an open-armed welcome back to the best online shooter out there. Going back into the Battlefield is as rewarding an experience as I've had online this silly season. Did you forget about Battlefield?... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 12.

    Dear Esther

    The beauty of Dear Esther is that it raises questions about content rather than mechanics. Your left mouse button is useless. It's not needed, and neither is your right. Dear Esther doesn't require you to interact with these... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 11.

    Alan Wake

    Alan Wake is still a superbly scripted adventure on PC. This review was originally published for the Xbox 360 version of Alan Wake, published by Microsoft in 2010. The PC version uses Steamworks and is being self-published... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 10.

    Lone Survivor

    Lone Survivor deserves to be massive, because it might just be the most interesting thing I've played all year. When it comes to indie games, there's one word that always makes me cringe, and that word is interesting. Interesting... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 9.

    Diablo III

    Diablo III quite simply revels in being a video game, and when a game is this well-executed it's impossible to resist those charms. You know what they say: you just can't keep a good millennia-old demonic evil down, but you... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 8.

    Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

    Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is trying to have its cake and eat it. It's hard for me to write about Counter-Strike because, well, Counter-Strike made me; the underpass of Dust is my Hyrule Field, Golden Saucer or Shadow... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 7.

    Borderlands 2

    Borderlands 2 surpasses the original with sharper focus, better quests and more enjoyable blasting. Borderlands 2 stinks of money from start to finish, cementing the series' transformation from the little game that could... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 6.

    FTL: Faster Than Light

    Even on easy mode, FTL is another capital-D Difficult game and its random nature means even the most careful of explorers might find themselves unexpectedly asphyxiated. Have you ever watched Battlestar Galactica and wanted... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 5.

    XCOM: Enemy Unknown

    XCOM works best as a panic management simulator. To get the most enjoyment from XCOM: Enemy Unknown, name your squad. Whether you opt for philosophers, authors, members of your favourite band, or even your Twitter pals, it's... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 4.

    Hotline Miami

    Hotline Miami lets you hit that zen-like trance that the best mechanical games always create. I should feel worse about all this. I've sliced throats with broken bottles, beaten in heads with golfclubs, and cut through all... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: PC

  • 3.

    Need For Speed: Most Wanted (2012)

    Need for Speed: Most Wanted's greatest achievement is how it sets such a firm focus on racing. Criterion set out to make an open-world arcade racer where competition is king, and succeeded. Like the cold metal girders and... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 2.

    Far Cry 3

    Far Cry 3 shines in its campaign, which is more layered and compelling than any game proffering a power trip through escapist ultraviolence has any right to be. Far Cry 3's campaign begins with a quote from Lewis Carrol's... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

  • 1.

    The Walking Dead: Episode 5 - No Time Left

    No Time Left provides an emotional, tear-jerking and ultimately satisfying conclusion to the year's best gaming narrative. Throughout The Walking Dead, Telltale has been crafting and nurturing human relationships. It's taken... more

    Reviewed on:   Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC