Gaming Moments of the Year 2012

It's that time of year again when those of us who review stuff, rank said stuff in some order that says what stuff is better than what other stuff.

This year, instead, I figured I'd do something slightly different. Not too different, I definitely have a Game of the Year in mind (more on that in a few days).

Instead of giving out awards for this and that, I thought I'd talk about some of my favorite gaming moments of the year, why they were special, and why the games that caused those moments are worth your dollar (or in some cases, just the time to download them).

On a whole, I'd say 2012 has been a great year for gaming. It has seen the resurgence of the PC as a dominant gaming platform (again). It has seen quality entries in established series, but also some entirely new games based.

Perhaps that's what was most exciting about this year: the variety. Of the games on my list, half are either available on console, or solely on console. As a pretentious PC gamer like myself, that's rather shocking (to me, anyway). It just goes to show that creativity can squeak its way through even the most risk-averse corporate minefields.

Or, more likely, the creativity just finds a better outlet. Half the games on my list aren't available in physical form (or at least, that's not their primary distribution). Downloads, via Steam, the Xbox Marketplace, or the PlayStation store, continue to grow.

And then there's the true indie. Two of my games are 100% completely free. Labors of love from their development teams. Such devotion to an idea has thankfully been rewarded by lavish praise from gamers and press alike.

These are in no particular order, just a list of standout moments from a year of standout moments.

Oh, and of course, a few moments at the end that were standout moments for the opposite reasons.

A quick look at some of the games in the queue for 2013, I think next year is looking to be fantastic too.

So here are my Gaming Moments of the Year 2012 (Don't worry, no spoilers!)