What makes a Game of the Year? Measuring up review scores is one often-cited way of going about it, but that doesn't quite do it. Review scores are, after all, first and foremost purchasing advice, seeking to answer the question "Is this game worth your time and money?" So what question does Game of the Year seek to answer? We'd put forth: "Is the industry most benefited by the release of this game?"
This year's contenders hail from nearly every established genre, and some are so innovative to have created genres all their own. Each and everyone has made significant contributions to the future of the industry, be it the emergent narrative found in Far Cry 3, the exhaustive multiplayer suite of Halo 4, the profound narrative in The Walking Dead, or the emotional resonance of Journey. But which rose above the rest? Read on.
Continue on after the Game of the Year nominees to see the nominees and winners for the best RPG, fighter, shooter, indie, action adventure, and handheld games of 2012.