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Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best RPG

Matt Gardner
Best RPG 2012, Borderlands 2, Dragon's Dogma, Final Fantasy XIII-2, Game of the Year 2012, GOTY 2012, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Mass Effect 3, Torchlight II

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best RPG

It didn't matter if you were a Western RPG fan, or a connoisseur of JRPGs; whether you were in it for the story, the combat, the epic loot, or all of the above, there was an RPG for you this year. Many of them were hybrids, many had taken on elements from other genres in a bid to grow and expand, many of them were franchised entities, building on games that had come before in evolutionary manner. Projects went abandoned, revision left untouched, there were timesinks aplenty - too many worlds to save, characters to get to know, destinies to fulfil, and legacies to forge.

And loot. So much awesome loot.

NB. Click on the thumbnails for price comparisons and the game's title for the relevant review where available.



Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best RPG

Borderlands 2

We described Borderlands 2 as "the best co-op shooter of its generation" and it still holds true to that accolade. Outstanding AI, superlative scripting, one of this generation's finest villains in Handsome Jack, persistent RPG mechanics and upgrades, and more loot than we knew what to do with, Borderlands 2 was a huge step up from its predecessor. Not that Borderlands 1 wasn't great, it's just that its bigger, badder, bolder brother was so very pleasing.

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best RPG

Dragon's Dogma

It was broken in places, and Gransys was one of the more forgettable worlds we've seen from an RPG, but Dragon's Dogma was one hell of an endearing game. Breathtaking combat, an innovative Pawn mechanic, and deep customisation options made it a firm favourite in spite of its flaws. Plus, the opportunity to take down a hole bunch of mythical beasts made it all the sweeter. Refreshingly mature.

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best RPG

Final Fantasy XIII-2

Square delivered a game that built upon, and corrected a number of the mistakes of, its predecessor, whilst sacrificing none of what made FFXIII an attractive proposition in the first place. This was a game that made few concessions to genre unbelievers, preferring to reward the faithful with some fine examples of fan service. It wasn't perfect, and it doesn't quite stand on its own two feet, but rather made a bid to be the game that FFXIII should have been...and it largely succeeded.

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best RPG

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

Big Huge Games made a big huge game, and one that was good for hundreds of hours of addictive questing. The brilliant combat and compelling skill system deserved stronger characters and a more imaginative, less insipid setting, but Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning absolutely nailed the 'Playing Game' aspect of RPGs. With gameplay this good, we were willing to forgive the compromise in the 'Role' department.

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best RPG

Mass Effect 3

The third and final entry in the Mass Effect trilogy was a stunning achievement. The combat systems were better than ever, the multiplayer hugely enjoyable, and there was a sense of scale and heightened emotion that drove everything. But it was the excellent pacing and wonderful writing that rung out, providing us with some of the most memorable moments in videogaming. It's just a shame that BioWare rushed and ruined the ending. The journey was sublime; the destination found utterly wanting.

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best RPG

The Last Story

If last year's JRPG spectacular - Xenoblade Chronicles - gave us forward-thinking genre pinnacle for our times, this year's The Last Story sought to create the definitive traditional JRPG. Sakaguchi's opus was beautiful, and gave the Wii a fittingly epic swansong.

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best RPG

Torchlight II

Runic Games may have less than 40 developers on staff, but they delivered what was perhaps the best loot grinder since Diablo II. Practically perfect in every way, it shamed Blizzard's third effort in the aforementioned franchise through comprehensive content and exquisite execution.

Best RPG 2012 | Torchlight II

Game of the Year Awards 2012 | Best RPG

Unbelievable value, enormous longevity, superb mechanics, and a perfect balance of substance and style, Torchlight II tole Blizzard's crown this year by out-Diabloing Diablo. Runic's follow-up to their RPG smash hit gave fans everything that they wanted and more, delivering a dungeon-crawling loot-grinder that came as close to perfection as we've ever seen, and presented what Blizzard could not: a true successor to Diablo II.

Add a comment8 comments
Quietus  Dec. 27, 2012 at 14:53

Your description for Borderlands 2 is very interesting.;)

Shained  Dec. 27, 2012 at 18:37

Despite the ending it has to be Me3

DrTrouserPlank  Dec. 28, 2012 at 08:56

Unless I'm totally confused I'm sure Skyrim came out this year.

How can you have a "best RPG" poll without Skyrim as a contender?

Quietus  Dec. 28, 2012 at 09:29

Unless I'm totally confused I'm sure Skyrim came out this year.
Nope, but only just nope. It was the tail end of 2011.

stevenjameshyde  Dec. 28, 2012 at 11:30

Skyrim came out on 11.11.11. They did their best to make it memorable for you...

MattGardner  Dec. 28, 2012 at 11:53

To be honest, we've probably been playing enough of Skyrim this year to throw it into contention!

GetsugaTenshoS  Dec. 29, 2012 at 12:17

I had to vote for Torchlight II there, that game stole my time for days after it was released. Such a great game. I would vote for FFXIII-2 but I've not got my hands on it yet. Soon!

BetterThanLife  Dec. 30, 2012 at 17:39

Voted for Pokemon. It's still got it. Amazing game, stuffed with content, loads of extras, and almost never-ending.

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