Talking tech since 2003

There are a lot of ways you can spend your downtime — for instance, reading a book, catching up on a favorite TV series, or heading out to the movie theater to watch the latest blockbuster (if it’s not available on Netflix or Amazon yet). For those who want a little more interaction with their entertainment, there are video games. Whether you prefer the Xbox 360, the Wii U, the PlayStation 3 or the PC — or if you consider yourself console-agnostic — 2012 saw a number of great titles released, all of which are worthy of both your time and your money.

I’ve hand-picked three of these titles as the Best Video Games of 2012. You may not agree with my three choices. This is to be expected; not everyone has the same tastes, after all. If your favorite title didn’t make the cut, I’d love you to make your case for it in the comments section.

masseffect3Mass Effect 3 (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)

I get it. Not everyone liked the ending of this fantastic trilogy from BioWare. For the sake of spoilers, I won’t get into it any more than that. But to toss out this title for its conclusion is to ignore the rest of the things that make it spectacular: the engrossing story, the intriguing characters, and the intense action. If anything, the mere fact that the end provoked so much criticism from Mass Effect fans is a sign that the series did a hell of a job pulling players into the trilogy’s universe.

And, by the way, Amazon is selling this game for $22. It’s worth every penny, trust me.

Halo 4 (Xbox 360)halo4

After Bungie jumped ship from Microsoft, 343 Industries took over the Halo franchise, getting its bearings with the release of Halo: Anniversary Edition. Many fans weren’t sure what to expect from the development studio when Halo 4 was announced, as it was the first time a non-Bungie studio was handling the development of a brand new Halo title. Fortunately, those worries quickly faded away as gamers dropped Halo 4 into their Xbox 360 disc drives. Halo 4 offers up a great story (in my opinion, telling a story better than past installments), and multiplayer is every bit as fun as it was in Halo: Reach, Halo 3, and even Halo 2. The Spartan Ops episodic campaigns are a welcome addition, and even though the game is still selling at its full retail price, there’s enough gameplay and content to make that $60 worth it.

ac3Assassin’s Creed III (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U, PC)

With the story of Ezio Auditore da Firenze all wrapped up, Ubisoft took its next installment of the Assassin’s Creed series into Revolutionary times. In AC3, you play as Connor, a Native American assassin who is determined to help the colonists gain their independence from the crown. With the story of Assassins versus Templars weaved in, the game becomes a great piece of historical fiction that ties the gameplay into events that actually took place during the Revolutionary War. If you’re not a history buff, you might actually learn a thing or two from playing. You’ll also learn a bit more about Desmond, the modern day ancestor of Ezio and Connor, and you’ll get to play through some of the game with him, as well, taking down Templars in the present and further progressing the story along. If you’re a fan of the Assassin’s Creed series, AC3 is definitely a great purchase. If you haven’t played any of the previous games, I’d suggest picking up Assassin’s Creed 2, Brotherhood, and Revelations. Skip the original and read about the story to get caught up — the gameplay wasn’t that great.

So there we have it. What egregious error have I made with my three selections? Let me know.

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