If you asked me last year to guess my top five games of 2012, the list would've looked something like this: Grand Theft Auto V, Mass Effect 3, BioShock Infinite, The Last of Us and Tomb Raider. In the end, four of those games were delayed into 2013. The fifth - ME3 - could've used some extra development time to flesh out the multiplayer and ending.

Still, unlike fellow Gaming Blend writers Ryan and William, I don't think 2012 was a disappointment. True, some high-profile releases failed to live up to the hype. However, while you were sulking about D3's always-on DRM or ME3's ending or whatever, another game would come out of nowhere and completely knock you on your ass. Who saw DayZ coming? Or FTL? Or The Walking Dead: The Game? The pleasant surprises of this year more than outnumbered the unpleasant ones.

#5: Hotline Miami
Don't let the retro graphics fool you: Hotline Miami is one of the most complex shooters you'll ever play. You don't have a personal shield generators or regenerating health; one hit is all it takes to kill you. Clearing each stage of enemies requires timing, strategy, and maybe a little luck. It's like Super Meat Boy with guns: you'll die over and over in order to scope out the level and eventually overcome it.

While I was discussing the game with William, he mentioned that it was too dark for his tastes. It's true that the game's ultraviolence, gore and disturbing story can wear on you. I'm not sure it's a game I'll want to pick back up. Nonetheless, Hotline Miami is an experience I'm not going to forget anytime soon.

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