Console Game Of The Year

Okay this is insane. I've never seen a Kotaku game of the year run this close. Ever. You will be surprised by exactly who won the reader voted console game of the year, and just how close it actually was between the top three...

There was just over half of a percent between the top three. HALF A PERCENT!

Reader's Choice

Mass Effect 3 11.99%

This is bound to ruffle some feathers, but it's what you voted for! Despite the issues with the ending, despite some people's problems with the story, Mass Effect 3 has been voted console game of the year. It was incredibly close. Incredibly. Literally we are going down the tenths of percentage points here. We've literally never had a closer vote in Kotaku Award history.

Runners Up Halo 4: 11.61% Borderlands 2: 11.43%

Editor's Choice

Trials Evolution

It's almost a cliche to state that 2012 was the year of the downloadable game, but it was. All of my favourite games this year, with the exception of a few titles here and there, were released on Xbox LIVE or PSN.

Journey felt like the most important release of 2012, and in so many ways it felt like the game of the year from the second I played it. I almost wanted Journey to be my game of the year because of its importance, but at the same time -- if I'm being completely honest with myself -- Trials Evolution was the game I fell most in love with, the game that really defined this year for me. It's the game I continue to go back to, it's game I enjoyed the most, moment to moment. It's the game that stayed with me the longest, the game that engaged me on a whole new level. Trials Evolution, without a doubt, was my favourite console game released in 2012.

Runners Up Journey Dishonored


    I demand a recount!!!!! Or a petition to change the end result...

      No fair! You changed the result by measuring it!

      Now that I've got that out of the way, Mass Effect 3 was actually a pretty good game. I definitely enjoyed it and didn't let the ending (which was disappointing but not catastrophically so) sour the rest of the experience.

        I agree. I did love me3, even the ending which I contemplated for a long time. I've since sold all 3 off though, with the intent of buying them all on pc. Honestly there hasn't been a game with an ending that inspired so much philosophical debate in *years*. On that point alone it's a massive achievement.

        Last edited 12/12/12 2:50 pm

        its amusing that ME3 was console game of the year, but didnt even list on the top PC games of the year, despite the PC version being (arguably) superior.

        Let's just say I lucked out at the track. Also, I rigged one race.


    I loved Mass Effect 3, so it's all good. (Although I'm sad for Spec Ops, man. And Anna's Quest... I don't even care if it wasn't on consoles... :P)

    Last edited 12/12/12 1:39 pm

      Been a damn good year for gaming, actually. Much better than 2011, I think.

    So how was the actual vote difference between the top 3 ? 1 vote or 50 votes ?

    I know I've said this a couple of times, but maybe a preferential (or multi-vote system like the JJJ Hottest 100) voting system would work better here: games are winning with 10% of the vote! Yesterday on Giz the macbook won best laptop basically by getting its 10% market share in votes!

      I can just see the people handing how to vote cards huddling outside the poll. Desperately trying to get our favour and hoping that we'll vote for them and then assign our preferences so that their nearest competitor is right at the bottom.

    Don't look at me, I accidentally voted for Arkham City on Wii U Kodos

    Last edited 12/12/12 1:49 pm

    I know I was the one initially whinging about ME3's ending the most on this site, but after the extended cut I'm happy with it. ME3 was fantastic otherwise.

    However, Halo 4 is still my console GOTY. Brilliant use of the 360's resources, especially given its graphics and compared to Halo Reach.

      I haven't played the altered ending yet, I'm waiting for all the DLC to drop and then I'm going to play through the whole series with a new character.


        I've tried it. It's incredibly disappointing to play through it again, knowing that the civilisation-altering decisions you make will at best alter a few lines of dialogue, and at worst never be referred to again.

        Agonising about whether to let the bad guy go to save the hostages or sacifice the innocent colonists to stop the terrorist from committing any more acts of crime? Or, specifically: do I want a 10 second verbal news report in the second game, or a non-combat 10 second interaction in the third game?

        Do I want to spare the Rachni, or do I want to exterminate an entire species? No biggy - they turn up regardless in the third game!

        Do I tell Kasumi to keep the Alliance-destroying data files, or do I tell her to destroy them to avoid implicating the Alliance? Don't fret, they're never mentioned again!

        And Bioware has said that they'll absolutely be implementing a save file importer feature for Dragon Age 3! Can't wait to see what effects my choices won't have again!

          Come on dude, not every little detail needs its own epilogue. The overall game is an ending, your choices do matter. Just because there isn't 500 endings for each little decision doesn't mean they're all pointless.

        Yeah, the extended cut doesn't do anything except retcon the destruction of certain things, and basically make explicitly what intelligent gamers could extrapolate anyway. It's still an incoherent, illogical and rushed mess, and the leviathan DLC only serves to make it more ridiculous. Truly, it simultaneously explains the ending more and makes it significantly worse.

        ME3 had a few spectacular moments, but the players were more firmly on railroad tracks than ever before, and the ending just throws the player in a single garbage skip at the end no matter what they did. It was my biggest gaming disappointment of the year.

      And yet, for me, the extended ending wasn't what was wrong with the ending...

      The lack of 'happily ever after' wasn't the problem... Starchild was.

    Fuck yeah! Seaking!! I mean Mass Effect 3!!!

    I'm just glad it beat out Halo 4. If you like it, that's fine, but game of the year? Hardly.

      That's the exact reason I didn't want ME3 to get the top place, I think that 2012 was just a 'meh' year for mainstream games...

    I voted for FF XIII-2 despite I knew it had no chance at winning maybe I should of voted for Halo 4 instead, unsure how I feel about ME3 winning its a great game and all just not sure if it is GOTY quality.

      Yeah I wonder how many votes (or what percent) FFXIII-2 ended up with... was it just me, distantdrop, and strange that voted for it? :P

      ^^ EDIT: Mark, the above is now an official question to Kotaku! ^^

      Last edited 12/12/12 2:08 pm

    Personal tastes obviously, but i didn't think 2012 was a great year at all for games. Hence why i couldn't vote as i didn't purchase any game released this year. I'm just looking forward to cruising around San Andreas again.

      I'm just looking forward to cruising around San Andreas again.

      Speaking of which, any sign of it on PSN yet?

        Tomorrow. $23.95

          Great that it's coming tomorrow, not so great that it's gonna cost that much.

      Agreed. It was a good year for "good" games but not for A+ games. I vote for XCOM on this poll but without a lot of conviction (I haven't yet played Dishonored and that may end up being my GOTY). I played the Unfinished Swan after the poll, and would have voted for that if I had played it earlier.

      My top 3 last year was (I think) Deus Ex, Portal 2, Skyrim in that order. I'd have taken any of them ahead of any game this year, although I would have felt bad about having Skyrim ahead of Unfinished Swan (because it would be purely on quantity).

    I over rule everyone's opinion, best console game of the year was Borderlands 2...
    ....Because it was the only one i played from that list (and on PC too :P)

    YAY, more Trials Evo love! and more importanely i avoided 'in b4 FatShady' type stuff so that is a plus! :)

    Oh and an interesting fact, I actually voted for the Walking dead in this category. I feel so dirty now ;)

    Last edited 12/12/12 2:40 pm

    Where's Mark Of The Ninja?

    The ACTUAL best game of 2012? Downloadable or otherwise.

      I'm really getting the impression I should buy that.

    Objectivity obviously plays no part in the Editor's Pick :-)

    Amalur dammit!

      Love Amalur! It went into 2 for $40 at JB today so I'm hoping some of my mates that haven't played it yet will get on that shit now that it's cheap enough for them.

    Damn Florida!

    Oh well, Borderlands 2 is still the best in my book!

    Mass Effect 3 is a fine game, but the problem with all reader's choice votes is they're constrained to what people have played. A game that moves a million copies is more likely to get the vote than one than moves 10,000 copies simply by dint of having a larger pool of people it can impress.

    In a dream world we'd weight these things by how many games you played that year. If all you played this year is Halo and ME3, then you're vote's basically worthless, whereas if you trawled a wide and deep ocean of left-field releases then the chances are you're making an informed decision as to what the "best" was.

    Happy with the Mass Effect win. Played through 1, 2 and 3 with extended cut ending not too long ago and could be my favourite franchise of all time.

    So no Far Cry 3? Seriously? Mass Effect 3...LOL oh how I pity the mainstream masses and their terrible taste in games. Max Payne 3, Borderlands 2, Dishonored, Darksiders 2, Dark Souls Prepare to Die Editio....All leaps and bounds ahead of garbage like ME3.

      Welcome to the internet - "popular and kinda good" beats "niche and freaking awesome", every time. Personally, I'm sad that Spec Ops wasn't chosen, but I knew it was a long shot...

    And what percentage of the 11.99% were Bioware employees? :P

    You know I wasn't expecting this to win...but I was kinda secretly hoping it would. Seriously, great game that got way too much bad press.

    I also like how Kotaku's audience votes for the triple A big budget corporate shill game...while the Spike VGA audience votes for the quirky niche indie adventure game. That's like a total nerd fail.

      Keep in mind, the Walking Dead is banned here on consoles, so there goes a fair portion of the playerbase.

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