CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- As the final seconds tick off of 2012, it's time to take one last look back at the year that was in video games.
It was roller-coaster year for the gaming industry, with the highs brought on by the launch of new hardware from Sony (PSVita) and Nintendo (Wii U) matched by the lows of numerous studio closures and decreased sales numbers. Amid the turbulent atmosphere, developers continued to push out some of the best games of this console generation.
There was an undeniable case of sequel-itis this year, with publishers and developers continuing to milk existing franchises rather than take the expensive risk that is introducing a new IP, but games like "Dishonored" and "Journey" proved that sometimes it's worth the risk to introduce fresh ideas.
Without further adieu, here are my Top 10 Video Games of 2012:
10. "Darksiders 2" (THQ; Xbox 360, PS3) -- One of the more underrated games of 2012, "Darksiders 2" blended elements of some of gaming's biggest brands to create a memorable third-person action platformer. Controlling the agile Death, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, was a real treat as I explored vast dungeons and battled giant creatures in order to clear my brother's name. Throw in a deep loot system and fluid combat and you have the recipe for one of the year's best games.
9. "WWE 13" (THQ; Xbox 360, PS3) -- The Attitude Era, that raucous period in WWE history highlighted by the rise of Stone Cold Steve Austin and the Rock, is alive and well in "WWE 13." But the nostalgia I felt while reliving some of my favorite childhood wrestling memories was only part of what made this my Sports Game of the Year. Solid game play, the deepest roster in series history and the near infinite possibilities afforded by the revamped Universe Mode elevate "WWE 13" onto this list.
8. "Dishonored" (Bethesda; Xbox 360, PS3) -- Who says originality is dead? This unique offering from Arkane Studios defies conventional genres by offering a myriad of ways to complete each mission presented to bodyguard-turned-assassin Corvo Attano. But whether you prefer to sneak through the shadows, use magical powers to move across rooftops or unleash a swarm of bloodthirsty rats upon your enemies, "Dishonored" leaves you feeling like a true god amongst men.
7. "The Darkness II" (2K Games; Xbox 360, PS3) -- This dark first-person shooter was one of the first surprises of 2012 and remains one of the year's most memorable experiences. Stepping back into the shoes of cursed mob boss Jackie Estacado, who remains an unwilling host for the demonic Darkness, proved to be pure joy, aided by an excellent script and a fresh, cel-shaded art style. The ending left the door open for another sequel, and I can't wait to see what the future holds for this series.