My favorite video games of 2012 in no particular order:
Hotline Miami - Maybe my favorite game of the year. It oozes energy and the kind of creative outburst that can only come from a team of two people making something they love. I described the game earlier as the possible output of Suda 51 if he was living in Miami in the 1980s, doing boat loads of cocaine, and his roommate was a psychopathic killer. It's a beautiful balance of repetitive yet satisfying gameplay and stunning audio/visual presentation.
X-Com: Enemy Unknown - This is the only other game that gave the short Hotline Miami a run for its money this year. X-com is an addicting tactics/strategy/resource management game that just begs you to continue playing it. Not surprising coming from the developers of the Civilization series. I loved naming and customizing my X-com soldiers to be friends, co-workers, and family members, and then watching them rise through the ranks to be powerful super-soldiers, or die horrible deaths at the hands of alien invaders.
Dishonored - An incredibly fun first-person action/stealth game set in a well realized steampunk world of whale oil and magic. The graphics also have a great 19th century caricature/cartoon vibe that is very subtle, but gives the game a distinct look, and I love that you can kill every character in the freaking game, or play the entire game without killing anyone.
Dust: An Elysian Tale - This game was made by one dude. It's a 2-D action game with RPG elements, crafting, and a Metroid/Castlevania-style map. It's really good. It was made by one dude!
Spelunky - Another game made by one dude. Way to go dudes! A rogue-like action/platformer with randomly generated levels and items. Incredibly tough but just as rewarding. I was very addicted to this game for a time, and will probably go back to it soon. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best.
Trials Evolution - Physics-based, 2-D motorcycle puzzle/racing game. It's really hard, but so damn fun. It's also hilarious.
Dungeon Looters of the Year:
Diablo III - I'm not going to say much about this game. It was ultimately disappointing and Blizzard made some really bad decisions, in my opinion, outside of the actual gameplay, but it was still a really fun game that I sunk hours and hours into. Based on gameplay alone, this game succeeds.
Torchlight II - Made by the folks that created Diablo and Diablo II, Torchlight II is like Diablo III's more likeable older brother. Less flashy, more down to earth, and after getting to know it, more fun and more complex.