Given the rapid expansion of the casual and mobile games market, some gaming veterans feel like the days of the big-budget blockbuster video game is rapidly drawing to a close. That’s simply not the case, and a quick glance over the best video games of 2012 and 2013 should quell any fears that games produced by big teams will be slashed and burned to make more room for FarmVille.
Granted, not all of these games are yet available, though they’re certainly among the most promising games of the coming year and beyond. This current generation of consoles (including the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii) may be on its way out, but it’s not lacking for awesome options that (from this angle) catch the eye thanks to stunning previews and presentation.
Among the best games of 2012 and 2013 are:
BioShock Infinite (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC) – BioShock Infinite is a first-person shooter that takes the player from the undersea city of Rapture to a floating steampunk-inspired city that bounds among the clouds. It’s certainly one of 2013’s most anticipated titles, and given its pedigree, that’s no surprise. The first BioShock still stands as a prime example of how to thread a compelling story through an action game. Release Date: February 2013
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3) – One thing is certain about Revengeance: with a name like that, you know you’re in for something different. Most games produced by famed industry professional Hideo Kojima are notable for their grand scope, and this upcoming military-themed action game appears to be no different. We’re talking about a cyborg hero who wields an epic katana and shoves it in the face of everything that moves. Metal Gear games are typically focused on stealth: Revengeance is pretty much the opposite of everything subtle. Release Date: Q4 2012
The Last Guardian (PlayStation 3) – Oh, Last Guardian. This action-adventure-puzzle game from the makers of ICO and Shadow of the Colossus has teased us since its initial reveal at E3 2009. We know almost nothing about it, except that the team behind it has produced some of the most heartfelt and stunning games that have ever existed, and given the chemistry that’s already apparent between the boy and the baby monster he commands in-game, this seems no different. Release Date: Q4 2012 (Subject to Delay)
Assassin’s Creed 3 (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, WiiU) – When a numbered Assassin’s Creed game hits the news (as opposed to yet another spin-off), everybody sits up and takes notice. Assassin’s Creed 3 generated some extra buzz thanks to its unique historical setting: Colonial America during the Revolutionary War. The same open-world stealth-action that the series is acclaimed applies, which means a whole lot of exploration, hunting, and, of course, killing. Release Date: October 2012
Xenoblade (Wii) – Xenoblade only hit North America this year, and its action role-playing formula is unique, fast-paced, and helps to tell an involved and detailed story. It’s arguably one of the best role-playing games for fantasy fans available in this console generation, but given the Wii’s lack of vitality, it’s in danger of being overlooked. If you’re a fan of swords and sorcery, don’t miss it! Available Now
For more nominees for the best games of 2012, take a look at :
Playing video games used to mean shelling out for an expensive set-top console, or spending a lot of time and money upgrading your PC with the RAM and graphics cards necessary to handle intense graphics and sound. Now, enjoying a good game is simply a matter of knowing how to find your way around the Internet and tucking into a load of free offerings. The video game market has never been so competitive, and developers are lining up around the block for the chance to entertain you using social games, casual games, free to play flash games and more. Cheerfully, the following expert guide can show you how to play games free online in minutes.
Worth keeping in mind before diving in, however: There’s still a huge market for video game consoles and the high-budget games that set-top solutions provide. That said, there’s no denying the appeal of firing up a game on a web browser and frittering away a few minutes before or during your lunch break. Moreover, free online games aren’t limited to simple, single-screen affairs: They come in a veritable rainbow of genres, they boast varying levels of complexity, and many are surprisingly detailed and good-looking.
Here are some tips you should keep in mind if you’re looking to play free games online.
You’ll need a stable Internet connection – Preferably broadband. You can’t play games if you can’t access the websites that host them, right?
Get a Facebook and/or Google+ account – Not mandatory by any means, but there are a lot of fun and easy-to-access social games such as FarmVille, Bubble Witch Saga and Draw Something on social networks like Facebook and Google+. Just make sure that you read, understand, and agree with each site’s privacy terms, and set your account’s security accordingly.
Make sure Flash is up-to-date – Most online games utilize Adobe Flash (a software backbone that powers games found on sites like MiniClip.com, Newgrounds, Pogo.com and Addicting Games) to some degree, which is a multimedia platform that allows for users to interact with websites. If you’re going to play, make sure your version of Flash is up-to-date. If it’s not, Flash is free and easy to download and install.
Have an idea of what kind of game(s) you’re looking for – If you have a general idea of the kind of games you want to play, it’ll make your search a lot easier. For instance, do you like puzzle games? PopCap makes excellent puzzle games, and if you visit the studio’s website, you’ll find lots of free demos.
Visit Kongregate – Kongregate.com is a massive site that contains over 56,000 free games. You can find titles in almost every conceivable genre, all neatly sorted. You can also take a look at the most popular offerings and grab some recommendations.
For more info about the best free games and sites you can get them from, visit:
A smarter way to play: Video games industry analysis, reviews & insight.
The video games industry is going through a period of radical change, thanks to the advent of mobile games, social games, free online games and more. While many exciting developments continue to happen on traditional systems such as the PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360, Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita, much more is going on in the world of free to play titles, iPhone and iPad apps, digital downloads and other arenas. Naturally, gaming insiders are working hard to adapt as Facebook games and zero-cost applications continues to take over – a topic we explore in the following video on the future of video games.
Looking for more information on where video games are headed in terms of both design and as a business? Check out Game Theory‘s website, chock full of articles, hints, tips, advice, news, trends and videos on the wild world of gaming.