I don't have a game of the year. In the same way that multiple games left profound and lasting influences on me in 2011, several have likewise done so in 2012--Journey, Mass Effect 3, and The Walking Dead among them.
So instead of writing any kind of GOTY post, I will instead direct readers to Sparky Clarkson's The Year of the Games roundup, a collection to which I and nearly a dozen of my colleagues and peers contributed. It's been a fascinating year, as the big-budget, AAA games wrap up franchises and stall out, waiting on a new console generation, and as indie and avant-garde-inspired gaming well and truly comes into its own.
Likewise, Critical Distance has once again rounded up their must-read highlights of the year, and they are indeed pieces that should be read.
And as for me? Well. I had many, many beginnings in 2012, and some endings too. I look forward to seeing what games inspire me to write too much in 2013.