Things are hotting up in the game department, with the build-up to Christmas flooding our consoles with more discs than a Star Wars boxset. But what are the best games of 2012 to look out for? 

Getting hold of every release set to arrive before 2012 is out is going to require plenty of pocket money. Time for a nice round up of everything that is coming, at least to help make buying decisions that little bit easier.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

The announcement of a new XCOM game came pretty much out of nowhere. No one expected to see the return of such a classic gaming franchise and PC favourite. Having recently just played the game, it seems all the clever quirks and twists of the original have remained.

For those who have never played it, think of the game like a big real time strategy title, with complex units and less of the breakneck pace of some other strategy games thanks to it being turn based. This game has been put together by those behind Civilization, so has a pretty serious pedigree. One to watch for PC fans.

Release date: 9 October

Consoles: PC, Xbox 360, PS3

Preorder: Here


Dishonored looks like it could be an unusual, innovative and exciting little title. Just like XCOM, it has quite a pedigree, but this time it is something totally different. Combining first person shooter with stealth and platforming, think of it a bit like Thief, except for being very different in scope and style.

A steam punk style and very different approach to gameplay makes us really want to spend time with this title. You can either go stealth or go for full-blown gung-ho attacking. The controls also suggest this might be one of the few first-person shooters that get platforming right.

Release date: 12 October

Consoles: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

Preorder: Here

Skylanders Giants

The sequel to one of the biggest-selling games of last year that had both adults and kids addicted. Cleverly combining toys in the real world with in-game characters, Skylanders turned out to be much more than a clever cash-in.

The new game in the series is set to be bigger and badder than ever before. It also works with previous characters you might have purchased, so there's no need for a huge investment in new toys - although we can’t see many kids holding back on nagging for the new kit on offer.

Release date: 19 October

Consoles: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, 3DS

Preorder: Here

Medal of Honour: Warfighter

Using the new Battlefield 3 engine to churn out some seriously impressive graphics, the latest Medal of Honour game could easily carve out a tidy niche for itself among the high-end PC gaming crowd.

Multiplayer in particular looks very different and is based around small team-based fire groups and different countries battling it out. Medal of Honour has a lot to prove with this title, so let's hope it gets it right.

Release date: 26 October

Consoles: PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Preorder: Here

Forza Horizon

We have had plenty of time playing Forza Horizon now and can’t wait for its release. Looking stunning and combining class-leading Forza driving physics with an open world, this is the driving game we have been waiting for.

The input from Rob Da Bank isn’t bad either, helping create the soundtrack and the motor festival that the game is based around. Check out our recent preview of the game here

Release date: 26 October

Consoles: Xbox 360

Preorder: Here

Assassin’s Creed 3

The conclusion of Desmond’s long spanning Assassin’s Creed story, this game follows Connor Kenway during the American War of Independence. With sprawling game worlds to explore and impressive-looking naval battles, this is likely to be the game that fans of the series have been waiting for.

Having played through significant parts of the game, we can definitely say it handles well. Expect us to have the full lowdown on the title closer to its release. In the meantime, make sure you brush up on your Assassin’s Creed folklore because this one is likely to be a complicated one.

Release date: 31 October

Consoles: PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC

Preorder: Here

Halo 4

Here comes the biggie then. Set to sell more copies than there are people on the earth, everyone needs a bit of Halo 4 in their lives. Master Chief is back, there are new guns, graphics and a new race of bad guys to blow away. What more could you want?

Quite a lot more by the look of it, hence the addition of new multiplayer modes and a tonne of extra content. So much in fact that we have put together a fairly beefy preview on the matter. Read it here.

Release date: 6 November

Consoles: Xbox 360

Preorder: Here

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

If you thought Halo was going to be a big deal, prepare to have your cereal well and truly made soggy by the release of Black Ops 2. Set in the future, this game continues on the story from the original game, except for with what Treyarch tells us is a heavier emphasis on drones.

Its being set in a theoretical future has allowed developers to come up with different guns and gameplay tweaks that should make this a refreshing game in a series that continues to play it safe.

Release date: 13 November

Consoles: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

Preorder: Here

Hitman Absolution

The Hitman franchise has fallen by the wayside of late, and this refresh sets out to change all that. The first thing you spot is the big graphical jump, next a return to the more traditional Hitman style of play, with multiple ways of completing one single mission.

Either go for the all-guns-blazing approach or take things quietly, sneaking in and out, leaving unnoticed. Previews are looking good and the game appears much more polished than previous titles. Could be another cracker for Square Enix after the delights of Sleeping Dogs.

Release date: 20 November

Consoles: PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Preorder: Here

Far Cry 3

A game which allows you to kill big cats, take copious amounts of magic mushrooms and ride off waterfalls on jet skis is a game worth playing. This title endeavours to right the wrongs of Far Cry 2 and build on elements the previous game got right.

No more malaria for example, but a big open world to explore and plenty of different enemies to take down. The game is also looking fantastic, particularly on PC with the tropical islands on which it is set some of the best we have ever seen.

Release date: 30 November

Consoles: PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Preorder: Here

Hunter Skipworth

The baby of the Lint team, Hunter has been a tech fan since he bought his first MiniDisc..and what a waste of money that was. He began writing about electronics at the age of 16 and hasn't stopped since. Nowadays he fulfils his mobile phone and gaming obsession whilst attempting to distract people from his bizarre name. Regular meetings with the Gladiators crew see Hunter often returning to work battered and bruised. Considers himself a music obsessive, was once the most highly decorated scout in the country. Fan of trousers.