This year was packed with great games, many of which I haven't even played, but what I did play, I liked. A lot. I don't want to break this down into categories because I think that just waters down the award (my soap box is small as it is!) so I'm only listing two games: my Game of the Year, and my Runner Up. Let's get down to business.
Runner Up: Dungeon Defenders
I can't say enough good things about this game. First of all, don't play it alone. At least, not at first. You really need to experience this game in co-op because that's where it shines (if you're looking for co-op buddies, I'm "smurphster" on Steam). This game lovingly mixes elements from several different genres. I always want to say a game is a certain genre at its core, but I really can't do that here. The best I can do is call it an RPG/tower defense with a splash of FPS (or TPS) and action/adventure.
There's so much to love about this game, but what keeps me coming back is the high I feel when narrowly beating a level with a group of co-op buddies, after several close failures. Where a traditional tower defense game gives you nothing for failing a stage, the character development (levels, skills, loot, upgrades) in Dungeon Defenders takes the bite out of losing. You emerge from a lost battle, bruised and burned, but stronger and better equipped. On the flip side, the RPG elements are deep, yet simplified if you don't want to spend a lot of time on it. Point your crosshairs at an item and you'll see a quick comparison of that item compared to what you have equipped, plus a thumbs up/down that generally tells you which is better. Thumbs up, pick it up, thumbs down, leave it on the groun(d). It's simple and effective, yet you can still upgrade, buy/sell, and trade equipment if you please. Ok, enough rambling, let's move on.
Game of the Year: Gears of War 3
The Gears of War series continually steps it up, and Gears of War 3 is no exception. It takes Gears of War 2, improves everything, and adds Beast mode (basically reverse Horde mode). It easily has the most and best co-op offerings we've seen this year (maybe ever), and it's all very polished. There's really not a whole lot to say about this game, it's just plain awesome, and you should play it.
So there you have it. Thanks for reading!