MP1st’s Multiplayer Experience of 2012 – Staff Picks

On January 1st, 2013, we will be awarding one title with the rank of the best multiplayer gaming experience of 2012. What makes this year’s choice so hard is not only the fact that there are a ton of amazing multiplayer games out there, but that MP1st is made up of many minds, all with different opinions and different gaming backgrounds. While you’ll soon find out what MP1st as an entity considers to be the top “MPE” of 2012, it would be unfair to let the diverse opinions of our staff go unheard.

But before revealing our picks, we’d like to remind you that in addition to the MP1st MPE2012 award, we will also be revealing the Reader’s Choice award on the same day. That means you have until the first day of 2013 to vote for your pick, which you can do right here, or on the right side bar.

A quick reminder of the nominees:

So, without further ado, here are the MP1st “Staff Picks” for MPE2012. Make sure to stick around in the comments where there is sure to be some friendly smack-talk and fierce debate!

MPE2012 – Staff Picks

Santiago Garza’s Pick

With the year coming to an end, the time to choose the best game has come. This, however, is not really easy because there have been many awesome and really impressive games this year. With each year passing, multiplayer has become something more important – to a point where multiplayer-centered games have become the most popular and successful titles ever created.

My choice this year will go to Halo 4 because it was simply the best experience I’ve had in 2012. Not only did it feature an outstanding and emotive campaign, but its multiplayer (which was heavily modified by adding new weapons, specializations as well as different power-ups) is definitely better than any Halo multiplayer previously released. The Crimson DLC, which was just released a couple weeks ago, only made the experience better. The new vehicle, “Mantis,” just proved that it’s not only made to kill, but to cooperate in accomplishing the current objective, making the game even more fun by creating new ways to win.

  1. Halo 4

  2. Borderlands 2

  3. Torchlight 2

James Lara’s Picks

This was a hard choice with all the amazing MP titles that have released, but I’m going to go with Journey. Playing a co-op match with another player has truly never felt so satisfying and meaningful. Playing with a completely unidentified fellow gamer for nearly four hours straight has left me with emotions that I cannot explain. With a beautiful art direction, an amazing score (first game up for a Grammy), and an immense world to get lost in, Journey has truly shown that gaming could indeed be art. While it’s not competitive (PvP) when it comes to multiplayer, the co-op is still, nonetheless, a true multiplayer experience.

  1. Journey

  2. Borderlands 2

  3. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

Joel Santana’s Picks

For me, no other game has shined more this year and has enveloped the epitome of the multiplayer experience than Borderlands 2. It delivers on its promise of being bigger, better and more “bad-ass” then it’s predecessor, all while still mainting the highly addicting gameplay we all loved from the original. This is why it’s my pick for MPE2012.

  1. Borderlands 2

  2. Journey

  3. Halo 4

Jacob Kim’s Picks

Medal of Honor: Warfighter suffered heavily with its ill-timed release against two other FPS juggernauts, BO2 and Halo 4. It also has been criticized for its technical problems, generic campaign and its uninspired multiplayer. However, MOH:W still manages to pique my interest with its unique and fantastic gunplay, fireteam mechanic and the class system that offers different strategic elements such as the support actions.

Having good teammates such as my buddies Justin and Devin also increases the fun factor, allowing for some tense and hilarious games. Finally, the chance to play against the Danger Close developers with David and Todd in a nerve-racking round of Home Run was also memorable enough for me to justify my choice. In the end, I have many disagreements with the consensus that MOH:W is a mediocre title. Sadly, it is not enough to stop the already dwindling population of players and servers.

  1. Medal of Honor: Warfighter

  2. Halo 4

  3. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Alex DiFiori’s Picks

For me, MPE isn’t just how well a game plays. I’m as interested in how much a game innovates as I am how it plays. It’s really easy to release a great game and copy/paste it year after year. It’s also really easy to see what everyone else is doing and copy the formulas that work and drop what doesn’t. To me, MPE means what game blew the doors off the hinges and said “IT’S PARTY TIME B**CHES!” It means what game took balls to make and release in a sea of same-ness and generic move here, shoot this, move there FPS clichés.

As much as I like and play BOII, despite how many late-nights I have put into Torchlight 2, and regardless of how beautiful Far Cry 3 looks, PlanetSide 2 is doing things that no other MP game is doing.

While most of the big MP games are stuck in the refine, innovate, or die rut, PlanetSide 2 is taking gamers to another world and handing over the keys to one of the most dynamic rides I have ever seen in an MP FPS game. From absurdly massive maps to incredibly intense indoor gunfights, high-powered tank battles to challenging and devastatingly cool air combat, and from colorful and gorgeous daylight to moody and atmospheric nighttime gameplay, PlanetSide 2 has it all.  You will not find a more all-encompassing, dynamic, or in-depth MP game in this year’s roster of releases. Additionally, IT’S FREE.  Yes, the year’s best MPE is free to play for anyone and everyone. Granted you might need a fairly high-end computer to run it, it’s still my choice for MPE of the year.

  1. PlanetSide 2

  2. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

  3. Blacklight: Retribution

Jorik De Waen’s Picks

It’s a close call between Guild Wars 2 and Blacklight: Retribution for me. While I had a great deal of fun playing Guild Wars 2, MMOs can’t capture me for longer periods of time anymore. Blacklight: Retribution, however, certainly did! Playing it gives me the same vibe I had when I discovered Team Fortress 2 back in the day. It’s fun, has a lot of depth and looks amazing. Best of all: it’s absolutely free! I definitely cannot recommend this game enough.

Forget CoD, Battlefield or any of those paid shooters. Even though BL:R is free to play, it delivers! When people talk about “the future is free to play,” this is what they mean. The unlock system is very satisfying for both paying and free players. BL:R offers at least as much depth and customization as Black Ops 2, while having high-end DX11 graphics up to par with the best in the industry. The gameplay is well thought-out and surprisingly fresh considering the amount of military shooters that are flooding the market lately. Since it’s absolutely free, there is no excuse for not trying this game!

  1. Blacklight: Retribution

  2. Guild Wars 2

  3. Diablo III

David Veselka’s Picks

This one was a hard, yet very easy choice at the same time. A riddle? No. After the dust had settled following this Fall’s clash of the FPS titans, two titles emerged as my go-to multiplayer experiences on the Xbox 360: Battlefield 3 and Halo 4. One of these titles won last year’s MPE, and so I am left with but one choice: Halo 4 – a hard choice because I could argue Battlefield 3 still holds its place in my heart as this year’s MPE, but an easy choice because I’m not going to break the rules of our own competition!

Let me be honest. I never liked Halo’s multiplayer. Though I’ve always admired the sheer skill it takes to play Halo at a competitive level – to learn its mechanics and master its nuances – the idea of super-human, moon-walking, plasma nade-tossing Spartan soldiers with space guns that take forever to kill another player just wasn’t for me. Yet, somehow, what 343 Industries did with Halo 4, in my opinion, was make Halo cool again – a critical factor that I felt the series was lacking after being introduced to more visceral and grounded games like Call of Duty or Battlefield. I still haven’t quite figured out what makes Halo 4 so cool. Is it the true “next-gen” graphics, the in-your-face sound design, or the rock solid gameplay? Regardless, this is one multiplayer experience I’ll be playing well into 2012.

  1. Halo 4

  2. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

  3. Medal of Honor: Warfighter

That wraps up our picks for MPE2012! Who do you agree/disagree with? What are your picks? We want to discuss the best multiplayer games of 2012 in the comments below so make sure to stick around. Also, keep your sights on MP1st on January 01, 2013 for the ultimate “Multiplayer Experience of 2012” award as well as the “Reader’s Choice” award.

Remember to vote for your MPE2012!

  • bf3fannotboy

    ermm i pick let me see BATTLEFIELD 3 still beats all of these games

    • Jason


    • dieger

      Maybe on PC but no way why in he’ll on consoles actually nope not even on PC planetside 2 beats it

      • Mo3sad1

        What FPS beats the BF3 experience on either of the two consoles? No other game offers the action and fun BF3 offers.

        • halo 4 on xbox…….damnit sony RELEASE KILLZONE 4!

        • Agreed, I still play BF3 everyday on PS3 and love it. I’m not sure how Medal of Honor Warfighter made it into the list since that game was the biggest letdown!! Halo 4 is ok but never really got into it, since I’m not into a lot of futuristic Multilayer videos games. Grand Theft Auto’s 5 Multiplayer could take me away from BF3 if done right!!

        • hrmm…. Planetside 2? In every way, shape and form?

    • I’ve been playing BF3 since launch as well – no game has pulled me away from it so far except Guild Wars 2 and some PlanetSide 2.

    • Battlefield 3 is still the best one out there.

    • iamsuperior


  • SandboxDenmark

    Happy to Blacklight on the list. That game deserves way more playtime. Very good game.

  • Jason

    While I played more BF3 than anything, I would say… Halo 4 for this year!

    • Dirtknap

      High five!

    • Storm

      I played Battlefield 3 more than any other game this year, too. Mostly because of the new content. If I had to pick a multiplayer game that released this year, I really couldn’t. BF3 consumed most of my time.

      • Especially since Aftermath just released.. That DLC is so AMAZINGLY balanced and visually stunning

    • Same boat!

  • its funny all the games that i think are GOTY to me …came out last year…

  • Alex has the best picks! (can tell he is a pc gamer)

    • BOSS jediZOHAN

      lol, thanks!

    • Santiago Garza

      When it comes to PC gaming, it all comes to Alex and Jorik.

      P.S: You can also tell who are FPS lovers. 🙂

  • DOOT

    1.Blackops 2 on the Wii-U, with the patched wiimote settings. 2.

    Counter-Strike: Global Offensive on PS3 with the Move.

  • I’ll admit, my picks are rather biased considering I only play Xbox games, currently. I’d have to agree with Alex, however, that PlanetSide 2 just looks like a legendary F2P game that kills other full retail games.

    Haven’t sunk any time into Borderlands 2, surprisingly, but my friends list is full of dudes playing it. It’s definitely got something going on as well. Journey… well, I’m just jelly I can’t play it.

    Diablo III, for me, came just shy of 3rd place. It was enjoyable as eff to play with friends, but only for a week or two. Like Jacob said, playing Home Run on MoH: Warfighter with the Danger Close devs was a stand-out moment this year that allowed me to see the game’s true colours – something I wish others had the chance to enjoy as well. The recent patch cleaned up a few things nicely, which is a plus.

    But again, despite the fact that Battlefield 3 will always be my baby, Halo 4 certainly surprised me this year. Now, if only I didn’t suck at it.

  • Dfhexhe

    Cs go #1

  • BOSS jediZOHAN

    If they had released Halo 4 on PC, I’d probably be playing it over A LOT of other games this year.

    • same i freaking LOVED halo 1 on PC

      • Santiago Garza

        A return of Halo to PCs (even a HD remake) would be amazing and would get so much love by people because of its awesomeness (including all the MP experience the franchise delivers).

        P.S: It’d be soooo profitable for Microsoft!

        • just like minecraft would be popular with PS3 🙁 WHY MOJANG!!

          • CobraG7

            They have an exclusive console contract with Microsoft..

            • once again MS has cockblocked us D:

            • Santiago Garza

              Scumbag Notch: Makes a deal where only Xbox and PC players can get Minecraft, blames EA.

              To me, he’s only proven to be a person that takes any opportunity to make money. This can be seen with all his actions about MS (Not certifying Minecraft for W8 because they are “ruining the PC as an open platform” yet he loves working with them).

              Basically, it’s not only Microsoft’s fault but also Mojang’s as a company that PS3 hasn’t got Minecraft yet (and I doubtfully think it will).


            • CobraG7

              Basically, he hates some of their products policies, but loves their money.

          • BOSS jediZOHAN

            Because the PS3 can’t handle such a poorly optimized game.

            • CobraG7

              Poorly optimized? Is that a dig against PS3 or against Minecraft Xbox edition.

    • Frodo

      At least Bungie’s new project will be on PC

  • Trillmatoc

    Co op is NOT multiplayer. Its co op. borderlands is NOT multiplayer

    • BOSS jediZOHAN

      lol… you trollin’ bro? If multiple players can play the same game together, is that not multiplayer?

    • jimmylara

      Do you even know what Multiplayer was before it became PVP? The Multiplayer that most people are familiar with today is PVP, but it wasn’t always so, especially long before split-screen. Contra, a multiplayer game meaning that I can play with multiple people, against computers, AKA PVC (think that’s it). That’s what multiplayer use to be before it became competitive. I know Pong existed, and that’s MP to. Heck Pac Man even became a Multiplayer game back in the days with people competiting against each other own scores.

      Co-op is still multiplayer (Thus co-operative multiplayer, but still multiplayer), just a different type.If I can play with multiple people, regardless if we are fighting CPU, its still a MP title.

      Portal 2 is deemed a multiplayer, even though it doesn’t have players killing each other for a higher score.

      • Trillmatoc

        Did i get called a split screener? And explained to what contra is? Multiple people farming XP towards a level cap and wandering around beatin up AI does not multiplayer make. I like this site for simple info but no one has any competitive style input towards “pvp” games. Ggnore. Delete this.

        • BOSS jediZOHAN

          You are literally ignoring the fact that MULTIPLE PLAYERS can play the SAME GAME with EACH OTHER at the SAME TIME. Seriously… Dude look, maybe it’s because I’m in a bad mood, but why the hell are you even debating this? Are you seriously mental or are you just trolling because what you’re asserting is so asinine that it has to be one or other. For what you’re saying to be logical to you, you’d have to be wholly ignorant of the basic definition of a multiplayer game.

          Just because you aren’t running around killing moronic 12 year olds doesn’t mean Borderlands 2 is any less of a multiplayer game than COD.

        • Santiago Garza

          PVP = Player Vs Player

  • Santiago Garza

    By the way, if I had a fourth pick I’d choose Journey.

  • Rich

    How on Earth was Battlefield 3 Premium left out? Because it’s considered just DLC? No, all of Premium’s offerings made it a new game and new experience. Shame on you, MP1st, for not allowing it.

    • Santiago Garza

      The problem is the actual game has been released since October 2011, and this denies the possibility of it competing for this award. Like it or not, Battlefield Premium is the name EA DICE gave to the DLC bundle (extras are bonus content for buying the bundle). It’s like the well known “Season Pass”, but with another name. Sure, there is a retail version named “Battlefield 3: Premium Edition”, but this is also another name they chose to give that version of the game (It could’ve been named “Battlefield 3: GOTY Edition” to continue the new tradition where “GOTY Edition” means it has the game and all its bonus/extra content).

      Let’s also remember BF3 won last year’s MPE. 🙂

      P.S: Believe me, if it were released this year, i wouldn’t hesitate in making it my #1 choice (which was actually Halo 4 as you can see in the article).

    • Dude, I’d be the first person to tell you that the quality of BF3’s Premium content is better than most games out there today. Regardless, if we included it, we’d also have to include CoD: ELITE, the Halo 4 season pass, the Borderlands 2 season pass, etc. It’d get a bit ridiculous. Maybe a separate competition for DLC/expansions/season passes would do in the future!

  • Jamic

    I would vote for Tribes Ascend

    • Niosus

      I really liked Tribes as well, but it lacks some depth so it didn’t qualify. Really good/fun game though!

  • nickmaster1150

    I didn’t bought ANY game this, I’m still playing battlefield 3 so this is the winner, but if my pc could run planetside 2 that would’ve been the winner for me…

  • Alpine Maffu

    I know this is not on any of the list, but would suggest you consider far cry three as the worst game of the year in terms of multiplayer. Just hop on over to the official discussion boards for it, people are going crazy due to be terrible gameplay. Less than 700 people online, and the game has only been out for a month or so.

  • sgt_mofo

    After watching the video, I have to say I’m kind of surprised how good the games this year have been considering how late it is in the console life cycle. If I had more money, this would’ve been a very good year for games.

    My vote is for Halo 4. The rebalancing of the armor abilities by a new company and somehow making the best MP experience the series has seen in a long time is an impressive feat…but then again if they just stopped at removing ‘armor lock’, I probably would’ve still said its the best MP the series has seen in a while.

  • I agree with alex difior’s picks the most, I see alot fo love with BF£, but Planetside 2 is like massive version of BF3. Imagine BF3 , except your squad has 100 players all with different comanders, and you plan out tacks on the other factions

  • Dead Space 3 2013!

  • heikki993

    My top3 would be
    1.Mass Effect 3
    2.Black Ops 2
    3.MOH Warfighter

    • For multiplayer? That’s interesting. I too sunk a lot of time into ME3’s MP and enjoyed it quite a bit. The combat is addicting and the third-person shooting mechanics feel better than most other TPS military shooters out there (including even GRFS, in my opinion).

  • Mark

    Where’s Fahed?

    • jimmylara

      Working his new job 🙂

      He’ll pop-in here and now, but as for contributing I don’t think he has much time atm.

  • 1. Planetside 2- Nuff said.

    2. MoH:W- Even though it got so much hate, I love it for the same reasons Jacob does.

    3. Blacklight: Retribution- Interesting customization, everything mattered, good gunplay, great original gamemodes, great lighting, and a ton of fun to play with friends!

  • gamer

    Borderlands 2 <3

  • IF there is BATTLEFIELD 3, it will win easily this .. but NOOOO

  • kyuubi_clone

    so, let me get this straight. most of us still play BF3 mostly (almost for the entire 2012) yet it does not make the list because it was made late 2011? isn’t the award supposed to be given to the best multi experience for the year? even though bf3 was made last year – it still beats all the games you mentioned THIS YEAR. especially since they revamped their game with so many great expansions to keep the feel of the game fresh. best multi should go for the best experience – whether it was made this year or last. BF3 is still one of the most played online games for 2012. even more gamers play it when compared to MOHWF.

    i just don’t understand how you can say BF3 took up most of your time this year – yet it gets no place on the chart. lol

  • Meh

    You know, I found this year, multiplayer-game-wise, was pretty awful for my specific tastes. I missed out on Halo 4 since I’m on PS3, and nothing else really got my attention. But I love Assassin’s Creed 3, that’s my GOTY, even though this is for MP games. AC3 has MP, but multiplayer in Assassin’s Creed is pretty bad.

  • Black Ops II would a 2nd for me.