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Indie Passion Fuels the 10 Best Games of 2012

Game Life: In 2012, the best gaming experiences came from some quite unexpected places.

This was partly because so many big-budget games failed to materialize, having been delayed into 2013 or, as sometimes happens, just sort of fallen off the face of the Earth entirely. And the triple-A titles that did show up were often underwhelming.

But as the industry behemoths struggled, the fast-growing independent games scene was thriving. In this list of Wired's favorite games of the year, you'll see some long-in-the-works indie games that finally made it out this year, some small games that came out of nowhere with wild ideas that just clicked, an MMO that points to how the genre might thrive in a post-Warcraft world and other surprising successes.

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