Individual-Based Game of the Year
Quick, name the franchise that had a complete rethinking of even the very basic tenants of what makes it tick.
No, we're not talking about NHL's new skating engine or Madden's Connected Careers -- we're talking about Forza Horizon, which was one of the more risky and ambitious efforts of the 2012 Sports Gaming release calendar.
What Forza Horizon did was take it's typically 'race on this track then that track' formula and turn it on it's head, instead opting for a story based open world racer based at a rock music festival in Colorado. Thus, you get to race through mountains, on the open plains, through scenic valleys and ghost towns and so much more.
What Forza Horizon accomplished shouldn't be taken likely -- with great gameplay and an open ended formula that allows for plenty of return in your $60 investment, Forza Horizon is one of the best games in gaming period from the last calendar year.
While there was stiff competition from WWE '13 amongst staff writers, Forza Horizon did end up winning by a comfortable two votes (in staff voting, that's a pretty commanding lead).
Reader's Choice: WWE '13 (33.33% of the vote)
The Reader's chose the more popular franchise (as you'd expect) in WWE '13 -- and it wasn't a bad call. WWE '13 featured the new attitude era mode, which was an amazingly awesome addition along with the still quite solid gameplay and creation aspects the game has featured. With the Franchises future up in the air as of today, we can only hope a WWE '14 doesn't take the series backwards.