The HMV sponsored GamesMaster Golden Joystick Awards have arrived, and you're all invited to vote and win prizes here! Each week we'll be casting a beady eye over different categories, taking you through the prime contenders before leaving you savvy lot to duke it out in the comments section. This time around, we're talking RPG.
Ah, the role player - swiped from the domain of hardcore geekdom and thrust into the wider gaming pantheon. Some huge hitters here - will Mass Effect 3 and Skyrim duke it out or might deserving pretenders like Dark Souls, The Witcher 2 et al. nip in and pinch the crown? Could be bum-clenchingly close, this.
Arguably the standout JRPG of its generation, Xenoblade Chronicles laughs in the face of outdated genre archetypes, revelling in balletic combat and breathtaking exploration.
A fusion of Eastern and Western role players, Dogma combines the sprawling world of a Skyrim with the intense combat of Dark Souls. Allied to the inspired 'pawn' system, it's a must play.
Final Fantasy XIII-2
Made up for the misstep that was FFXIII in spectacular fashion; never has a title seemed so determined to right previous wrongs. Emotional story and killer combat are the standouts.
Kingdom of Amalur: Reckoning
Breaking into a market packed with massive RPG names is a 'mare, but the kinetic combat and dreamy good looks of Amalur turned more than few heads. A bright future beckons...
A decade in the making, the harbinger of death for a million mouse buttons returns. The core loot 'em up mechanics haven't changed, but the demon-mashing action's never been slicker.
The role player that made men (and women) of a legion of gusty gamers, Dark Souls eschewed fancy cinematics and insipid QTEs for demonic difficulty, epic exploration and that lingering sense of dread.
Mass Effect 3
The biggest sci-fi trilogy since Star Wars concluded with the ET invasion of our very own London town! The ending divides opinion, but Mass Effect redefined the RPG for a new generation.