E3 2012 has come and gone, and while the show has left lingering impressions that last us through the whole year, only a certain few have earned the right to be called the best in show. There are a few that nearly made our list that we painfully had to leave off in the elimination round, including Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist and Rayman Legends, but we assure you that the ten choices that DID make the cut are ones that will be worth owning over the next 12 months or so.

And with that, here are our favorite E3 games of 2012…

10. South Park: The Stick of Truth (THQ)

“Head on down to South Park and meet some friends of mine.” While we’ve loved the TV series, we couldn’t really stand the glut of licensed games that South Park have produced over the years. With The Stick of Truth, however, THQ is working directly with the source, show creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, to turn that trend around. Featuring a terrific role-playing gameplay system, original animation and plenty of raucous laughs, The Stick of Truth should be a tremendous romp for those who adore the show.

9. Dishonored (Bethesda)

Following up on the mega-successful The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Bethesda is striking back with a vengeance with a game that mixes some of the creative elements of Bioshock with plenty of Assassins Creed-style killing. Dishonored takes you through a fantasy world filled with threatening types, plenty of hybrid robotics and all sorts of fantastic environments to explore as you complete missions in a stealthy manner. Featuring a variety of tasks and no shortage of action, Dishonored should be amazing when it arrives this fall.

8. Metal Gear Rising Revengeance (Konami)

Welcome to a not-so-subtle return to Metal Gear. While Rising Revengeance lacks the subtlety and depth of previous games, it does introduce Raiden in a whole new way, carving up enemies with utmost precision and getting himself out of dangerous situations with his suave battle techniques. With cool graphics and hours worth of slice-and-dice action, Revengeance should be a huge hit with fans and newcomers alike come next year.

7. Beyond: Two Souls (SCEA)

After months of waiting to see what was up next from them, David Cage and his team at Quantic Dream finally unveiled what could be one of 2013’s most anticipated games – Beyond: Two Souls. Featuring a cool take on the classic Heavy Rain engine, along with a new spectral partner and some superb acting from actress Ellen Page, Beyond is looking like a great new adventure that PS3 owners should definitely partake in once it arrives. If only the wait weren’t so long…

6. Need For Speed: Most Wanted (EA)

The bad news – you won’t be getting a sequel to Burnout Paradise anytime soon. The good news – Criterion is delivering the next best thing, a thrilling racer where you can outrun cops, create havoc and take on a plethora of missions from behind the steering wheel. And we assure you, folks, that’s a good thing. Most Wanted brings back the wrecking action of Burnout, while throwing in dozens of cars to choose from, sick graphics and online Autolog features, as well as direct competition with fellow players. It’s worth revving up for.

5. Tomb Raider (Square Enix)

First introduced last year (when the game was still early in production), Tomb Raider has come a long way, showing the early exploits of Lara Croft as she fights dangerous enemies using whatever tools she can muster. The game features a lot more action than the previous demo, and shows you just what kind of survival instincts the lovely Ms. Croft is packing when she’s pushed too far. We’ll have to wait till 2013 for this one, but it’ll be certainly worth it.

4. Injustice: Gods Among Us (Warner Bros.)

Warner Bros. Interactive floored us when they announced that the team behind Mortal Kombat’s reboot was hard at work on a dedicated DC Comics fighter, one featuring Batman, Superman and other heroes and villains battling it out in highly interactive arenas, using whatever tactics they could to bring down their opponent. Gritty, packed with strategy and looking splendid, Injustice could be one of 2013’s biggest gaming surprises. Let’s just hope they leave Aquaman out of it.

3. Halo 4 (Microsoft)

Master Chief is back, and while the wait for his return has been rather strenuous (how much Halo Reach can you take in?), it looks as if it’s been worth it. 343 Industries has been putting a painstaking amount of time and effort into Halo 4, not only with its new single player campaign, but also some addictive new multiplayer maps, as well as the co-op supported Spartan Ops missions that will be available for free download. Featuring an amazing new engine and plenty of action, it’ll definitely pick up where Bungie’s legacy left off. Look for it on November 6.

2. Assassins Creed III (Ubisoft)

Killing is Connor’s business, and business is booming in the American Revolution. Ubisoft’s latest entry in its ongoing series strays away from familiar waters, instead telling a new story as you team with George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and other characters, changing American history by tracking and killing certain targets, all while roaming through 1800’s Boston and New York. The new graphic engine is ridiculously good, and the killing animations are the best the series has seen to date. We can’t wait to get our hands on this one around October 30.

1. The Last of Us (SCEA)

Finally, we come to our top pick of the show…and how can you go wrong with Naughty Dog? The Last of Us is a stirring change of pace from the Uncharted trilogy, one that follows two survivors as they fight human – and inhuman – enemies through a wrecked city. With awesome graphics, multiple ways to play through each level (we love taking alternative paths) and plenty of thrill-a-minute gameplay, this one will definitely exceed expectations, especially when you get around to blasting someone’s face off with a shotgun. BOOM!