This annual round-up is here to highlight the former and shun (in the nicest possible way) the latter.
While Punch Quest sparked an outbreak of high score fever in 2012, and Anomaly Korea easily lived up to its "most anticipated iOS sequel this year" billing, which were the best-reviewed games?
To answer that very question (strangely enough), here's the iPad Quality Index (Qi) round-up for 2012.
Aggregating the reviews from the world's best websites, such as 148Apps, Pocket Gamer, and Gamezebo, the Quality Index uses a unique metric to create a single definitive score for each iPad title.
Make war, not love
According to the iPad Qi chart, Shenandoah Studio's Battle of the Bulge was the best-reviewed iPad game of 2012. This highly polished strategy war game really made an impression with its engrossing turn-based gameplay.
In fifth place on our end-of-year leaderboard, meanwhile, is Bastion, a lush action-RPG with an ambitious story. While it started life on the Xbox 360 console, it feels perfectly home on iPad - as the review scores would indicate.
Down at #8 in the chart, Rocketcat Games's aforementioned Punch Quest impressed a whole host of iOS app critics with its novel mash-up of the modern endless-runner and old skool beat-'em-up.
Just below Punch Quest in the #9 slot is Magic 2013, whose creator, Wizards of the Coast, has taken card battles and made them work superbly on a 10-inch screen.
Qi's Top 10 iPad games of 2012
|1.|| Battle of the Bulge||9.6||5|
|3.|| The Lords of Midnight||9.5||3|
|4.|| Angry Birds Space HD Free||9.5||3|
|6.|| Beat Hazard Ultra||9.4||12|
|7.|| Tiny Wings HD||9.4||10|
|8.|| Punch Quest||9.3||14|
|9.|| Magic 2013||9.3||14|
|10.|| Word Wonders: The Tower of Babel||9.3||4|
N.B. While we only display the average score to one decimal place, the list is generated to further significant figures. We just don't show them all.
And, naturally, this is a static graph based on live listings which are subject to constant change as new releases and reviews emerge.
In order to provide a regular marker of the critical zeitgeist, however, we will continue to round up the best of the iPad games released each month to provide definitive Qi top tens throughout 2013.
iPad Quality Index