From 'Walking Dead' to 'Assassins Creed III,' the best videogame special editions of 2012

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Today’s most popular videogames often come in two flavors: The standard $60 edition or, for super-fans willing to plunk down some extra coin, the special, collector’s, or limited edition. The latter category certainly isn’t for everyone. In fact, their higher price points and penchant for including everything from art books to action figures is something casual fans might find superfluous, and generally limits their appeal to only the geekiest of gamers. However, for that select group of passionate players, there’s nothing cooler than going beyond the gamepad—be it through a behind-the-scenes DVD or mini space marine statue–to become a bit more immersed in their virtual world of choice. For those folks, we offer the following look at the season’s best bonus-brimming, swag-packed, universe-expanding editions.

The Walking Dead Collector’s Edition

Unless you were holed-up in a basement hoarding doomsday supplies for the better part of December, you’ve probably heard that The Walking Dead is 2012’s best game. If you have been bogged down with undead-apocalypse preparation, no worries. The entire five episode series—a brilliant throwback to point-and-click adventure games that’s more focused on emotional, character-driven storytelling than gore-soaked excess—is now available in a collector’s edition, complete with a compendium of the first 48 issues of Robert Kirkman’s comic book series.

Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Collection

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Appreciating that Street Fighter fans are some of the medium’s most passionate, Capcom has put together a comprehensive, content-crammed package to celebrate the thumb-blistering series’ 25th anniversary. In addition to a hardcover art book, light-up Ryu statue—doubles as a nightlight!—and enough digital extras to choke your hard drive, this fan-servicing set includes over a dozen discs, containing everything from soundtracks and games to documentaries and animated features.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II Care Package

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After receiving night-vision goggles and a RC surveillance vehicle with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3‘s and CoD: Black Ops’ Prestige Editions, respectively, foxhole fanboys were understandably underwhelmed by Modern Warfare 3‘s stubborn focus on digital extras. Thankfully, the Black Ops II Care Package represents a return to over-the-top form; in addition to the expected collectible and downloadable extras, it’s armed with a RC Quadrotor Drone—perfect for spying on evil-doers or scaring your cat.

Assassin’s Creed III Limited Edition

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While many of today’s special editions have forgone tangible goodies in favor of downloadable extras, the Assassin’s Creed III Limited Edition is determined to clutter our closets and bookshelves with cool collectibles. Sure, your non-gaming buddies might poke fun if you proudly sport the Assassin icon-emblazoned belt buckle in public, but no faithful fan can deny that the crested colonial flag and Connor statue would make fine additions to their man cave.

NEXT: HALO 4, DEAD OR ALIVE 5, BORDERLANDS 2

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