Some GOTY contenders for me are:
XCom Enemy Unknown (no surprise there)
Spec Ops: the Line (yes, I'm serious)
FTL (if not for the ending this gem would be flawless)
Hotline Miami (tough as nails)
Dragon's Dogma (albeit having so many flaws...)
My order for Hitman Absolution just shipped, looking forward to this as well. If it's GOTY material I will figure out shortly.
There would also be Project Zomboid, but it's still in alpha and I wonder if that can qualify as GOTY 2012. Same goes to Hawken. Oh, and the Prepare to Die Edition of Dark Souls is always in the back of my mind
More games that are not
running for my GOTY:
The setting and story were intriguing, but I found there was just too much filler in form of waves of robot enemies in long corridors.
Looked like a new generation Master of Orion 2 with a really slick user interface. The user interface is indeed astounding, I always had the feeling I see everything I need to know or do within just one or two clicks. Unfortunately it was too simplified in some respects (battles) and too unneccesarily comples in others (tech tree is mental) that it never quite reached it's full potential. Still a good game though.
This was one of many disappointments this year. I hoped for a slightly dumbed down Master of Magic. What I got was cotton candy. Sweet and colorful at first, but without substance. This strategy game has about as much stategy involved as Call of Duty.
Even more cotton candy! Another big disappointment, but why did I expect anything of that in the first place? It's not really PvP or PvE, it's mostly PvAH. The auction house (and I'm not even talking about the real money one) completely took away my motivation to keep playing. Nothing I would find in the game would be better than what I'd find in the AH for only little gold. So I just farmed gold until I thought: "wait a minute... what the hell am I doing here?" and quit.