Yeah, it's the end of the year and everyone is picking their favorite games of the year. It was particularly tough for me because not only was 2011 chock full o really great games but I had hardly the time to finish any of them. That being said, here are ten games I played that I liked mostlyish in the year two thousand eleven.
10 - Little Big Planet 2
Wow. This game. LBP was a huge surprise when I (finally) got my PS3 and I was late to the LBP2 party as well. My only regret with this awesome game is that I don't put aside enough time to explore all the creativity of it's community. There is some ***AmAzInG*** stuff out there and the new LBP.me is a fantastic feature that makes exploring Little Big Space all the more convenient.
9 - The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
This is another game I was only able to put the littlest of time into but man, what a game. I really enjoyed my time with the first Witcher. I just liked the setting and the characters a whole lot. They were cliche enough while also being really unique. Witcher 2 took all those things I loved and souped them up with enhanced production values through the roof. Damn this is a pretty game.
8 - Iron Brigade
Trenched, or Iron Brigade as I guess it's called now, was the reason I reinstalled the Xbox at my desk. I love mech games and I loved the weird sci-fi setting of Trenched. Throw a silly sense of humor and colored loot into the mix and you've got a game that is right up my alley.
7 - Minecraft
I remember reading that this game had been released. It was a game release met with very little fanfare, mostly because we'd all been playing it for so long before hand. While Minecraft was not a game I devoted my life to, like so many, I really enjoyed the Lego Survival feel of it. The soundtrack was also just soooo, soooo good. When the mood takes me, I still love to just turn down the lights and explore the vibrant, blocky landscape of my randomly generated world.
6 - Portal 2
I was honestly pretty scared that Portal 2 would be a huge disappointment. The idea presented was a bigger, retail-centric sequel to the little darling puzzler that came before. What Portal 2 actually turned out to be was pretty darn amazing. Yeah, it's impact was softened a bit by the fact that it was kinda just more Portal, but it had a really interesting (and hilarious) story with twists that were tropey yet welcome.
I never did figure out how to say "Apple".
5 - Bastion
The kid had heard alot about this here Bastion game. He heard alot of things. People are known to talk a whole lot about things. Talking's easy, you see. It's the listening that gets tricky. Lucky for the kid listening about Bastion led to some real good things. Was good shooting, looked damn good, and the songs he would hear... Mmmhmmm. It's damn right thing he did listening. It's a damn shame if you haven't.
4 - Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure
I love Spyro. I've bought almost every Spyro game ever to be released... Some of them multiple times. My computer glows purple. None of this matters.
Skylanders really wowed me. Yeah, I can see that it's a very, very thinly veiled cash grab behind some of the cruelest on-disc DLC in the history of the universe. I would normally be pretty furious about this whole thing if the game wasn't so well made. It looks great, the soundtrack is probably the most underappreciated soundtrack of 2011, and it's just damn fun to play. The quality of the figures themselves is also pretty damn good. Sure, they're pretty pricy, but they have a detail on them that is rarely seen with it's even more expensive contemporaries on the toy shelves.
Am I embarrassed to love Skylanders? Not really. I've always been a little kid at heart and Skylanders is a game that I can obsess over as much as my son.
3 - Star Wars: The Old Republic
I'm not going to go on and on about how much I love MMOs. It's sad really. I've probably spent a disgusting about of time sitting in front of my monitor pretending to be someone/something else. It occurs to me whenever I chat with another MMO veteran about the games I've played that I always forget at least five others.
I played World of Warcraft for almost it's entire lifespan. Just about seven years. I loved WoW. I quit WoW because I needed time to play SWTOR. I'm pretty certain I'm not going back.
There's nothing I need to say about SWTOR that hasn't already been said. It's not going to be everyone's cup of tea. They're aiming to pull in a real wide audience here: MMO fans, BioWare fans, Star Wars fans... And these circles don't necessarily overlap. If you lie in the center of that venn diagram however, I think SWTOR will be your perfect game. I don't even love Star Wars all that passionately and I feel like SWTOR is the most exciting MMO experience I've had since I first booted up WoW in 2004.
2 - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
I've always had a bit of a love/hate with Bethesda games. I'm always eager to play them, I do so for a handful of hours, and then I just watch others play from the sidelines. I've never finished any of their games, nor did I care to. Skyrim was the first time I've ever played a Bethesda game that I really just couldn't put it down. Honestly the only reason I'm not playing Skyrim every day is because of Number 3 (see above) and Number 1 (see below). I really do look forward to finding more time to put into it, even if it is kinda janky. You know what, though? It's the least janky of all their games, ergo it is the best game of it's ilk ever made.
1 - Saints Row: The Third
Giant Bomb sold me two games this year. The first was Skylanders (Goddamn you, Gerstmann) and the second was Saints Row the Third. If it weren't for the guys just gushing about it on the Bombcast for weeks and weeks I would probably never known it's sweet, sweet pleasures. I did not play either of the previous Saints Row games, nor do I ever really care to. I even got a free copy of Saints Row 2 and I'm not certain I'll ever boot it up. Saints Row the Third, however, is just something every breathing gamer NEEDS TO PLAY. It is unapologetically a game. It is zany and weird and just lots of damn fun. Every mission will have you turning back to your family shouting "Did you just see that?" Saints Row the Third is a product, much like My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, that you need to present to someone and say "Look, I know what you're thinking and I know you don't understand but you just have to experience this and you will see what all the buzz is about."
Yes. I associated Saints Row with My Little Pony. It is just that awesome.