Driver: San Francisco is my personal game of the year. So many things about that game just worked for me, especially its bizarre premise. (Which is refreshing for a game of that genre)
And I also feel it was a pretty damn solid game as a whole, both in single player and multiplayer content.
Mortal F'ing Kombat. It's so rare to see a franchise that fell so far come back with an incredible showing like that. Not only did it resurrect the franchise, it set a new standard for single player mode in console fighting games. Put more time into that game this year than any other, and I'm still not sick of it.
Saint's Row 3 is a close second. Best "do anything" game in a long, long time. Speaking of which, Skyrim isn't even on the radar for me. A game that fucked up with techincal issues doesn't deserve to be on any GOTY lists, as far as I'm concerned. Don't support sloppy game development. It's really disappointing to see this community (and others) so willing to ignore those problems.
Battlefield could have been up there but the singleplayer was just really lackluster. Definitely in my top 5 though.
Mortal Kombat is definitely a VERY close second for me for those exact same reasons and more. The sad thing about it is that while it did set a new standard for single player modes in fighting games, I feel like it may not be acknowledged by other developers as much as I would like it to be. (Especially from guys like Capcom)
It's a great game from top to bottom. Great single player and great co-op. The story is great and the characters are fun. It doesn't rely on old memes produced by the original Portal. It has a satisfying ending and is one of the few big games released this generation that isn't afraid to close off the story and doesn't go out of its way to leave the door open for a sequel. It is a game solely concerned about itself, the actual game and not the future of the franchise. The story starts strong, stays strong throughout, and ends strongly. It has great characters and great dialogue. It very much could stand alone, without Portal 1. It's a game that doesn't mooch off the popularity of its predecessor and doesn't serve as a stepping stone to set up for a successor. It's a solid game.
Portal 2 is the most unnecessary sequel ever, a game that really never needed to be made. And that's why it's my game of the year 2011.
let me clarify, in an industry that relies heavily on sequels, you have to understand they only exist for a few reasons: The developers have no other sellable IPs, the sequelized IP is the publishers cash cow, the fans want it, etc.
Firstly Portal fans never wanted a sequel, they just wanted more Portal. Valve could have just knocked out a years worth of maps and no body would have minded. Secondly, Valve have other sellable IPs, it's not like they had to go back to the well. Lastly, they didn't do it for the money, they have Steam.
Which leaves only one reason, if they didn't make it because they had to, it must mean they made it because they really wanted to, and frankly with the attention to detail poured over every single inch of that game, from the concept to the dialogue to the soundtrack, it shows.
Dead Space 2! Has everybody already forgotten this awesome game?
Also had good times with Dragon Age 2 and Portal 2
But really, most of the good times times I've had playing games this year have been with 2010 games. Red Dead Redemption, F:NV and AC: Brotherhood. I'm guessing the same will go for next year, as I haven't even gotten around to Deus Ex, Dead Island, L.A. Noire or Skyrim.
Battlefield 3 for PC multiplayer for the brief couple of weeks before Skyrim came out.
King of Fighters XiII
Everything after Dark Souls can go any way.
EDIT: I totally forgot about Zelda...man.
Toss out Batman maybe?
Actually, I'm going to say Dragon Age II. And by saying that, I'm not saying it's perfect at all - it isn't in some astoundingly obvious ways - but to me GOTY is more about personal enjoyment than any real sense of objectivism... and out of all the games this year (although I do have Batman, Uncharted and AC: R waiting for me at christmas, so there could be a late change!) I've had fun with Dragon Age II the most. I've played through it 3 times with different classes (so about 120-ish or more hours), bought and enjoyed both the DLC quests. I loved Hawke and the other characters. I liked where the story went - although the ending is one of the issues I take with the game - and I liked the aesthetic. I think the combat was decent, and the soundtrack is by far and away my favourite of the year.
I know a lot of people didn't like - even hate - Dragon Age II, but yeah. Warts and all, it's the most fun I've had with a game this year.
Still missing some games I really wanted to play or play more of, like the Witcher 2, Total War: Shogun 2 and Deus Ex:HR.
But that almost doesn't matter, since I am currently debating whether Skyrim deserves to challenge Oblivion for the title of best game I ever played all time all my life. So yeah, GOTY.
Portal 2 was amazing, and I loved LA Noire, but, man, Skyrim. Dude.
First to last:
- Dead Space 2
- Portal 2
Sorry for sounding like a jerk for questioning your list, but I'm genuinely interested as to why you thought DS2 was better than Portal 2?
For the record, I liked both games; I'm just curious to know why DS2 is your number one game over P2.
@BeachThunder: I was just blown away by Dead Space 2. From the word go, its pacing, action, and set pieces kept me from putting down the game. I only ever stopped for classes. I can recall so many moments from my playtime where I totally immersed in the world and the fights. And once I finished the game, I went back and finished two more times. I was floored by Portal's presentation as well, but aside from the story and the characters (which are far and away better than DS2), I found a lot of the puzzles not quite as challenging as I thought they would be. To me, Dead Space 2 is the perfect package.
- Saints Row: The Third - That game is pure. mindless. fun. And that's why i love it.
- Shadows Of The Damned - The shooting is fun, the dialogue was funny, and i loved how over-powered you are in that game.
- Bulletstorm - I loved the Skillshot system.
Looking now, my list is: Tits, dicks, more dicks, and dicktits.