1. Saints Row: The Third
It's already been said. This is crazy fun. More crazy fun than anything I've played in a long time. You should totally play it. Giant purple dildo bats, naked Russian giants, a mega buster toting toilet in Tron, Burt Fucking Reynolds, customizable titty sizes. What else is their to say?
2. Dark Souls
Dark Souls is punishing, but not nearly as punishing as Demon's Souls was. I'd even call it easy if you're a Pyromancer. The use of the bonfires make it much easier to set yourself a checkpoint and run to the boss you are going to be fighting without worrying about having to go through the whole level each time like in Demon's Souls. There's something very satisfying about its careful, meticulous pacing. Nothing teaches you caution and patience like Dark Souls, and getting through a particularly difficult boss fight (Smough and Ornstein, those motherfuckers!) makes you feel like you've climbed the Mount Everest of the gaming world.
Terraria is not really a game about building a house or fighting zombies that come out at night. It's truly built on mystery. The exploration and crafting always drives you toward uncovering a new layer of what the game has to offer. That moment when you first create a powerful weapon like the Blade of Grass or find an awesome item like the Rocket Boots from the corpses of an invading horde of goblins is very addictive. And your first boss encounter is truly terrifying. I never summoned the Eye of Cthulhu. I just got a warning that an evil presence was watching me. Then another warning. Then this big fucking floating eye attacked and killed me. This game is full of great moments of discovery, something most games nowadays lack.
4. Rayman Origins
I just got this game during Christmas and when the Giant Bomb crew didn't give it their Best Looking Game of the Year Award I was yelling at my speakers. This game looks like living candy. It is such a breath of fresh air in a modern gaming world full of the dark and gritty. There are so many moments that just make you giggle, like when you first see that chili pepper lounging in a hot tub. And the music too! Such catchy, fun stuff. Who doesn't love the mouth harp? Playing this with friends all in the same room with perhaps a few drinks is a gaming must of 2011.
5. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
The world of Deus Ex very much reminds me of Neal Stephenson's "Snow Crash" and even more so "The Diamond Age", two of my favorite books. The world is dark and not just in a figurative sense. It seems to be so polluted that the sky is always blackened with dirty clouds. It's oppressive and I love it. This is also the most fun I've had in a stealth game since back when Tenchu first was a thing (hey, remember that?).
6. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Alas, poor Skyrim. My most anticipated game of the year gets the shaft on PS3 from Bethesda. I even have a 360 but chose to buy it on the PS3 because my 360 is the 4 GB model and I was planning on buying the expansions. But now? I don't know. The lag issue is terrible and I will not buy this game a second time. Fix your shit Bethesda. You look like assholes for treating this version of the game this poorly. There's no way you didn't already know of such a huge issue.
All that being said, I still have had a whole lot of fun with the game. I'm a complete sucker for deep, open worlds full of things to do and no one does it like Bethesda.
7. Tiny Wings
This fat little bird needs all the help it can get. I have spent way too much time with this game. I've played on the toilet, in the airport, at work. I even played it while walking a 450 mile pilgrimage across Spain. Goddamnit why can't you get to the 10th island!
Catherine is an utterly unique game and for someone that has been playing games his entire life, this is already a huge plus. What other game is half fast paced block puzzling and half bar simulator? Throw in some crazy bitches, some cheating horndogs, and some flat out weird shit and you've got yourself a real a good time.
9. Portal 2
This game looks incredibly clean and sharp on the PS3. The puzzles are mind benders without being controller breakers. I particularly enjoy the way the game plays with momentum and gravity with your portals. The robots all have great charm from the cute little turrets to Glados as one pissed off potato.
10. Alice: Madness Returns
I love Alice because it is a throwback to what was, for a few years in my youth, my favorite genre. The 3D platformer. The gameplay here is very old school and for me, oozes nostalgia. The music in this game really stood out to me, most of all the creepy violins that pepper the soundtrack. They fit perfectly with the mad world that the equally mad Alice has to travel through. It's designed in such a way that if you were to pull the camera back, everything would look just fine, a pretty wonderland. Pull in a little bit closer and the darkness beneath starts to show in details like the blood on Alice's dress or the twisted grin on the cat's face. What a great, creepy style.