My Top 10 Games of 2011

I managed to play more games in 2011 than any year before it. It's nice to see how good the large majority of those games were. As the industry moves forward, the standard for quality is going higher. Publishers seem like they're getting more used to the idea of releasing games outside of the three-month holiday window but the year was still back-loaded with a glut of titles. As a result, there are some games I just haven't had a chance to play yet such as Saints Row: The Third, Battlefield 3, Rayman Origins, amongst others. Missing from this list is my most-anticipated game of 2011, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. What gives? Well, like I said I have too many games and not enough time but, more importantly, I have the PS3 version of the game and am forced to wait for a few more patches while Bethesda gets that copy back to working order. I'm fine waiting as I have a stack of backlog games including the MGS HD Collection to tide me over.

Honorable Mention

Dirt 3

I am not a fan of racing games. I just don't get them. The difficulty is a turn-off, the learning curve is daunting, the subject matter doesn't interest me (aside from the occasional episode of Top Gear), and a litany of other personal preferences keep the genre from breaking into my wheelhouse. Despite a deck stacked against it, Dirt 3 managed to capture me like no other racing game outside of those with Mario and Kart in the title. Dirt 3's driving controls offer an intangible quality of just "feeling right" which, to some, might seem like a cop-out but there's really no better reason to explain why I love the game. The rally courses are gorgeous, the number of options from customizing your HUD, AI, racing line, and car tweaks are staggering, and the series' new gymkhana mode stirs in some Tony Hawk that mixes things up just enough to encourage non-racing fans to give it a spin. All of this is wrapped up in Codemasters' trademark menus and UI that make the whole experience a joy to spend a lot of time in. Believe me, I spent a lot of time with Dirt 3.

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