Best of 2011

SpawnMan: Best of 2011

Move over 2010! 2011 is undoubtedly the BEST year for gaming EVER. I know this fact too well, as told by my constantly empty bank account, lack of free time other than to play new games, my sagging game shelf and the sheer fact that at least 5 different games could've easily been GOTY in their own right.

So let's begin at the bottom, or should we say, the start of the top! L.A. Noire! Made great in-roads for the graphics used in video games and made a completely fresh game out of a period that was one of my favourites in film history! Sure gameplay got a bit repetitive/easy at times, but simply for the fact it could've moved the gaming industry forward 5 years is worthy on its own!

Next up is Saints Row: The Third. Didn't get much play time on this, but it's basically GTA on crack. Disapproving glares from family members ceased my enjoyment of this game, but combining fun factor with fun factor with awesomeness will get you to number 9 on my list!

At number 8 is Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary. This was always going to make my list. What do you get if you combine probably my favourite shooter ever with great graphics? This.

Batman Arkham City is back for more. Batman. Need I say more? Oh I do? Well great gameplay, graphics, storyline, boss fights... Yeah, 'nuff said.

Dead Space 2 makes it to number 6 for being the only game since the first installment to really get the horror video game genre spot on. With more of the same, and more of the new, this game is amazing.

Not many games have made me laugh out loud. I cried at the end of Kingdom Hearts, I raged at... well many games. And I laughed. Hard. At Portal 2. Whoever chose to put Stephen Merchant in a video game with GLaDos is a friggin' genius! The game is more complicated, more intense, more fun and far funnier in every aspect.

Next up at number 4 is Gears of War 3. Horde mode. Beast mode. That'll do it alone. But then add on a solid campaign with a great story and characters, and a decent multiplayer, and you've got a winning formula! It really fixes a lot of the issues I had with Gears of War 2, but still doesn't quite live up to the multiplayer aspects of Gears of War 1.

Now we're up to the big leagues. These next games are probably my favourites, and any could have easily been my GOTY. But at number 3 must go Battlefield 3. The multiplayer is, how to put it, jaw-droppingly amazing. Unlike COD, tactics mean something here. You can blast open new routes, spot enemies, repair vital vehicles, revive players, suppress enemies... the list is endless of the ways you can help win a game outside of mindlessly pressing a trigger. Every match seems desperate and epic. And when a heroic action wins a match, or even a stage, it fills you with wartime pride. If the campaign wasn't so short, and if the next games weren't made in the same year, well this would easily be my top spot.

Number 2 was a hard choice. Many people would put this as number 1. Or Bastion (which I didn't like at all, so isn't on my list). But The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim must take the 2nd spot. Skyrim is endless. Everything I disliked about Oblivion has been fixed in Skyrim. No more repetitive dungeons. No more horrible AI. There's a real scenic wonder to the entire world. You feel compelled to visit every place and do everything. To explain Skyrim is to explain the universe. If you've played it, you'll know why it's in my list.

Another drum roll please... in my top spot, it is Dark Souls. Why Dark Souls I hear you say?? Over Skyrim??! Have you played Dark Souls? As amazing as Skyrim is, there is little doubt that it rebuilds a winning formula. Dark Souls breaks the formula. It resides in no clique. It is a pure challenge made not to please you but to simply be itself. Everything about the game requires you to concentrate and give your full effort. Every corner is out to kill you. To make it through you can't simply hack and slash. Even leveling up will do little good. Everything is a mystery and you must find out what roles things play in the world. It isn't meant to be easy. It's meant to be hard. To put it bluntly, Dark Souls is unique. If you can get past the fact it is hard, and actually take note of the game, you'll receive hundreds of hours of entertainment. That is why it is number 1.

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