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Ed Boon's Top 10 Games of 2011

The co-creator of Mortal Kombat takes a break from ripping spines to share with us his favorite games of 2011. Friendship!

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Ed Boon is a video game industry veteran, and though he's best known for his work on the Mortal Kombat series, which he co-created and has retained active creative control of, Ed has also worked on such arcade classics as Smash TV, F-14 Tomcat, and Black Knight 2000.

He's also, straight up, one of the nicest dudes we've ever met in video games. Kind of makes the whole Mortal Kombat ultra-violence thing seem a little weird, right?

Maybe I should start by acknowledging that I purposefully left out Mortal Kombat from this list because I worked on it. Plus, with so many amazing titles this year, I can only imagine the grief I’d get if I included MK over another amazing title that came out this year.

10. Batman: Arkham City

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Do I work for Warner Bros? Did they publish this game? Yes. Will some people think that has influenced this game’s position on my list? Perhaps. But I don’t care. I defy anyone to give me an argument for why this game should not be on every top 10 list of 2011. The game is that good!

9. LittleBigPlanet 2

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Obviously, this game doesn’t quite seem to fit with the other games on my list. But that’s probably one of the reasons it’s on here. Such a bold and inventive game that is so much more than simply a platform game. Just look at all the inventive and professional looking levels that have been made by its community!

8. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

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OK, full disclosure here. I have not played countless hours of Skyrim. To be honest, when I heard people saying they player 60+ hours and still hadn’t finished, I knew the chances of me finishing this game were pretty much zero. But after watching someone play who was 40+ hours into the game, the scope of it became apparent and completely overwhelming.

7. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

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You can’t help but admire this game. So many things done so well, it’s just amazing. I have to admit that when I saw the first Uncharted, at first my head thought “they probably wanted, but couldn’t get an Indiana Jones license.” I also can’t help but wish that Sony would take this game engine and MAKE an Indiana Jones game with it. 10 million copies guaranteed!!

6. Gears of War 3

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I still remember the first time I saw Gears of War in action. The cover system, the slightly shifted third-person perspective, the beautiful and gritty look, and the unapologetic Rambo on steroids presentation made this game like nothing else out there. The fact that Epic was able to make 2 more sequels, each better than the previous is just amazing.

5. Bastion

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I remember the first time playing this game at E3. Great combination of “old-school” and new innovative features made this game stand out for me. I still can’t over how effective the team made use of audio in this game. The narrator telling the story as you play it was genius. Thankfully at E3 they were also smart enough to supply headsets for the players to wear while trying the game because the audio is such a big part of its magic.

4. Portal 2

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Like LittleBigPlanet, this game is so unique, clever. and well-executed that you really have to play it to appreciate its depth, humor, and inventiveness.

3. Saints Row: The Third

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This game entertains, dammit!! GTA clone? Hardly. While the game is insanely vulgar and the situations are hilariously random, it’s all part of the craziness that is the identity of this game. The situations are so outrageous that I can see some people overlooking how great this game’s design is.

2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

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Yea, it’s Call of Duty. How can this not end up on everyone’s top 10 list?

1. Battlefield 3

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Maybe I’m just impressed with the audacity of someone boldly going directly head-to-head with the Call of Duty franchise. It would be like setting out to make a “Windows Killer” operating system. Or making a new phone that was going to make the iPhone obsolete! Seriously? You’re going up against Call of Duty? Did they take down the mightly COD? Maybe not. But if they sold 10 million games I’m guessing they stole (at least) some of COD’s thunder.