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Best of 2011

This is my personal list of the best game of 2011. The list is based strictly on games that I have played, and does not consider games that I have not played. I had a hard time deciding whether Portal 2 or Dead Space 2 would be my number one game, but after considering the leaps and bounds that Dead Space is ahead in terms of graphics and art-design, it is for this reason that it squeezed out Portal 2 and is my number one game of the year.

List items

  • The fidelity of the graphics, running at 1080p, 60fps, and the art design. The expanse of space brought to life. The shooting mechanics. The break-neck action. These are the main reasons this game is in my number one position.

  • Portal 2 was to be my #1 game of the year, but after considering the fact that it doesn't run at a full 1080p and is running on the old proprietary Valve engine which is starting to show its age, I decided to drop it into the #2 position. Besides for these minor gripes, Portal 2 has the best story and characters of the year. It also has the best gameplay of the year, expanding beyond the portal mechanics with speed and bounce gels.

    There is also the co-operative gameplay which, played with my girlfriend, led us to think that we might indeed be genius material, being able to solve puzzles even more difficult than in the single-player campaign, involving four portals!

  • It seemed like a no-brainer that the Mortal Kombat franchise needed to get back to its core, and it did, but it did so better than I could have imagined. Playing online multiplayer was such a terrible experience for me that I gave up on trying after the first couple of tries. But the single-player was so engrossing and engaging that it certainly kept me busy for hours. The multiplayer worked fine, mind you, when played offline with a second player.

  • As of this writing I am only about ten hours into Skyrim, but that is certainly enough to say that I have a taste for it and am liking it. I won't dwell, since this game is at the top of so many people's lists, but suffice it to say the game will keep me busy with, I think and hope, entertaining and engaging quests.

  • I only heard about this game as video game websites were compiling their top-ten lists. It somehow went under my radar. After reading some reviews and checking out some video of it in action I was certainly sold and bought myself a copy immediately. The whimsy of the art style, the great and often hilarious music, and the definitely-not-for-kids difficulty of some of the platforming makes this one of my top games of the year.

  • In an age of iterations and sequels. This game showed some balls by actually concluding the story and finishing the trilogy, it's also a pretty ballsy game. In the sense that this game builds upon what it learned from the previous games and perfects the widely used shooting mechanic that it pioneered, it is the perfect sequel.

  • I'm not as sold on the open-world traversal stuff that so many people think has made this game so much better. I think it actually served to hinder the game in many ways. Otherwise, anything that is simply more of Batman: Asylum has my vote!

  • More Drake, which ain't a bad thing. I'm glad that Naughty Dog has moved on to produce another game, since Uncharted seems close to becoming a litte long in the tooth. With the exception of the pirate ship levels, which I found brutally and unfairly difficult, the game features more of the great set-pieces and Hollywood-style adventuring that it's become known for.

  • The face-capture technology certainly had me mesmerized, looking at the game, but I found that the gameplay was very by-the-books. It was certainly a fun game, but one that I have to go back to to finish.

  • I hope they move on with the over-arching story of this game, because it really seems to be turning its wheels. I'll probably end up buying every game that offers any kind of story for Assassin's Creed, since I've become so interested and invested in it, but I wish they would make me look like less of a sucker for it.