Best of 2011

Games that stood out to me this year, and made me glad i'm a gamer.

(read from 10 onwards preferaby, and if anyone knows how to start from 10 let me know!)

List items

  • While I’m sure TESV has topped more than a few lists, and sent all the non-conformists into rage addled frenzies of finding the most creative way to pick apart the flaws inherent in every open world game. But screw ‘em... Skyrim has everything I could’ve hoped for in a truly open-ended RPG. Bethesda has created their most detailed, varied and life-like world yet. Bugs and game-breaking patches do nothing to stand in the way of the best game this year.

  • PC exclusives are a dying breed (with the exception of F2P games and MMO's) so I was a little disheartened to see my beloved Witcher series go for a more streamlined approach. But once I dove deeper, I found everything that made the original game so enjoyable still remained, and in some cases expanded on. The Witcher 2 set a tone and atmosphere unlike any other RPG I’ve ever played, and pushed the boundaries of what I thought CD Projekt Red were capable of.

  • Everyone likes a challenge, some more than others. And while the Souls series may be too unforgiving for most, those who are willing to endure a world full of instant death traps, contagions that linger even after death and boss’s that show no mercy. Dark souls provides one the most satisfying and memorable experiences to be had in gaming.

  • I’ll admit I wasn’t an early adopter of the Deus Ex games. Having only played Invisible Wars I wrote the series off as being in over its head and incapable of creating decent stealth or RPG mechanics to back up its gameplay. It wasn’t until Human Revolution was announced that I felt the need revisit the franchise from the beginning, and needless to say I was impressed. Deus Ex sold me on its promise of being an agent in an ever evolving yet highly unstable near future. Where choices were never clear, and obstacles were never easy to overcome. And while the story of human revolution wasn’t quite as interesting as the original, the universe and attention to detail definitely made up for it.

  • As a fan of everything crazy, I’m of course a fellow follower of Suda’s madness. With games like Killer 7 and No More Heroes, Suda 51 and Grasshopper Studios let everyone know they weren’t in the business of making something generic. Love them or hate them their games are definitely unique. While Shadows of the Damned wasn’t anything special in the gameplay department, it’s penchant for dumb humour and general weirdness won me over, and made me genuinely curious to see just WTF the game had in store for me next.

  • The original Dead Space did a lot of things right, albeit working off the framework of a tried and true formula set out by Resident Evil. But still, it was polished, fun and managed to distinguish itself with its emphasis on “strategic dismemberment” and the same holds true with its sequel. Good survival horror games are few and far between and although this game ramps up the action considerably it still managed to create a state of dread in a much more vibrant and unique setting.

  • I’ve always been more of a Metal Slug guy than a Contra fanatic, but that’s alright, because this isn’t really Contra. It’s Konami and Arc System Works attempt to bring the side-scrolling shooter into the current generation with fast, yet precise, challenging yet fair(most of the time) sadistic yet incredibly satisfying gunplay.

  • Speaking of gibs, MK’s back! Finally! And this time with all the gore and over-the-top violence that defined it. With a large roster of varied characters, and by far the best single player story of any fighter... ever. MK recaptures the magic of ripping out ones spine and beating them to death with it.

  • Yet another system defining game that didn’t quite push the franchise beyond my expectations, but it definitely met them. Putting aside the fact the story didn’t really go anywhere and we were left with more than a few questions, Gears 3 did what it set out to do, and that’s gratuitous and satisfying combat with new and inventive ways of gibing and brutalising your adversary’s.

  • Under normal circumstances this game would be much higher on the list but given the impact its predecessor made, I felt slightly let down by drakes endeavour this time round. That’s not to say it wasn’t a great game, it was, it just didn’t live up to my unreasonably high expectations.