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GOTY 2011

Before I get into this list, I have a few games that don't quite qualify.

1. VVVVVV- This game is hard as hell, but gives you just enough chance to beat every level with some practice. I wish I had gotten to it earlier, but better late than never.

2. Rayman Origins / Saints Row: The Third- I just picked up these games, and though they both seem great from what little I've played, I can't put them on the list with good conscience.

List items

  • This is one of the new Sci-Fi and action standards for video games. Issac's adventure through the Titan Station was such a good one that I immediately played through the game twice and plan on going through again. Cutting up necromorphs is incredibly satisfying, and Dead Space 2 fixed all the problems I had with the first game. This is a sequel for the generation, and a game every mature gamer should experience.

  • I'm almost shocked at myself for putting Battlefield 3 so high on my top 10, but just thinking about multiplayer Rush mode reminds me why I did. The campaign is an abomination, but I know I'll be coming back to blow up MCOM stations and play as a medic for countless hours in 2012.

  • The fact that Portal 2 managed to be excellent in the shadow of its predecessor is a testament to the talent that Valve has assembled. The writing was top notch, puzzles were a blast, and the ending was satisfying.

  • I loved my time with Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The way that the game rewards you for exploration and nonlinear problem solving makes up for any weird glitches and poor voice actors that pop up.

  • Narrative doesn't get much better than this. Emotional to the end, Bastion is a prime example of how to make a game. Not just an indie game, but just a game. Like Dead Space 2, I played through this two times in quick succession because I wanted to enjoy the story again. Big props to the SuperGiant guys.

  • There isn't much to say about Gears 3 except that Epic has done what many studios simply won't: they made a franchise with an actual ending. This series has defined much of this generation, and I'm glad to see it got such a polished finish. Multiplayer is going to take up some time next year for sure.

  • Face technology and Film Noir. Nuff said.

  • I must be a sucker for motorcycle games, because I enjoyed Joe Danger as much as I did Trials HD. Joe Danger is punctuated by a responsiveness that matches Super Meat Boy, and a quirkiness that does the same. Also, the menu music is the most catchy jingle of the year.

  • Blood and gore don't get much better than in Mortal Kombat. The X-Ray moves are disgustingly brutal, and the fighting system is accessible yet deep for the competitive players.

  • This one almost didn't make it on the list, mainly because I hit a rough patch of 3 much-too-similar quests right in a row. But even that can't take away the incredible amount of detail and wonder that Bethesda has poured into this RPG. DOVAHKIIN!!!!