Best of 2011

My top 10 of 2011. I can't believe all of these awesome titles made it into a single year. 2012 has its work cut out for it.

List items

  • Currently at 85 hours of multiplayer, Battlefield 3 creates more "HOLY SHIT I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT JUST HAPPENED" moments than any other online game since Battlefield 2. If you're an FPS junkie and love multiplayer then don't miss out on the best multiplayer title of 2011.

  • I am not someone who normally plays a whole lot of single-player games and when I do play them, I don't play them for long. But this year I was impressed by the offering of the single-player experience and Skyrim stands far and above all of the others. No other game came close to sucking as much time out of my life as Skyrim and I have loved every second of it.

  • I know in the Skyrim entry I said I don't play many single-player games. I seriously don't! It normally takes me weeks on end to slowly pick away at a single-player game no matter how much I enjoy it but Arkham City took me all but 3 or 4 days to play through in its entirety. I absolutely adored this game and I still boot it up and pick away at Riddler challenges. Oh, and I swear I am going to get that "Twice Nightly" achievement before I retire it!

  • I was so unimpressed by the original Saints Row that when I heard it was getting a sequel I lost some faith in my fellow gamers. So when I heard the crew here at Giant Bomb talking the 3rd title up so much I thought "What has happened to this once awesome site?" I am sorry I had such little faith. This game is one of my absolute favorites of 2011 and its a stand-out title at that. Its unabashedly fun in the most purely unadulterated way. The story is fun and although it is mostly trash-fiction (no redeeming qualities) it does it with a sort of grace that is necessary to make such a hokey storyline work. The gameplay is great too as far as open world games are concerned.

  • Terraria gets a lot of flack for jumping on the back of Minecraft's success, and while there is no denying the obvious inspiration this game has taken from its 3D cohort, Terraria has - in my most humble of opinions - usurped Minecraft for whatever genre this game style is. It nails the adventuring and exploring and is constantly updating with new, free content. It is full of items that make your character feel like it is growing and there is plenty to see and do. Terraria takes all of Minecrafts strengths and weaknesses - removes a dimension - and expands on everything that Minecraft has done in a much better way. If you're a social gamer then grab some friends and play some Terraria - you won't regret it.

  • Everyone has said it - Uncharted 3 is just more Uncharted. But that sounds so depressing. I WANT more Uncharted! This series may not be revolutionary but its got story and set pieces that other games have a hard time recreating and for good reason. I like the story in Uncharted and I'm engaged with the games despite their simple mechanics. It's bitter-sweet that the series has concluded (except for that Vita game).

  • I was really excited about Mortal Kombat leading up to its release but Sony had to rework their entire network infrastructure the same time this game released. I ended up playing hours upon hours of single player. I played through the story twice, beat the tower challenges, and played training mode endlessly to find various 60%+ hit combos (still proud of my Reptile combos). When Sony finally got their network back online I was disappointed by the online and haven't gone back to it. But the game's flow and amazingly well-done story stuck with me. I think I'm gonna go play this right now, actually.

  • Wow look at this list. Did all of these amazing games seriously release in the same year? Portal 2 is loved by everyone - including myself. While I felt that Valve sacrificed a lot of the challenge that the first Portal offered in its puzzles in lieu of accessibility for a wider audience, the game's story, story-telling, cast of characters, STILL-AWESOME PORTALS, and online co-op all add up to make an experience that will stick with most who see it through start to finish.

  • The Gears of War series holds a strange place in my heart. I played through the first one with one of my best friends who is no longer with us. I played through the 2nd one with my girlfriend. The third one I have played with someone different almost every chapter. I love to hate on this series for its terrible writing and very 'samey' controls since the first one but truth is its a solid game that's a lot of fun. Its the perfect "couch" game, really.

  • I realize that this game came out at the ass-end of 2011 but it re-ignited my interest in MMOs. Its funny because it is really just World of WarCraft in space but the story is interesting and the game goes about telling a story in a way that MMOs haven't really tried before. Sure, its very much a Bioware game (dialogue options) but I like it. While the game feels very inorganic and mechanical I am enjoying it for what it is and don't feel pressured to rush through to the end-game. I think that's what I like about it so much - I feel like I can just play it on the side and slowly pick away at it, unlike WoW where I always felt like it was a rush to get to the end-game.